by Kim Kowalczyk, GhostBreakers
I already feel the tension brewing, the teeth grinding and smell the fear by those who really don’t understand what it means. In fact with the tens of thousands of ghost hunters out there these days there is an extremely small number of people who do. This is not the first time nor site this topic has reared its ugly head and each time it is met with the same reactions. People seem to think that standardizing the field of paranormal investigation means that they will be controlled and monitored and somehow stripped of their right to do as they please. There is nothing farther from the truth. Standardization is not for everyone and no one wants to force it on anyone. It is only for those who want it and be part of a group that can share and compare information by all being on the same page. Besides, people could do both. Be part of the standard and do their own thing separately.
Regardless of what people would like to believe, to date there is no official recognized field of Paranormal study except in the eyes of some in the “paranormal community” and I use that term loosely also. Oh, and no offense but institutions like “Flamel College” and people who throw out certifications for profit and other paper mills don’t make it an official field of study.
Right now we see thousands of people and groups labeling themselves as whatever they choose. Everyone, you and I included, are lumped into that group that was coined “The Paranormal Community.” Regardless of people’s experience, interest, etc., the general public still sees us as all in the same boat. A bunch of unorganized people and groups trying to get noticed. Standardization, would for the first time, steer Paranormal Investigation and splinter fields, towards being recognized fields of study and make it much easier for those serious about what they are doing to have their information, ideas, methods and findings, scrutinized and recognized as legitimate work in the field.
The next point that so many have heartburn with is who would make up this entity that would set down the standards and protocols. Well, the general comment you will always see from people is, “There are no experts of the Paranormal.” A very safe statement to protect us all in our personal endeavors but not completely accurate. Maybe not many paranormal experts but there are experts in what all people and groups say they do. There are experts in photography, audio/visual, lighting, educators, psychology, investigating, the collection of evidence and I could go on and on. These type people would be needed to form that entity. People not necessarily even interested in the paranormal but experts in their respective fields to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. Standardization is nothing more than organizing people and groups who want to be part of it and educating them in a standard way of collecting information so it all can be officially documented for all to use. Only if the field is seriously recognized by the main stream can it become a recognized field of study.
There are really more pros than cons for those serious about what they do. The real problem is getting people on board and getting someone to champion the cause. There is a lot more to it than this, and I am sure it will take a long time to hash out. It also seems that not only those in the general paranormal community but even those who profess to be experts in the field do not want this to ever happen. I can only wonder why…
Now, for those who have and will voice an opinion. Please remember the rules of testing arguments and one important one. You should attack the argument, not the arguer.
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