Saturday, April 5, 2014

What is Paranormal Responsibility? by Chad Stambaugh

Paranormal Responsibility is understanding your equipment. You must not only know how it works, but why, and by extension, why it is useful for the paranormal researcher to use such a gadget. Don't parrot back the theoretical assumptions of other investigators, come to your own conclusions and do something to elevate this burgeoning science.

Paranormal Responsibility is understanding your camera. Educate yourself on the basics of photography, gain a working knowledge of your camera's settings, and stop posting false positives as evidence. Experiment with photographic anomalies and learn what conditions create orbs and mists and trails and what you can adjust to avoid them. Implement a bracketing system to capture the same location and angle with multiple camera settings. And this goes towards all your equipment.

Paranormal Responsibility is to constantly increase your education in this field. Just because you've been in the field for twenty or thirty years doesn't mean you know everything. There are new advances in technology, books have been written with some great knowledge in them. Don't become jaded because you have all this experience. Even doctors who have been in medicine for thirty years still read the journal of medicine to learn new advances in his or her field. We should be doing the same.

Paranormal Responsibility is voluntary peer review. Get your evidence in front of a wider audience and listen to what they have to say. There will always be skeptics who deny everything and there will always be dramatic-types who see everything in nothing, but the majority of researchers fall somewhere in the middle. Be open to the idea that someone may catch something you have missed, or pose a possible natural explanation to the one piece of evidence you hold most dear. But don't act like a know-it-all either. When giving your review, do it with professionalism, not demeaning!

Paranormal Responsibility is paranormal propriety. If you are in a position to represent the paranormal field to the general public, do not act like an ass. This field is already maligned in the mainstream by those who would call us crazy or evil or some combination of both, so it is your responsibility as our willing or unwitting spokesperson not to prove them right.

Paranormal Responsibility is asking permission to enter any abandoned location, private property, or cemetery after dark, and respecting any property that you have been given the opportunity to investigate. Nothing reflects more negatively on the paranormal field as a whole than a news story about yet another group getting in trouble in the name of special research. Stop creeping and get permission!

Paranormal Responsibility is knowing your audience. If you are in a position to interact with those who are younger or in possession of less experience than you, do not steer them wrong or put them in harm's way. Do not inadvertently encourage immaturity by bragging of your exploits in forbidden realms. If it's dangerous, don't post details! It is your responsibility to teach the young and/or inexperienced how to do a proper investigation. By you not taking responsible for people you know and willingly let them do what they want on an investigation, you're the one who is creating the problem. So take responsibility!!

Paranormal Responsibility is paranormal integrity. Do not perpetuate a lie, for fun or profit, whether consciously or unconsciously. Don't participate in the charade, and don't join the mob. If truth is your aim, prove it! And if you find someone doing wrong, don't parade it all over Facebook! When you start drama on social media sites, you look like a jackass just as bad as the person who you're going after. Find another avenue to handle your disagreements. It's time this field as a whole grows up. So what does Paranormal Responsibility mean to you?

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