I am jumping ahead of my usual Thursday posts to discuss something that, to be perfectly honest with you, pisses me off more than anything else in the paranormal world: scams and scam artists.
My good friend and colleague Tiffany Smith Johnson, psychic extraordinaire, a person who I admire and respect more than any other, recently posted a warning to all her Facebook friends regarding a certain shyster who is currently selling “shares” to a television show that he claims to be already sold to a certain major network. Johnson does not name names, but to be honest with you, she doesn’t have to because I already knew whom she was talking about.
First off, folks, let me tell you that “shares” do not exist in television shows. A television show is not a business venture, it is not even a business, and it is far from a corporation. So this “paranormal craphead” that Johnson references is going around the paranormal community taking money from those whom are far too trusting, or too naïve to see the truth (if the two can be separated).
In the year that I have been investigating the paranormal, both with a group and now as an independent, I have encountered a large number of people, and have been warned of more, who view the paranormal and fans of the paranormal as nothing more than cash cows — big ol’ piggy banks packed with dollar bills — and pay little attention to building a community or validating the cause. Instead, people are in it for their own personal gains, willing to bilk friends, family, and fans out a dollar, and hiding behind the false moniker of “professional investigators” despite the fact that there is no formal training that could possibly produce such a description. I also understand that there are those in the business who respectfully add to the field, and in turn make financial gain from doing so; IDEAL Event Management and Anomalie Paranormal are two such companies that come to mind. Both of these businesses are legitimate entities owned by those who have delivered much credibility to the field and are rewarded for doing so. These companies and others similar have earned their bones and have the right to comensurate compensation.
I am set on tearing down all those who do not share their dedication — those who do nothing but milk the teat of the supernatural and run away with buckets of spilling milk.
And the reason why is a simple one: there are people in the community who make the “paranormal experts and investigators” the lowest of humanity’s totem pole. A portion of the self-proclaimed “professional investigators” are nothing more than sick, uneducated, morally depraved people who have no personal skills, no work ethic and no professional experience in any field — much less the paranormal. They are leeches upon the community. They leech off of the success of others, simply put, because they are bottom feeders — unable to grasp the handlebars of their own lives: they are unable to keep a job, they live in hovels, hiding criminal records, and cannot find a way to get their lives on track so they choose to derail others because of greed, jealousy, general mediocrity, and general pathetic-ness. Currently, I am aware of three separate investigation by the Department of Justice against paranormal investigators and paranormal teams for fraudulent business ethics and tax fraud. These people are among humanity’s lowest-common-denominators.
However, within the field, there are those who are dedicated to the cause; those who seek nothing but answers and try to redefine the space and enhance its acceptance and validity from those on the outside looking in. These are the people who view this work as a passion and not a paycheck. These are the people who want to take the field forward rather than to the bank. These are the people who don’t have websites, sell tickets, solicit shitty equipment with their paranormal group’s Kinko’s-created stickers on it, and tell people suffering from the heartache of a passed love one that a $150 EMF detector will reconnect them in the secular world. No, these are the people do it because they love all things supernatural and no other reason than that.
Furthermore, I will admit my own hypocrisy. Am I currently working on a project that involves the paranormal that has the potential to make money? Yes, I am. Am I using the paranormal to spread my own name through The Contrarian website and its fervent fan base? Yes, I am. Am I a person who once was a member of a paranormal group that could possibly be guilty of some of the preceding paragraphs’ vitriol-based list of sins? Yes, I was. But what I am not doing is collecting money from my readers or friends, my ventures are financially mine and my own. I write for The Contrarian because I like to see my name and words in print, call it ego. . . I call it reality. And finally, I left my former group for reasons that I have never hid, and now critical readers can add more information to the list.
In the paranormal field, there are people who collect money in the tens of thousands for paranormal events and meets-and-greets that never happen and this money never gets reimbursed. There are people who charge for a paranormal investigation. There are people who con their fellow investigators out of traveling expenses when expenses were already covered. There are people who fake evidence and put it on their websites to gain a certain level of respect and then bilk cash out of those who don’t know what an EXIF viewer is or can’t spot PhotoShop when they see it. They fake disembodied voices, EVPs, onto recording devices for their own personal,future monetary gains.
Ladies and gentleman, these are crimes and rightfully deserve prison time. These are serious offenses against humanity and should be punished.
Unfortunately that usually doesn’t happen. That is why Dante designed the fourth circle of Hell, a special place for all of you, when it should be your turn to create cold spots and make your first legitimate EVP.