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Winds of Change

Conclusions on Arrival

By OkaPublished 5 months ago 9 min read
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The Paranormal Research and Development Society since October 27, 2001

One of the largest challenges facing the paranormal investigation community at large is conclusion. There are only two avenues to drawing conclusions.

You, as an agent and investigator for and of the Paranormal Research and Development Society may either jump to a conclusion or you may arrive to a conclusion.

Undoubtedly, in the ongoing pursuit for evidence of afterlife activity and by extension, afterlife entities, we find ourselves all unable to provide concrete evidence.

If you are a participant in any forum, whether on social media of any kind, or in forums outside of social media, where people post "evidence" of alleged afterlife activity and / or alleged afterlife entities, you probably witness a few different behaviors, but especially two specific prevalent behaviors.

Total and utter agreement or total and utter disagreement. In either instance of these behaviors, whether everyone seeing a photo, video or hearing an instance of "EVP" (electronic voice phenomena) agrees that it is clearly something paranormal (if not flat out demonic)... or a complete opposite approach where the "evidence" is absolutely nothing, and the person sharing it is ridiculed.

Somehow, in spite of the actual concrete fact that there are no afterlife experts, people still refer to their selves or others as paranormal specialists, experts or authorities without the credentials to demonstrate that authority, knowledge or specialization.

The problem is that there is no way to prove or disprove a statement someone makes, and they utilize either intentionally or unwittingly any number of logic fallacies to prove their point.

This is often strongly tied to cognitive bias and confirmation bias, and anyone asserting a statement or conclusion whose minds are already made are rarely dissuaded from their position, regardless the factual information provided.

So, what is the difference when drawing conclusions of jumping V. arrival?

Conclusions are exactly like what they sound; they are the end or finish to an event or process. When we witness something, whether in the paranormal field of study, or just in day-to-day life, we are constantly processing that information and drawing a finality to it based on the information we have at hand.

For example:

An individual posts anonymously to a forum that they have as of lately been suffering night terrors, and they are seeking the opinions of those in forum whether these are paranormal or supernatural occurrences (or not).

There is an immediate response in the forum, and the majority of the "experts" in the forum immediately suggest that the person is experiencing attacks from demonic entities.

This is an example of people jumping to conclusions. Without reviewing the situation, circumstances or evidence, they are reactive instead of active, and quick to put in their opinions on what something is based on little more evidence than the question itself.

The Paranormal Research and Development Society and its Northern Nevada Chapter, its founders, leadership and agents have to keep in mind that a lot of the information people utilize is based largely off of tradition and oral histories passed down from the 19th century spiritualism movement, and beyond.

To date, information derived from this movement has no accepted canonical texts, and short of the small "informational" fliers featuring OpEds, conventions featuring hypnotists and mesmerists of the time, spirit mediums, psychics and pseudoscientific theories, there is nothing from that period based in factual evidence or concrete scientific data.

After all, if paranormal phenomena were something that could be proven in such a way that a reasonable, rational person could observe it and say, "Yes, this is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.", then it would no longer be paranormal, it would just be normal.

The problem seems to stem off reactive behaviors toward the challenges of these beliefs. An individual or group of individuals are welcome to believe whatever they want, and perhaps their beliefs may or may not provide concrete evidence in the future.

The PRDS and its Northern Nevada Chapter have concluded in no uncertain terms, that the traditions and oral history utilized to this point do not work on a scale that provides the concrete evidence necessary to bring legitimacy into the field of paranormal investigation.

This conclusion was one to which it [the PRDS] arrived, rather than leapt to, and is drawn from the evidentiary markers that demonstrate that the same methods have been utilized for one-hundred-seventy-two years (the spiritualism movement began in 1850 and fell out of favor in or around 1925, though the methods are still in use today), and many of those methods were drawn from earlier occult traditions (also still in contemporary practice).

One-hundred-seventy-two years at least in utilizing the same practices, methods and techniques of predecessors who were unable to provide a solid demonstration that these such things work.

Modern paranormal investigators are utilizing the same practices over and over, all the while expecting a different result. Not to allude that these behaviors fit or underscore the definition of insanity, but it does call into question why paranormal investigation is so largely caught in this repetitive cycle.

In the earlier example, when faced with the question of what was causing night terrors, the PRDS offered an alternative possibility - and a likely probability - that this individual (who did post anonymously) was suffering sleep paralysis due to perfectly natural (albeit frightening) bodily functions; that they are waking up during REM (rapid eye movement - dream) cycles while their brain is in a delta sleep pattern state.

When we sleep, our sleeping brain paralyzes our body in an attempt to prevent us from acting out our dreams. Imagine acting out dreams, were this mechanism not engaged. Running off a ledge, or falling down a flight of stairs because we were running in a dream; striking our partners in bed, because we were fighting in our dream.

This is not to say that such things do not happen... they are simply the exception and not the rule.

This phenomena is accepted in sleep studies and science as the likeliest probability occurring during our sleep cycles, and that when we wake prior to our brain withdrawing from its REM delta cycle, we awake into that protective paralysis, and we are still seeing our dreams - essentially hallucinating a waking dream - as we wake.

When presenting this alternative position, it was ultimately met with hostility.

This refers back to cognitive bias, and confirmation bias, which allows the attacking party to jump to their conclusions based solely on belief alone. Rather than arriving to the likeliest outcome, the most rational and that of the highest probability, it is immediately demonic.

The PRDS does not concern itself with inserting religious practices of any kind in its investigation, as its investigations are based on collecting data, researching paranormal investigation and attempting to develop new and functional methods to aid in the practice of paranormal investigation itself.

That being said, between Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, the belief in possession exists, however in each facet of these specific faiths, the one agreed on factor is that possession is rarer than people would believe, and in all four of these faiths recognize that mental illness is a possibility. Each of them, whether the offending entity is Satan, Sheitan (which just means the devil), or the Djinn, there is not an immediate jump in any of the faiths to send an exorcist to respond. It is not immediately concluded that demonic activity is involved until a thorough investigation by an investigating body, specifically trained in that faith to recognize the phenomena (and test it) has (again) arrived to a conclusion based on their findings, rather than jumping to a conclusion based on what they heard someone else say.

All parties in the PRDS, founders, leadership and agents are encouraged to consider the practice of evidence, observing the conditions, the data, and to consider the weight of their investigation and what it means when the PRDS makes a formal declaration that they conclude an alleged afterlife activity, an alleged haunt site, or alleged afterlife entity to be the cause of any specific phenomena.

We, as our society functions, can ill afford neither to present inaccurate data, and further damage the reputation of paranormal investigation than it already has been, nor immediately conclude that a phenomena is nothing at all.

To do what we do often employs external skilled trades, understanding at least the basics of electrician work, plumbing, architecture, geology and geography.

While our humble society need not be functional scientists, a basic understanding of the very natural phenomena that goes on in the world around us every day, as well as phenomena what exists due to the machinations of humankind, aids us and allows us to perform our functions as accurately as paranormal investigators can.

The focus on paranormal investigation alone has failed this field dramatically, and has created what others feel is a necessity to defend the possibility of an afterlife, and afterlife entities (be they spirits or demons), because they can offer little more than belief, anecdotal evidence, and the hostility that anyone would dare challenge their belief system... because that belief system is all they have to functionally operate as paranormal investigators.

Science is not trying to keep this field down, or attempting to prevent it from providing evidence of an afterlife or AEs. Science asks for facts, and all this field provides at this time is speculative theories based on unfounded ideas whose canonical position does not exist.

It is therefor easier to jump to conclusions in defense of a belief (and further damaging the reputation of paranormal investigation) than it is to arrive to the likeliest conclusion based on the science and study of sleep whose conditions, and phenomena have been studied, documented and proven to a further degree than those claims laid that sleep was scary, and so therefore demons.

In order to preserve the reputation of the PRDS, its credibility, the credibility of this field which we practice, as well as the reputation of the PRDS, and the tenuous field of paranormal investigation, it is important neither to immediately agree, nor immediately disregard anything until further study may aid in arriving to the likeliest conclusion based solely and only on the most factual data at hand during the time of that investigation, or study.

Our position has never been a popular position, and while our individual experiences have driven us to do what we do, they are only facts to each of us individually, and to those in our humble society that believe them. To those outside our society, they may be little more than interesting campfire stories told for a scare.

Our persistence must be absolute, and our conclusions must be concrete as they can be, before we publish them. The examples provided provide an illustration to the application of jumping V. arriving to conclusions.

Providing information, and documented case studies is more helpful to potential clientele than simply making an unfounded statement without the ability to cite data that supports it.

Agents of the PRDS should consider placing this into practice at every approach, to consider and weigh out their investigations with objectivity. The PRDS supports its agents, and trusts their findings to a great degree. It is important that this trust is well placed, and important that investigating agents apply everything in their power to demonstrate a thorough, well organized and well investigated case prior to presenting it, or requesting it published into public domain.

Science
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About the Creator

Oka

Founder of the Paranormal Research and Development Society. Paranormal pariah and heretic. There are no experts; there are no answers; there are no rules.

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