The Comment of the Day is an interesting one from Melissa Leath, a psychic who is published on the topic of psychic ethics. She is responding to the recent post here about proposed standards for paranormal investigators.
Her measured response forces me to confront my own ambivalence on this issue. I am, as she says, a skeptic; more than a skeptic, really, as I intellectually am committed to the position that all paranormal, psychic and spiritual phenomenon, including those in the realm of religious believe, are imaginary at best and fraudulent at worst. I would have said “unshakably committed, ” but emotionally, I have to confess am not as sure as I would like to be, or should be. Perhaps I watch too many horror movies. I don’t like Ouija boards, and won’t have the damn things in the house. If my kitchen furniture suddenly rearranged itself like it does in “Poltergeist,” or if my ultra-rational son started telling me that an old man in 1940s clothes kept appearing in his room at night and saying that he was going to hurt him, or if I saw dark, inky shadows crawling up the wall like in “The Grudge,” I can say with conviction that I would not be the one insisting that there must be a rational explanation and hanging around waiting for the bed to start raising off the floor. I would be the one out the door and checking into a motel, and from the safety of which insisting that there was a rational explanation, but also secretly fearing that my house had been built over a Native American burial ground.
I realize that this is inconsistent and silly. But I have a good friend who is as normal and sincere as someone can be who is a serious astrologer. And when I see the late Telly Savalas finally tell his personal ghost story in a YouTube clip, after personally watching him refuse to repeat it on TV talk shows for decades because “it was too scary,” I do wonder, even as I rebuke myself for wondering. Knowing that I wonder, however, it is only fair to give Melissa her say.
Here is her “Comment of the Day” on “‘Who Ya Gonna Call?'” Paranormal Ethics, and the Irony of Same.”
“I enjoyed your article. And appreciate your candor, considering you are skeptical of the subject. Being a psychic and medium for 30 years, gives me the edge on this one, I guess. But that is why I wrote a book called “Psychic Integrity, The Respected Practice of Modern-Day Mystics”. Not only is ethics important, but integrity in the field is even more important. Ethics generally has to do with the business of, whereas, integrity has to do with the personal foundation and understanding of the paranormal field (how you work with your client, rather than business dealings). It deals with being honest and forthright. Another area I would have loved to see L.S. Watts address is the ethical idea of “treating” the occurrence. She spoke of the clients being those who owned the property. but what about the potential “ethereal” clients? That is another story indeed. And it opens the thoughts of free will, and imposing your investigation on a departed spirit. However, those spirits haunting a location are technically earthbound ghosts, not fully transformed spirits. These have need for respect as well, along with special procedures for addressing them. (Oops, did I open another can of worms?)…”