Healthy skepticism is what keeps people honest.
Healthy skepticism within the paranormal does exactly the same. If done right.
A while ago I wrote a blog titled “What cynical skeptics get wrong”. But in recent days I felt motivated over an “interesting” experience with an individual I won’t name. Not because of any possible backlash, but just due the fact that they don’t deserve the notoriety – and you’ll read about why very soon.
I happened to be watching an interview and found some of the comments this “individual” was providing quite interesting. So I sent a friend request through facebook. You’ll see often that the first thing many cynical skeptics get wrong, is that for me personally, actually agreed with a lot of what is said.
I was then contacted by said individual through messenger with the comment “Hi, any measurable paranormal/supernatural event that you can present”. That’s a big question to ask as many know that the paranormal hasn’t been proven according to science but yet there is substantial research into “unknown phenomena” (ESP, PSI for example) where it may suggest we can communicate or receive information outside of our minds.
So, my answer was honest “that’s a very broad question if I might say. What constitutes a paranormal event.. and that it can be something I can present. It is widely known as paranormal phenomena (as you know) which as far as science is structure, the worst kind to attempt to investigate”.
The answer from this individual was “I have no idea. As yet I haven’t been presented with any. You are the “expert” apparently!”
Mmmmm. Ok Thanks for the recognition?
They then decided to look at my website and quote the fact I was interested in the paranormal for almost 10 years and started in the UK where the interest was more established. They then asked that I “present that… however you put it”.
I said I do present it, and around the country and its conjecture. That middle ground is the best way to be about this topic.
There was a few more comments back and forth (the whole screenshot is below for reference) then the individual said “see when I claim something exists I present it. I don’t talk about it. I show it.”
The paranormal is largely based on personal experience which is difficult to verify. I messaged back to this effect, and then they commented “I’m not interested in the slightest “blah blah blah”.
That is when I knew I had a troller on my hands and someone who wasn’t interested in conversation but to dictate what they think I do is wrong.
The conversation started to disintegrate further and it actually become quite amusing for me. I think that is half the reason I pursued. And looking at the screen shots below, I answered the question in about 4 different ways, maybe more.
So…What this individual didn’t realise is:
The paranormal is many shades of grey with experiences and types of phenomena which can be gathered from all different parts of science to help explain (social science, physics etc).
I actually have experience and I’m actually active in my research and field investigations into possible paranormal phenomena, so #jusaying maybe they should listen to someone who does have “actual” experience instead of being an arm chair warrior about this topic.
If this individual actually researched my background properly instead of trying to quote a few lines from my website hurriedly they would realise I actually provide information about methods of investigating. Nothing to do with presenting “evidence”.
This also shows me the true intent of this person. Lack of basic research and an enormous amount of bias. Which I reminded them multiple times
Read below. In all its glory.
The only thing that failed in my eyes is that this person didn’t realise they were dealing with an intelligent woman.
When they realised they weren’t getting what they wanted they decided to screen shot all of the conversation and post it in a facebook group… you guessed it. JUST for cynical conservative skeptics.
So, by this point I clicked to join the group to see what was said but then thought “meh….” And blocked and deleted this individual and went to bed.
Why block them? Because I knew there was no way this person was worth the effort in any discussion. My time is precious, and not to be spent “trying” to convince a person. It was over as far as I was concerned and I couldn’t have cared less where they posted what. I stand by all my knowledge and will continue to do so.
Blocking isn’t an act of weakness as some would see, but more an act of strength. I’d rather converse with people who are open to listening even if their opinions differ. That to me is worth energy. Not this.
But in true bully style, when I then woke up in the morning I had this to contend with. Which isn’t surprising at all. Pack mentality from such a group.
After my comment I left the group. If the act of trying to defame someone is considered less than blocking the individual who attempted it? Ah… you can keep your Facebook world of hate, I’m checking out.
I think this administrator should be made aware that you have every right to block and ban whomever you want. Someone might need to inform them (sarcasm intended).
I also don’t identify as being Christian. It’s not hard to figure that one out either, and even though I’m not, the reference one person commented about is actually religious discrimination.
And of course, the pack mentality. When people can’t come back with a valid point in an argument, insults are often used as a last resort.
I told close friends who saw this eventuate that it’s all entertainment. For it to upset a person would mean you have a belief in what they say. In other words, couldn’t care less what these people think.
So… why on earth would I be posting about this kind of drama? People know I pick and choose my battles very well but this is just an example of the type of anger out there from ill-informed people looking for likes and popularity who represent what is traditionally a great group of people that CAN actually work together – actual skeptics.
Truly, not all skeptics are like this AT ALL. I’ve had wonderful discussions with people in the field online (you know who you are!) and also with the lovely people at the Australian Skeptics Society who I will continue to support.
Don’t be intimidated by individuals like this.
As you can see, I’m not immune to people who chose to function this way. As long as you are active and public, it will happen. But stand behind your information, your material. And know this is a very small majority of people who choose to behave this way.
And often after a while they will disappear… to find their next click-bate.