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Does JREF make "house calls"?

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby Anita71786 » 26 Feb 2012, 12:47

I'd bet that the number of people that possess psychic abilities is pretty small. However, many people have experiences ghosts, and many houses probably are haunted. Does JREF perform investigations of houses that are claimed to be haunted? If so, how are these investigations performed? If someone has a 100% verifiably haunted house/home, will that person win the million dollars?
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby Craig Browning » 27 Feb 2012, 01:53

Are you kidding, they barely do anything that smacks of being legitimate research on Psychics let alone ghosts, UFOs, OBE/NDE, etc.

While you may have one or two members of the JREF or similar groups willing to take a peek you have to understand up front that they come in with their mind's already made up even if they can't give you a valid and logical explanation on the spot. As far as they are concerned you don't have ghosts -- PERIOD! Even if Casper were to jump out and cause them to lose considerable bodily waste all over your floor after oozing out of the trousers, they will deny that a genuine haunting exists.

Find a Haunt Investigation team that is composed of legit researchers; most such teams will have more than a few real scientists involved that are "open minded" and true skeptics vs. cynics. They rarely have more than two "Psychics" or "Sensitives" along with a couple of simply curious/concerned folk and at least one technical person to support all the camera and information gathering equipment used in their studies. They will come back several times to double check findings; rarely claiming a solid conclusion from a single visit, just probabilities. What's most important is that they will look for natural phenomena that could explain your situation; everything from being close to power-lines to underground streams and even heavy quartz deposits in your region. . . there's a number of very natural explanations you must be open to. . . but understand that such things are generally offered as a "likely cause" or even a "catalyst" behind the phenomena you are experiencing.

The other things to consider is whether you are dealing with a genuine haunt or a poltergeist?

If you have children in your life that are coming into puberty chances are strong that the latter is the case and the situation will come to an end within a few months, rarely lasting more than two years. No matter what you do when it comes to relocating, the sense of haunting will follow until that child has move-on biologically and psychically to the next stage of life. Children with strong imaginations and a sensitivity to the environment are the most typical profile for such things.

Haunts are location or item based; the entity is typically anchored to the place or thing. The majority of haunts are little more than a kind of etheric recording and aren't interactive. . . things don't move about, you can't speak with the spirit, etc. Interactive or "Intelligent" Haunts are very rare and similarly, rarely violent so long as you give them their space and treat them kindly. In the instances of aggressive entities there can be some very marked danger, especially if you attempt to exorcise it. That does not mean that you can't take steps to protect your family and home, you certainly can and based on how the entity reacts, you'll know if or not further steps are required.

I'm more than willing to give you some feedback if you're willing to share a bit more about the situation you're facing. Understand that I come form a strange position; I've very much a skeptic but at the same time a believer -- I've seen and experienced far too many things that can't be explained away but at the same time, I know for a fact that more than 90% of what folks encounter have a valid, down to earth explanation. ;)
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby ProfWag » 27 Feb 2012, 21:51

Craig Browning wrote:... you have to understand up front that they come in with their mind's already made up even if they can't give you a valid and logical explanation on the spot. ...

The other things to consider is whether you are dealing with a genuine haunt or a poltergeist?

Tell us again Craig who has their mind made up?
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby Craig Browning » 28 Feb 2012, 01:22

No need to kick that dead horse again, is there?

The cynics, which is the primary body of people tied to Randi -- jaded magicians that want to be seen as "intellectuals" -- have an agenda; the JREF is more a church of atheist than it is anything remotely smacking of "scientific research & study" . . . it's actually a laughing stock in the real world of science as best I can tell.

An HONEST Skeptic will approach an investigation scientifically, looking for that rational explanation but when such does not prove itself out, they will NOT use the various cop-out lines so loved by the JREF types but will instead state that there is a likelihood that a genuine haunting exists. Do note how I worded that; a deliberate door is left opened so the case can be revisited at a later time should a new possible explanation suggest relevance -- a possible pragmatic way of seeing a given phenomena, but it is exceptionally rare that anything outside of questionable "cop-out" lines come into play.

Skeptics that are of the JREF/CSICOP mentality will NEVER allow the door to remain ajar when it comes to their "investigations" and "tests". If they cannot give a hard reasoning for things they either stoop to the cop-outs or else demean the person(s) making the claim, painting them as fools and idiots -- gullible sods -- even when such individuals are major players in the scientific community with impeccable credentials. . . certain hot heads of not even threatening Nobel Prize winning Physicist with bodily harm because of their work and how it suggests plausible explanation when it comes to PSI likelihood (re: Quantum theory ties).
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby ProfWag » 28 Feb 2012, 06:35

Craig Browning wrote:No need to kick that dead horse again, is there?


I don't believe you understood my wise-ass remark. In an earlier post, you were referring negatively to the JREF/skeptics and stated they already had their mind made up so they wouldn't help. Yet, in the next paragraph, you mention quite emphatically that spirits are real. So, you talk crap about JREF in one breath and then do the same thing in the next, only reverse because, well, you're not a skeptic waiting for verifiably evidence, you're a believer who has already made his mind up. At least that's what I see where I sit...
But, it's all good. I still like you... ;-)
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby Craig Browning » 28 Feb 2012, 23:17

No, I am a skeptic I'm not a cynic. . . cynics leave the door welded shut, skeptics allow room for possibility and don't go out of their way to trump up excuses and pseudo-explanations. Most of the early skeptics of Victorian times were quite involved with religion and spiritual things; they believed but took it all with a small grain of salt until they could satisfy their skepticism one way or the other. Most found their quests for "the truth" more faith confirming than not.

When I do an investigation, be it a haunt or a psychic operator, I do not walk in with an assumed belief or disbelief but typically within the first 3-5 minutes chatting with the "Psychic" in question I'll know whether they're a dreamer or not and when it comes to a haunting, it's rare that I miss the real thing my first time through a place but then too, it's rarely that I find "the real thing" in the majority of claims. One can literally stand between the two extremes and be effective which I work very hard at doing; it's what I was taught long ago, about skepticism and how it must work if it's to be honest.
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby ProfWag » 29 Feb 2012, 03:11

Craig Browning wrote:No, I am a skeptic I'm not a cynic. . . cynics leave the door welded shut, skeptics allow room for possibility and don't go out of their way to trump up excuses and pseudo-explanations. Most of the early skeptics of Victorian times were quite involved with religion and spiritual things; they believed but took it all with a small grain of salt until they could satisfy their skepticism one way or the other. Most found their quests for "the truth" more faith confirming than not.

When I do an investigation, be it a haunt or a psychic operator, I do not walk in with an assumed belief or disbelief but typically within the first 3-5 minutes chatting with the "Psychic" in question I'll know whether they're a dreamer or not and when it comes to a haunting, it's rare that I miss the real thing my first time through a place but then too, it's rarely that I find "the real thing" in the majority of claims. One can literally stand between the two extremes and be effective which I work very hard at doing; it's what I was taught long ago, about skepticism and how it must work if it's to be honest.

Hmmm. That makes for an interesting question. From my experience, most skeptics don't believe that there has been enough evidence to support the paranormal. Most believers say there has been. Obviously most believers will also say they are skeptical of certain people or results. Take Bigfoot--the BFRO are quick to point out when they bellieve there has been a hoax which makes them skeptical. However, they are still believers at the same time. They subscribe to the claim that there is enough evidence to support the existance of Bigfeet.
So, I guess the question is, can a true skeptic be a believer just as a believer be a skeptic? Perhaps therin lies the rub? Most people at the JREF who are skeptics claim there has not been enough evidence to support the paranormal. Sooo, it appears that unless a skeptic claims to support the existance of the paranormal, they are labeled a pseudoskeptic by the believers. Or, is Craig and others with similar claims simply a believer and not really a skeptic?
Thoughts?
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby Craig Browning » 01 Mar 2012, 03:12

I don't want to get into a pissing match here, the majority of those calling themselves a "skeptic" in today's culture are not what skeptics were well into the early 1980s; early skeptics were willing to leave the door open to possibility and secondly, as a way to give respect to people's beliefs. They were not bullies with a chip on their shoulder out to prove the believers to be fools and idiots and themselves superior, which is very much what things are like in our present.

I'm very much a skeptic, I don't take reports at face value -- I ALWAYS investigate the situation and weigh it against my knowledge of the subject, my experience and my gut feelings. I believe I've more than proved this given some of the posts I've made even recently, when it comes to people thinking they've had a psychic experience or that they are "special" in some way; I've told them to look at both sides of the question so they can balance their conclusions and I've warned them to not cling onto the more surreal explanation of things. I've said this about psychic phenomena as well as issues of hauntings, so I'm not a dyed in the wool believer. . . I'm not part of an extreme, I proudly stand in the middle of the issue as both, questioner and optimist, seeking to not slam the door shut on an issue pertaining to such things.

I cannot deny the various experiences I've had first hand when it comes to the miraculous, the psychic as well as haunt phenomena -- these are things that happened, that cannot be explained away and when I've proven this, the naysayers begin acts of trying to discredit me by claiming I was on drugs or it's my medication, low blow sugar and a plethora of less kind things, they'd rather do that than admit that a.) they can't explain it away; b.) admit that there may very well be something beyond extreme logic.

When I first started my own investigations into Psychics and Hauntings, etc. I was taught that skeptics weren't closed minded and actually sought some form of confirmation to things. I was likewise taught that they were not dogmatic, insisting it was all their way or no way at all. Sadly, the lower denomination -- the extremism now associated with the idea of skepticism, has bullied itself into position as the "proper doctrine" over what was for so many generations.

My final point is the fact that this believer has been involved with far more dangerous investigations and actual Consumer Predatory expose type work than the majority of those boasting to be skeptics or "debunkers", something few like to weigh when challenging my claim of being a skeptic and person of honest concern when it comes to these things.

There are a number of Skeptics out there that still have faith in Jesus Christ or Muhammad or any number of other religious icons, including the miracles and gifts they can share with others; how are they any different than someone like myself? How can one be a skeptic, by the definition you're suggesting, and still be true to their religious convictions?

Not all skeptics are Atheists or Agnostic which would suggest that there may be a greater, more silent number of folks out there that are like my self; leaving the door cracked just a bit because the phenomenal is real to them for whatever reason.
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby ProfWag » 01 Mar 2012, 22:19

No pissing contest at all Craig. I just posed a question. It's my belief that someone who calls themselves a skeptic generally does not believe in the paranormal, but on the flip side, skepticism is a method to reaching a conclusion rather than a pronoun referring to non-believers. Everyone is skeptical of something. Even Scepcop.
I guess it's like tissue paper. Many people now say "I need a Kleenex" rather than "I need some tissue paper." Sceptic has come to generalize all people who are non-believers.
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby Craig Browning » 02 Mar 2012, 00:02

ProfWag wrote:No pissing contest at all Craig. I just posed a question. It's my belief that someone who calls themselves a skeptic generally does not believe in the paranormal, but on the flip side, skepticism is a method to reaching a conclusion rather than a pronoun referring to non-believers. Everyone is skeptical of something. Even Scepcop.
I guess it's like tissue paper. Many people now say "I need a Kleenex" rather than "I need some tissue paper." Sceptic has come to generalize all people who are non-believers.


Understand, this is a relatively "recent" turn of events and quite distant from how people 30+ years ago viewed the concept (. . . and why the UK spelling for "Skeptic"? . . .to me a "sceptic" is a tank in the ground that's full of sh** . . . :idea: could be a Freudian thing though :roll: )

Many skeptics, including the likes of Einstein, had a sense of belief but at the same time, sought to justify that belief by way of physical or mathematical measures -- they tried to "prove God's existence" you could say. I know that many of today's naysayers try to pain old Albert as being as cynical as they are but that wasn't the case according to most who knew the man, let alone many of the faith affirming quotes he'd utter throughout his life.

A person that negates any mode of belief would be better described as being a Cynic in that they will not allow ANY modicum of evidence sway their stance. Every time something that suggests even a nugget of proof, such as the Quantum Science field, it instantly gets attacked and "spin" given to it while those legit scientists that hold to the original thinking are degraded, and made fun of, listed as "quack-science" types. This is the history of the skeptics/atheist culture/agenda since the start of the post WWII era; one that has escalated since the 1970s simply because the Baby Boomers were all programmed and cued to this way of thinking and were passing it on to their children's generation and so forth.

I loathe the hidden message today's skeptics are promoting in that they do so covertly and by implication; "If you believe in God, you're an idiot. . ." * "If you pray or believe in the power of prayer, you're a fool. . . " * "If you seek out counsel by visiting a Psychic you are gullible" and so the list goes ad infinitum; INTELLIGENCE = Belief in Nothing but Human Rationalization. Which is quite far from the historical truth.

I encourage Skepticism. . . in moderation, just as I encourage faith in moderation -- ALL THINGS in Moderation! This means that "the truth" resides where balance can be found and that's the only place genuine truth can exist; it's not a black & white universe. When we start relying on "logic" and supposed "rational thought" 100% of the time, we end up shutting down an important side of the human psyche and thus, we create imbalance or "Dis-Ease" as it were. Skeptics however, don't want to consider such let alone take on their responsibility for creating said condition within society.
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby plodsie » 02 Mar 2012, 16:10

I loathe the hidden message today's skeptics are promoting in that they do so covertly and by implication; "If you believe in God, you're an idiot. . ." * "If you pray or believe in the power of prayer, you're a fool. . . " * "If you seek out counsel by visiting a Psychic you are gullible" and so the list goes ad infinitum; INTELLIGENCE = Belief in Nothing but Human Rationalization. Which is quite far from the historical truth.


Sums my thoughts up pretty well Craig.
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Re: Does JREF make "house calls"?

Postby harrybro » 27 Apr 2012, 12:49

I cannot deny the various experiences I've had first hand when it comes to the miraculous, the psychic as well as haunt phenomena -- these are things that happened, that cannot be explained away and when I've proven this, the naysayers begin acts of trying to discredit me by claiming I was on drugs or it's my medication, low blow sugar and a plethora of less kind things, they'd rather do that than admit that a.) they can't explain it away; b.) admit that there may very well be something beyond extreme logic.
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