STOP!!! criticism of groups has to stop

I have been reading posts on social media for a long time, by people who love to criticize others. It's irritating, but when I notice them I delete them or just skip them and move on. But when the chain is over 50 comments it gets my attention, and not in a good way. I read all 50+ posts with growing rage and disgust. This is what it has come to, folks. This is what you need to turn your back on, for the sake of the field of paranormal investigating, and for the sake of your mental health. Many of us in the fields of education, psychology, psychiatry, medicine or counseling are very aware of the fact that people with low self esteem, people with a negative self image, people who need a quick fix to feel better about themselves, will spend their time putting other people down. It's a quick and easy method that humans use to feel better about themselves. If others around them are jerks, idiots, morons, fools, dumb, nasty creatures, then they feel better somehow.

The paranormal field is having a rough time, for many reasons. However, this negative talk, this constant put down and criticism of other groups is just making me sick.
 It needs to stop.

Here are some simple ways to help:
1. Don't contribute to it. As much as you want to put down  an individual or group that has offended you, kicked you out, or said or done something stupid, keep your mouth shut. Let the world, other people, life, play itself out. If you stay silent, maybe others will too, and this flood of psychological sludge, muck, put down partying, will subside, then stop.

2. Don't read it or support it in any way. If a website for a paranormal group or individual investigator suddenly becomes negative, superior, critical of others, starts naming names or groups, sign off of it. Resign your membership. Oh, and post why you are leaving. You don't support negative, public put downs of others. Simple. Then say goodbye. 

3. Tell others to also sign off websites that engage in such negative talk. If they lose their audience they will have no influence, power or authority to continue.

4. It's ok to speak your mind about ISSUES.  IDEAS.  THEORIES.  TECHNIQUES.  EQUIPMENT.  It's NOT OK to speak negatively or critically about people, individuals or groups made up of individuals. These are people, many of which are simply doing their best. If you don't like what they are doing, or how they are doing it, perhaps offer, privately, to mentor them. 

5. Keep it light, fun, honest and with integrity. Laugh, then move on. Try not to take offense when others put you down. Don't retaliate. Don't hit back with your own nasty comments on a public forum. 

6. Paranormal unity starts where all human unity starts..not with agreeing with others or refusing to voice your opinion. It starts with a heart of kindness, compassion and caring about others. Respect another's differences and diversity.

Now, here is a made up discourse  that resembles what I witnessed on a social network.  I have not posted the actual comments here. I have summarized and combined some of what I read into fictionalized examples.  No names or places have been identified. 

This is what is going on. This is what you need to stop.

***It makes experienced paranormal investigators very angry when inexperienced, new (to the paranormal) people mess up. It reflects on all of us and effects all of us. ***
 Apparently, being new to the field and inexperienced, or an enthusiast, are very bad things...
***People have been slammed for "copying" other people's websites, because they cannot come up with any of their own original content.  Paranormal groups or individuals who claim to want to help others are also not good people, apparently.
Ok...apparently, it is very, very bad to be here to help.  God, God forbid...
*** Paranormal investigators who claim to have a lot of experience are all liars. We insist that they are all new to the field and should simply admit it. They are newbies. All of them. NO one but the writers are experienced, apparently. Not that there is anything wrong with that (being new). They write things about themselves that aren't true, and exaggerate their knowledge and abilities. But let's all laugh at them because we all know that everything they say is total B.S. ***
I guess these people believe that everyone else but themselves is only pretending to know what they are doing. What we all know is that they are all really new to the field. They're exaggerating. How does this person know whether or not what people are saying is being made up?

***Sincerity is the most important thing. As long as you are sincere and behave with sincerity then everyone will take you seriously. But we all have the right to be down on the field of paranormal investigating. So I give you permission to bad mouth everyone you know. As long as you are sincere about it. ***
I love this logic. As long as you are sincere you can say any ol' thing you want to say and it's ok. As long as you are sincere you have every right to be taken seriously. Of course, you may join us in our group bashing, as long as you are sincere in  your group bashing.
***Other groups (never ours) fake evps all the time, or fake photographic evidence. Then the writer will hint and hint and drop more hints that will tell the reader just exactly which group they are talking about. ***
This is group bashing at it's worst. We all know that EVPs get faked. Accusing a specific group or individual of faking EVPs can get you into trouble.  You had better be able to prove it, but way wiser not to accuse. Enough said. 
***Never, ever have fun on an investigation. It could get you accused of unprofessionalism. No laughing, no horsing around, no pranks, no funny pictures.  Stop it.
We all know how professional all paranormal investigators are today.  ;) Remember, "groups".  You are not allowed to have fun.  Why does laughing, being shown having fun spell unprofessional? Please do not get me wrong. There certainly is such a thing as unprofessional conduct during an investigation. Any behavior that may be construed as unprofessional should always be avoided. But have you ever been on an investigation that started at 8:00 p.m and now it's 4:00 a.m? People get tired, loopy, and sometimes silly. 

***Then a nice person wrote that there are a lot of people who complain about paranormal groups on the internet, and admitted that they had, too. Then they suggest that maybe we should do less complaining and more helping. Perhaps those who claim to have all the experience should teach and help those who don't. ***
Here is someone, finally, with something nice to say and offering to help, mentor and teach.
***Then a bunch of people start to bash those they have tried to help, who have not properly taken them seriously, and disrespected their teaching in some way.  ***

***Also,God forbid you criticize a TV show. Some people will get very offended if you do that. So you can't teach them either, because they believe that paranormal TV shows are where you get your knowledge about ghosts. These people actually keep lists of the people they do not like or respect on the net who bash TV shows. (wow, am I ever in trouble.) Then the whiners express delight that they themselves may have landed on such a list.***
Well, I guess this is someone who tried once to help someone and they weren't taken seriously. I have been an educator in the public school system for over 20 years. If I got enraged and offended every time some student or peer didn't take me seriously I would have died many years ago of a broken heart, or damaged ego...whichever.  Buck up.  Grow a back bone. Keep trying.

***Then a whole bunch of folks start to bust on the paranormal TV shows. ***
This is fine. Busting on the TV shows is what is needed. People do need to realize that the TV shows are entertainment only...mostly faked. Not all, just  most. And the cast of these shows are mostly (not all) people who are professional actors..not investigators or even people who know a thing about the paranormal. I write reviews of the TV shows on a regular basis, in hopes that people will read and realize that TV is not where you should be getting your education in the paranormal.  However, I have a distinct impression that  many who make fun of the paranormal TV shows on the net are closet fans. I also suspect that, even though they will deny this forever, I bet they got their start in the paranormal by watching these shows, and may even have learned about things like EVPs and EMF meters from TAPS. Just saying.....

***Then people start to bust on the idea of paranormal unity, accusing others of using paranormal unity as a way to get away with bad technique, protocol, etc. The writers of these comments seem  very proud of being seen as nasty by others. ***
 We get it. You are not playing nice. That's obvious. I am sorry to hear that unity is not something you can get behind.  Yes. Unity is a joke. To you. Not to all of us. I agree, there are some who use the idea of unity to silence critics. But most of us get it.
***Then some people start to bust on those groups on social media who post paranormal pictures and ask others to share their opinions and ideas, help them decide if the photo is faked or real, as if this is the dumbest, most irritating thing in the world. ***
As a teacher, this attitude infuriates me no end. People asking for another opinion, or for help, is never a bad thing. They want to learn. They have a desire to share, to network with other investigators or enthusiasts in the field. Can you be any more mean-spirited than this? No. Talk about casting your pearls before swine. (sorry, biblical reference, meaning putting your comments and opinions out there for others to despise, ridicule and abuse. ) Are you too good to help, or, perhaps you haven't a clue how to help?When I started my blog I actually expected to meet people, network with other investigators, and start a dialogue with others about the paranormal. No. That has not happened. I'm sad and disappointed about that. Oh well.
I assume that a club for paranormal bashers is starting and membership is open.  
***Then, and this was no surprise to me, people went on and on about how there is no one out there who is knowledgable enough to be considered an expert in the paranormal. No one is eligible to be a teacher, absolutely no one. In order to be able to teach you have to be all knowing and perfect and no one is, therefore, no one should ever try to teach anyone about the paranormal.
 This must mean that no one can be qualified to teach about the paranormal.  I wrote a blog article on this idea because it drives me nuts. The logic is unsound. Since I have a master's degree in Fine Art and 20+ years of experience as an artist and educator, the state of Pennsylvania recognizes me as a qualified, highly expert educator, qualified for certification in my field of expertise. Do I know everything there is to know about fine art? No. Of course not. No one does. Does my lack of perfection in being all knowledgeable deem me unqualified to teach? No. Of course not. I am still recognized as a certified, highly educated, experienced expert in my field, because I know a lot. NOt because I know everything. I hate to tell you this people, but this applies to every field that holds certification, a degree, etc. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, philosophers, chemists, engineers, police officers...EVERYONE. So too, paranormal experts. 
I think the field should recognize those experts in the field, certify them and allow them to teach. Maybe we could all learn something. 

***Then the whining continues about the glut of new investigators to the field, and it is all their fault that we all have all the problems that we have as real, experienced, knowledgeable investigators. It's all their fault. ***
Absolutely. Let's blame all of our own weaknesses and faults on the new investigators and weekend enthusiasts.  There are just too many people out there interested in the paranormal. Now I can't feel special about myself anymore.   I'm no longer unique. 
How does someone else's weaknesses or lack of knowledge mess with my life? I don't know...honestly. It really doesn't.  It may reflect on the reputation of our field, but it only directly reflects upon them. The world does not revolve around me. It revolves around the sun, last time I checked.
Ok. I am done with this. I hope I have made a point. As always, I encourage you, my silent readership, to comment, leave your opinions, beliefs, and even your rants, here. However, if you attack individuals, or name names, I will not post your comments. No bashing. 

 If you post anything that identifies any individual or group, your comments will be removed immediately.


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