Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Deception for a good cause?

Does it make it ok to deceive people if a paid admission goes to a good cause?  This has bothered me for awhile. 

"Ghost tours" of historic places are becoming more and more popular. I love learning about the history of places, and I love a good ghost story.  I don't mind paying an admission to be shown around, to learn some historical facts as well as folklore, and to be given a fun "scare" here and there.  If that admission goes into restoration and maintenance of a historical site, I think that's wonderful.

Where this crosses the line for me is when "guests" are taken on an "investigation" where past inhabitants of locations are summoned up to perform.  Also, it's sometimes obvious that the "investigators" are simply creating fake evidence where there is none.  Labeling voices as EVP's when it's obviously the voice of one of the investigators, or using devices such as dowsing rods or ovilus to ask questions and "interpret" as being specific spirits answering...
Or feigning "demon" attacks or possession, along with all the theatrics... Speaking for all the specific spirits of deceased who once inhabited that location and carrying on as though they are old buddies who flirt and laugh together, even if the deceased had met a very tragic ending..  Basically, mocking the dead.

Is it ok to go on with such deception to the public in order to receive their money, as long as it's for a good cause?  Is it ok to, basically, LIE to people?  Sure, it promotes the investigators and they can pretend to be cool and awesome.  But why present things to the public as real, when they are not?  

Here's where I feel like the bad guy.  

It's important to preserve historical locations, and educating the public by charging admission for tours is a great way to raise the money required.  But don't lie.  If I pay for a roast beef sandwich, I don't want to receive some fake soy meat sort of crap and be told it's beef.  That would be false advertising.  

I don't want anybody to stop doing tours!  But they should stop presenting the public with misinformation regarding the subject of paranormal phenomena.  The field is having enough problem being taken seriously as a valid study without people insisting they are speaking to and receiving specific answers from the dead through a flashlight or an emf detector..  presenting dust particles as "spirit orbs".. pretending the murder victim is flirting with the ladies in a tour.. or falling on the floor being scratched by demons in a museum. 

End rant.

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