Paranormal stuff: is it a cultural thing? Rant ahead
Simon, there is a lot of US culture and entertainment fixated on ghosts and haunted houses. But this topic is, well,broader than Ghost Busters.
There is no disagreement that any thread with the word “paranormal”will set most of us on edge. It does me. The conversation has a tendency to “swarm” as they say here locally. I am not nearly as brave others to talk about personal experiences but l am trying not to be so cowardly that these few brave posters be left twist in the wind of withering ridicule without admitting l too have been unable to find a “normal” explanation for some experiences.
I agree with much of your criticisms. Really l do. But do read thatAnthropology article that has a link. The matter was also addressed by Einstein you know. I believe it is mentioned in the article above.
Certainly skepticism is in order. But just because there are scammers around doesn’t mean there isn’t something that will one day explain some of these phenomena.
To be sure, there are people who do imagine things. A jw friend that I had, believed there were demons lurking in a closet and had the elders come over and pray to get rid of them. But in knowing this person, I knew that her fears and sensitivity to that fear, was probably the cause. The more she thought of it, the more it became a reality.
I also knew someone who was schizophrenic. Although I knew something wasn't quite right, I wasn't sure what was going on. He finally told me. The stories he'd tell - I never could figure out if he was making them up or that they actually occurred. This had nothing to do with demons etc. I just worked on the assumption they weren't true until proven otherwise.
But as for myself, I'm as puzzled as the next person as to why I've experienced some things. After leaving JW land, I've tried to drop the "demon" aspect and simply viewed them as unknowable occurrences. If there wasn't something called religion tainting peoples viewpoints, it might be viewed in a more open minded way. But no one really knows me here. I'm just words typed on a forum. But I will tell you the first "out of the ordinary" event that happened to me.
I have never replied to a thread on this subject, I don't usually even read them.
I just want to ask a genuine, respectful question. Have any of you guys that believe you have experienced paranormal activity ever taken psycho-active drugs- either medically or recreationally?
Also, amazing claims require equally compelling evidence to back them up. Wozza, you mention being able to manipulate objects and turn on lights like its a bodily function. Do you have any evidence of this?
For almost 100 yrs, various sceptic organisations around the world have offered hundreds of thousands of dollars to anyone that can demonstrate paranormal activity under controlled conditions. Have any of you guys cashed in yet? If not, why not?
I am not calling anyone here a fake. I am very much aware that its possible there are mysteries in the universe we don't fully understand yet. Its just that the 'evidence' I've seen about this stuff is like the 'evidence' for bigfoot, or UFO's- it always seems to be a bit blurry.
....as for myself, I'm as puzzled as the next person as to why I've experienced some things. After leaving JW land, I've tried to drop the "demon" aspect and simply viewed them as unknowable occurrences. If there wasn't something called religion tainting peoples viewpoints, it might be viewed in a more open minded way.—days of future past
this describes me too
Have any of you...taken psycho-active drugs- either medically or recreationally? —joey jojo
None up to the these times in question.Not medically or recreationally. But years later, yes.
edit: Joey, I am not interested in performing in a roadshow. In fact I’m not very much interested in telling very much more about this. It is , however,of interest to me to know if anyone else has these kinds of things happen to them. If I’m not mistaken some of us could not possibly reproduce any of the things that we’re talking about under controlled conditions. I’m not talking about that. I can’t speak for anyone else.
DoFP has bravely offered to share an account . More guts than l have.
Joey Jojo, the only drugs I have ever taken were for my cesareans and pain afterwards for pain management like ibuprofen. Occassionally I take antibiotics if I have an infection. I did worry years ago that I had psychosis but doctors have always confirmed that I don't have this.
I would love to cash in on this but I have absolutely no idea how. My personal experiences are unpredictable and happen maybe a few times a year. I don't have the funds to publish scientific research or get it peer reviewed. Although, I know there are researchers on such cases but their research, even though professionally done, keeps getting rejected. No one gives them a shot like Jim Tucker.
There are still a lot of things science cannot explain but I love seeing how there are scientists that are stepping out of the box trying to explain "weird" concepts. Like teleportation, reincarnation, communicating with people who are in comas, transferring memories from one animal to another. These are crazy ideas that are actually being studied. I'm hoping this can open the minds of other scientists and not be so narrowminded.
Close to 35 years ago, I missed one memorial going to a SciFi convention. Being that I always expected God to kill me at Armageddon, that put the last nail in the coffin for me. So I decided with what little time I had left, I would try to have some fun in life.
So I got some art jobs working in the gaming industry. Since that wasn't much of an income, I got a job working in a game store. I worked there mainly because one of the art jobs I had, involved the man that owned the store.
In an upstairs loft at the store, he would run role playing games after the store closed. One day he invited me to play along with a rather motley crew of guys. I didn't want to play D&D cause of it's Oh No! demon image, but also cause it's just about "Go into room, Kill Monsters, Take Treasure" Boring.
So we played a more story telling type of game, Runequest. I loved it. I guess the ham in me came out. I also loved the puzzle solving aspect.
Although the owner was great at running the games, he was a lousy store owner. I think he had the store to support his gaming. So at this time, we'd had a sale going on for about a week on chess sets and pieces. My display case was pretty empty and so I started rummaging around the bottom of it hoping to find something. I found a brown wood box that contained the typical creamy white wood pieces and ebony black ones. The glass shelves in the case, were long and narrow so when I displayed a set, I would make them have a long gentle curve. The named pieces of course, where in the back with the pawns in the front, all according to how they were on a board.
So I started with the black set. From right to left I placed the castle, rook, bishop, queen. After getting them nicely curved, I turned back to the box that was laying on the carpet in front of the case. And there in the box, was the black queen.
But I had just put it in the case. I looked in the case and it wasn't there. I looked at the box and there it was. If anyone had come in, they would have seen me frozen with one hand over the box, the other still in mid air ready to descend into the box to pick up more pieces. Back and forth my mind went to what I knew I had done - put the queen on the shelf- to that "I must have been mistaken" because it was in the box. After awhile, I decided that even tho I knew I had put it on the shelf, I could have been preoccupied with other thoughts and so didn't.
So I made a plan. I would pick up the queen and the king and place them on the shelf. I would stare at the queen while I did this to be absolutely sure that I was placing it there. So although I was going along with explanation that I was wrong in believing I had put it on the shelf, it was disturbing to me.
This is what I thought as I moved the queen and king to the shelf. Here I am, I have the queen in my hand. I am moving it. It is going to the shelf. The queen is here and it is now on the shelf. I see the queen.
Once the two pieces were there, I sighed in relief. Now it was just a normal day. I must have not have paid attention to what I was doing I thought. Well time to put the rest up. I turned around to pick up some more, and there in the box, laying diagonal in it, ..was.. the.. queen... Bottom end in the left bottom corner, the top pointed towards the top right corner.
As I looked without a thought at the queen, my brain, like it was someone else's, started talking. Oh you didn't really put the queen on the shelf. You were completely mistaken. You didn't put it there at all!
I started laughing. It was ridiculous. And yet, I wanted to believe that I didn't put it on the shelf. I started to doubt that I had even given a step by step commentary on putting it on there. So I just scooped up all the pieces and crammed them on the shelf. Closed the display and turned off my brain. I didn't think about it until the owner came walking in a few hours later.
Hey he said, how's business? (Well there wasn't much to say about the business cause not a single person had come in all morning.) But I did say that we were running low on chess pieces and boards.
He nodded. I said "Where did that box of chess pieces come from? I found it on the bottom of the display case"
He looked up and thought a while. "Oh you mean that brown box?" He laughed and said "I ran a game last night. I let the guys bring all their heavy duty weapons and spells. The chess board was the castle and the Black Queen was a witch." He laughed some more and shook his head. "Haha I killed some of them off. It was a tough game and the Black Queen was really Evil"
I didn't say anything about the queen. I figured at the time, that the demons were mocking me about playing the games. But I loved playing the games so much, I didn't stop. I don' know what happened to the set. I guess if I was a good JW, I would have thrown them away or quit work and quit playing the games. But I didn't. That is the only unnatural thing that happened when I strayed from the "truth". I regret that a few years later, I went back to the meetings over the fear of Armageddon. Lost all those guy friends.
No mind bending drugs. No marijuana.
Some people are demon this and demon that, but not me. Although I grew up reading the WT's demon stories, things in the closet that wanted to get me were
Surprised I didn't suffocate from hiding under the covers.
My top nightmares were
- the twister from the Wizard of Oz
- radioactive dinosaurs
- giant octopus
- very tall bridges
Although an Armaggedon dream would scare me for a solid week.
A funny after story about the chess piece.
Since you grow up in JW land believing that demons are as real as angels, I told that chess piece story to a couple out in service one time. I had babysat him years before so it wasn't like he didn't know me. His wife knew me too.
So it was a surprise to me, their reactions. I told it in a very casual way. No exaggerated gestures or over the top OMG! And yet, their eyes looked like they were going to pop out of their heads and roll on the ground.
It was then I realized that, even if they say they believe that there are demons, they don't believe it. Or at least, they think everyone that has an experience, is crazy. The things you find out in service. Priceless.
After living and working in Papua New Guinea for many years, I am less inclined to dismiss all such events out of hand as nonsense.
The ability of many Papua New Guineans to easily locate missing items bordered on the uncanny. If this was “intuition” at work, then it certainly raised the meaning of that term to a whole new level.
No trickery, definitely no mind-altering drugs involved (I certainly wasn’t taking any!) But whatever was at work, I was more than once grateful for it!
Interesting to hear your story.
Historical side-note, for anyone that didn't know, Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons and Dragons was raised a JW. Those original role-playing fantasy board games inspired the online genre with games like Everquest and World of Warcraft.
As a born-in, I have heard stories similar to yours and as a kid, I wouldn't even listen to AC/DC music because it was supposed to be evil.