Where little is known about the possible causation of unexplainable or inexplicable events; whether it be ghosts, psychical phenomena, or UFOs, one has to wonder how certain groups or individuals acquire their “expertise” in diagnosing & resolving issues that are still very much considered unknown, unexplained, or unproven.
There currently are no training programs or courses offered by accredited institutions dealing with such matters (aside from religious institutions), so how is it that a group or individual can be sure the phenomena they are dealing with is what it is, or that the “help” they offer clients will even work?
While I do not qualify myself as an expert by any measure, if I made a statement about being able to remove aliens from your home, would you pay me to do it? Why are ghosts, or other “entities” considered spiritual so readily accepted as the causation? How are they more manageable? Last time I checked, when confronted with living people in my home who were causing a disturbance, burning a stick of sage did little to help. Telling them they were no longer welcome did the trick.
Is it not possible that these experiences might be caused by natural phenomena that have yet to be determined or explained? If so, is it not possible that these phenomena are as uncontrollable as weather, time, or even death?
While different types of phenomena may seem to belong to very distinct genera or categories (and maybe they do!), there really is no absolute way of differentiating between types of phenomena aside from characteristics. Even then, many who study these experiences see common threads and themes that are similar based on witness testimony. Perhaps they are all one and the same, or perhaps they are different. To be “sure”, again, relies on some degree of personal belief – and trust me when I say it isn’t based on the scientific evidence, as there isn’t enough evidence to qualify such statements.
Those who altruistically look into unexplainable events will be the first to tell you that they can’t be sure of how anything considered paranormal behaves, or even what it is for sure. They have guesses and hypotheses, very rarely theories, and so far no definitive answers.
Those who care about monetary gain seem to know exactly what’s going on, and seem willing to offer you a one-time low price for removal.
The truth is, interactions where people are taken advantage of in this context are common, and often go unreported. “I paid them $1000 to remove ‘entities’ from my home and they’re still there!” is not something that many people would feel comfortable approaching the police or their friends & family with, at least not without some degree of embarrassment.
Canadian law states that offering any type of psychical service requires a clear disclaimer stating “for entertainment purposes only”. In actuality, this protects the person offering the service more than the person requesting it, and presents a very clear catch-22. You can’t prove a person or group did their job, nor can you prove that they did not.
In Canada, victims generally do not have a case when taken advantage of by those posing as psychical “experts” unless they are able to prove that the group or individual’s intention was malicious, criminal, and the dealings are well documented. As well, many who offer these “services” do so with the disclaimer that there are no guarantees (nor can there be). So, in many respects it’s a gamble based on the hope that they may be able to rid you of something nobody knows anything about. Almost always, there are no refunds. If you feel swindled, had, or taken advantage of – provided they have stated “for entertainment purposes only” and haven’t broken any criminal laws, there really is no recourse but to accept your losses and tromp back to your presumably haunted house.
If I can pass on one piece of advice, it’s don’t open your wallet to those offering to “help” you with what are considered to be spiritual or psychical problems. If you are looking for help, are solicited in such a way that you are being told to fear your experiences, or that certain people are the only “experts” capable of helping, that person or group likely does not have your best interests in mind.
There is no difference between this kind of behaviour and ransoming someone’s fate, “pay up, or else”, is not helping. The same can be said for anyone who tries to hold a gun to your head – more often than not, it’s for personal gratification or money.
None of this goes to say that having a medium, shaman, or spiritual authority come cleanse your home or offer other services is not going to help. It very well may help; however, there are many people and organizations who will offer you help free of charge. While this doesn’t guarantee that ethical issues won’t occur, it will certainly save you from spending hard-earned money towards something where the only guarantee is less money in your bank account.
Resources & Further Reading:
I got a ghost in my home! How do I get rid of it?
Latest Sham: Capitalizing on Misfortune and Anxieties
Recommended courses, classes, and the like… well… not really… have a look.