11/29/15

Visions and Voices – Paranormal or Psychotic?

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by Michael J. Baker

A belief in the existence of paranormal phenomena is quite common these days. It’s certainly not difficult to find television shows, movies or books touting some sort of paranormal theme nor is it hard to find alleged witnesses to these strange  occurrences. However some paranormal beliefs share a distinct similarity to symptoms of psychosis. For example, mediumistic communication with the dead is starkly similar to hallucinatory symptoms found in patients with acute Schizophrenia. For those experiencing this psychosis, communication with beings not seen by their peers  can be a common occurrence. These beings can appear as one personality or many. They may appear intermittently or continuous. They may manifest as a constant whispering or they may converse directly. All of these traits have not only been historically described by patients suffering from Schizophrenia, but also by mediums in their descriptions of their esoteric communications. This begs the question; Are paranormal witnesses simply suffering from some form of psychosis? or is there an element that adequately differentiates the mediumistic experience from the psychotic?

In the public eye, religious or non religious, there seems to be a greater tendency  to process fortean claims without an implied psychological label. A larger segment of the population  in general has historically been more accepting of astonishing claims when presented in a spiritual context as opposed to secular. But why?  What separates the hallucination and delusions of a psychotic experience from the visions and experiences that are described by those claiming to witness paranormal phenomena; and are the two related?

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry suggested that paranormal believers may not only have cognitive biases similar to those observed in psychotic patients but also problems related to thinking clarity (Lawrence & Peters, 2004; Yorulmaz, Inozu, & Gültepe, 2011). Reasoning abnormalities appear to play a causal role in the formation of unusual beliefs. Additionally cognitive bias, which is our tendency to deviate from rational thinking in support of our beliefs, may represent soft signs of a neurological defect known as the schizoid taxon (Meehl, 1962, 1989) and those biases may in-fact be preliminary indicators of a psychotic risk.  While these findings may outwardly suggest that a paranormal experience is an early indicator of a potential psychosis it should be noted that some authors are suggesting that the mere presence of paranormal belief should not be considered a reliable indicator. In other words, having a paranormal experience doesn’t “necessarily” imply an underlying psychosis.

Dr. J.T. Wigman from the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the University of Utrecht, believes that claims of paranormal experiences are typically associated with much lower levels of psychological distress and may be independent of psychosis. (Wigman et al., 2011)   He suggests that a possible way to improve the predictive value of unusual beliefs and experiences for psychosis risk may involve the consideration of associated cognitive features, idiosyncratic thinking styles, the role of belief appraisal, and the associated distress  (Cella, Cooper, Dymond, & Reed, 2008; Garety & Hemsley, 1994; Preti & Cella, 2010 a).

While a definitive causal link between psychosis and claims of paranormal phenomena may remain elusive it’s important to understand that the sources of anomalous phenomena may still potentially be psychological in nature.  Numerous cognitive biases can have adverse effects on how the human mind processes experiences and these “thinking errors” can prevent individuals from accurately understanding reality even when presented with sufficient data and evidence to form an accurate view. Various mood disorders and medications can also affect our interpretation of the outside world and unfortunately, just knowing about these obstacles doesn’t necessarily free us from their effects.

Sources

Lawrence, E., & Peters, E. R. (2004). Reasoning in believers in the paranormal. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 192, 727 e 733

Yorulmaz, O., Inozu, M., & Gültepe, B. (2011). The role of magical thinking in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder symptoms and cognitions in an analogue sample. Journal of Behavioural Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42,198 e 203

Meehl, P. E. (1962). Schizotaxia, schizotypy, schizophrenia. American Psychologist, 17, 827 e 838.

Wigman, J. T., Vollebergh, W. A., Raaijmakers, Q. A., Iedema, J., van Dorsselaer, S., Ormel, J., et al. (2011). The structure of the extended psychosis phenotype in early adolescence d A cross-sample replication.

Schizophrenia Bullettin, 37, 850 e 860

Cella, M., Cooper, A., Dymond, S. O., & Reed, P. (2008). The relationship between dysphoria and proneness to hallucination and delusions among young adults. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 49,544 e 550

Garety, P. A., & Hemsley, D. R. (1994). Delusions: Investigations into the psychology of delusional reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Preti, A., & Cella, M. (2010b). Randomized controlled trials in people at ultra high risk of psychosis: a review of treatment effectiveness. Schizophrenia Research, 123,30 e 36

(n.d.). Symptoms of schizophrenia. Retrieved from Living with Schizophrenia website:http://www.livingwithschizophreniauk.org/symptoms-of-schizophrenia/

10/13/15

Medium Can Equal a Large problem

As investigators of the paranormal we look for answers to the causes of claims of activity. We receive calls from people with claims that range from strange noises and feelings of being watched to full blown claims of demonic spirits that mean to do harm. We’ve developed various techniques for proving or debunking claims by looking for patterns. For instance in many cases where people claim to have visitations in their sleep (also known as “The Old Hag Syndrome”) it can be a simple case of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. I can’t count the number of times we have found extremely high EMF in a clients bedroom, which has been know to cause people to have horrific nightmares with waking dreams that appear to be extremely real. The reason for this article is that there is a pattern that is appearing in more and more cases. As you have deduced from the title of this article this pattern has to do with mediums and the children of clients. First thing that I would like to make clear is that I do believe there are mediums with abilities and that there are people who do not, but I don’t want to stray too far into that topic right now. What we have found popping up in several of our recent cases is children who are afraid of being in their homes. In each of these cases the client has had another group into their home with someone claiming to be a medium. The mediums all made claims that there were several spirits in each home. The interesting thing is that in every home there was an evil entity that the medium claims to clear out of the home. Isn’t it strange how every home had an evil entity and they were able to clear them? But the issues of claims persist, especially with the children. The children’s ages ranged from 12-22 years old and in every case the children were present during the investigation and witnessed the mediums and their claims. I am not writing this to judge the mediums or their techniques or to judge the parents. I am writing this with the hope that people will realize that children can be horribly affected by things like hearing that there are evil spirits in their homes. Most children aren’t comfortable with the thoughts of any spirit in their home. In my opinion it is one of the worst things that can happen when a child is afraid to be in their own home. Isn’t your home supposed to be your safe haven? I think we all need to remember to be careful around kids and remember that their feelings should be of the utmost importance.

10/27/14

Paranormal Illusions – Reality Check

Peripheral-Drift-Illusion-

The image above appears to be moving, but you know it isn’t. It’s a trick of the brain called the peripheral drift illusion. Many people have seen this and have no problem accepting that the image isn’t really moving.

The image below is caused by the same peripheral shifting of the brain and makes it appear as though the white dots are changing into black dots randomly between the corners of each of the squares. Of course you know they aren’t.

mind-trick-magic-dots

It’s not hard to identify images like these as illusions and accept that our brain isn’t perfect and has truly been fooled – even when we are consciously aware that is not real.  The sites that display images such as these openly profess they are illusions.  Yet we can’t stop our brain from seeing the wrong thing.

If we can accept the fallibility of our brain regarding these images, why then is it so hard to accept that our brain can be wrong in so many other instances such as hearing words in random background noise or faces in window reflections?  The effect of “paraedolic” anthropomorphism has been demonstrated and proven time and time again.  But yet, there are so many people who adamantly insist that what they are seeing or hearing is real…not an illusion.  They insist their mind could not be the culprit behind the anomalies that present themselves in such mundane and non-informative ways.

The reason for this adamant denial is sourced from yet another psychological effect called cognitive bias.  Our brains tendency to “assemble” information that aligns with our desires or beliefs and any idea or bit of information that doesn’t align is sharply rejected.  Often to the point of irrational anger.

As humans (living animals) we rely on our senses and brain for all of our knowledge and experiences. It was our perceptions and critical thinking process that allowed us to speak and understand. It taught us to walk and eat and fend for ourselves. We have no choice but to trust the validity of our own mind and senses… especially when it regards something near and dear to our heart or something into which we have staunchly invested our interest.  Let’s face it, our brain is our only interface to the outside world. It’s not a pleasant experience to conceive its fallible nature.

That being said, it only stands to reason that when a concept or opinion is presented that challenges not only our mind but our beliefs and wants as well (regardless of how logical it may seem), the default reaction is a sharp and swift dismissal.  Be careful. While the cause of a stubborn, non-objective opinion in response to seemingly anomalous phenomena may seem a natural condition of our psyche, it is dangerous to our growth as an intelligent race.  Every “patriotic” defense of an unsubstantiated perspective is a truth left undiscovered and a hindrance of progress.

Next time you see a face in a window reflection or hear your name being called in the heavy background noise of a poor recording, just stop and think for a moment. What seems more likely? That your easily fooled brain has done it again or some mysterious inter-dimensional being is trying to communicate with you through a bad photograph or poor recording

 

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10/22/14

Samhain – Halloween – Summer’s End

Merry meet & hello…its me again, Patricia…I want to tell you about our next holiday. As in our book Wicca Whats the Real Deal. Samhain Alternative Identifications. Halloween, Summer’s end, Last Harvest. Northern Hemisphere October 31 & November 1.

Southern Hemisphere April 30 & May 1. Sabbat type, Greater. Religious Meaning: Samhain is the Wiccan New Year. In accordance with observation of the natural cycles, ancient Pagans noted that the darkness of late fall and early winter marked a crossing point between the abundance of summer and the harshness of the dark winter season.

The animals slaughtered in ancient times around Samhain would become the sustaining source of nourishment through the harsh winter. The date aligned with the timing between Fall Equinox and Winter Soltice, making it a cross quarter day. It is a gateway between the seasons of light and the seasons of darkness.

It was natural to associate the dark, cold, barrenness of winter with death, reflection, hibernation, and struggle; so, Samhain involves paying honor to the dead, the reflection on mortality, and the knowledge of harsh tests to come. Spiritually, this holiday is associated with death in its deified form, the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The Crone is ancient and holds much wisdom from her long journey. The Goddess is the Guardian of death and the afterlife, so this holiday is the practitioners celebration of her power as the season of death arrives. Witches honor The Crone in the way one would honor an elder or grandparent. Practitioners do not look upon the Crone aspect of the Goddess with dread, but do not take Her lightly.

By celebrating, Samhain, Wiccan’s recognize life is a never ending cycle and that one will eventually experience another chapter in their life journey when becoming elders. Honoring the Crone is a Wiccan’s way of recognizing the mortality of human beings and that every human being will one day face the final mystery, death. Wiccan’s believe that after death, rebirth awaits. The perception of death is that it is a gift. It is a necessary transition in one’s spiritual path. Thus, Samhain is a reminder that even in death all life is renewed.

As a gateway time or ” between time” Samhain is the day the veil between the worlds disappears and access to the spirit world is easiest. Rituals mark the New Year, as Witches have finished celebrating the abundance of harvest and look to starting the goals of the coming season anew. Scarcity may no longer be the reality today, but contemplation and honoring of the deceased, as well as the use of divination to prepare for the journey ahead remains typical practice on Samhain.

Where appropriate, sometimes practitioners light bonfires and offerings are left for both the deceased and the Divine. Sometimes practitioners will light candles to mark the path of those who have passed on. Witches decorate the altar with symbolic decor like jack-o-lanterns, pine cones, colorful leaves, and seasonally colored candles. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did sending it your way…have a Grand Samhain everyone…until next time..

09/2/14

Fall Equinox

Merry Meet & Hello all.

It’s me Patricia. Just wanted to share info about our next Sabbat coming up quickly as in our book Wicca Whats the Real Deal… Fall Equinox.


Alternative Identification : Autumnal Equinox, Mabon. Northern Hemisphere: September 20th to the 23rd..as the equinox / solstice move & can end up on any one of these days. Southern Hemisphere. March 20th to 23rd. Sabbat type : Lesser Religious Meaning: As the daylight waned from Summer Solstice, once again all is in balance between light and dark on Autumnal Equinox. As promised in the defeat of the Oak King at Summer Solstice, the dark will once again “conquer” the light. This equinox marks the point of balance with day and night being equal. Symbolically, the powers of the growing and waning forces of nature are in a temporary state of equality before all of nature decays into darkness for winter. Witches thank the God and Goddess for the harvest, literally and symbolically.

This holiday is the Wiccan equivalent of Thanksgiving. It reminds Wiccans of their many blessings and the fortunate abundance found in all of nature. This same abundance is apparent again in the regeneration of nature as the cycle continues. The Witches’ Wheel of the Year signifies the seasons, the cycles of life, and Wiccans honor both. As the year has moved from Samhain to Fall Equinox, the year is soon ending and the yearly cycle will begin again with the arrival of Samhain. The Fall Equinox reminds Wiccans that while energy waxes and wanes throughout the year, it is also important to strive towards balance at all times. This is the height of the harvest time, when people harvest and store vegetables and grains for the long season ahead. Fall colors make great decorations for these rites, yellows, oranges, browns, and greens bring the energies of fall to the Wiccan altar.

Witches like to use colored leaves, pine cones, dried herbs, and other symbolic representations found right in the natural world such as grape vine wreaths and the flowers of summer in their dried forms, preserved and representing the endurance through the season ahead. Wiccans may choose season appropriate foods for their post ritual feasts. Practitioners, blessed with abundance, share the abundance with the community through works of charity, donations, and other means of giving back to society, although such actions are not solely for this time of year. Wiccans celebrate abundance, and then prepare for the season of reflection and challenges to come. Although the days begin to decrease in length after Summer Solstice, they have maintained longevity over nighttime up until the arrival of Fall Equinox, when both are temporarily equal, and then the nocturnal energies increase until Yule when the cycle will change once more.

07/6/14

Lammas

Merry meet again..its me Patricia…today I want to tell u about Lammas from our book..Wicca Whats The Real Deal…

Lammas – alternative identifications – Bread Harvest, Lughnasadh
Northern Hemisphere. – August 1st & 2nd
Southern Hemisphere…Febuary 1st & 2nd
Sabbat type – Greater Religious Meaning…

After Summer Solstice, one will find another Cross Quarter day before the final equinox of the year: This holiday also hark ens the beginning of early harvest, usually of fruit. The waning summer brings Lammas and the helps practitioners prepare for the coming of Autumn. The Goddess and God transitioning from the growth season into the harvest season is a spiritual parallel. There is a transition in nature as well as all of life begins to slow its pace and to prepare for winter. Rituals held at this time of year may call for the reflection on what the practitioner has spiritually “grown” this season and what may have been unintentionally brought to harvest; this reflection later results in the cleansing and purification in preparation for the harvest season.

This is also the time to begin giving thanks for the blessings of summer and the harvest. Witches decorate sacred space with markers of the season, and harvested plants or flowers, or herbs in preparation for drying. This is also a nice time to transition from bright colors of summer to more muted tones, although decoration depends also on personal preference. The Goddess and God, in the aspect of Mother and Father of nature, are developing into the Crone and Sage Divine aspects, and pratctitioners, aligned with the shifts of nature, are aware of the change in energies. Traditionally, this is an ideal time to take inventory of supplies, to harvest for the coming winter, and to prepare if the season fell short in providing a fruitful harvest. Magically, one can still take inventory of what they have or have not managed to cultivate in their personal life and the practitioner can use the personal/spiritual assessment to make adjustments so spiritual progress/ physical growth can be achieved.

Hope u enjoy this..until next time Merry part

06/28/14

Why People Believe Weird Things

Why do people see the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich or hear demonic lyrics in “Stairway to Heaven”? Using video and music, skeptic Michael Shermer shows how we convince ourselves to believe — and overlook the facts. Michael Shermer debunks myths, superstitions and urban legends — and explains why we believe them. Along with publishing Skeptic Magazine, he’s author of Why People Believe Weird Things and The Mind of the Market.

Here he gives (what I think) is a great presentation on why people believe strange things.  Our minds are truly the center of our experiences. Understanding our own behavior and fallibility will help us understand what’s real. We can also learn how not to contaminate our own memories and experience.  The real search begins inside. Understand yourself and your world before trying to understand an experience that is so far out of the ordinary. You may be surprised.

 

06/28/14

Don’t Believe Everything You Read Online.

For as long as there have been cameras, pictures of ghosts have swamped our newspapers, television programs, and over the internet.  Some of these pictures have been taken surprising the photographer, while others were maliciously made to trick you.   So how do you believe what’s real and what’s not?

In the early days of photography there have been popular pictures of apparitions such as “The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall”.   This particular photograph can be duplicated after a few tries by a mere smudge of Vaseline on the lens or perhaps double exposure. We may never know the true story behind the picture.

Other pictures thru the years were taken unexpectedly and found apparitions, orbs, streaks of light, and the list goes on.  Usually it’s caused by inexperience of the photographer on proper use of cameras. Allowing too much light or not enough in the camera, slow shutter speeds, and as simple as not using a tripod.  I urge you all to search our website for more information on this. It’s quite fascinating!

Today’s technology offers so much more to our photographs than we could ever thought was possible ten years ago.  There are so many apps and digital options on our iPhones and cameras that purposely allow you to fake pictures taken to look like ghost.

Fake ghosts are a lot more agreeable than real ones. You don’t have to worry that your fake ghost is going to go floating off through a wall, leaving nothing but a puddle of ecto-plasmic goo behind for you to slip in. Fake ghosts do what you tell them to do, because they’re fake. That makes photographing them infinitely more enjoyable, and a lot less scary. If ghosts actually exist,  do you think they are only found in cemeteries, basements and other spooky areas these pictures portray?  Why haven’t  we not gotten more pictures in amusement parks or other areas that are more of a happy setting?

Before you ooh and aah the pictures posted online getting thousands of hits, ask yourself if this picture has the settings to make you believe it could be faked and how could it have been done.  Ask someone more knowledgeable and credible to give you the right answer.

 

06/19/14

The Summer Solstice

Merry meet & hello..its me again Patricia…I want to tell you about Summer Solstice. from our book Wicca Whats the Real Deal.

Summer Solstice  A solstice refers to the apparent distance between the earth and sun, marks the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, and the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere. This day marks the zenith of light’s growth during the year; daylight has increased steadily since Winter Solstice, representing the growing energy of the God of nature. His growing power has developed and matured, sought union with the Maiden Goddess and now is at the height of masculine energy and power. At this time, the God as Holly King and Oak King re-emerge to battle for control again.

This time, the Holly King wins the battle and the world witnesses the decrease in daylight, symbolized by the defeat of the Oak King. In ancient times, as light decreased, the diminished  light was symbolically evident in the act of choosing a new leader or in rites of celebration where participants re-enacted the battles between the Oak and Holly King. Such reenactments were more pageant then serious battles however. During this season, all of nature has bloomed, fertility and abundance surround humankind, hopes and spirits are soaring with energy of prolonged daylight and growth. Witches realize as the cycle continues, just as the strong youthful Oak king is defeated by the older, wiser Holly King, so too will humankind begin the slow process of settling down and preparing for the dark season to return. At this time there is still time to reap the abundance of a fertile harvest before the arrival of winter.

The symbolic defeat of the Oak King carries the message that all of life changes and one will, at some point, lose their youth to old age, or one may at some point witness abundance giving way to scarcity, but these conditions are transient and part of the cycle of life. In the meantime, summer is in full bloom and Wiccans celebrate appropriately with decorations reminiscent of the beautiful bounty offered by the land. Some Wiccans will choose to celebrate outdoors, or at least will decorate their sacred space with flowers of summer, seashells, or other reminders of things they enjoy about the season. Rituals performed honor the height of the Sun God’s glory and strength, while acknowledging after this date the God will slowly wane in strength and return at Yule. Witches praise the Goddess at this season in Her guise as the Mother Goddess who, impregnated on Beltane by the God, symbolically brings life to all of nature through Her fertility and abundance.

Other rituals include attracting growth and abundance in the life of the practitioner, harnessing the heightened solar energy for works of healing, rituals to spark inspiration and hope, as well as honoring the maternal and paternal forces in nature. This is a time to reflect on the growing aspects of one’s life with hopefulness and gratitude. Hope you enjoyed this..one more thing before I go…this year on Summer Solstice we begin the annual ritual called the Gathering…this ritual is to protect all the animals of earth from cruelty & neglect…we ask all people of earth to join their energies with ours to help in this end ever…Summer Solstice is on June 21st…please join us this is not just a pagan problem..its a world problem…we thank you in advance for your participation….blessed be..! So until next time..Merry part

05/28/14

The Mandala

Merry meet, & Hello …its me Patricia again…today I would like to talk about Mandalas…this is from our book..Sacred Objects, Sacred Space… The Mandala

The term mandala (pronounced mun- du-la) is Sanskrit meaning : totality of circle. Mandalas are drawings consisting of a circle with interior geometrical designs. A mandala can represent sacred space, the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, the entire universe, and it is a symbol of completness. The term mandala also describes a Magick circle. You can create a mandala on any surface; the instant you do, you have established sacred space. Mandalas serve ad a visual stimulus during meditation practices; you can look at and contemplate the intricate designs, colors, and structure of a mandala. As you focus on a mandala your thoughts are focused on its design and all other thoughts or distractions subside.

As you create a mandala for yourself, your mind is focused on the visual experience, and the act of creation. Thus the use of mandalas proves an ideal tool for meditation since the use/creation of mandalas leads to a calmed and tranquil state. Mandalas can serve as a creative method for finding the solution to a problem or it can be used in healing practices. During the creation or coloring process you can concentrate on a question or concern. It is helpful to have a notepad or digital recorder nearby so you can note any inspirational ideas, potential solutions, or epiphanies you come up with…
Hope you enjoyed this. Till next time. Merry part till we Merry meet again.

05/24/14

Stargate Project…. “Men Who Stare at Goats ?”

Imagine being able to receive information psychically that was valuable to public safety, public protection, military security and with ability to spy on enemies .  All done in a remote place.  The personnel would be trainable, experiments repeatable and accurate.

The Stargate Project A code name for projects initiated by US Defense Intelligence Agency investigating psychic phenomena for the military or domestic applications.  Viewing or to “psychically see”  events, sites or sense unknown information, to detect current events for domestic or military intelligence.  the viewer would attempt to predict things to happen in the future by precognition.

Precognition is future sight or second sight, extrasensory perception.  This information cannot be deduced by present available knowledge.

Russia was already seriously researching  ways to explore psychic functioning .  A book was published Psychic Discoveries from Behind the Iron Curtain, causing great interest in this area.  1972 Stanford Research Institute (SRI) began to research ways to experiment psychic techniques that were repeatable, that could be teachable and used for intelligence purposes. Russel Targ and Harold Puthoff, the team at SRI, worked on expanding remote viewing techniques over vast distances and trained American Military in 1985.  Their early results were impressive.  Ingo Swann accurately described a uniquely designed magnetometer buried in six feet of concrete.   Hella Hammid was able to accurately describe five out of nine target sites.  Ingo Swann became bored with the repetition of these experiments and stated he could time travel psychically to any place on the planet.  He(Swann) and Pat Price, a police officer in Burbank CA, were provided with geographic longitude and latitude coordinates and was said to give a “remarkably accurate view” of the stated location.  Swann’s tests were so amazing that he convinced SRI of his abilities.  Swann believed that any one could be taught this technique and these persons did not have to be psychic.  Swann’s best Remote Viewing trip was the planet Jupiter done at SRI in 1973.  In 1977 Targ and Puthoff published his findings in a book Mind-Reach.

Unfortunately Swann and Pat Price did not get along and “psychic contests raged” out of control.  Swann’s  contract ended in early 1973 and he left SRI.  Pat Price left SRI late 1974 going to work for the CIA.  He was well know for his map photos claiming to retrieve information from behind Soviet lines.  His sketches appeared to confirm intelligence photographs at that time.  The two reunited and eventually worked together creating techniques for  Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) that could be teachable with 5 step protocol.  Project research included  clairvoyance and out-of-body experiences.  The described Remote Viewing as a more structured approach to clairvoyance.  The “viewer” would receive a mission only after all other intelligence was exhausted.  Using over 22 active military and domestic viewers to provide data.  In 1995 three viewers remained in the program, one using tarot cards readings.

1995 this project was then transferred to CIA control the panel appointed Jessica Utts and Ray Hyman.  Mr. Hyman stated test results were “nothing striking or surprising….reported matching reports, data generated by viewers is general and vague and way off target“.   With recommendation of tighter control of projects with more critical research.  CIA terminated the $20million dollar project in 1995 secondary to lack of evidence.

 

 

 

05/7/14

The Magick of Colors

Merry meet its me Patricia …I want to talk about the magick of colors…taken from our second book. “Sacred Objects, Sacred Space… “

Red is associated with potency, lust, aggression, passion, motivation, power, strength, the life force, anger and the fire element. Also to self-confidence, survival, sexuality, courage, vigor, and self-esteem…also the root chakra.

Orange..is the mixture of yellow & red & therefore carries the subtle energies of both. Orange is the color used to attract something to u; this color should be used in moderation & intent to draw only positive energies…used to stimulate success. The act of overcoming obstacles. Associated with the sacral or second chakra

Yellow is associated with Air & Fire elements; thus this color had solar symbolism. Associated with communication, memory, vitality, mental clarity, psychic abilities, confidence, & creativity. Associated with the third chakra or solar plexus; it is therefore associated with alertness, intelligence, & wisdom. A moderate amount of yellow can elevate the mood, but too much can cause anxiety.

Green is associated with the element of earth. This colors magickal correspondence is fertility, abundance, growth, healing, nurturing, love, compassion, motherly energies, & the Divine feminine. Associated with the fourth chakra or heart chakra; thus, is associated with love of self & emotional as well as physical balance.

Blue is associated with the element of water; its magickal correspondences are emotions, the subconscious, dreams, the Divine feminine, healing, psychic abilities, & cleansing. Associated with the throat chakra or fifth chakra, therefore associated with wisdom & decision making tasks. Induces a sense of tranquility & calming.

Indigo. A mixture of blue & purple it carries the subtle energies of both; associated with Akasha or the combination of all the elements. Also the sixth chakra or third eye. This colors corresponds with psychic abilities, the subconscious & conscious mind, connecting to the divine. Also calming & tranquility.

Violet is associated with Akasha & its magickal correspondence include mysticism, the subconscious mind, the gateway of communication between self & the higher self, & divine communication. Associated with the crown chakra & is connected to psychic abilities, royalty, knowledge of self, & power.

White is associated with the east, & is a symbol of new beginnings, communication, purity, innocence, exorcism, divination, protection, & divine communication. Also associated with the Soul Star chakra just above the head.

Black is associated with North & Earth. Its magickal correspondence includes protection, repelling negative, healing, & balance. Associated with the Earth Star chakra just below the feet. This color is great for grounding…though to much can bring a depressive mood.

Brown. Associated with the North & Earth. Ideal for use in healing animals. Used for grounding & centering.

Gold & Silver…can be used to represent the masculine ( gold) & feminine divine ( silver). Hope you all enjoy a new way to look at colors.

Till next time Merry part till we Merry meet again

05/7/14

The Challenge is prove it……3 Envelopes….One Million Dollars….The Envelope Please

Not too long ago, in the month of May 2009……..10 volunteers entered the room dressed in an odd array of clothing:

  •  a ski mask,
  • large dark glasses,
  • a large black graduation type gown
  • white socks

These ten volunteers took their seats facing the back wall of the room.  They were to sit and do nothing for 15-20 minutes.  Mrs. Patricia Putt enters the room, sits at a table 12′ away from the volunteers and begins the reading.  The seated volunteers were asked to read out loud pre-specified short passages.  Putt stated this “helps the spirit to enter and make contact by hearing the sitters voices“. All of the readings were written down and given to the volunteers , they exited the room, changed clothing and came back in, for their results.

This experiment is was conducted by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Mrs. Putt, a Psychic featured in newspapers and magazine articles and on several TV shows, accepted this challenge in hopes of collecting a $1million prize.  The only stipulation for collecting was to “prove and demonstrate paranormal powers under a controlled environment”.  All testers agree to stipulations prior to testing and sign a waiver stating that test are conducted fairly.  Preliminary tests are conducted prior to the final experiment.  Preliminary tests included were a double blind testing of dowsers featured in Enemies of Reason hosted by Richard Dawson; Derek Ogilvies reading minds of babies and animals in Extraordinary People on Five.  Both tests offered no definitive proof of paranormal evidence.  Mrs. Putt was the first person to pass this first round of preliminary testing.

Professor James Randi, a magician and debunker, offered $1000 of his own money in 1964, to anyone who could prove paranormal claims under a controlled experiment.  Many claim to have this power, very few came forward to accept this challenge.  Many cite that the experiment is fixed by Randi and cannot be won.

The Test…..

10 readings, each written specifically for one of the 10 volunteers, all volunteers dressed in the same attire, sitting with their backs to the tester, had never met or spoken to Mrs. Putt.  After the Readings were completed, each individual got a complete set of all the readings, presented in random order, volunteers were to pick out a reading most applicable to themselves.

The test would be deemed successful if, 5 of the 10 volunteers selected the reading written specifically for them.  Mrs. Patricia Putt felt completely confident that she would be issued the $1million dollar prize.

The Result…..

All 10 volunteers selected a reading that was not written for them.  Putt made no excuses, was kind and professional accepting the final outcome.  One day later, Putt decided that the protocol she had agreed to prior to the test was too difficult, laden with many barriers preventing her to exhibit her psychic abilities.  “volunteers being bound head to foot like black mummies felt tied so were not free to link to spirit, making my work a great deal more difficult“.

The prize is still there waiting for you, (IS) the proof  is out there?!

05/6/14

“Vultures Who Prey on the Bereaved.”

I have always been fascinated by Ehrich Weisz. Who you ask? The Great Harry Houdini that’s who! We all know the name and it instantly conjures visions of straight jackets, hand cuffs, or of the Milk Can Escape also known as the “Chinese Water Torture” trick. There are numerous articles, books and even movies that taut his magic acts and abilities, but what I think of when I hear the name Harry Houdini is Spiritualism.
The 1920’s in America is often thought of as “The Roaring 20’s” and of us think of jazz music, prohibition, speak easys, and gangsters, but what about the Spiritualist Movement? People from around the world were reeling from losing an estimated 15 million people in the World War One and 21 million more to the Spanish-flu pandemic and they were searching for ways to connect with the dead. It was in this era that so called “Spirit Guides” emerged to help the bereaved contact their loved ones who had passed. The media of the time wrote glowing reviews and highly dramatized accounts of communication with people’s departed loved ones, and the people believed! If it was written in news papers it had to be real! It seemed as though the more famous they were, the more they charged. (Sound Familiar?)
In 1913 Houdini’s mother Cecilia, passed on and Harry was so distraught that he hadn’t been there at the end, that he consulted spiritualists in an attempt to communicate with her spirit. Harry soon realized that these so-called spiritualists were con-artists. While traveling the country and the world for that matter, Houdini met scores of mediums and witnessed 100’s of seances only to come away upset at what he knew was fraud. Houdini at one point even proclaimed that these people were “Vultures Who Prey on the Bereaved!”
With Harry’s back ground in illusions, he set out to figure out how the Mediums and Psychics tricked the public, which he did. Houdini then aligned himself with O.D. Munn, editor of Scientific American. Scientific American offered $2,500 to anyone who could prove that they had psychic powers. In the summer of 1924, Houdini targeted Mina Crandon of Boston. Followers called her “Margery”, non believers knew her as the ” Blonde Witch of Lime Street”. She was renowned for conjuring the voice of her dead brother, Walter, whose spirit rapped out messages, tipped tables, and even sounded trumpets. Walter was unfriendly, answering questions and quoting scripture in a gruff disembodied voice. Margery, by contrast, was charming and attractive—at least when she wasn’t showing off her most convincing psychic talent: extruding a slithery, viscous substance called “ectoplasm” from her orifices. Photos show this otherworldly substance flowing from her nose and ears, but mostly it emerged from beneath a sheer kimono like a string of entrails—an “ectomorphic hand” that Walter used to carry out his commands.
A panel from Scientific America visited Margery and was all but convinced that she was the real deal . When Houdini learned the committee was prepared to endorse Margery, he was outraged. Having already exposed the tricks of other celebrity mediums, Houdini was sure the committee was about to be fooled, so he canceled his shows and headed for Boston.
Margery met with Houdini and the panel from Scientific American for a séance and she took her seat infront of a three-sided Chinese screen. Soon the lights dimmed and an eerie whistling filled the room. Then the spirit of Walter whispered his arrival, even touching Houdini on the inside of his right leg. After a break, Houdini ordered an electric bell enclosed in a wooden box brought to his feet. Then Walter levitated a megaphone and boomed: “Have Houdini tell me where to throw it”.“Toward me,” Houdini said, and the megaphone flew through the air and landed in front of him. That was just the beginning. Throughout the evening, Walter produced a sequence of spectacles, ringing the bell box on command and tipping over the wooden screen. Houdini had done his homework. He knew that Dr. Le Roi Crandon, Margery’s husband, always sat on her right. He was a Harvard-educated surgeon and her promoter. Houdini also guessed correctly that he would be seated on her left in the circle, with hands joined, feet and legs touching. In anticipation to the séance, Houdini wore a tight bandage under his right knee the entire day leading up to the show. It had been so tight and was so painful that it made his skin tender to even the slightest touch. The sensitivity paid off. He could feel Margery twist and flex in the dark as she moved her left ankle slightly to get to the bell box under the table. Later, he felt her shift again to tip the Chinese screen with her foot. The flying megaphone stumped Houdini for a few hours, but he eventually figured out that Margery had placed it on her head, dunce-cap-style, with a momentarily free hand. She then jerked her head in his direction to send it crashing to the floor.“I’ve got her,” he said when the evening was over. “All fraud. Every bit of it. One more sitting and I will be ready to expose everything.”
A second séance at a Boston hotel featured a levitating table. Houdini reached out in the dark and found Margery’s head lifting the table from beneath. He again felt her legs move as she reached to ring the bell box. “The slickest ruse I ever detected,” Houdini said later, in something close to admiration. But when he announced his findings to the committee, he was asked to hold off on a public denunciation. The committee was conflicted. When it refused to award the prize after several additional séances, the Spiritualists became enraged—as did the spirit. “Houdini, you goddamned son of a bitch,” Walter roared. “I put a curse on you now that will follow you every day for the rest of your short life.” No Matter what Houdini said 1/2 of the panel was still firmly under Margery’s seductive spell and continued to report that she had supernatural powers. In October, Scientific American published an article that described the committee as hopelessly divided.
The dithering angered Houdini. In November, he published a pamphlet called Houdini Exposes the Tricks Used by the Boston Medium “Margery,” complete with drawings of how she produced her manifestations. “She certainly was clever in her maneuvering to pull the wool over the eyes of the committeemen,” he said, admitting the ingenuity of her techniques as he debunked her show. Houdini’s pamphlet humiliated Margery, but he wasn’t done yet: The “scourge of Spiritualism” wanted to make the religion disappear. But the spiritualist caught on and eventually banned Houdini from their shows. Imagine that?

04/22/14

The Old Hag Strikes !

” The Old Hag Syndrome” is something we’re hearing a lot about lately. I’m not saying that its not paranormal, but from our experience it seems to be sleep paralysis. The following is an excerpt from an article I read on WEB MD’s website:

“What is Sleep Paralysis:

Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep. Rarely is sleep paralysis linked to deep underlying psychiatric problems. Over the centuries, symptoms of sleep paralysis have been described in many ways and often attributed to an “evil” presence: unseen night demons in ancient times, the old hag in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and alien abductors. Almost every culture throughout history has had stories of shadowy evil creatures that terrify helpless humans at night. People have long sought explanations for this mysterious sleep-time paralysis and the accompanying feelings of terror.”
“Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Some people may also feel pressure or a sense of choking. Sleep paralysis may accompany other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an overpowering need to sleep caused by a problem with the brain’s ability to regulate sleep. Sleep paralysis usually occurs at one of two times. If it occurs while you are falling asleep, it’s called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. If it happens as you are waking up, it’s called hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis.As you fall asleep, your body slowly relaxes. Usually you become less aware, so you do not notice the change. However, if you remain or become aware while falling asleep, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM. Your eyes move quickly and dreams occur, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your muscles are “turned off” during REM sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.”

In our research we have noted that some people who have had issues with the “Old Hag” have also had extreme high EMF readings near the head of their bed. We had a family in Haverhill, MA report that their daughter was waking up and telling of being visited by something every night just as she went to bed. We placed an emf detector on her pillow and it spiked. We looked at the out side of the house and found that the power lines from the street connected to the side of the house right next to her room and right by where the head board of her bed was. We had them move her bed and the claims stopped. Another family had similar claims and we traced a high EMF source to their alarm clocks. If you have an older alarm clock and have similar issues, either replace it or move it away from the head of your bed, It might help. Also see the”Refrigerator Proximation” post for another instance.

04/19/14

An Asian Perspective

ChineseGhost

I’ve been a paranormal investigator for almost six years now and I have never known of another investigator of Asian descent aside from myself and Joe Chin of Ghost Hunters International fame.  This has always been a taboo subject in my family since many Asian cultures believe that people become spirits upon death, but you leave them alone afterwards.  Even jokingly saying that you think the house is haunted will get you a tongue lashing from the conservative family members.  You just don’t talk about it.

The belief is that many spirits are harmful and just talking about them will bring about bad luck to you and your family.  The happiest time of the year in the Chinese culture is the New Year and it’s believed that many things can happen will bring about bad luck for the year including watching a horror movie.   I was always taught to stay away from ghosts and spirits.

One exception is the Chinese Ghost Festival.  Much like Halloween, it’s a celebration of the dead where it’s believe that the gates of the underworld open up and allow the spirits out.  Families will make offers to appease the spirits such as newly harvested grain as well as burn simulated paper money allowing the spirits to have something to spend when they return to the underworld.  Outdoor activities and getting married are avoided this time of year keep a spirit from following anyone home causing a year of bad luck.

Nowadays, my paranormal adventures are not mentioned around my family.  While they may not agree with my choice to investigate, it is who I am.  I do wonder if Joe Chin or any other Asian investigators have experienced the same thing I have.

04/17/14

Rocks Will Remember….

A term heard often in paranormal field is The Stone Tape Theory.  Term was first coined in a BBC film of the same name. What is this theory, is there anything to it? I am Researching this because the inquiring mind wants to know.  This theory was first proposed in the 1970’s.  Hypothesis was, that in times of high stress or high emotions could somehow help transfer memory to an inanimate object, and actual recording of the event.  This energy would playback in a non-interactive way (a residual haunting).

Researcher Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick claimed objects could retain, record or absorb the “psychic energy” of a tragic event.

William G Roll, Parapsychologist and Professor at State University of West Georgia, agreed with this stone tape theory.  Believing the mind can create apparitions from “psychic traces of the past”   by their “psi field”.  psi field is defined as subtle energy that unites the mind and body, a universal life force running between all things.  Energy in Chinese medicine– Qi;  in Indian Yoga–Prana or Kundalini  energy is also described as an aura, rays, field, audible or tactile vibrations.

Barrett stated that certain cases were imprints or “echoes”somehow become “perceptible to those living”.  He became interested in the paranormal in the 1860’s after an experience with Mesmerism (hypnosis).  He hypothesized these echoes were thought transferences or“place memories”.  Suggesting that hauntings are memories “lost” from an individuals mind, attaching itself to the environment, showing up and replaying back as hallucinations in sensitive people.

Barrett was a member of the Spiritualist movement and was said to be duped by a medium.  later founding The Society of Psychical Research in 1882.

I have not found a reasonable explanation for this theory of stone taping.  Some claim it is geological,  iron oxide, or rust particles, with electromagnetic fields acting as a recording device changing a persons perception of what is seen.  Others refer to the water memory theory (see Water, a Ghost Essential Element) and plate tectonics, an electromagnetic charge caused by quartz in earth that carries  an electric charge from movement of a fault lines.  Fascinating tales of phantoms, echoes and spirits all on the rocks. Cheers !

04/16/14

The Near Death Experience of Dr. Eben Alexander

Dr. Eben Alexander III is a neurosurgeon and author of the best selling book, “Proof of Heaven”.

Dr. Eben Alexander graduated from Duke University in 1980 and was a resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and American College of surgeons. He has been employed at some of the top hospitals in the world. These hospitals include Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Boston, Dana-Farber Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Alexander comes from a scientific background and has followed in his fathers footsteps in neurosurgery. Once a true believer that there is nothing after death, which his upbringing and education taught him, Dr. Alexander now questions everything he has learned since suffering from a meningitis induced coma in 2008.

His book claims that our consciousness is independent from the brain and that death is simply an illusion. He also says there is a perfect life after death that includes butterflies, Angels, clouds, and our departed loved ones.

Dr. Alexander slipped into a coma as a result of severe bacterial meningitis. Having no brain activity he was considered “brain dead”. His journey began in a dark formless place without memory, language, or time. He was saved by a spinning melody of light that came closer and closer until it opened up to a world full of vivid colors and millions of butterflies. Flowers blooming and blossoming as he floated by. By his side was a beautiful girl with blue eyes. She would look at him without saying a word and the thought would mystically enter his mind that she was telling him he was loved and cherished but he must go back, it was not his time. After seven days in a coma, he miraculously opened his eyes. Due to his amazing experience Dr. Alexander had a different view of life and life after death.

After going public with his story prior to the publication of his book, he has been terminated or suspended from multiple hospital positions and subject to several malpractice lawsuits. Other medical professionals claimed that Dr. Alexander was in a medically induced coma and was conscious and hallucinating.

Although Dr. Alexander states his near death experience occurred while his cerebral cortex was shut down and inactive, neuro-scientist Sam Harris disagrees. He states Dr. Alexander’s claims are not only inadequate but insults him by saying he doesn’t know anything about the relevant brain science. Neurologist Oliver Sacks states that it was impossible to establish a near death experience while the brain was shut down. The most plausible explanation is that it occurred not during the coma but as he was resurfacing from it and his cortex was returning to full function.

What is your opinion? Do you believe in life after death or is it just a hallucination?

04/8/14

Show Me The Money !

I’ve thought a lot about the paranormal world lately. It makes me sad and sometimes angry to see all the scams that are going on.  Are we our own worst enemy? Have we allowed ourselves to be sucked in to the hype? TV shows tell us that there is activity everywhere and that you too could be experiencing phenomena. Gee, isn’t it funny how a certain paranormal TV show used to air episodes where they would debunk the claims and rarely find anything worth mentioning in their first season, but now they find multiple pieces of evidence every episode. Would it have anything to do with ratings (which equates to money), Hmm???  Or how about psychic’s? They are telling anyone who is willing to buy what they are selling, that they can communicate with late Aunt Pearl, all for the measly sum of $200.00 an hour. Its no wonder that a certain psychic who has a popular TV show, lives on Long Island and drives a Land Rover, Hmm? Or how about the  guy and his wife who bought a money pit of an old Victorian mansion in central MA and  charge admission to investigate their home. People line up with money in hand, waiting to get in and snap their very own picture of a full body apparition. Well at least that’s what the last TV show they were on said. Funny how that TV show was shot in Canada and not MA, Hmm??? Or how about the Hotel on the Cape that claims to have activity in a certain guest room. The story has it that the original owner was a sea captain. One day he sailed off only to never return and his wife’s ghost waits for him in that room to this day. Funny how that room number changes every time you call for a reservation.

I find it amazing that the haunted room is always available! It’s really nice that they quote you a special discounted rate too, funny how its $10.00 more than the sign in the lobby says, Hmm???  My favorite of all is the multi-million dollar Ghost Hunting Equipment Industry. There’s a multitude of boxes sold today that use electronics to allow a ghost or spirit to communicate with you. Funny how a spirit that passed away 50 years ago can manipulate today’s electronics. I’d be surprised if they could even turn on a TV.

Technology and science are advancing at a tremendous rate.  We are living in a society that is highly educated, but we are ALL susceptible to being scammed. I suppose if we want to believe bad enough, the wool can be pulled over our eyes. I must admit, I have been scammed! I believed! I spent my hard earned money! But hopefully I have learned something along the way. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I’ve got a box full of old ghost hunting equipment for sale, if you know anybody?

My real reason for writing this is to challenge everyone to be skeptical, and have fun with your paranormal research. That’s what Ghost Hunting really should be,  FUN! I do believe there is something to all of this, and hopefully someday, someone will figure it out!

04/8/14

To Be A Witch

Merry meet again, it me Patricia

Here’s something I really love, I hope u enjoy it…

To Be A Witch To be a witch, is to love and be loved.
To be a witch, is to know everything and nothing at all.
To be a witch, is to move among the stars while staying on Earth.
To be a witch, is to change the world around you, and yourself.
To be a witch, is to share and give, while receiving all the while.
To be a witch, is to dance and sing, and hold hands with the universe.
To be a witch, is to honor the Gods and yourself.
To be a witch, is to be magick, not just perform it.
To be a witch, is to be honorable or nothing at all.
To be a witch, is to accept others who are not.
To be a witch, is to know what you feel is right and good.
To be a witch, is to harm none.
To be a witch, is to know the ways of old.
To be a witch, is to follow the moon.
To be a witch, is to be one with the Gods.
To be a witch, is to study and learn.
To be a witch, is to be the teacher and the student.
To be a witch, is to acknowledge the truth.
To be a witch, is to live with the earth, not just on it.
To be a witch, is to be truly free !

Author unknown.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I. So until next time Merry part til we Merry meet again.