GHOSTVILLAGE.COM NEWSLETTER #128 - June 18, 2012
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Let’s talk about skeptics. Skeptics and skepticism are a vital part of the paranormal discussion. No, this isn’t some bash-fest. That doesn’t help any cause. I’m talking about being skeptical. We should all be skeptical when it comes to extraordinary claims, but we must differentiate skepticism from our own belief system. Let’s check out the Dictionary.com definition of “Skeptic”:
Skep-tic (noun) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skeptic?s=t
1. a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
2. a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
3. a person who doubts the truth of a religion...
4. (initial capital letter) Philosophy
a. a member of a philosophical school of ancient Greece, the earliest group of which consisted of Pyrrho and his followers, who maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible.
b. any later thinker who doubts or questions the possibility of real knowledge of any kind.
Let’s work backward, starting with number 4. The philosophical movement whereby a Skeptic (capital “S”) believes knowledge of things is impossible. That doesn’t sound like many of the Skeptics we’ve seen and heard on radio and television programs, does it? Many of these folks are devout atheists who believe there are facts and fiction. Black and white.
Number 3. Related only if you consider the paranormal a belief system. Of course you can make many arguments that the paranormal is a belief system -- and you can make the same argument for skepticism. Then we get into the battle of beliefs. My religion is right and yours is wrong. That’s difficult because then there is no discussion. Neither side even wants to see the other’s point of view.
We’re going to skip number 2 because it doesn’t relate as much to this topic. But number 1… we save the best for last. “Question the validity or authenticity of something said to be a fact.” That’s me, man. For sure. You tell me you saw a ghost, and I will have questions. I will want to know more. Some people have told me of their experiences and my gut (and experience) made me think they were either lying or delusional. However many others have told me of their brush with the paranormal, and I believed that they believed what they saw, heard, or felt. Having had my own unexplained experiences, I know these events are in the realm of possibility.
I’ve had the opportunity to debate people who title themselves “Skeptic” in radio and print interviews, and in person at conferences and events. The single most frustrating part of this debate usually comes down to this one factor: I tell of a personal experience where myself and three others witnessed a “ghost” walk out of a room, look at us, then disappear back into the same room. All four of us knew we were alone in this wing of the building, all four of us saw it, and all four of use raced the 15 feet to the room where we saw this thing to verify someone (living) hadn’t snuck in. But alas, no one was there. I use the term “ghost” because we have no other explanation. I’ve had “Skeptics” tell me we experienced a mass hallucination. That we were mistaken in low light. You name it. What’s infuriating is that this person who calls himself science-minded is judging not only the ability of my senses, but my personal experience. This Skeptic wasn’t there at the time. So the Skeptic is speaking from the point of view of a belief system and I’m speaking from the point of view of a personal observation. And what is science but observable results? Who really is the Skeptic here?
Exploring the paranormal isn’t some kind of battle. We shouldn’t be expected to stand firmly in one believer/skeptic camp or the other. There’s too much about the world and universe around us that we don’t understand to take an immovable position. But the exploration itself is the joy. Excellent points are made on both sides of this debate, so this month we’re going to focus on the skeptics.
Hey Ghost Adventures fans, Nick Groff’s new book, Chasing Spirits is now available for pre-order! I was honored to work on this book with him and can tell you it’s an amazing story of how the crew came together, Nick’s personal experiences, and a rare look behind the scenes of Ghost Adventures. Check it out!
Enjoy the rest of the newsletter below.
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com
Facebook: Jeff Belanger
This is the place to find out where author and Ghostvillage.com founder Jeff Belanger will be speaking on the subject of the
paranormal. If you're interested in booking Jeff for a conference or other event, please visit:
http://www.jeffbelanger.com/lectures.php for more information.
|Jeff Belanger's Upcoming Events
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Groton Public Library - Groton, Massachusetts - June 21, 2012, 7:00PM
Ghostly Lecture and Ghost Hunt at the Bellingham Historical Museum - Bellingham, Massachusetts - July 13, 2012, 7:00PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Russell Memorial Library - Acuchnet, Massachusetts - July 18, 2012, 6:30PM
Ghosts and Hauntings with Jeff Belanger - Mattapoisett Free Public Library - Mattapoisett, Massachusetts - July 25, 2012, 6:00PM
Eastern State 2012 Scared Straight - Darkness Radio - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - July 26-28, 2012
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Townsend Public Library - Townsend, Massachusetts - August 3, 2012, 7:00PM
3rd Annual Michigan Paranormal Convention - Kewadin Casino - Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan - August 10-11, 2012
Dead of Summer - Lizzie Borden House - Fall River, Massachusetts - August 25, 2012, 6:30PM
Ghosts and Hauntings with Jeff Belanger - East Hampton Public Library - East Hampton, Connecticut - September 15, 2012, 2:00PM
Conscious Spirit Paranormal Group and The Mirror Magazine Francestown Paranormal Event - Francestown, New Hampshire - September 29, 2012, 5:00PM
Central Texas Paranormal Conference - Austin, Texas - October 6-7, 2012
Hales Dam Convention - Guild, Tennessee - October 12-13, 2012
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Ashland Public Library - Ashland, Massachusetts - October 23, 2012, 7:00PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Falmouth Public Library - Falmouth, Massachusetts - October 24, 2012, 7:00PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Mystical Parlors - South Norwalk, Connecticut - October 27, 2012, 6:00PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger - Uxbridge Free Public Library - Uxbridge, Massachusetts - October 29, 2012, 7:00PM
Darkness Radio's End of Days Paranormal Conference - Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, Colorado - November 15-18, 2012
The Real Dracula Tour and Ghost Hunt with Dave Schrader and Jeff Belanger - Romania - May 19-27, 2013
July 26-28, 2012 for the last Darkness Radio Event at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! This is the world's first penitentiary and it's haunted throughout. Al Capone's cell is still there, plus
acres of haunted cell blocks.
|Eastern State 2012 - Scared Straight
Special guests include: Aaron Goodwin and Billy Tolley from Ghost Adventures, Jeff Belanger, Mark & Debby Constantino, Chris Fleming, Dave Schrader, Bill Chappell, Patrick Burns, Michael and Marti Parry, George Noory, and Aaron Sagers!
Click here for more information: http://www.darknessradio.com/TRIPS/easternstate2012/index.html
Congratulations to Stephen Nettles of Romeoville, Illinois, who was the April winner of an autographed copy of
Jeff Belanger's book, Picture Yourself Legend Tripping and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
How to win: Entries will be accepted up until 5:00 PM (eastern time) tomorrow (June 19, 2012).
At 5:00 PM, we will draw a winner at random from the correct entries that have been received. You no longer have to be the first,
but you only have until 5:00 PM to get your answer in. If you click on this link:
http://www.ghostvillage.com/index.shtml#winner, you see
today's date, and "We have a winner!" that means the contest has ended. Sorry, please try again next month. To submit your entry, simply
reply to this email with the correct answer.
On to this month's question: This question can be answered by reading a page on Ghostvillage.com. Remember, reply by 5:00 PM tomorrow to
be eligible to win.
What was the name of the DVD Richard Crowe co-produced in 1986?
At 5:00 PM tomorrow, we will announce the winner on our home page.
Good luck! (Only Ghostvillagers who have not won a prize from us in the last year are eligible.)
This month's prize:
We're giving away an autographed copy of Jeff Belanger's book and DVD, Picture Yourself Legend Tripping and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
Didn't win? Want to buy a copy? Click on the graphic.
Our "Features" section is a place for editorials, research articles, open letters to our readers, and other content of interest to
Ghostvillagers. If you have a topic on your mind, agree or disagree with something you read
recently, we want to hear from you! For guidelines, click
New features added since our last newsletter:
The Real Dracula with Dave Schrader June 12, 2012 [VIDEO]
A Supernatural Life: Richard T. Crowe by Ursula Bielski June 11, 2012
All I Have is My Word by Angela Ward June 6, 2012
What If the Government Disclosed E.T.s Are Real? June 5, 2012 [VIDEO]
Paranormal and the Law with Psychic Lawyer Mark Anthony May 22, 2012 [VIDEO]
Guidelines to Presenting Paranormal Evidence by Nick Ferra May 18, 2012
We receive personal encounters from all over the world. Many are scary, some are touching, but they are always profound. If you would like
to share your own experience, please click >>here<<. Since our last newsletter, we added the following new encounters:
Visits from the Virgin Mary - Hollsopple, Pennsylvania
Get Out of My House - Lennox, South Dakota
Mrs. Mary Finch - Location Unknown
Pointing Fingers at Folklore
Two teens killed in ghost legend game UPI.com nPoplar Bluff, Missouri - June 5, 2012 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Vatican publishes guide on how to deal with supernatural phenomena The Telegraph Vatican City, Italy - June 1, 2012 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Saudi ghost-hunters raid haunted hospital Reuters Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - May 30, 2012 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Landlord of 'Amityville Horror' house in Toms River, N.J. sues tenants NewsroomJersey.com Toms River, New Jersey - April 29, 2012 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Toms River couple sues landlord over 'haunted house' The Star-Ledger Toms River, New Jersey - April 16, 2012 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
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message board community. We hope you'll get involved. It's free to register if you're not already a member. Here are some of
the hot topics this month:
Urban Legends, Myths and Folklore
Bloody Mary, 50 Candles, and the Boogeyman.
Legend of Onionhead
Where did Onionhead come from?
Why is this happening to me?
Need some help with a pic.
Travel Channel's "Dead Files."
Tips for attempting communication.
Religion and Spirituality
Thoughts on reincarnation?
Board of the Month -- Skeptics
Speak up, Skeptics! Should we all be skeptical?
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