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"We aren't after fame or fortune by any means but we are on our way to becoming a 'household name'."
– A rather ironic message from a ghost hunting group that sent a links request to us recently
I said in one of my blog posts last week that quoting the CBC was becoming a habit... this is because I love podcasts and download many of them to listen to at work while the machines I work on do things I need to watch, but don’t require my complete attention.
One of my favourite show hosts and shows has always been any of Terry O’Reilly’s offerings... as someone who was educated in marketing, I find the shows useful, enlightening, and fun... and more often than not, educational.I keep all his shows archived, from “The Age of Persuasion” to his current series, “Under the Influence”.
Last weekend show was annual his book show... where he discusses his favourite books... and one item he discussed caught my attention as it translates phenomenally well into the world of paranormal studies...
Mr. O’Reilly was discussing a book called "Start With Why" which was written by Simon Sinek.
To quote the program (and Mr. O’Reilly...)
This book is all about why a company's "Cause" is the most important thing.
In other words, "Why" a company does what it does is the most important thing it can communicate. Not How it does those things, or What it does.
How and What are only tangible proof of the "Why."
Sinek maintains that almost every company can tell you What they do, and How they do it, but most can't tell you Why.
This was kind of amazing, because something many people do with us is try to guess what our “angle” is... and I’ve blogged about it often.
PSICAN, Torontoghosts, and ParaResearchers... amongst the others we’re involved with... often have people doing what comes naturally... assuming “we” do our thing for the same reason “they” do their thing. It’s what leads them to assume we’re in some sort of competition either over “business”, potential media attention, or who knows what.
Our “why” is actually laid out for the world to see... it’s our mission statement...
The overall purpose of Paranormal Studies and Investigations Canada is to examine reports and information of reported perceived paranormal phenomena without prejudice to any hypothesis of causation and to collect and to document these cases from a purely evidentiary point of view to the very best of our abilities.
...but this isn’t a complete “why”, as Mr. O’Reilly (and Mr. Sinek) point out...
“Companies with a great sense of "Why" also tend to ignore the competition. Companies with a fuzzy sense of "why" are obsessed with what others are doing.
Other companies can copy your WHAT and your HOW, but they can never copy your WHY.
The best articulation of the "why" was the day when the founder of your company pounded his fist on the table and said he was going to start a company because there was a better way to do something... it's just that nobody was rolling a tape recorder at that moment.”
...and although many people have FELT they understood our real “why”, they never really got it... mostly because, and yeah, I’ll say it after talking to many people who supposedly share "our" field... they can’t quite wrap their heads around it.
Both Sue and I are experients.We had something happen to us that we couldn’t quite figure out. Before I met Sue, I went looking to join a Toronto (my home town) equivalent to The Society for Psychical Research... or Britain’s Ghost Club (at least, the Ghost Club’s older incarnations...) because I wanted to know more about what I had been through.
At the time, nothing existed... “Online”, I could only find York University’s defunct “Spooky Soc” which wasn’t QUITE what I wanted... but it was the only thing going... at least until it died (before I found it)... so I literally “built” what I wanted.
This said, I didn’t build it because I wanted a YouTube channel (such things didn’t even exist back then,) or a starring role on a reality-ish television program (also, in North America, an unheard of thing at the time...) I knew from my past reading I would never have a career in this or make my money from it (unless something magical happened... or I decided to become massively unethical...) but I wanted one thing...
I wanted to know what happened to me.
Over a short period of time, that changed to wanting to know what was happening to all these witnesses.
Sure, before the pseudo-sceptics crawl into my nostrils, some experients can (and have been) explained as natural... it’s the significant amount of ones that cannot that keeps me plugging away.
Hell, even an absolute scion of the cult of “non-believers” agreed that some things, (about 3% on reckoning,) defied logical explanation...
...and we both agreed that blind faith was not the answer.
He and I part company in terms of the fact that I believe that blind disbelief is as bad.
With Sue and myself, that’s what you’ve got.Two people who believe that weird stuff happens and is most definitely experienced... but want to know why and how... with tangible evidence... and over time, neither of us think it will come down to only one answer to what causes everything currently considered paranormal.
So, if you want the “why” of PSICAN and the related groups... as far as the origins of it go... that’s it.
There are no hidden agendas... no dreams of Hollywood... no expectations of a mansion paid for through our hobby...
We are as you probably are... we’re the audience.We’re the students.Occasionally, like you probably are, we’re the teachers... but we don’t have the answers... and that’s “why” we’re here.
Next time you come across a ghost group online... or a UFO group... or even a sceptics organisation... ask yourself what you believe their true “why” is?
Are they cosplaying (costume-playing) their favourite television show?Are they preaching a faith? Are they a cloaked store or retailer?Are they trying to earn money for “nothing”?Are they thrill/fame/attention seekers?Is this some sort of quasi claim to importance, intelligence, or a grab at a weird control or “leadership” sort of thing?
...or is their “why” more altruistic?
We (PSICAN et al) are not alone... I know there are other good folks out there...
...it just seems like the bad is far more numerous then they are because they make the most noise.
This said, do ask anyone “why” they’re there... and make sure you like that “why” before signing up to anything!
The entries found on this blog are based on the thoughts and discussions of Sue Demeter-St Clair and Matthew James Didier....two paranormal investigators/researchers based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The blog is now archived, but will remain online for those interested in reading it. Please have a look for us via these websites:
The Ghosts and Hauntings Research Societies, Paranormal Studies & Investigations Canada - PSICAN, and Pararesearchers of Ontario We are also members and supporters of The Society of Psychical Research, and the Institute of Noetic SciencesPages We Contribute To On Facebook
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