Friday, December 9, 2016

Possessed By Ghosts?

That's right. If you've ever wondered why some people are gay, look no further. The Spiritual Research Foundation, a group that bills itself as a paranormal research organization, has the answer. According to their apparently meticulous but entirely undocumented research, 85% of gay people are gay because they are possessed by ghosts.

To think, it was that simple all along!

The main reason behind the gay orientation of some men is that they are possessed by female ghosts. It is the female ghost in them that is attracted to other men. Conversely the attraction to females experienced by some lesbians is due to the presence of male ghosts in them. The ghost’s consciousness overpowers the person’s normal behaviour to produce the homosexual attraction. Spiritual research has shown that the cause for homosexual preferences lie predominantly in the spiritual realm.
  • Physical causes (5%): Due to hormonal changes.
  • Psychological causes (10%): Having an experience with a person of the same sex as a teenager or young adult that was pleasurable and therefore wanting to experience it again.
  • Spiritual causes (85%): Mainly ghosts.
That sounds like a lot of people, but it isn't so many when you consider that in the introduction to this article, we are told that 30% of the world's population is possessed by ghosts! That's a whole lot of ghosts, many more than would account for the entire population of gay folks. So it makes sense, right? You know, in some twisted, alternate, demon-haunted world.

Let me first state right here that even though I'm going to address this article as though it were sincere, I honestly hope it's a joke. Anybody who seriously believes this has at least few screws loose, and if this is the conclusion reached by this group's research, well, let's just say that I don't think much of that research and I'll leave it at that. But I honestly doubt that any real research was done to support this bizarre assertion.

Spirit possession is a real thing, but for it to happen by accident is rare. Usually you have to actively invoke a spirit to get it to happen, and this appears to be true across many traditions. So that's point number one. Second, expelling a possessing spirit from a person is not that difficult from a magical perspective. One really solid spell will do it.

So if this conjecture is true, we can assume that you should be able to turn most gay people straight just by casting a spell on them. I've heard stories of parents who had their gay kids exorcised, but I've never heard of it working. Likewise, the Christian "ex-gay" movement has been a colossal failure - and don't try to tell me prayers and spells are that different. Spells just work better because magical techniques are more optimized.

Really, the problem with this conclusion is not just that it relies upon paranormal agency. It also is that, given the actual rules of metaphysical technology, the conclusion doesn't match what we see in the real world. I've never heard of a case where someone's sexual orientation was permanently changed by a spell, and if 85% of gays are gay because of ghosts, it should be happening all the time.

Also, just as a point, spirits don't have genders the same way humans do. As magicians we commonly describe, say, the spirits of Mars as male and the spirits of Venus as female, but in my experience this is more for convenience than anything else. The spirits don't care that much and they can appear however they want. So the idea that "female ghosts" have something to do with gay men is already problematic, even before we get to the root assumption.

In fact, the other causes listed are largely bullshit, too, so I'm probably giving this more attention than it deserves. Some scientists believe that unusual hormone spikes during fetal development have something to do with homosexuality, but that's not the same thing as hormonal changes during adult life. The idea that such shifts could change sexual orientation was an early theory, but it has been entirely discredited since the 1950's.

Likewise, the idea that sexual orientation is based on conditioning was a competing early theory that was likewise discredited about a decade later. You can't condition a gay person to be straight or a straight person to be gay. This is another of the tactics employed by the "ex-gay" movement, and it's just as ineffective as everything else they have tried.

So I guess the takeway is that the Spiritual Research Foundation is either a joke (my fervent hope) or so entirely clueless about paranormal phenomena that I question whether they've done any research at all. This article just sounds like a bunch of nonsense somebody threw together based on their own unexamined assumptions and prejudices, rather than anything that was determined by empirical means.

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