Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why Paranormal Researchers Need Magicians

Back when Jason Miller's excellent Protection and Reversal Magick came out, he and I got into a disagreement regarding how common effective magical and paranormal attacks really are. Essentially, Jason believes that they are a lot more common than I do - at least in the course of regular daily life. In the area of paranormal research, though, it seems to me that the risk of attacks by spirits could very well be quite high simply because paranormal researchers are deliberately seeking out spirits strong enough to produce measurable effects on their "home turf," so to speak. I don't find it much of a stretch to imagine that many of these spirits would not welcome the intrusion and retaliate with everything they have, and I also am fairly certain that any spirit strong enough to set off a K2 meter or create an EVP is going to be able to launch a potent magical attack. This should make paranormal research more dangerous than it often is assumed to be, and as this article points out, a seemingly high number of investigators have in fact developed unusual health problems and even died under mysterious circumstances.

Ed Warren, who suddenly collapsed in 2001 and spent the last five years of his life plagued with sickness. Lou Gentile who died of cancer in his early 40s. Tom Robinson who's been hospitalized twice due to injuries he sustained while under spiritual attack. And perhaps most famous, the case of Ryan Buell of “Paranormal State.”

“For four years, Ryan starred in “Paranormal State”, a reality tv show notable for it’s overtly religious overtones, and Buell’s assertion that he worked directly with the Catholic church in the saving of souls. The series’ five seasons saw Buell leading numerous exorcisms, residential clearings, and at times, physical altercations with demonic entities.”

“The most interesting part of Ryan’s career is his claim that he himself had been singled out by the forces of darkness for his heroism, and thusly, was subject to torment by a demon named Belial. This harassment went on for years, and Buell claims to have dealt with the problem by mocking the entity regularly, referring to it as a “bunny”. Following the failure of his show “The Ghost Prophesies” to perform past the pilot stage, “Paranormal State” was canceled in the spring of last year. Just weeks ago, after an extended public hiatus, Ryan Buell announced that he was fighting pancreatic cancer.”

Coast to Coast AM listeners familiar with Father Malachi Martin have heard his harrowing tales of wrestling with demons. Martin performed exorcisms for the Catholic church for more than 30 years and had plenty of stories of being tossed out of bed or knocked off of chairs by demons who followed him home. Martin also suffered a heart attack during an exorcism and witnessed another priest die during a failed exorcism, but that's not the worst of it. The events surrounding Martin's death on July 27, 1999 will forever be shrouded in mystery.

I attended a panel at this year's Convergence on paranormal reality television, and one of the panelists made a pretty good case that much of what was shown on "Paranormal State" was fabricated, or at the very least exaggerated. But if Buell is indeed suffering from the results of a spiritual attack, that suggests at least some of what he and his team encountered was real. It also surprises me a little bit that apparently he was unaware that Belial is the 68th Goetic demon and there's a whole set of quite effective conjurations and so forth that you can use to control him. This brings me to the point alluded to in the title - paranormal investigators don't need psychics who give vague and impossible to verify information, they need magicians who can command spiritual forces when the need to do so arises. Those of us who study occultism work with these things all the time, and while it may seem unscientific to enlist our help, it still strikes me as wise.

So that's my recommendation to anyone who wants to do paranormal research and worries that it might be dangerous - find yourself a magician. Or, at the very least, get yourself a copy of Jason's book and take the practices it recommends very seriously.

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V.V.F. said...

Well, it's certainly not any less scientific to use magicians instead of psychics. I've never understood why historical practices are seen as mere superstition, while anybody wearing a shawl is considered credible for some reason. (Of course, I have my own suspicions...)

But it was probably Ryan Buell's Catholicism that would have discouraged him from seeking out a magician or researching sorcery. Working as closely with clergy as he did, I'm sure they would never have condoned that sort of thing.

Scott Stenwick said...

That's what I've always thought as well, given that I have yet to see a psychic on a paranormal show come up with anything remarkable from the standpoint of independent verification. As a matter of fact, Ghost Hunters doesn't use them for precisely that reason and Jason and Grant are pretty outspoken about it. Of course, they don't use magicians either.

Having never watched Paranormal State I can't really say how devout a Catholic Buell is, but I do know that some Christian paranormal investigators study demonology. While it's true that they don't use magick themselves, I'd think at the very least the Goetia would merit a mention in that context - but then again, if they're studying something other than actual magick all bets are off.