Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ten Paranormal Regulations

One of the things I like about living in a country where belief in magick is not widespread is that it remains mostly unregulated. A lot of newbie magicians get it into their heads that they want to prove the existence of magick to skeptics, and while I think that such a thing would be valuable in pure scientific terms, I wonder what the consequences of it might be. Government regulation would certainly be proposed, and I can't say that I have much interest in, say, needing a license to practice my spirituality.

However, just because the paranormal is currently largely unregulated doesn't mean that government bodies haven't tried. IO9 has an article up that lists 10 examples of laws intended to regulate various forms of paranormal phenomena. A few of them like #7, the Chinese government's attempts to regulate reincarnation, have been covered here on Augoeides, while others are completely new to me.

1. In some cases, US home sellers must tell a buyer if a property is haunted.

2. But if you base your horror movie on a "true story" or famously haunted house, you can avoid all sorts of intellectual property issues.

3. In San Francisco, you need a license to practice necromancy.

4. In New Orleans, a person may not set forth his or her power to convert bitterest enemies into staunchest friends.

5. Different jurisdictions have very different laws governing the hunting of Bigfoot.

6. If you want to start a construction project in Iceland, you may want to check with the local elves.

7. Tibetan Buddhists must apply for a reincarnation license from the Chinese government.

8. If you want to perform an exorcism, you should probably do it in Texas.

9. You can't sue the Devil (or God, for that matter) in the US.

10. But you can sue a genie in Saudi Arabia.

The article goes into more detail about each of these laws, along with references to legal cases and so forth. #2 helps explain why so many "based on a true story" movies about hauntings are such complete bullshit and have little to do with what really took place, and the deal with #8 is that in Texas courts ruled that anything related to exorcism is a matter of religious freedom, even if an individual was subjected to one against their will - which is kind of scary.

For now I'm content to let skeptics be skeptics, since if anyone ever did pass the Randi Challenge or something I have no doubts that regulatory legislation would be immediately forthcoming. That's a basic reality that anyone interested in "proving magick" should at the very least consider before moving forward.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: