Paranormal Research Organization  (P.R.O.)

The Paranormal Research Organization
Brings Professionalism to
Paranormal Investigators and Ghost-Hunters

 

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The Paranormal Research Organization: Supporting the serious and knowledgeable paranormal field researchers and investigators, while providing educational resources for the snowballing number of well-meaning, but sometimes misguided enthusiasts.

The Paranormal Research Organization had its inception at a two-day meeting held in August 2002 in Concord, California. The attendees at the meeting were invited to come to discuss their favorite subject: ghosts and how to investigate them.

The invitation-only meeting was convened by well-known parapsychologist and paranormal investigator Loyd Auerbach. The event consisted primarily of experienced investigators and researchers of psychic and ghostly phenomena from around the United States. Auerbach explained "the stated purpose of this meeting was for a number of us to get together and trade 'war stories,' discuss investigative methodologies, and really take a hard look at how we're doing what we do, the tech that's now available, how psychics work into this, best methods to help people, and what we really think is happening in cases of apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists."

While starting a new organization wasn't high on the agenda, it became a primary focus of the meeting as the attendees began discussing the rise and proliferation of the hobbyist ghost-hunting groups.

"It is clear" said Auerbach "that while the interest of these folks is generally sincere, the investigative and assessment techniques they are learning and using are primarily those conjured up by not-so-knowledgeable amateurs and other hobbyists, and have a primary focus on technology that was never designed to capture ghosts. They have lots of bells and whistles, but no real understanding of the process of a scientific investigation of psychic/ghostly phenomena. They also miss the mark when it comes to actually helping people with their experiences."

He added that "there are, of course, many knowledgeable people out there with a lot of good experience and a professional attitude and interests and who conduct themselves in a professional manner. They may not have an academic background or experience in the field of Parapsychology, but in many respects they are 'professionals' in this area as well."

The meeting attendees discussed the media's role in promoting the perspectives of the hobbyist groups, and concluded that something had to be done to separate the serious field researchers and investigators - and their opinions and conclusions - from the hobbyists and less-than-knowledgeable amateurs.

The solution was to form the Paranormal Research Organization, a guild of sorts that includes a variety of experienced and knowledgeable parapsychologists, paranormal investigators, counselors, and experts in other fields. The focus would be on those who have an interest in understanding what the phenomena and experiences are and what they represent to both human experience and the physical world, and who also conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner.

[Note: psychic experiences and phenomena include apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists, otherwise called "ghosts"]


Who will be invited to join the Paranormal Research Organization?

Individuals who have displayed knowledge of parapsychological field investigation and research methods, who have shown they have concern both for separating the normal from the paranormal and an overriding concern for the clients in actual cases, and who understand the real differences between claiming one has evidence and claiming one has proof. Members of professional parapsychological and related organizations and laboratories with an interest in field research and investigation will also be invited. Some may have been considered "amateurs" in the past, but because of their knowledge, background, experience and professional attitude and conduct, they will be invited to join.

Eventually, the organization will likely take applications to and conduct interviews for membership that will allow an assessment of the knowledge, skill and experience base of an applicant, his or her intentions and motivations for conducting field research and investigation, and his or her willingness to abide by the code of professional ethics and conduct that is drawn up.

Currently, there are members of the organization in a number of states around the U.S., with interested field researchers and investigators expressing interest in being part of the group in several countries around the world. U.S. members of the organization currently have a number of contacts throughout the world.

The purposes and goals of the Paranormal Research Organization (P.R.O.) will be to:

bulletTo create a network of knowledgeable and ethical field researchers and investigators who conduct field research and investigation of psychic and so-called "paranormal" phenomena and experiences. This network will be one that the average person can contact easily for help in assessing any perceived paranormal/psychic experience or phenomenon occurring in their home or place of business. The network will also be one that the Media can feel confident can provide credible, knowledgeable and fair-minded experts.
 
bulletTo create Ethical Guidelines for field researchers and investigators, covering how they conduct their work and how they deal with "clients" (people with the experiences)
 
bulletTo create Guidelines for Working with the Media
 
bulletTo create Guidelines for Working with and Mentoring those interested in learning how to conduct appropriate field research and investigations. Provide mentoring/internship situations and eventual educational programs.
 
bulletTo create a World-Wide Referral Network of field researchers, investigators, counselors, scientists, and even skeptics who may not be part of P.R.O. but are in fact seriously interested in the solving the mysteries paranormal experiences present
 
bulletTo create a Website that will provide the following:

An online forum for serious researchers and investigators, to include both members of P.R.O. and those seriously interested in the phenomena and experiences, to share their data from investigations and field research

A resource for hobbyists and enthusiasts that allows them to learn from the collective experience of the members of P.R.O., and provides an opportunity for them to ask questions/receive answers and advice from the professionals

A resource for the general public where they can gain access to good information on parapsychology, psychic experiences and even read case reports of the P.R.O. members (and other researchers and professionals contributing to the site). Furthermore, it gives them a way to ask questions and receive answers and advice from many of the experts in the field. The website will also include a listing of the P.R.O. members and their contacts, and the P.R.O. referrals to other professionals who may be of assistance in various situations.

A site for the Media, where journalists, reporters, TV and radio producers, hosts and personalities, and even writers can go for reliable information and resources.

bulletTo publish materials for the general public dealing with reported experiences, actual investigations and opinions and conclusions of the P.R.O. members.
 
bulletTo provide seminars, workshops and courses in various formats -- in-person attendance, online, telephonic and on video -- dealing with paranormal field research and investigation, psychic phenomena and Parapsychology in general.
 
bulletTo find and/or create sources of funding and financial support for paranormal field research and investigation, and related laboratory studies.
 
bulletTo provide services to allegedly haunted public places (such as restaurants, hotels, bed & breakfasts, historical sites), including full investigations of the location and reported phenomena and written assessments of the findings that can be made public.
 
bulletTo conduct regular meetings for the P.R.O. members at which they can continue dialogue on the phenomena and research and investigation techniques, their findings and discussion of opinions and conclusions.

Naturally, each of the individuals who make up P.R.O. has his or her own main focus of investigations and research, and will also be contributing diverse skills from fields other than parapsychology.

The Paranormal Research Organization is dedicated to understanding what is or is not happening in individual cases, to the experience and perception of the people involved in cases. P.R.O. members understand that in order to study what we call psychic or paranormal, one must explore and exhaust other more normal physical and psychological explanations.

To this end, P.R.O. members will not focus solely on the experience of the witnesses, or the physical situation at the location, or the perceptions of a psychic, or the readings from various technological devices. That P.R.O. will include experts in various technologies as well as those who have evidenced psychic abilities is a testament to that perspective. All angles must be covered if we are to learn about what the experiences represent.

While there was discussion at the meeting to make P.R.O. a non-profit organization, the decision was to run the organization on a for-profit business model, at least to begin with.

A second meeting of the initial members of the Paranormal Research Organization is being planned for sometime mid-2003.


For more information, CONTACT:

Loyd Auerbach at 415-249-9275 or via email at lauerbach@paranormal-research.org