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
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
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
[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
The purposes and goals of the Paranormal Research Organization (P.R.O.) will be
|To 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.|
|To create Ethical Guidelines for field researchers and investigators,
covering how they conduct their work and how they deal with "clients" (people
with the experiences)|
|To create Guidelines for Working with the Media|
|To 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.|
|To 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|
|To 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
|To publish materials for the general public dealing with reported
experiences, actual investigations and opinions and conclusions of the P.R.O.
|To 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.|
|To find and/or create sources of funding and financial support for
paranormal field research and investigation, and related laboratory studies.|
|To 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.|
|To 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