THE PARANORMAL MEDIA BLITZ: GHOST BUSTERS, PSYCHICS, AND SPIRIT MEDIUMS EUROPEAN ENLIGHTENMENT THOUGHT • European Enlightenment thought did not necessarily deny the existence of god, but did situate science as the proper means of understanding the natural world. • This established a division between science and religion. • A social evolutionary lineage developed: – MAGIC – RELIGION – SCIENCE THEORETICAL THEMES AND CRITIQUES • IRRATIONAL – Pre-modern “West” – Religion in general – Folk and indigenous religions • RATIONAL – Modernity – Positivism • RATIONALIZE – Apply positivistic assumptions • RATIONALIZATION – Positivistic social organization to maintain compliance and order. MARX Repressive Power WEBER Power for Power’s Sake FOUCAULT Productive Power THE EMIC/ETIC DICHOTOMY EDITH TURNER • EMIC: Studying a culture from their point of view. • ETIC: Applying theories to cultural phenomena that might not make sense to the members of that culture. • The “NATIVE ANTHROPOLOGIST” or “GOING NATIVE”: Can illuminate the false fixity of the emic/etic dichotomy, but at the possibility of professional, academic, and social costs, if—for example—the anthropologist engages in trance and channeling rituals, and writes about it. SHAKESPEARE THE GHOST OF HAMLET’S FATHER DICKENS MARLEY’S GHOST FROM A CHRISTMAS CAROL OSCAR WILDE, THE CANTERVILLE GHOST BASED ON CLAIMS BY THE LUTZ’S THAT THEY LIVED IN A HAUNTED HOUSE AND HAD TROUBLING PARANORMAL EXPERIENCES. BASED ON AN ACTUAL PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION BY DR. THELMA MOSS AND HER TEAM FROM UCLA “I SEE DEAD PEOPLE.” ED AND LORRAINE WARREN www.warrens.net www.derekacorah.org JAMES VAN PRAAGH www.vanpraagh.com TED DANSON AS VAN PRAAGH CATEGORIES OF HAUNTINGS • RESIDUAL HAUNTING: Like a video playback of an event from the past with no interaction with the human observer. • SPIRIT MANIFESTATION: Full or partial bodied apparition, mists, orbs and light anomalies, odors, voices, knocks, whistles, footsteps, touches, cold spots. These are generally attributed to deceased humans who are caught in this realm, or who return to visit. • POLTERGIESTS: Playful and at times harmful entities that cause objects to move or float, hide items, make noises, etc. • DEMONS: They rarely interact with humans, but when they do, can cause great damage. SEANCES ATTEMPTS TO MAKE GHOST HUNTING RATIONAL THROUGH TECHNOLOGY UCLA PARAPSYCHOLOGIST, THELMA MOSS • Moss and her team investigated a Culver City haunting in 1974 in which a woman claimed that three ghosts repeatedly sexually assaulted her. • They documented poltergeist activity and manifestations of entities. 35mm PHOTOGRAPH SHOWING REVERSE ARCS OVER THE SUBJECT’S HEAD THE ATLANTIC PARANORMAL SOCIETY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciHf4WXKY4E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSo_FWH3iz0 THE PARANORMAL MEDIA BLITZ Most Haunted Haunted History Ghost Hunters The Unexplained Psychic Detectives Haunted America Paranormal The Ghost Whisperer Talking With The Dead Medium Ghost Adventures Paranormal State MARX’S THEORY OF “REPRESSIVE POWER” • Power is rooted in economic relations. • Capitalists coerce workers through top down, visible and identifiable tactics. WEBER’S THEORY OF “POWER FOR POWER’S SAKE” • Economic and political power can be the consequence of power in other social realms. • For example: bureaucrats wield power even though they are not wealthy. • Bureaucracy is a primary force in the rationalization of society. • Power is valued for its own sake. • Or the “charismatic leader” is often concerned with power over wealth. FOUCAULT’S THEORY OF “PRODUCTIVE POWER” • Productive power “circulates in the social field and can attache to strategies of domination as well as…resistance.” This occurs because bodies and minds are disciplined, normalized, and placed under surveillance to participate. • Productive power is perpetuated through discourses that construct what comes to be regarded as “truths.” • DISCOURSES ARE: “…ways of constituting knowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity and power relations… Discourses are more than ways of thinking and producing meaning. They constitute the 'nature' of the body, unconscious and conscious mind and emotional life of the subjects they seek to govern.” • IDEOLOGIES: Systems of abstract ideas that foster social compliance with hegemonic norms. • Foucault asserts that discourses are interstitial with ideologies. • A way to think of the relationship between the two is that discourses are processes that produce and reinforce ideologies as reifying abstractions. INVISIBLIZED • This form of power is “productive” because it is a network that circulates amongst us and that we are disciplined to participate in. • Sources of repressions become INVISIBLE, elusive, and hard to identify. SURVEILLANCE • A strategy to maintain social compliance and order. • Practiced in many societies around the globe and throughout history. • The spirits of many religions are believed to be able to observe humans and monitor their behavior, generally at all times and in all places. • Generates tensions among the irrational, rational, and rationalization. THE PANOPTICON • Designed in 1781 by Jeremy Bentham to maximize prison efficiency. • A few guards can watch hundreds of inmates. • Because the prisoners never know when they are being watched they discipline themselves to comply with prison rules. ATM CAMERAS TRAFFIC CAMERAS STORE CAMERAS LAW ENFORCEMENT AND NEWS HELICOPTER SURVEILLANCE SURVEILLANCE IN LONDON DIGITAL SURVEILLANCE Much of the personal details of our individual lives are digitally stored and accessible to many unknown others: Education Health Credit Finances Spending habits Gambling habits Taxes DMV records Legal records Dating preferences As people feel a loss of control over their lives, and find it hard to identify who or what is responsible for that loss, are they turning to the paranormal for answers? Is the paranormal media blitz a way of TURNING THE CAMERAS ON THE ELUSIVE AND THE INVISIBLE? Are people turning to the paranormal for a more personalized and autonomous system of belief as an alternative to the rigid ideologies and authorities of world religions?