Sunday, June 30, 2013

Man-Beast Week: How Serial Killers Are Made

"He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man" 
Samuel Johnson (poet, writer)

We are only inches away from being more beast than man when we leave behind our social doctrines to commit murder and harm to others. So, why do some men become more beast than man?

It's easy to generalize about serial killers, but statistically they are from low to middle income families, white males and in their 20s to 30s. They also display 3 characteristics young in life that are warning signs; they torture animals, set fires and wet their beds. Many were physically and/or emotionally abused. They have a preoccupation with police and authority figures. They may have even tried to be come officers or security guards. 

The psychopathic nature of a serial killer shows that they do not know how to have relationships or to communicate, but have learned to mimic the process.  They appear to enjoy not only mimicking, but acting as if they are in their own play. They cannot separate fantasy play from reality, and in the case of Ted Bundy he announced "I am disguised as an attorney today." They especially like to imitate authority figures.

Although we know that a great deal of the population has suffered trauma, brain injury, chemical imbalances, and abuse, they are not serial killers. So, why are a select few? There is a dynamic that seems prevalent; that these men had bad family situations and did not have a male figure relationship that was good. They may have received little nurturing. It was found that in some Eastern European orphanages, babies that weren't held or comforted, became apathetic and antisocial/psychopathic, as many American families hoping to adopt them later learned. There is a window of opportunity to learn compassion and it begins as a baby.

Some doctors have discovered that there is a genetic aspect that cannot be neglected. In tests of inbreeding with violent mice, they produced violent offspring.  There is also a running theme of heavy alcohol use to relieve anxiety and depression.

How does this perfect storm form that creates someone capable of killing and torturing fellow man? My guess is enough time inside their own heads to form assumptions that are illogical and distorted, such as "people are in my way," or "everyone is weak but me," and being able to congregate all mankind into a refuse pile in one's mind. It's a bit like how hate crimes can occur with generalizations and seeing others as less than or unworthy.

We have had serial killers throughout history and they will continue on. If we are lucky enough to have a mental health system that catches the early warning signs as a child, we might prevent future scenarios. For now, man-beast exists in the form of Dahmer and Gacy, Bundy and Gein, and they are the things that nightmares are made of.

Man-Beast Week: Chimeras

Chimeras are said to be a creature made up of other creatures genetically manipulated so that it has some attributes of each beast incorporated. In the case of the Centaur, above, it is a man-horse combination.

Are such things possible?

Let's consider the Liger, a lion-tiger combination.

The combination of these two great cats creates an enormous and also sterile offspring, much like the mule that is a donkey-horse combo. These creatures are possible, but they are so similar genetically that there is no exceptional jump in appearance when incorporating the two aspects.

Mythology produced a great deal of man-beast combinations including bull-man, cat-man, jackal-man, bird-man and more. Interestingly, today many cryptids take on these same chimera combinations; Dogman, apeman, mothman, lizardman...

Is this an inherent legend in man that carries on even today? It might have more to do with spirituality and the concepts of taking on characteristics of animals to become more than just human or god-like. In Native American culture, there concept of shapeshifters and Wendigos include a magical ability to transform into man-beast combinations. As well, werewolves have been a popular subject for the concept of a man turning into a wolf and becoming something wild with the dexterity and knowledge to be a man.

Hindu, Egyptian, and many other ancient cultures incorporated man/beast into their gods. It's a very universal theme.  Here's just some:

Centaurs/man-horse combo
Anubis/jackal head
Pan/goat horns

Centaurs are the horse-man combo and, even though these creatures were associated with ancient mythology, even in present times, people are claiming to see them in the Southwestern United States. An amazing account is recited at my favorite blog, Phantoms and Monsters.

There are plenty of questions about ancient aliens and if there had been DNA manipulation in the past creating the sentient family of man utilizing some of the DNA from the ape family, then creatures such as Bigfoot, Dogman, Lizardman could also be simply remnants of shelved experiments. Are chimeras in our mythology representing a history we have forgotten? Perhaps that is the most intriguing aspects of these "abominations."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

How To Contribute To Paranormal Investigation In Many Ways

Anyone can contribute to the paranormal investigating field and you don’t have to be wandering around abandoned buildings with a team and equipment to do it.

My sister is a good example of ways you can help ghost hunting without having to be a field person.

My sister isn’t willing to buy any ghost hunting equipment and absolutely refuses to use a new-fangled computer, but she lives in an amazingly rich area of abandoned buildings and dramatic history in West Virginia. There are no local ghost hunting teams, so no one has scared off local businesses who have historic buildings. She would have a great pick for any place to hunt, but she’s going to forgo that avenue.

So, here’s some alternative options she (or you) could consider that in the end could even make her money:

A. If she loves cemeteries, she should volunteer to the cemetery association. They could give her a list of cemeteries that haven’t been documented yet. She could go to the cemeteries, write down the names and date of birth/death for each occupant and take photographs. This could help the cemetery association to build their records, as well as to put them online for genealogy buffs to find relatives. This is a perfect option for those who love cemeteries, love history, and love doing things that are neat and orderly and concise. It’s a way to volunteer in the field without having to run around in the middle of the night. You can also take a trash bag and clean up the cemetery, pick up overturned flowers for the graves and put them back in place, and also get some amazingly eerie photography, which is often sell-able on line. People are very fascinated with eerie sunsets and graveyards and the lonely starkness of an unattended grave. She could sell the photographs or keep them for a potential coffee table book. This is also a really helpful option for people who have suffered losses. It sometimes helps put things in perspective and comfort them to know that people still visit, still remember, and still miss loved ones just like they do.

B. If she loved history, loved stories of the past, and found it all quite romantic, she might consider working for the local historical society or she might consider being a researcher. Finding the true back stories to tragic deaths, battles, and murders is a way to compile information that can be helpful for the local ghost hunting group. She can let them know she has a library card and is ready and willing to learn about any site they’re trekking to. She could check with the registrar for the city to learn about the building or lot’s history and make a great relationship with those at the local library. In the end, this could become an intriguing book that you’ve compiled based on the true background of famous hauntings.

C. Should my sister be technically inclined, she could do a little research to come up with ways to modify her equipment or perhaps invent new testing equipment that isn’t out there in the field now. This has the potential to be sell-able online. Just look at how the KII meter took off. When I ordered mine, I was on a waiting list.

D. If she didn’t get bored easily, she might consider reviewing evidence. If she connected with a local group, they could allow her to have copies of the EVP and photographic evidence. She could sit and review this evidence for anything that might be missed. With expert software, she could be sought after to review such things.

E. If she were a spiritual seeker, she might consider learning about feng shui, crystals powers, incense, paganism, occultism, demonology, or many other possible avenues for ghost hunting. When a team needs someone for advice, she might be the one called on to come and feng shui the environment or give advice on how to cleanse a house.

F. If she were the literary type, she might make friends with ghost hunters in the hopes of writing a book about it, poetry about it, or art inspired by it.

The important thing to know is that, although you see Jason, Grant, and Steve in the forefront of ghost hunting in the field on “Ghost Hunters” show, there are many more people behind the scenes. People trying to contribute to the field and knowing their talents. When I hunt, I keep in mind that my skepticism, logical mind, psychic abilities, and my counseling skills make me better for certain situations. Had I not been in the field, I would pursue art inspired by graveyards and getting my horror novels done—finally. But, I enjoy all those things, so I get a little of each done and none exclusively. That might be the case for you, as well. Sometimes, just being a supporter of the arts by going to concerts and helping to finance them is more important than being the singer on the stage.

Where would one be without the other?

Hoia Baciu Forest: Romania

Rewatching the fantastically impressive season 3 opener of "Destination Truth," I decided to learn a bit more about the unique location in the woods of Western Romania in the Hoia Baciu Forest.

Anyone who's followed this blog knows about my findings on my haunted formula that included the importance of geology. I looked up the geology of that area--actually not all that easy. Apparently, Romania has laws against aerial maps. Whatever.

Still, I was able to find that gold and copper mining in this mountain range is extensive, loads of limestone and salt. When I think of gold, copper, and salt, I think of electrical conductivity. Hmm...

Going a bit further, I discovered that the copper mining had leached copper into the streams and there were huge issues with toxicity. On the show "Destination Truth" they probed for what sort of symptoms people exhibited in the haunted forest. They rattled off things like vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, skin rashes, and fatigue to name a few. Ironically, these are all copper toxicity symptoms. Had they done a 24-hour urine on the team member who was vomiting, it might have helped to rule in or rule out one possible issue with making people very uncomfortable there. They did check the soil for signs that things may not grow there, but those are very broad-parameters for imbalances. Checking copper levels in the soil might have helped, as well.

Could there be natural "earth lights" caused by high copper in the land? Could the electrically conductive ingredients of gold, copper, and salt make for some sort of spook lights? Could it be a potent enough mix to affect living things like the strangely gnarled trees and the feelings in human bodies? Interestingly, in Wisconsin there is a phenomenon of light called "The Paulding Light" near an old copper mining area. Could spook lights be a phenomenon found around other mining areas? If anyone finds a case of it, let me know.

Then again, if UFO's are truly tied to the area, could it have something to do with the earth concentration of such geological components? A sort of attraction or refueling station?

The more I learn about things, the more questions I have. Giving you all this that I've found, I'd love to get your input. You're quite a highly intelligent group of people and I think your observations will be very valid.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sex and the Single Ghost Hunter: Mr. Paranormal Geek

"What's your type?" A curious friend asked me.
"I need a guy with a sense of humor, one that can laugh at himself and at the ironic nature of the human experience, someone who is curious and seeking answers, open-minded, and into the paranormal. It'd be nice if he can marvel at the stars and also enjoy roadside carnivals, love skinny dipping and the outdoors."
"No," my friend shook her head vigorously, "you're type."
"That's my type."
She sighed. "What does he look like?"
"I don't know, whatever package houses that content."
She sighed wearily again. "Okay, what does he do for a living?"
"I don't know, whatever career he pursued." I'm frowning at this point, wondering what she wants from me.
"What does he drive?"
"Whatever gets him to work?" I hope for a right answer.
"You're a hopeless paranormal geek." She sighed and finally gave up figuring out my priorities in finding a mate.

Mr. Paranormal Geek is likely to curl up and watch the latest Bigfoot documentaries with me, as well as plan treks into the field to study. He's going to have to be a sensual and loving creature that enjoys petting and rainstorms, full moons and UFO watching. He'd have a dream of a cabin or a jeep, own a metal detector, and totally get it when I make a reference to Giorgio from "Ancient Aliens."

What I'm looking for, I tried to explain to my happily married friend is; whoever gets me in all my dorkiness, playfulness, curiosity and wonder.

Why Are Clowns So Horrifying? Some Robots So Unsettling?

My first circus, I was 4 years old. Not thrilled about the awful music, the smells or the huge elephants, but the minute the clown showed up and looked my way--I went running and screaming and no one could pull me back into the tent again!

Clowns are too happy, unnaturally happy. Their features are exaggerated and the human beneath can almost be discerned. His mouth is not as big as the one drawn on, his eyes are not as big as they are drawn on. We see an incongruity in what they pretend to be and what they are. There may be somewhere in our human DNA a bullshit button when it comes to genuine facial expressions.

How about the real-life John Wayne Gacy? The part-time clown/full-time serial killer?

Need anymore confirmation that clowns are evil? Check this out....

A friend dared me to add to my dark anthology erotica series a story about sex with a clown. I did it, and I think I managed to make it feasible and disturbing. It's sold as a single story in Coulrophilia (Love of Clowns) on Kindle and Nook.

What about robots? Why are the tin ones fine but the human-like ones so disturbing?

(Wikipedia) The "uncanny valley" hypothesis holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's life-likeness. This hypothesis was created by a robot-maker, Masahiro Mori.

Basically, it is the point at which a person observing the creature or object in question sees something that is nearly human, but just enough off-kilter to seem eerie or disquieting.

Have you ever seen a wax museum figure of say, Princess Di, but there’s something just a little bit off about the proportions of expression that makes it just wrong.

Have you seen those awful commercials where they use actors but the “cartoon” them up just slightly? Does it give you the shivers?

Ever see a video game where the animated characters are so human like, you have to study them closely to realize they aren’t and when you find that not-human aspect of them, they suddenly make you uncomfortable?

Ever seen a dog look at a stuffed dog and bark and get very upset, even though the doll is very dog-like?

Those are all examples of the uncanny valley.

Future development of robots might just depend on that brilliant theory. Just look at the two robots above? Would the one little guy be like having an adorable helpful pet? Would the other be like having a human without a soul nearby?

With the exception of lonely nerds wanting a dream girlfriend in their home, the sale-ability of near-human robots looks very iffy. Personally, I'd like to think of a robot as a helpful machine. I don't want it to be human-like. I don't want to make an emotional connection with it. I don't want to transfer my bonding I should have with a living breathing being to a mechanical creation. It would be like talking to my vacuum cleaner and expecting it to care about me in return.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

LAUGH: Fact Or Faked: Vicious Circle

This is a new twist on my LAUGH series poking loving fun at the paranormal shows. This one deals with a dilemma that FoF might just run into…

BEN: Team, we just got this awesome footage of a flying humanoid. I think we should pursue this case.

BILL: I agree!

JAEL: Definitely!

BEN: I say we take Austin and rig him up and make him ride a zip line and see if that might be our culprit. Everyone ready to set this up and film?

Sounds like a blast!

BEN: Well, team, I think we can say this might be explainable. Austin did an excellent job of showing us how it could be done.

BILL: Everyone, I have new footage of another flying humanoid I think we should pursue.

JAEL: (frowning) That looks strangely familiar.

BEN: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, Jael. These damn things all look like people on zip lines. When was it filmed?

BILL: Some guy shot in, actually in the same place you three went and experimented, same date too.

BEN: That’s weird. Maybe there’s an epidemic. We should probably investigate this.

PRODUCER: Guys, this is not worth investigating.

BEN: Why’s that?

PRODUCER: Because that’s footage of Austin on a zip line. The man who filmed it thought there was a real flying humanoid. In fact, many of the videos we’re receiving lately appear to be your own experiments. Check out this one.

BEN: That’s awesome! It’s one of those triangle UFOs that are so popular now.

JAEL: (frowns) I don’t know, guys. This looks really familiar.

PRODUCER: It might look familiar because it’s our helicopter experiment in the desert, remember? Someone saw it and thought it was a UFO. (shakes his head). We seem to be corrupting the videos that come to us to be investigated. In fact, I hate to admit it, but the last two UFO incidents you went to investigate were your own experiments.

BEN: (thinks a moment) Well, did we manage to debunk them?

PRODUCER: (throws up his hands and walks away)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

LAUGH: Finding Bigfoot In the Snow

I have a tendency to make loving fun at the shows I most enjoy. "F'ing Bigfoot" (as I like to refer to it) is my most beloved new show on TV.

In this episode, we find the team searching for BF in the icy mountainous terrain of Colorado in search of the popularly termed "Snowbeast."

Ranae: (Lifts her pack over her shoulders and hikes through the snow) Boys, if you are all done urinating your names into the fresh snow, could we please move on before nightfall?

(the men track in after her towards the treeline)

BoBo: So, I don't get it. Technically, if this is a Snowbeast, it should be white. That'd make it a Yeti, right? So, what's Yeti doing in Colorado? Does his coat change when he goes down in the off season to lower elevations. If he does that, wouldn't it make him like a mood ring? I once had this mood ring when I was a kid and the dang thing was always blue. Maybe he's related to a chameleon. You think that's possible, huh? Cause if it is, he might not be a hominid. He'd be like some kind of lizard man which reminds me of the lizard man in the Carolinas. Did you see what that SOB did to that person's SUV? I wonder if the insurance paid for that. What do you write when you make that claim, huh?

(Matt smacks him upside the head)

Ranae: This looks like a good place to set up.

Matt: I think this area looks ideal for setting up camp and some trap cameras in the periphery (points around them).

Ranae: (to Cliff) Didn't I just say that?

Matt, I think Ranae chose this location.

Matt: (forehead wrinkles) Are we letting viewers pick our spots now? Jesus! Do we want this to be like "Ghost Hunters" having on special guests from wrestlers to housewives to, heaven forbid, Meredith Vieira?

Cliff: No, Matt, Ranae is on our team--the girl. You know, the skeptic?

Matt: (shrugs his pack off his shoulders and sighs wearily) She's still with us?

Ah, I can hear you Cliff.

BoBo: Whatcha want me to do this time? Huh? Huh? (excitedly waves) Maybe I could stand in for the Snowbeast and you can see if I look like him. Maybe I could run across the field real fast and you could clock my speed. Remember that time it took me 50 takes to get just the way you wanted, Matt? You want me to be your pack horse again? I can carry all your heavy gear to prove the strength of the Bigfoot like that experiment you had me do on that 18-mile hike. Do you need me to be your car jack when you work on your truck again, Matt? Remember that time you left me in the meadow overnight when it was pouring rain and 40 degrees because you wanted to see if Bigfoot could stand the cold and the rain? I can't wait to see the experiment this time (claps his hands excitedly).

Cliff: BoBo, we were kind of thinking you might be a good lure for Snowbeast.

BoBo: (grins proudly) So, you want me to be bait, huh? So, what do I do? Beat on my chest and holler? (pounds on his chest and screams)

Matt: (comes over and shoves two snowshoes in BoBo's hand) You're going to wear these Bigfoot snowshoes and make impressions in the snow. Bigfoot surely is desperate to find more of his kind. You just walk your way through the forest and head on back here where we can be ready to snare him with my camouflage netting (points up to the trees where a net is suspended)

Cliff: Here, you should wear this Ghillie suit too (hands it to BoBo). It'll make you look more like a Bigfoot if he sees you.

(BoBo hoists the fluffy suit on and then the snowshoes)

Ranae: BoBo, I'm just go help you smell right. (Ranae holds her nose and sprays the Ghillie suit with a horrible stench)

BoBo: (gags) What is that?

Matt: It's my own special blend. I'm thinking of marketing it. It's the musk of a baboon mixed with orangutan dingleberries, the sweat of a fertile chimp and the spit of a gorilla. There's a subtle undernote of skunk and stinkbug juices. (inhales it deeply and sighs dreamily) Isn't it remarkable? It's like perfume of the gods! (dabs some behind his ear)

Ranae: (elbows Cliff) You get to ride shotgun on the way back.

Matt: So, BoBo, how good are you at sashaying?

BoBo: (forehead wrinkles) W-what?

Ranae: (chuckles) I think what Matt is trying to tell you is that, (she reaches into her backpack and pulls out two balled up pairs of socks and stuffs them inside BoBo's ghillie suit) You're going to be a girl Squatch.

BoBo: (frowns) I'm gonna be a g-girl squatch bait? (gulps)

Cliff: (checking the ghillie suit to be sure it's fastened) Now, you be sure and alter your Squatch call.

BoBo: Alter it?

Cliff: Yeah, buddy, (slaps him on the arm) Can you do a kind of Shania Twain scream?

Matt: I actually think a Christina Aguilar scream might be attractive to the beast.

Ranae: (under her breath, rolling her eyes) Attractive to the beast or you? (snorts) BoBo, just go out there and there and walk around, we'll film your footprints, look at you on the FLIR and shout that we see something in the trees, cut away to a commercial and before you know it, the show is cobbled together to look like a mythical beast was chasing you. (leans in and whispers to him) We all know this is a ridiculous endeavor, but my ass is cold. Let's get going, shall we? There's a hot latte at Starbuck's with my name on it! (slaps him on the back)

(BoBo stomps away in the snow as the last bits of light disappear and a moonless night begins. An hour goes by and the team stomps in place and hugs themselves to stay warm, occasionally hearing a pitiful wavering cry in the forest)

Cliff: Poor BoBo. He sounds like Carol Burnett doing the Tarzan call. Maybe we should call him in?

Matt: Wait! I'm getting a figure on the FLIR. It's walking upright! Oh holy hell! It's huge! Get ready, Cliff. Go to the net, be ready to drop it. That beast is almost here. Three. Two. One. Drop the net!

Cliff: (pulls the cord and drops the net) Wow! I can see something struggling. (turns on his flashlight and hovers over the struggling figure in the netting)

Ranae: Well, I'll be! That thing is hairy, big and smelly. Just like people have been reporting. I'm feeling pretty stupid about now. Obviously, this creature did exist.

Matt: (turns to film crew) Put that on record. The female skeptic admitted Bigfoot exists!

Cliff: Ah, Matt, it appears we've caught BoBo (pulls at one of the snowshoes through the netting).

(an hour later, the team is driving off in their truck down a snowy back road)

Ranae: This heater feels soooooo good.

Cliff: Hey, you think BoBo might like an apple?

Matt: I don't know, why don't you find out?

Cliff: (rolls down the window, BoBo jogging alongside the truck in the Ghillie suit and snowshoes, breathing hard)

BoBo: S-ure. So, I'm just gonna run alongside the truck back to the hotel, huh? See if Bigfoot could keep up with a car. G-great experiment. Th-that Matt is one s-smart guy!

(Cliff hands him the apple, rolls up the window and Matt turns up the heater)

Mental Hygiene

Mental hygiene. It's critically important to healthy and rational emotions. We make assumptions that chemistry causes emotions, but chemistry is altered in the brain by our thoughts. Emotions are created by our thoughts. So, let's start with the source of chemical shifts. Thoughts.

If we cross a bridge and think the entire time "It's going to break, I'm going to drown," we will send out the chemical release of adrenalin.

I have been actively in the field of anxiety disorders for over 20 years sponsoring folks as they recover. The tools I have shared with them changed my entire life. I now know what extremes of emotions are created by cognitive distorting thoughts. I will share with you now, the handout I give to people when they tell me they are having issues. I honestly wish this was taught in school. It would change the world and so many human issues.

Mental Hygiene
(They Don’t Teach You This In School, Why?)

4 people get a flat tire.
There are 4 different emotional reactions to the event:

One man thinks, “I get to use my new pneumatic jack,” and he’s excited.
One man thinks, “My boss is going to be mad I’m late,” and he’s anxious.
One man thinks, “This always happens to me,” and he gets angry.
One man thinks, “This is a bad part of town,” and he is afraid.

Basic tenant of mental hygiene

You cannot have an emotion without first having a thought that is either illogical (creating out of proportion emotions) or logical (creating an appropriate emotional reaction).

Suggested reading:
A New Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis, Robert Harper and Melvin Powers.

The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns, M.D. (I used this one as the guide book for my anxiety self-help group-well written, great exercises and ways to measure depression and anxiety).

Extremes of all emotions; anxiety, panic, depression and anger are all the result of distorted interpretation of the world and very illogical self explanatory style.

I work in the paranormal investigation realm and I can tell you that 10 investigators will have 10 different reactions to noises and shadows in their environment. Anyone who has run from a building that was supposedly haunted had an inner dialogue that included, “this can hurt me, possess me, wants to get me!” Hence, the reaction to run, which is the action that suits that inner dialogue.  We are built to evaluate a situation, determine danger and act upon it. But was there a real danger from a slamming door? Had this person said to himself, “is there an open window that caused the door to slam?” he would have gone to check and the reaction would have been a logical thought, logical emotion and logical action.

The sequence goes like this –

First, an event happens
Then, a thought about the event
Then, a resulting emotion
Followed by an action

It could go like this –
The clerk at the store doesn’t give you the usual happy greeting
You think, “she’s mad at me”
You feel sad, guilty
You avoid her line at the checkout stand the next time
Close your eyes. Imagine a lemon tree with dark green waxy leaves. Pick a lemon, hold its shape in your hand, feel the bumpy surface, the waxy peel, raise it to your nose and mouth, and take a bite into it. The burst of saliva in your mouth is the result of a thought-not a reality. This is the power of the mind. It prepares the body, whether there is true threat or not.

Simple exercise for fast perspective:
Sit down and on a piece of paper write 10 negative things you assume about yourself and leave space between these entries to write between them. These may be things you’ve assumed, people have intimidated or told you; either parents, friends, coworkers, bosses, or others, or ones you have adopted and believe without knowing why you came to these conclusions.

We are going to put your assumptions on trial and give evidence against them.

For example “I am lazy
Now, write after that all the things in your life that disprove that assumption, eg., “I do my laundry, clean the apartment, go to work every day, workout three times a week, take on charity work…” When you have filled up all the examples of why that statement is not true, now change that statement to be more accurate, “I have lots of initiative on projects of importance.”

Go through all 10 statements and give evidence against them and rewrite the TRUTH about you.

Cognitive Distortions
(your roadblocks to healthy appropriate emotions and actions).

Any time you thought about taking someone down, you likely had thoughts circulating in your head like, “how dare he do that to me!” “He’s a jerk and needs to be stopped!” or “he just wanted to hurt me.” These kinds of thoughts create extreme anger, but they are not necessarily logical thoughts or emotions. The assumption that someone should take us into consideration, do things the way that is “right” or jumping to conclusions about their motivations are cognitive distortions that lead to extreme emotions. The same goes for depression, believing “I am worthless” is a sure cognitive distortion to lead to self-destructive obsession.

Cognitive distortions include things like black and white/all-or-nothing thinking, minimizing the positive, jumping to conclusions, and many more. In the books mentioned in the reading list, you will find the list of all the kinds of ways we can cognitively distort things.

Example of taking our thoughts too seriously:

I remember one time when I was in the thick of panic attacks, I went to wash my hair after my workout. I looked down into the bathtub and saw a ton of hair. My first thought was, “why is my hair falling out? Am I sick? Do I have some kind of cancer?” (jumping to conclusions) I rushed in my mind to remember every health issue I’d had lately to determine what kind of cancer I had. By the time I left the shower, I was feeling weak and frail, gripped the counter, and looked at my face in the mirror, searching for signs of gauntness. I then looked down and found my hair scrunchie, tied up with tons of hair. I had ripped it out to take a quick shower, and it had taken my hair with it. In the matter of minutes, I went from fear of dying to relief. But, it was in those moments of thinking I might be dying that I gave my own thoughts so much credibility, I accepted them as fact without all the evidence.

We tend to think that because we had a thought and we are quick-minded intelligent people, that our conclusions are valid. This is why, putting all your thoughts that cause excessive emotions on trial and proving them wrong is critical to mental health. You must get all the information and not act on a thought. Remember: The thought of the lemon had you salivating and it wasn’t real.

Mental hygiene for kids

When my son was little, I played a game with him. We would be out places and see someone do something weird like yell at someone or dance across a store. I would say “why did he do that?” and my son would give an explanation. Then, I would give one, then he would give one, and we’d do this until we ran out of possibilities. The lesson here was that, we may never know why people do things and it is their own issue, not our own. Remember, they have that internal dialogue that makes them mad, sad, or anxious too!

Mental hygiene in daily situations

Joy hates her job. She hates her coworkers. She dreads Mondays. She thinks everyone hates her. They all seem to have cliques and go to lunch together. No one asks her out. It all began with Joy joined the new team at work and everyone knew each other, but her. She said to herself, “I’m an outsider, they won’t accept me.” And this made her feel sad. Then, it made her act on that feeling by withdrawing into her cubicle where she assumed there was no place for her and kept busy to avoid the loneliness. Her coworkers saw a woman with her nose to the grindstone and didn’t ask her to lunches because she already had her food spread out on her desk and ate through her lunch hour while working.

Joy’s thoughts created an emotion and she acted upon that emotion and the world then reacted to that action.

Had Joy joined the new team and opened up about her background and interests and how long she had been with the company, she would have felt relief that they understood her and they would have reacted by inviting her out to lunch to get to know her more. She might have thought, “I am excited to be meeting a new group of future friends and coworkers” and she would have smiled, been warm, and open to their approaches, excepting to make friends with them.

Obsession can disguise other issues

        I had a friend who was dating a guy who would ignore her on weekends. She couldn’t get a hold of him; he couldn’t go out and do anything. It was driving her nuts, but instead of letting her mind wander down the path of things she didn’t want to think about, like issues in the relationship, she focused instead on a bruise on her skin. That bruise, she wondered, was unusual for her. She asked herself, “am I sick?” She then preoccupied with other ailments she imagined she had, like diarrhea and tiredness. She was certain it was a sign of a dreaded disease. She went from doctor to doctor, read online reports of people with symptoms, and fussed and fretted over her “ailment” when the entire time it was a way to focus on something “real” she could “deal with” rather than the issue that was uncomfortable and one she didn’t want an answer to, like, “is he married?” 
        These obsessions can become OCD-like control of environment, control of body, fixation on a new hobby, spending, sex, alcohol, drugs, anything that can consume the mind from the REAL issue.

Some people take to drinking or doing drugs to avoid things they don’t’ want to deal with and end up with a secondary problem –addiction. For people with anxiety, it tends to be things like hypochondria.  Obsessing on one thing is a way of avoid other things. It’s often good to pull your head up and look around. What are you trying not to deal with by making something else the hot priority?

Where are you now?

Make a list of the things that are in the background of your life right now that upset you. For example:

My mother keeps criticizing my parenting.  (What do you tell yourself about this? “My mother doesn’t approve of anything I do.” That is a cognitive distortion. You are taking one incident and making it represent everything. You went from criticizing parenting, to criticizing your entire life. Become more logical. Rephrase: “My mother wants me to be the best parent I can be and she worries I will do things wrong that she did.”)

I am behind on my bills. (What do you tell yourself about this? “I don’t do anything right.” Generalizing – you have one arena you are not up to date on, but that does not mean that in all arenas you are woefully behind. Rephrase: “I would like to be as good at paying bills as I am about cleaning the house.”)

It’s important to often sit down with paper and pen or computer and word program and list the ongoing issues in your life and figure out what kind of fearful or angry things you are telling yourself about these events and then rephrase to something more realistic and logical. We often focus on what we don’t want and not what we do want. It’s important to visualize what we see unfolding in a clear and positive manner so we can open the way for it to happen. I highly suggest the documentary “The Secret.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Paranormal Geeks Radio Tonight - Jen Devillier!

Tonight on Paranormal Geeks Radio (9 pm EST/8 pm Central/6 pm Pacific) the special guest is Jen Devillier, psychic medium, paranormal investigator, and author.

This is going to be another very interesting show. I'll be there listening, hope you will too!

Developing Your Psychic Self

This post is a combination of the four main types of fledgling psychics and how to know which one you might be. With practice and focus, one can go from fledgling to full-fledged. That is one of the books I’m working on right now and I hope to shed more light onto this for everyone. For now, look over these types, see if you identify.

“Soul Seer"

They tend to be serendipitous. They end up in the right place and the right time—even if it’s something dramatic like walking past a burning building or standing next to a person about to faint.

They get gut instincts about people but can’t tell you why they feel that way. They just either trust them implicitly or don’t. They sense a person is important in their life but they don’t know why, so they pursue a friendship even if the other person is reticent.

They listen closely for words that ring true and focus on that. If someone tells them a story, certain words, phrases and ways they tell the story makes that soul seer’s senses sharpen and they feel an immediate connection. They are fantastic listeners.

They may have had one or several incidents in which they were with someone upon passing and may have had a visitation afterwards.

They tend to see dark shapes and figures when others aren’t looking in the right direction at the right time, but something inside of them has them looking up at just the right moment, or sensing something and turning to see it.

So, what does one do if he/she is a soul seer? A soul seer has the potential to be more like a ghost whisperer type of psychic, someone who can communicate with those who have crossed over. They not only have the potential so see a soul when others miss it, but also to have the soul want to present itself to them because they can discern their presence. A practicing psychic with this ability would be called a “medium.”

Knowing that one is susceptible to being a soul seer can make his life much better. It’s not some weird dark secret or some crazy madness or perhaps just horrible luck. They are meant to witness things and help people ease with transition. It’s a good thing, although it often comes with bad moments, like happening upon accidents or knowing ahead of time that someone is going to pass on.

On a daily practical basis that “gut” instinct they have about people is a fantastic talent. It can even goad them on to spend more time with someone before they pass on early, or know who to connect their soul with who is worthy of the treasure. If they fight those instincts, they are likely to have constant anxiety and fearfulness and startle reactions.

So, I suggest those with this tendency just go with the flow and let their gut make decisions when dealing with other humans. Let their minds make decisions when dealing with details like finances and choosing a car.

"Tomorrow Tumblers"

They get an invite to an event and feel a sudden dread. They will go to any lengths not to go, even though it is something they would normally love to go to. They are driving home from work and suddenly decide to take surface streets for no “apparent” reason.

The phone rings and they know who it is, they think about someone and they get an email out of the blue from her, they finish people’s sentences and shock them that they knew what was about to be said.

They tend to dream about bad events; earthquakes, plane crashes, tidal waves, hurricanes and then they happen in the near future. They tend to experience déjà vu fairly often and while in déjà vu, know what they are supposed to do next to fulfill a pre-destiny.

They know who is next to die in their family. If someone asks them “guess what happened today?” they answer it right.

What do these folks have? Precognition—the ability to have foreknowledge of future events. The fledgling form they have would be called “women’s intuition” or “déjà vu,” but the fact is that they often avoid calamities by leaving the party earlier than the others before the cops came or deciding against the vacation in Chile and then Chile has an earthquake. They seem like a lot of near-misses, but actually they are signs of listening to that intuitive voice within.

It’s not for the person with this fledgling psychic ability to explain why they “get a bad feeling” about something. Just know that they are damned good friends to have when you’re planning to take a flight. Consult them first.

"Tactile Tuners"

They often times need to touch a person on the arm or shoulder when speaking to them or they feel they have not connected. If a child acts up, they feel that yelling back isn’t going to work as well as putting a steady hand on the child to soothe him.

Without realizing it, in stores with used items like antiques and thrift finds, they touch the objects to decide if they like them rather than just looking at them. Sometimes in the grocery store or other shop, they pick up an item, set it back down and pick up another similar one without realizing why they put the first one back.

Personal space is important to them and when people encroach and get too close, they feel themselves tightening up inside. Being in crowds where they bump up against others they might feel hysteria rising.

Often times, when just sitting around, they will hold an object and switch it from hand to hand, squeeze it, toss it in the air, mess with it without realizing they are doing this.

What I can tell you about tactile tuners is that they are budding psychometrists and healers. They come in two types; senders and receivers. Senders can heal people and also are good at passing information on, such as holding an object and leaving an imprint that affects others who touch it. Receivers are good at getting the information from the object through psychometry.

If you know yourself to be tactile and to get much information from touching objects and people and maybe called it “weird vibes” or “good vibes,” then you are a fledgling. Some things to consider if you have this is to be careful what you bring home that is used from antiques to Goodwill finds to things your friends pawned off on you. Let them pass the touch test first. If you ever find yourself unexplainably uncomfortable in a chair in a large lecture hall, switch chairs. The last person who sat there might have left an imprint. When you know this about yourself, you can understand why you sometimes out-of-the-blue feel weirded out when making contact with an object, a person or a place.

"Creature Comforters"

They love the outdoors and feel more at home there than indoors. The seasons don’t discourage them and as children, they likely would have laid on the floor with the sunlight pouring down on them on a cold winter day and dream of being outside.

There is a natural love of animals but to the point of seeing them as family members and talking to them. As a child, the family dog was likely to be the very best friend of all.

When meeting people in their home, they are more distracted by the pets, wanting to greet each one and get a feel for them by touching. No matter where they go, animals seem to follow them silently as if they are a pied piper. Even the most timid pets come to seek them out.

Sometimes, it seems as if the animal knows what they are saying to them. They are often mesmerized by the talented human. Just a hand to the creature and it seems to calm its restlessness or pain. Subtle changes in the animal do not go unnoticed by this type of psychic. They are acutely attuned to the normal patterns, behaviors and expressions.

Lots of people love animals, but only some can communicate with them. They don’t just love animals, animals love them back in a noticeably unusual way. As these people walk by, dogs on leashes may even pull to get to them and act very excited, the owner telling them that they have never seen their pet get so excited by a stranger.

Pet psychics are actually a legitimate type of psychic. There is as much difference between a true pet psychic and a dog whisperer (trainer) as there is between a psychic and a mentalist. One has true PSI capabilities and the other is trained to appear so.

If you have these features, you can sometimes have the problem with putting animals before people. You also can become consumed with rescue and overwhelmed by the death of a pet. You can’t avoid involvement with animals, as it is your calling, but you can also know that the time you were in the pet’s life, you made the interaction with humans seamless. You can’t ask for more than to be a wonderful interpreter.

I suggest daily testing online to learn how you feel in your mind and body when you make the right choices - try this great site.  You might see me on there - I'm autumnforest.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I love "Ghost Adventures" and it's really about what Zak is up to next. I love the locations and I always end up chuckling at his antics. Here's some of my favorite lines from episodes:

"I'm standing here with wax figures, some of whom are dead now." (Madam Tussad's Wax Museum in Vegas)

Ah, Zak, lambie, ALL of the wax figures are dead, dear.

"I'm gonna set it right here in between my legs because that's where I hear the incubus likes it best." (Rams Inn, England)

Ah, Zak sugar foot, the incubus (male ghost looking for sex) appreciates your accommodating his needs, dear.

"We hear you don't like people in here renovating this place...Why am I being like this to you? Because I don't like bullies! (The Riddle House)

I'm sorry to hear that, Zak, honey. Then, I suppose you're really hating on yourself about now, huh?

"I know what you did to that big guy earlier and I want you to do it to me...You wanna grab my ankles, go ahead!" (Wolfe Manor)

Oh, Twiddlebug, that's what you say to all dates in their apartments.

"This is a guard key...I'm to go open up all the doors and hopefully they will come out and try to kill the guards." (Eastern State Penn)

Zak, sweetums, the invisible ghosties aren't really locked in cells and there are no guards, dear. The prison is closed and has been for some time.

"If this is the portal of hell, why don't you come up out of the ground and get us?" (Bobby Mackeys)

Sweet cheeks, that's a well you're talking to. It leads to water. Satan has a bigger and more fiery entrance to his domain.

Ghost Hunting With Only the Human Tool

Admittedly, my ghost hunting kit includes everything from camcorder and digital camera to voice recorder, EMF meter, KII meter, pendulum, dowsing rods, thermometer, and other strange and unusual items. Still, I could put it all away and ghost hunt without tools. In fact, I really enjoy when I do that. I learn more those hours than hours of yanking out tool after tool and chasing things around a site to “capture it.”

Women know this one. When you chase men, you can’t find a good one. The moment you’re in a happy relationship, men start to come to you. Well, ghosts are kinda the same way…
Ghost hunt without tools? How do you get evidence? Any film I record, any EVPs I capture, and photos I take, any video with shadows moving can all be disputed as explainable or hoaxes. So, what is truly the use of trying to gather proof? To prove to whom? If you want to prove to yourself—you go without the equipment. Just you and a flashlight and other team members who can be patient and sync themselves into an environment and notice subtle changes.

Everyone should go on a ghost hunt without tools at least once. You need to have the chance to become one with an environment without a task. It’s truly a zen-like experience. We are a task-oriented society. We think that we should be on the cell phone while driving, on the computer while watching TV and watching TV while eating supper. We are so out of touch with our own senses and instincts that should we ghost hunt while juggling lots of tools, we will surely miss everything and be completely unreliable at noticing when things do happen. In fact, the best things I’ve ever come across, I had no camera at hand, no tool in my palm, wasn’t measuring a blasted thing. I was simply sitting there in the dark, long hours in the same place, letting it get used to me. Letting me get used to its habits.

Our six senses are still our best tools. There is nothing that makes your vision more acute than sitting the dark, nothing that makes your hearing more sharp than when you’re in a quiet resting building, and nothing that makes your skin more sensitive to temperature changes than no air-conditioning or heating or open windows. Your body gives you lots of signals that can make you a wonderful ghost hunting tool.

The most common sensations people report:

Thick heavy air
Off balance
Scalp tingling
Sudden anger/sadness/rage/doom

There are a huge variety of theories and also “old world” ways of explaining why we feel these sensations. Some will tell you the air gets cold because ghosts suck the energy out of the environment and leave behind cold. Hmm… I must have missed that day in science class. There are lots of explanations for the air feeling “thick or heavy” and feeling off balance and lightheaded and headachy, but my first instinct is a change in barometric pressure. Some will say it’s EMF changes, but honestly we live in a world chock full of high EMF levels from our computer screen to our big-screen TV to our alarm clock and we’re not freaking out around that. We have a very high threshold. Goosebumps and chills thrill me the most when they happen out of the blue. If you hear something and then get them, it could be an instinctive reaction to hearing something unseen, but if you get a piloerection (goosebumps) with no instigation, something truly has gotten near. The sudden onset of emotion that makes no sense in the situation, such as walking through a room and stop in the corner and feel overwhelming depression and hopelessness can be accredited to your sixth sense. Yes, we all absolutely have that sense, it's only at times like this that you take note of it.

People ask me often times, how do I find the ghosts? Well, I’ll give you a little tip. Have you ever walked through your house and forgotten why you went into a room—what you were supposed to get? You stand there and have a sense of reflecting back to where you were, what you were thinking, and what this room was supposed to hold within it. If you walk through a supposedly haunted location and you suddenly stop and feel sort of lost as if you didn’t know what you were about to do—you just found the hot spot. You'll know because your mind will start sifting as if you're trying to lock onto a thought-that's a psychic moment.

If you don’t have access to a haunted place but want to get in touch with those senses, turn out the lights, turn off the devices, and be alone in your home for a good 3 hours at least. It’s a hard task, you learn a lot about yourself, but you also learn to pick up clues from the environment. This is really critical for ghost hunting. You have to be okay with being alone, being bored, sitting there, waiting, listening, with nothing to do. If you still want to ghost hunt and you’re okay with your body and your thoughts without distraction, you’ll be an excellent ghost hunter. And, after sitting there so long, you'll be a good debunker, as well. You will definitely see faint things and hear lots of sounds.

Everyone's barometer is different too. My head feels pressure when I'm likely to get an EVP. I get goosebumps when physical contact is about to occur. But, for another person, those signals may signify different activity. It's kind of like how some people giggle when nervous and others get very quiet. We all have different ways our bodies cope with the unseen. Over time, you will begin to note, "every time a noise is about to happen, I get a feeling of being watched." Eventually, you will be the best tool in the entire arsenal.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blobsquatch Ratings?

Tornados have Fujita Scale to determine the wind speeds based on ground damage.
Paranormal investigators use EVPs classes to discern the quality of their audio recordings.

So how do we rank the blobsquatches as they dance across our computer screens?

Here’s my suggested rating scale:

Picasso:  These are the ones that are found in the shapes of shadows and leaves in the forest. If someone hands you a photo and says, “...see, it’s to the right of that tree stump, see the eyes up here and the outline of the head and the right side of the neck and an arm down here? What? Are you blind, you can't see that!” (taps on the picture repeatedly) and all you see is sumac and honey locust, then this is in the eyes of the beholder.  In EVP terms, this is a class D. It's a sound, but not language.

Carole King:  Called this because it's " far away."  Damn, why does that Bigfoot have to steer clear of humans? Zoom in until its pixelated, you'll see a black mass. "Yup, aha, that's the son-of-a-bitch, buddy. Right thar. Squint your eyes, son, you'll see it." In EVPs, this would be a class C or something that has to be so enhanced to try and make it out, that it's lost its true content.

Michael Jackson:  These blobsquatches are seen only in partial form, a hand, a half a head, a shoulder or behind.  Somehow, they manage to remain cloaked in every shot.  "He's paparazzi shy, dude. He's totally going Predator here, thinks I couldn't see him, but I caught him. Part of him, that is..."  In EVP ratings, this is a class B. It's something, but everyone sees something different. One of us sees a bear, another a tree stump, and the dude above - a squatch-totally, dude.

Frankie Valli:  Called this because they are "...just too good to be true." Full frontal and in your face.  The Patterson-Gimlin film is one of only a few who are impossible to discern if they are real or not because the details are compelling and the capture so complete.  In EVP ratings, this is a class A. Everyone sees the same thing.

- Separate rankings are required for the best hoaxes –

Wal-Mart:  Uncle Harry wore this too many Halloweens to scare the neighbor kids. The quality of ape suit is crude and color too uniform and black.

Spirit Halloween:  This suit is more stylized and the fur, although uniform in color, has a better more realistic sheen and color.

Tent-Shot Special:  This one was a top end and may have some backers with bucks to purchase. The face is even photographable, leaving the viewer wondering if it’s the real thing.


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