My personal belief is that the paranormal should be fun. Whether you are ghost hunting with your friends in a cemetery, applying real scientific method to your field investigations, or just trying to promote critical thinking within the community; at the end of the day you should be having fun. But when I read stories like the one I am about to share with you, I just don’t see the fun in it.
Christopher Moon is paranormal researcher, speaker, and the Founder of Haunted Times Magazine. He is also, in my personal opinion, a paranormal pickpocket – a guy who preys on the fear and gullibility of folks who want to believe the dead are not truly gone, and then relieves them of their
|…and a long-haired hippie freak|
I realize those are strong words. But I write them because Moon perpetuates the idea that the amply discredited “Frank’s Box” or “ghost box” is a “Telephone to the Dead.” Explaining that his broken radio is actually a real-time spirit communication device, Moon charges $120 for just 20 minutes of use. Only, you don’t get to use it, and Chris himself tells you what the ghosts are saying. Yeah.
As is the case with many proponents of “ghost box” technology, Moon uses famed inventor Thomas Edison as his inspiration, saying he was designing such a device, but died before he could finish it. Back in 1921, Edison famously told a reporter that, if our personality survives death, and could affect matter, “we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something.” Of course, Edison was known to enjoy pranking reporters. And the fact that no partially completed device, or schematics thereof has ever been found, it is a certainty that this was just such an occasion. In fact, a disclaimer on the Edison National Historic Site reports that, later, Edison admitted making the whole thing up (Stollznow/Skeptic Vol. 16 No. 1).
Oddly, Chris Moon actually says he knows Edison. They’ve never met face to face, of course, and Moon doesn’t mean he feels like he knows him through history books he has read. No, he says that not only does he known him personally, but that Edison “leads the team of spirit scientists that I do research with and for in the three dimensional world.” I wish I was making this up. But, it’s true. And it’s hilarious.
What is not hilarious is what happened recently at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where Mr. Moon held an event aimed at suckering the bereaved. I’ll let you read the article for yourself, because quite honestly, it would make me too angry to recount the details after having read them myself. But by the end, you’ll see that he convinces two young women who had experienced the loss of a loved one that they had actually “spoken” with them.
Something you should keep in mind while reading is that the “ghost box” never seems to give anyone any information Moon doesn’t already have. It doesn’t tell them a personal nickname, or where the deceased left her diary. It just states the obvious, like that someone is “blaming herself and holding guilt.” It also does a pretty good job of telling the bereaved what they want to hear, such as, “We are at home. Safe.”
You’ll also see that the family of the deceased say they recognized he “voice” that came through the box. Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. It is my belief that, because they were so eager to hear their loved one’s voice, they were priming the auditory portion of their brains to do so. This is a form of what skeptic Michael Shermer calls, “patternicity.”
It’s difficult. On the one hand, the two young women obviously felt relief after their experience. But on the other, they had to be lied to in order to feel that way.
Folks, this isn’t just a white lie, like allowing your small child to believe in the whimsical stories of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Or when you tell them their daddy will never die when they ask about death. In those cases, your child grows up, and they eventually learn the truth. Most importantly, no one gets hurt. But being paid to deceive people in pain, for the purposes of profit, is simply sinful, and should not be tolerated.
If I had my way, Christopher Moon, and the other paranormal pickpockets of his ilk, would be behind bars.