Read Barry Taff’s Latest Post on Unreality TV

Dr. Barry Taff has been a friend for several years, and a colleague for longer. Like myself, he’s been on numerous television shows, some which turned out good and others which missed the point (or even took a wrong turn in the way methodologies, theories & models, and actual investigations have been represented).

He’s just posted a blog that everyone who follows “reality” TV in general, and paranormal “reality” TV specifically needs to read.

In support of Dr. Taff’s content here, let me add that if you find it at all hard to believe that many TV production companies are using release forms including not only restrictive clauses (non-disclosures that prevent any discussion of the show) but statements that the person signing “understands” that he/she might be misrepresented, slandered/libeled, humiliated, etc. — even on purpose, this is absolutely accurate. I’ve received several such releases over the last few years. I did not sign them unless they were significantly altered (and a couple I have not signed at all). I did, however, share them with my attorney, my uncle (who has been a TV director and on the Board of the Directors’ Guild), and others connected to the industry who were appalled by the wording.

You might also read my older blog



Truly interested in the paranormal?

There are many legitimate sources of information and research on psychic phenomena and experiences (a.k.a. the Paranormal). Investigation and research has been going on since the 1800s, but unfortunately there are too many bad / inaccurate or plain false sources (both for and against the existence of things paranormal).

For the truly curious, for those with a real interest in psychic/paranormal experiences and phenomena, there are indeed easy to find resources of a more scientific nature (and none of the TV shows fall into this group, by the way).

Unfortunately, the funding for legitimate research and investigation is underwhelming, and many legitimate organizations rely on membership and/or donations to be able to conduct research and more importantly, to continue to be free resources to the public. But they also rely on word of mouth (and word-of-internet) to spread the word of their existence and services (again, may of which are free).

The Rhine Research Center, such a major part of the US history of Parapsychology and studies of the Paranormal, is one organization that deserves the support of everyone interested in the paranormal and related psychic (and non-psychic) subjects.

The Rhine Research Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is primarily funded through memberships and donations. Please consider becoming a member of the Rhine Research Center or making a donation at All donations are tax deductible and will be used to perform research, to sponsor events and other educational opportunities, and to support the daily operations of the center.

There are wonderful personal benefits to becoming a member. Joining the Rhine as a member gets you access to a vast library of video and more. Becoming a Rhine Sustainer shows you truly support legitimate inquiries into this mainstream-controversial subject (and again, there’s that tax donation).

Now for the language that is sure to rub people the wrong way (and if it does, perhaps a little self-examination is in order).

You can’t say you’re a serious “paranormal investigator” or “ghost hunter” if you don’t support the kind of work — and the historical importance — of organizations like the Rhine Research Center.

As it is, I’ve met or heard from people who profess being “serious” or “professional” or “scientific” in this area, and at the same time have never heard of the Rhine Research Center, it’s predecessor the Institute for Parapsychology, or even the man who the place is named after, the late Dr. J. B. Rhine. Many cannot connect the dots between paranormal investigation/ghost hunting and Parapsychology (the former is what field investigators in Parapsychology/Psychical Research have been doing since the 1800s).

Many such people, some even acting as “experts,” are making plenty of $$ by speaking at paranormal conferences, and may ask for your monetary support for haunted places (which themselves charge people to conduct “investigations”), while totally missing the organizations and foundations that do real research and provide free informational/educational and other services to the public.

So, if my statement above raises your hackles, tough.

If it makes you rethink using such labels, and look into what you don’t know, that’s exactly why I made it. The serious people recognize they don’t know everything (and even recognize what they don’t know). They seek out more and more (beyond the TV shows, please!!).

Finally, I want to explain the use of the phrase “support the kind of work” …

This includes spreading the word about actual parapsychological work, whether at the Rhine or elsewhere. It includes simply taking time to educate yourself (yes, learning IS a form of support).

I’ve heard pleas from many people to “save” this historic (haunted) site or that one. But how about some love for those representing the actual scientific research?

Join or donate. Spread the word or simply learn something from them.

But go to Now!