I think it’s really sad that paranormal conventions are filled with so many attention seeking individuals set on making a buck or scoring a part on the next big “reality show”. Some ride the tails of their past having appeared on a television shows or written a book or even participated in some well-known (and well-hyped ) investigation, and so they sell t-shirts and posters of themselves and sign autographs reveling in whatever self- celebrity they can muster. It reminds me of the Hollywood drugstore eateries of the 40’s where the hopeful and would-be actors sit around waiting to be discovered. Sadly these people who may or may not have been great researchers at one time have resolved to make the research that drove them into this field secondary to their own popularity. Imagine if your doctor had a gift shop?
Many have stubborn and often illogical opinions of the field they “research” and open minds are often scarce among this crew and that too is sad. I’ve been to many conventions and I have seen some genuine research teams with incredible knowledge to offer sit in the shadows of tired old (and mediocre new) investigators telling their same old stories. I’ve seen these self-proclaimed experts dismiss evidence without even examining it, I’ve seen them steal experiences from haunting victims they meet to pad their own repertoire in other states, and I’ve personally witnessed several “pros” purposefully committing fraud in the name of their celebrity future and popularity and it makes me sick seeing future researchers, and an unsuspecting public eating this crap up. To me these conventions would serve a much more useful purpose if they were driven not on a celebrity hunt, but on education. If the only people allowed presenting were people with a factual and traceable history to the knowledge they acquired , instead of anecdotal evidence and experience that they hand-picked at the last convention or from someone else’s book or television show.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen people teaching some of the techniques they saw on television, techniques that ( I know from being there ) were “created” by the television network! It’s so sad. It seems so many teams have been given a wrong view point as to what real research is. True education involving history, case studies, correlations and trends combined with an open mind are what’s needed to make discoveries. So if you go to a convention, and you’re watching some legendary expert make extraordinary claims and pass them off as fact do yourself a favor and ask them to show their work. Ask them to show how they arrived at that answer or know that what they’re saying is true. Any researcher worth his salt would be more than happy too. The others will skate around the answer. Remember if you truly want answers, the “experience” is the beginning of the story, not the end.