Ghostbusting has always been a big business.
Let’s define it for a second. In this context I refer to the notion that people believe in intelligent beings that are not human or were human that either possess other humans or interfere in the way we live in some way.
There has been a proliferation of “Ghost Hunter” stuff on our TV. It does make for compelling viewing.
After all? Who here hasn’t walked down an empty street and felt watched. Who here hasn’t felt the fear of the dark. Who here has watched a horror movie and been completely fearless of things that go bump in the night?
See. We all fall for it. Even the skeptics among us fear the dark because the dark once held very real fears for us. We as a species were hunted by things that lived in the dark where our vision was reduced and our ranged weapons were less dangerous. And that fear has existed for centuries. So it makes us uneasy and fear of an unknown sound is a great survival mechanism. When the predators vanished we “Made” more of them to sit in the dark in order to justify the fear of it.
The modern day ghostbuster is armed with a plethora of specialised devices such as magnetic meters, electronic meters that somehow convert “energy readings” into text.
Basically? With a plethora of machines that either don’t work, work by dubious means or are simply being used incorrectly in the same way that an E-Meter is nothing more than a fancy ohmeter (measures electrical resistance).
But what they do have going for them is drama. We all know that there is something out there in the dark and because we cannot see it we fear it.
When Tiga was saying goodbye to me we were interrupted by a noise in the brushes. In our minds it sounded like something stalking us. I won’t lie when I say that the adrenaline began to flow as it was dark and something was thrashing through the brush.
It was a hedgehog…
But if you had given me a shaky night vision camera, a more panicky girlfriend and a few more panicky people… I would have have resurrected the goddamn Beast of Bodmin Moor and Manchester would have been agrip with monster fever. But in the end it was just a hedgehog.
That’s the entire premise of the Ghost Hunters. That either they believe in ghosts and so delude themselves into thinking that the sounds they here are a product of the dead souls yearning for justice OR they are creating the sort of horror movie footage which compels viewers to watch and encourages belief.
This isn’t a new thing. This sort of practice has taken place for centuries or even millenia.
For this we must go to the religious form of ghostbusting.
And that’s raised it’s head in most religion as a treatment for obvious mental illness. And people have no qualms in assuming the mental illness of a person is caused by supernatural entities. The difference between our superior take on “what appears to be” a gibbering witch doctor or a half naked sadhu “healing” his follower from the daemons inside and the Catholic priest doing so is nothing but outfit. Many of us laugh at quaint beliefs while fully believing in ghosts and exorcisms.
Apart from being “sensationalist” the problem with exorcism is that it parades the mentally ill or indeed physically ill since many exorcism victims often turn out to have a medical cause for their behaviour such as a genetic disorder or diabetes or indeed epilepsy.
And it’s practitioners often say frankly insane things.
The Pope’s exorcism is a splendid sign because one of the main causes of today’s atheism is that people don’t believe in the Devil any more. But Jesus said: ‘Who is not with me is with Satan.’ If you don’t believe in Satan, Satan has got you in his pocket.
Really? I find that the main cause of my atheism is the selfish behaviour of religious people forcing me to reconsider what they really believe in. I never believed in the laughable cartoon villain that is Satan. My atheism is a product of violence and hate from Hindus towards Muslims.
Not due to any imaginary beings.
The exorcisms must stop. It is control over the delusion at best and an assault on the mentally ill at worst.