When it comes to money and the paranormal, there is a real discrepancy between morals, ethics and creating a career in the paranormal.  It’s a topic that tears many in this field to the very bone.  Some people call those who charge money zealots and thieves, while others have no problems taking the dollars from the hands that want to feed them.  The paranormal field may be one of utter chaos and confusion, but one of the topics that it seems almost everyone agrees on is paranormal investigation should be free for any client out there.  So in this week’s writing, I’m going to delve into this subject a little deeper.  Just because for some, I think there’s some clarification needed on what’s allowable and what’s fraudulent when it comes to dollar bills being passed around.
The first thing I want to clarify is I am a capitalist.  I have no problem with people making money doing something they love, as long as it’s honest and above board legally.  To create or live off of a career that you absolutely love is a dream for many, including myself.  Hard work should pay off, shouldn’t it?  After all, isn’t that the North American dream that we’ve always been taught?  But when it comes to the paranormal, dollar signs ($$$) aren’t as much of a delight.  In fact there are many people in this field who are so staunch against people making a living off the paranormal, they will argue until they are blue in the face that taking money in the paranormal is a cardinal sin.
There are a number of instances that come into question.  Most in the paranormal field work for free.  Yet, psychic/mediums charge money, some into the hundreds of dollars per hour.  There are the paranormal authors who flog their books either by a publisher or self published for money, sometimes as low as a dollar per copy.  There are those charge people as much as 50-dollars an hour to broadcast on their online radio networks.  We have people who are making a living off of paranormal television, whether they’re a regular cast member, or they’re having a special guest role.  We have people on terrestrial and online radio networks making a healthy living, while others feel it’s “selling out” if you’re getting paid by “the man”, to spread the message.
I also want to preface that with Spaced Out Radio, I do consider it a business.  Although I am not getting paid to broadcast yet, it is the eventual goal to get the show mostly off online radio and onto terrestrial radio full time.  There’s something about the purity of being on terrestrial radio.  With me being an old terrestrial radio hack, for me, there’s a true legitimacy in the programming.  Don’t get me wrong, online radio is great and very interactive, but there’s nothing better than the feel of a true radio studio.  Less chance for error and you’re always “On-Air”, instead of relying on whether or not the internet feed or programs like Skype are going to act up and cause problems during the show.  I have always been quite upfront and honest with the fact that I’d love to make SOR a full time career, because radio is a passion.
For all of the flaws the paranormal field has, there have been numerous instances where investigators and researchers alike have called out people for asking for payment from clients to investigate their homes.  And this is a good thing, because most in this field not only investigate for free, but have a hard time charging a fee for something that we don’t know exists.  It’s an honorary type system that they’re giving back to the community.  Yet there are those out there who are willing to take advantage of desperate people who are having paranormal activity.  Recently in Washington State, a psychic/medium was charged with allegedly extorting 50-thousand dollars from a client for for services of spiritual cleansing and destroying evil energy in the victim’s home.   You can read the article here.  http://spacedoutradio.com/2017/11/08/psychic-didnt-see-prison-coming/   Where I agree with this is the fact that the client will have absolutely no clue, for the most part if the spirit is gone, or just calmed down.  Depending on the person(s) investigating the place, you take their word for it.  If they tell you the spirit is there, but just dormant, how do you know?  How do these innocent people know how to trust their own instincts and understand that some of these so called investigators are looking for a pay off?  See the story above, once again.
Look, I will be the first to admit the paranormal, for the most part, isn’t a bunch of rip off artists.  In fact, I’d say it heavily favours the opposite.  But is it so bad to charge money to have paranormal investigators over?  What if they were an accredited business with a high standing in the Better Business Bureau?  Just playing devil’s advocate for a second there.  What about ghost tours?  Should they charge? I know many people who conduct ghost tours, and don’t forget the trusty paranormal hot spots like Gettysburg and Waverly Hills.  I know on the tour I conduct once a month, we charge $20 per person to go on a two and a half hour tour.  Do we guarantee an experience?  No.  But we do guarantee learning, and knowledge about our heritage site and the spirits that roam around, even if they decide to no show for the night.  I can tell you this though, we donate 100% of the entry fees to the Heritage Site as it is a non-profit organization.  This year alone we’ve raised more than $2,000 to the non-profit site.  It’s money well used for the upkeep of the museum.  Many other places are like that as well, like the Queen Mary.  Many of these facilities even charge paranormal teams who are used to investigating locations for free.  I think it’s a great idea, personally, because these haunted facilities need to capitalize any way they can to make sure the heritage stays present.
Profit is not an ugly word, yet even on the online radio side we are starting to see this no-pay crap manifest.  Most of them who are complaining usually have the word “truth” or “truther” in their show or network titles.  It’s almost like the music industry where you hear fans of bands complaining that their favourite musicians sold-out to get big time media and mainstream attention and album sales.  Heavy Metal juggernaut, Metallica, when through this back in 1991 when they released the highly popular ‘Black’ album.  Their fans thought they sold out to the man and the mighty dollar.  It’s something the band didn’t care about, because it brought them new fans and filled stadiums.  But the die hard fans, you know the ones who love to brag that they were fans before they became popular, yeah those guys, did everything they could to trash the band they loved.  Well the same thing is starting in online radio for people who are looking to take a show to the next level.  There are many out there who believe alternative and paranormal radio shows looking to take things to the next level are selling out, or infiltrated by some sort of government assassin whose job is to take over the paranormal media world.  Ridiculous isn’t it?  Well it’s happening.  Seen it, heard it, and thank goodness people haven’t accused us of that.  But there are those out there that feel anyone who gets picked up is broadcasting the wrong message.  They’ve been bought.  Really?  So how do people eat?  How do people pay bills?  How do people put gas in their car or clothes on their children’s back?  How is creating a future for yourself a bad thing?  It’s not.
The mass confusion in this field can be odd to say the least.  Money is not a dirty word and people should be able to make it.  However, it should be for the right reasons.  And that’s pretty easy to see what’s right and what’s wrong, especially in the paranormal.
You can listen to Dave Scott Monday through Friday at www.spacedoutradio.com starting at 9pm Pacific, 12am Eastern.  Follow Dave on Twitter @SpacedOutRadio and on Instagram @DaveScottSOR