I’ve just completed my interview for The Voices Podcast with B.J.Moylan, which is scheduled for publication today. BJ is a good friend, and he used to be my boss at PHPRS (Perry Hall Paranormal Research Society) until the team disbanded in late 2012. We don’t spend as much time together as we used to, so it was great just to be able to sit down and talk. He’s definitely a complex guy. He’ll give you the proverbial shirt off his back or his last dollar, but BJ is no shrinking violet, and he could be tough on the team from time to time.
PHPRS was his baby, so he needed to give his best and expected no less from us, but as he states in the interview, “the client comes first.” I can attest that he definitely walked that walk. He expected us to perform to some very high standards – our every move was a reflection on the team, and he insisted we comport ourselves professionally. Sound harsh? It wasn’t. Paranormal investigation is a serious matter, and there’s no good substitute for the right kind of training. Occasionally, team members were asked to leave because they weren’t able to live up to our expectations, and I always felt bad about it, but those of us who drank the Kool-Aid believe we grew in the field because of it.
I felt that what we were doing was significant stuff – he instilled that attitude in each of us, I think, and I personally appreciated the structure and discipline. I believe that without BJ’s influence and guidance I probably would have never succeeded, or understood what it means to “take it to the next level” – a mantra of his from the first day I met him. There was always so much more to learn, and it had nothing to do with our individual egos or feelings. If you wanted to play in our sandbox, you had to be good. Trust me – we were.
When the team disbanded; when he reached the end of his paranormal rope, I felt a little lost. I’ve moved on, of course – he trained me to finish, and my time’s not up just yet, but sometimes I get a little nostalgic. Even though I’ve been blessed to work with many fantastic investigators, walking the dark with BJ was both relaxed and purposeful, and I miss it. Everything seemed to go smoothly and always felt productive – even when nothing happened. We had a chemistry in there, and I have a feeling that will be tough to duplicate. That’s okay though – I know what to strive for.
PHPRS will forever represent the high bar for me. I can look back at something great as I try to become better. And I will, you know, because that was part of the culture too – constant growth, an aversion to complacency, and a strong recognition that there’s always more to learn. We take these things with us through life, you know. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, or how intelligent, how much you think you know, or how creative you happen to be, there’s always “the next level,” as the man said.
I think this might be a little too sappy for BJ. He might not even be aware of the influence he has on so many of us. Lord knows he’s not perfect, but even now, every time I step into a dark, creepy room I think of him. It’s unavoidable – the lessons have served me well; the discipline and structure have given me clarity and resolve. In a way, he still indirectly investigates, and the team still functions because the legacy is so solid. And the next level is always just ahead. Always.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.