Cleaning House

I’ve been a bad boy lately. I haven’t done any independent EVP research in a while, and I’m honestly feeling some guilt about it. I’ve recorded during investigations, of course, but that’s an actual law, isn’t it? Or a commandment? “Thou must do EVP sessions whilst thou investigates.” Well, whatever. I haven’t tackled a single private project or followed up on one interesting idea in much too long.

You see, the problem is that the people around me don’t really understand the necessity of an EVP researcher actually doing EVP research. It’s not as important as cleaning the basement, or dragging someone to the mall for a fuzzy slippers shop-a-thon. The kid’s basketball games take precedence; as does washing dishes, making dinner, getting groceries, and babysitting – lots and lots of babysitting. These truly matter, so my urgency to search for spirit voices isn’t taken into consideration at all. My people appear to be “over it.” They all have important day to day things to accomplish – surely I can help out. Unfortunately, they’re not entirely wrong.

So, I’ve been giving in without a fight. After all, I’m the retired guy; I’m the one with time on his hands; I’m the one who gets to wander around in the dark with other strange people – “that’s enough to satisfy my EVP jones,” right? And it’s almost too late to reclaim my independence, so I forced the issue yesterday and sat down for a conversation with a spirit named Ralph. I suppose he grew tired of waiting for me to get back to him because he didn’t respond, but someone else did – a guy named Kirby. Not a very ghostly name, is it? Doesn’t strike terror in the hearts of the innocent, make your blood run cold, or cause the hairs on the back of your neck to go crazy. “Kirby. That’s my name.” That’s what he said.

I was excited. It was like I’d never stopped. “The hiatus is over,” I almost said out loud. “I’ve still got some juice!” I don’t know who Kirby is, but he conversed, so it seems that a new project to discover anything I can about him is in order. Well, it may not be the most exciting project I’ve ever done – doesn’t come close to EMF/EVP comparisons, or bilocation testing, or frequency of response during thunderstorms, but it’s a start. My foot’s back in the door, baby! Look out other world, the kid is back!

What it’s really all about for me though, is the honest, unfettered communication between souls. Truly, if you search every inch where I recorded Mr. Kirby, you won’t find anyone or anything, but he’s there. He didn’t enter the room on a slight breeze or evoke the flickering of lights; there was no deviation in the temperature, or thickening of the air. I knew nothing of this soul’s presence, yet he must have extraordinarily occupied the same space as I in some misunderstood way. He functions as a cogent entity – has individual thoughts, indicates the ability to understand, and comprehends my emotions. After so many years, I still find it amazing.

Out of nothing came the voice of something; of someone, who in the most unnoticeable way possible, disclosed his humanity. I couldn’t help thinking how this all seems so much more important than cleaning house, chauffeuring children, or being a “go to” guy. Recording EVP voices is a relatively new thing in the course of human history, and arguably, there are comparatively few of us who actually do it. What an honor to have heard spirits speak. What an inspiration to know they are there beside me; to not be buried in uncertainty or choked with doubt. I guess sometimes you have to clean a little house to find the most interesting stuff.
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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.

Vincent Price “Incurably Insane”

Having spent the past week in the hospital with my mother, a few things about “life” there on the geriatric floor seem worth noting. Sounds like a list coming up, doesn’t it? Well before I get into that, let me just say that few careers deserve more appreciation than the medical profession. They’re amazing geniuses with a dedication that’s off the charts – especially nurses. Without them, everyone in the place would be dead by morning. They do it all, and they do it well, and we should raise our glasses in high praise of those who answer this calling.

I think most of the problems in hospitals originate with the business part of things. Like any giant system, there are difficulties built into every process, but the public seems somehow induced to increase the drama. I was quite entertained by a lady who, apparently driven by a compulsion of Biblical proportions, verbally assaulted a cafeteria worker. You know, if the Eggs Benedict are below your personal standards, stick to some cornflakes or a bran muffin, and let the rest of us eat in peace. You’re an obvious foodie, Myrtle, but it’s only a cafeteria.

Our social worker laid out a great exit strategy, with tons of dotted i’s and crossed t’s, but she doesn’t work 24/7 and her Sunday replacement couldn’t find the notes, so it became confusing instead. And the old horn dog in room 346, who slithered through the halls and peeked into everyone’s room, came very close to restraints several times. I also wonder why some of the medical staff acted as if my mother couldn’t make her own decisions. She definitely can, and she doesn’t like jello. Asking me won’t change that.

But enough. Here’s the list. I’ll refer to it as “Ten Things About Hospitals That Make Me Sick.”

1. I don’t know who decides the room temperature, but they are clearly manic/depressive.
2. I’ve noticed that in this hospital, the specialists with the worst bedside manner refuse to wear the lab coat. Ah, the rebellious spirit. I get that, but rude behavior toward old ladies is trifling no matter how many letters follow your name.
3. Not all old people have dementia. Be clear, and talk loud – they’ll get it.
4. Someone should invent a push cart with quiet wheels – we could call it “the stealth cart.” They could zoom up and down the halls 1,000 times a day and no one would ever know.
5. Are the chairs in patient rooms designed to make you leave? And itch? (Is that something else?)
6. Why are there six full boxes of blue latex gloves in every room, but not a single wash cloth?
7. The creepy, sixty-ish male nurse who looks like Vincent Price and sounds like Liberace should not be touching my mother’s boob while giggling and requesting she breathe deeply. Just sayin…
8. There are three different books about the afterlife available at the gift shop. I swear!
9. In order to smoke, we had to walk 500 feet away to a glass hut in the woods, which is why we hid around corners and cheated. It felt like Reefer Madness and we were “incurably insane.”
10. Geriatrics deserve something less compromising than the traditional hospital gown.

Well, no matter – we’re home now. It felt a lot like a prison break though – the fresh air was exhilarating; the hounds were hot on our trail… All in all, my mother owes her life to this multitude in scrubs, and we won’t soon forget it, but the experience itself could benefit from some improvement. I’m just glad my mother didn’t behave like some of those others. Discipline and upbringing, I guess – I was proud of her. Older people wear dignity so well sometimes.
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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.

The Real Skinny

Change is good. Nothing too revolutionary about that statement – you’ve heard it before in reference to the paranormal. I’m not alone. It’s a wise person who is willing to integrate new methods and ideas, and I’m convinced doing so will make us all better investigators and researchers. It’s a good idea in life as well, don’t you think? I guarantee you that without a willingness to change, I’d be cowering under a rock somewhere – dirty, and mumbling about evil doers and fluoride in the water. The ability to adjust is built into the human condition, so why has it become such a moral dilemma these days when someone abandons the status quo?

I recently came across my first podcasts from 2007 – not published under the name Voices Podcast. Only about six people bothered to listen, but it’s both striking and disconcerting to realize how amply my attitudes and opinions have changed. After all, it’s only been seven years, and that hardly seems like enough time to be doing complete turn-arounds and full-reversals. In many instances, that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I’m reminded of a friend who felt obliged to point out a recent set of contradictions. He was quick to assert that it appears I don’t know what the heck I think. I should “pay better attention to previous claims.” Of course, I tried to explain that with anything paranormal, one has to be able to do that 180 and deal with the dreadful reality that you were probably mistaken. One can’t cling to wrong thinking – that will only maintain a bogus credibility, and credibility is important in the paranormal. Better to be honest with yourself and others throughout. Theres no shame in admitting that you don’t know or in confessing you were wrong.

Because of The Voices Podcast, I’ll be forever stalked by previous, errant conclusions, but there are also a couple of books out there with my name on them – an extensive public record of my inaccuracies and irrelevant ramblings. Good grief, I’m doomed! Maybe not. I’m sure most people realize there’s a learning curve with paranormal research, and that sometimes what you think you know today is less significant than what you don’t know tomorrow. In this field, being wrong should teach you a great deal, but you’ll eat a ton of crow along with it. My critical friend feels that until I am certain of something, I should be quiet – that I do no service offering unsubstantiated opinions and personal speculation. I guess he’s only interested in solid proof and guaranteed outcomes, as if anything paranormal is capable of delivering either.

Regardless, I feel a curious satisfaction from this work. I see it like a puzzle whose pieces are spread all over the neighborhood. I’m pretty sure if I can find enough of them, I’ll know what the picture is, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to completely solve it. Right now, I’m still looking for the pieces, and hoping one or two will connect with the ones I have. They rarely do, and that’s kind of a shame, but it’s also what turns me on about the whole experience. I expect to be wrong – it’s the nature of the beast as far as I’m concerned, and I’d lay you even money that seven years from now I’ll still be off the mark occasionally. Okay, a lot.

But maybe he’s right! Maybe I should just be quiet until I’ve actually solved something. I can accept that, even though I don’t see it happening. As long as I’m able, I intend to be going at it one way or another – wrong most of the time, but hopefully still enthused. I’m guessing I’ll be there until the end. Of course, then I’ll actually know, won’t I? If I can communicate from the other side, I’ll give you the real skinny then. But if I’m right, will you believe me?
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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.

Science Doesn’t Do Lucky

So this EVP researcher walks into a bar… Okay, there isn’t a punch line, but the bar is abandoned and run-down, barely visible or accessible due to wilderness creep, and is verifiably empty – no one is within half a mile in any direction. He pulls out his trusty digital recorder and places it on the bar, in full view of the video camera he has positioned to document everything. The session continues for about an hour, until the researcher leaves to analyze his efforts on computer. The session was a great success, yielding several quality EVP, and each recording was deemed clear of outside contamination.

The results from this session in the wilderness cannot be duplicated or predicted. There are no witnesses or technicians to monitor the equipment or the researcher, and even though the nature of the EVP responses preclude the possibility of man-made or electronic interference, the session is labeled inconclusive. It might as well have never happened.

The EVP researcher doesn’t have a lab from which he can control circumstances. He doesn’t have expensive equipment to monitor his recording devices, cannot construct an acceptable research environment around an isolated location, and he’s unable to provide acceptable, lettered observers to serve as indisputable authorities on the veracity of his results. He cannot guarantee the location is completely shielded from outside electromagnetic anomalies, and to add insult to obvious injury, his reputation is suspect due to the nature of his research. He might as well be labeled a liar, although no one would do such a thing – there’s no need, because scientific governance will disavow his experiment immediately. End of story. He might as well have suggested the universe is made of sponge cake.

Now this may sound a little bitter to some of you. Perhaps I’m also resentful or jealous of the necessary precautions required by every credible scientific experiment ever destined to find universal acceptance. But I’m not bitter or resentful. I’m not jealous. I understand that this is how it must be. There was a time when I wanted science to embrace paranormal research as the long lost brother it surely was, but no more, because I know it can’t happen. The paranormal doesn’t work under proper, reasonable, controllable conditions because in order to succeed, it requires cooperation from the other side.

If a spirit doesn’t speak, there are no EVP, and everyone in our field knows they speak when they choose. Sometimes, you actually do have to travel to extremely remote locations just to talk to them. You have to “feel” your way through situations, find ways to pique their interest, or worse – return home empty handed. It doesn’t matter where you go, or what kind of conditions you’re forced to work under, communicating with the spirit world isn’t guaranteed. It’s a phone call, and they don’t have to pick up.

I can’t imagine the scientific community embarking on such a journey, and I fully understand. I wouldn’t want them to go about their work the way we do. I expect them to be methodical and operate under painstaking scrutiny; to be clinical, analytical, detailed, precise, and all sorts of other things not conducive to spirit communication. Of course, I realize there are aspects of EVP research that could withstand some sound scientific method, but the absolute bottom line relies on the willingness of those beyond the veil to participate. We understand we have to get lucky, but science doesn’t do lucky.

So, this EVP researcher walks into a bar and asks, “Is anyone here?” Later, he hears an unexplained voice answer, “Does it really matter?” Probably not, the researcher thinks, but he’s going back anyway.
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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.

Two!

About a week ago, The Voices Blog quietly celebrated a birthday. It’s been two years since I wrote my first entry and waited pensively to see if anyone would read it. I think if you had asked me then how many people would still be paying attention two years later, I might have suggested it would be a terrible flop and that my singular follower would probably stop actually reading in a few weeks. Well, this blog won’t be breaking any records, but I’m grateful to have exceeded “one” of you, and I’m thrilled every time someone clicks “like.” Everyone wants to be liked, right?

I haven’t strayed too much from my original plans for the blog – once in awhile, maybe. No one is perfect, and sometimes the temptation is just too strong to resist, but I’ve only gone on one political rant. I count that as a major personal victory, because I surmise the rest of you aren’t here for the party polemics. I’ve also only talked about purely personal things a few times – my vacation, time management issues – stuff like that. I’ve tried to write about subjects that are important to me as they relate to the paranormal – to the art of investigation, or the wonder of EVP; perhaps a ghost story or two; occasional humor. I feel successful in that regard, so please, feel free not to burst the bubble with comments accentuating the obvious flaws in my self-analysis.

But after two years, I recognize there are subjects I haven’t touched on as yet that could possibly be of some value to others. Maybe. You probably realize that I’m about to share some of those with you now. So here are ten things I wanted to write about but for one reason or another, decided against. Keep in mind that I resisted the temptation and deserve points for doing so.

1. Why I believe a paranormal team without women is doomed and a stupid idea.
2. If one more medium tells me I am being followed by an Indian Guide, I’m gonna have them scalped. It’s always a Native American with a wolf and he’s very wise and… Sigh. Stop!
3. Is “the paranormal” just another religion?
4. TV ghost shows are not training manuals for good investigations.
5. Why I am convinced that Ouija boards (and similar practices) are dangerous – even if nothing happens.
6. Some Christians should stop abusing scripture as a means to their own selfish ends and refrain from calling themselves Christians altogether. Somewhere in their new name should be one of the following words: film-flam, malarky, hooey, bunkum, poppycock, drivel, or bull.
7. Science, religion, and paranormal research are just different points of view on the same subject. There should be more listening; less evangelizing.
8. Is there sex in the afterlife? Do spirits procreate?
9. What I really think of The Ghost Box and other advanced forms of TransCommunication.
10. Why we will never find the answers to any of our “paranormal” questions.

My list actually exceeds ten by quite a few. Maybe if you’re still reading after this, I’ll find the temerity to post about some of those, but these ten are off the table, thank God. I think the problem with blogs is that we assume other people care what we have to say, which is why I’ve tried so hard to police myself. So, I’m much obliged to those of you who have been so supportive these past two years. I hope you’ll keep coming around and that it’s not too punishing. You never know, I might just find the courage to tackle one of these taboo subjects someday – like those “new” Christians, or spirit propagation. Well, I’ll write something every 7 – 10 days regardless – I just hope it’s not boring or too typical. Thanks!
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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.