The Humanistic Approach
                                                By: Steven LaChance

Here at Missouri Paranormal Research we state that we take a humanistic approach  to

What do we mean by humanistic?

Humanistic  is defined as,  of or pertaining to a philosophy asserting human dignity and
man's capacity for fulfillment through reason and scientific method .

Keeping the above definition in mind, you can see what we mean by humanistic approach is
really a 3 step philosophy toward investigation.  Dignity, Reason, and Science are the main
key factors of this approach.  We treat every investigation and client with dignity and respect
while using reason and science to research and understand a paranormal event.

My personal background has given me the opportunity to see this topic from both sides of
the fence.  I have seen how difficult it is to be the client asking for help and I have seen how
difficult it can to be offer help to a client.  I would like to be able to say here that finding a
respectable investigative group is an easy thing to do.  However, in reality it is completely
the opposite.  There are many groups out there with whom any one of us would be ashamed
to be associated with.  Their tactics are rude.  They treat their clients more like lab rats than
humans.  Their assessments often times lack logical reason and sometimes border on the
absurd.  And the use of science in their findings can be lacking either completely or to the
other side of the spectrum using science only as their means of research completely
ignoring the human factors of dignity and reason.  Often the client is left feeling not only
more confused and frustrated, but also abused and neglected in the end by the wrong type
of investigative group. What is hard for most groups out there to wrap their minds around is
that going into an investigation the client is actually the expert on that particular event.  The
investigative group should understand that one of the biggest resources at hand for them in
the investigation is this expertise that the client can offer them.  In most cases,  the client is
pushed to the side and their input is ignored because the group is not able to put their own
baggage and egos aside to take the time to learn from the client and earn their respect.

I have personally been subjected to some nightmare situations involving investigative
groups. Now dont misunderstand me,  there are some very good groups out there.  
However, understand that as a client you need to sift through the bad groups to find the
good. Here are examples of some bad behavior I have seen or heard about involving the
wrong type of investigative groups demonstrated through a series of quotes from different

The woman wasnt in my house for more than two minutes before she took off shoes and
began rubbing her feet on my carpeting and furniture.  And to make things worse her feet

The investigator after about twenty minutes sat me down and told me that I needed to
institutionalize my 15 year old daughter.  I dont why?  My daughter wasnt even present.  
The investigator went as far as to give me a list of institution names.

My investigator told me that they would not be coming back to my house because they were
angry when they saw some photos of my house online.

Shortly after arriving at my house, one of the investigators was thrown against a wall by
something unseen.  The investigation lasted about ten minutes longer and then they left.  
That was three weeks ago and I still havent heard back from them.

My investigator would call me at 4am every night to discuss the situation with me.  They
would wake my family up with their calls even though I requested that a more normal
business hour would be better for discussions.

They told me my house was possessed by a demon.  And then they left.

When I tried to tell them what was going on in my house, they told me to please sit quietly
on the couch and let them make up their own minds.

The investigator went through my dresser drawers, leaving my bedroom a complete mess.

The investigation team seemed more concerned about where they were going to eat than
the actual investigation at hand.

The investigation team arrived with over twenty people.  They told me they were only
bringing two.

Two of the investigators were sitting across the street in their car smoking pot during the

The team arrived and with them two cases of beer and various bottles of hard liquor.

They told me my house was being haunted by six different ghosts which they gave me
names for.  The next group to come in told me that my house was haunted by five different
ghosts and then they gave me a set of different names.  The next investigation group said
my house was haunted by seven different ghosts and then the gave seven completely
different names from the others.  Must have been a haunting party at my house.

The dowsing rods told them a great place to eat for barbecue?

The investigator gave my child a set of dowsing rods and told them to use these to talk with
the ghost?

Two of the investigators ganged up on my daughter and told her that she was practicing
witchcraft.  When I asked them how they knew this, I was told they had a psychic impression.

What is wrong with our field when you see this type of behavior happening over and over
again?  Then there is the whole group territorial issue which is a mentality that needs to be
corrected by many.   Here at M.P.R. we believe in sharing our investigation and information
with other groups in order to better understand the paranormal world around us. We have
actually seen an investigator give a client a guest list and tell them that this is who is going
to be present at the investigation and that the client needed to make sure that no one else
would attend including the clients teenage daughter.   What?  This investigator was actually
telling a client who they could and could not have in their house?  They were telling a client
the child living in the house was not to be welcomed in their own house?  Was this
respectful?  And then you hear the stories of investigative groups that completely dismiss a
client because they have spoken to another group for advice. What is this all about?  Why do
stories like these keep continuing over and over?  And what kind of damage do you think it
is doing to the respectability of the field for the rest of us?

One of the biggest hurdles in paranormal investigation today is not understanding that we
offer a service to our clients.  In return for this service, we are paid through the gaining of
experience and knowledge.  We are a part of a service industry.   With that understanding in
mind,  should be offering our clients the same type of service they would expect from any
other service industry.  We need to adhere to a code of service.  Until the time comes when
we force ourselves to understand this, our credibility is going to continue being damaged by
other groups out there.

To end on a positive note.  There are many excellent groups out there working in the field of
paranormal study today.  Some of the best of these have members that have personally lived
through an unexplained paranormal event themselves which in some ways makes it easier
for a group to understand the client/ investigator relationship.  The Ghost Stalkers of West
Tennessee are an excellent investigative group with a heart, complimented with a certain
southern charm.  S.IG.H.T is an excellent group, even though they travel in large numbers,
they still deal with a client with compassion and respect which is a big feather in their cap
considering the size of their group.  The Mesa Project online I found has been an excellent
resource for investigators needing to ask questions on the science of investigation.  I could
continue this list.  However, until we get all groups to understand the simple ideas of
Dignity, Reason, and Science, until we get groups to understand that they have to operate
under a code of service, there are going to be those groups out there that continue to
damage the reputations of others by their actions.   The hope for our future is that all groups
come to this understanding and open their minds to work together with others without
territorial issues and bias.  In the end, we are all searching for the same single thing.  The
Music provided by local St. Louis
artist and musician (MPR's Own) Tom
Halstead and his band Shock Session.

Artist: Shock SESSION
CD: Nightmare Chamber

Credits: (c)(p) 2002 Halstead

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