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This article was archived around: 21 Feb 1998 15:12:19 GMT
(FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions of
By Bruce Daniel Kettler (c) 1997
Latest Update Feb. 20, 1998
7 Drawing the unwanted
8 On Topic
9 Polite, Civil, "Skeptics"
10 Why not Debate Polite Skeptics?
11 Debate the Paranormal
13 Paranormal Organizations
1. What is alt.paranormal?
It is a newsgroup for discussion of the psychic or mental
phenomena outside the range of the normal. If your browser
is of the correct type, access the newsgroup from [link] here.
2. What is "normal"?
"Normal" has to do with experience within the range of the
5 senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. PSI, outside
the 5 senses, is also "normal" in that it constitutes an
accepted standard of society and occurs naturally. There
is scientific testing/analysis, practice, and enhancement
of PSI ability.
Rather than list the various subjects and give a detailed
description of them, it is sufficient to say that the
descriptions of FAQ 1 and 2, above, tell us what may be
included in the category of "paranormal." As examples,
it naturally includes Spirit Communication, Remote Viewing,
3. What is the purpose of alt.paranormal?
The central purpose is helpfullness. We urge any and all
participating, to answer questions of those who are troubled,
and who inquire. If you do not feel qualified, refer them to
another poster who shows an awareness of particular subjects.
Generally, to us, the paranormal is not an end, but rather a
means to an end of spiritual upliftment, happiness, fulfillment,
and enlightenment for ourselves and others. Our discussion
with each other is usually for that central purpose, so we may
use the insight gained to help others.
4. What about "skeptics"?
First, we define **so-called "skeptics." They are sometimes called
"pseudo-skeptics," and should be clearly understood as not in the same
category as "skeptical people" with the true dictionary definition of
"questioning," "doubting" or "suspending judgement."
Next, we state that we believe in free speech, and there are many newsgroups
to exercise that free speech in. Therefore, debate regarding the existence
of paranormal phenomena should be conducted in newsgroups such as
sci.skeptic. alt.paranormal is for discussion of the paranormal. This is
the view of Steve Reiser, firstname.lastname@example.org, founder of alt.paranormal.
5. What conduct is expected in alt.paranormal, and
what about a charter?
When a person writes about us, or our views, in a respectful manner, address
that person in the same way. If they denigrate you or anyone posting in the
newsgroup, lie about, or as bigots, write degrading remarks about us or our
views of reality, then effectively and explicitly **flame them.
The fact that a person is doubtful, or is sure of the non-existence of
paranormal phenomena, and posts in alt.paranormal, is *not* a reason to
If a person thinks the paranormal must be of Satanic origin, that is also
not a reason to flame them. Their views can be debated in the appropriate
newsgroup of their particular sect.
Advise the person wishing to debate that they place that request in
alt.paranormal, inviting those who wish to engage in that debate to
sci.skeptic, a similar "skeptic," or other sect newsgroup. Most of those
reading alt.paranormal will have the opportunity to read or participate in
the debate in other newsgroups.
The sci-skeptic **FAQs answers, updated April 21, 1996, indicate that
discussion between skeptics and paranormal enthusisasts is appropriate in
0.1: What is sci.skeptic for?
Sci.skeptic is for those who are
skeptical about claims of the
paranormal to meet with those
who believe in the paranormal.
____Charter for alt.paranormal____
Regular posters who have an interest in, and find
value in the paranormal, for the most part, do not
feel obligated to justify their interests in,
or their activities with, the paranormal, whether
they are engaged in it only for personal interest,
or for material gain as well.
alt.paranormal is _not_ intended as a forum
for disbelievers to voice their contempt
for paranormalists or to harass them about
their beliefs and demand of them scientific
proof. Groups discussing the scientific validity
of theories are either prefixed with "sci" or
they have some other designation.
The alt.paranormal newsgroup is:
1. To exchange information about experiences
amongst those interested in the paranormal.
2. To exchange opinions and ideas about the
paranormal amongst those who find value it it.
3. To provide spiritual guidance and other advice
or psychically perceived data to those who
seek it publicly, or privately if they
express that desire.
4. To provide text information and references to
WEB SITES, as well as books, which contain
information about the paranormal, or about
scientific research with the paranormal.
5. To provide references for those who doubt
that there is such a thing as the paranormal,
so they may investigate for themselves, and
perhaps debate the research findings in other
6. To provide a forum to announce debates in
other appropriate newsgroups, so people may
discuss issues of whether there is such a
thing as the paranormal, or whether it is
necessarily satanic in origin, in those other
Neither the author of this FAQ, or any of the participants in the newsgroup,
assume legal liability for advice or insights into the lives of those
participating in the Newsgroup.
No paid readings or advice about personal matters
should be placed in the public forum.
6. What about crossposting?
Please do not crosspost to any "skeptic" type newsgroup. This includes
alt.fan.art-bell in its **present state. Such crossposting invites
"skeptics." Crossposting to opposing view sects invites those people also.
When "skeptics" cross-post, (post simultaneously in sci.skeptic and
alt.paranormal) please advise them this is
against both the FAQ's of alt.paranormal, and that of sci.skeptic, and that
you will cease including their
newsgroup in your header.
0.1: What is sci.skeptic for?
...some of the topics covered
might be better kept in their
own newsgroups. [the "topics covered"
list does not include alt.paranormal
CROSS-POSTING from these groups is
NOT APPRECIATED by the majority of
7. What draws "skeptics" and other sects, and keeps them in
Extensive discussion about "skeptics" or other sects also invites them to
post in alt.paranormal.
If "skeptics" or other sects wish to engage you in arguments about posting
debate in alt.paranormal, simply copy and paste the appropriate parts of
these FAQ's and post them. If you argue with them, they will have reason to
continue posting in alt.paranormal.
8. What is on-topic posting?
We endeavor to post on-topic. An on-topic post is one about the paranormal.
This includes writing about how
the paranormal subjects are presented and discussed.
9. What about polite, civil, "skeptics" or actual skeptical people who
continue to attempt debate after being asked to post debates in skeptical
Please do not flame them, or harass them with excessively repititive
requests if they treat you, and all those in the newsgroup, with respect.
However, it is strongly urged that you do not engage in debate, or try to
prove the existence of the paranormal, in alt.paranormal. Usually, your
inactivity in that regard discourages future attempts.
10. Why not debate with polite "skeptics" in alt.paranormal?
The experience of most people with more than a year of positive contribution
in alt.paranormal, and who find value in the subject of the paranormal, is
that most of the people who argue against the existence of the paranormal,
in alt.paranormal, are obnoxious. The volume, frequency and hostility of
the postings dissuades serious inquirers from reading or posting in the
newsgroup. There are, of course, some "skeptics" who have
debated with no real harm to the newsgroup, but for the most part it has
been, and would likely continue to be, destructive to the harmonious and
productive flow of information and ideas. The exact type of acceptable
"skeptic," or the names of certain individuals to debate whether the
paranormal exists, cannot feasibly be placed in these FAQs.
11. Do we debate about the paranormal?
Civily conducted debate regarding the paranormal, such as methods of ESP
enhancement, how to communicate with spirit guides, how to channel with
automatic writing, the nature of ghosts, etc. is encouraged, but not debate
about whether such phenomena exists, or if all such phenomena is necessarily
Satanic in origin.
12. What is binding law?
These Freqently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers do not, necessarily,
constitute binding law either on Usenet, or on the Internet Service
Providers. They serve as guidelines, having been shown to be be the will of
regular posters who have contributed for years, who find paranormal
phenomena to be both real and valuable.
These FAQs are referenced by Internet Service Providers and Usenet if
matters that are written in them also concern matters of Usenet Abuse, spam,
or breaches of netiquette that Usenet or Internet Service Providers normally
take action about.
If you break other laws, outside of alt.paranormal, you answer to those
13. How does alt.paranormal relate to paranormal-type organizations?
There are no favorites, nor does alt.paranormal represent any sect or
religion. There are many religions, and many applications of the paranormal.
On the matter of good and evil, or light and darkness, we do favor light,
love, truth, abundance, helpfulness, caring, and discourage darkness, lies,
negativity, hatred, and poverty.
14. What is a moderator?
There are 2 types of moderators:
A. A moderator of a "moderated" newsgroup.
That person determines which posts appear and
which do not. Presently, alt.paranormal has
no such moderator.
B. A moderator of an officially "unmoderated" newsgroup.
There are a number of regulars, people who find value in
the subject of the paranormal, and they tell
what is and is not acceptable by posting
on the newsgroup.
15. Who runs alt.paranormal?
The "regulars" of alt.paranormal, which include, but are not limited to
those who's names appear in this section (#reg) of a certain web page.
A "regular" is a person who has contributed to the newsgroup for a year or
more, who finds value in, and has knowledge of, paranormal phenomena -- not
someone who argues against the existence of the paranormal.
16. Who founded alt.paranormal and when?
It was founded by Steve Reiser, email@example.com, in 1990.
17. What about Advertising?
Short, to the point, advertising is permitted if it concerns the subject of
the newsgroup, and is not excessively repetitive. As examples, we are not
interested in ads for sex phone lines, get-rich-quick schemes, or health
related items. This is in accordance with present-day netiquette standards.
18. What is a "kook"?
They are silly, eccentric, or crazy people. Kooks are quoted on certain
**web pages, and a link is provided to a site with the rules regarding the
nomination and election of people declared to be Usenet Kooks. Obsessive
behavior by "skeptics" and other sects in alt.paranormal is silly and crazy,
and will probably lead to nomination and election as Kook of the Month: (kOTM).