Welcome to my new blog and website! I’ve been planning to do this for some time, and so have finally taken the plunge. Many exciting new changes are coming in the near future, so keep coming back and I promise I won’t disappoint.
Over the past several years I’ve experienced a crisis in faith, one that at times has made it difficult for me to continue writing about paranormal phenomena. This likely is a shocking revelation to some, given the reputation I’ve built up over the years, but it’s one I finally feel comfortable with showing.
I grew up Mormon, a religion I pursued to one degree or another all the way into my adulthood. I no longer follow the faith, a decision that certainly wasn’t easy to make. The reasons why are many and highly personal in nature, but let it suffice to say that for years and years I struggled to follow a pathway that felt so foreign and off to me.
Coming out and letting people openly know that I’m no longer a practicing Mormon isn’t an easy thing to do. Out of the few people I’ve disclosed this fact to in the past few years, the vast majority have quietly excused themselves from my life. Such a response is a common one, especially considering that I live in Utah. Fortunately, I reside in a part of the state that is more open an accepting of a diverse array of people, otherwise following my own pursuit of truth and knowledge would be that much more excruciating.
For the longest time, my interest in the paranormal was at least partially couched in my religious beliefs. When I left that system, I struggled with many emotions that are common of people in the same situation: anger, betrayal, confusion, disbelief – among many others. I felt myself questioning if anything that wasn’t right before my eyes was real, including any kind of spiritualism. I was guarded about believing anything, because I was sure it was all bullshit.
It’s an easy and natural thing to feel and I certainly don’t judge anyone for going down that pathway. To be quite honest, I felt incredibly alone and unsure, not just because I had lost my support system, but also because I had lost the one thing that gave me a sense of long-term direction. Just about everything I’d done in life up to that point was founded on a system, which I had come to the conclusion wasn’t what I wanted to pursue.
It was at that point that I started to question if I could really write about the paranormal. I found myself thinking all claims of strange things were ridiculous, because they couldn’t be measured and evaluated scientifically. You could say I had become an extreme skeptic, a Scully to my previous Mulder mentality. I felt like a fraud writing anything that would even suggest that hauntings, magic or extraterrestrial visitations could be in any way real on any level. At that point I started questioning if I should just move on and write something else, getting away from the pathway I had started down as a writer.
I’ve always said that I think the vast majority of paranormal claims are bogus, even if those who witness them have the best of intentions. That conclusion has come from interviewing a lot of people about their own supposed paranormal experiences, getting the details from the horse’s mouth.
After some genuine soul searching and fairly recent events, I’ve been able to move beyond those initial emotions generated from losing my faith. One of the most redeeming things has been thinking about what I had witnessed throughout the years, things that in my fixation on skepticism I used to dismiss as my own senses betraying me. In the end I can say that I have witnessed things that defy current scientific explanation and that in my mind prove there is something more out there.
There’s no doubt that I’m not the only one to have gone through such an experience. Today, I feel comfortable in admitting that there are things out there I don’t understand, that science has no answer for, because such thoughts don’t feel threatening anymore. The experiences I’ve been through have given me additional perspective, so I guess in the end the whole think has offered a benefit for me as a person and a writer.
I finally feel ready to really write about the paranormal again. How I view such events has fundamentally shifted, but I like to think it’s all been for the better. I no longer worry that what I write will get me into trouble, which concerned me all the time before. Instead, I’m working hard on several projects while balancing client work, so I should start publishing new material soon. This is why the dearth of books from me for the past while, in case anyone was wondering.