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Compromising Your Values & Integrity


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#1 EVP

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:00 AM

A little off-track to my usual discussions, but as many of us are aware, paranormal TV which I commonly refer to as “paradrama” have been accused of creating evidence to ensure the show has a pop in their 30/60 minutes.

It can come from the preying of the viewers ignorance by using an instrument improperly to tricks involving translucent fishing line or a touching by some unknown source in the dark without the occurrence being captured by a device.

If you were offered by a prominent network, an opportunity to be part of a new show involving substantial money per episode, would you be willing to compromise your values and integrity presenting evidence you are highly suspicious of?

I realize many here on PS aren’t hardcore investigators trying to follow a methodology that encourages authentic evidence but still the question can be applied broadly, “Would you be willing to sell out knowingly of chicanery being present just for the sizzle factor and the monetary gain?”

Please do not feel you have to appease others or be in fear of retaliatory comments. This statement isn’t meant as a judging. I’m sure a few well-established investigators or out of work actors have been offered this type of proposition requiring them to evaluate this moral conduct.

Recently this question has weighed upon me for a variety of different reasons.

Edited by EVP, 10 January 2020 - 09:07 AM.

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#2 Vlawde

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:56 AM

Honestly I don't know. The temptation of getting paid and being known to the public for doing what you enjoy is pretty enticing. In the end I doubt I could lie or fake things though
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#3 EVP

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:14 AM

Appeciate your response Vlawde.

Edited by EVP, 10 January 2020 - 10:30 AM.

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#4 MacCionoadha BeanSidhe

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:45 PM

View PostEVP, on 10 January 2020 - 09:00 AM, said:

“Would you be willing to sell out knowingly of chicanery being present just for the sizzle factor and the monetary gain?”

No, I wouldn't. That would compromise my integrity. What use would an investigator be if you faked an indecent, and in the future it's found out. Who would believe you from then on?  You could find the most incredible proof of the existence of the paranormal, but because you had faked something before, why would anyone believe the new evidence.

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#5 Vlawde

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:10 PM

Going back to EVPs post,

Quote

I’m sure a few well-established investigators or out of work actors have been offered this type of proposition requiring them to evaluate this moral conduct.

If I was not honestly trying to find the truth nor was an actual investigator, I'd probably do it for the money. In that scenario, you'd be a paid actor in a staged drama. But for me personally it would ruin any credibility you might have, and would be an ethical issue as well, so nope. I could understand someone doing it though
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#6 EVP

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:37 PM

View PostMacCionoadha BeanSidhe, on 10 January 2020 - 04:45 PM, said:

No, I wouldn't. That would compromise my integrity. What use would an investigator be if you faked an indecent, and in the future it's found out. Who would believe you from then on?  You could find the most incredible proof of the existence of the paranormal, but because you had faked something before, why would anyone believe the new evidence.

Thanks MAC, I respect your ethics.

View PostVlawde, on 10 January 2020 - 05:10 PM, said:

Going back to EVPs post,


If I was not honestly trying to find the truth nor was an actual investigator, I'd probably do it for the money. In that scenario, you'd be a paid actor in a staged drama. But for me personally it would ruin any credibility you might have, and would be an ethical issue as well, so nope. I could understand someone doing it though

That's a very open minded observation Vlawde.

I'm trying to refrain from any bias but I can see exceptions at the cost of some integrity. If someone is financially struggling and is offered a large amount of money that could bring them back on board, as long as one doesn't believe the chicanery to be real, the temptation would be enticing.
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#7 Vlawde

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:09 PM

I know an investigator who's been on multiple paranormal TV shows along with his group. I just saw him on a show recently (forget the name) that focused on law enforcement experiences with the paranormal. In his youth he was a military MP and had an experience.

He did have issues with the production company in most of his appearances. He had to veto tons of stuff they wanted him to say that was exaggerated or fake, but was able to present some cases with integrity.

Quote

If someone is financially struggling and is offered a large amount of money that could bring them back on board, as long as one doesn't believe the chicanery to be real, the temptation would be enticing.

It would. Not sure if I could resist, especially if my finances were depleted
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#8 lorac61469

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:43 PM

If I were hired as an actress playing a part, then yeah. :ashamed:

But if I were hired because I was a paranormal investigator, then no I couldn’t lie and make up stuff.

#9 True North

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:36 PM

The moment you compromise your moral code, it ceases to be one.

It seems to me that the promise of a lot of paranormal entertainment is a 'spooky' or 'mysterious' product, not anything else; not an accurate – or even remotely truthful – portrayal of events or intentions. In this sense, as long as the target audience deems the product sufficiently 'spooky' or 'mysterious', I suppose you could argue that creators have delivered an 'honest' product (no matter the lies told).

#10 KlaineyGStudy

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:35 PM

Good topic EVP.

I wouldn't, I don't think I would be that good an actor if I knew something was faked.
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#11 EVP

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 06:58 AM

View Postlorac61469, on 10 January 2020 - 06:43 PM, said:

If I were hired as an actress playing a part, then yeah. :ashamed:

But if I were hired because I was a paranormal investigator, then no I couldn’t lie and make up stuff.

Thanks lorac, definitely a valid point. There's many shades of grey rationalizing our behavior. I suppose one would have to find that line of distinction.

View PostTrue North, on 10 January 2020 - 07:36 PM, said:

The moment you compromise your moral code, it ceases to be one.

It seems to me that the promise of a lot of paranormal entertainment is a 'spooky' or 'mysterious' product, not anything else; not an accurate – or even remotely truthful – portrayal of events or intentions. In this sense, as long as the target audience deems the product sufficiently 'spooky' or 'mysterious', I suppose you could argue that creators have delivered an 'honest' product (no matter the lies told).

True North, thank you for offering your perspective on this rather controversial subject. Your stance ultimately would make it easier to accept those bearing an overpowering conscience.

View PostKlaineyGStudy, on 10 January 2020 - 09:35 PM, said:

Good topic EVP.

I wouldn't, I don't think I would be that good an actor if I knew something was faked.

Thank you Klainey; sometimes that isn't easy. If a director tells one of the workers "make it happen" and it's kept secretive, identifying the falsification could remain an anecdotal enigma.

Edited by EVP, 11 January 2020 - 06:58 AM.

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#12 EVP

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:13 AM

Thank you to everyone so far offering their opinions without concern of judgment. It's a little bit or a sticky subject with rationalization that can sway our decisions either way.
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#13 True North

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:14 AM

You can't call it 'selling out' when a content creator who's already in the practice of misrepresenting/embellishing/fabricating information and events accepts payment to keep doing what they're doing.

'Selling out' implies compromising your artistic vision (your product) in exchange for monetary gain. If there's no compromise, there's no selling out.

#14 True North

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:45 PM

Besides questions of selling out, I think it's useful to ask (and establish) what unspoken agreements creators have with their audiences.

For example, films are sometimes marketed as real-life 'found footage' but audiences generally understand this to be a fictional premise (they agree to buy into the farce, they agree to go along for the ride). As the audience is in on it, selling a fictitious product as 'real' isn't dishonest, it's just part of the fun.

So, a good question for audiences is

Q: How much 'artistic license' are you willing to grant the storyteller?

I imagine it depends on the storyteller and how they present themselves, as well as how the story is framed (as fiction, as an accurate account of real-life events, as "based on a true story" etc).

#15 EVP

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 10:59 AM

View PostTrue North, on 11 January 2020 - 01:45 PM, said:

Q: How much 'artistic license' are you willing to grant the storyteller?

Thank you for this thought provoking question. I believe it to be pivotal to the original subject introduction.

Edited by EVP, 12 January 2020 - 11:00 AM.

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#16 siguie

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 06:32 PM

Wait what? are you guys serious :what:

Yes, I would totally compromise :yes: Like lorac61469 said "as an actress" which I'm not though I can totally rock pumps 8) Broadcast television is no place to be trying to promote valid paranormal research, you are being paid to provide entertaining television. It's kinda like getting paid to run the ghost research booth at a carny. If you want to maintain integrity then when people ask you about it when you are not at work just say "yeah totally fake, I do it for the money so I can support my for realz ghost research addiction" :bunny:
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#17 PIT leader

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 03:30 AM

My answer is a mix of the two (real investigations and occasional "reconstructed" evidence) but based on shared experiences from the actual investigation.

I would investigate wherever the show sent me and find out if there was any paranormal activity. If the place had none, there would be nothing happening in that episode. However, if the place had activity, hopefully it would get caught on camera or audio equipment. If none of the activity was recorded by any equipment, I would stage "reconstructed" evidence to be as near as possible to what we had witnessed/heard. By doing that, the actual haunted places would still have interesting episodes that either have real paranormal events or staged events that closely resemble what happened and in the non-haunted places, no evidence at all. This would show the viewers that not everywhere that's claimed to be haunted is and that not every investigation experiences stuff.

I think by doing that, the investigations are still mostly legitimate and the "fake" parts would still be based on real events from the investigation.

Edited by PIT leader, 22 January 2020 - 03:31 AM.

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#18 MacCionoadha BeanSidhe

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 10:34 AM

View PostPIT leader, on 22 January 2020 - 03:30 AM, said:

My answer is a mix of the two (real investigations and occasional "reconstructed" evidence) but based on shared experiences from the actual investigation.

I would investigate wherever the show sent me and find out if there was any paranormal activity. If the place had none, there would be nothing happening in that episode. However, if the place had activity, hopefully it would get caught on camera or audio equipment. If none of the activity was recorded by any equipment, I would stage "reconstructed" evidence to be as near as possible to what we had witnessed/heard. By doing that, the actual haunted places would still have interesting episodes that either have real paranormal events or staged events that closely resemble what happened and in the non-haunted places, no evidence at all. This would show the viewers that not everywhere that's claimed to be haunted is and that not every investigation experiences stuff.

I think by doing that, the investigations are still mostly legitimate and the "fake" parts would still be based on real events from the investigation.

I would hope they notate that it's a reconstruction and not play it out as it's the real thing.

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#19 PIT leader

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 01:22 PM

Yeah, I would make sure to indicate which experiences were happening at the time and which were reconstructed based on whatever was seen or heard at the time :)
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#20 EVP

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 07:40 PM

View PostPIT leader, on 22 January 2020 - 01:22 PM, said:

Yeah, I would make sure to indicate which experiences were happening at the time and which were reconstructed based on whatever was seen or heard at the time :)

I've watched 3 days of filming that turned into a 21 minute segment from a major network. When you first start out, individual creative control isn't in your favor. Your choices are to do it their way or not to do it at all. Once you become established, there may a small level of control in how the show is scripted. Unless you are a producer/director creative control isn't in your court.

Tom Selleck was recently quoted, the series Jesse Stone was his love child. He has a large hand in production and he directs this mini series now. The series means everything to him and he's determined to produce the best he can and take his time doing it. Prior to this, he said as an actor, he had little creative direction despite loving the series. Now he has that control he never had previously.

This topic was posted because of a film opportunity. I decided against my participation in the project. At my age, my integrity is all I have. Some of the compromises were against my values.

Thanks once again for everyone's participation. It helped shape my final decision. Money can't buy my dignity.

Edited by EVP, 22 January 2020 - 07:52 PM.

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