Faux Doctorates & Questionable Degrees Within The Field Of Ghost Research
Recently on the BCGHRS message board (July 2004) I took an organization to task for posting up "questionable" doctorates on their website. (These were removed when the group leaders signed a tv deal, but I do have the original screen captures). This was my opinion and perhaps mine alone, but I'd like to take a moment to explain my position.
We at ParaResearchers and the GHRS are fortunate to be able to work with a handful of actual doctors whom are open-minded to the study and field investigation of paranormal topics. These are people whom spent years in study at an accredited University, and a heck of a lot of money to EARN their degrees.
Unfortunately, our field which is belittled enough, and considered fringe by many has become glutted with people claiming highly questionable degrees usually obtained from websites and spam emails that offer Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates for a fee with no study required.
In my opinion this not only demeans our work as a whole, but it also has put us in a position of having to often explain where our colleagues achieved their degrees in the first place!
I think we do have a right to question people's credentials, and I also believe we should shine a light on those whom falsely portray themselves as something they are not.
It has always been my thought that good science can be practised by anyone. As my dear friend and colleague Dr. Charles Lietzau (University of Michigan) has stated often, "it doesn't matter if data (collected properly) is obtained by an 8 year old or a Nobel prize winner." Data is data and must be critiqued on it's own merits or lack thereof.
The question then becomes why do certain people pretend to be something they are not or give the false appearance to the general public that they have legitimately earned a degree which is undeserved?
Would we put up with this in the medical profession or anywhere else for that matter? Of course not! Is our study so meaningless then, that we will put up with this sort of thing without policing ourselves?
I don't believe that what we as paranormal investigators/researchers are doing is without merit, in fact it is very important to me. Therefore I will continue to point out would-be charlatans, phoneys, etc even if I know it will offend some folks in the process.