Spindrift Research
Exploring consciousness and prayer

Society's tolerance of paranormal beliefs

When perceived normal people and people of social status participate in the contemporary reality belief system about fringe psychic, UFO, and religious experiences, society might tolerate their outlying beliefs within a margin of tolerance. Beyond that margin of tolerance, society’s defense mechanisms usually check and balance these beliefs from “not being taken too seriously” out of the fear that too many far-flung paranormal beliefs bring an increase in mental health issues and ignorance in society. The anticipated fear is, people with an extreme emphasis on their paranormal, religious, and conspiracy beliefs may hasten the destabilization of society due to a lack of social restraints on their borderline beliefs. Our defense mechanisms attempt to keep a lid on such perceived strange and aberrant beliefs and practices.

Religion is a two-edged sword. Religion can help restrain borderline beliefs about the paranormal, Trickster effects, addictions, and bad moral behaviors. Religion might also curtail necessary inquiries into borderline beliefs. For example, man's paranormal intuitions. Paranormal interests tend to bother religious people. 

It's ironic that many religious people are suspicious of anything paranormal. Why is it ironic? Many religious people have their own extraordinary experiences. Christians and some Jews believe in outlandish miracles that modern society characterizes as borderline beliefs.

Naysayers of the paranormal rarely consider that the knowledge gained from some extraordinary psychic and spiritual experiences could bring types of freedom to society.

High status often encourages being treated differently.

A sociological tidbit is that if someone has high social status, his telling of a psychic experience or a spiritual healing isn't minimized as much. Social status gives a degree of credibility to a paranormal story or spiritual testimony. A person of high regard, wealthy, or charismatic personality can "get away with it" and be spared paying a social price for his beliefs in woo-woo paranormal beliefs and spiritual healings. Someone of less status will pay a social price and may even be marginalized. As Indian Chief Sitting Bull said, "These people have made many rules that the rich may break, but the poor may not!"

Fans and Charisma

High status and charisma affect fans in strange ways. Fans may overlook or tolerate the odd beliefs and bad behaviors of athletes, actors, and musical celebrities because fans see their champions as high status persons. Someone with charisma has a perceived status that allows him or her to get away with behaviors with some admirers that folks of lesser status could not get away with doing. For example, President Donald Trump gets away with bad behaviors. His mixture of good and bad behaviors work for him in a quirky way to get projects accomplished, but not always. 

A person who isn't perceived to have a high social status may be scorned or punished for the same bad behaviors that a high status person is slightly punished for doing or escapes punishment altogether. A high-status person saying a racial comment is one exception. However, calling anyone of any status a racist has become a catchall phrase to stop having a particular conversation or disagreement. 

About high-status and charisma, the depressing movie, Big Fan, is psychologically effective in illustrating a fan's obsession with sports figures to his and his family's detriment. 

"I see ya but I no longer want to be ya."

One reason Christian Science was tolerated in the past was, it had people of perceived high social status, smarts, and wealth. Because Christian Scientists were very successful and had high status in society, unconventional and eccentric Christian Science testimonies about spiritual healings were tolerated. Since the 1980s, the social makeup of Christian Scientists began to change toward middleclass.

In the year 1900, Christian Science was the fastest growing church in the United States. In 1900, the talk of the town in Boston was analogous to how quantum physics is talked about in 2018. The Church Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, was the first woman, self-made millionaire, in the United States. The Camber of Commerce labeled Reading Rooms as the first franchise. Many newspapers carried full-page lectures and established writers wrote about the church including Mark Twain who wrote a six hundred page book about Christian Science.

Jewish people, some prominent in Hollywood and business, were drawn to Christian Science and became powerhouses in the church. In recent decades, Christian Science has suffered from missing its Jewish devotees. And when Christian Science became mostly middleclass, it lost tons of credibility, prestige, and cover for its methods and mistakes. As long as Christian Scientists were perceived by society as upper-crust, influential, and had financial power and political positions, they received respect and were tolerated when they publicly shared their oddball spiritual healing experiences. 

Now that the Christian Science Church is middleclass, it doesn't have the cover for its far-out paranormal healing experiences and testimonies.

It continues that journalists and politicians appreciate the honest digitized newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, but the public shows little interest in the newspaper.

The present situation is that Christian Scientists are not as respected and tolerated as they used to be. As a result, Christian Scientists are hesitant to share experiences with society. "When you are up, you're up. When you are down, you're down."

Defense systems at work in our minds

About society gaining a healthy tolerance of psychic beliefs, there remains a problem with the  psychic experiences themselves. The problem raises its head soon after we  experience something that makes us wonder about our psychic and spiritual experiences. When we try to recall the initial clear pictures we had of our psychic and spiritual experiences, a blurring of what we witnessed occurs. Too some degree, an internal X Files and Men in Black happens to us. The result is that we humans can't accurately remember what extraordinary events we witnessed. 

Defense Mechanisms try to block out or tame our fringe experiences. The medical condition, PTSD, is a failure of the Defense Mechanisms to block out and deflect an extreme experience.

Some social scientists call it "the wisdom of society" to keep fringe experiences marginalized. For example, the drugs fentanyl and oxycontin have not registered with general public even though these drugs have hurt people of high, middle, and low social status. Because of the tipping point of the drugs flowing into society, the general public is hearing about them now.

What about psychic and spiritual experiences perceived as fringe experiences? The Klingbeils' position was that it should be a priority of science to gain some knowledge of how our Defense Mechanisms manipulate us from recalling our initial quick picture of a psychic or spiritual experience. Society should consider that this manipulation by the mind to smear the clarity of an unusual experience is a credible way to begin to explain the slippery nature of paranormal events. The Klingbeils did extensive research of our covert Defense Mechanisms at work. Find out more about Defense Mechanisms on the Spindrift Theory page here. 

When a skeptic has a psychic experience, he says, "That was a heck of a hallucination!" The skeptic might be right and wrong. His initial experience may have been a real experience, but the details soon get changed, and his experience becomes a hallucination. 

Some mainline scientists are angry that consciousness scientists fetch concepts from quantum physics to support woo-woo theories. Why is there anger? 

The anger is probably over a turf war or an embarrassment for some mainline scientists to be associated with so-called unqualified fringe consciousness, paranormal, and spiritual scientists. Generally speaking, woo-woo theories waste the time of serious scientists. Some scientists have little tolerance of outlier anomalies unless science gives its seal of approval that the phenomena exists.

One quantum physicist personally told the president of Spindrift Research that he was "embarrassed" that the Christian Science religion taught some of the points that are being discovered in quantum physics. The physicist said that scientific discoveries about consciousness and mind/matter interactions can't come through religion. The discoveries have to come through scientific and academic institutions.

A few mainline scientists have told Spindrift that they appreciate what Spindrift does, but they cannot say anything because of credibility issues with keeping their jobs or reputations. So there are scientists who have a curiosity about some paranormal questions, but they keep their curiosity outside of the workplace.

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