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UnWarrented: The “Possessed” Raggedy Ann Doll

I have not seen The Conjuring, yet.  Not sure I ever will. I might leave it on when I’m mindlessly clicking around the HBO stations on television in about 5-6 months, so I might eventually get around to seeing this “true” movie based on the greatest ghost hunters of all-time, The Late Ed and The Widow Lorraine Warren. After all, I was part of a 1997 investigation into The Warrens and had a year worth of exposure to their actions and claims. In the end, they could not produce a shred of “paranormal” evidence which could pass our most cursory observations or explanations.

As such, I’m perfectly fine not putting down my cash to watch Hollywood glorify in celluloid (er, rather ones and zeros) on the “big screen” a pair of people who have helped feed humanity’s addiction to pseudoscience.

For example … read this. It links to a site called BadAssDigest.com, where there is an article titled “The True Story of Annabel: The Haunted Doll From THE CONJURING”, authored by Devin Faraci of the New England Society For Paranormal Research.

Technically, Devin’s title is correct.  This is a STORY, and it is true insomuch that Ed and Lorraine have made a nice living off of telling this story, and many more stories just like the tale of “Annabel”. As for the article itself, Devin is just parroting the same anecdotes The Warrens have been offering sine the 1970′s.

Although I am using his article as an example, I am not ridiculing Devin, and I am not picking on the true-believer caste he occupies, many of whom are actually victims.

But an adult person living in our modern western civilization has to really suspend reality to allow their worldview to include dolls (fabric and stuffing and two buttons) to become possessed by evil spirits. In this context, it is extremely disturbing to think of how badly humanity has failed in educating people about science. As Carl Sagan perfectly summed up the point: “Pseudoscience is embraced, it might be argued, in exact proportion as real science is misunderstood.”

And as disturbing as this thought might be, it becomes 10 times worse when you think about how “paranormalists” take full advantage of the shortcomings of the scientifically-challenged among us. People, like Devin, have a NEED to believe in dolls being possessed. For whatever his reasons, dolls MUST have the ability to become possessed. Where there is such a strong need, there is an addiction at work. Where there is an addiction, there are purveyors of “junk” to feed the addiction. Adults, by the millions (arguably billions) believe in “ghosts” and “ghost stories”. That’s quite a marketplace for the “paranormal dealers” to peddle their wares.

Simply put, it is unethical and immoral to perpetuate (and profit) off of the telling of ghost stories while passing them off as being “true”. 

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