Paranormal News: Researchers’ Claim That Gay Men Are Possessed By Ghosts Is False [Debunked]

Paranormal news this week saw claims that “research” had concluded that gay men were possessed by female ghosts. The work was covered by Metro, though mostly tongue in cheek. It is important to note here that what is presented by the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) follows a very different set of rules when it comes to paranormal research, so the final conclusions about homosexuality by SSRF do not cite any peer reviewed sources, nor are they based on empirical research into the paranormal.

According to SSRF, a spiritually evolved person asks a question and immediately perceives definitive and absolute answers. Since definitive and absolute are extraordinarily subjective terms in this context, it would be better to hold SSRF up to the mirror of science. That is to say, by scientific standards, what SSRF defines as paranormal research would not be research at all. It would be like a journalist citing Ghostbusters as a definitive source for paranormal news, as from a science standpoint, no research has been done by SSRF.

In Ghostbusters Gozer the Gozerian possessed a giant marshmallow man. [Image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Sony Pictures]

Since the paranormal “research” has made its way to the public discussion, it is only fair to objectively analyze what it claims compared to the information science has already discovered through consensus. It would be possible to bog down with hundreds of articles disputing this paranormal viewpoint, but for the purpose of brevity, the American Psychological Association’s LGBT research page should provide more than adequate balance. What follows will be a side-by-side analysis of the group’s claims that have made the paranormal news cycle, versus the known scientific consensus.

What the SSRF paranormal “research” says is clear. In section four of its “Symptoms of Ghost Affecting or Possessing a Person,” it says that the main reason for men to be attracted to men would be the men were possessed by the ghosts of women. In a gesture of paranormal balance, it also states that the opposite is true for women; lesbians are possessed by male ghosts. On this point it concludes that the ghost overpowers the person, and makes them not “normal.”

It wouldn’t be news to say that the American Psychological Association would reject the notion that there was ever an issue with homosexuality, much less support the notion that one should attempt to rid oneself of one’s sexuality.

“No, lesbian, gay and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality.”

What is news in this point is that the medical profession clearly disagrees with what the paranormal “researchers” are proposing. Equally important is the potentially damaging effects of using paranormal opinions to promote potentially harmful ideas to people who do not follow the news. It is irresponsible to ignore the entire professional medical community to promote a paranormal agenda among potentially vulnerable people.

Spiritualism at the beginning of the 20th Century was filled with pseudo-science. [Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

In the second half of the section in question, the SSRF goes on to say that its “research” shows the cause of homosexuality to be “predominantly” in the spiritual realm. Interestingly, its “research” cites specific numbers of how people became homosexuals, saying that 5 percent have hormonal issues, 10 percent have had sexual experiences with a same sex partner and enjoyed it, and 85 percent are possessed. The point concludes by stating that its good news is that saying a mantra and making hand gestures will cause one to overcome homosexuality.

While the paranormal researchers make those claims, the medically trained professionals state that as yet, despite extensive studies, no cause can scientifically be given for why someone would have a specific sexual orientation. Paranormal news is often filled with sketchy ideas and fuzzy details, but this “research” genuinely goes beyond any reasonable claim to be taken seriously. In this case, it is safe to say that this is less paranormal news than it is a theological debate. Theological debate is its own subject, and shouldn’t be included with the paranormal news.

[Featured Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

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