Brian Baker

Beliefs aren’t at play when reporting on the supernatural

Sometimes, when I was out-of-line as a kid, my mom would warn me she’d make me read the Bible.

One other time, when I was older, it was Bible camp — a passing moment where I made a glib comment about the Faith Baptist bus scooting by.

I’m sure those casual admonishments were made in jest, but it did make me associate organized religion with discipline.

I wasn’t raised in a particularly religious home. I think the only time I set foot in a church, as a kid, was either for a wedding, funeral or a baseball event that was taking advantage of the space. Oh, and my baptism as a wee baby.

Still, the thought of having to affiliate with a belief structure has always been a challenge for me. But’s it’s not all that bad.

Through her use of the Bible as a threat, it made me question the structures that make people pack together in a lemming-esque denouement.

I don’t do cults. I’m not an ardent supporter of even my favourite sports teams. (I’ve learned to accept failure – up until recently when my hockey team won three Stanley Cups in seven years). And I sure as hell don’t stick to one political party either.

The one thing I do believe is there is good and evil. How that manifests is subject to debate. Still, I believe there is a mixture of both in people.

With all the above said, I guess that makes me of the middle. It may not be the most respected ground, especially when talking about agnosticism to someone like Richard Dawkins, but it’s the one position that can see the world from both extremes. We can take what’s relevant (and logical) from every person’s story and digest it without resorting to the us-versus-them zeitgeist that has been haunting the world since the advent of social media.

The Superstitious Times is not necessarily about belief. One of my trepidations when forging ahead with this new idea was the hit my journalistic integrity would take when starting a website about ghosts, cryptids, and UFOs in Canada.

“Is this guy nuts?”

No. Simply put, there are questions about this planet that are often pooh-poohed on because some scientist can reproduce it in a lab or there are one too many fuzzy photos of a dancing bear or man in a gorilla suit.

But those aren’t the complete answers. Maybe I’m a little too Fox Mulder in my approach, but there is plenty that happens out yonder. Whether it’s the Bloop deep in the ocean or unexplained trumpet sounds (heard even during a baseball game).

I agree with you. There’s a lot of bogus crap out there. People like to make stuff up for attention. Whether that attention is for marketing purposes or to stimulate their ego, it’s the foundation of fake news.

That’s why you need journalists to come in and do the research, talk to the people and paint a social anthropological tapestry much like a third-party arbitrator.

Every so often, a big event comes along and it’s better to make a solid judgement when all of the facts are made available instead of dismissing an event.

So many people are afraid to come forward because they feel their experiences will be dismissed or they’ll be ostracized.

We’re not here to judge. We’re here to share stories, call attention to some of the more ignored notions of human culture and perhaps solve a couple of mysteries.

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