People like being in groups. Humans are a social creature. And it is true that many (if not most) endeavors in human existence are better done as part of a group or team than solo. Work can be distributed evenly, different people bring different knowledge and backgrounds to the group, different people see things differently and thus may bring up a point not otherwise thought of on your own.
But why the rush?
Recently in my area there have been some people claiming to try to form more a formal association of paranormal groups. These people claim to already have many local groups as members in this association, though I am not aware of more than 1 or 2 locals as members (I don't count the group the founders of this association belong to as members). And now they claim to be branching out national and world wide. An easy enough claim to make. Afterall, all they need to is 2 or 3 local groups and 1 or 2 from the mid-West or West coast they can say they are a national association.
Good for them! - If any of this is so.
I have my doubts as to the true size of this paranormal association, not to mention the basis of the association in the first place (e.g. reason for being, principles of the group, membership requirements, membership benefits, etc.). But I will try to keep an open mind for now. I am not singling out this specific paranormal association for criticism (yet). It's local so I have some more knowledge of it but other paranormal associations have been sprouting up around the country lately according to what I have read on some paranormal message forums.
Why the sudden need for this or other new associations?
Humans organizing by common interest and goals is not new or a bad thing (usually, though in the case of war it could be said to be a bad thing). But I do think the motivations behind some new paranormal associations need to be questioned.
The founders of some of these associations have very questionable backgrounds in the paranormal field. Very limited time and experience in the field, very few investigations logged and made public, very weak evidence collected, and so on.
So why now do they want to form a paranormal association?To put it another way, what qualifies them to be charter founders or even members of such an organization? Why should I as a paranormal investigator want to associate with them and others in this association?
And that latter point is the crux of the issue: Be careful with your associations!
People will judge you by the company you keep.
I am not attempting to tell anyone not to join a group or association. But, especially other paranormal groups, need to be extra careful when joining a paranormal association. You and your group will be painted with the same broad brush as everyone else in the association – for the good AND the bad. You might not have done anything but if the association is tainted you and your group will be too.
Look long and hard at joining an association. If you're doing well on your own, why join? Maintain communication with the association and members perhaps. But it is OK not to officially join. And if the association and/or it's members won't deal with you because you haven't officially joined, that's your answer right there (snobbery).
I would also not put it past some people to want to form associations in order to ride the coat-tails of better groups and thereby elevate themselves into a higher perceived status through association rather than working hard. The company they keep may look better on them than their company on you!
To paraphrase from John F. Kennedy: Ask not what you can do for the association, but what can the association do for you?
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