I am not a TAPS member. Nor is my group a TAPS Family member. So this article isn't about defending TAPS or an issue of pride.
It is a common re-occurring theme on many paranormal sites and message forums (even TAPS's own site) of being critical of TAPS – The Atlantic Paranormal Society – as portrayed on the TV show "Ghost Hunters". So people believe that because TAPS is on TV they (TAPS) is saying they are the best, the top of the field, the sole example of what to do etc etc etc.
Criticism is easy. When you're on TV the whole world can slam you. Everyone's a critic. Some people may have legitimate criticisms (like the ethicacy of having investigated one of the homes of the Manson murders) while others are probably just sour grapes.
Let's face reality: 99% of people only know Jason, Grant and TAPS from TV. The vast majority of people, even those in the paranormal field, have never met much less really spoken to either of them or other people in TAPS.
The GH TV show on the Sci-Fi channel is 1 hour long. But 15-20 minutes are commercials! (Very sad commentary on things in general) This isn't unusual. Check your other favorite shows and you'll see similar (of a 30 minute show 10-12 minutes is commercial time!). That leaves 40-45 minutes of actual show. Do you think you can really get to know a person or group from 40-45 minutes of heavily edited TV?
More over, the show has clearly changed focus from the first season. Season 1 through about half of season 2 I would say was really about as close to reality TV on the subject of the paranormal as ever been shown. The equipment shown/used was common for most groups. The locations investigated were the kinds of cases most groups can get. And yes even the interaction of the TAPS people (drama and all) is real as sometimes happens in groups. Towards the middle of season 2 it changed. I don't know if it was Pilgrim (the show producers) or the Sci-Fi channel or both but clearly the show was re-engineered to fit what was (is) believed to be the audience expectations and demographics.
I can't argue too much with that. The Sci-Fi channel is just that – science fiction. It is not National Geographic, Discovery or the History channel. And even on those channels it's still about ratings and audience viewing.
I could go on about the show but that's not the point of this article. Maybe I will in a future article.
The point I am making here about TAPS which includes the TAPS methodologies, equipment use, theories, group interaction (as it all was portrayed on the show in seasons 1 thru 2.5) is this:
If TAPS is no good then who does it better?
It's fine to say TAPS isn't the best and I think Jason and Grant would agree that no one should be labeled "the best" in the paranormal field. But if you're going to say that TAPS is so consistently bad/wrong at what they do then who do you point to a as better example? Just saying they are wrong without offering a better option isn't helpful.
There may be other groups that do this-or-that aspect of paranormal investigation "better" (not even sure what that means "better" in terms of the paranormal). But, like it or not, for now TAPS and the TAPS approach is the defacto standard for the paranormal field.
Until someone can point to another group with an overall better approach, better methodology than TAPS that also gets just as consistent results (both good paranormal evidence as well a good debunking) then criticisms of TAPS are just blowing hot air.
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