So I’ve been quiet about this for long enough today. I got a lil’ bit out on Shannon Sylvia’s post about the topic, but I need to really address this situation because of the impact this had on my life when it happened to me.
For those of you who remember I was one of the three stars of the A&E/Biography network paranormal TV show “Extreme Paranormal”. For the end half of 2009 and most of 2010…that show wreaked havoc on my life. Let’s talk about why.
From the moment that EP hit the air, all hell broke loose, even though the problems with it started long before it ever came out to the general public. We filmed for most of the summer of 2009. Traveling through out various parts of the country, I was very excited to get this opportunity to both ghost hunt as a job and be on television; which were both childhood dreams of mine. I also got to spend time on the road with my dear friend Shaun Burris. But that’s where the dream ended.
You have to understand the difference between the paranormal investigation that is presented to you on the screen and the paranormal investigation you may do on you own time. They are not the same. As much as we may want them to be. They are not now, nor will they ever be the same thing. Media/entertainment based ghost hunting has a production team behind it, and most ghost hunters never give it a thought. When EP came out I was judged as a horrible investigator, that I had no idea what I was doing, that I was a joke. But the fact of the matter of it is….none of what you saw of me on those shows…was the real me. Production companies create the entire scenario from start to finish and anyone pretending otherwise is living in a fantasy world. You are not just yourself, even though your name is yours. You are a character that is at the core controlled by a Producer, Director, Editor, and Camera man. What is seen of you while seemingly one thing, turns out to be completely different when run through the entertainment hoopla. So while everyone is quick to sacrifice Susan, or whatever her name is from the Ghost Hunters Int. show…chances are Susan didn’t have a whole lot of say in it….chances are Susan may not have cut herself at all…the camera angle was badly lit and shot in night vision. But it’s easy to go on the witch hunt to sacrifice those at the core of it. You have to remember the people or “characters” on those shows answer to someone unless they are a producer themselves.
You lose your rights. You may think it won’t happen to you, you may think that they won’t get the best of you and you’ll go in and keep your integrity in tact but the truth of the matter is, the entertainment industry is bigger than the paranormal ”community or field, or whatever you call it this week” will ever be. These people are driven by money. When I signed my EP contract we were lead to believe that there would be 100% creative input, that we would never be put in a situation where fakery was present, and they will feed you any line they can….until the ink dries on your contract and you become their bitch.
What you may also not know, is there are 6 to 7 digit dollar amount fines for breaking clauses in contracts. Clauses in contracts that say “You do this, or you are fined”. Some of you have said “Kris Williams stood up to the production company”….the truth of the matter is they may have very well had her say those things to add to the atmosphere. The Production company and the SyFy network are at blame here. There were storylines written that put this all in play. Real Ritual or not. Someone wrote that. Every show, whether considered scripted or not, has to have organization, there has to be a schedule and while you may not have a word for word script in front of you….there is a story it follows. These are not documentaries. People…it is time to stop taking paranormal television as gospel. These shows are created, processed and manufactured every step of the way. Sure, there may be real moments of ghost hunting in them. But, it doesn’t mean that those moments won’t be heavily altered, moved around, chopped, to fit the story they are trying to tell. This episode of GHI is no different than EP.
You can call the blood ritual stupid all you want…because it absolutely is, but you can’t place the blame on the cast. When we were in the New Mexico State Penitentiary filming the now infamous “cutting scene”, I was against it with every fiber of my being. For a lot of reasons. One, the very idea is ridiculous in the way that we’re not even sure in any way, shape, or form that ghosts are the spirits of the dead. Sure, there are occult beliefs that follow these things but there isn’t any solid scientific research backing it up that blood has anything to do with it at all. There was a filmed rant of me explaining to Shaun and Nathan that I thought it was a horrible idea. Pop that episode of Extreme Paranormal up on youtube or itunes and watch my face during the scene. I’m not happy. I wanted no part of it.
Because what many of you outside those who’ve heard me speak of it, may not know is that I was in fact a cutter in high school. Battling inner demons (not the paranormal kind) and depression. I maimed my wrists, arms, and legs on a regular basis to deal with the pain I was in. A decade later…. healed from the bulk of the pain I was in, I look back at those times and take no form of self-mutilation lightly. There is no rational reason for it, there is nothing you can say to me that will convince me it has any purpose being on television at all. People watch these shows, people in pain, who do in fact cut themselves; see these things. And whether we like it or not, emulation of what you see on TV happens. And sooner or later this way of thinking is going to get someone hurt…or worse. The general public whether any of us like it or not will never take paranormal research seriously because of the crazy cast of characters involved. If you are doing things a responsible way, following an actual scientific method with control groups and full on tests…great. Real Paranormal investigation of one location would take months or years of tests to do it properly. But the bulk of the people…..are not, they think they are, they pretend they are, but at the end of the day if you’re mimicking anything you’ve seen on TV without any further look into it, if you’ve ever had a “tech specialist, Case manager or Lead investigator” among you….you aren’t a scientist.
The paranormal is a heavy breeding ground for bullying, as I’m well aware of due to how..many, many, many of you reacted when my show came out on TV. I had no control of any of what you saw…living in absolute misery under a legal gag order forced to do their bidding because it was all sunshine and puppies until the contract went into play. Yet, on the morning of October 20, 2009 I watched as I received death threats….constant bitching like many of you are doing on facebook and forums right now…personal attacks against me, and I had no way to defend myself. And I never even wanted the stupid ass ritual involved in the first place. Yes, I wanted to be on television but I was also promised a totally different world than what was delivered. So before you attack Susan, or Kris, or Barry or the chubby guy on that show who looks likes me, only Asian…..remember, they may have had no say. They are not where your anger belongs. Pilgrim Films…..that’s where you go. SyFy channel will be fine and dandy that you are talking about their show. But the fact of the matter is if you really want to stick it to these guys…you just have to stop watching. Turn it off. No ratings, means the shit ends.
You want to do something positive for the paranormal, you want to make a difference - hold Pilgrim accountable.
12020 Chandler Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91607
T: (818) 478-4500
There is all the information you need to take control of this, on top of just changing the channel. I am begging you to put deep thought into this. Take the time to realize that production companies are not moral, they are a business. They are there to make money. People are now talking about their show…but if you go and watch it next week, you’ve helped them win. Making hundreds of phone calls to their office in outrage…that will make them think twice. Taps, and the GHI crew are not untouchable, it is time to stop revering them as you would a real celebrity like Brad Pitt or Kermit the Frog….. Show these people you won’t tolerate it by going to the source. And stop putting the people on the show on the witch hunt chopping block, because I guarantee you….at some level…at least one of them was just following an order to stop from having a massive lawsuit slapped in their lap.
So in an update on My very close friend Tim Yancey (of absolutely no fame at all)….
I called the hospital where Tim is at and asked for the front desk to get his room number. The woman graciously told me which room…and then I asked to be transferred to the nurse’s station on that floor. When I got the nurse, I asked her if she could help me with a little joke to lift his spirits. I asked her to go in with a chart, look it over and then say…we just got off of the line with the specialist Dr. Jason Gowin…and that he recommended a full Rectal Exam. Now, I thought this joke was full proof and brilliant…however, a few minutes later the nurse came back on the line and said Sorry Mr. Gowin, he didn’t get the joke. And if it’s one thing I know…Tim would have gotten that joke……so she said I’ll transfer you to his room. She puts the transfer through but instead of Tim, or Trish Yancey answering as I expected…a very confused old man answered and asked why…if he was a heart patient did he need a rectal exam….Turns out I was given the room 6 doors down on accident….So somewhere in Palm Beach, there is a little old man…waiting for his probing.
I haven’t really been making much progress on my tumbler…..but I do keep better care of it than my Myspace right now. But here we stand, face to face, with the monstrosity known as Valentine’s Day once more. I know its customary for people to bitch about the day and it seems like perhaps I’m just another useless ramble against the holiday built by chocolate companies and Santa Claus to help ease some of the pressure from him at Christmas at least with couples….kids, still aren’t buying it. But my gripe with this day has zero to do with love. I’m getting married in a few months, or at least that’s what the Save the Date magnet on my fridge says.
My gripe comes from something has haunted me since the very dawn of time…or 1988 as I like to call it. In that year I was just about to have our last Elementary school Valentine’s party. I had carefully selected Alf valentine’s for Mrs. Watson’s class (Minus the photoshopping overtop of this particular picture, these are in fact the exact Valentine’s I gave out that year). I had even given some to kids in the class ( you know the ones, the kid who smells like he was marinated in piss, the kid who ate boogers like he was at a Cici’s Pizza buffet, the kid who picked me last at Dodgeball, all douchebags in their own right) who I didn’t particularly like but didn’t want to risk losing candy by short changing them. Those kids always got the Valentine from the box of kids Valentine’s that while never officially stated was an unspoken rule as the “uncool” one in the set, specifically made for kids you wanted to be eaten by bears…. I had however chosen a special Alf Sticker Valentine for the girl in my class named Carrie; that at the time was the epitome of hotness at a 4th grade level. Womanhood at it’s earlier perfection if you will, at least for 4th grade me. While her last name is unimportant anyone from the now defunct TECE school in that era could probably figure out her last name, go to her facebook and then tell her I’m posting dirty shit about her…even though I’ve said nothing inappropriate…you lying assholes.
I at the time was a Valentine’s fan, but that would all soon change as I woke up that morning to find that my cousin, the rat bastard that he was had worked hand in hand with my parents to instate a curse upon me for…I had caught his chicken pox and here I am on the final day of elementary school party bliss..unable to attend because I am ridden with a face mangling disease that rendered me unable to be at school, miserable and itching everywhere. (including the inside of my ass, ballsac and feet). So 1988 was a complete waste of life for me…..and began a curse. I would have forgiven that once incident but….well i’ll just give you the run down so you can see.
1989 - On the way to my first boy/girl party at a girls house in Burlington….on the way to the car my aunt Carol and Uncle Dick’s dog….JD took the liberty of stopping to cock his leg up and piss all over me…..I was so mortified by the event I ran inside and cancelled my appearance at the party.
1990 - My first middle school dance…where I had been approached by a girl earlier in the week to “slow dance’…..now I had never slow danced and was very excited at this possibility. Unfortunately as luck would have it, a jerkoff snowstorm flies in and takes a great big dump on my life and causes the dance to be cancelled, and for whatever reason never rescheduled…..year 3 - Curse 3 - Jason - 0
1991 - My sister Amy, my cousin Steph, and I had a giant sledding path down behind our house on a hill..that my family called “the cow lane”…it was over a quarter of a mile straight down at a 75 degree angle….and I had taken to building jumps on it the day before…however over night it froze…..and when my sister…went to ride it she tried going face first with her face too far over the sled and cut her eye open…and my dad beat the living shit out of me (yes, turn him in, it’ll be good for him to have a timeout) for apparently maliciously attacking my sister..even though I had nothing to do with it. The curse causes all kind of stuff to happen.
1992 - the K-mart incident. While at the K-mart in Sayre, PA I had a tendency to behave like a small angry monkey in the video game section. I would get so worked up over the video game stuff that had just come out. Now the previous summer the Super Nintendo had come out and there was a huge display of new stuff that had come out for it just after the new year began and I was so focused on the games that I didn’t see the curse sneak up behind me and violently shove me into the display sending it crashing to the floor..and my dad, not particularly known for rational parenting flipped shit and beat me right in front of the store while groups of concerned individuals who never called the police to get this maniac away from me watched on..why? because the curse won’t let people help you on Valentine’s day.
1993 - I farted loudly during a student council meeting, and while you may say that’s not so bad…..in high school a fart of that magnitude can get you set at the Scummer kid table faster than your ass cool downs after the fart.
1994 - This is a pretty big year for the curse. I had a crush on a girl named Jenny. She was a year younger than me but because we both were in student council (Called Student faculty senate where I went to school) our lockers were very close together….or so I thought. I wrote her this long letter about how amazing I thought she was, How every time I saw her face that it made my heart skip a beat and what I hadn’t realized is that I never put her name at the top of it. On top of that I also had written it without a gender attached I had just written “your face”, etc. And then put it in what I thought was her locker….about 2 periods later I returned to my locker and was immediately grabbed by my Flinstones T-shirt collar and thrown against the locker for what I thought was a completely unwarranted attack. I was then told that I need to say the fuck away because I was a fucking f*#$#@ and he’d beat my ass if I ever wrote him another letter like that again. At that point I realized….I had put the note in a dude’s locker…..and not Jenny’s at all.
1995 - The infamous Shart during a Cobblestone concert year - Mid-show…show choir….during the song “Hand in Hand’….i thought I released a fart only to find…it was a lot more than that and ran mid-song from the building to the bus and had a mental breakdown.
1996 - While working at my job…I had to go collect shopping carts from outside. It happened to be a snowy day and the parking lot as an absolute mess….a passing by car slopped a shower of dirty ice and water all over me and my boss refused to let me go home…even though I looked like Frosty the dirtbag snowman.
1997 - Got drunk at college and fell from a 2nd story dorm window on bed sheets that we’d tied together.
1998 - I had a thing for a girl named Angie for a longggg time in those days. She had broken up with her boyfriend like 2 days before and being an opportunist went for it and she agreed we should spend Valentine’s Day together…..unfortunately for me a certain player….whom I thought was a friend….and knew how much I liked her…..stole her from me right then and there and made out with her…while i was forced to watch in the backseat of the van we were riding in….
1999 - While at work at the grocery store accidentally got my hand caught in the meat slicer in the deli department….There is no need to go over how graphic this was.
2000 - While at work in the office at the grocery store….I had thought I’d finally beat the curse and that it wouldn’t hit me anymore and no sooner had I bragged about it a pen I had been chewing on broke..and my face was completely covered in blue ink.
2001 - I had my wallet stolen right out of my back pocket in Waikiki Beach in Hawaii …and had to walk like 4 miles back to campus to find a shuttle that would take me back to our dorms.
2002 - This year I actually beat the curse and decided I wouldn’t get out of bed or be on the internet that day and the curse did nothing to me in bed….so I thought the curse was beaten.
2003 - Curse decides to prove me wrong by causing me to have a HORRIBLE car accident in the snow that cripples me even to this day whenever it snows I drive like a 95 year old arthritis patient…I hit a tree head on, going down a hill, with a tractor trailer coming up the other way, the engine caught fire…..It was horrifying.
2004 - while In Seattle, my roommates dog Toby shit in my bed and on my pillow.
2005 - While on a Valentine’s date I slipped on a giant sheet of ice in Bloomsburg and landed flat on my back and could barely walk for 3 days.
2006 - While at dinner on a date at the Olive Garden, I accidentally hit the corner of my plate sending a mountainous wave of sauce…..all over my chest…and a wave of embarrassment to my date.
2007 - I attempted to stay in bed a second year….and sure enough if I stay in bed the curse doesn’t strike…….
2008 - a girl convinced me that the curse must be over and that it was all in my head and no sooner did the words leave her mouth and I trust it and go to work….at the video store….and I go to put oil in my car and accidentally got oil on the manifold while still hot and it caught fire…in the video store parking lot. I am rushing around trying to put it out…finally, a dude with a fire extinguisher runs over and helps me. And the curse let’s me know…It has not now, nor will it ever forget.
2009 - My mom and dad’s dog Travis unbeknownst to me had dog poop all over his ass and while I do not like large dogs…this dog absolutely LOVES ME and sat his butt right on my leg..and the dog poop stuck.
2010 - While in Wal-mart I sharted while shopping…and ran to the bathroom.
2011 - I made it almost til Midnight last year after a romantic date out with Ashlee..and at 11:45pm…..on my way home…I hit a drifted patch of snow….lost control of the car and went down in the ditch which ripped up my tire and I had to call Verizon Roadside Assistance to help me.
SO you see…….The Curse…is real…it hits every year unless I stay in bed….and it’s going to happen at some point today.