I Believe Everything I See And I Can’t Turn It Off

DEMONWhat ruined my Christmas Eve? I’ll tell you want ruined my Christmas Eve!
The thought that the Discovery Channel was about science, discovery and information. It isn’t. On Christmas Eve they broadcast a “documentary”, A Haunting in Connecticut, which was basically a feature length advertisement for (a) a couple of maverick American demonologists and (b) that ol’ org the Catholic Church, in whose bosom you can find refuge against Evil, allegedly.

The “haunting” in question involved a troubled family living in a former funeral parlour. Of Course. Spooky! Dead bodies!
The apparitions appeared at night when family members were in their beds. Ooooh, maybe the damn things were dreams – is that too sceptical of me? Hmm, there was no one in the documentary to blaspheme against the spirit world, so I might as well!
The “demonologists” who ghostbusted the joint were the married couple the Warrens, paranormal investigators and exorcists, and the voiceover credited them with “investigating” the Amityville Horror – without mentioning that Amityville is probably the most documented hoax of all time, so these scamsters were, ipso ba-leedin’ facto,
charlatans! And, of course, pa-ra-pa-pum-pum: the Catholic Church performed an exorcism, in accordance with their age-old superstitions. A motormouth New York priest was interviewed, enthusiastically supporting the institution of exorcism, voicing the opinion that people don’t really want “secular” explanations for things – something “romantic” is better: exorcism offers people the drama of the fight between “absolute evil” and “absolute good” and is therefore appealing. He didn’t even sound as if he believed in anything, he just sounded as if it was a good idea to get something exciting onto the airwaves.
Yep, that’s it, that’s what people want. For some section of humanity, the myths that appeal to them involve good versus evil. This explains the all-conquering popularity of the trilogies The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and The Matrix. People like yarns about goodies versus baddies. There’s a school of thought that sees this as psychologically healthy. Christopher Booker, one of the editors of Private Eye, in his book The Seven Basic Plots of Literature: Why We Tell Stories criticized modern storytelling for its rejection of archetypal story-resolutions, i.e. writers like Joyce who tried to create relevant stories instead of indulgent fantasies. But either Booker is the most backward person commenting on literature, or I know nothing about culture at all.
I think the whole good-and-evil thing is the most psychologically unhealthy thing in existence. This myth is just playing into the hands of Discovery channel exorcists! The touchstone should be Blade Runner, in which the “villains” are just trying to survive and find meaning to their existences, perhaps like the confused “terrorists” of the world? Can we grow up yet? There is no absolute “good” or absolute “evil”, and fairytales on this subject aren’t even comforting, not to me anyway. Am I alone? Should I be burnt as a heretic?
Are we getting more and more stupid? Even old movies with Bogart or Monroe in them are a lot more cynical about human nature than this hysterical good v. evil shite, which seems to result in bollocks like this Discovery docu-psychodrama, in which the existence of demons is “proved”.
Good and evil? Bring back Nietzsche! The “Discovery” Channel should really be known as the Obfuscation Channel, dragging us back into the dark ages – and not for a holiday. They certainly did the Church a favour on this Christmas Eve.

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.


  1. I own and operate a paranormal investigation group in Meridian, Mississippi and even *I* agree with you on this one. Although I do enjoy shows of that nature (gotta keep up to date on what the jokers are doing to make the rest of us serious investigators look bad), and I have seen that show many many many times on Discovery before (they tend to beat that episode to death in the recent advent of paranormal television programming), and I have to say that it was incredibly inappropriate for the “season”.
    I am not a religious person, but interested in science and DISPROVING all the myths I can, as are the other members of my investigation team…but the good vs. evil aspect of that show was comical. I’m sure they could have run a program that would have been a bit more Christmas-like, and still keep to their science platform. Perhaps the recent archaeological finds related to the early beginnings of the church, the biological specifics of reindeer, hell, the history behind sleighs for all I care. Spooks and Kooks for Christmas are not what I would have expected.
    In response to your statement about the Amityville investigation…well, that is a sore subject for those of us who are seriously trying to get some answers. Anyone that would brag on a fraudulent piece of work even after it has been proven to be a hoax is a chump and a joker in my book. I wish these shows would stop bucking for ratings and put all of their fancy shmancy gagetry to good use and actually go for results instead.
    Gigi Ahrens
    President & Founder of Orbservations

  2. Thanks for your intelligent comments. ‘Tis the season for ranting and raving right now but you seem calm and collected!

  3. Are we getting more and more stupid?
    Watch out with that “we”. I would call it “they” the idiots that run the television programming. Nuke your gogglebox and go for a bicycle ride.

  4. it’s been suggested by a good many people that Star Wars ushered in a new era of infantalism in our popular culture: the reduction of incredibly complex political worlds and psychologically vast populations to a idiotic good vs. evil view. and i think there is something in that view – the evil sith existing simply for evil’s sake.
    remind you of the depiction of anyone else in our popular culture?

  5. I have read your postings. Also, I have also had the Warrens in my home. In my opinion, they are real. I was having problems with spirits with that is what you would like to call them that. I saw heads with no bodies and bodies with no heads. My things disappeared for no reason at all. On moving day from that house, my things that disappeared, re appeared from the ceiling. The just dropped from the ceiling from a completely empty closet. I had emptied out the house, as I was moving that day. But I wanted to state on this site that I have used the Warrens in my home, they came in with video and audio cameras and found what they found and help myself and family a great deal. I am very sorry to learn that Mr. Warren has passed away. They helped me a great deal, im just sorry that there are not more like them. I believe that this types of things are real. They can be frightful and deadly. From my own personal experience, I was sitting in my own dining room table, I sat down to dinner, and felt like someone has been sitting on me. Well that is all that I have to say about that. Believe what you think is real, however, I know what they did was real, and I am thankful that they helped me when they did. Thank you.

  6. I have met and worked with many people who “trained” with the Warrens and they left because Ed and Lorraine are nothing but fakers.,,and nasty nasty people who fought with everyone they worked with.
    Taking money, making money off of sincere peoples’ sufferings is not a real nice thing to do.
    I cannot believe people still defend them.
    Thats all people do though lately as the truth keeps coming out!
    Perhaps the real reason none of the ‘exorcisms” worked if indeed there were any demons to begin with is because they were too busy making deals for movies of the week and book deals.
    Nicely written blog post Barry!

  7. if ww3 happens and everything is wiped and the only survivors are unfound tribes in whereever,generations later they learn to use vcr… would luke skywalker be the new jesus?(but with a happy hollywood ending!!!!)

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