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Division of mystery research societies

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With the arrival of the new millennium, the advent of new technologies and the media's interest in mysteries and the uncanny, interest in mystery and the paranormal has also grown among the general public. Not only individuals, but entire groups have begun to form into societies whose goal is to map and understand the mystery around us.

When we look at the various mystery societies in more detail, we see not only a diversity of goals, but also of methodological approaches to the subject.  Their differences will be discussed here.


Each group, organisation or association has its primary and secondary objectives, which are achieved by appropriate methods using a certain content of the groups' resources.

The objectives themselves may be the most outwardly significant changes in the profiling of the various thematic societies investigating the paranormal. For example: the Paranormal Team z.s. (founded in 2013) has taken the goal of identifying, disproving or defining mysterious anomalies and informing the public about them. The EPRV777 association (founded in 2005) documents, retrieves and helps to solve paranormal phenomena, including exorcisms and appeals, based on esotericism and modern technology, and also informs the public and provides evidence. Mystery Hunters CZ (founded in 2013) in turn identify, research and document forces and energies that are hidden to the human eye and bring the evidence to the public.

As it is evident from the practice, in the individual goals and methodologies of mystery-oriented groups we can find other elements forming their original, own face. Indeed, there are deeper variables in the definition of their approaches than just their goals. If we want to understand individual associations, we must go deeper beneath the surface and define the forces that shape the goals in question.

Just as there are spring and free properties of people in psychology, there are spring and free properties of groups that shape their goals and methods.

Societies are made up of people, individuals who cooperate with each other. If this cooperation is not present, the association ceases to exist.

Individuals apply their world view to the mystery under investigation. This can have two deviations. Either it is strongly dogmatic or strongly skeptical. It is to these two forces that we will now turn.


Scepticism and dogmatism, two contradictory values. All people believe in something. This subjective belief can be defined from disbelief, i.e. skepticism, to strong transcendental pluralism.

But it is important to say that even unbelief can be considered a kind of faith. Even a non-believer - a skeptical person believes in the values of "unbelief". The radical skeptic (and this is the difference from dogmatism) is negative towards spiritual faith and everything that has a transcendental touch.

Non-radical skeptics no longer take a negative attitude toward the transcendent. Rather, they keep their distance, their detachment. The less radical one is, the more open one is to spiritual questions.

We can say that truly radical skeptics will not conduct mystery research because they have no reason or motivation to do so. So they are more likely to form a society whose goal is to convince people of their views on the subject than to delve deeply into transcendental questions.

On the opposite side to skepticism stands dogmatism. Radical dogmatists live a strongly religious life. They have their beliefs, which are unquestioned. Anything even objectively threatening to their beliefs they will dismiss as false. In essence, then, they have much in common with radical skepticism, they just both stand on opposite scales.

As radical dogmatism declines in its radicality to the status quo between dogmatism and skepticism, these people's interest in objective truths and skeptical points of view grows. A positive environment for assimilation[1] and accommodation[2] is thus established.

Thus, similar to the personality traits: extraversion and introversion, most people are ambiverted[3] on this value scale. For radical skeptics and radical dogmatists refuse to be confronted with contrary facts that refute their point of view. These radicals essentially remain unchanged in their positions and do not allow the outside world to influence them in any way (or influence them only in the direction they want).

From the above, we can therefore conclude that mystery research in the field of values will be pursued by non-radicals with non-radicals and radicals with radicals on their side of dogmatism or skepticism.

The non-radical groups will be much richer in knowledge, and the developments in values, goals, and methodologies much more vivid, than in societies made up of radical-values individuals. Their (radical) groups will be guided by a fixed philosophy, which members will defend even in the face of new facts that refute some of their existing values. For radicals (whether dogmatic or skeptical), values are more important than facts, and thus changes in goals and methods are rare. For non-radicals, facts shape values, so we can observe different goals and methods in them with experience than they applied and professed before.

At the same time, however, we can recognize in the above a different force that shapes another dimension of the approach to mystery questions. For in addition to the force of value, we also have a force of access in mystery research.


In the last chapter of values, the power that emerged from the topic under discussion was of primary importance in determining whether an individual is radical or non-radical, dogmatic or skeptical. That force is the capacity for consciousness and thought.

Thinking can be defined as a person's ability to shape sense impressions into meaningful structures. It also involves operations with concepts and their interrelation. Practically, this manifests itself in such a way that, thanks to thinking, we know that the water that flows from our tap also has the properties of the water that flows in a nearby river.

Consciousness, in turn, can be defined as the awareness of oneself and one's differences and uniqueness from one's surroundings.

Perceiving, thinking and experiencing is an important element that shapes our beliefs, attitudes and experiences. However, in order to consider methodological approaches in mysticism, we need to look at it from a slightly different perspective.

We have said that groups researching the mystery field around us are somehow influenced by the beliefs with which they approach their research. And where those beliefs put the groups in question. Either more towards the dogmatic or skeptical side of the spectrum. Another dimension to this is added by the degree of subjective or objective approach to the issue being researched. The degree to which we evaluate the data we collect and how we arrive at it. Here again, we can examine two opposing forces in this. Either subjectively, that is, on the basis of our feelings and attitudes. Or objectively, where we separate subjective feelings and attitudes from official conclusions.

An objective approach to the mystery often means going over the surface. To examine only the basic dogmas that instruments allow to be measured and recorded. The mysterious and the paranormal are not friends of objective work methodology, so groups objectively investigating have the disadvantage of being unable to do deeper analysis because of the impossibility of often objectively investigating mystery. However, their work is important in that they can gather substantial and valid data for further analysis. And also the ability to create terminology and conclusions based on an objective approach that helps to specify the phenomena in question as accurately as possible according to the information obtained.

A subjective approach to the problem has the advantage of accepting verdicts and conclusions based on the purely subjective values of individual team members. Thanks to them, these groups are able to give, for example, a clear answer not only to the question whether a possible ghost was behind the flashing of the K2 EMF meter, but also to say which entity was behind it exactly. Such conclusions would never be made by objective investigators unless they were led to do so by clear objective knowledge (for example, that a ghost directly appeared to them on camera in a form traceable in e.g. contemporary photographs and proved intelligence to the researchers in the form of an individual's manifestation).

Conversely, the problem with the subjective approach of the research lies in the low validity of the conclusions presented. In case of repetition of the research by other subjectively oriented associations or individuals, the investigators may reach different or even contradictory verdicts in the researched area based on their subjective feelings. Thus, the whole mystery knowledge is split into a number of different putative theories and conclusions, which as a result makes the whole mystery field highly opaque and ramified.

We are now familiar with the approaches that mystery groups apply in their practice.

Next, we will bring together the aforementioned "beliefs" and "approaches" for mystery research to form some sort of framework picture that encompasses the realm in which mysteries and paranormal phenomena can be investigated.


In this passage, we combine the two forces described above into a cross that divides the graph into four sections. Each section will bear the name of one particular research approach in the mystery field that particular societies may take, and we will also briefly share something about their specifications.


If we divide the horizontal line marking the approaches in the middle by the vertical line representing the vortex, we get a cross that helps us to clarify the mystery research field into four distinct branches (see figure above).

First, let's look at the sectors of societies that are most commonly represented in the mystery research sphere.


On the scale of beliefs and approaches to esotericism, the emphasis is on dogmatism and subjectivism.

Societies researching esoterically may be the most media and audience friendly in this entire field of research. People who research esoterically do not need expensive technology. They make do with their minds and simple means (pendulums, incantations, quotations from the Bible, rituals, etc.) to help them achieve their goals and answers on a subjective level.

As far as access to objective technology is concerned, esoteric societies will never use the various measuring devices primarily to collect valid data and present it objectively. They use them to confirm their subjective verdicts.

For example, if there is a strong fluctuation in the EMF field of irrational origin, which the instrument designed for this purpose records; the esoteric person uncritically accepts this as e.g.: communication with the other party. He will even be able to describe on the basis of this how many, what exactly his person is contacting and what they actually want. Thus, conclusions far beyond the possibilities of the instruments they can use for this purpose.

Esotericism and objectivity are therefore incompatible.

On the contrary, esoteric societies can be very effective in the field of psychological help.

To help by an objective method people who believe that something mysterious, supernatural has befallen them is very difficult. However, esoteric individuals and societies can, through faith, heal people who may have been harmed by their own beliefs. And that is the greatest benefit that dogmatism and subjectivism can give to society.

But beware also of the abuse of this method. It is important to mention that esotericism applied to man can help but also harm. And therefore, far more strongly than in other sections, caution must be emphasized here. Caution of both persons who practice esotericism and persons who seek it. Often the psychic wounds can be far uglier, more painful and destructive than the physical ones. And it is the psyche that is most affected by esotericism.

Esoteric research is done by individuals rather than by societies. But that does not mean that it is not represented by some societies. The most famous one in our territory is: EPRV777.


The second most common type of associations in our territory are the so-called rationalist associations.

Rationalist societies are most often formed by people who believe in something and try to find objective evidence for their beliefs. This means that there is an emphasis on dogmatism.

However, unlike esoteric methodologies, these societies follow the path of objective research. That is, the instruments of objective research are not the basis for supporting deeper subjective views of the paranormal.

To take an example from the previous subsection, a version of it here would look like this: after an instrument has detected an electromagnetic anomaly of paranormal origin, the person in question concludes that the anomaly has proven the dogmatic experience that the society or person in question professes, and thus, thanks to the instrument, the dogmatic conclusions of the society in question are proven to be objectively valid. That is, that e.g. ghosts exist. No further deeper analysis or other conclusions are present. Nor are the deeper details of the anomaly in question present on the basis of subjectivity. That would then fall into the realm of esotericism.

Rationalist societies are not so emphatic in their objectivity that their conclusions can be taken as fully scientifically relevant. But at the same time they have more objective value than the conclusions of esotericism.

Rationalist societies can be regarded as a kind of diplomats. They try to build bridges between belief and objective reality by seeking evidence for their conclusions.

They try to convince themselves or others that there is something transcendent that affects our lives and manifests itself in the realm of mystery.  That which cannot be objectively explained scientifically.

Rationalist societies today have the richest representation of all four sections.  Let's name two of the most prominent from our point of view: VTPJ and Ghost Evidence.


Approach: subjective, belief: sceptical. These are societies made up of individuals who are critically oriented.

Their belief in the transcendent is zero. Because of course there is no objective evidence for belief. That's their main driver.

Critical societies define themselves against the transcendental. And their activities will therefore be mainly concerned with refuting dogmatic conclusions in the mystery field.

Critical societies don't need to do objective research for this refutation. Theoretical knowledge of physics, chemistry and other applicable sciences is sufficient for them. For them, the mere investigation of these mysteries is useless, for mysteries are never the point. It is about the manifestations of reality around us, and these must always be fundamentally based on rationality.

In the case of the investigations of such societies, they would conclude virtually any possible anomaly of a non-rational nature as an error in the apparatus or a fabrication. It would be unthinkable for them to accept any possible evidence that would refute their subjective ideas about the completely rational functioning of the world around us.

Critical societies are often experts in rational explanations. They keep their feet firmly on the ground, and what can be rationally explained, they will explain.

In practice, then, the greatest contribution of such societies is that through their activities they can come up with entirely new rational explanations for anomalies that no one else has applied before them. All this because they do not admit that other than rational explanations could exist. And for that reason, it is good to pay attention to such associations and individuals as well.

Unfortunately, in the Czech Republic there are few such entities. Of the well-known societies we can include here, perhaps only Sysifos.


Another very poorly represented category are associations that approach the investigation of the mystery field skeptically and objectively.

Scientifically oriented societies do not take into account subjective dogmatic conclusions. They do not apply them to their research, which is objectively oriented.

Scientifically oriented societies determine their knowledge based on the results of specific research and the applicability of its conclusions and further verification of the data obtained.

They are the counterbalance of esoteric researches.

Scientifically oriented societies do not enter into research with opinions about the conclusiveness of this or that as do rationalistic societies. They start their research from a clean slate and only with increasing empiricism do they confront individual findings from all spheres of mystery research.

They publish the resulting data that are valid and at least basically verified.

In their conclusions, the subjective side of the research is always neglected or completely eliminated.

The disadvantage of such researches is the technological limitations with which objective researches can be conducted. The better and more sensitive the technology, the deeper the insight into the subject can be gained.

This means that, in comparison to other sections, the economic aspect of research is also important for the scientific section. Societies with cheaper technology will never get further in objective research than societies that use highly efficient electromagnetic field meters, a whole network of cameras, temperature and other meters.

At the same time, scientific research is the most time-consuming of all the areas mentioned, as it takes a considerable amount of time to prepare for the research, investigate and analyse the data after the measurements have been completed.

Scientifically investigating societies are as few as critical ones. Moreover, their course is not as spectator and media interesting as that of esoteric or rationalist research.

In our area, this type of investigation is attempted in a cheaper form by the Paranormal tým z.s.


In our paper, we have divided the research area of mystery into four sections based on beliefs and approaches. We have named these sections and specified them in general terms.

This division - the first used - was made in order to make the field of mystery research societies clearer.

Indeed, at the present time, it is still the prevailing view that societies and individuals working in this field are focused only on proving the existence of ghosts and the afterlife.

The field of mystery research is, in fact, as diverse in its methodological and goal aspects as any other field of research. And that is why it should be seen as such.

Hopefully, with this article, we have provided readers with enough insight to understand the workings of the various societies and their differences in approaches to facts, goals, and methodology based on our new division.

From what we have said, we can still summarize that societies investigating with the aim of some spiritual knowledge are mainly esoteric and rationalistic. While only the esoteric societies are concerned with ritual aid.

The objective and sceptical view of the field is then taken by the critical and scientific societies.

And it is the scientific society that is behind the authorship of this article.

We believe that we will help at least a little in the education of the mystery sphere and its investigation.

If you have come this far in your reading, we thank you very much. Hopefully, we have clearly helped you navigate the realm of paranormal research with an eye to the societies that do this.

On behalf of the Paranormal tým z.s.


Bc. Ondřej Bezouška - author of the article, coordinator and founder of Paranormal tým z.s.
correction: Kateřina Běhanová

[1] Assimilation - adaptation to the majority

[2] Accomodation - adapting to the pressure of the environment

[3] Ambivert - tendency to introversion and extraversion