Saturday, October 10, 2009

Psychic Vampires

Vampires are perhaps on of the most ubiquitous folklore monsters that have ever existed. The earliest vampires in folklore that bear any resemblance to the conventional idea of vampires seem to have arisen to explain problems with childbirth and infant death. Examples of creatures from this tradition are the langsuyar of Malaysia and the Lamiai of Greece (Melton; 505). Lilith in Hebrew myth also conforms to this archetype. She was said to attack human babies, and steal the souls of children (Melton; 422). The idea of a romantic vampire was an outgrowth of the Victorian era, a time where the undead were given new life in literature. Like every good idea, it occasionally undergoes a makeover to keep it relevant in a new era. (Anyone wanting to argue can take a look at Twilight). If the updates to vampire mythology was kept between the pages or saved for campfire tales, then I wouldn’t have a problem. But apparently, according to some people who should know better, we do need to be afraid of vampires. Very afraid.
Psychic vampires are an update on the oldest incarnations of the vampire. They drain your energy, a concept I have a real hard time distinguishing from stealing a soul. According to Joe H. Slate, Ph.D.,
“Psychic vampirism is alive and flourishing in the world today. As consumers of energy rather than blood, vampires of the psychic kind exist in many guises but with one common trait--their own inadequate energy system compels them to tap into and feed upon the energies of unsuspecting host victims.” (Slate).
Well thanks for letting me know, doc! Just when I thought it was safe to dangle my tootsies over the edge of the bed and turn out my closet light I receive this juicy tidbit of info. Damn it all to hell!
Even Slate acknowledges the uncanny resemblance of psychic vampirism to the origins of the vampire in folklore. He cites the example of Delilah vampirizing Samson when she cut off his hair the “source of his energy”. He even suggests the Jesus was the victim of a vampire attack when a woman touched the hem of his garment.
This, of course, is evidence proving that psychic vamprism is a real threat, with an established history of harming innocent victims. But is it? Last time I checked, the story of Samson and Delilah was considered fictional by all but the most out there fundamentalists. Even if we assume that the story of Samson and Delilah is true, then why did Delilah need to take Samson’s hair? There’s no mention of hair taking as an MO of modern psychic vampires, so why would the aforementioned Delilah feel compelled to defile Samson’s ‘do to suck his energy? Supposedly, these dangerous psychic vampires perform their dastardly energy sucking with their victims none the wiser. It differs from the Jesus/Woman encounter too, which also diverges from modern accounts of psychic vampirism.
So apparently, according to Slate at least, a psychic vampire could be anyone doing anything! Beware your hairdresser kiddies.
Slate even cites odd examples, like God fashioning Eve from Adam’s rib, and giving Adam the “breath of life”. What is that supposed to be? Divine Reverse Vampirism?
Though the ‘vampires’ he describes follow no set pattern, the symptoms of vampirism do. Apparently, you could be the victim of psychic vampirism if you “suddenly feel emotionally or mentally depleted, you may be under attack by a psychic vampire. The unfortunate effects of prolonged energy loss are damage to the energy system itself and in some instances, serious illness.”
Aren’t there a lot of other reasons to feel tired? Like, not getting enough sleep? Or working too hard? Or having mono? Emotionally depleted? If you were attempting to treat and diagnose victims of a psychic vampire attack the question wouldn’t be who suffers from these symptoms, but instead “who doesn’t”. Everyone, including myself, has felt these symptoms at one point or another (bad breakups… that’s all I’m saying). Does that mean everybody has been the victim of a psychic vampire? If everybody has felt this way, then that means that psychic vampires have felt that way too (they’re part of ‘everybody’) and does that mean that psychic vampires vampirize each other?
Slate goes on to cite “proof” that psychic vampires do exist. He said in his study, which was allegedly funded by U.S. Army Missile Research and Development Command, he discovered that couples that had positive interactions “energized” one another’s’ aura, and those who had negative interactions caused the aura to contract. When a person’s aura was in this state they experienced such adverse effects as slowed intellectual faculties (perhaps Slate is the victim of a psychic vampire himself), impaired short-term memory, and a decrease in physical strength by up to 50%.
That raises all sorts of neat questions like how did they measure someone’s physical strength in order to determine that it dropped by 50%? The answer may seem fairly simple. They had test subjects lift weights to determine what maximum weight could by lifted, or at least that’s one scenario. But if that was the case, did they first interact positively then lift weights, followed immediately by negative interactions and more weight lifting? If that was the case, then how could researchers tell the difference between fatigue and a decrease in strength related to psychic vampirism? Even if the segments of the experiment were conducted on different days how could Slate and his researchers be certain that the only variable affecting the max weight lifted was negative interactions? Furthermore, how could Slate be sure that the “constrictions” in his test subjects’ aura were not merely another symptom of some other condition?
I don’t know, and neither will you, because Slate doesn’t care to enlighten us further. There are some photos that are supposed to illuminate the idea, but fail completely. One can only assume that these are supposed to be auras of test subjects, yet there is no specific information indicating such. There is also no mention of how these auras were observed, though Slate says “direct observations of the aura as well as aura photographs taken before and after a psychic vampire interaction”. Psychics? Kirlian photography? Those would be the two most likely methods. The only problem is that Kirlian photography means the test subject had to be “placed on a photographic emulsion within an apparatus that generates a high-voltage (15,000 to 100,000 volts), low-amperage, high-frequency electric current.” (Barrett).
Does this sound like a procedure that would be conducted whilst the test subject lifted weights? Furthermore, it has been proven that Kirlian photography does not photograph “auras”, and that these images are more impacted by factors like voltage and barometric pressure (Skeptic‘s).
It leaves me wondering exactly how Slate managed to get his results. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any peer-reviewed literature on the study, which complicates any evaluation of the study’s methodology.
Fear not though, good people, for Dr. Slate has some techniques that can help you combat psychic vampirism. According to Slate, one of the most effective techniques for combating psychic vampires is called “The Finger Interlock Technique” (it was developed in the lab by golly!). You push fingers together to form two interlocking circles, envision yourself surrounded by a “sphere of impenetrable energy”, and then affirm “I am now energized and fully protected”. And you thought it was going to be something ludicrous… you silly goose.
The Finger Interlock technique also helps you overcome stage fright, improve memory, and promote positive social interactions! Though there is absolutely no explanation given as to why.
Should that fail (how could a foolproof technique like touching your fingers together possibly fail?) you can always use a quartz crystal. If you need help using any of these techniques, Slate never fails to point in the direction of one of his many books. On that webpage alone, three of Slate’s books are advertised.
If you needed any persuasion to believe in psychic vampires (and who would?), then this should do the trick: psychic vampires even have their own support group!
I really wish I was kidding, but I’m not. The site is real enough (so are the spelling errors on it!).
The psychic vampire support group, however, alleges that no everyone can become a psychic vampire. You must be born a psychic vampire (Psychic Vampires).
If Slate read that would his aura constrict? Are they vampirizing him?
I would like to pitch everyone my idea for a new kind of vampire. They don’t drain your blood or your energy, they drain your money. They write books, like Slate does, that appeal to people with problems in their life and no meaningful connection to reality. They perpetuate their own existence by taking advantage of others’ misfortune.
I’m not saying that this description fits Slate, but if the cape fits…
Works Cited
Barrett, Stephen M.D. “Kirlian Photography”. Quackwatch. 2 June, 2001. Retrieved on 10 Oct. 2009.
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Encyclopedia. Farmington Hills, Mi; Visible Ink Press. 1999.
Psychic Vampires. “Frequently Asked Questions”. Retrieved on 10 Oct., 2009.
Skeptic’s Dictionary. “Kirlian Photography”. 23 Feb., 2009. Retrieved on 10 Oct. 2009.
Slate, Joe H. “Psychic Vampire”. LLEWELLYN JOURNAL Retrieved 10 Oct. 2009.


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