It has been often thought that the idea of Christian and secular viewpoints coming together within the paranormal forum in a manner outside that of a debate, is something that will never happen. The two sides are usually viewed as diametrical opposites, and never the twain shall meet. However this is not the case for today’s guests on The Malliard Report. Operating under the motto “What happens when a Mainstream view on the paranormal crosses paths with a Christian view…” Justin and Erik bring their viewpoints and ideals to this week’s episode to discuss their history with the paranormal, Ouija boards, the fate of the paranormal industry, life “behind the curtain” of podcasting, and the independent projects that both are working on.
The Ouija board is one of the most fascinating and divisive pieces to not only the paranormal cultures, but to the “general” public as well. Is it really possible that a piece of wood or plastic, manufactured by Hasbro (one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world) and sold in toy stores could harbor sinister and dark energy? Derived from the 12th century Chinese practice of Fuji (a form of automatic or planchette writing that uses a suspended sieve or tray to guide a stick that would write characters in sand or dirt) spirit or talking boards quickly gained popularity in the 19th century and became a staple parlor game. Looking to cash in on this craze, businessman and inventor Elijah Bond filed a patent for a planchette style talking board using the Egyptian word for “good luck”. On February 10, 1891 US Patent 446,054 was awarded to Elijah and the Ouija board was officially created. Production was soon handed over to an employee of Bond, William Fuld, where he continued production until his death in 1927. The estate of Fuld eventually sold the business to Parker Brothers in 1966 and was later bought out by Hasbro in 1991.
Other than the numerous lawsuits filed by Fuld over the usage of the name “Ouija”, there seems to be very little, if any negative or sinister elements in the back story of this oft reviled board, so why is it feared by so many? Is it because there is a potential for opening up a portal for unwanted spirits by communicating directly with them? But how does this then differ from the use of other devices such as digital recorders and spirit boxes? Are these simply more modern variations of the same device? Is it because some of the more famous Ouija proponents included the likes of the renowned occultist Aleister Crowley? Has popular culture fabricated the whole idea of an evil association with the Ouija board through movies and television? Or is it simply much to do about nothing at all? What are your thoughts?
The future of the paranormal industry is a topic that has been discussed a number of times on The Malliard Report, and for good reason. It is always interesting to see what others that are in the field believe the direction is heading. While it is evident that the popularity of paranormal television shows has waned dramatically since its peak in the mid-00s, the surge in paranormal and conspiracy themed podcasts is certainly a noteworthy trend. Justin and Erik both suggest that a part of the problem is that what was considered “paranormal” is now “normal” due to the heavy saturation of content that occurred during the proverbial boom. As allegations of forgery and hoaxes plagued the industry, the mass public lost interest and the enthusiasts seem to have moved underground once again. What the exact future holds is still rather unclear, but it is safe to say that more user-generated style content seems to be the emerging trend, and is a trend that is certainly worth following.
This episode is jam-packed with more material and Justin and Erik provide fantastic insight to not only the aforementioned subjects, but also cover many others. So go ahead and hit “play” already and be sure to check out Justin and Erik over at www.paraturthradio.com and let us know what your thoughts are on Ouija boards, the future of the paranormal, or just the show in general either in the comments below or on Twitter @Malliard.