Jeff Ritzmann–Calling Occupants – Radio Misterioso

Greg Bishop’s interview with The Numinous Den blogger Jeff Ritzmann begins with Jeff’s initial impressions of Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science initiative and its chances of accomplishing anything of note. The conversation then moves to ruminations on group dynamics, about the “experiencer” questionnaire used by the FREE group being slanted to produce the answers the authors want to find, and on how intense paranormal experiences are truly transformative for those involved. But the changes are not predominately positive; in fact much the reverse, contends Jeff, and the conversation evolves as it considers the deepening involvement of so many individuals in this liminal, anti-structural world apart. The increasing separation–of those drowning in this abyss–from the “real world” of family, job, and friends is graphically portrayed from Jeff’s personal experiences and those whose outward journeys he has remarked. If you’re leading a good, orderly existence, if you have any routine in your life, then you’re not “full in”, Jeff contends. This is serious, difficult stuff, and Ritzmann mentions the flak he’s gotten from painting this darker facet of the paranormal experience. “Calling Occupants” is rather an admonition not to become too heavily involved in this paranormal field, for the things you are certain to learn are most likely not the questions you had intended to answer. And “leave the kids at home”; do not force others to come along with you if you’re going to cross over into obsession. I hope this important message has been characterized correctly, for extreme immersion in ufology has wreaked havoc on families, affected jobs, and wracked longtime friendships in people I have known. Other fascinations cause psychic and physical damage to good people, as any obsession produces negative results, and ufology affords wonderful opportunities to learn about the universe within as well as without, and meet wonderful people along the way. But Jeff Ritzmann’s is a cautionary tale that should be listened to with especial care. (WM)

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