Note that USENET contains impersonations and forgeries of "Dan Kettler" and "Bruce Daniel Kettler."
REVISED: May 2005
has acquired the archives of DEJA, and they have restored user access for posts a decade, or more, ago.
At the time of this revision, a group of "regular" proponents are, and have been
meeting in private to discuss the alt.paranormal and other similar newsgroups
such as alt.astrology. They do not consist of the exact same listing of regular
posters that was placed on this page. The term "regular" is closely related
to "overseer" in the wording of this FAQ.
Anyone who wishes to see how the word "regular" is used in this faq, can look here.
this revision, in 1998 overseers had reviewed this FAQ, and any
input they advised was given due consideration.
group of people meeting privately know of the existence of
An earlier version of the FAQ CHARTER for alt.paranormal was posted
then automatically reposted 5/23/98.
The first was produced after extensive discussion about the subject
of the FAQ and
CHARTER in the newsgroup alt.paranormal.
The 1998 version was revised after additional discussion in the
news group and with
the contribution of John McGowan http://JOHN183.freeyellow.com/index.html
with additions and revisions, for which I am grateful.
Some of the 1998 FAQ revision comes as a result of debate with pseudo-skeptics.
The URL reference is: http://www.psicounsel.com/altparfaq.html
3 Purpose of
What is the authority for the Charter?
5 Polite, Civil, "Skeptics"
6 Why not Debate Polite Skeptics?
8 Debate the Paranormal
10 Drawing the unwanted
11 On Topic
12 Law vs. guidelines
13 Paranormal Organizations
19 I've seen
other alt.paranormal FAQs.
Which is authentic?
21 Legal Disclaimer
1. What is alt.paranormal?
It is a newsgroup for discussion of the psychic or mental phenomena
outside the range
of the normal.
2. What is "normal"?
"Normal" has to do with experience within the range of the 5 senses:
touch, taste and smell. PSI, outside the 5 senses, is also "normal" in that it
constitutes an accepted standard of society and occurs naturally. There is
and enhancement of PSI ability.
Rather than list the various subjects and give a detailed description
it is sufficient to say that the descriptions of FAQ 1 and 2, above, tell us what
may be included in the category of "paranormal." As examples, it naturally includes
Spirit Communication, Remote Viewing, and Reincarnation.
3. What is the purpose of alt.paranormal? What of the Charter?
The central purpose is helpfullness. We urge any and all participating,
questions of those who are troubled, and who inquire. If you do not feel qualified,
refer them to another poster who shows an awareness of particular subjects.
Generally, to us, the paranormal is not an end, but rather a means to an end of
spiritual upliftment, happiness, fulfillment, and enlightenment for ourselves and
others. Our discussion with each other is usually for that central purpose, so we
may use the insight gained to help others.
The authority for the policy regarding pseudo-skeptics is from 3 sources:
1. Steve Reiser who founded alt.paranormal.
of his posts about non-harassment)
2. The actions and written opinions
of many posting
paranormalists over a period of years.
See samples, and archives ( See Google reference above )
of posts for years previous. Google has written
that they will restore archived posts all the way
back to the year 1995.
A sample of opinions is on this page:
3. The consensus of authorized
paranormalists who have contributed,
for the most part, more than a year in
alt.paranormal. To be a "regular," it
is not necessary for one's posting to
be recent. Some meet with each other
in private communications, discussing
the newsgroup situation.
There is no USENET rule that states there is only one
period of the newsgroup's
history, or one method for writing charters. For creation of an "alt" group, nothing
is specified about charters.
To demonstrate the credibility of this charter, I've written the above
facts and provided referenced URL links.
I have proven it to be a valid charter.
1. There is no USENET authority that has...
a. in prior documents
b. in stated present policy
...contradicted that fact. They do not
either endorse, nor do they contradict
There is no USENET policy about it in
so a stated charter, stands
or falls, only in the view of USENET
PARTICIPANTS and ISPs, according to
stated and proven facts, and their response
to those facts.
There is no USENET rule which states a CHARTER,
or the references to another location for a
charter, MUST be written at the inception
of the newsgroup, or that CHARTERS
would not otherwise be considered CHARTERS.
USENET recommendations, or guidelines written
to show how a newsgroup, upon inception, will
get more people to participate with certain
procedures, make it clear that "SHOULD"
applies, not "MUST."
2. USENET authorities archived the FAQ, containing
the CHARTER, and thereby permitted it to be
distributed throughout the World Wide Web.
That occurred in FEB. 1998, and it was again
automatically reposted, no matter how much
pseudo-skeptics screamed against it.
Verify it by accessing Google.
and looking for " alt.paranormal_FAQ " in
Note that such archiving is also reflected in
the prominent display in search engines, referenced to
sites containing the earlier revision of this alt.paranormal
FAQ, with the charter. This prominent diplay is
evident at the beginning of the year 2001.
3. The founder of alt.paranormal, Steve Reiser,
has stated (this is, or will be, verifiable via Google)
that alt.paranormal was founded upon certain
principles. He posted the Charter on
March 26, 1998, in alt.paranormal.
4. Many posters have endorsed, in public posts,
the no harassment from pseudo-skeptics
in a.p. principle, which is a policy of
the FAQ and charter. Their complaints
go back years, and this shows in
Google and is sampled at WEB PAGE:
5. There is a group of "regulars" who
are not just paranormalists with much
experience in the newsgroup, but they
think and write logically and coherently.
The mere fact that a person has belief in
the paranormal, and posts in the newsgroup
for a sufficient period, is not enough
to consider them eligible to make decisions
about alt.paranormal documents.
Those listed were notified of this CHARTER
and FAQ, and discussion ensued, as well
Not all participated, but they were all
notified by e-mail, each showing the other
e-mail addresses in the headers.
URL for the FAQs regarding the creation of alt.groups is linked
and it shows that there are no official votes taken regarding alt groups, and
there is no mention of charters regarding the creation of an alt group, either
promoting it, or disallowing it.
4. What about "skeptics"?
First, we define **so-called "skeptics." They are sometimes called
and should be clearly understood as not in the same category as "skeptical people" with
the true dictionary definition of "questioning," "doubting" or "suspending judgement."
Next, we state that we believe in free speech, and there are many news
exercise that free speech in. Therefore, debate regarding the existence of paranormal
phenomena should be conducted in newsgroups such as sci.skeptic. alt.paranormal is
for discussion of the paranormal. This is the view of Steve Reiser, <email@example.com>
founder of alt.paranormal.
His statement about his original intention in creating alt.paranormal is referenced here:
It is the opinion of long-lived participants in paranormal, UFO, (alt.paranet.ufo)
astrology, (alt.astrology) and New Age (talk.religion.newage) related news groups,
that generally the agenda of the Pseudo-Skeptic has been to cause disruption in
news groups of opposing view points.
5. What about polite, civil, "skeptics" or actual
skeptical people who continue to
attempt debate after being asked to post debates in skeptic oriented newsgroups?
Please do not flame them, or harass them with excessively repititive
they treat you, and all those in the newsgroup, with respect.
However, it is strongly urged that you do not engage in debate, or try
the existence of the paranormal in alt.paranormal. Usually, your inactivity
in that regard discourages future attempts.
The attempts of "skeptics" to debate are not something we can do anything
Often enough, the cause of, or what leads to the cause of the most destructive
actions, are the ways people respond.
6. Why not debate with polite "skeptics" in alt.paranormal?
The experience of most people with more than a year of positive contribution
alt.paranormal, and who find value in the subject of the paranormal, is that
most of the so-called "skeptics" who argue against the existence of the paranormal,
in alt.paranormal, are obnoxious. The volume, frequency and hostility of the
postings dissuades serious inquirers from reading or posting in the newsgroup.
There are, of course, some skeptics who have debated with no real harm to the
newsgroup, but for the most part it has been, and would likely continue to be,
destructive to the harmonious and productive flow of information and ideas.
The exact type of acceptable skeptic, or the names of certain individuals to
debate whether the paranormal exists, cannot feasibly be placed in these FAQs.
Additionally, when you debate anyone of opposite viewpoints, you create
and arguments about why you will not debate others of lower character with the
same viewpoints do not carry much weight since low character is more difficult
to define than the viewpoints.
When a debate is in progress with a polite skeptic, it often becomes
invitation for disrupters to participate in.
7. What about crossposting?
Please do not crosspost to any "skeptic" type newsgroup. This
alt.fan.art-bell in its **present state. Such crossposting invites "skeptics."
Crossposting to opposing view sects invites those people also.
When "skeptics" cross-post, (post simultaneously in sci.skeptic and
please advise them this is against both the FAQ's of alt.paranormal, and that of
sci.skeptic, and that you will cease including their newsgroup in your header.
0.1: What is sci.skeptic for?
...some of the topics covered
might be better kept in their
own newsgroups. [the "topics covered"
list does not include alt.paranormal
CROSS-POSTING from these groups is
NOT APPRECIATED by the majority of
8. Do we debate about the paranormal?
Civily conducted debate regarding the paranormal, such as methods of
how to communicate with spirit guides, how to channel with automatic writing, the
nature of ghosts, etc. is encouraged, but not debate about whether such phenomena
exists, or if all such phenomena is necessarily Satanic in origin.
9. What conduct is expected in alt.paranormal?
When a person writes about us, or our views, in a respectful manner,
person in the same way. If they denigrate you or anyone posting in the newsgroup,
lie about, or as bigots, write degrading remarks about us or our views of reality,
then effectively and explicitly **flame them.
As it was pointed out in the URL referenced below at the former revision
FAQ-ANSWERS, a flame should be done once, effectively, so that you do not aid the
offender by disrupting the newsgroup with numerous rebuttals. Slowly, and carefully,
word your rebuttal. Please do not use language that may be offensive to readers.
The guidelines for flaming point out the fact that people can misunderstand
other person's writing as a flame, when it is not. Be careful.
The fact that a person is doubtful, or is sure of the non-existence
phenomena, and posts in alt.paranormal, is not a reason to flame them.
If a person thinks the paranormal must be of Satanic origin, that is
also not a
reason to flame them. Their views can be debated in the appropriate newsgroup of
their particular sect.
Advise the person wishing to debate that they may place that request
alt.paranormal, inviting those who wish to engage in that debate to sci.skeptic,
a similar "skeptic," or other sect newsgroup. Most of those reading alt.paranormal
will have the opportunity to read or participate in the debate in other newsgroups.
The sci-skeptic **FAQs answers, updated April 21, 1996, indicate that
between skeptics and paranormal enthusisasts is appropriate in that newsgroup:
0.1: What is sci.skeptic for?
Sci.skeptic is for those who are
skeptical about claims of the
paranormal to meet with those
who believe in the paranormal.
10. What draws "skeptics" and other sects, and keeps them in alt.paranormal?
Extensive discussion about "skeptics" or other sects also invites them
to post in
alt.paranormal. The word "extensive," however requires some practical examples.
of a discussion that brought
up the subject of what pseudo-skeptics are like.
Occasional single-post writing of the subject.
Post after post
condemning "skeptics," when
no discussion had not been brought up, about
them, to begin with.
Let's be clear.
We don't hate pseudo-skeptics.
If the reader of these FAQs thinks there is such
a thing as hatred of a group, please
find try an appropriate newsgroup like alt.flame.
threads, about the subject
If "skeptics" or other sects wish to engage you in arguments about posting
alt.paranormal, simply copy and paste the appropriate parts of these FAQ's and post
them. If you argue with them, they will have reason to continue posting in
Writing about them is not a main motivator of pseudo-skeptics to post
alt.paranormal. It's a factor, and once removed, it will help to lessen
the frequency of such posting from them.
11. What is on-topic posting?
We endeavor to post on-topic. An on-topic post is one about the
includes writing about how the paranormal subjects are presented and discussed.
Examples of permitted discussion:
Writing about how these FAQs are worded
-- how others write of the paranormal or of
people who regularly contribute to the newsgroup
A discussion that accidentally flows into another
subject, other than the paranormal
Discussion about the non-paranormal aspects of dowsing
(since there is a paranormal aspect)
Please move long-term UFO discussions to the appropriate newsgroups.
phenomena, as reported, occurs within the realm of the 5 senses. People report
seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears. If you want to emphasize the
use of PSI in UFO encounters, then the subject is proper in alt.paranormal.
Astrology points to phenomenon outside the 5 senses, and is therefore
12. What is Binding Law, and what are Guidelines?
These Freqently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers do not, necessarily,
binding law either on Usenet, or on the Internet Service Providers. They serve as
guidelines, having been shown to be be the will of regular posters who have contributed
for years, who find paranormal phenomena to be both real and valuable.
There are a number of methods to maintain order in an unmoderated
To be effective, they require the coordination of a number of people, not just one
person. To learn more, I suggest you look at this linked page, and then follow
These FAQs are referenced by Internet Service Providers and Usenet if
are written in them also concern matters of Usenet Abuse, spam, or breaches of
netiquette that Usenet or Internet Service Providers normally take action about.
If you break other laws, outside of alt.paranormal, you answer to those juristictions.
The FAQ-ANSWERS and CHARTER herein are guidelines, and there are exceptions
such guideline. No list can cover all circumstances.
We prefer that each individual adheres to the Laws which are written
respective country and the rules and policies set by their ISP and USENET.
However, if you choose to break these laws, Rules and Policies, then this
disclaimer is emplaced to make you aware that you can be prosecuted by those
governing agencies because of the actions of paranormalists in alt.paranormal.
See item 20 for a list of USENET authorities, ways to discover the origin
of a posting
with a fictitious or forged name, how to contact ISPs and complain about posters,
and what really justifies the USENET category of "abuse." We do not want to bother
the "abuse" people of USENET with matters of violation of our CHARTER, as one example.
That is outside of their responsibility. Find out how FAQs are archived, and all the
rules that are important for USENET.
Learn about netiquette from item 20 also.
13. How does alt.paranormal relate to paranormal-type organizations?
There are no favorites, nor does alt.paranormal represent any sect or
There are many religions, and many applications of the paranormal.
On the matter of good and evil, or light and darkness, we do tend to
love, truth, abundance, helpfulness, caring, and discourage darkness, lies,
negativity, hatred, and poverty.
14. What is a moderator? What is an overseer?
There are 2 types of people who facilitate a newsgroup:
A. A moderator of a "moderated" newsgroup.
That person determines which posts appear and
which do not. Presently, alt.paranormal has
no such moderator.
B. An overseer of an officially "unmoderated" newsgroup.
There are a number of approved regular
people who find value in the subject of the
paranormal - proponents, and they tell what is
and is not acceptable by posting on the
As written in part 12, above:
Freqently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers do not,
necessarily, constitute binding law either on Usenet, or
on the Internet Service Providers.
The above, by implication, indicates that an "overseer" is not a position
by present USENET protocol. It is anticipated by the contributors to this FAQ that
the reader will recognize the position of overseers due their merit of having contributed
to the newsgroup as proponents of the paranormal for an extended period of time, and/or
having been chosen as overseers by such a group of long standing regular posters.
15. Who runs alt.paranormal?
The approved "regulars" of alt.paranormal, which includes those who's
names appear in
this section (#reg) of a certain web page. Others, with the (no objection) consent
of the approved "regulars" may assist.
An approved "regular" is usually a person who has contributed to the
a year or more, who finds value in, and has knowledge of, paranormal phenomena --
not someone who argues against the existence of the paranormal.
What is meant by the word "runs" above?
In an unmoderated "alt" group, according to USENET policy, no-one has
to dictate the actions of participants. However, people may complain to
news.admin.net-abuse.usenet to bring about changes, and they may also
complain to individual Internet Service Providers. There are other methods.
See this link for information about how to reclaim the newsgroups. It is
not advised to follow the above procedures without understanding material
on a number of linked web pages, referenced from the above.
16. Who founded alt.paranormal and when?
It was founded by Steve Reiser, firstname.lastname@example.org, in 1990.
On Mar 26, 1998 he wrote the this statement,
and original intention in creating alt.paranormal,
which is verifiable with Google.
Steve Reiser also wrote what is linked on this page.
Steve Reiser explained his reasons
for ceasing his posting, here.
17. What about Advertising?
Short, to the point, advertising is permitted if it concerns the subject
of the news
group, and is not excessively repetitive. As examples, we are not interested in
ads for sex phone lines, get-rich-quick schemes, or health related items. This is
in accordance with present-day netiquette standards. See references in item
No paid readings, or paid advice about personal matters should be placed
in the public
18. What is a "kook"?
They are silly, eccentric, or crazy people. Kooks are quoted on
certain web pages.
Obsessive behavior by "skeptics" and other sects in alt.paranormal is silly and
crazy, and will probably lead to placement of the names and e-mail addresses of
such people in lists on Web Pages, when they become a nusiance.
19. I've seen other FAQ-CHARTERS. Which are authentic?
The history of alt.paranormal FAQs
Who was the authority for the May 1998 FAQs and answers?
How were they revised?
This item 19 is being written as an explanation for those who are confronted
with the confusing circumstance of either having noticed other alleged "authentic"
FAQ-answers in the Google archives for alt.paranormal, or via the World
Wide Web if they become archived in news.answers.
A search of the news.answers and alt.paranormal archives, using "alt.paranormal"
as a keyword, indicates that, in the Spring of 1998, only one FAQ has been archived
correctly through the news groups news.answers and others, and that was this
Later, another FAQ was archived by Phil Harrison.
Numerous FAQs have been posted to alt.paranormal. Except for one
which you can find through the Google archives, the one's I've read all have the "skeptic"
agenda placed in them. I have much written about pseudo-skeptic aims at:
...or in most SEARCH ENGINES type:
skeptics what they do and why
Most of the other so-called FAQ and alleged answers are usually written
who's agenda is not constructive discussion of the "paranormal" in a news group with
that name. It is quite different, as anyone with sufficient experience knows.
During 1998, a so-called "digger" (aka Blaine Henry) posted his FAQ
alt.paranormal. Both Harrison and Henry write the "skeptic" views
in alt.paranormal, and in my own opinion, and obviously a consensus
of those who find value in the subject of the paranormal and have sufficient
experience in the newsgroup, so-called "skeptics" do not have a voice in
policies of alt.paranormal.
The present USENET rules allow for more than one FAQ to be archived.
My use of
the word "authentic" is an interpretation, but it is not based upon USENET standards
since there are none to-date regarding this. These documents are "authentic" in my
opinion, and that of the "regular" paranormalists, but not because of USENET
standards. We interpret this way because only we paranormalists should, and do,
have a voice in these FAQ-answers. It was without such an exclusive influence
that the other non-authentic FAQ-ANSWERS were written.
As one example, the following is from
email@example.com (Dumuzi Yah)
dated: May 18, 1996
alt.paranormal FAQ, regular posting (as of now)
Don't get upset if someone
questions your claims.
The idea here is open debate. If you have taken
the time to open an account, Log on, enter AP,
and make a proclamation, you must be interested
in spreading truth. And if your interested in
spreading truth, then you should be interested
in backing it up. If you do not want to bother
backing up your claims, then you will rarely
be taken seriously. But if you insist, thats
okay, every group needs a fool, and every
group has one.
The above is the pseudo-skeptic line, and people who write
that way have no part in policy making for this newsgroup.
For information about the latest revision, see this reference.
To see who "Regular" proponent of the paranormal and similar posters are:
A group of alt.paranormal regulars were authorized to take part in revising
document n 1998. They were selected, to a great extent, because of their long
history in alt.paranormal. They had shown a positive, and long lived, interest in the
subject of the paranormal. They voted upon use of the term: "overseer."
Since 1998, paranormal regulars have again met privately, and made their
selections about who is, or is not, to take part in their discussions, and to make
decisions about FAQS and other matters.
Just the fact that one has interest in the paranormal does not give
them a voice
in the affairs of alt.paranormal. If people want a voice in these FAQs, they have
to show intelligence, common sense, an ability to think clearly, and to write logically.
They have to be able to clearly express that clear thinking, on USENET. I feel
sure that the "regulars" I originally chose in 1998, and who decided to join again
with others later, will not allow people in their group who write nonsense on
Access this URL for the list of "regulars" (aka "overseers")...
On March 6, 1998, I sent e-mail notification of the May 1998 revision
people, and informed that their input would be regarded for the wording of
this FAQ. A number of them were already posting in alt.paranormal, and so
had the opportunity to read the discussions and announcements regarding
these FAQs. John McGowan participated in revision, and gave attention to
the opinions of "skeptics" regarding this FAQ, though no recommended changes
were made by him, to me as a result of that attention.
Everyone not on the list were excluded from direct influence upon the
of these FAQs , and the charter.
Of those originally designated as "overseers" only one indicated a difference
opinion on a major issue prior to this revision. He did not feel that any group
should be singled out in the writing of FAQs. He was referring to the writing
about so-called "skeptics." One person is far from a consensus, so that
opinion was ignored in this revision. Further postings of his indicated that
he did not want to be associated with any FAQ written by me, so I've
excluded his name from all references, including this one.
These are the references for USENET authority and finding ARCHIVED
To find archived postings of USENET, it's advisable to search
for keywords, authors, and to specify time periods and
newsgroups in the USENET search engine Google.
Note the fact that there are forgeries and impersonation
posts. You may,
as an example, look up "Dan Kettler" (aka "Bruce Daniel Kettler") as author.
Many appearing with "psicounsel" in the posts, and "Dan Kettler" are not from
the author of this FAQ. See this link for details of this deceptive activity.
news.admin.net-abuse FAQ -- what is and is not "abuse" and what to do about it
alt.spam FAQ or "Figuring out fake E-Mail & Posts" -- how to complain to an ISP
Find out about Usenet News and Netiquette.
Note the following from the guidelines:
"Read... newsgroups for one to two months
before you post anything."
You must know who the "players" are, what they
are about, and the general atmosphere. Except for
reposting what others have written, if you start posting
without looking first, your writing will likely appear
like nonsense to many...
"Electing" people to be called "kooks" has often been employed by
pseudo-skeptic fanatics to discredit proponents of the paranormal,
especially those who consistently expose their tactics. It is not actually
an award for "Usenet Kook" since such a small percentage of Usenet
actually votes for certain people. Numbers of votes in favor are usually
What is SPAM?
What is SPAM? (from the psicounsel site)
21. Legal Disclaimer
The writers of this FAQ are not giving advice that may be considered
in a legal action
against the posters of the News group. No legal expertise, or other type, is assumed
by the writer or posters to the news group, either because of the writing of this FAQ,
or necessarily because of the posts that are placed by himself and others in the
The word "regular," as it relates to "regular
proponents of the paranormal, astrology, UFOs
as extraterrestrial, etc.
Most dictionaries refer to regulars as those who can be trusted.
One can consider them
reasonably dependable. One who is, or was, usually posting to a newsgroup is
considered a "regular." One who fits a certain criteria, like being a certain normal, or
regular size, is regular size. One who's in the regular army, is often considered a
"regular army person."
It could be someone who adheres to principles of a certain group, and
a "regular" of the group.
Someone who attended certain club meetings at fixed intervals, and is
still part of
that group though not participating as often, is considered a regular member.
The regularity of attendance required to remain a member is entirely up to the
club membership and leadership.
"Regular" can mean being in conformity with established or prescribed
The rules can vary. There is no one rule that is "regular," while another
is not. Whatever the rule is, if people comply, they are considered "regular"
by those making the rules.
I'm sure many people have heard of the expression: "a regular guy."
What is a "regular guy"? Well, it varies from culture to culture.
So, when we write that "overseers" who are "regulars," or "regular
participants" of alt.paranormal or some other newsgroup, the meaning
can vary. It really depends upon the standards of the "regulars" or