Religious texts claim that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but science reveals just how foolish and irrationally we act when we make emotional decisions on fear, ignoring reason. In the 1980s, the Satanic panic swept the United States. People were terrified of everything from the game Dungeons and Dragons, to heavy metal albums. Because… demons! They went on religiously motivated witch hunts, prosecuting their neighbors for Satanic orgies and human sacrifices that never happened.
But this level of irrational hysteria isn’t new. These types of theories have come and gone forever. In the 1940s, as described in Jesse Walker’s book, The United States of Paranoia, during WWII a conspiracy theory emerged that blacks in the south were holding swastika clubs in league with Hitler, to take over the south and enslave the whites. Because clearly the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Nazi sympathizers, is how high the membership rates of black people are in the KKK.
Don’t we owe it to ourselves to be more skeptical of the fear-mongers who profit from our terror-induced focus, and to be a bit more accepting of the facts that show a clearer picture and of the skeptics who expose the little lying emperors for their lack of clothes.
I’m going to get real with you. I used to be terrified of hell, Satan, demon possession, spirits, etc. And it sucked. But then I peered behind the curtain and began learning the science behind all of it. Sleep paralysis, hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations, mass hysteria, seizures, Pareidolia, fear-inducing infrasound, as well as what’s really going on in the brain during near death experiences, or the effects of psychedelics and even sleep deprivation on the brain. I found that there are so many explanations for the supernatural. The world is rife with a kaleidoscope of psychological sleights of hand that easily fool the educationally uninitiated – but there are just as many, and I would argue better reasons that you don’t have to live your life timid and afraid. And if you’re having trouble sleeping at night because you’re afraid of the dark. You don’t have to be any more. I’m going to work my way one by one through these science-based explanations until your fear of the supernatural is relic of the past. If there’s a particular scientific explanation for the supernatural that you would like me to tackle, or a supernatural experience that you’re having trouble explaining, let me know what you’d like me to address in my next video – either in the comments below or reach out to me on social media here.
We’re going to be sciencing pretty hard in the next few videos. Fear is the most powerful human emotion. But it can become a cage – a cage we can be free of – and knowledge is the key. You don’t have to be afraid, and you don’t have to drink the Koolaid.
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