Talk:Pranic healing

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On explaining the existence and features of paranormal social movements[edit]

I have just run across "pranic healing" and I am wondering about something you could call "the sociology of organized paranormal belief". If you're a skeptic, it's easy to think of alternative explanations for paranormal events, and concrete investigation of a paranormal anecdote will (often? generally?) reveal a plausible specific candidate for a non-paranormal explanation.

In the case of pranic healing, one has an academy of supernatural medicine with hundreds of graduates who believe they have paranormal experiences, both as individuals and in groups, and who communicate to each other about these events. Now I can, more or less, *imagine* non-paranormal scenarios that could account for the existence of such an organization. The foundation is private superstition and belief in the supernatural, the paranormal subculture reinforces these tendencies through communication and other social mechanisms, etc.

But is there an example of *concrete* investigation of organized paranormal belief? So, not just doing what I am doing - *inventing* a *possible* non-paranormal explanation for the continued existence of a community of paranormal belief and practice - but actually going into the details of a particular organization and movement, and saying that empirically, it came about e.g. because the founder had a certain personality, because their flavor of paranormalism involved a particular misinterpretation of certain real phenomena, and because their type of movement met a particular human need, which motivated credulity that would not be present in less urgent matters. Mporter (talk) 21:23, 2 November 2017 (UTC)