IF THERE is any aspect of homosexuality in humans that puzzles you, a Melbourne-based website with links to India claims to have all the answers. As well as explanations it also offers “cures”.
The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) – whose bizarre, uscientific and poorly written statements fail to live up to its title – begins by telling visitors to its website:
“Spiritual research has shown that … about 30 per cent of the world’s population is possessed by ghosts.” It then offers these explanations for homosexual attraction:
“The main reason behind the gay orientation of some men is that they are possessed by female ghosts. It is the female ghost in them that is attracted to other men.
“Conversely, the attraction to females experienced by some lesbians is due to the presence of male ghosts in them. The ghost’s consciousness overpowers the person’s normal behaviour to produce the homosexual attraction.
“Spiritual research has shown that the cause for homosexual preferences lies predominantly in the spiritual realm.”
Its analysis of homosexuality suggests physical causes due to hormonal changes in five per cent of cases; psychological causes, such as a pleasurable encounter with a person of the same sex when young, in 10 per cent of cases; and “spiritual causes: mainly ghosts” in 85 per cent of cases.
Unsurprisingly, it does not explain what it means by “spiritual research”. It adds that homosexuality can be overcome by regular spiritual practices which it teaches.
Tom Ruffles, book editor of the Society for Psychical Research who is also active in other roles for the society, is among those who were commenting on these ridiculous claims at the end of 2016. Pink News and sceptical blogger Hayley Stevens also joined the discussion.
In his own blog (tomruffles.blogspot.co.uk) Tom draws attention to another page of the SSRF website “which is essentially homophobic”. It describes gay prides as becoming more “gruesome” and applauds the Russian stance on public displays of homosexuality.
With commendable restraint, Tom adds: “The suspicion arises that the information presented by the SSRF stems from prejudice, not scientific research.”
Such prejudice, we assume, will not go down well with the Stonewall Columbus Queer Ghost-Hunting Club, a title that needs no explanation. According to the SSRF’s theories, they won’t have far to look for ghosts as they are all gay!
Some outsiders, however, may find their rationale as questionable as the SSRF’s. In an extensive online feature in December by Matt Baume for Vice media, titled “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re ghosts”, group member Shane McClelland explains that the Stonewall collective came into being when he joined fellow paranormal enthusiasts at his local LGBTQ centre in Columbus, Ohio.
Since then, they have undertaken regular outings with the goal of “resisting against the often presumed heterosexuality of ghosts”. And, says Baume, although they are not the only gay people with an interest in the paranormal, “they appear to be the first group dedicated exclusively to hunting queer spirits”.
They now have their own YouTube video series, “Queer Ghost Hunters”.