Monday, 13 June 2016

Defending the Warrens: Distort, Ignore and Disregard.










I wrote a post back in January regarding the about to be released movie The Conjuring 2, the story line of which concerns "Paranormal Investigators" Ed and Lorraine Warren investigating the so-called Enfield Poltergeist case of the 1970's. The post  was in direct response to the comments of Guy Lyon Playfair, one of the main investigators on the Enfield case. Playfair was understandably aggrieved that the Warrens were presented as central to the case, when he states, that there only involvement was to turn up and tell Playfair what money was to be made from exploiting the supposed haunting. I won't repeat Playfair's comments as they are available in the above link, the post also links to the original source, so you can follow that if you're interested.

What I want to focus on is the reaction to the notion that filmakers involved in the making of the conjuring maybe *gasp* massively over-exaggerating the extent of the Warrens involvement with Enfield. As an example here's what an admin at website Paranormal Soup had to say about the issue:





Jim suggests that what I write should be disregarded because I use the word "Skeptic" in the title of my blog. That's a classic example of the genetic fallacy, Jim wants to disregard my argument because of it's source not due to its validity. Jim also states
" if the Warrens weren't involved with this case it will come out big time when the movie is released. Everyone will be interviewed includes existing family members involved in the haunting. So if this story is not related accurately, it will come out."
Psst.... Jim.... It HAS come out, and you've found a lame reason to disregard it.

Even if you want to brush what I've said under the rug because I'm a nasty Skeptic, if you'd actually read what I wrote you'd have to find a reason to disregard what Playfair has said too. He most certainly isn't a skeptic, what is his reason for casting aspersions on the Warrens?

Jim goes on to state:
"I do have to wonder though, why a Movie Studio would risk their reputation on a lie, if that were the case.
Jim, is this a joke? Have you ever read about the "artistic licence" film studies take with supposedly true stories? Ever heard of Braveheart? The film depicts William Wallace having sex with Isabelle of France, she was four at the time of Wallace's death. Was the film studio's reputation ruined by this distortion of the truth? No of course not. No one cared. No one's reputation suffered. The film was a huge success.

Several people have commented on the validity of the claim that the Warrens were majorly involved with the Enfield case resulting in Tony Spera(left), one of Ed and Lorraine's proteges and current curator of their Museum of the Occult, to post a lengthy defence on the museum's facebook page (reposted in full at the end of the post). Now I'd normally post a screen cap of that response but unfortunately, the post has been deleted. In fact, the museum's page is completely gone. What I can do, in the interest of fairness and in an effort not to misquote, is take sections of the response reproduced on Paranormal Soup and Google search them to confirm that Spera actually wrote them. If the post has been removed due to inaccuracies, as I believe may be the case, Spera may regret beginning it by requesting that all "friends of the Warrens" share it where ever possible!

Spera states:
"Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren were at the house, and conducted an investigation into the supernatural and preternatural phenomena that had been occurring in that small counsel house. I have in my possession, hours of audio recordings of Ed Warren interviewing Peggy, Janet, and Margaret Hodgeson, and in those tapes, audio of voices frequently responding to questions from Ed Warren, and even interrupting him at times. These voices would issue from thin air."
Great, and you can evidence this by just issuing the tapes surely? Why hasn't Spera done this?

He also states:
"There were two other investigators in the house, accompanying the Warrens, Paul Bartz ( since deceased ) and John Kenyhercz, alive and well, who will testify to this fact. John was witness to much phenomena; one incident involved a huge lump of excrement plopping ( materializing ) on the floor right in front of him. John also supplied to me dozens of photographic slides he had taken in the house."

 Again, where are these slides? And again, Why not just release them?
"This occurred in 1979..... In 1981 Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren returned to the house...."
This could be the reason Spera's post was removed, you see the Conjuring 2 isn't set in 1979 or 1981, it's set in 1977, the time of the original events surrounding the family. The film also clearly depicts the Warrens alongside lead investigator Maurice Grosse, portrayed by Simon McBurney (left). Spera does not mention Grosse as being with the Warrens during their 1979 investigation. But Grosse was still with the family until at least August of that year. He continues:
"Also, keep in mind that Ed Warren visited the house in 1979.
The British investigators supposedly were there in 1977 for more than a year. Did they solve anything or help the family in any way? Apparently not, as the phenomena was still occurring when Ed went to the house in 1979."
This is directly contradictory to the few interviews Janet Hodgson, the 11-year-old girl around which the haunting seem to be centred (or who was the main hoaxer depending on your stance), has given since 1978. She states that the paranormal events more or less ended in 1978 after an exorcism by a local priest:
"Janet reports that it was a priest’s visit to Green Street that resulted in the incidents ‘quietening down’ in autumn 1978, although the occurrences did not stop entirely, she says, with her mother continuing to hear noises in the house." Janet Hodgson, Daily Mail, 2012. 
That doesn't sync with Spera's defence of the Warrens at all, with him claiming that Janet was still levitating and emitting strange voices at this point.... there was even a case of shit materialising from thin air apparently:
 "...one incident involved a huge lump of excrement plopping ( materializing ) on the floor right in front of him."
Hmmm.... I wonder if it was bullshit?

Anyway, also contradictory is Janet's alleged reaction to meeting Lorraine Warren on the Conjuring 2 set last year, with Spera stating:
"Fast forward to October of 2015. Lorraine was invited to the set of " The Conjuring 2: Enfield Poltergeist "While on the set, Janet and Margaret Hodgeson arrived and were met by Lorriane. The two woman immediately began crying while hugging and kissing Lorraine. They both remarked that " Lorraine and her husband were the " Only ones that helped us ".... Let that sink in. " The Warren's were the ONLY ones that helped us "...."
Yet, despite this gratitude Janet has NEVER mentioned Ed or Lorraine in a single interview. Not Once, so she's certainly never publicly indicated any gratitude to the Warrens. As quoted above, she credits a local priest with ending the haunting effectively. Let THAT sink in Spera. Also, she told the Mail again in 2012 this that she was less than thrilled  with the idea of the film:
"I wasn't very happy to hear about the film," she said. "I didn't know anything about it. My dad has just died, and it really upset me to think of all this being raked over again."-Janet Hodgson, The Daily Mail, 2012. 
Hardly a ringing endorsement, and the only public comment she's made about the film.

*Inserted update* I've been pointed to the following promotional interview for the Conjuring 2 with Janet where she does indeed endorse the Warrens. This is quite literally the first time I've heard her mention them. She also thanks the filmmakers for giving her the chance to "tell her families story". According to the Express Janet is now also claiming that it was not the spirit of "Bill" that possessed her but a "creature".


This is quite a backtrack from the quotes above and the story she has previously told as the above quotes show, and this has the whiff of a cynical move by Warner Bros to protect the legitimacy of the film's claims. I include it (above) for clarity.

Spera also talks about the Warrens influence on the paranormal scene:
"There isn't a paranormal reality show, or reality star on television today, or in the past that doesn't owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ed and Lorraine Warren.They began the NESPR ( New England Society for Psychic Research ) way back in 1952, before most, if not all of these so-called " Demonologists " and ghost-hunters were ever conceived, or even a thought in their future parents mind. The Warrens were the grunts, the ones who laid the groundwork, and fought the battles and forged ahead, all in the quest to help others. Back in the late sixties, Ed was recognized as being one of only seven religious demonologists in the nation, six being clergy,and Ed as the only " lay " Demonologist. Today, if you check the internet, there are probably thousands of people calling themselves demonologists."
You'd have to be stunningly deluded to see that as anything but a criticism, not a compliment.  The Warrens led the way in bestowing themselves with bullshit, made up titles and qualifications. They pioneered shoddy investigation techniques and practices. They revolutionised the exploitation of the deluded and vulnerable. They fought to keep stone age beliefs from slipping into obscurity...

HOO-FUCKING- RAH

Of course, Jim of Ghost Study was more than convinced by Spera's statement, despite the fact that Spera hasn't offered a shred of evidence and the post (and page) has been quickly removed.


I'm sure Jim doesn't care what anyone else has to say about the Warrens. He wants to believe, that's fine. He can continue to drink the Kool-Aid, but he may want to ask Spera why that post was yanked.... Why go from asking for it to be circulated to the scorched earth approach of going as far as to completely remove the Warren's Museum page altogether?

I've got to say I think Jim approach of ignoring or disregarding legitimate criticism of the Warrens is far more convenient than attempting to defend them. As Spera demonstrates, the only way to actually mount a defence of Ed and Lorraine is obscure and manipulate the truth. Spera is forced to leap to the Warren's defence, as the curator of their bullshit museum they are his meal ticket

That post of Tony Spera's in full:

First, I would ask that everyone who reads this post shares it on their timeline. I ask this of those who are truly friends of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The following is my response;

There have been articles floating around the internet claiming that Ed and Lorraine Warren never investigated the " Enfield Poltergeist " case.
The case is the basis for the upcoming New Line Cinema release of " The Conjuring 2; Enfield Poltergeist "

An interview between Dave Shrader and Guy Playfair has been floating around online, with Playfair disparaging Ed Warren and claiming that they never investigated the house or family.
I write this to counter that false claim. Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren were at the house, and conducted an investigation into the supernatural and preternatural phenomena that had been occurring in that small counsel house.

I have in my possession, hours of audio recordings of Ed Warren interviewing Peggy, Janet, and Margaret Hodgeson, and in those tapes, audio of voices frequently responding to questions from Ed Warren, and even interrupting him at times. These voices would issue from thin air.

Also, a voice known as the " Parrot woman " could be heard on the audio tapes.

There were two other investigators in the house, accompanying the Warrens, Paul Bartz ( since deceased ) and John Kenyhercz, alive and well, who will testify to this fact.
John was witness to much phenomena; one incident involved a huge lump of excrement plopping ( materializing ) on the floor right in front of him.
John also supplied to me dozens of photographic slides he had taken in the house.

This occurred in 1979.

Lorraine was witness to wallpaper peeling from the walls, and floating in the air, and covering an overhead light.

Ed and Lorraine had left the house and had gone to a local market to buy some groceries for the family, and while there witnessed a " doppelgänger " of Janet standing just outside of the store.
In 1981 Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren returned to the house, with their daughter, Judy ( my wife ).

While there, Judy witnessed phenomena herself.
( a purse that she placed on the floor beside her mysteriously moved several feet away from her ).

Fast forward to October of 2015. Lorraine was invited to the set of " The Conjuring 2: Enfield Poltergeist "
While on the set, Janet and Margaret Hodgeson arrived and were met by Lorriane. The two woman immediately began crying while hugging and kissing Lorraine. They both remarked that " Lorraine and her husband were the " Only ones that helped us "

Let that sink in. " The Warren's were the ONLY ones that helped us "

Lorraine and Ed Warren have been taking the stabs and the slings and arrows of skeptics, and naysayers, and non- believers, and jealous competitors for years.
This article is just one more stab.

When you are the pioneers, and on top of the occult realm, there will always be those who will try to knock you off that pedestal.
Ed and Lorraine would go out and buy the Hodgeson family food, because they were a needy family, and Ed and Lorraine felt extreme compassion for them.
Did the British in investigators do that? I don’t think so.

There isn't a paranormal reality show, or reality star on television today, or in the past that doesn't owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ed and Lorraine Warren.
They began the NESPR ( New England Society for Psychic Research ) way back in 1952, before most, if not all of these so-called " Demonologists " and ghost-hunters were ever conceived, or even a thought in their future parents mind.

The Warrens were the grunts, the ones who laid the groundwork, and fought the battles and forged ahead, all in the quest to help others.

Back in the late sixties, Ed was recognized as being one of only seven religious demonologists in the nation, six being clergy,and Ed as the only " lay " Demonologist.
Today, if you check the internet, there are probably thousands of people calling themselves demonologists.

Reading a book on demonology and investigating a few homes does not a demonologist make.
I knew Ed Warren since 1979. Other than his wife, Lorraine, I probably have spent more time with him than anyone else. I would accompany them on the majority of their lectures, and many cases, and visit Ed at his home.

He would talk about the " Enfield " case almost every time I was with him. Literally thousands of people have heard the spirit voices that would issue from thin air in that Enfield house ( Ed played those audio recordings at most of his lectures ).

Also, keep in mind that Ed Warren visited the house in 1979.
The British investigators supposedly were there in 1977 for more than a year.
Did they solve anything or help the family in any way?

Apparently not, as the phenomena was still occurring when Ed went to the house in 1979.

Remember what Janet and Margaret said upon seeing Lorraine on the Conjuring 2 set:
" The Warrens were the ONLY ones that helped us "
I have included pictures of Janet and Margaret standing with Lorraine on the Conjuring set.
Sincerely,

Tony Spera