INTERVIEW WITH PASTOR ROBIN SWOPE - THE PARANORMAL PASTOR
With a booming interest in all things paranormal in the world today, one man stands out as a Christian Minister with an unusual witness...he's right in the thick of the paranormal realm with his blogs and websites, which recieves thousands of hits.
He's Robin Swope, the Paranormal Pastor.
So I thought the Bazfiles could get a scoop interview and Robin was kind enough to oblige:
Robin, what did you you want to be when you were growing up?
I always wanted to be a writer. I wrote a lot of plays in Grade school, and constantly played around with writing until I started to take it serious a few years ago. I have a novel I've been wanting to write for years but keep putting off because of my Fortean writing. I also had a deep desire to work in movies, at writing or directing. I did some Machinima and use it now in presentations of various unexplained tales, like my "Tales form the Vampires Crypt" on my Youtube page.
And you became a man of the cloth - what led you to become a Pastor?
I came to know Christ as personal Lord and Savior May 11th 1983. Before that I was a nominal Roman Catholic. When I experienced my first Missionary meeting and the Missionary gave a call to enter service forthe Lord I felt God was calling me to full time Christian Ministry. So within a year I entered College for my B.A. in Biblical Literature.
I read the Omega Men article with great interest. How easily do you think the average person buys into an urban myth?
We all have our preconcieved ideas of what is plausible, so when you come across 'evidence' like the Omega Men markings in the tunnels along with others that talk of satanism and the history of bodies found in the area you draw your own conclusions. Some Urban myths have been told to us from childhood, and when we are inclined to believe the myth instead of the truth. I remember in the 80's there was the rumor that the moon and stars symbol for Proctor and Gamble products were a satanic symbol. It was told among Christian circles that the president was on the Phil Donohue show and verified the myth and mocked Christians because they were unable to stop such a big company. But it never happened, even when debunked in the early 90s many simply would believe the myth than the truth. It affirms your preconcieved world views. I think all Urban Myths at thier core bolster our hope for belief in the fantastic and unexplained.
You are known as the Paranormal Pastor. What experiences led you to take on that moniker?
Odd and unexplained things seem to follow me wherever I go. In the mid 80s I was leaving a prayer meeting at my College, which is on the Hudson river outside of New York City. It was the middle of the famous flap and I saw the triangle going down the Hudson. I actually pointed it out to people passing by and they just shrugged and walked away! I was stunned, it was a UFO! I witnessed bizzare phenomena firsthand while on Mission trips to Africa, from the demonic to cryptids. And of course as a trained deliverance minister/exorcist I have seen quite a bit of strangeness. Even in secular jobs that I have had over the years for secondary income I have experienced hauntings, cryptids and abductees.
How has the flack been, considering some of your views may not line up with the average American evangelical position on the supernatural?
I have been called a heretic, rebuked for 'distorting Scripture' and considered 'backslidden' because of my views. But historically the church has never been shy about exploring the unexplained. In the last 150 years Christianity has taken a harsh tone with anything paranormal. With the advent of Revivalism in the USA happening at the same time as Spiritism, the unexplained has been considered evil and occult. However I always try to view any unexplained topic I explore on a spiritual level in line with a cultural and contextual view of Scripture. It is the same method used by Theologians and Ministers that my critics hold in high esteem, however when you use the same method in a topic they find uncomfortable, they attack. I think a lot of Christians are afraid of evil. They are so stressed with thier own imperfections that they are afraid of the devil and anything that could be demonic. When I get requests for help with the demonic across America I try to contact local ministers to see if they can interceed. It never fails, whatever the denomination, with most of my requests I either get no response or a note telling me they cannot help. It speaks volumes of my national church leaders spiritual health. We are more than conquerers, we need not be afraid of the dark, but be a light in the middle of the darkness.
Do you think that the 'surge' in paranormal investigations that has been generated by TV shows such as "Paranormal State' by novices is dangerous?
Yes. There are groups popping up all over the place and many have no real training. I have run into many that use divining devices or fortune telling means like Oiuja or Tarot to try to talk to entities. They have no idea of the danger that they put themselves in with no training. Even the Cartoon Network is getting into it. I think in the next 5 years we are going to see a lot of these untrained investigators develop mental health problems. Entities can harass, oppress and manipulate the ignorant novice to a point thier mental well being can be put in jeapordy. Many weekend investigators open themselves up to spiritual oppression, and unless they have a spiritual life or are around clergy who know what to look for, they can go around for years and have the darkness slowly swallow them up with addictions, depression, or a deteriorating self image.
Now we want to know about the everyday Robin. In Australia we are sports mad. In fact, I personally recommend you support the Parramatta Eels in Rugby League. In return I will gladly support your teams. So who do you follow in NBL, Football, Baseball and other sports. And do you prefer college over professional? (Please, please say Denver Bronco's!!!).
Unfortunately I never have followed sports much, except for local college basketball when I was dating a female basketball player! My son is much more of a sports fan, and he is a huge Pittsburgh Steeler fan. I love participating in sports though; football, volleyball and martial arts.
What other hobbies do you enjoy? Hiking, Gardening and Martial Arts. Any last words?
Wherever you go, there you are.
Thanks Robin - Baz.