Rules & Regulations
The following Rules, Regulations and Standards are necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of all ARPAST research investigations, as well as guarantee that all data collected is of the highest quality. Mistakes can always happen during an investigation; however, the Standards below are designed to reduce the frequency and seriousness of those errors.
Membership Rules and Regulations:
1. Attendance to all meetings is required unless notice is given of absence. ARPAST holds only one team meeting a month; please make every effort to attend or notify ARPAST of not being able to attend. Attendance to all meetings must be punctual. Attire for the meetings is casual and comfortable, unless otherwise instructed.
2. All new ARPAST team members are required to attend at least one training session and meeting prior to going on an investigation. All existing ARPAST members are required to attend a training session and meeting at least once every 3 months or they will be placed on inactive status. Only active members are eligible to attend investigations. Guests are not allowed to attend investigations unless the event is publicly sanctioned as an open investigation or prior approval from Officers is obtained.
3. Members must wear an ARPAST ID badge to all investigations, events, and public functions. Badges are not required for meetings. ID badges may be purchased through the Membership Director. Any lost or damaged ID's have a replacement cost of $10.00.
4. Members shall not approach possible clients via email, phone, or other means without explicit permission from the Officers. Doing so may be grounds for dismissal from the group.
5. At all times during research investigations and anytime ARPAST members are representing the group in an official capacity, members must maintain a professional attitude and demeanor. Our goal should be an attitude of reverence and respect.
6. ARPAST members will keep current on group activities and research investigations by frequently visiting the ARPAST website and message board. When a date and time for an investigation has been formalized, an e-mail will go out through the website's mail-server to all active researchers. ARPAST members must keep their e-mail information up-to-date on the website in order to stay informed.
7. Respect other team members. If you have a problem with someone, please take it up with him or her and resolve the problem out side of an investigation or a meeting.
8. As ARPAST is a non-profit, scientific research organization, there may be times when the media will be involved. All members of ARPAST must sign a Standard Release form and consent to the possibility that their names or likeness may be utilized for the sole purpose of ARPAST promotion. Any media inquiries must be directed to Officers, the PR Manager, or Marketing Director immediately. We do encourage our members to be involved with the media; however, we want a member of Management present to ensure proper information is available.
9. Any data and/or information (including but not limited to photos, videos, and audio) obtained on an officially sanctioned ARPAST research investigation are co-property of the individual researcher and ARPAST. In the event of members leaving ARPAST, all materials shall remain co-property. Any materials which former members gathered while active members of ARPAST may be used by ARPAST as the group sees fit. In the event of group disbandment, materials will remain the property of the individual researchers.
10. All members of ARPAST are responsible for their own actions. The Officers and other members of ARPAST hold no responsibility or liability for any issues arising with a member. Any and all members found breaking the law or our standards and protocols will have their membership revoked.
11. All members of ARPAST are required to sign a Personal Liability Waiver and Confidentiality Agreement before being permitted to participate in any ARPAST sanctioned events.
12. You will automatically be dismissed from ARPAST, without refund, if you are inactive for 90 days. This period will begin from the last date of contact. If you need to take a leave of absence, this must be approved by an Officers quorum prior to leave.
Violations:A serious violation of the Standards or Rules may result in a dismissal of membership from ARPAST, or a temporary revocation of active status. A decision to dismiss or revoke active status is to be made by the Officers after a thorough review of the situation. The following violations will result in immediate and permanent dismissal from ARPAST:
- Divulging privileged or confidential information regarding the location of an investigation outside of ARPAST.
- Knowingly falsifying or tampering with any evidence or any attempt to undermine the credibility of the group in any way.
- Holding materials gathered at an official ARPAST investigation without bringing them to the group for review or providing them for use on the website.
- Disrespect of individuals right-to-privacy, whether a member of ARPAST or not.
- Representing ARPAST in an unprofessional manner.
- Destruction or theft of property from an investigation site.
- Unless authorized, possession of a weapon during an investigation is strictly prohibited.
- Trespassing while under the authority of ARPAST.
- Use of alcohol or mind-altering substances (including prescription pain killers) at any ARPAST function or a minimum of 8 hours prior to an ARPAST function.
Standard Procedure for Research investigations:1. ARPAST members should always strive to be on time to research investigations. Being late to an investigation may reflect poorly on the group in the eyes of the property owner or authorized trustee who has given us permission to conduct research at the site. If you must arrive late, please make arrangements with the Officers beforehand. If you are sick, disoriented, or for any reason don't feel you are well, it is best to miss the investigation. Please notify Officers of not attending. We don't want any harm to come to any of our members.
2. ARPAST members will always operate in assigned teams of at least two. Do not go to locations alone and do not separate from the group during an investigation without having someone with you. Teaming up with someone will increase your safety, and also provide a witness to any evidence you gather or experiences you encounter. If you are not comfortable working with someone, please notify Officers immediately. Please stay with the team member you are assigned to and in the area you are assigned until you are relieved or moved by Officers.
3. ARPAST members will always be prepared for research investigations by carrying proper ID, checking the functional status of their equipment, and carrying spares to include digital camera media, batteries, and film, if necessary. New audio tapes and external microphones are required during EVP work. New video tapes are required for any video recordings. Team members are required to supply their own personal sized flashlight.
4. ARPAST members will understand and be familiar with the setup and utilization of their equipment prior to going on an investigation. Any personal equipment brought to an investigation is your responsibility. If you loan the equipment to another team member, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is returned. ARPAST will not be responsible if it is lost, stolen, or damaged.
5. Members are also encouraged to understand their role in all experiments and research scheduled to be performed at an investigation before arriving at the site. If you are given an assignment that you are uncomfortable with or unable to perform, please bring it to the attention of Officers immediately.
6. Upon arrival at the investigation site, an initial walk-through will be completed for familiarization. During the walk-through, baseline environmental readings will be with various pieces of equipment. In addition, other sensors may be utilized to establish control data, as well as reduce the possibility of false positives during the investigation. One member should map the location noting the location of air vents, heaters, fuse boxes, electrical appliances, computers, light sources, reflective objects, etc. One member should take 10 - 15 test photos during the walk through.
7. Members must ensure that all dust, spots, and fingerprints are removed from camera lens before and during research investigations. Camera straps should be removed and long hair should be pulled back to prevent any possible obstructions in front of the lens. Fingers should be kept back from the lens and flash. In cold weather, always be aware of or hold your breath while taking a photo so that false photo anomalies are not produced that could be confused with "ecto".
8. Members should always refrain from taking photographs outside during inclement weather. Do not take photos during rain, any type of storms, mist, fog, snow, heavy winds, or dust. If a dirt or gravel road has been disturbed, members should wait at least 30 minutes before attempting to take photos. Dust stirred up from a road can take a significant length of time to settle.
9. Members should refrain from taking photographs directly into any light source or reflective surface such as glass or a mirror. This can cause light refraction or "matrixing" in the camera lens and results in photo anomalies that can be mistaken as paranormal in nature. ARPAST requires that all members take two photographs in the same position to allow for comparative review.
10. ARPAST members will speak clearly and at a controlled volume during research investigations. At no time during an investigation should any group member whisper or make strange noises or voices for any reason. Doing so destroys the credibility of all audio captured on that investigation. Any accidental noises must be documented on paper, and/or on a recording device.
11. ARPAST members will take notes throughout the investigation, logging their research efforts and any activity they encounter. These notes will describe the efforts and/or activity, along with location within the site and the time of occurrence. Attempting to use just your memory later, rather than notes, is an unprofessional and inefficient way to work. Please make use of the Clipboard Investigation Logs that are provided by the Officers.
12. When encountering suspected paranormal activity, it is preferable that the researcher say aloud, "I am experiencing something," and then immediately he or she should write down what they are experiencing. This prevents the power-of-suggestion from becoming a factor for the other researchers. Other researchers in the area should make notes about what, if anything, they were experiencing at the same time and all notes can be compared later. Researchers should make note of the time for any experienced activity to help establish Activity Points with all relevant equipment.
13. Smoking tobacco in any form during an investigation is strictly prohibited. Smoke can easily lead to false photo anomalies or smells which can be easily misinterpreted as paranormal activity. If you absolutely must smoke, you must go offsite, or to your POV (privately owned vehicle).
14. Drinking alcohol or using mind-altering substances (including prescription pain killers) on the investigation site premises or a minimum of 8 hours prior is strictly forbidden and is grounds for immediate dismissal from the group. See Violations section.
15. It is very important to refrain from using perfumes, cologne or any other scented products on your person before and during an investigation. This is to rule out any physical cause for unusual scents that may be encountered during the investigation.
16. All cell phones will be turned off or on vibrate while the investigation is underway.
17. Be compassionate and caring for the clients. Do not discuss your personal paranormal experiences with the clients. This may cause to clients to create inaccurate facts in their case. If a client asks a question, be sure to give truthful answers; do not guess. If the answer is unknown, refer to an Officer for help.
18. IMPORTANT: Make all team members and Officers aware of any unsafe conditions. If there are any unauthorized persons in the investigation area, leave the area immediately and notify Officers. If a team member is injured or in the event of an emergency, all team members will immediately return to the base station and notify Officers of the situation.
19. Following an investigation, it is important that all members process all data collected and have it ready to present and discuss with other group members within one week.