TAPS Committed Fraud?

I was going through the different paranormal related pages on Myspace and came across Jason Hawes' from Ghost Hunters. I saw a blog entry that was kind of interesting. It was published in February 2007. So, this news is a bit old, but still needs to be addressed.

Alison Smith of the Skeptics Analysis of the Paranormal Society launched an investigation against TAPS for fraud after receiving complaints from several “interested parties” who claimed that TAPS was intentionally misleading the public into believing that it was a non-profit organization. Two others, MondoSkeptics and TAPS Tattler also launched their own investigations, but Alison really dug deep to find proof of these allegations.

They were being accused of promoting themselves as a non-profit organization for years when they did not register as a non-profit agency with the state of Rhode Island. If they had registered their company, the records of all donations would have been available to the public and held accountable. Could be an honest mistake, right? It seems that Alison Smith and her cohorts didn't care.

Because of this discrepancy, she contacted the IRS, the Better Business Bureau, the Rhode Island State Police, and the Rhode Island Gaming Commission (in hopes of busting them for throwing a raffle without obtaining a permit) as well as posting Jason's home address and phone number on her website which after numerous emails he convinced her to remove.

I understand contacting the IRS, BBB and such, but I don't get what would be gained by publishing his personal information online except to put him and his family in danger. There are a lot of people who think that anyone who believes in the paranormal are nuts and some of these people aren't too sane themselves. Jason explains on his Myspace page that his family has dealt with a stalker in the past (for more information on this, click here). Now, the one she posted wasn't his current address, but someone could easily track the new one from the old one.

He posted an apology on the TAPS website as well as corrected any mistakes. The IRS and the police have cleared him and his co-founder of any wrongdoing. Of course, it didn't matter to Alison Smith and her SAPS supporters because the attacks continued.

I went to her website and read the evidence she found and she indeed had proof of the claims. I know I'm a fan and I would hate to see the show canceled, but I'm about presenting the truth and that's what she did. However, I think she could of handled the situation better, but I leave it up to you to decide.

Were her actions appropriate?


Anonymous said…
Yes and No. I agree about exposing a fraud, but not, like you said, putting anyone's family in danger. Especially something as trivial as this is. I know some people take this stuff pretty serious.. even more reason not to post personal information. Although, I'm sure that, if someone REALLY wanted to, they could get it themselves. Still, that's just stupid and immature to do, IMHO.
Anonymous said…
wow wow and wow..I get it but still..People got to make a living dont they?

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