The General Society Department (GSD)
The General Society Department (GSD) is the club/society aspect of the organization. The GSD does not investigate claims of paranormal phenomenon (as that is reserved for the three research branches of PRS: FIR, PLR and SOR, respectively), but rather, hosts bi-monthly meetings where members discuss various aspects of the paranormal, organize society events such as open houses and aim to spark discussion through lectures and debates. General members also organize PRS member field trips (past events include Gettysburg, New Orleans, etc.)
Unlike the research departments, which require extensive training and screening, the general department is more relaxed and allows members with little to no experience in paranormal research to join. For novices, it’s a great place to start at within the society. For researchers, it’s a great place to contribute and participate in discussions and network.
The general society started back in 2002, about six months after PRS’ creation, in order to house members who wanted to be members of PRS but weren’t able or willing to commit to the extensive training required to join a research department.
General members meet every other Sunday. There is an application process to join, which is described below.
Anyone wishing to join the Paranormal Research Society can do so by becoming a member of the general society. Application to join the General Society can be done on this page. You can also learn about the rules and selection process.
Note: Out of State and Online Membership: PRS does not offer any from-afar membership, except on rare occasion to specialists such as scientists, academics, psychologists, etc. Please do not ask for an exception or submit an application is you are unable to attend meetings physically.
People living outside of Pennsylvania, particularly in the surrounding states, are eligible to join, but they must still make the same commitments.
Eligibility & Commitments
In order to become a general society member, the member must meet the following requirements, as well as go through an application process. If accepted, the general society member will be referred to as a candidate.
Age. As of current, general society members must be at least 18-years-old. 17-year-olds may be permitted with written, documented permission from their legal, parent guardian.
Meetings & Attendance: In order to be a general member of PRS, one must physically attend one (1) meeting a month, and be present for 100% of the duration for that meeting. As of current, the general society holds two meetings a month.
There are four quarters for the yearly calendar, and they are as follows:
January 1st – March 31st.
April 1st – June 30th.
July 1st – September 30th.
October 1st – December 31st.
On a case-by-case basis, PRS will consider excusing additional meeting absences if there is a legitimate personal emergency, including, but not limited to the following:
- documented illness
- documented family emergency
- recognized religious holiday
Unapproved/unexcused absences resulting in a member attending less than the requirement of one meeting per month will result in review of your general society membership. Upon review of the member’s status, PRS, in its sole discretion, may suspend the member’s general society membership. It should also be noted that, even though PRS is only requiring members to attend one meeting a month, those wishing to pursue a position in any of the research departments (or even the media department), attend field trips or other extra-curricular functions, should strive to attend as many meetings as possible. Members who seek to become researchers should participate in more than the minimum number of activities, especially since being involved in a research department requires additional commitments.
Membership dues: Members must pay bi-annual dues every January 15th and July 15th. A member who joins after the above due dates must still pay for the current six-month period. For example, if you join on February 19th, you will be required to pay member dues immediately and again on July 15th. Member dues are a nominal fee and the funds go towards funding various general member functions.
Signing of membership forms & agreements: General members, like all members of the society, are required to sign certain agreements regarding the terms of their membership. Additionally, members may be asked to give authorization for personal background checks.
Member Application. Entrance in to the PRS general society is at the sole discretion of PRS. The PRS Board of Directors may set a membership limit at any time, as well as enact additional policies. Because there is a high demand to join PRS, the society has chosen to be selective on who joins and will often set criteria every six months on personal selection requirements.
Volunteering. In addition to attendance at general meetings, general society members are required to attend and/or volunteer at the following:
Open House – members are required to volunteer for at least one (1) open house a quarter, for a total of four (4) a year.
UNIV-CON – General members are required to serve as staff for a minimum of twelve (12) hours over the course of the four-day event. These hours need not be consecutive.
Society Project – The PRS society will hold a variety of special projects every year. General members are required to put in a total of fifteen (15) hours a year towards a specific project.
Important Note: We know that there are many people all over the United States who would like to join PRS from afar, but we are not accepting internet members, only members who can make the physical dedication to attend the meetings and other requirements.
The purpose of joining PRS is to learn more about the paranormal, help the community grow and to help create new ideas. Fans who only want join to get to know the cast of “Paranormal State” or who want to be on the show will be weeded out very quickly. Also, keep in mind that we’re looking for serious members only. If you think you might be interested, then hold off until you are 100% positive you want to make commitments to this society. As you see above, attending a meeting or two will not be enough to make you a member. Membership requirements will be strictly enforced.