GRS By-Laws



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Article I
Name and Jurisdiction

Section 1. This organization shall be known as the Ghost Research Society and has been in existence under that name since November of 1982.

Section 2. The jurisdiction of this organization is worldwide with a special emphasis on the Midwest.

Section 3. The principal office of this organization shall be located in the County of Cook, State of Illinois. The organization may have other branches either within or without the State of Illinois as the President may require from time to time.

Article II
Objectives

Section 1. The objectives of this organization shall be:
A. To scientifically and without prejudice explore the realm of the supernatural with a special emphasis on the topics of ghosts, hauntings, poltergeists and life after death.
B. To attempt to prove the existence of ghosts through on- site investigations at alleged haunted locations with the aid of special equipment and/or psychics.
C. To report such findings through the website.
D. To examine all forms of evidence for the existence of ghosts including; psychic photographs, audio sounds and any physical proof gathered.
E. To receive, manage, invest, expend or otherwise use the funds and property of this organization to carry out the duties and to achieve the objectives set forth in these By-Laws and for such additional purposes and objects not inconsistent therewith as will further the interests of this organization and its members, directly or indirectly.

Article III
Eligibility for Membership

Section 1. Subject only to the specific conditions stated hereinafter, any person of good moral character who has an interest in the paranormal shall be eligible for membership at the discretion of the President.

Section 2. Anyone wishing to become more involved with the organization may become an Active Member by subscribing as a Associate Member if he or she meets the following requirements:
A. All Active Members must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and have a valid ID or driver's license prior to joining.
B. He/she must fill out an Application For Active Research and provide a recent color photograph.
C. He/she must attend a one-on-one interview with the President before a Bi-Monthly meeting or at a mutually agreeable time.
D. He/she must attend at least Bi-Monthly meetings per year to remain active.
E. He/she must have their own form of transportation to and from meetings and field outings.

Section 3. No person shall be eligible for membership if:
A. He/she refuses to obligate himself to promptly pay the required membership fees and also renew promptly when notified.
B. There is reason to believe that he/she may not adhere to and abide by the By-Laws and our rules and regulations.
C. He/she advocates race, religious or class hatred.
D. He/she has excessive tattooing, body piercing or just doesn't meet with the standards of proper grooming.

Section 4. Your Active Membership can be permanently revoked if:
A. Divulging privileged or confidential information gathered at Haunted House Investigations with anyone outside the GRS circle.
B. Attempting to undermine the credibility of the organization in any way.
C. Simple dishonesty or other bad traits which reflect unfavorably against the GRS.
D. Use of recreational drugs of any kind.
E. Your status changes from that when you first became a member. In other words, you are unable to abide by Section 2, Articles D, E, F or Section 5, Articles A, and F.
F. If at anytime you are found enrolled within another group that causes a direct conflict of interest.
G. Any member withholding video, audio, still pictures, documents, or any information pertaining directly to a sponsored GRS-related investigation.

Section 5. Other membership points:
A. The President has the exclusive right to deny Active or Membership to anyone who does not meet the high standards set forth by the GRS.
B. All GRS-related photo id's are the exclusive property of the GRS and must be surrendered to the President upon request when dropped from the organization, member resigns or failure to renew said membership promptly.
C. All Active Members are given a trial period of one year and evaluated at the end of that time. It is then up to the President whether or not the said member will be invited to renew as an Active Member. Renewal points taken into consideration are: attendance to Bi-Monthly meetings, Field Excursions, Special and Haunted House Investigations, ability to learn and grow with the GRS, neatness of appearance, willingness to contribute to the society as a whole and other general membership practices.
D. The President is not obligated in anyway to retain any individual that doesn't meet with the above mentioned criteria and others deemed necessary by the President.
E. The GRS is not obliged to accept members who already have their own paranormal research organization established at the time of their joining or anytime thereafter. An example would be: entering into another paranormal group after being accepted into the GRS as we feel loyalty is a top priority and there can be an issue of confidentiality, trust and not being able to devote the necessary time required to be a competent member. We feel that "double-dipping", or belonging to two similar organizations at the same time is unfair to both groups as it's difficult to judge where loyalty lies between the groups. This is a conflict of interest and there will be no exceptions.
F. If any member leaves the group for any reason prior to the conclusion of his or her membership or, in the case of a Lifetime Member, prior to death, no dues are refundable.
G. Memberships are for individuals only. We are considering accepting husband/wife or couples teams again on a trial basis.
H. All new members will be trained on all aspects of paranormal investigating including: EVP, photography, interviewing, equipment handling, setup and breakdown of Command Centers, G.E.I.S.T. and video setup, writing up reports, reviewing audio & video and proper investigative techniques. You will also work with a number of different people within the group as you learn these skills.
I. All members will be expected to participate in video and audio reviews of evidence from actual investigations as part of your training. Some of these Review Sessions may require additional weekends or weekday nights but are a necessity to complete your training.
J. For all new members, there is a very good chance that you will be made an Assistant in a field such as Videography, Planning Committee, EVP, Secretary, Electronics or something else. This is so that everyone in the group has a position and a function.

K. If you feel that you have a problem or issue during an investigation, please don't make a scene. Approach the President and take it outside or away from others so that it can be resolved quickly and quietly.

Article IV
Officers

Section 1. Officers of this organization shall consist of a President, Corresponding Secretary, Research Assistant, and Sergeant-At-Arms. Other officers may include State Coordinators, Area Research Directors, Field Investigators, Special Consultants, Foreign Correspondents, Psychic Consultants, Electronics Expert, Planning Committee, Security or any other position deemed necessary by the President.

Section 2. Eligibility to hold appointed office shall be governed solely by the President and the provisions of the By-Laws.
A. All officers are appointed and not elected by the President. Their status and office may be revoked by the President at any time.
B. Appointed officers have a slightly higher ranking than an Active Member and are offered some special privileges.
C. Any Active Member may apply for any vacant position anytime after their one (1) year anniversary date. You must maintain a better than average attendance to all meetings and Field Excursions.
D. Officers may be removed from their position at any time by the President for any reason.

Section 3. It shall be the Duty of the President:
A. To preside at all meetings of this organization and to preserve order therein. He shall appoint all committees and shall also have the right to serve on all committees by virtue of his office.
B. To appoint officers to the organization, create branches in other states or countries and to have sole power to dissolve any branches, officers or the organization as a whole at any time.
C. To organize Field Excursions, Special or Haunted House Investigations for the membership and be in charge of such.
D. To write and update the official By-Laws of the GRS.

Section 4. It shall be the Duty of the Corresponding Secretary:
A. To take meeting minutes at all meetings. 
B. To assist the President at meetings with the distribution of materials, i.e. newsletters, application forms, flyers and to assist new applicants with questions.
C. To write up investigative reports when such information is provided to the secretary.

Section 5. It shall be the Duty of the Research Assistant:
A. To report directly to the President.
B. To research and investigate new leads as directed by the President and to report such findings to the President without exception using a Report Form.
C. To assist other Active Members on scheduled Field Excursions and Special or Haunted House Investigations.
D. To preside at any meetings in the absence of the President.
E. To have elevated seniority over any other Active Members or Field Investigators.

Section 6. It shall be the Duty of the State Coordinator:
A. To assist the President in recruiting new members, conducting area research, submitting newspaper clippings, psychic photographs and other forms of evidence and information.
B. To be in charge of groups and branches in their respective state and report findings to the President.
C. Organize and run all scheduled Field Excursions and meetings in their respective state.

Section 7. It shall be the Duty of the Area Research Director:
A. To report directly to the State Coordinator of their respective state which is turn reports directly to the President.
B. To assemble data in all forms and pass that information up-line to the State Coordinator.
C. Assist in gathering research material for planned Field Excursions authorized by the President.
D. To represent the Ghost Research Society in their respective area.

Section 8. It shall be the Duty of the Field Investigator:
A. To report directly to either the Area Research Director, State Coordinator or Research Director in that order.
B. Assist the State Coordinator, Area Research Director or Research Director in examining or gathering data or information.
C. May be given new leads to investigate by the President or other officers.

Section 10. Other officers:
A. Foreign Correspondents are individuals in foreign countries that are not necessarily members of the GRS. They are simply called upon by this organization for their expertise on the subject of the paranormal and the occult. They could be columnists for newsletters or just experts in their respective fields.
B. Special Consultants are individuals within the United States that are not necessarily members of the GRS. They are called upon by the GRS for the expert opinions in the subject of the supernatural and/or the paranormal, e.g. Richard Senate.
C. Psychic Consultants are individuals whom may be psychic, clairvoyant or intuitive that the GRS will call upon for their psychic input during any form of investigation. They are considered officers as well and will have slightly elevated status for their position.
D. Electronic Experts are those individuals whom are absolutely necessary for each and every investigation by virtue of their knowledge and workings of the high-tech equipment that is used during investigations and outings. Their inclusion is automatic to all investigations and Field Excursions and will train others in the use of said equipment whether during Quarterly Meetings or on the job training.
E. Sergeant-At-Arms are those individuals whom are used for security purposes either because of their knowledge in law enforcement, ability to carry fire-arms or are skilled in the training of hand-to-hand combat. They are specifically endowed with the responsibility of security at both Bi-Monthly Meetings, Field Excursions and Special or Haunted House Investigations. They are also responsible for safeguarding any items, equipment or personnel associated with the GRS during such above-mentioned outings.
F. Planning Committee personnel are those individuals selected to help plan and set up events, outings, investigations, excursions and make initial contact with owners of establishments, cemeteries, or other locations targeted for an investigation. The Planning Committee Person would illicit times and dates for possible investigations and pass those along to the President for the him to contact.
G. Videographer is a person specifically elected to the position to document and record segments during investigations and outings. They have a good working knowledge of the use and operation of cameras and video editing software. They are also called upon to compile data and segments for the ongoing documentary "Ghosts Across America."
H. Other positions will be created if the need arises and is deemed necessary by the President.
I. This organization does not allow for a Board of Directors nor will it ever.

Article V
Officers - Generally

Section 1. After appointment and when installed, all Officers of this organization may be required to take the following obligation for office: "
Truly and faithfully, I. ________________________________ sincerely promise, upon my honor, that I will truly and faithfully, to the best of my ability, perform the duties of my office, as prescribed in the By- Laws of this organization."

Section 2. All Officers in the performance of their duties shall adhere to the terms of these By-Laws.

Article VI
Membership Outings

Section 1. Field Excursions, Special & Haunted House Investigations.
A. All Active Members are required to attend meetings especially those prior to regularly scheduled Field Excursions or eligibility to the same is void.
B. Field Excursions are usually held at least several times a year. Since 2009 we have had no less than 10 field excursions in any given year.
C. Those members who cannot make a regularly scheduled Field Excursion will have that missed outing counted as one of the events within any given year and cannot be made up.
D. Special and Haunted House Investigations will be offered only to those Active Members whose attendance to Field Excursions and meetings is better than average and on a fair rotational basis.
E. Special and Haunted House Investigations are not automatic to all Active Members!
F. All Active Members who attend Field Excursions, Special or Haunted House Investigations or Out-of-State Research Trips assume full responsibility and agree to relieve the GRS and the President of any liability as far as personal injury, legal action or anything deemed as an Act Of God.
G. Out-of-state Active Members aren't automatically guaranteed Field Excursions unless a State Coordinator, Area Research Director or Field Investigator already exists in their respective state.
H. All outings are for Active GRS Members only! Please do not bring spouses/significant others, friends, or relatives. Instead try to interest them in joining the group.
I. All information obtained during GRS-sponsored outings should remain within the GRS circle and not shared with anyone not already a member. The GRS holds mutual copyrights of all material presented, investigated or obtained during or afterwards. This would include: photographs, video or audio tapes, and research reports. The member still retains his/her own individual copyrights but allows the GRS the permission to display, exhibit or present said material on the official website.
J. All Active Members are expected to arrive on-time with the proper equipment discussed at the previously scheduled Bi-Monthly meetings.
K. If a member cannot make a scheduled Field Excursion, Special or Haunted House Investigation, it shall be his/her responsibility to phone in advance to the President. In the cases of an emergency, some notification as soon as possible would be appreciated. Calling or notifying any other personnel besides the President will not be considered fulfilling this obligation. This notification should be through calling the GRS cell phone number and leaving a message. Do not just send an email on the day of an investigation!
L. All Active Members will not be invited to all outings at all times because of the large amount of Active Members currently in the GRS. A fair rotational program will allow all Active Members to eventually attend some Special or Haunted House Investigations.

M. Reports from investigations should be completed within 7-10 days while the information is still fresh in your mind. Evidence collected can come later as it does sometimes take longer to review evidence. 

 

Article VII
Subscription Fees

Section 1. Yearly dues shall be calculated by the type of membership an individual desires and yearly subscriptions are for one full calendar year for Active members. Active members are considered those who can attend Bi-Monthly meetings and are in the Midwest area. All others are considered out of staters. Only out-of-state will be mailed Ghost Trackers Newsletters.
A. Associate Membership
1. $25.00 per year which includes all the benefits of the Sustaining Membership but is specifically for new members. This membership is only for the first full probationary year of membership. After your review, if you are chosen to remain a member, you must then join as a Sustaining Membership or above.
B. Sustaining Membership
1. $35.00 per year which includes GRS button, Photo ID card, discounts on new and used books, 10% discount on "Excursions Into The Unknown, Inc." tours and GRS-sponsored events, on-line help and research requests and notification of upcoming psychic events plus the opportunity of assisting in ghost research, Field Excursions and on the job training (OJT).
C. Patron Membership
1. $50.00 per year which includes the above plus, a 20% discount to all GRS-sponsored events.
2. Patrons have elevated rights to Field Excursions, Special and Haunted House Investigations by virtue of their position but again a fair rotational program is used if the society has a large amount of Patron Members at any given time.
D. Lifetime Membership
1. $250.00 one-time fee. Lifetime is defined as the either the lifetime of the individual or the lifetime of the organization as a whole. Lifetime memberships are not transferable upon death or refunded upon resignation. Discounts are the same as the Patron Membership. People wishing to become Lifetime Members can make payments but at least $25.00 is due each month until balance is paid in full.
E. Active Membership 
1. Renewal notices will be provided at the meetings and all Active Members are urged to renew promptly so that no investigations or outings are missed. If your renewal falls in between regularly scheduled Bi-Monthly meetings, an email reminder will be sent.

Section 2. Renewal of Membership:
A. Notice will be given through email or a Bi-Monthly meeting when your membership is up for renewal. If a Members subscription is due in between Bi-Monthly meetings, one (1) email notice will be sent as a friendly reminder. After that no other reminders will be sent out.  Members are expected to renew promptly.
B. Active Members (Sustaining and Patron) need to renew their subscription according to the rate they joined at if they wish to remain active.
C. Active Members who let their subscription lapse for six (6) or more months must be re-interviewed and present their renewal dues in person to the President at the next regularly scheduled Bi-Monthly meeting or a mutually agreeable time slot. No exceptions!

Section 3. Change of Address or Email addresses:
A. All members must provide current address, phone numbers and email addresses to this organization when they move or change servers. This is the only way to keep in contact with GRS members. It will be the Members responsibility of updating this information.

Article VIII
Meetings

Section 1. Meetings shall be held Bi-Monthly beginning in February at 12:00pm at the GRS Headquarters in Oak Lawn. Upon joining, members will be given the address and directions to the meeting site. Meeting months will be February, April, June, August, October, December.

Section 2. Attendance is mandatory for all Active members. Length of meetings is usually two (2) hours.

Section 3. Schedule of meetings:
A. Opening comments or last meetings minutes.
B. Slides or audio presentations.
C. Guest speakers, if any.
D. Reading of interesting letters or newspaper articles.
E. Open floor discussion or question/answer time.
F. Discussion of recent GRS investigations.
G. Closing comments.
H. Adjournment.
I. Video presentations for those wishing to stay and enjoy. Participation for video presentations are encouraged as many times it serves as training purposes.

Section 4. Notifications of meetings will usually be sent through bulk email and an RSVP is expected of all members whether you can or cannot attend. You must respond in one way or another and, of course, you can always change your mind and send an updated email. This policy was instituted so that the President can have the necessary forms and copies already made to hand out to those who respond. 

Section 5. Meeting minutes will be taken by the Corresponding Secretary or, in their absence, another attending member from the group. They will then be transcribed, sent to the President for proofreading and then forwarded to all through email.

Article IX
Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of this organization shall be from January 1 to December 31.

Article X
Field Excursions

Section 1. This organization shall have three main types of research trips; Field Excursions, Special Investigations and Haunted House Investigations.
A. Field Excursions are usually held several times a year usually in summer months and are open to all Active Members whom are in good standing. That same member must have already filled out an Application For Active Research, submitted a recent photograph of them and must have already been interviewed for Active Membership.
1. Field Excursions usually consist of a public accessible area mostly outdoors where paranormal activity has been reported. These outings usually last between two to three hours.
B. Special Investigations are usually held irregularly at various times throughout the year and are open to Active Members who are in good standing, have fulfilled the above requirements listed in the Field Excursion paragraph, has proved the he/she is a serious researcher and can keep their mind on the job at hand. He/she must have better than average attendance to all meetings as well.
1. Special Investigations are not automatic to all Active Members.
2. Special Investigations are usually overnight stake-outs sometimes indoors but can be outdoors as well. These outings can be from several hours to overnight in length.
C. Haunted House Investigations are usually held irregularly as the President receives calls or requests to investigate an alleged haunted house or sites. These investigations deal with the general public and are not for everyone. Requirements are listed above.
1. Haunted House Investigations can be quite lengthy and often require follow-up visits from time to time. All information gathered at these investigations is completely confidential.
2. Attendance may be limited to a few select people even though others may be qualified to attend. This is due to the client's wishes and cannot be circumvented.
3. Order of attendance for Special and Haunted House Investigations is determined by a number of factors including: attendance to Bi-Monthly meetings, Field Excursions and other Special or Haunted House Investigations in the past, conduct on those past investigations, ability to follow instructions, timely review of prior video/audio tape, turning in past investigative reports in a timely fashion and showing true initiative at past events.
4. Again a fair rotational program is in place for Haunted House Investigations but Active Members must remember that certain equipment and expertise is necessary for such investigations and those having such needed equipment and expertise may have some special privileges.

Article XI
Official Logos

Section 1. All logos on this organization's business cards as well as those on Excursions Into The Unknown, Inc business cards are copyrighted and remain the property of the GRS. These designs and logos cannot be reproduced without expressed written consent from the President and the Ghost Research Society.

Section 2. The designs on this organization's membership cards and photo identification cards are also copyrighted and cannot be duplicated under penalty of law.

Section 3. The title Ghost Research Society remains the exclusive property of Dale Kaczmarek, President and cannot be used by any other organization or business under penalty of law. However, officers can utilize the GRS logo on their personal business cards as long as they remain Active Members of the GRS.

Section 4. The official website of the Ghost Research Society is http://www.ghostresearch.org   

Last Revised: August 2016

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