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Don’t Feed the Buell

According to the Urban Dictionary, the saying “Don’t feed the bears” is a cautionary statement made to E.R. doctors who may over-prescribe narcotics. “Hey, doc, don’t feed the bears” means don’t prescribe the meds or even handout the meds because the bears get hungry and will return for more.

An earlier metaphor using the same words directed people to not feed the bears (in this case people without money to pay for food) because they will remain lazy and not seek employment.

Although the meanings have evolved, the message is clear: Do Not Feed. Alternately, feed at own risk. Over the past week, my social media feed has quite a few references to Ryan Buell. After reading the posts, all I could think was: Please people. If you’re really a fan, stop feeding him. Do. Not. Feed. The. Buell.

Ryan D. Buell erupted on the paranormal scene while a college student. He founded the Paranormal Research Society (PRS) at Pennsylvania State University, a.k.a. PennState). The group garnered media attention and his popular paranormal TV show Paranormal State debuted in 2007. The show lasted 6 seasons, ending in 2011. Ryan enjoyed great status as a young Catholic man seeking answers from the paranormal world. He made connections with psychic Chip Coffey and paranormal investigator and demonologist Lorraine Warren. By all appearances he was setting up himself for a lucrative career in the paranormal field post graduation. However, his life took a turn. He didn’t graduate. Instead, he lost sight of himself and the road he was to follow.

The popular show ended in 2011. He quickly began to profit by selling DVDs of the show, books, and the like. Sadly, a lot of the items were paid for but not being shipped. This began to concern his fans. Shortly after, Buell announced he was battling pancreatic cancer.

In an effort to jumpstart his career, he announced a paranormal roadshow titled “Conversations with the Dead” in 2014. He booked other paranormal celebrities to join, he created a schedule with venue locations, he sold tickets, and then he cancelled. Unfortunately, he failed to reimburse most of his fans who had already pre-purchased tickets and paraphernalia. It ultimately cost him his friendship with Chip Coffey.

Last September 18, Buell was arrested and extradited back to Pennsylvania. He was facing 2 felony charges related to his refusal or inability to return a rental car. Eventually, bail was lowered and he bonded out. His hearing was last November. Today, Buell is out of jail.

There’s a great deal of speculation about Ryan’s erratic behavior. His own mother publicly implored his fans to stop enabling him. She drew attention by stating he wasn’t battling cancer but something else. Fans quickly surmised it was alcohol or drug abuse. Ryan seemed to lay low and remained silent…until this week.


Ryan is back on Facebook. He is hocking signed copies of his book. For $45, he will send you a signed book. He’s even posted a video showing him mailing a package out. Undoubtedly to restore faith to all those people whom he stiffed in 2014. Although troubling, this isn’t the most serious issue. He is now live streaming Q&A (Question and Answer) sessions via Facebook. I watched a few.

He needs to stop. Merely looking at him, one can surmise there is something wrong. The 34-year-old 6’2” man has lost a lot of weight. A lot. He appears drowsy. I’m not a drug counselor; however, he was slurring his words. He looked out of it. Actually, he lacked focus. And it’s sad.

I wish that he would take time off, repair his personal life, fix his mental health, heal his body, and get it together. His fans are rooting for him to pull through this. But his fans are concerned. Very concerned. One can scroll through the comments which overwhelmingly beg and urge him to seek professional help. He won’t get the help until he is forced to. He must forage for food on his own. Don’t feed the Buell. If he is to recover, he must do it himself.