After allegedly scamming fans in Canada this summer, former "Paranormal State" television personality Ryan Buell announced new US tour dates for his "Conversations with the Dead" tour recently. According to Buell, former cast-mate Michelle Belanger was going to replace Chip Coffey, but Belanger went to Facebook today to say she isn't interested.
Ryan Buell is known for appearing on the hit A&E paranormal reality show "Paranormal State" with his team the Paranormal Research Society from December 2007 to May 2011. He founded the Paranormal Research Society when he was a 19-year-old student at Pennsylvania State University. Buell appeared on the show with Michelle Belanger, Sergey Poberezhny, Eilfie Music, Heather Taddy, Katrina Weidman, Josh Light, and Chip Coffey.
Buell was scheduled to appear in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Vancouver for the "Paranormal: The Experience" tour from June 4 through June 22. On the event's description, Buell promised to visit each city and do a meet and greet with fans. Lectures, ghost hunts, and other paranormal fun stuff was supposed to be in store for fans but apparently some of the events were canceled without notice and Buell and friends were allegedly a no-show.
"Refunds are being given out, but it is unfortunately a very slow process. One of the things we know we have faltered on is communication and customer service. We are looking into several services and ways that can help us ensure we are able to improve in this area. We are not sure why there are people claiming that we never announced an event postponement, but we did send out several emails. We will agree that some of the emails could have been sent out earlier, and for that we take responsibility on and are sorry for the inconvenience, stress, and aggravation it has caused," Sergey Poberezhny said on Buell's behalf via his Facebook page.
Many fans are wondering why Buell isn't personally addressing the issue and some of them believe Poberezhny hijacked Buell's Facebook page. Oddly enough after canceling tour dates in Canada, new tour dates for US cities were added on Buell's Facebook page amid the controversy.
"Join Michelle and I for our Conversations with the Dead Tour. We are hitting up Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, and surprise visits to two other Texas cities, July 14-28, 2014," Buell said in a Facebook post last month.
The "Conversations with the Dead" tour was originally scheduled for a 6-city tour from April 25 through May 6 earlier this year. Psychic-medium and former "Paranormal State" cast-mate Chip Coffey was supposed to join Buell on the tour but he backed out of the event. Evidently Buell got Belanger to replace Coffey for the speaking tour. After Coffey backed out, the tour was ultimately canceled and rescheduled for this summer with Belanger added to the bill.
"Numerous individuals have reached out to me regarding a recent article on Examiner.com about Ryan Buell. My only comment is this: It is my sincere hope that those who are seeking refunds for tickets or classes purchased will receive those refunds very soon. Although I was slated to go on the Conversations with the Dead tour alongside Ryan, I chose to withdraw from the tour for personal and professional reasons. As previously stated, I was never in possession of any funds collected for ticket sales for that tour Additionally, I have not, for several years, been involved in or associated with other tours, classes, etc. offered by Ryan and/or PRS, other than two events that did occur as planned in Raleigh, NC last year," Chip Coffey said in a statement last night on his Facebook page.
Coffey seems to be wanting to distance himself professionally from Buell and PRS. It was revealed that Buell owes his fans thousands of dollars in refunds and Coffey insists that has nothing to do with it.
"The only details that truly matter are this: people are seeking refunds and not getting them. Six figures!" Coffey said in response to a fan on his Facebook page.
Other former "Paranormal State" cast-mates are beginning to throw Buell under the bus too. Belanger made a public announcement today backing out of future events that she was scheduled to do with Buell.
"It's Tuesday, July 8th, and the 'Conversations with the Dead Tour'was rescheduled for this month. After Chip Coffey had to bow out of the tour, Chris Edwards handled rescheduling and I was asked to fill in for Chip," Belanger said in a Facebook post. "The tour sounded like fun, and I haven't been traveling as much as I used to. A lot of fans really wanted to see me. I've cut down on appearances so I could focus on my writing but I felt like I could swing a month on the road," she continued.
The first leg of the US tour was supposed to kick off next week in Boston on July 14. Fans are beginning to think that the tour is just another scam from Buell and Poberezhny.
"I have no plane tickets, no hotel reservations, no idea what the plan is supposed to be. That's not for lack of asking. That's just how things stand," Belanger said about the tour. She said that she will not be participating in any future PRS events if the dates get rescheduled again. "I know my friends from PRS have a great deal of things going on in their lives - I probably know more than most. But there comes a time when one must admit that their life is too chaotic to responsibly make commitments -- especially with other peoples' money. And I won't continue to enable that," Belanger said.
According to Belanger, other PRS members quit when the controversy started to pile up. Chris Edwards and Eilfie Music have both called it quits and neither of them are responding to correspondence in regards to Buell or PRS. Meanwhile Buell is out today on his birthday spending his fans' money.
To file a report, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can be reached toll-free at 1-888-495-8501 or a report can be submitted online through a form on their website. Additionally the United States Federal Trade Commission can be reached at 1-877-FTC-HELP or a report can be filed online via their website. To contact fraud investigators at the Wake County Sheriff's Office in Raleigh, North Carolina, call 919-856-6900 and ask to be connected to someone in the Fraud Unit.
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