A friend of mine from another group asked me today, what I thought of paranormal groups that use "provoking"? And the honest answer, is, I'm okay with it! Now, before you get all up in arms, let's examine the word itself:
Websters defines it as such, as seen above in the link:
1) Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
2) Evoke or provoke to appear or occur
3) Provide the needed stimulus for
4) To call forth; to call into being or action; esp., to incense to action, a faculty or passion, as love, hate, or ambition
8) To appeal. [A Latinism]
Putting aside the negative attributes of the word, I can't really say any group DOESN'T technically provoke. We provoke when we walk in the door. We provoke, when we engage in conversation with a possible ghost or spirit. And we provoke when we leave out a ball for someone to play with, or flowers on a grave, or play music or do art or even think of someone who's past...the very memory of them calls forth their memories within us. Everything we do as paranormal investigators, "provokes" in a sense. The flashlight trick commonly seen now on TV, asking "could you touch this antenna on my MEL meter?" is all provoking when you think about it.
You can't get honey from a tree without disturbing the hive inside, for example. And no one can reasonably expect to catch a fish, where there is no water. By simply engaging in the exchanges we do, as investigators, we are provoking a memory, an emotion, a soul, and reaching out to it.
Do I believe it's okay to taunt, or curse at, or belittle a ghost or spirit just for a decent K2 hit or a solid EVP? Absolutely not. But finding that trigger that lights the fire and re-awakens them sort of provoking? yes, I do. But it's sad since many groups out there associate the word with only the negative connotations of the word, and often take provoking to mean you have to incite rage or anger. And this isn't always true.
As a whole, I think the community could look at HOW it does what it does, maybe re-evaluate some of what it sees on television, and try to look at things from a more spiritual perspective sometimes. Not that many groups do not...but you know what they say..you catch more flies with honey...but to do that...into the beehive you go! ;)