Pediatrician Melvin Morse specializes in the study of near-death experiences in children. In 1991 Dr. Morse wrote a book called Closer to the Light which includes hundreds of interviews with children who at some point in their early lives were declared clinically dead. Morse believes that children who have escaped the grip of death can impart an accurate account of a theorized afterlife. He feels so strongly about these issues that he established and runs an Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. Morse’s website contains a stream of semi-coherent observations about God, love, family, and death.
Police in Delaware became aware of the pediatrician when they received an anonymous tip about a parent dragging his 11-year-old daughter across a gravel driveway. The young girl had related the incident to her friend, who went on to report it to her mother. The friend’s mother appears to be the source of the anonymous tip.
As social workers talked with the young alleged victim, she told them she had often been waterboarded by her father. Waterboarding is a form of torture that has been used in the past to extricate testimony from those accused of terrorism and in other situations as well. In waterboarding, the victim is tied or strapped to a board, and water is forced into his lungs. The subject fights and struggles, and then drowns. He is revived by the interrogators and in some cases the drowning is repeated time and again.
In the case of the daughter of Dr. Melvin Morse and his wife Pauline Morse, the girl said he, on four occasions, held her head under a running water faucet, forcing water into her mouth and nose. The girl reported that her mother stood by, doing nothing to stop the abuse.
Dr. Morse often referred on his website to a “Big Idea.” He claims that a large bird, a falcon, told him to “Move quickly in the dark of night” to the East Coast, where his study of the “Big Idea” could grow. The Big Idea that Morse has been instructed to pursue is that children who have not yet developed conventional views on death can accurately describe encounters with dead relatives and friends. He believes they experience out-of-body travel, and telepathic communication. Dr. Morse says his studies span years and his descriptions of life after death come from children. He says his revelations “made a lot of people cry.”
Deleware court records indicate that on July 13 the same Dr. Morse was charged with threatening to kill a 65-year-old man. The charges however were later dropped, as were the charges of dragging the girl in the gravel.
On Tuesday, August 7, Morse and his wife were arrested on the waterboarding charges and charged with several felony counts, including reckless endangerment, conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of a child.
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