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My Horrifying and Enlightening Near-Death Experience

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It took me years to come to terms with my near-death experience, which has both haunted and enlightened me. I'd heard of near-death experiences since I was a child and remember seeing the documentary movie, Beyond and Back, when I was only nine years old. The film, narrated by Brad Crandall, made me think about our relevance here in the physical world. It showed re-creation after re-creation of people going to Heaven and meeting Jesus, who didn’t seem as judgmental as the right wing Christians made him out to be.

All that was nice and dandy until they showed what happened after a girl, played by Elaine Daniel, committed suicide. I distinctly remember the scene: snakes; a pit of fire; horrifying-looking people; and the girl’s cry for help. Looking at the movie today, one would laugh at the cheesiness. As an impressionable young child, however, this gave me nightmares for years. By the time I was 21, my conscious mind had long forgotten the movie and the nightmares that followed. Some people tell me, however, that it was this movie that aroused my so-called “consciousness” when I was in a car accident and pronounced dead at the hospital, before being revived. 

The date was May 8, 1996, and it was the last night after final exams in my senior year in college. I couldn’t believe that after all the stress I’d gone through to get my degree, I had finally finished. I remember walking into the student house I lived in and being greeted by my friend Brett, who was short, had long, dark hair, a mustache, a big nose, and bug-like eyes. No matter how ugly I thought he was, Brett was still a “ladies man,” and whenever we went out, he ended up going back with a woman while I went home alone. There was a bad side of him, too: Brett was selfish and racist and practically cheated his way through school. He constantly treated people, especially women, with disrespect. For some reason, he was always nice to me.

One problem I couldn’t completely blame Brett for was his drinking. From my understanding, his whole family had a drinking problem and I could understand that Brett probably “inherited” this. My problem, I thought, is that I didn’t drink enough, didn't get as wild as Brett or my other friends did when we went out. I decided to make an exception that evening and had shots of vodka, Everclear, and other things (I don’t quite remember what they were, but they tasted awful).  

I don’t remember much of what happened that evening at the local bar, but do remember getting in Brett’s brown Toyota Corolla. I still remember the mildewy smell of his stained car. It made me sick, but it was better than walking all the way back. I remember him driving 50 miles per hour on side streets that had a speed limit of 20. Despite being drunk, I was still able to say, “You’re going too fast; the police are going to stop you.” He said something about me being a bad “front seat driver,” but before Brett could finish one of his sentences, my eyes saw headlights coming right towards us.  

It all happened so fast, yet it seemed to happen in slow motion. I don’t remember the actual crash, but do remember flying out of the car in horror, then landing on the ground. I could feel my head hit the cement – it felt like someone had hit me in the head with a baseball bat. I couldn’t feel the rest of my body, but knew something was wrong. I went in and out of consciousness. At one point, I heard the officer say, “He’s dead,” and knew he was referring to Brett. Perhaps selfishly, I didn’t realize what had happened to the driver of the truck we'd hit, whom I later found out passed away as well. I remember being in an ambulance and hearing someone say, “You have to hold on… just hold on!” I remember being rushed onto a bed and hearing a doctor say, “We’re losing him.”

I heard a roaring, buzzing sound and was suddenly looking at my mangled self from above the bed, with doctors trying to revive me. I thought, “This reminds me of the show E.R." My body (or soul) felt completely free: my eyes could see three-dimensionally; I could hear people’s “thoughts,” and was able to move to another side of the room without actually moving – all I had to do was “think” of going there. It’s hard to explain how one exists during this state, but I’ll sum it up by saying that I felt far more alive than I did in my physical body.

As soon as I realized I could move around with no effort, I immediately wanted my lifeless body to move outside of the room. It’s as if I didn’t even care about my body on the hospital bed. Before I could move, I heard a rushing-wind sound, sort of like the sound of a hurricane. I saw a dark mass approaching me, and my body was immediately ejected into that mass. At first, I thought perhaps this “mass” was what I needed to go through in order to move from the hospital room. But the mass overtook my soul, which sensed there were others in there as well.

As the mass slowed down, I could hear groaning noises that sounded like noisy pigs. Then I heard crying, which gave the impression of horror rather than sadness. I heard screaming that was far more disturbing than anything I had ever heard before. As the tunnel stopped, I saw Brett lying on the ground, with some god-awful looking half-beast, half-human, torturing him. He seemed to be electrocuting Brett just by touching him. I can’t even describe how awful this thing looked. The closest thing that comes to mind is a bloated possum’s face atop the body of a human. Both Brett and the beast noticed me. Brett screamed, “Help me, please help!” while the beast just looked at me and laughed. It was an incredibly ugly laugh that turned me inside out, though I didn’t have any insides to speak of.  

There were other people being tortured and other beasts walking around, but for some reason they hadn’t approached me yet. It was as if I were some type of observer in a show from Hell, literally! But I didn’t have any mental protection and was screaming for someone to help Brett. I saw a couple of the beasts take off Brett’s clothes. His body looked very human, except for the horrible burn marks all over. “Jesus, please, Jesus!” he kept pleading while one beast held him and the other started to sodomize him. Brett just kept looking at me and though he didn't say anything to me, I knew he was wondering why I wasn’t helping him.

“I wish I could,” I told him, just by looking at him. Then, for the first time since I had arrived at this place, I heard nothing come out of Brett’s mouth for what seemed to be a couple of minutes. Both of us knew that something horrifying was coming up, and that anticipation was almost as bad as experiencing the horror that followed. I heard the groaning noise approaching again, slowly fading in. We saw more human figures approach. They were still ravishingly ugly, but not as horrifying at the beasts we'd seen before. But their actions were worse. They picked up Brett and carried him over to the wall, which bore a red image of a cross. They threw him against the wall, right in front of the cross. As he screamed, one of the men spit at him. Brett kept kicking and punching, but was soon clamped in. I could see and hear large nails being pierced into Brett’s body, one by one. I couldn’t see how these savages were putting the nails in (possibly it was by telepathy) and couldn’t see any blood. But I could hear the high pitched, blood-curdling screams.

Suddenly one of the men darted towards me. However, a woman appeared and was instantly able to stop the man just by holding her hands out.  I recognized her as a lady named Emily, a resident whom I cared for at a nursing home in Chicago. I didn’t help her as much as I did the other residents because she yelled a lot and sometimes fought back when she had to be given her medications. When she passed away, none of her family members came to make funeral arrangements, so I took it into my own hands. Even though I recognized this woman as Emily, she looked far younger and very beautiful. “Don’t worry,” she told me. “They are unable to hurt you.” I asked her to help Brett but she explained that she couldn't. However, she assured me that Brett’s torture would be short-lived.  

Suddenly (and thankfully), I found myself in the huge black mass again and knew that Emily was guiding me. I felt love in a way that a human can’t comprehend. I knew I was moving faster than even the speed of light, but wanted to stay in it forever. Emily told me how much I meant to her and that she would be waiting for me when “it was my time to go.” Before I could question her about this, I could hear, “We have him, we got him back.” My body drifted towards those voices and away from the mass. The last thing I remember is seeing my body again from the ceiling. I don’t remember actually entering my body again.  

For two years afterwards, I lived in a state of constant confusion. Why did I experience such amazing horror, followed by amazing love? What happened to Brett? Why wasn’t it my time to go? Was Emily some sort of guardian angel? Was this really a near-death experience, or some major hallucination caused by lack of oxygen to the brain? I eventually came to the realization that this was in no way a hallucination. Scientists, however, have been trying to convince me otherwise. I also came to the realization that it wasn’t my time to go because there was something else that I needed to accomplish on Earth. Even if the accomplishment didn’t feel significant (I never really made a big deal out of the situation with Emily), it would be very significant to someone else. 

Physically, my recovery was what doctors called a miracle. I was completely functional within four months and showed no signs of any brain damage (although some critics of my writing would argue). I appreciated the things in life that people usually take for granted: rollerblading, being able to lift weights, playing soccer, etc.

One year later, I finally told a close friend about my experience. I could see him shaking when I explained the details. He couldn’t understand why I was so calm talking about it. “Aren’t you afraid?” I responded that I was far from afraid; the love that I experienced was far stronger and more meaningful than the horror. He couldn’t understand why, given the choice, I wouldn’t have come back. 

Thanks to the Internet, I have met many others who have had near-death experiences. While nobody experienced the hellish place I did, a couple of people who had attempted suicide claimed to have visited a very cold, empty void that left them scared and lonely. Many others had the great experience I did after the initial horror, but were often guided by family members. I feel a little shortchanged, since many were able to move beyond the tunnel and into a “city of light” before being told it wasn't their time. Unlike me, many I’ve talked to have turned very religious. 

I may meet Emily (and hopefully deceased family members too this time — no offense, Emily!) again tomorrow. It might be next week. It might be next year, or even in the next decade. I patiently await the day I can go home again, but meanwhile I try and live my life to its fullest in this temporary place (and believe me, it is temporary) we call Earth.

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About Daryl D

  • qwertyuiopsdfghjkl

    If the experience was not a hallucination, it proves there is no loving god. No loving father or mother would allow what happened to Brett happen to him. It’s one thing not interfering in the physical world, it’s another giving sick creatures permission to sodomise him.

  • JM

    For information, here is a critical analysis about NDE from a Christian point of view:


  • Alex

    Please watch this youtube video; 23 Minutes in Hell – Bill Wiese


  • streetspirit

    Hmmm.. Ok all i can say is the subconscious is a powerful thing.

    Stay with me though Ok. Iam not disputing anything oh holy hell that sounds about the same as mine except there were no demonic looking things torturing .. You want to know what my hell was .. break past all the B.S. reality feeds you and Religion, give me a break. wait till you really wake up..

    Hell is emotional torment, you inner fears, come to life in front of you, and you cant wake up, because it feels so damn real, and its a loop, has to be a loop, has to be on loop cant stop how the hell do we realize it?? holy shit I dont wish that on my worse enemy. again just my fears and inner desires being projected by who? God ? the Devil? no! it was me.

    I was raised a Christian, didn’t really believe in God though even at a young age, I was forced into it like most kids, because the parents were fanatics.

    So flash forward to 1999 of November. Oh what fun it is to be out of your body really is cool but of course back then i had no idea what was happening to me, all i remember was slowly falling to the floor but went through 5 stories, and all dark like the OP was saying , did have that happen, was warm comforting just nice, could have stayed there forever, but no had to land in my parking lot.

    So in the parking lot I stand, then immense anxiety and fear seemed to hit me in my center, and all i can do is think of somewhere safe, more like a survival extinct, so i thought of my child hood home, which was in Michigan i grew up, but moved to California in 97 to run away from family issues.

    And yes even almost 20 years later I still remember everything thing that happen, and where i went , lonely isolation, fear white rooms, fasting then a speeding bullet, speed of thought…. crying endless crying, every emotion magnify infinite. a strong longing to go back there, suicide dont belong here, no god all alone al-one al-one.

    They dont know how powerful words and images are, control your mind, so you cant have a true afterlife, that is your own. take control follow your own path.

    Everything is internal recorded, EVERYTHING.

  • Agonizing Truth

    I had a vision of Hell one time and it was by far the scariest thing I have ever experienced. It wasn’t however a result of a NDE but rather because of drugs. Don’t laugh, I’m being dead serious. There’s more than one way to skin a cat as the expression goes and I feel 100% certain that my experience was a valid one regardless of its origin.

    I’ll be honest with you, I get stoned. I smoke pot and when I can’t find pot I smoke an artificial pot substitute. Well the company I order my pot substitute from decided to reward me for being such a good customer by sending me four free grams of something called Blackout. It looked similar to the normal pot substitute I usually smoke so one night I figured “It was free so why not try it?” So right before bed I went into the garage and took only one puff on it and immediately felt something weird.

    It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before and grew more and more intense as the minutes went by. It started as a feeling like intense radiation on my legs and lower body, then turning into a feeling like I was being pulled down or weighed down, I couldn’t hardly move my legs and I started having this inescapable feeling like I was being pulled down out of this world into another. There was a weird sound that I can best describe like the guitar riff at the beginning of the Rush song “Tom Sawyer” but continuous. I had the sense of being held by both legs and both arms and being pulled downwards into darkness. I had the sensation that there were beings around me looking at me from all angles.

    All the while I am pleading aloud “What’s happening?? I’ve tried to be a good person. I’m not perfect but I’ve tried to be a good person, I accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, I try to treat people the way I want to be treated… why is this happening to me??” And a voice appeared in my head, and it was my own voice, and it said “Because you’re the Devil and you’re going to Hell where you belong.” Then everything started to make sense. The Mayans were off by a year I thought. The world is ending now and part of its end is the destruction of Satan. But I protested “But I was born in late 1977 and the Devil has been around a LOT longer than that… I’m just a human being, not Satan” but nothing I said mattered. Indeed I got the impression I was only making it worse on myself, that the other condemned souls in Hell were being given even more fodder with which to make fun of me for eternity because now I’m begging and pleading like some coward. But still I begged for my soul and still it seemed to do no good. I was absolutely CERTAIN that I was going to Hell and could feel myself approaching it closer and closer. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to even get up out of my chair (I was sitting down this whole time) but with effort I was able to stand much to my surprise and I ran as fast as I could out of the garage, all the while mumbling “I’ve tried to be a good person”.

    My roommates were asleep and I stood outside their bedroom door yelling “Am I going to Hell?? I’m not going to Hell am I??” They quickly tried to reassure me that I am not in fact going to Hell, not that night. I was unconvinced but at least felt better that I was no longer in that awful garage. I managed to get some sleep and the next day I felt better but to be honest I will never be able to forget that horrible experience. I can assure you that Hell is real and that it is so terrifying I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even Adolf Hitler or Dick Cheney. It is just that terrible. Now you can dismiss this as the weird experience of a pothead, OK, whatever, but to me this was as real as real can get. And I can tell you that the fear of death is nothing at all compared to the fear of Hell or the feeling of certainty that you’re on your way to Hell and can do nothing to get out of it. Totally hopeless, helpless feeling. It gives me chills even now just thinking about it.

    • Dave Smith

      i had existence disappear on me, literally dissolve and shrink in. horrible void of nothing.

  • totalwack

    Maybe this was your ‘to do’ it certainly touched me.

  • Don Dressel

    My wife died of cancer but before she died she had a nde and saw God and a very beautiful place!

  • Kristen

    I recently had a Nnde and I am still trying to deal with it and the fear I have from it knowing that I was saved by GOD! I am trying to deal with being in my home alone and the darkness of nighttime. I am praying the with time I will overcome the fears I know I should not have because I was at heaven’s gate and I am here to tell about it. I know there are not as many people who have experienced a Nnde, so in some way I’m trying to tell myself that I should that I should feel good about that 🙂

  • Marlene Mullner

    I died at age 11. I saw everything- that had been done wrong by me , and it was a lot. I was only a child , but guess what , all the debris catches up with you.
    And I have my late mom and aunt to thank for this moment. Both are forever burned into my memories.When you are dying , you really will see a review of your life.

  • olga

    human race have no idea what await them in the afterlife jesus is the only way out of damnation



  • citz

    total and utter bullshit call…..

    a poorly written and overly zealous attempt….

  • Corina

    To the writer of this article only, I think the understanding of this is in the details.

    Something that you mentioned in your story “that you felt far more alive than you did in your physical body.”

    The same thing was mentioned in Mary K. Baxter’s book “A Divine Revelation of Hell” in the book Jesus tells Mary that in this place your senses are more exacerbated than when you are alive.

    Your testimony corroborates this, just so you know…

  • Antuan

    While people still attempt to debunk this mans experience, he has the pleasure of knowing something that awaits him on the other side..God exist.. Science can only explain what’s around us to a certain degree… Seek with your and you shall find him.

  • maryd22

    Sorry, I have to add one more thing. People might ask, well, if God is so loving, then why let anyone experience a place called Hell. My answer to that, short answer that is, is because people choose to reject Christ and what he did. He never forces us and yes he loves us. It’s like a Christmas gift, someone can give you the gift because they want to and love you, but until you accept that gift, it really doesn’t mean much to either of you. God never sends us to Hell, we choose it by “not” choosing to believe the truth that has been revealed to us by means of his word to us, the bible. Anyone can have an NDE, but that’s the point, until we’re dead and gone completely, we don’t know where we will end up, heaven or hell?? Just something to think about. I’ve never found God to be a liar, he’s been absolutely amazing to me in my life, and I love and fear him, which means incredible respect, not fear like we think of fear today. That’s another misconception. God deserves our love and he will reward us for that in eternity. Love your descriptions. I pray God will use you in this greatly!

  • maryd22

    Loved the article. I am one of those right-winged christians, although I don’t like labels very much. Your experience reminds me so much that it lines up with what scripture says about life after death and what I know about God up to this point in my life from reading that scripture, and my relationship with God. I’m not religious, although many like to use that word to describe christian spirituality. Your descriptions are right on, there are demons in Hell, and my belief that it is a real place, and your description of Heaven or being almost there, seeing Emily, reminds me also of what scripture says, according to Jesus’ own words. So my thought is..if they line up??? Wow, is that not proof that there is absolute truth? Truth by the nature of the word, is either something that is real, or a lie…I don’t thinkanyway that we can have it both ways. I’m not trying to start an argument here. The hellish demons you described are the very reason “why” Jesus died on the cross……to save us FROM that, which is extremely different than religion..a set of rules and laws to be followed. I’ve never thought that Jesus, being as loving as he was (is) in heaven, would be a liar. ? All of this can be read about in the Bible, so you can know truth from lie….cool huh? Oh, and if you want a good book about an NDE, 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper is absolutely excellent….and a book called Heaven is Real is also available, by a young boy of 7 who says he went to Heaven while on the operating table and came back to tell his mom about his baby sister in heaven….and she never told him (at & yrs. of age) that she had had a miscarriage.) The mom never knew it was a girl until her 7 yr. old told about meeting her. I pray that your life will be changed by the experience, God is trying to tell you something about your present life, maybe? Just throwing that out there. I think the misconception is that we, who are fundamental are trying to make people believe that Jesus is judgemental, well,not really. He IS all about love, but he is also about justice, and the last time I knew, I am not perfect, like
    God, so I suppose he has the right to judge us someday when he judges the whole world, and he says he will…. That’s not harsh, that’s just who HE is because he doesn’t like sin. He loves people, but can’t tolerate sin. I guess if I were jesus and knew I was going to die a horrific death on a cross, I would have to know for certain that I was saving people from the horriffic hell you described. wow, I’m long winded, sorry!!! Bless you for writing such a great and well-written piece. Very thought provoking.

  • Rainy64

    I had an NDE in 2006. I actually asked for something to “take back” to prove what happened. I was told of 5 “prophesies.” ALL 5 came true in ORDER! I had a Comforter- a voice I have heard heard in some awful times in my life! Can’t tell if it’s male or female..but It’s the same voice.

  • Brides

    An amazing tale. I only hope and pray that at the end of my life, I am sent to a much friendlier place than the one you visited. A terrifying story, but also a wonderful reminder that hell is not some fictitious place but rather a real destination.

  • zingzing

    god previews his horror movie. great. at least it was pre-screened for critic. it might actually be good. i’d bet it sucks. do you really want to believe in a god who would torture you? i certainly don’t. bum deal. gimme oblivion.

  • Donna

    The Bible does talk about hell. I believe your story. Your experience is consistent with biblical description of hell. My question to you is this, since God has given you front seat to witness the terror that awaits you, why wouldn’t you take advantage of your second change and just accept Christ?

  • batdancer

    i figure that you researched the topic – and then proceeded to write this as a nice piece of fiction!

  • zingzing

    “It as if they are operating between two worlds.”

    yeah, but one of those worlds isn’t godland.

  • As a person who has worked with facilitated communication for many years, I find Galia’s mother’s account plausible. Please check out my articles for more stories and information on the subject. It does appear that many individuals with severe autism are not fully integrated in their body. This lack of integration provides a unique
    perspective. It as if they are operating between two worlds.

    Please check out my anecdotes and articles. Comments are appreciated.

  • DD,

    As you well know, life is not a lab experiment. Which is perhaps the point. If judges are willing to accept FC testimony in some jurisdictions, that tells me a lot more than all the studies in the world.

    I will grant you that FC is still controversial. It ultimately draws on concepts that are not at all proven, and scientists are a conservative lot, only going with what their concepts tell them. That is fair.

    The point is that Galia’s advice has worked in Shulamit Gad’s life, and that Galia has been a positive influence to a degree in that family. The other point is that Shulamit Gad, a secular Jew with no education in Torah, Tana”kh, Gemara, Zohar or the works of our sages and scholars, found in her autistic daughter a fount of wisdom all drawn from those sources – and that she is not the only one who has done so. Other autistic children have surfaced who also draw upon these sources as well and attempt predictions – which they oughtn’t do. So, in reading them, I’m far more cautious.

  • Ruvy, first of all, any scientific study is compromised if the participants are motivated in the direction of any of the dependent variables. Your management analogy is meaningless. The researchers’ purpose was not to encourage the mentally-disabled children (that is the caregivers’ job, not theirs), but to determine if FC had any merit. That is a valid object of study into any new or unproven treatment.

    Secondly, whose word have we got, other than Ms Crossley’s (relayed and possibly misquoted via Mrs Gad), that the researchers were hostile to FC?

    Thirdly, Shulamit singled out one study. According to Skepdic, there have been more than thirty.

  • DD,

    As a manager, I learned a number of things about motivation. One of them is the importance of projecting confidence among subordinates.


    If the subordinates do not have the necessary confidence to do their jobs properly, morale suffers and production drops.

    That’s a matter of dollars and cents (or shekels and agorot). If the morale is sufficient among a bunch of teenagers and adults to handle two or three busloads of customers who suddenly show up out of nowhere ordering 50 or 100 or 200 sandwiches over a few minutes, those customers will be handled confidently, and the drivers of the buses and the tour guides will be persuaded to return to that particular store the next time they are in the area. This kind of building up return customers is critical to a business like a Burger King, if it is to survive.

    But projection of confidence is not an issue of intelligence, it is an issue of emotional response – just like pheromones project sexiness or the severe lack thereof.

    This carries over to a whole number of other fields – warm fuzzies are needed in sales, politics, diplomacy, teaching, nursing, caregiving, and all sorts of other businesses where interpersonal communications are extremely important.

    This also carries over to dealing with autistic and retarded people, who do not have the “intelligence” to judge things, but who react emotionally to friendliness or hostility. Like dogs and cats, they can sense fear or tension, and because there is little or no overlay of intellectualization, these sensations are primary.

    So, Shulamit Gad, who is a teacher of special needs kids, can speak with some authority on when she says, “The doubters were fueled by a notable academic study which produced poor results. Rosemary Crossley, however, another FC developer, argued that the tests used were frightening and conducted by examiners prejudiced against FC. To get results, an examiner needs to project confidence in the autistic’s ability.”

    This is not a red flag, it is an indication of understanding.

    Others here have alleged that Shulamit Gad (and others) have been using their autistic children to rake in the money. This is simply not so. Most of the book Galia, is up on the Messages from Heaven Site. I don’t have to buy the books. Between Shulamit Gad’s lecture and the various proofs cited at the site, all that is relevant is presented – at no cost to me or you or anyone else. This is also true of other sites where autistic children warn of the Redemption and of what needs to be done to prepare for it. So to make this assertion is slander, at best.

    I did a Google search of Galia’s name, and her mother Shulamit’s, and the only hits were from Amazon and assorted Jewish websites. So it seems that Galia is only of parochial interest and not the earth-shaking phenomenon you seem to think she is.

    It is mostly Jews who will be interested in the Redemption of the Jewish people. Jews generally do not bother other people with their beliefs. I have presented the Redemption as an issue that deals with everybody, because it does, but most Jews do not look at it that way. Most religious Jews turn inward rather than outward, and concentrate on trying to circle their wagons in a hostile world.

    Jews generally (religious or not) are still on the defensive. They are too busy making a case for why they should be allowed to exist in peace, or explaining why Christian fundies are a threat to them. They do not think to go on the offensive, as I do, and bluntly assert that in light of the Redemptive process, the person that Americans choose as their president is of little consequence, and that American interference in the affairs of this country is a hindrance at best and destructive at worst, or that America is in trouble because it once had G-d’s blessing and has since lost it.

    But Daryl’s article on a near death experience is a fine opportunity to explain why there is more to the universe than what the boys in white coats can measure in a lab. Galia and Shulamit Gad fit into this paradigm: there is more to the universe that what the boys in white lab coats can measure.

  • zingzing

    or, “how to make loads of cash off your mentally disabled child.”

  • Leslie Bohn

    Hence “confidence game.”

  • Ruvy #71:

    Sorry to be so long in responding. I had already read that excerpt from the website, though, when I had a look around it yesterday.

    The Skeptics’ Dictionary piece cited numerous studies which had been done and based on the results concluded, quite reasonably, that FC wasn’t valid. The entry has not been updated because nothing has happened since to change that conclusion.

    I did a Google search of Galia’s name, and her mother Shulamit’s, and the only hits were from Amazon and assorted Jewish websites. So it seems that Galia is only of parochial interest and not the earth-shaking phenomenon you seem to think she is.

    After another look at her site, I tend to think that the Skepdic assessment of FC as pseudoscience is still sound. A lot of what Galia allegedly does (for example, the incident with the briefcase) is strikingly similar to the ‘work’ of John Edward or a thousand other psychics and mediums – elaborate parlour tricks, in essence.

    As I said, there are a lot of red flags. For example, the Skepdic article points out: “FC needs a kind stranger to work. And when the kind strangers and their patients are put to the test, they generally fail. We are told that is because the conditions made them nervous. These ad hoc excuses sound familiar; they sound like the complaints of parapsychologists.”

    Sure enough, on Galia’s website, her mother writes: “The doubters were fueled by a notable academic study which produced poor results. Rosemary Crossley, however, another FC developer, argued that the tests used were frightening and conducted by examiners prejudiced against FC. To get results, an examiner needs to project confidence in the autistic’s ability.”

  • zingzing

    will have to look that up, leslie. sounds interesting.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Zing, the origins of religion is a fascinating topic. I think much of what you say is probably true about religion explaining physical phenomena, but of course it’s more complicated than that. There could have been some adaptive advantage to religion during the period that humans lived mostly in roving bands; perhaps religion’s tendency toward group cohesion and xenophobia was an advantage in these times.

    Our brains seem like they’re wired for this kind of thought, and much research has been done in this area. For one thing, humans seem to be both inborn dualists andtend toward causation as an explanation for observable events (a rustle in the bushes might be caused by a predator, that nest was probably built by a small bird, not a huge bear), and these tendencies had adaptive advantages. You can see how these instincts could morph into belief in a central creator who causes everything.
    There’s also the premise that basic “god-friendly” traits like altruism and generosity are coded in our genomes and that religion piggy-backs on those sort of like a parasite.

    There are lots of other explanations. Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell is a popular treatment of the topic, and Rodney Stark’s Theory of Religion is a seminal work. Those interested in the topic might also try Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer, In Gods We Trust by Steven Atran, Theological Incorrectness by Jason Slone.

    Are you familiar, zing, with the cargo cults of the Pacific Islands after WWII? It’s almost a case study in the origins of religion — basically a bunch of religions sprung up spontaneously and shared an amazing number of similarities. There was an article in the Smithsonian in February 2006 about the most famous of these, the John Frum cult, which still exists. Not sure if it’s online.

  • You DID type “beknighted”, hence my question.

    Are your glasses still broken, Ruvy? That would explain your apparent reading difficulty, although it wouldn’t explain your mental astigmatism, which mistakes a free and open mind for one ensnared in the wayward dreams of dogma and vice versa.

    I did indeed notice your reference to the topics I mentioned to you in an earlier exchange and your claim to share those aspirations.

    However, you think that they will occur for a select few after some cataclysmic action by a creature for which there is no reason to believe exists, whereas I think they will be achieved by the hard work of humans to the benefit of all.

    I didn’t, and don’t, see that as an olive branch at all, just more of the magical thinking you and your faithist brethren so naively, destructively and determinedly embrace, to the detriment of us all. You don’t offend me, but rather hope, reason and progress, which is why I reject your creed so completely.

  • As it turns out, Chris, I typed “beknighted” originally in my comment after all. May I suggest that you get either a good pair of glasses before rushing to conclusions, or have your eyes checked.

  • zingzing, I did work with Professor Griff for a while but, no, I wasn’t referencing Public Enemy nor know of the context in which they used it. If you look at the remark preceding mine, you will find where it started…

  • I had meant to type beknighted, but given many of your attitudes, I may not have made an error after all.

    If you re-read comment #44, you’ll notice the following:

    If you take away the immediate and very stressful situation that this country (and a good part of the world) is undergoing immediately prior to the arrival of the messiah, and concentrate on what you view as what will occur in a better world to come, and what I view will happen in a messianic world, you will realize that the two of us are not that far apart in our visions of the future.

    We are both optimists, believing in lengthened lifespans, far improved health for most of us, prosperity for a good part of the world’s population, world peace, and reconciliations between peoples.

    Not only are you unable to see an olive branch when it is offered, you are unable to realize that having looked at links that you sent me a while back – and having bookmarked them as well – I have some comprehension as to the things you look at as important in the near to long term future.

    I do not crave the respect of fools and cowards who deliberately close their eyes to Reality, Chris. Where you have insight to offer, I seek it. Otherwise…. Well, the otherwise speaks for itself.

    You’ll believe what you will. To your own loss.

  • zingzing

    ruvy, as i use a mac at home, i cannot watch the video here. if i find a way… which would probably include using a friend’s pc, it would probably just lead to a strange situation.

    and chris, did you just reference public enemy with that frozen remark? heh. i hope not. it got them into enough trouble.

  • Oh, by the way, did you mean “benighted”?

    According to Google, that means

    “overtaken by night or darkness; “benighted (or nighted) travelers hurrying toward home”

    lacking enlightenment or knowledge or culture; “this benighted country”; “benighted ages of barbarism and superstition”; “the dark ages”; “a dark age in the history of education”

    I rather think you fit the definitions somewhat more closely than I.

  • Ruvy, now you predictably resort to one of your standard avoidance techniques.

    Your original arguments made little to no sense, so why should anybody waste their time exploring the so-called supporting material upon which you base your perspective.

    Try coming up with some coherent remarks and you’ll get the respect you so clearly crave. Or, if that’s too much for you, try responding to my actual remarks, rather than either ignoring them or trying to pass off my reasonable rejection of your offer to join you in the mental cul de sac you occupy as being a “frozen refusal”. We both know there is only one person that is frozen here…

  • Chris,

    Your attitude, a frozen refusal to look at the evidence someone else presents based on your own pre-judgment of it, is common, all too common, in the world of Jewish “intellectuals” I’m forced to endure, where gefilte fish and corned beef is substituted for actual brains and awareness.

    So, you are not alone in your attitudes. You have much company.

    And my response?

    Cluck, Cluck, Cluck, chicken…

  • zing,

    Many years ago an IRS auditor, bored with his job, was watching basketball games at work. It was one of the few things he could do to get himself summarily fired that did not involve breaking tax laws or violating the confidentiality of a “taxpayer”. So, unless you are very dissatisfied with your job, and do not need a letter of recommendation from your employers to find a different one, it was wise of you not to seek to watch a 61 video at work.

    You went to the site, looked at it, and can at least react to what you saw. That is really all I asked you to do. Thank you.

    That, by itself, puts you miles (or kilometers) ahead of our beknighted comments editor and his vaunted “open mind”.

    If you have time or the inclination to watch this video at home, do so, and tell me what you think. I’d be curious to read your thoughts.

  • Ruvy, I am WAY more open minded than you could ever be, simply because I’m aware that there are lots of things that don’t make sense.

    You, on the other hand, are always so absolutely certain of what everything means, because you have chosen to interpret it through the framework of your dogma.

    I don’t have any explanation for the story you entered in your #71 and don’t see why any is necessary. As Facilitated Communication is a technique used by people that are without functional speech, it is entirely possible that this child had no problem understanding speech herself.

    It’s equally possible that she got all the information she gave from her mother or the media, I simply don’t know – and nor do you.

    The difference is that I would expect to find a rational explanation, whilst you prefer to use a little of that “magical thinking” you’re so fond of and claim it as “proof” of your beliefs, which is typical of all people “infected” by the god idea and other quaint superstitions.

    I may, to your special way of thinking, have nothing to say on the issue that is worth paying attention to, but you have precious little at all to say that is worth paying attention to, except to rebut the semi-hysterical dogma you keep pouring out.

    This is the real danger we are all forced to confront, whether it comes from a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim. You could say that the god concept is the work of the devil, as it is clearly destructive to and divisive of our common humanity. *Sardonic laughter*

  • zingzing

    i went to the site as well. as i was at work, i really couldn’t watch a 61 minute video, and i have a mac here… so i can’t really watch it. but… i read some of the site, and i have to say it sounds a bit like phooey.

    if i had been able to watch the video, who knows… but the text itself is highly suspect. exploitation and malarkey are a couple of words that spring to mind.

    religion is a human construct that was used to bring order and civility to our societies. as a whole, it has accomplished that task, but then has become perverted into an institution that separates us from each other on political levels. nothing good can last forever.

  • Aw heck, DD, we’ll try a few points with you anyway.

    The following is a list of the sources skepdic.com used in its piece on facilitated communication.

    Beck, A.R. & Pirovano, C.M. 1996. “Facilitated Communicators’ Performance on a Task of Receptive Language.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 26 (5), 497–512.

    Eberlin, M., McConnachie, G., Ibel, S., & Volpe, L. 1993. “Facilitated Communication: A Failure to Replicate the Phenomenon.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 23 (3), 507–530.

    Gorman, Brian J. “Facilitated Communication in America: Eight Years and Counting,” in Skeptic, vol. 6 no. 3, 1998.

    Green, Gina , Ph.D. “Facilitated Communication: Mental Miracle Or Sleight Of Hand?,” Skeptic vol. 2, no. 3, 1994, pp. 68-76.

    Mostert, M.P. 2001. “Facilitated Communication Since 1995: A Review of Published Studies.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 31 (3), 287–313.

    Regal, R.A., Rooney, J.R., & Wandas, T. 1994. “Facilitated Communication: An Experimental Approach.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24 (3), 345–355.

    Shane, Howard C. Facilitated Communication : The Clinical and Social Phenomenon (Singular Publishers Group, 1994).

    Simpson, R. L., & Myles, B. S. 1995. “Effectiveness of Facilitated Communication with Children and Youth with Autism.” The Journal of Special Education, 28 (4), 424–439.

    Singer, Margaret Thaler and Janja Lalich. Crazy Therapies (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1996). Review.

    Note that none of these sources is later than 2001.

    Galia Gad exploded on the scene here after 2001.

    This is from the site, Galia’s first communication with her mother, Shoulamit.

    There is no separate direct link to this at this website, so I’m reproducing it here in its entirety for your perusal.

    As the time for the appointment approached, I began to get very excited. My daughter Galia was already ten years old but she had never spoken a word to me and I wasn’t sure what to ask her. I decided to write up a list of questions ahead of time, so that if I got too excited and forgot what I wanted to ask I could take out my list and read the questions from it. Among the questions I wrote was,

    Galia, why did you come to the world in such a hard form?

    What can be done for you?

    How can we help you?

    among other questions.

    At the top of the sheet I wrote, ⌠Galia, I love you!] It was very important to me to tell her I loved her.

    Finally the day came. On that day, the facilitator arrived. I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me. I had never seen her before. She brought with her an alphabet chart which she put on the table, then she supported Galia’s hand and Galia, without speaking a word, suddenly began to push her hand and spell out on the chart the words, ⌠Mum, I love you!] I started to cry, but Galia kept pushing her hand and wrote answers to all the questions I had on my list to ask her. And me, I was so overcome that I even forget to take the list out of my bag.

    Galia wrote, ⌠Mum, I am the soul of your grandmother, Simcha, who is no longer alive. I was sent from heaven to rectify sins I committed in bringing up my children. You have merit from your ancestors and I was sent to get you to become religious.]

    I was so moved that I broke down crying, and almost fainted. From the first moment I realised that it had to be Galia who was writing all these things. The American woman, who was facilitating, could not possibly have known anything about my grandmother, Simcha, who passed away before I was born. Not even my (other) children knew the name of this grandmother.

    I asked Galia. ⌠Are souls sent back to Earth for sins that seem so minor to me, like the upbringing of children?]

    Galia answered. ⌠Mum, this isn’t a minor thing for tzaddikim (righteous people).]

    ⌠What,] I asked, ⌠are you a tzaddika?]

    ⌠I’m a tzaddika,] she answered.

    It is known that the Chazon Ish, who was a very big rabbi in Israel, perhaps the biggest of his time, and who passed away nearly fifty years ago, always used to stand up when a brain-damaged person passed, saying that a very elevated soul was going by.

    Then I asked Galia, ⌠What can I do for you, how can I help you?]

    Galia answered: ⌠Physically, nothing. Physically, I’ll stay like this my whole life. Spiritually though, you can do a lot. Your becoming religious will help me a lot. That’s my completion.]

    After that, I became religious very quickly. In less than a month, I was covering my head! Thank God that I had the privilege of becoming religious. It opens up an amazing inner richness. Only someone who has had that wonderful experience can understand what I mean.

    Within a few months, I learned to communicate with Galia on my own. The American facilitator taught me the technique and Galia began to write me amazing messages, telling me about the Messiah, about the coming redemption, Song Of Songs, souls, incarnations, the World to Come, the Heavenly Court, the garment in which the soul is enrobed, angels. I didn’t know who to ask about things, what Rabbi to turn to.

    One day Galia wrote out: ⌠Mum, go to Rabbi so-and-so,] giving the name and address of a particular rabbi. I went to see him, and it turned out that Galia had chosen for me a very prominent and important rabbi, one of the biggest authorities in Jewish law of our time. The rabbi looked over the messages I had received from Galia and observed everything she said was written in either the Mishna, the Gemarra, the Zohar, Rabeinu Yona, and other places in Torah. Again I was amazed.

    What comes out is that brain-damaged children know everything and nothing is hidden from them. They see all the hidden things in the upper worlds and hear the voices which emerge from heaven to announce things that are going to happen. The Zohar says that thirty days before any catastrophe occurs a voice from heaven announces what is going to happen. But who hears that voice? Only certain birds called tzefarim, tzaddikim, and imbeciles, meaning brain-damaged children.

    The truth is that we also know everything in our souls, but we aren’t aware of what is happening in them. A normal healthy brain is like a screen which hides our souls from us and doesn’t allow us to see them. To brain-damaged people, however, nothing is hidden since their brains are not capable of hiding their souls from them. They see everything and are aware of everything. They see through us as if we were transparent.

    Rabbi Sarebnik told about a child in a class of children who communicate through facilitation. One day, this child was very unsettled. He made all kinds of noises and was wild. The teacher offered him the alphabet chart and asked him what was going on, why he was so restless that day. The boy wrote, ⌠I’m so happy that you’re expecting twins.] The teacher had no idea that she was pregnant, but she went and had tests and found out that she was indeed expecting twins, just as the boy had said.

    DD, since you were patient enough to try to refute what I provided you, at least go through this site and see what it says. Frankly, not all retards or autistic children have this kind of connection to the Upper World, but many do. Some have no special intelligence at all, and some just have some ability to communicate. And, in some instances, that communication ability has surely been abused.

    In this instance, a person who came from the States and probably did not know Hebrew was “guiding” Galia’s hand on an alphabet board of Hebrew letters. And because of what was revealed above, Shoulamit believed that facilitated communication works. So do I, for the same reason.

  • Leslie Bohn

    On the American sitcom of the ’70’s What’s Happenin’, Rerun once fell under the spell of a cult that worships a head of lettuce they call Ralph. Eventually, the whole gang had to convince Rerun they were just out for his money.

    Nanu nanu! Please familiarize yourself with this episode and the lessons it teaches about religion. If you don’t, you have nothing to say about the issue that is worth paying attention to.

  • Another boring three hours that could have exploded into murderous violence at any second.

    Sounds a bit like rush hour on the Victoria Line.

    Or an England home game…

    ‘Night, Ruve.

  • I ran into the same error that you all did. This is what came up. http://www.signsfromheaven.com/files/English_Index.html%22

    There is a simple way around this. Go to the tab bar where this erroneous tab appears and erase the %22, or whatever else appears after html from the tab bar. You should get to the site.

    Of course, if you are as “open-minded” as Chris Rose is, you won’t bother. Meaning you have nothing to say on the issue that is worth paying attention to. At least DD looked, and researched further. Kol hakavód! With him I can attempt to have a discussion.

    But not now. It’s nearly three in the morning here, and I’m exhausted. Just got back from guard duty in the village.

    Another boring three hours that could have exploded into murderous violence at any second. That was 10,800 seconds of waiting.

  • The link’s a dud, Ruvy.

    I have a little more patience than Chris, and did find my way to the host site; unfortunately, the plugin which enables one to view the video works with Windows only – I use a Mac.

    I had a look around the site, though, and as a skeptic, I have to say that what Galia’s mother has written there sounded a lot of familiar alarm bells.

    Turns out that while facilitated communication (FC) has its advocates and is even accepted in some courts, in over 30 studies it hasn’t been shown to have any validity at all.

  • I haven’t bothered. As Ruvy’s own arguments are so deeply uninsightful and lacking rationality, I can’t see any reason to explore his source material.

    I’m already in Wonderland, so I don’t need the looking glass!

  • duane

    I tried, Ruvy, but I got an “HTTP Error 404,” page not found.

  • zingzing

    ruvy–i get an error when i try to view it. page not found type error.

  • zingzing

    yeah, duane, but you bring up some different points. religion certainly was the “science” of its day, and as science answered the questions that religion had previously answered with “just pray to it!,” religion had to replace the physical gods (sun, moon, sea, mars, etc.) with disembodied spirits of an unknowable nature.

    i’m not saying it was JUST a really good move in the struggle for power… but it was a really good move. in monotheism, there is nothing to prove or disprove, there is only faith. before, it was possible to experiment… to say, “well, let’s see if constant prayer brings us water…” or “let’s stop praying and see if the sun comes out and warms our crops anyway.” the rules of the game changed, and religion won by settling for a tie.

  • Well kids (Chris, Duane zing, DD, B-tone), I have one question. And all it requires is a yes or no answer.

    Did you view the video I suggested to Chris Rose in comment #54?

    A simple yes or no will do. No bullshit answers philosophical arguments necessary.

    If you did view the video, thank you for doing so. If you didn’t, you have no idea what I’m talking about, and shouldn’t be whining about it.

  • duane

    Dr. D (#58) explains much more concisely part of my long-winded comment #59. Sorry for the redundancy.

  • zingzing

    “To their astute but prescientific minds, the observable universe was best explainable in terms of an omnipotent creator of the nature of YHWH.”

    that could be true, but it’s still a fantastic leap of faith. such specifics, at least later in the book (genesis, i mean). i dunno what they were trying to explain there… it certainly couldn’t have been the universe as they really saw it. i mean, it certainly wasn’t (isn’t) a conclusion you would come to by OBSERVATION.

  • duane

    “Ancient wisdom.” Ooooohhhhh.

    But that’s an interesting take, zing.

    Ultimately, maybe, it’s all a result of humankind’s inability to reconcile the fact that we eventually die.

    Once the human brain evolved to the point where it could begin to reason, think about the future and the past, develop deep emotional bonds to other humans, experience the pain of loss, prehistoric philopsophy was invented. This involved the Big Picture — life, death, cosmology — and the Little Picture — cause and effect relationships in the natural world, ethics, morality.

    Man realized that he was superior to the rest of the animal kingdom, and assumed that he was given this priveleged position by gods — the Great Chain of Being — Man was the dominant species on Earth, but so many mysteries lay beyond his comprehension, that he made the natural assumption that all of creation was the work of someone or something far above and beyond Man.

    It is in our nature to try to understand our existence. Complex systems of thought were developed to reconcile all that was seen and believed. Out of this came the belief that something as special as Man has a purpose, known only by the creator race. The promise of an afterlife sat well with all. We will go on. We will meet our dear departed in a better place. Very comforting.

    But the belief in an afterlife reflected back on morals and ethics in our earthly existence — codes of conduct accompanied the basic belief systems. Our reward (or punishment) will be based upon our behavior in the here and now. This is the life blood of organized religion.

    As modern science chips away at ancient cause and effect models of Nature, we (generally speaking) still cling to our belief in an afterlife, finding it difficult to accept the alternative that “That’s all there is.” Everything else — rituals, morals, ethics, ancient books, creators, prayer, sacrifice — is tangential to our fundamental wish that we will live beyond our natural lifetimes.

  • Excellent and fair questions, zing2, although the answers may not be as supernatural to our modern way of thinking as they seem.

    I refer you to this excellent work by Isaac Asimov, in which he points out that in editing the Book of Genesis, the ancient rabbinical scholars were simply trying to assemble their best knowledge of the world and its origins. To their astute but prescientific minds, the observable universe was best explainable in terms of an omnipotent creator of the nature of YHWH.

  • zingzing

    oh, doc… it sounds a bit pagan because it all came out of pagan beliefs. that may sound like a strike against judeo-christian-islamic beliefs… i mean it’s just regurgitated pagan beliefs wrapped up in a new bunch of words… but that’s really about the only thing that leads me to wonder whether or not it might all be true. not the specifics, of course, but why have humans believed this stuff for so long? and why is it so easy to trace current beliefs back to the older beliefs? is there some validity to those beliefs?

  • The catch is that you cannot look G-d in the Face (so to speak) and live.

    Sounds a bit pagan to me…

  • Ruvy, I’ve absolutely no idea why or how you are managing to persuade yourself that I’m not understanding you, maybe because it supports your mistaken self image as someone who has a special understanding, as opposed to just being “special”.

    I didn’t ask that this mythical creature serve drinks, just show up. I don’t believe what you say, nor any other gullible twit who wastes their time trying to infer this creature’s presence from “signs”.

    Why do you believe that looking at its face would cause you to die? Seems a bit harsh for a creative being to do that…

    I think it’s long past time that these children’s stories were all put away so we humans could get on with the serious business of life and start to work together to make this planet a better place for all.

    Nowadays, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have become nothing but pointless diversions that are causing more problems than solutions.

  • Chris, we’ll try this once more. Optimist that I am, I figure that something will get through to a reasonably intelligent person.

    G-d is here, there and all over the place. He’s Giving the Party and you and I and the rest of the sentient creatures of the universe are mere guests. The Host of the Party need not show up serving drinks, though I agree with you, it would be nice to have the Divinity filling our wine goblets or champagne flutes in such a way that we could see Him. The catch is that you cannot look G-d in the Face (so to speak) and live.

    The Grace you said as a kid before you ate (if indeed you were taught this), and the Grace After Meals that I say now, are recognition that G-d is indeed filling our wine goblets, champagne flutes, fruit bowls, and breadbaskets, not to mention the baked chickens we (my family and I) eat on the Sabbath.

    It’s His Universe, and we are guests at His Table.

    But believing me is not what I expect you to do. You might want to believe Shoulamit Gad, and her daughter, Galia.

    There is a video in Hebrew at the lower right of this site with English subtitles. Give yourself some free time when you can pay attention. You’ll need to read the sub-titles. The translation is not perfect, but is very good.


  • Zing, sorry mate, I obviously had a brain fart after guzzling Ruvy’s heady brew.

    Ruvy, once again, I don’t at all refuse to recognise the possibility that a god is here all the time, I simply don’t take it as given because some people say so.

    I’ve no problem at all in believing it, but as with all such claims, it needs substantiating. You aren’t providing proof, you’re providing subjective assertions and interpretations, nothing more.

    It’s not them I dismiss but your shoddy “thinking”. You don’t understand reality at all, you just try desperately to shoehorn it into the predetermined reality rulebook you’ve somehow allowed yourself to buy into. You’re the one that has a closed mind as you think you know the way things work whereas I have a far more open, if critical mind. You’re just naive and gullible.

  • G-d doesn’t have to show up. Chris. He’s there all the time; He’s a part of all of us, and of all of His creation. But the proofs you want will not be forthcoming because you refuse to recognize this possibility. And the proofs I provide, you contemptuously dismiss.

    That is why you will need a cosmic kick in the butt to get you to understand Reality.

    And as for you zing, try watching this video on Global Dimming and reading this article on Global Cooling. You’ll need to put the bottle of liquor down, though, and focus.

  • zingzing

    chris— troll? haha, it is i! zingzing! i am no troll.

    as to your question, i suppose i could try to prove you are a woman with a goldfish with a banana. but i just want to prove you are a woman with a goldfish, although that goldfish may as well be a banana. besides, what does it matter what i prove it with, as long as i prove it? far as i can tell, all it will take is a little localized global warming, and that ain’t much to ask. at least we all know THAT’s real. oh, ha.

  • No Ruvy, what you said is “the kind of proofs you want will not be forthcoming”. The proof I want is that this alleged god shows up, so you are saying it won’t happen, just like me!

    Why exactly do you think this “redemption” event would be such a terrifying affair? I would have thought it something altogether more joyous…

    Troll, are you saying you could prove with a goldfish that I’m a woman or that you could prove I’m a woman that has a gold fish? lol

  • zingzing

    if proof of god’s existence can be found in a lack of something on bananas, well, i suppose i could prove chris is a woman with a goldfish.

    i wonder if any of those other banana farmers were god-fearing men… ah, hell, who cares about all those other farmers? the prodigals are so much more interesting.

  • Chris, as usual, you’re not paying attention. What I said is that you would not accept any proofs I offer; and you do not. So, the only time you will realize that I’m right is when the proof is so overwhelming that you are unable to deny it – but that it nearly drives you insane.

    At that point you will be in no condition to pay up on any bet that you will have lost….

  • So my suggestion that this alleged superbeing actually manifest itself is never going to happen? At last, something we can agree on!

    As to the bet, it’s okay that you’re too chicken to take it. You like to claim that all this nonsense is going to happen soon but you’re not willing to put your money where your mouth is. That speaks volumes.

    Your latest claim, that this alleged redemption is going to involve a global EMP, is no more believable than anything else you have to say on these matters.

    You’re the one that shows contempt, Ruvy; contempt for all that is good, true and verifiable as you so determinedly embrace fairy stories, myths and legends. Frankly, I’d rather buy into the world of Harry Potter or Stargate than your mish mash of dogma and deceit.

    Cluck, Cluck, Cluck, chicken…

  • Faithists appear to be so desperate for evidence to support their fantastical assertions that they will try to interpret the tiniest of events, such as the lack of frost, as proof of the divine.

    As I said, the kind of proofs you want will not be forthcoming. You contemptuous dismissal of fact (go to the entry on 25 January) is evidence of this. So, I repeat what I said earlier.

    You will never accept the existence of G-d without a supernatural kick in the butt that is really hard and jarring to your mind (not to mention your butt!) – so be ready for that supernatural kick in the butt in the near future.

    No bets. First of all, neither you nor I know when the redemption will manifest itself. Secondly, neither you nor I know whether money as we now know it, i.e. pounds, shekels or dollars, will retain value. Thirdly, neither you nor I know what condition we will be in when this event strikes; finally, neither you nor I know whether there will be an EMP that will wipe clean all records of this conversation, and our ability to even communicate.

    If I’m right, one of the things that will have to occur will be an EMP – a powerful one.

  • Ruvy, all I really need to believe in any god is that they actually turn up, which is not much to ask for.

    Faithists appear to be so desperate for evidence to support their fantastical assertions that they will try to interpret the tiniest of events, such as the lack of frost, as proof of the divine.

    I’m ready for such a manifestation any time, but I’m willing to wager that you will never live to see it. How about one hundred of my English pounds versus everything you own, if you’re so confident of its imminent occurence? 😉

  • What about those who are open-minded enough to be willing to believe but would simply like to be shown some convincing or even coherent reason as to why they should?

    The concept that I should believe in some omnipotent super-being that normally exists in some entirely undetectable dimension of existence, that created the entire universe in the space of a few days then simply left it to its fate, but is a creature of love that we will be re-united with after death is something we should simply uncritically accept?


    If you take away the immediate and very stressful situation that this country (and a good part of the world) is undergoing immediately prior to the arrival of the messiah, and concentrate on what you view as what will occur in a better world to come, and what I view will happen in a messianic world, you will realize that the two of us are not that far apart in our visions of the future.

    We are both optimists, believing in lengthened lifespans, far improved health for most of us, prosperity for a good part of the world’s population, world peace, and reconciliations between peoples.

    As for proofs.

    In the Galilee is a banana farm, along with many others. The farmer of this particular farm, a secular and non-observant Jew, agreed to comply with all the rules of shmittá (allowing the land to lie fallow every seven years) in the Torah, as well as agreeing to keep the Sabbath for the shmittá year, which is this one.

    Not too long ago, a killing frost arrived in the Galilee, and all the banana crop in this district was wrecked – except his.

    I doubt that you would view this as any more than a coincidence. But the farmer didn’t. He understood that G-d protects those who believe in Him.

    So for you, the proofs you demand prior will not come. Therefore, my suggestion to you is this. From what I’ve seen of your writing, you will never accept the existence of G-d without a supernatural kick in the butt that is really hard and jarring to your mind (not to mention your butt!) – so be ready for that supernatural kick in the butt in the near future.


  • Humm…

    Well, what I think is interesting is that we are not asked to consider the religious implications of the experience. It is only an account.

    As for the question of God, I like the statement in the movie Contact. “I find it difficult to understand why ten percent of the planet thinks the other ninety percent of the planet is wrong.” Most societies have some idea of a transcendent deity and NDEs have been documented since the beginning of recorded history.

    If anything they should make us question the fabric of reality and what we should expect when what we know is no more… This isn’t the only depiction of hell described in a NDE. I have heard at least on other and am sure there are likely more.

    I put this in the category of things that make me go hummm… For one not to at least consider the possibilities would prove the reader as one who is not truly intellectually open.

  • Paddy R

    Having had an NDE myself, a lot of Daryls’ experience I believe is personal to him, although I never experienced the hellish experience he did I did experience the loving experience he did. I believe Daryl had an NDE

  • Great article.

    Don’t know if you ever read the book “23 minutes in Hell” by Bill Weise. (Or maybe it’s Bill Wiese.) Horrifying.

    I had a bad experience of hell too but that was just a quick glimpse. I saw a show once on television about a support group for people who had had bad death experiences. They didn’t have the healing experience after so they were pretty traumatized. And some folks never told their families because they feared their friends would think they were bad people…and they knew they weren’t bad. From what I’ve heard, hell is full of bad people and good people so as a Christian, I can only say it’s not being bad or being good that gets one into hell or into heaven…it’s having accepted the holy sacrifice of Jesus blood.

  • Disturbing and important article. It left me thinking intensely. I try to stay away from theological debate, it makes me sick and terribly depressed.

    Good luck with you.


  • Karly Semone

    Thank you for this article. This is, by far, the best piece of writing I’ve seen on the Internet this year.

  • troll,

    I see what you were saying. I just don’t think that such an “instant” is in the offing for any of us.


  • troll

    Baritone – you asked earlier about the ‘good life’

    in the context of the ‘death trip’ the good life would be the one as free of regret as is possible…I guess

  • Whilst it is onbviously true that:-

    “For those who WANT to believe, no proof is necessary,

    For those who DON’T WANT to believe, no proof wil ever be enough.”

    What about those who are open-minded enough to be willing to believe but would simply like to be shown some convincing or even coherent reason as to why they should?

    The concept that I should believe in some omnipotent super-being that normally exists in some entirely undetectable dimension of existence, that created the entire universe in the space of a few days then simply left it to its fate, but is a creature of love that we will be re-united with after death is something we should simply uncritically accept?

    Frankly, it would be insane to accept such a claim without wanting something a little more concrete to go on than the wishful thinking that is usually deployed in support of the idea.

  • duane

    Baritone fights the good fight, outnumbered, but with reason and patience on his side.

    Pascal’s Wager was an attempt by Pascal to give non-believers something, anything, to grab on to as a justification to adopt Christianity, knowing full well that “faith” based on bet hedging is superficial and cynical. I doubt that God would be so easy to fool. What do you think?

    Pascal hoped that such people would soon find true belief. It’s a bit like an arranged marriage; hubby says, “You’ll learn to love me.” But, of course, very few of the questionless faithful (and very few of the faithless, for that matter) are actually in search of answers. In many cases, the wager remains the crux of the believer’s belief.

    Daryl D, your appointment with Lucifer is etched in brimstone, ever since that Dennis Miller piece you wrote. Not even Jesus will forgive you for that one. Church for you, young man. Pronto.

  • daryl d


    I have chosen not to become religious after this experience but have become a lot more spiritual. I’m not a saint, but not a complete sinner either. I am sure that Hell is not my destiny. As I mentioned, I was given the feeling that I was only a “visitor” in this place. Who knows? I’ve done a lot of good things for other people especially during my days as a social worker. Even though I still have a lot to work on about how I treat and react to other people, I generally don’t cause other people pain. Brett did and God bless his soul which I hope eventually found peace.

  • Kimberly,

    I appreciate your sentiments and your wishes, but as you might imagine, I don’t believe that I or anyone are here for a “reason.” We are simply here. We can, and must, I think try to find our own personal “reasons” for being. It helps one to get out of bed in the morning.

    I love my wife and my kids. I get a kick out of all kinds of people. I can revel in a vibrant spring morning or a blustery late fall day, with the leaves blowing about. I am 61 years old. Yet, I love learning. I read a good deal. I love a good film. I love music and other art forms. I’ve never made any money to speak of, but I have provided decently for my family and myself. I want for little. I still buy a few lottery tickets, though. I’m still reasonably healthy. So, on balance, life remains good for me. I will, in fact, experience and enjoy it as best I can. Not bad for a godless infidel, no?


  • Aaron

    When people try to reason away a NDE as the continuation of the brain and a mash of religious memories, they fail to realize that during NDEs people are able to hear and see things that in the present. For example, Dr. Raymond Moody, writes about a person who was declared dead and gone during the out of body experience, the person floated outside the hospital, and the person saw a red tennis shoe lodged along an outside windows edge that could not be seen from any particular angle. After the person came back, they checked the far off window ledge and the shoe was there.
    Thanks Daryl for sharing, and remember how important the small acts of compassion are in this life for the next.

  • Daryl,

    Your vision of Brett could have been your destiny as well had you not been called back to complete your earthly experience. Becoming religious after such an experience would probably be the best thing you can do for yourself. Seek the truth of the after life. Pascal’s wager is really about living your life as if you were sure there was a God…. the minimalist approach is to say it can hurt to be religious. This grace you were given should be meditated on very deeply, dare I say pray about it. Remember that Christ said: “ask and you shall receive”; this applies to your experience as well. As we become confounded by events in our life, we can turn to Jesus Christ for light, wisdom, faith, charity and love

  • Kimberly


    I understand. I will be signing off and really, I sincerly mean this, I wish you and yours the very best this life has to offer. Your here for a reason and you have much to offer.

  • Kimberly,

    I don’t suggest that Daryl didn’t have the experience. I’m sure it happened. I don’t believe he made it up out of whole cloth here. I simply say that it was nothing more than what Ray describes above – a jumbled dream. No doubt one that Freud would have a great time with.

    I am perfectly happy with my situation. I feel no need or desire to dig deeper within myself to find what?

    While the notion of some kind of blissful and eternal life has obvious appeal, that still doesn’t make it a reality. We can succeed in making ourselves believe about anything. I choose to believe in a rational world with no higher power or powers to reckon with. I accept that when I die, that will be it. I will endeavor to live the life I have remaining as best I can. I ask for nor expect nothing more.


  • daryl d

    Thanks for all the interesting comments on this. I knew it would cause debate and I think it’s a good thing. I respect those who don’t believe in an afterlife because they are brave to think “outside of the box.” But I tell you, there is one.

    I also didn’t make it clear: I was clinically dead. Does your brain operate when you are dead? Some people say it does, but I think that’s not true. I also confirmed with a couple doctors what they were saying and wearing.

    Let me also stress that since this experiences, my senses are FAR more stronger than they were before. It’s hard to explain, but I can pick up things about people: if they have been abused, if they are abusers, if they are hiding their true sexual orientation; if they are experiencing the loss of a loved one, etc. I pick up a bunch of weird things that I really don’t even want to know or care about, I just pick it up.

    I also see things in my dream that happen in the future. Most of the things I see are not really that significant, but when something happens that I dreamt about (such as my boss getting his GPS stolen from his car) I get really freaked out.

    In no way was my experience a dream. It was completely vivid and real. I also don’t think it was a punishment either. Perhaps since I was so close to Brett at the same time of our deaths, I went with him. But I was more of an observer than a participant to what was going on in this place. The pure love I experienced in the tunnel was far stronger than the hatred I experienced in that hellish place. This is why I believe that love is stronger than hate.

  • Kimberly

    If I may respond here Baritone with great respect for your being both soul and body is keep searching. Keep asking deep within yourself who I believe will find your expectations greater than you could ever expect. Jesus is your friend. I can also say that for myself. This man’s near death experience is real for him as many people are now sharing. Let’s give him that much OK?

  • Havingly vividly experienced at least three so-called NDEs, all of them a result of severe trauma, I can assure you that there is no such thing. What happens is this: you leave your body while your brain busily works to repair the damage to its host. In the process, a lot of things happen in your concsience, a lot of which have to do with memories and regrets. They come together in a jumble, sort of like non-linear editing.

    On the other hand, coming out of it does leave one with a sense of serenity, and a realization that these discussions are pointless.

    The question is not whether a God exists, but how we reconcile our perceptions of him/her/they.

  • The fact that most of you accept the existence of god solely on faith – with no evidence whatsoever of such existence, you all take as a badge of honor. Yet anyone who accepts virtually anything else simply on faith is often taken for a fool. I don’t believe blind faith in the existence of any god is a virture.

    The Greeks and Romans took belief in their several gods just as seriously as you all do your one god. Now their whole system of belief is looked upon with bemusement. One can only hope that with time – probably a lot of it – the majority of people will have set aside their superstitions in acceptance of a rational world and look upon the few who remain clinging to phantoms with a slightly sad, but good natured shake of the head.

    Kimberly – my position is far from ignorant. I’ve no doubt that all of these NDEs are unique to each individual just as virtually all dreams are. That lends no credence to them having anything at all to do with god or an afterlife or anything else otherworldly. They are nothing more than vivid dreams, a defence mechanism of the brain that most of us possess for traumatic situations. Why make more of it than it actually is?


  • Kimberly

    Truely, when it comes down to it, each of us will have an out of body experience. Whether it’s decided we come back to share it or that it will be eternal, we will have an out of body experience. To call this non-sense is ignorant. Each of us is as different as the stars in the sky so it’s rather very interesting that each person has a different experience. This is this person’s experience and no one however educated or religious can take this away from him. Live and learn and be respective of others in each and every way.

  • Anne

    What SCK describes is Pascal’s wager; very valid, we learned about it in philosophy classes.

  • “And I suspect that it is the fundamentals of behavior that we are judged on by the Almighty, not on the errors of what we are taught by organized religions.”

    Once again, we’re sympatico, Ruvy.

  • Baritone,

    I haven’t commented on the existence of G-d. I cannot prove such existence, so I do not try. I believe, and believe firmly, in such existence – but I cannot prove that belief, anymore than a cell on the edge of fingernail can prove the existence of the arm that the hand the fingernail is attached to exists.

    You, my good man, are the one making assertions as though they are so many axioms in a geometry textbook.

    Ahhh– there’s the rub. Which version of God do we believe in? Is he gonna get all pissy when we live our seventy-some-odd years and sentence us to eternal damnation if we chose the wrong doctrine?

    Ray, that is why I cited the doctrines of Benedict Spinoza, a Jew who was excommunicated by the Dutch Jewish community because they were scared of an independent thinker.

    I have the feeling that Daryl’s late friend was an asshole – but a friend to Daryl. And I suspect that it is the fundamentals of behavior that we are judged on by the Almighty, not on the errors of what we are taught by organized religions.

    So, if I cheat on my wife, I’m in a lot more trouble than if I get which messiah is going to show up wrong….

    And I apologize, Daryl, for confusing you with Selwyn Duke….

  • troll

    “I can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines”

  • troll

    hmmm…ah yes the odds

    Those who believe in God have a 50% chance of being right.
    Those who don’t belive in God have a 50% chance of being wrong
    now not believing and being wrong equals believing and being right as far as God’s existence goes
    so if we add the equivalent probabilities we get the result that there is a 100% chance that belief in God is right

  • Ahhh– there’s the rub. Which version of God do we believe in? Is he gonna get all pissy when we live our seventy-some-odd years and sentence us to eternal damnation if we chose the wrong doctrine?

    Better hedge your bets, and recognize all tenets have truths–and lies. They can’t all be right, can they?

    As far as near death experiences, this one reeks of one of those “Sun” tabloid filler pieces.

  • SCK

    Those who believe in God have a 50% chance of being right.
    Those who don’t belive in God have a 50% chance of being right.
    50/50 either way.
    So if – let’s say, there is no God, and you live a good, charitable life and pray, and at the end – nothing – then no harm, no foul…
    And if you live an evil, selfish life, and there is no God, again – no harm, no foul…
    If it turns out there IS a God… and every good and bad thing you do in this life is taken into full account before Him in the next one…

    It’s impossible to be dumber than an atheist who refuses to consider the odds… absolutely impossible.

  • DD,

    I didn’t say Daryl was imagining his vision, I said that, in effect, he was dreaming it. Why is that so hard to comprehend? Dreams take all kinds of leaps and bounds, but almost always through our personal experiences. Virtually everything he recounted from the dream, or whatever you choose to call it, were things from his life experience. While he made no specific reference, the “monsters” could have been and probably were a manifestation from perhaps some film or TV show he had seen, or an image from a comic book or whatever. Often dreams find things hidden in the folds of our brains that we perhaps hadn’t thought about in years.

    Yes, you are correct, if a person “wants” to believe in something he or she can find a path, usually through a series of rationalizations, to enabling them to do just that. Little ones believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny with little difficulty. They have little or no frame of reference that would disavow their acceptance of those myths. As we get older, such beliefs become more problematic. We are assailed by conflicting evidence which tends to litter our paths as it were. So to continue to accept a belief in Santa, or, more to the point, a belief in god, believers must do as is requested when viewing a play or a movie – adopt a willingness to believe what you’re seeing and hearing as true during the span of the performance – a suspension of disbelief.

    In the case of god, though, the “performance” lasts forever. So it is necessary to keep one’s eyes, or more accurately, one’s mind cut off from consideration of the possiblity of other realities. Not to do so would be tantamount to apostacy, or perhaps even blasphemy – god forbid!

    You also seem to assume that atheists have made no consideration regarding the existence of god.
    The fact is most of us grew up in religious households. Obviously, some more intensely so than others. Many avowed atheists have been as devout believers as they have become non-believers. Atheists and many agnostics have opted for a more rational response to their origins and existence than any religious tradition, or acceptance of any god’s existence.

    In other words, we didn’t just fall off of the turkey truck.

    As usual Ruvy, you simply condescend to and dismiss anyone who disagrees with you as having no credibility. Non-believers are persona non grata in your estimation. I guess when you’ve allowed yourself to be duped as long and as completely as you have, you’ve got to build up those walls of denial to rationalize all the wasted life.

    Ruvy. THERE IS NO -O-! No amount of wishful thinking or tons of liturgical writings from your or any other tradition will change that. It’s all intricately devised and grandly presented baloney.


  • DD


    For those who WANT to believe, no proof is necessary,

    For those who DON’T WANT to believe, no proof wil ever be enough.

    Tell me, why would someone imagine such a horrifying experience, and what happened to Brett? Why would they imagine that someone who ad died was being tortured while they were pulled out of torture by someone they were nice too?

  • I said nothing about the article. I asked a question.


  • daryl d

    Ray, sorry you didn’t like this. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Why does this article prompt an advisory from McAfee that it wants to run an add on:”Viewpoint Media Player for II from “Viewpoint Corporation” (unverified publisher)?

  • Selwyn,

    In February 2006, I wrote a piece on a similar topic to this, albeit from a far less personal point of view.

    From the point of view of what you saw, I would say it proves the thesis propounded by Benedict Spinoza centuries ago on the nature of miracles and vision – that G-d gives you see what you see so that you can understand it. I gather that you are a Christian, so what you saw was structured in a way that you would be able to comprehend it, as a Christian. And what you saw was real, not fake, as Baritone would have you believe.

    If the brain were merely putting on an endocrine “light show” to help it deal with trauma as the body dies, everybody who is reported dead on the operating table who comes back would report a “near death experience”. Apparently, this is not the case. Less than twenty percent of such folks do.

    The vast majority of near death experiences are of the white light variety – but not all are, and evidently yours was not. With your permission, I will forward this article to Dr. Gerald Schroeder, who was the lecturer reported on at the link above.

    A very interesting read.


    Shavua Tov – Have a Good Week

  • Cog,

    By what you say, do you believe that those who don’t embrace god DON’T do those things? Do you imagine that we are loveless, without conscience, without a giving nature?

    In fact many non-beleivers involve themselves in much if not all of those kinds of efforts for their fellow man, and it doesn’t come mired in all the religious gobbledegook.

    Aquinas provides NO proof. I can and do marvel in nature – I am an avid gardener. We, too, are part of the wonders of nature. But that “wonder” does not lead me to god. Science, including evolution, has many “wonders” to impart. This vast universe has much to offer, and we have yet a great deal to learn about it. But given what we DO know, a god is now no better than a remote and unlikely answer to our as yet unanswered questions.


  • cog

    “Humans who believe in god and an afterlife” get over themselves every day. Most especially when they feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, and visit those in prison in the name of the God they believe in.

    As for the proof of the existence of God, try reading Aquinas. Another suggestion is to go to a quiet beautiful place in nature that you enjoy and in wonder at the beauty of nature just ask. If there is a creator, let me know you. Then open your heart. If there is no God, you have nothing to lose and nothing to fear. If there is a God, you have so much to gain in this life and in the next.

  • troll,

    I’m not sure of your point. What do you mean by “the good life?”

    From what I’ve heard and read about NDEs prior to Allen’s tale above, few reports of such experiences involved such horrific scenes. Most that I’ve heard of involve the ubiquitous “tunnel with a great white light at its end,” and voices, often of loved ones and friends, already with their mortal coils shuffled, beckoning them forward, and perhaps ethereal music and tactile sensations – pretty much all of it of a positive nature, inviting, enticing even. Then they say, as Allen does, that something or someone calls or leads them back, and they reluctantly return to this lowly physical world to a vision of several masked individuals peering down on them talking medical stuff, poking and prodding them with who knows what. They usually later arise with the conviction that they now have a mission to complete, a reason that they were brought back.

    I quizzed my wife about her experience late last nite. Her situation was different. It didn’t happen during surgery, but, rather a couple of days later. Her dream or vision or whatever happened just after her first real conscious moments after her surgery. She had actually tried to get up and leave her room despite all of the multitude of tubes and wires and whatnot attached to her. My son and I with the help of a nurse or nurse’s aide quelled her insurrection and got her back into bed and properly reattached to all of her drains and monitors. Then she fell into an apparently deep sleep, and this is when she had her experience. For her, there was no tunnel, just a lot of “white” as she describes it, that she could reach out and touch. She said it looked like clouds or cotton, but had an amazingly soft “feel” to it. There were sounds, probably voices, but she doesn’t remember too much about them.

    Keep in mind that she was likely still under some influence of the surgical anesthetics and very much under the influence of a morphine drip. That, coupled with the trauma of the surgery itself, and the circumstances she found herself in upon waking up, probably had the effect of sending her off to lala land for a time.

    She did say that if that’s what death is like, then that’s okay. She liked the experience a lot. “If that’s death, she says, I can live with that.”

    As to Allen’s experience, there is probably nothing he describes of it that cannot be accounted for as essentially a dream, a highly vivid one, but nevertheless a dream including people, places and prior experiences from his own life. The “otherworldly” aspects of these experiences are, as I see it, nothing more than fanciful wish making. So many people want to believe that there MUST be more, much more to existence than our all too brief pass-through here on this little blue and green planet.

    Of course, when you look at the overall of human experience, the vast majority of all humanity have, and are still living lives of depravation and great suffering. It’s no wonder that such people desparately grasp onto the hope of something much better beyond.

    But now, even people who have lived reasonably prosperous and enlightened lives, comfortably ensconsed in vinyl suburban boxes continue to believe there must be more; that their lives of relative ease still are not enough. Now that’s just being greedy.


  • Sean,

    Show us ANY evidence of the existence of god, heaven or hell. Anything! Just one iota of proof beyond your stalwart conviction.

    True, our existence here is temporary. But it is a human conceit to believe that we are so special as to be singled out by some imaginary omnipotent entity for an eternal existence, either at his place or beelzebub’s hot springs.

    Humans who believe in god and an afterlife just can’t get over themselves.


  • troll

    Baritone – if the brain takes you on a supernatural death trip in its final moments of life how does that differ from ‘actually’ meeting St Peter – ?

    the wise ones that I’ve run into suggest the ‘good life’ as preparation for that instant

  • Sean

    Thank you for sharing your story. Sadly, many will dismiss NDEs as a subconcious reaction to trauma. God, heaven and hell exist, and many will be surprised when they die because they didn’t pay attention in this ‘temporary’ world.

  • Sorry, I don’t buy it. My wife had an “episode” when she nearly died on the operating table a few years ago. I don’t recall the details, but she refered to white lights and voices among other things. While she remembers the incident quite clearly, she doesn’t believe it had anything to do with “going over the the other side.”

    When Allen says the studies “no longer dismiss this phenomenon as hallucinations, intense dreams, or caused by physiological or pharmacological factors.” the conclusions they are attempting to make is that it involves an after life, heaven, hell, god, the devil, the pearly gates, etc.

    It’s all nonsense. Our brains are capable of many things we haven’t nailed down just yet. But there is ample evidence that strongly suggests that such experiences are in fact owing to the severe trauma of accidents, illness and other such events causing and our mind and bodily reactions to them. There are always those who insist that there are other worldly hands at work here, when there is absolutely not one whit of evidence that there is. There are those who can’t accept that science – real science has or likely will come up with the answers to age old questions including what happens after we shuffle off our mortal coils. There is an insistence by many that we have a “purpose” in life, that “things happen for a reason.” that there are “no accidents.” It’s all baloney. The sooner most people accept this, the better our chances for our long term survival on this planet.


  • Allen

    If you are interested in near-death experiences (NDEs), the most credible source is the website of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. In particular, there is an excellent web page that discusses the research into distressing NDEs of the type described in this blog entry.

    You also might want to check under the Research tab for published papers outlining new findings from the most current research, particularly the two written by Dr. Peter Fenwick and Dr. Pim Van Lommel. During the past 30 years, NDEs have been the focus of many scientific studies at universities and medical centers throughout the U.S. and around the world. Many medical professionals who have seriously studied the research – and it is extensive – no longer dismiss this phenomenon as hallucinations, intense dreams, or caused by physiological or pharmacological factors.

    Finally, there is an audio file available of a session at a 2006 conference that featured several people who had an NDE after they attempted suicide. You can order the file from the following page by scrolling down to the panel on “NDEs and Suicide”.

    I am a member of the above association because I am interested in the topic. To join is inexpensive, and they keep you up-to-date with the latest NDE research along with e-mails of experiencer accounts every month.


  • canadian pie

    ok, I am leaving the lights on when I go to sleep. This freaked the hell out of me-very good description-almost too good

  • O’Malley

    Outstanding article. However, I am a skeptic. I believe you experienced everything you thought you did. However, what you experienced was produced by your unconscious mind. You heard of demons, so you saw “Hell.” You heard of angels so you saw “Heaven.” Sorry to be such a skeptic but I still want to compliment you for a very well written piece.