Monday, May 01, 2006

One-third of NDEs may be unpleasant + Nelson Study


"Do people who align themselves with 'dark forces' have a higher proportion of negative/hellish experiences as opposed to the one in seven ratio that you quoted in your book, 'Beyond the Light'? I would like to know how these people were regarded by God/The Being, when they confronted each other. Did the Lord regard them and treat them as true adversaries, or did He/She/It regard them as merely misguided children requiring some measure of correction? I do realize this is a heavy issue but I would be interested in your thoughts." Brian


Brian, I did indeed find a one-in-seven ratio of unpleasant and/or hellish near-death scenarios to the pleasant ones. Dr. Maurice Rawlings, a cardiologist, claims one out of five in his study and suggests that the actual number is probably even higher. I agree with him. I suspect that one-third of all near-death experiences are probably either unpleasant, distressing, or hellish. Why would I say this? Because most experiencers of such unpleasant states are either unwilling, embarrassed, or frightened to report their episodes. There has been such a flood of pleasant cases publicized, even from the first round in the middle seventies, that experiencers of the opposite kind are quite frankly overwhelmed. Those I found wanted to talk about their stories and share what happened to them but felt disrespected and disbelieved at the onset. Yes, there have been some good books and excellent studies about distressing or hellish cases published in the last ten years or so, but that isn't enough. The stigma of feeling cursed by God or being a bad person still tends to overshadow experiencer openness. What it will take to dissolve this "log-jam" I do not know. Perhaps more people like yourself asking questions and more people like me saying: "Yes, both heaven and hell exist as places where near-death experiencers go during their episode. And we can learn a great deal from both types of accounts."

Your question, though, digs deeper that this. You want to know if
practitioners of the 'dark arts' and/or people who are 'evil' have more
hellish cases, proportionally, than do better folk.

I never found a "tit or tat" connection between people who led a less than positive life with the occurrence of hellish or distressing scenarios. There are those who claim such a link exists but I never found one. I have found cases, however, of practitioners of the dark arts who did have a hellish time of it - not necessarily because their episode was so horrible, but because of what followed and the difficulty they had coping with the pattern of aftereffects and how to handle such changes. What I noticed is that they did not have the same life skills as others who were more positive or at least more open. They had a tougher time sorting things out and "dealing with it," especially the spiritual aspects of the near-death experience which includes the life review. No amount of hexes or spells or rituals or power trips or mind games can prepare one for a life review.

What emerges from the vast majority of near-death experience cases is that it is not Deity so much that decides our fate as it is the choices we make all along our life's journey and what resulted from those choices. In other words, we are "punished" by our sins, not because of them. Remember, the word "sin" means "error" or "mistake" or "miss the mark." Most near-death experiencers regard the life review as the ultimate encounter with who you really are and what you have really done with your life.

I don't know if my answer has helped you with your question, but it is best I can do under the circumstances. Getting experiencers to admit they practiced the dark arts is virtually impossible to do. Because I know what to look for and specialize in observation as well as open-ended questions, I am at times able to recognize "signs" quicker than most other researchers. Being an experiencer myself is not my only advantage with this. I also have a long and involved background in psychic phenomena, altered states of consciousness, ghosts, and shamanistic "adventures" - all of this before I died three times in 1977. This background enables me to make informed comparisons. PMH

Dr. Atwater is back on tour promoting her latest book, Beyond the Indigo Children: The New Children and the Coming of the Fifth World. There will be a delay while she looks over her accumulated e-mail. But she will try to keep up with her correspondence. She is available for consultations, readings, talks, workshops, or her Prayer Chaplaincy service.

Latest Headlines From P.M.H:

Ebook Freebies From P.M.H:


There's a new book coming out this Fall that includes an article of
mine. The book is "Forbidden Religion," a compilation of articles once
appearing in "Atlantis Rising Magazine," and arranged by J. Douglas Kenyon,
the Magazine's Editor. Inner Traditions is the publisher. My article is:
"Understanding the Near-Death Experience: Why Hasn't Science Gotten It
Right?" Check on my website from time to time for an announcement

Another book to watch for this Fall is "Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife?" by Pamela Rae Heath and Jon Klimo (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA 2006). Absolutely exceptional. There is no other book anywhere that approaches the subject of suicide from 360 degrees as does this book, nor as thoroughly, nor with such a high standard of integrity - and - in readable, easy-to-understand fashion. Heath, an M.D., and Klimo, a Ph.D., are both well-experienced and well able to combine research from medical and psychological concerns with deathbed encounters, near-death reports, and a broad spectrum of psychic readings (whether from channelers or mediums) - where the dead speak for themselves. Their range includes young boys who die "accidently" while trying to achieve exotic orgasms, to those in a pact who opt out on a lark, to the depressed, the angry, those who are ill or in great pain, avengers, assisted suicides, different views from history and in other countries; with a large section devoted to murder suicides, suicide bombers, and the cultural mentality which supports this. How they were able to weave into the material voices from those who survived a suicide with "voices" of those who did not, is nothing short of phenomenal. Considering the new rage of pre-teen and teenage suicides, the young egged on by Internet sites that glorify death, this book is a must read. Heath and Klimo are to be congratulated for the dedication it took to produce this rare and incredible study!

REM Sleep Study

By now, all or at least most of you have heard about the REM Sleep Study, entitled "Neuroscientist Finds Possible Explanation of Near-Death Experiences: Mysterious Phenomenon May Be Related to Sleep Disorder." ABC News has played this report up big, even adding a claim that was not part of the original study. Here's the facts in a nutshell:

* It is a well-known fact that sleep patterning changes often occur with experiencers after a near-death experience. It is a part of the typical aftereffects.

* Dr. Kevin Nelson, the author of the study, asked only ambigous questions of near-death experiencers and his control group - the kind of questions that do not establish anything one way or another.

* The control group consisted only of Dr. Nelson's friends and colleagues, not people indicative of the general public.

* Dr. Nelson never claimed that what he calls "sleep disorders" might be the cause of near-death states: ABC News did that themselves.

* Since there was no attempt to establish "before and after" with near-death experiencers, no baseline exists to draw conclusions. Thus, because of the study's design, Dr. Nelson's work is invalid.