A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife

COMMENTARY: . WHY LAW IS SUPERIOR TO REDUCTIONIST SCIENCE when it comes to proving the afterlife.
Interesting discussion on Dr. Dean Radin's blog Friday April 18th. Dean stated:
" But veridical reports of distant events is virtually the same as what we know as clairvoyance-in-the-living. So the OBE aspects of NDEs do not necessarily imply an actual separation from the body, and hence NDEs can be interpreted as a particularly vivid form of clairvoyance in brains that are not operating normally."

This is quite a claim. Virtually the same? This is contrary to all the reports from people who have had NDEs about the quality of their perceptions which they claim are "realer than real".

In any event, the veridical aspect of NDEs in only one of 14 reasons why NDEs are evidence of the afterlife.
And why should NDEs be perceived in isolation? The fact is that there are some 20 different areas of afterlife evidence that support the argument that NDEs are evidence of the afterlife, that the mind and brain are different and that we do have a duplicate of our physical body we call 'etheric spirit'. In linking NDEs to the afterlife an attorney would include ALL the evidence. There are further most relevant fundamental issues which must not be ignored. Read more


It seems like every few months we have an article by a, reductionist scientist trying to "cash in" on the popularity of Near Death Experiences by claiming that NDEs are simly the product of the dying brain or some other physiological cause. Now Dean Radin makes the claim that some elements of the NDE are the same as clairvoyance.

While this is an interesting claim, it cannot be taken at face value. Every developed medium claims that they can sense a huge difference when they are working with clairvoyance and when they are contacting spirit. Perhaps it is time for researchers to investigate the experiential differences between an NDE and clairvoyance. This should be fairly easy to do since many people who have NDEs go on to be clairvoyant.

But what I object to as a lawyer is the scientific trap of reductionism. Why take only one element of the NDE? And why should the NDE be perceived on its own? The fact is that there are some 20 different areas of afterlife evidence amounting to proof (See my book A Lawyer Presents the Evidence fot the Afterlife).

Here are fourteen reasons why NDEs are not clairvoyance nor products of the physical brain: (extracted from A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife, 2012)

1. NDE survivors have clear and structured memories of what happened to them. Patients who did not have a NDE during similar treatment were very confused or could not remember anything. Dr. Jeffrey Long writes:

"When you talk to the patients who have actually survived CPR
(resuscitation treatment for heart attack) one thing that is very, very
obvious is that the substantial majority of them are confused or amnesic when they’re recovered. If you read even a few near-death experiences, you immediately realize essentially none of them talk about episodes of confusion when they just don’t understand what’s going on. You really don’t see that at all. In fact, our research found that 76% of people having a near-death experience said their level of consciousness and alertness during the NDE was actually greater than their earthly, everyday life" (Long and Perry 2010).

2. Whereas hallucinations are all different, near-death experiences are very similar in different cultures and throughout history.
Near-death experiences have been reported in all cultures from as far back as 1760BC (Zaleski, 1987). Whereas no two hallucinations (or clairvoyances) are alike, NDEs all follow the same general pattern and have the same after-effects.

3. People see and hear things while they are unconscious that would be impossible for normal sensing.

A huge percentage of near-death experiencers are able to describe exactly what happened to them while they were unconscious. They know who was present, what people were talking about even at a distance. Researchers call these experiences ‘veridical experiences’. Many of the patients who have been revived have been able to describe in great technical detail exactly what went on in the operating room.

Dr. Michael Sabom found that 80% of his patients who had a heart
attack without having a NDE could not describe how they were revived. But not one person in the group which witnessed what happened while out of their bodies made a mistake in describing the procedure (Sabom 1980).

Dr. Lloyd Rudy was astounded when a patient described the postit
notes which were left on the monitor of the doctor’s computer
in the operating room. These were put up every time someone left
a message for Dr. Rudy. But there had been no messages and no
post-it notes before the patient’s operation had started. There was
no way the patient could have seen the computer from where he
was (Rudy 2011).

Dr. Pim Van Lommel tells of a case of a patient who although
unconscious claimed he saw where a nurse put his dentures. A week later the patient recognized the nurse and asked for his dentures back (Van Lommel et. al. 2001).

4. People come back from a NDE with accurate facts they did
not know before.

There are many accounts of people having near death experiences
and returning with facts they did not know before. Emily
Kelly reported a case in which a man became excited when he first
saw photographs of his wife's dead father. He claimed that he had
seen the man in his NDE before he had even met his wife (Greyson

During his NDE Dr. Eben Alexander met a beautiful girl he
did not know. He had been adopted at a young age and it was
only after his NDE that he received a photo of a biological sister
he never knew he had. She had died as a young adult and he
recognised her as the girl he had met in the afterlife (Alexander

Dutch cardiologist Dr. Pim Van Lommel says a fi ve year old girl
told him that she had been with a brother she did not know she had.
The boy died before she was born (Greyson 2010). Vi Horton claims that she met a boy in the afterlife who told her that he was her baby brother. Her father later confirmed that he was the only living person who knew that she had a brother who died (Extra Dimensions TV show 1987 Episode 5).

Russian George Rodonaia found himself out of his body while
unconscious as a result of an accident. He went to the hospital next
door where a friend’s wife had just given birth to a daughter. The
baby was crying and he was able to see that her hip was broken.
He mentally communicated with her and she told him that her hip
had been broken shortly after her birth when a nurse had dropped
the child. Several days later, when he recovered enough to speak,
his fi rst words warned the doctors about the child with the broken
hip. The doctors took X-rays of the child and all the facts were confi
rmed (Atwater 2007:165).

5. People report meeting with relatives they did not know were dead. In all cases they are correct.

Maggie Callanan and Patrica Kelley in their book Final Gifts
tell of an elderly Chinese woman who had a NDE in which she saw
her sister. The sister had died but her family had not told her (Callanan and Kelley 1997).

Dr. Kübler-Ross talked of a girl who was injured in a car accident.
No-one had told her that her mother and brother had died in
the same accident. When the girl was having her NDE she saw them in the afterlife. Even Dr. Kübler-Ross didn't know that the brother had died only ten minutes before the girl had her NDE (Kübler-Ross1997). Ian Stevenson (1959) published a similar case. A man's cousin in England had died without anyone in the United States knowing about it. During this man's NDE, he saw his cousin. It was some time before he received a telegram announcing his cousin's death (Stevenson 1959).

P.M.H. Atwater reports a case of a woman who talked with her
father during her NDE. Neither she nor anyone in her family was
aware that the father had died only five minutes before the woman
had her car/truck accident (Atwater 2007:164).

6. Some people come back with accurate knowledge of future.

In some cases people are shown their family in two possible futures: one where the person stays in the afterlife and one where they return to their life (Atwater 2007). Some see the children that they are going to have (Eadie 1992).

Others have visions about world events but do say that they are
told that they are only possible futures. Dannion Brinkley wrote in
advance about: the defeat of the USA in the Vietnam War; the election of an American president with the initial R.R. (Ronald Regan); turmoil in the Middle East; the 1986 Chernobyl disaster; the Desert Storm War against Iraq in 1990 (Brinkley and Perry, 1994).

7. Some people come back with advanced knowledge consistent with quantum physics.

Almost all survivors say that they entered a dimension where
there was no time and many were able to go back and forward
through time. Olaf Swenson says it was because of the knowledge
he gained during his NDE that he later went on to develop over
100 patents in sub-atomic chemistry (Morse n.d.). Mellen-Thomas
Benedict brought back from his NDE a great deal of scientifi c information. He says this knowledge was the basis of six U.S. patents he holds (Benedict 1996).

8. Some people are cured of fatal illnesses during a NDE or have miraculous recoveries from serious injuries.

Mellen Thomas-Benedict was in the last stages of dying from
terminal cancer in 1982. He died and for an hour and a half his body was monitored showing no vital signs. Miraculously he returned to his body after having a full NDE. Three months later there was no sign of the cancer in his body (Benedict 1996).

Anita Moorjani was dying from cancer. When she returned from
her NDE she had a total recovery of her health (Moorjani 2012).
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross tells a dramatic story of a man whose whole
family were killed in a terrible accident. He became an alcoholic and drug abuser until he was hit by a car and in a NDE saw his whole family well and happy in the afterlife. She writes:
He finally re-entered his physical body, tore off the straps that
were tied around him and literally walked out of the emergency
room. He never had delirium tremens or any after effects from
the heavy abuse of drugs and alcohol (Kübler-Ross 1991).

9. The blind can see during a NDE

In their book Mindsight, Dr Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper
report on in-depth interviews with 31 people who were fully or partially blind and had a near-death experience where they could see.

One of their subjects was Vicki Noratuk who had been blind from
birth. She could not even see black. During her NDE she found she
could see for the first time; she recognised her wedding ring and
her hair. She also saw people made out of light—but she had never
seen light before (Ring and Cooper 1999).

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross also interviewed blind patients who were able to see perfectly while “dead” and out of body (Kübler-Ross 2005).

10. Some people have a group near-death experience

A group of fire fighters claimed that when they were overcome
with smoke they all went out of their bodies. They communicated
with each other and could all see the lifeless bodies below them.
All survived and they agreed with each other afterwards that the
experience actually happened (Gibson 1999).

11. Some people have near-death-like experiences when there is nothing physically wrong with them

Researchers have found that deep meditation, deathbed visions,
relaxation, psychic vision, astral projection, trance, mirror gazing,
and eye movements, can trigger elements of the NDE (see Kevin
Williams’ website

12. Some people have a near-death experience when they are completely brain dead.

Hallucinations can only occur when people have a functioning
brain which shows an active EEG reading. But vivid near death experiences have taken place during periods when their brains showed no electrical activity. At these times people should have no memory but the vivid NDEs are remembered by people years later.

Pam Reynolds needed a risky operation to correct a weak point
in the wall of a blood vessel in her brain. For over an hour she was
clinically dead. Her temperature was lowered to 60 degrees, her
heartbeat and brain activity were stopped and her blood was circulated through a machine. There was no way that she could see
anything as her eyes were taped shut. She could not hear anything
as her ears were covered with plastic caps and sounds measuring
90 decibels were continually fed into them.

Yet after her heart was restarted and her body heated up she reported that she had been able to see, hear and feel what was going on. She said that it was like sitting on the shoulder of the doctor. She described details of her surgery which were later verifi ed. She was able to remember this long and complex near-death experience at a time that she had no brain activity (Sabom 1998).

George Rodonaia’s body was stored in the freezer in a hospital
morgue for three days. He was revived when his body was being
split open for an autopsy. But while he was ‘dead’ he had seen his
wife outside the hospital selecting his gravesite and considering
marrying again (Atwater 2007:166).

Eben Alexander is an academic neurosurgeon who had a near
death experience. He was unconscious from severe meningitis
which wipes out all except the most basic human brain functions.
He says that for over a week he was virtually brain dead yet had a
complex NDE that could not have been created by his brain activity
(Alexander 2012).

13. Many people experience a ‘life review’ during which they
see their lives from the perspective of other people.

Dr Kenneth Ring and other researchers show that a key feature
of the life review is that people do not see their lives from their
own point of view. It is not like replaying a video recording. Instead
they see them from the perspective of everyone else they interacted
with. They access the feelings and memories of the other
people involved. These are things that they would have no normal
way of knowing (Ring and Valarino 1998).

14. The after-effects of a NDE are unique and long lasting.

The most common psychological effects (experienced by 80-
90% of adult survivors) are very recognisable. Cherie Sutherland,
an Australian researcher, interviewed 50 NDE survivors in depth.
She found that the effects on the lives of survivors had been remarkably consistent and quite different from the effects of drug or
chemical induced hallucinations.

In Transformed by the Light (1992) she identifi ed many effects
which have been substantiated by other studies e.g. Ring (1980 and
1984) Atwater (1988). These included:
• a universal belief in life after death.
• a high proportion (80%) now believed in re-incarnation.
• a total absence of fear of death.
• a large shift from organized religion to personal spiritual
• a statistically significant increase in psychic sensitivity.
• a more positive view of self and of others.
• an increased desire for solitude.
• an increased sense of purpose.
• a lack of interest in material success coupled with a marked increase
in interest in spiritual development.
• fi fty per cent experienced major diffi culties in close relationships
as a result of their changed priorities.
• an increase in health consciousness.
• most drank less alcohol.
• almost all gave up smoking.
• most gave up prescription drugs.
• most watched less television.
• most read fewer newspapers.
• an increased interest in alternative healing.
• an increased interest in learning and self-development.
• seventy five per cent experienced a major career change in
which they moved towards areas of helping others.

PMH Atwater adds another interesting fact. She claims that
most researchers have found that at least 75-78 per cent of adult
experiencers divorced within seven to ten years of their experience

An independent American study by Dr. Melvin Morse found
that NDE survivors have three times the number of verifi able psychic experiences as the general population. They are often unable to wear a watch. Many have problems using electrical appliances such as computers. Often their credit cards do not work. (Morse and Perry 1992).

Alternative explanations don’t account for the whole package.

There have been many attempts to explain away the near-death
experience. Some claim they are caused by oxygen deprivation. Others claim it is a natural effect of the dying brain or some accident of brain chemistry. Most of these theories are based on observations on a small number of cases. They may produce elements of the near death experience but not the whole experience. And most important they do not have the same impact or after effects.

Dr. Elizabeth Fenwick co-writer of the book The Truth in the
Light—An investigation of Over 300 Near-Death Experiences
(1996) actually began her research thinking that all could be explained in scientific terms. But, after investigating, she concluded:
While you may be able to find scientific reasons for bits of the
Near-Death Experience, I can't find any explanation which covers
the whole thing. You have to account for it as a package and
skeptics... simply don't do that. None of the purely physical explanations will do. They (skeptics) vastly underestimate the extent
to which Near-Death Experiences are not just a set of random
things happening, but a highly organized and detailed affair (Fenwick 1995: 47).

Dr Pim Van Lommel agrees:

Our most striking fi nding was that Near-Death Experiences do
not have a physical or medical root. After all, 100 per cent of the
patients suffered a shortage of oxygen, 100 per cent were given
morphine-like medications, 100 per cent were victims of severe
stress, so those are plainly not the reasons why 18 per cent had
Near-Death Experiences and 82 per cent didn't. If they had been
triggered by any one of those things, everyone would have had
Near-Death Experiences (Van Lommel 1995).

How can I share the benefits of Near Death Experiences?

Learning about NDEs has helped many people to overcome the
fear of death and share many of the positive changes experienced by people who have had one.

We highly recommend Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience, a wonderful book by Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser-Valarino (1998).

Kenneth Ring found that his college students who read the book
and listened to talks by near-death experiencers became much less
fearful of death. Many people have reported to us that they gained
enormously from reading popular books about near death experiences and from watching video accounts by NDE survivors (there are many on Some found it helpful to join their local branch of the International Association for Near-Death Studies
(IANDS) and attend meetings to hear NDE stories fi rst hand.

One word of warning is that some NDE experiencers tend to interpret their experience of “a being of light” in terms of their existing religious training. Mellen-Thomas Benedict experienced the light changing into different figures like Jesus, Buddha and Krishna and was told that “the light” is really a ‘Higher Self matrix’ (an aspect of God) which you experience according to your beliefs
(Benedict 1996).