VICTOR ZAMMIT
A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife
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The Book 4th Edition

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2. Respected scientists who investigated

“I am absolutely convinced of the fact that those who once lived on earth can and do communicate with us. It is hardly possible to convey to the inexperienced an adequate idea of the strength and cumulative force of the evidence.”
Sir William Barrett F.R.S.

“I tell you we do persist. Communication is possible. I have proved that the people who communicate are who and what they say they are. The conclusion is that survival is scientifically proved by scientific investigation.”
Sir Oliver Lodge F.R.S.

“It is quite true that a connection has been set up between this world and the next.”
Sir William Crookes F.R.S.

“I have been talking with my (dead) father, my brother, my uncles... Whatever supernormal powers we may be pleased to attribute to (the medium) Mrs. Piper's secondary personalities, it would be difficult to make me believe that these secondary personalities could have thus completely reconstituted the mental personality of my dead relatives...”
Professor Hyslop Professor of Logic at Columbia University.


The brilliant scientists mentioned above were among the very first to scientifically investigate the afterlife. Initially they were all open-minded skeptics and it was only after thorough investigation that they accepted the afterlife. There were other world renowned classical scientists and thinkers around the world such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Oliver Lodge, Arthur Findlay, Camille Flammarion, Dr Baraduc, Professor Richet, Alfred Russel Wallace, Professor Robert Hare, Professor Albert Einstein, Marconi, F.W. Myers, Professor William James and Dr Carrington who, after investigation, accepted the afterlife.

From the late nineteenth century until today there have been groups of prominent, well-respected scientists—many of them the best-known names in science—who have worked to prove that immortality is a natural physical phenomenon and its study is a branch of physics.

Many of these scientists were highly practical people whose major discoveries in other areas fundamentally changed the way people work and live. Many considered themselves to be Rationalists and Humanists and have had to face intense opposition from both traditional Christian clergy and from materialist scientists who joined together to try to suppress their findings.

Emmanuel Swedenborg

One of the pioneers in this tradition was Emmanuel Swedenborg who was born in Sweden in 1688. One of the leading scientists of his day, he wrote 150 works in seventeen sciences. At the University of Uppsala he studied Greek, Latin, several European and oriental languages, geology, metallurgy, astronomy, mathematics, economics. He was an intensely practical man who invented the glider, the submarine and an ear trumpet for the deaf. He was held in high esteem by all, was a member of parliament and held important government posts in mining. He always showed he had enormously high intelligence and maintained a keen practical mind until his death.

Swedenborg was also a very highly gifted clairvoyant who spent more than twenty years investigating other dimensions. He claimed that he regularly spoke with people after they had died.

On one well-documented occasion the Queen of Sweden sarcastically suggested that if he ever met her dead brother to give him her regards. A week later Swedenborg whispered a message in the Queen's ear. Shaken, the Queen told those around her “Only God and my brother can know what he just told me” (Inglis 1977:131).

Swedenborg wrote:

After the spirit has been separated from the body (which happens when a person dies), he is still alive, a person, the way he was before.

To assure me of this, I have been allowed to talk with practically everyone I have ever known during this physical life—with some for hours, with some for weeks or months, with some for years—all for the overriding purpose that I might be assured of this fact, (that life continues after death) and might bear witness to it (Swedenborg Heaven and Hell: 437).

Swedenborg wrote volumes about what today would be called his out of body experiences, including very detailed descriptions of the afterlife. Interestingly he put forward a view of the universe which is remarkably similar to twentieth century quantum physics. At a time when Newton was arguing that matter was composed of impenetrable atoms given motion by outside forces, Swedenborg taught that matter was made up of a series of particles in ascending order of size, each of which was composed of a closed vortex of energy which spiraled at infinite speeds to give the appearance of solidity.

In his 490 page History of the Paranormal Brian Inglis (1977) makes reference to Emmanuel Kant, the great rationalist philosopher, who investigated Swedenborg. Although Kant was an open-minded skeptic he felt that the evidence for the afterlife provided by Swedenborg was, as a whole, overwhelming.

He quotes Kant as saying: “…while I doubt any of them, still I have certain faith in the whole of them taken together” ( Inglis 1977:132).

The greatest scientist of his time

In England one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) was Sir William Crookes, a fellow of the Royal Society—a very prestigious association of the most learned scientists elected by their peers—and later its president. He discovered six chemical elements including Thallium. Many people considered him to be the greatest scientist of his time.

Crookes worked extensively investigating levitation and physical mediumship phenomena which was associated with the medium D.D. Home. Conclusive photographs were taken as part of his experiments and the total absence of fraud and trickery were verified by a number of other leading scientists of the day.

In his group were scientists Lord Balfour, Sir William Barrett, Sir Oliver Lodge (pictured left) and Lord Rayleigh, J. J. Thompson?the discoverer of the electron?and Alfred Russell Wallace who propounded the theory of evolution at the same time as and independently of Charles Darwin. Wallace painstakingly investigated Spiritualism over a number of years, eventually stating that its phenomena were proved quite as well as the facts of any other science.

For over a hundred years some of the most brilliant minds in the United States and the United Kingdom worked quietly to accumulate evidence of survival of the human spirit.

In the first century of the existence of the Society for Psychical Research founded in 1882 there were nineteen professors and other famous scientists renowned for their work in psychology, physics, astronomy, biology among the fifty-one Presidents.

The American Society for Psychical Research was founded in 1885 by a group of top intellectuals including William James, renowned Harvard psychologist and Professor of Philosophy (pictured) and James H. Hyslop, formerly Professor of Logic and Ethics at Columbia University. It too attracted men of top intellectual caliber who, after years of investigations, became convinced of survival after death.

Pioneer inventors

Thomas Alva Edison (pictured left), the American inventor of the phonograph and the first electric light bulb, was fascinated with the possibility of an afterlife and experimented with mechanical means of contacting the 'dead' (Scientific American, 30/10/1920).

John Logie Baird, television pioneer and inventor of the infra-red camera, stated that he had contacted the 'deceased' Thomas A. Edison through a medium. He said:

I have witnessed some very startling phenomena under circumstances which make trickery out of the question (Logie Baird 1988: 68-69).

European Scientists

In Europe from the early 1900s through the 1920s other scientists including Baron von Schrenck-Notzing, Professor Charles Richet, Professor Eugene Osty and and Professor Gustav Geley were studying mediums and photographing appearances of people who claimed to be dead under controlled laboratory conditions. Their written reports supported by the testimony of many skeptical scientists who acted as witnesses, showed that they had investigated and ruled out all possible sources of trickery and fraud.

One hundred well known scientists, all profoundly skeptical, and some openly hostile, declared themselves, without exception, completely convinced after having worked under the direction of Dr. Schrenck-Notzing with his medium Willy Schneider (Geley 1927).

Internationally known and powerfully influential psychiatrist Dr Carl Jung admitted that metapsychic phenomena could be better explained by the spirit hypothesis than by any other (Jung, Collected Letters 1: 431).

George Meek

Another brilliant scientist and inventor who, after investigating, became totally convinced of the existence of the afterlife was American George Meek. When he was 60 years old George (pictured left) retired from his career as an inventor, designer and manufacturer of devices for air conditioning and for the treatment of waste water. He held scores of industrial patents which enabled him to live comfortably and devote the next twenty five years of his life to self-funded full-time research into life after death.

Meek says that he was a “natural skeptic” and felt that what he been told about the afterlife just didn’t “make sense”. So he began his own extensive library and literature research program and traveled all over the world to locate and establish research projects with the top medical doctors, psychiatrists, physicists, biochemists, psychics, healers, parapsychologists, hypnotherapists, ministers, priests and rabbis.

He established the Metascience Foundation in Franklin, North Carolina, which sponsored the famous Spiricom research. This demonstrated extended (more than twenty hours) of two-way instrumental contact between people alive and people living in the afterlife (see Chap. 5)

His last book, After We Die What Then (1987), outlines the conclusions of his years of full-time research—that we do all survive and that in the last twenty-five years mankind has learned more about what happens when we die than was learned in all earlier periods of recorded history (Meek 1987:4).

Medical doctors

Some of the leaders in the scientific research of life after death are extremely intelligent and astute medical doctors who began their investigation as skeptics

Dr Glen Hamilton (pictured left) was a highly respected physician and member of the Canadian Parliament. In his laboratory under strictly controlled conditions he had a battery of fourteen electronically controlled flash cameras which photographed apparitions simultaneously from all angles. Observers present at his experiments included four other medical doctors, two lawyers, and both an electrical and a civil engineer. Each of the witnesses stated strongly and unequivocally that:

“time after time, I saw dead persons materialize” (Hamilton 1942).

Dr Kübler-Ross, who has had global impact on the way that dying people are treated, became totally convinced of life after death through her close association with thousands of dying patients. She writes:

Up until then I had absolutely no belief in an afterlife, but the data convinced me that these were not coincidences or hallucinations (Kübler-Ross 1997: 188).

She became so convinced that she wrote four books specifically dealing with the afterlife: On Life After Death (1991), The Facts on Life After Death (1992), Death is of Vital Importance: On Life, Death and Life After Death (1995), The Wheel of Life (1997).

Dr Melvin Morse (a pediatrician and a recognized world leading authority on dying children) was, as he put it, 'an arrogant critical-care physician' with 'an emotional bias against anything spiritual' before his scientifically based studies of dying children and his extensive study of the literature led him to the inescapable conclusion that ‘there is a divine something which serves as a glue for the universe’. He writes:

When I review the medical literature, I think it points directly to evidence that some aspect of human consciousness survives death. Other researchers agree with me. Physician Michael Schroter-Kunhardt, for instance, conducted a comprehensive review of the scientific literature and concluded that the paranormal capacities of the dying person suggest the existence of a time-and-space transcending immortal soul. Other researchers have reached the same conclusion. Be it through case studies of their own or research they have reviewed, there is in the scientific community a growing belief in the human spirit (Morse 1994:190).

Professor Archie Roy

Scottish professor, Archie Roy, is a Professor Emeritus of Astronomy in the University of Glasgow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Royal Astronomical Society and the British Interplanetary Society. He has published 20 books, six of them novels, some 70 scientific papers and scores of articles and directed Advanced Scientific Institutes for NATO.

For the best part of thirty years he has also been passionately interested in psychical research and helped to found PRISM (Psychical Research Involving Selected Mediums) which encourages, guides and funds research work with mediums. He has worked with Tricia Robertson, vice-president of the Scottish SPR, on research work which validated mediumship. Together they have published three papers on mediumship with the Society for Psychical Research.

In addition to such experimental work Prof. Roy has, over the past thirty years, investigated innumerable spontaneous cases of allegedly haunted places and haunted people. His 300 page book Archives of the Mind presents over twenty of the best authenticated cases from over a century of research and rejects the possibility of fraud and coincidence.

Professor Gary Schwartz

In 1993 Professor Gary Schwartz, then Professor of Psychology, Medicine Neurology Psychiatry and Surgery at the University of Arizona, USA, and Director of its Human Energy Systems Laboratory, began his own personal search for evidence of the afterlife. With impeccable academic credentials and more than 400 scientific papers to his credit, he was initially highly skeptical and kept his investigations secret.

However in 1995 Professor Schwartz met renowned medium, Suzie Smith. She had been vitally interested in ESP, parapsychology and psychic research since the 1950's and had written more than 30 popular books about her investigations. In 1971 she had set up the Survival Research Foundation to collect scientific evidence for the survival of consciousness beyond physical death.
Professor Schwartz became so impressed with the evidence that he decided to apply for formal consent from the University of Arizona to conduct research into the survival of consciousness, as a topic of importance to humanity.

Since that time Professor Schwartz has conducted a number of double blind research studies with some of the top mediums in the United States.

He writes:

These mediums have been tested under experimental conditions that rule out the use of fraud and cold reading techniques commonly used by psychic entertainers and mental magicians. (Schwartz 2002, and website http://veritas.arizona.edu/ )

Dr Joseph B. and Dr Louisa Rhine

While evidence of the existence of psi (a neutral term for all extra sensory perception and psychokinetic phenomena like telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition) is not strictly evidence for the afterlife, in practice the two are intertwined since many of those who experience clairvoyance and precognition also claim communication from the afterlife.

The two are linked together in popular culture and “psychics” is a term used to describe both those with “a sixth sense” as well as those who experience direct communication with the deceased who prefer to be called mediums. Materialist science has not been both able to account for either psi or the afterlife.

Extensive experiments into psi have been carried out at the Rhine Research Centre, started by Dr J.B. Rhine and his wife Dr Louisa Rhine who coined the term “parapsychology”.

In their book Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years (Rhine et al.) they claim that by 1940, 33 experiments had been done involving almost a million trials, with protocols which rigorously excluded possible sensory clues e.g. by introducing distance and/or barriers between sender and receiver, or by employing precognition protocols where the target has not yet been selected at the time subjects make their responses. Twenty seven (27) of the 33 studies produced statistically significant results.

These studies were replicated in 33 independent replication experiments different laboratories in the five years following Rhine’s first publication of his results. Twenty of these or 61% were statistically significant where 5% would be expected by chance alone.

The predictable skeptical response “they cheated” or “the experimenters were sloppy” or “they employed people who cheated” just doesn’t stand up in the face of the numbers. Honorton and Ferrari conducted a meta-analysis of the precognition experiments conducted between the years 1935 - 1987. This included 309 studies, conducted by 62 experimenters. The cumulative probability associated with the overall results was p = 10-24 (that is equivalent to .000000000000000000000001 where .05 is considered statistically significant).

In 1997 Dr Dean Radin, director of the Consciousness Research Laboratory at the University of Nevada, published a ground breaking book The Conscious Universe--the Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. In it he analyzes the overwhelming scientific evidence for telepathy, clairvoyance.

Typical of the staggering experimental results was a meta-analysis of all psi experiments conducted at Stanford Research Institute from 1973 to 1988 conducted by Edwin May and his colleagues. The analysis was based on 154 experiments with more than 26,000 separate trials conducted over 16 years. The statistical results of this analysis indicated odds against chance of more than a billion billion to one (Radin 1997:101)

Radin notes that as yet few scientists and science journalists “are aware of this dramatic shift in informed opinion.” (Radin 1997).

Professor David Fontana

In 2005 Professor David Fontana, Professor of Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, published a scholarly 500 page book called Is There An Afterlife which reviews some of the evidence for the afterlife accumulated during more than one hundred and fifty years of systematic research. In the Introduction to the book Professor Archie Roy points out that as yet most mainstream scientists are simply unaware of the evidence for the afterlife. They have never done psychic research and have never read the evidence; but they are often hostile to it because they think it challenges their scientific world view.

Skeptics haven’t done their homework

Without exception I have found that the materialist closed-minded skeptics who oppose the existence of psychic phenomena and the afterlife are still grounded in outdated scientific paradigms and just have not done their homework. They simply have not read, as I have, volume after volume of first hand accounts by the greatest minds of science who were all initially highly skeptical and had no belief in the afterlife before they started their own personal investigations.

Earlier this year I published on the Internet replies to comments by the late Professor Carl Sagan and to Professor Richard Dawkins- both internationally recognized for their contribution to orthodox science.

Professor Carl Sagan wrote in Chapter 12 of his book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1996):

If some good evidence for life after death were announced, I’d be eager to examine it …(1996)

He was apparently not familiar with any part of the evidence mentioned in this chapter. He showed he was just happy to read and research information which was consistent with his own negative partiality.

My response: “A lawyer responds to Prof. Carl Sagan--a Scientist/Astronomer--about the afterlife and the paranormal” is available at
http://www.victorzammit.com/articles/sagan.html

In his article, “What’s wrong with the paranormal” Professor Richard Dawkins, went out of his way to attack psi scientists, empiricists, researchers and gifted mediums. He imputed dishonesty and fraud, the only refuge of the skeptic. Whilst Dr Richard Dawkins may be a good theoretical scientist close content analysis of his criticisms of the paranormal and the afterlife shows he does not understand what ‘admissible evidence’ is. My response “A Lawyer rebuts Prof. Richard Dawkins, scientist, re. the paranormal” is available at
http://www.victorzammit.com/articles/dawkins.html

I sent my research to leading scholars, theologians, scientists, materialist closed-minded skeptics in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. It has been placed on the Internet for world consumption. I have invited rebuttals. A few people stated they would be in touch again?but to-day, years later, no one has contacted me again. Not one person has shown that the evidence presented in this work can be rebutted or negated in any way.

Further reading

A most comprehensive overview of the work of researchers into life after death is contained in the webpages of
http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/investigators.htm

The American Society for Psychical Research
http://www.aspr.com/index.html

and

The British Society for Psychical Research
http://www.spr.ac.uk/

To get some idea of the number of eminent professionals involved in these investigations see Gustav Geley’s article “Experimental Demonstrations by Dr. von Schrenck Notzing” where he gives the names and positions of 100 prominent scientists who witnessed materialization experiments conduced by Dr. von Schrenck Notzing with medium Willy Schneider.
http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/articles/geley/notzing.htm.

For updates on Dean Radin’s work see his blog "Entangled Minds"
http://deanradin.blogspot.com/

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