by Victor Zammit, retired Lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and the High Court of Australia

Lawyer Rebuts Dr G.M. Woerlee, NDE Debunker

Anti-afterlife debunker Gerry M Woerlee from Holland attempts to debunk Near Death Experiences by way of his book, by what he writes on his website and by the lectures he has given to the skeptics.

Initially: what do his works reveal?

Close content analysis of his attacks on NDEs shows Gerry M Woerlee:
a) is a debunker – not a skeptic,
b) is consistently negatively prejudiced against NDEs,
c) is not scientific in his attacks on NDEs but only expresses personal opinions,
d) has no objective authority on NDEs,
e) has not fully investigated the paranormal and the evidence for the afterlife,
f) does not have expertise in the admissibility of paranormal evidence,
g) denies the mind is independent to and separate from the brain,
h) is fundamentally wrong in calling psi empiricists ‘believers’,
i) very often comes to unqualified, dogmatic negative conclusions,
j) deletes and ignores critical contradictory evidence and over-rationalizes his own personal beliefs – dissonance.

a) Why is GM Woerlee a debunker not just a ‘skeptic’?

A skeptic is one who ‘doubts’ – and always allows for some hypothesis or any other submission which could be subsequently verified. But what Gerry says is very clear – his very strict and unqualified conclusions at any time leaves the readers clearly how he feels – there are’ no NDEs’, there is ‘no paranormal’, there is ‘no afterlife’. Never does he ever canvass the possibility of the afterlife hypothesis for a possible explanation of NDEs or any aspect of NDEs. That makes him unequivocally a confirmed debunker.

b) shows he is consistently negatively prejudicial against NDEs,

Like all other hard core debunkers, his negative prejudice against the existence of NDEs, Gerry can never ever be in a position to perceive NDEs with empirical equanimity. His mind is technically negatively encumbered. He is not and cannot be objective in his research. He cannot have any credibility as an impartial observer on NDEs. That would be a huge, insurmountable problem for him. He is inevitably deeply negatively entrenched against NDEs. He said so himself – he stated he investigated the afterlife and the paranormal and did not find any evidence whatsoever in favor of any of them. Therefore NDE’s – which are relevant to the afterlife and the paranormal just cannot exist. His mind was already made up that NDEs do not exist before he investigated NDEs – then he wrote a book justifying his negative beliefs always and consistently being negative against the afterlife and the paranormal hypothesis.

c) is not scientific in his attacks on NDEs, he expresses personal opinions.

I state there is absolutely nothing scientific in Gerry’s conclusions about NDEs. Gerry may be a good anesthetist but when it comes to generalizing his knowledge on to debunking the NDE’s he is not a scientist and all his negative conclusions about NDE’s are inexorably not scientific.

d) has no objective authority on NDEs,

Accordingly, Woerlee can never have objective (scientific) authority about NDEs. He may have subjective authority, the way Fundamental Christian crusaders have subjective authority about the Bible. If Gerry is not scientific in his NDEs, he can never have objective, scientific authority. Broadly, this means that those other closed minded skeptics and debunkers who agree with him may believe that he has subjective authority. But outside those groups, everybody else do not think he as any authority at all. This is because his conclusions will not stand up to close empirical scrutiny. See below.

e) has not fully investigated the direct paranormal and the afterlife evidence,

By his own admission Gerry states that he investigated himself the afterlife to see if it has any validity. He said he investigated ‘a) what is death? b) how does it feel to die and c) is there life after death’. For the purpose of empirical afterlife analysis, the first two, a and b are really irrelevant. He then tells us that people in the historical past believed in the afterlife and then he comes to a subjective conclusion - he expresses an opinion, he conjectures and hypothesizes - and in a non empirical conclusion states, “The final conclusion is evident; people have no immaterial soul. …there is no life after death …” No empirical or other credible evidence was cited by Gerry to substantiate his conclusions. This is a blatant example of inadmissible evidence. If his argument against NDEs is based on his above stated conclusion, one can immediately see that his anti-NDE argument inevitably will be unacceptable at empirical level.

ii) So, what afterlife evidence did this Gerry Woerlee omit to investigate?

There are at least thirty five different areas of evidence for the afterlife. I choose only some 23 of these because I classify them as empirically based. These different areas of evidence taken as a whole confirm the existence of a separate mind from the brain, the separate spirit entity from the person’s own physical body. Now before Gerry expresses his personal subjective view of the afterlife, he has to show us why the following 23 areas cannot be accepted as objective evidence.

Part 1 Objective evidence

1. Electronic voice phenomena (EVP)
2, Instrumental transcommunication (ITC)
3 Scole experiments prove the afterlife
4. Einstein's e=mc2 and materialization
5.Other psychic laboratory experiments
6. Scientific observation of mediums
7. Leonore Piper, a most powerful American medium
8. Materialization mediumship
9. Helen Duncan
10. Direct voice mediumship
11. Modern mediums who confound the skeptics
12. The Cross Correspondences
13. Proxy sittings
14 Out of Body Experiences
15. Remote Viewing
16. Science and the Near Death Experience
18. Science and apparitions
19. Deathbed Visions
20. The Ouija Board
21. Xenoglossy
22. Poltergeists
23. Reincarnation

All Gerry has to do is to click on www.victorzammit.com to access the objective abovestated evidence for rebuttal. Notice very carefully, religion or the historical afterlife argument has absolutely nothing to do with the afterlife empirical evidence. I will be more than happy to receive his rebuttals, and I promise- as I promised the hard core debunkers from New York eight years ago, I will publish them on my website (incidentally I am still waiting for their rebuttals).

Part 2 Subjective evidence

Further, there is other experiential subjective evidence for the afterlife which is substantiated by the objective evidence. Some of these include: The Christos Effect, Lucid Dreams, Inner Peace Movement (some physical evidence), Channeling, Holothropic experiences.

Critical to all this Part 2 subjective evidence is that just because orthodox reductionist science cannot prove them to be valid, does not mean these experiences did not take place. The experiential evidence just cannot be dismissed as mere fantasy. An example of this is the phenomenon of ‘love’ – no one can reduce ‘love’ in a laboratory conditions for the purpose of empirical testing to see if the phenomenon of love can be validated. But try to convince the level headed person in the street that love does not or cannot exist because reductionist science states it cannot be reduced in the laboratory!

f) does Gerry have the expertise in the ‘admissibility of paranormal evidence’?

Absolutely not! Gerry may be a good physician, but content analysis of what he stated shows he has personal opinions about the afterlife and NDEs which would not be admissible as objective evidence. Gerry, like everybody else, has a right to his personal views about NDE’s and the afterlife. But that does not mean what he states is necessarily correct – especially, what he states is purely and simply opinions, conjectures, hypotheses and other subjective opinions about NDEs and the afterlife.

g) denies the mind is independent to and separate from the brain,

In his writings, Gerry uses the ‘mind’ and the brain as if both were meant to be the physical brain. He denies the mind could be different from the brain. So, the first question which has not been answered by Gerry and other debunkers: why mention the ‘mind’ at all when all the debunkers believe is the brain is witnessing everything? Empiricists have definitively shown the mind is part of the spirit or the soul. Gerry uses the soul when others use the word ‘spirit’. By and large most empiricists use the ‘soul’ only when they refer to the spirit inside the physical body. When the soul is outside the body, it is called ‘spirit’ intact with its own independent mind. During NDE’s Gerry refuses to postulate the afterlife model. NDErs, empiricists and others who accept the NDEs as an spirit entity outside the physical body accept that it is the MIND of the spirit entity which is witnessing what the surgeons and nurses are doing and it is the MIND which sees the deceased relatives and sees the white light. It has to be remembered that the independent spirit MIND is supported by at least 23 different empirical areas of evidence as mentioned above.

h) It is fundamentally wrong in calling psi empiricists ‘believers’,

One most erroneous problem which has to be remedied forthwith is when Gerry calls empiricists ‘believers.’ That is absolutely WRONG! Empiricists, including myself, do not have the luxury of ‘beliefs.’ We accpet the objective afterlife empirical evidence, we do NOT believe. Religionists believe in their religions – scientists accept or do not accept the empirically elicited psi evidence.

k) very often comes to unqualified, dogmatic negative conclusions,

What gives the reader some idea of Gerry’s negative conclusions – I counted at least seven unqualified, dogmatic, negative conclusions – failing to believe what the NDErs themselves remembered:

“No magic or paranormal senses are needed for these things – just normal physical senses.”

Negating the afterlife hypothesis, he states, regarding the blind NDErs – about the colored tie, “… after all, someone could have later commented to him, ‘Nice tie, Great colors and strong pattern.”

Without substantiating any independent external objective evidence he states, “many of those blind from birth were not totally blind, but could distinguish dark and light, and could distinguish color. These people can make visual distinctions ..”

“… near death experiences do not need paranormal or supernatural causes to explain them ..”

Ignoring the available evidence in the U.S., and the U.K., “… the various aspects of the functioning of the human body explains all such observations during near death experiences and out of body experiences.”

Gerry continues, “out of body experiences are … wishful thinking …”

Regarding other experts who accepted the ‘blind NDEs’, “ … misinterpretations made by people who often have not carefully examined the book “Mindsight” …”

He continues, “ … observations made during these experiences are not proof of anything spiritual or paranormal.” Then Gerry cites another NDE debunker Susan Blacmkore’s own negatives conclusions including, “Prior knowledge, fantasy and lucky guesses …” Even Susan Blackmore denounced her own conclusions mentioned being speculative, hypothetical and are nothing but expression of personal opinion – inadmissible evidence.

Then Gerry dogmatically articulates something which shows he has not done his research properly, “ … no one has managed to provide evidence to the contrary.”

l) deletes and ignores critical contradictory evidence and over-rationalizes his own personal beliefs – dissonance.

In Neurolinguistic Programing (NLP) there is what are called deletions when someone who is negatively entrenched is faced with information fundamentally contrary to his cherished beliefs. Gerry Woerlee shows this to be true when, as above illustrated, he deleted some 23 critical areas of objective evidence for the afterlife which in eight years has not been rebutted. Naturally enough, the deletions would help him to erroneously kid himself they do not exist or if they existed his ‘brain’ tells him – just ignore them, they will go away!! Further, from psychology we get cognitive dissonance – and we see a lot of this in Gerry’s writing. He rationalizes his negative conclusions all the time but does not cite independent evidence to support his conclusions. His continuous rationalization comes from the fact that empirically elicited psi evidence will give him a lot of anxiety – and to avoid this anxiety he continues to rationalize. His writings are full of deletions and rationalizations. Examples of this in Part 2 to follow.

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