Lion-ize | Lion's Watch


My first book review concerns "The Afterlife Experiments by Dr Gary Schwartz and Sinewn. The book deals with the "ultimate question" of is there "life after death" or rephrased-is there "life after life".Dr Schwartz is a professor of psychology, neurology, psychiatry and surgery at the University of Arizona and the Director of The Human Energy Systems Laboratory. He has his doctorate from Harvard-professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale and has published 400+ scientific papers. Quite an impressive background.

The question that is at the heart and soul of our existence and what this book is about-is proof of life after death-again-the question-Is there life after death? In our past history of psychics-charlatans-and spirit healers-are those frauds and hoaxers that give the subject of "spirituality" a bad name. The earlier exploits of one of the worlds foremost magicians was the great Harry Houdini-who in his search for life after death worked tirelessly to find this proof-only to expose mediums and psychics whose crystal balls were clouded by the views of their own-greed-over ways to make a quick dollar at the expense of their grieving victims.

Lilydale-another book recently released discusses research of one of the most interesting spiritualist communities ( located in New York State about 60 miles ouside of Buffalo) and details the beginnings and colorful characters with psychic-and some with not-so-psychic abilities with historical information and interviews bringing us into the present time of thoughts and observations regarding the people and pulse of this unique community. Another book on my list for a “Lion Eyes” review!

Today The Amazing Randi (whom I have enjoyed for many years) has made it more difficult for the hoaxers and mind readers to prove their worth in the psychic field. His one million dollar pot still remains untouched as he claims there is NO PROOF of the existence of paranormal activity.(check him out-especially his responses and comments regarding Sylivia Brown-internationally known noted psychic-author-lecturer and celebrity-with many Montel appearances and more) There are others-Michael Shermer-The Skeptical Enquirer-author-avowed "scientific atheist" as I call him & others is one such person. Police files coast to coast are loaded with every type of scam known and some that have stretched us to the limits of our imagination. For now-enough of the negatives.

Lets bring on the scientists-researchers and psychics and get down to the business of what this book is about. Dr. Schwartz and his wife Dr. Ruskin made a decision to lay the scientific framework for exploration of "life after life". At great risk to their careers they did so and in the beginning-their studies were kept secret. I take this time to acknowledge Dr. John Mack, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (who I just learned today died September 27th 2004 in an auto accident overseas-devastating news!) and Dr David Jacobs ( author “The Threat” noted speaker and hypnotherapist regarding alien abduction phenomena) who DARED to discuss and research the UFO abduction and contact phenomenon at great risk to their careers.

MUFON (The Mutual UFO Network) has several numerous members of its nationwide organization that are PHDs and include a broad range of educated people with masters degrees-college graduates- contactees, experiencers and people of EVERY faith and career-looking for answers to questions regarding the "mysteries of life".From ALL levels of education- experience-race- nationality-and belief system.

We ARE searching for answers. It seems a new breed of psychic is on the scene. The most popular are John Edward (Crossing Over)Sylvia Browne-and James Van Praagh. They have been on TV and authored books and each has dedicated their lives to the exploration of "spirituality" through their gifts of psychic abilities.

In our recent past Edgar Cayce ( AKA “The Sleeping Prophet” and psychic who passed in the mid 40s) and Peter Hyurkos(who survived a four story fall and head trauma-gained gifts of psychokinesis-vision through the touch of items-noted for his connection with the famous Boston Strangler case of the 60s and well known until his death in the 80s.) have had books written about their abilities and interesting lives-and both-were extraordinary men. Dr Schwartz and Dr Ruskin noted these people and came up with the idea-of using the scientific community to test the psychics.

The psychics selected for the experiments were John Edward-Suzanne Northrup-George Anderson-Laurie Campbell-and Anne Gehman. James Van Praagh was asked but did not participate. Sylvia Brown was unavailable for testing. It was decided that the psychics would read a sitter-a person. Electronic monitoring devices were put on their heads & bodies to check brainwave movements or variations. None were noted. All psychics read the same sitters at different times and under different conditions. In some cases the psychics were in the same room-but couldnt see the sitter-other times they were put in different rooms-readings were done by phone-using audio & video to try different variations. The sitters were UNKNOWN to any of the five psychics read. Other times-they had no contact with the sitter-but had the questions given by another person-to keep contact as minimal as possible.

There was outside interest by television and Fox-from an HBO special-however Michael Shermer-avowed skeptic helped make a fiasco out of the special by using a pickup magician to discredit Suzanne Northrup. Supposedly the magician had limited knowledge of mediumship (psychic ability) and other than his own fakery and deception knowledge knew nothing about psychic ability. The HBO footage-NOT FOX-made it clear Suzanne was doing no trickery-but attacking the psychic & her credibility made for good TV.(ever watch a serious UFO program-without all the negatives-EYES ROLLING).

In short-the percentage rates of positive hits were high .I liked Dr. Schwartz comments where Michael Jordan scores a small % of points per game-maybe-20% or more on a really good night-I remember a study of Babe Ruth who hit a home run-one of every 11 times he came to the plate. Reggie Jackson hit over 500 home runs in his career-but leads the entire baseball league-American & National-in strike outs-yet-this is all-acceptable. Psychics ranged from 60-100% on their hits depending on the type of test. In one sitting Suzanne Northrup came out with an extremely high number of accurate information hits-on only a small amount of information. The psychics were put through a mind boggling array of test-re-test-mean analysis-and more using many different types of rooms & conditions for each test. Categories statistics and tallies for each psychic were noted.

The scientific crew of Schwartz and Ruskin along with the University of Arizona spent months and hundreds of hours gathering and reviewing data from their experiments with northing short of impressive results. After reading The Afterlife Experiments with an open mind-and a skeptical heart. I have made some conclusions. Psychics are not an exact science. Like estimating as part of a job-it is-acceptable-but is not an exact science-or restated-an exact way of comprehending "spirituality". John Edward (Crossing Over) makes this clear that he tries his best to interpret what is “given” him. If he doesnt interpret the information he receives “properly” the information may not reach the person clearly to whom it is intended.

I was impressed with the scientists and doctors that worked on this project and their dedication to pursuing that question we all want an answer for. Is there "Life-After-Life". It is one of the most powerful books Ive read and it goes hand in hand with your faith-if you choose to believe such a thing is possible-that the SOUL-SURVIVES CONSCIOUSNESS!

A mind blowing incident occurred during experimentation when John Edward interviewed a husband and wife team at different times. Mr Edward discussed and read a "validating statement" which took place in the beginning of the experiments. The husband passed away shortly thereafter. Later in experiment testing Mr. Edward read a sitter(he did not know it was the widow of the man he read earlier) and validated information regarding the reading with this widows deceased husband. It is captured on tape and made for breathtaking results.
In summary-The Afterlife Experiments is a phenomenon. It is a PIONEERING effort to understand perhaps the greatest of lifes mysteries. It does so by testing psychics. It is a controversial subject and a controversial book. To look at a possible answer of does the soul survive consciousness-one must look at the question-Do we DARE believe this is possible?

It is the stepping stone to understanding that IF TRUE-that the soul survives consciousness-we may have a greater understanding of another gift-unconditional Love. If WE matter-If we DONT die and the soul Lives on-it IS the greatest of all gifts. That WE matter-That our creator-or God-cared enough to give us more than physical death. IT IS BEYOND HUMAN COMPREHENSION-that we have been created to live in such a way-that we dont die physically-we move on-to another door of life.

If-as Dr. Schwartz concludes through his scientific testing of psychics-that there IS EVIDENCE that the soul survives consciousness and Love goes on, then we are not alone-we dont just die a physical death-we live-on- through souls as we cross the physical plane of existence-into spiritual. MIND BLOWING and heres why!This book screams at me for part 2. It would be good to test James Van Praagh and Sylvia Brown and others with similar gifts. Bring on the skeptics-The Amazing Randi-Michael Shermer and staff of "The Skeptical Enquirer" and others! Explain away the success of The Afterlife Experiments-but do so-under lab conditions.

Give the "scientific atheists" an opportunity to go beyond-talk-hype-closed minded comments & the art of deception THEY are so skilled at presenting. Thats right folks-the skeptics need to be in on these experiments-to see FIRST HAND-what everyone is talking about. Randi made a comment- "a 10yr old can do this" If so-PROVE IT! (C'mon Randi-what's it gonna take to go one on one with these folks?!)

Put the skeptics in the arena with scientists-my bottom dollar says-people and organizations would PAY BIG TIME-to see the results. I'm talking about-scientific testing-lab conditions-the works-not pay-per-view events. Lets see who takes me up on my offer! I would LOVE to see the skeptics as the sitters-but lord knows-they would blame what they(the psychics know) know on some type of insider information.

Ill make a controversial statement here-maybe as controversial as it gets. On our planet-we are allowed to believe in something good-Life after death! Belief systems for thousands of years have written this in their history from Egyptian Archeology to Tibetan, Christian beliefs and many more civilizations throughout history.

Psychics bring hope to families and strive to make the connections of life after life. Those that do so in the use of their gifts HONESTLY believe they are doing Gods work and the test crew of psychics in The Afterlife Experiments and subsequent results makes for powerful study and conversation. Dr Schwartz said more testing needs to be done. All the answers arent known and only scratch the surface. In our lifetime-who would believe that our scientists can be some of our greatest evangelists-ministers of sorts and soul comforters.

The Afterlife Experiments tests psychics to answer the question of-Is there Life after Death? It does so scientifically and brings to light that something-is happening. If you dont believe-nothing said here-will matter. If you do believe that life afer life is possible-these experiments help shed light toward that possibility.

Thank you Drs. Schwartz and Ruskin-for your vision and pioneering efforts in the research of such a controversial subject. I recommend that anyone seriously interested in paranormal research and the direction of this book take some time to read and digest its information. Find out why Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Ruskin decided to test psychics leading to :The Afterlife Experiments. I wont tell you everything-I encourage you to read the book. Some of the information is heavy reading regarding facts, figures and statistics.

The other portion of the book that comes forward has to do with Dr. Schwartz and his closing commentary. He brings a loving and caring question regarding the way we treat people in life-how we get along with each other and Loves enduring qualities-in this world and the next world as we leave our physical plane of existence into the spiritual. I found it to be something I hadnt expected-yet the feeling and genuine care and concern by the scientist-was in stark contrast to the man and woman I half expected to meet in the pages of this book.

What I found was the exact opposite and his comments regarding the treatment of others and how much it matters how we pass through this life-is exactly what I’ve been harping at on this website. Education matters-but education without love and care-or spirituality-leaves us missing the best part of the recipe.

It would be good to know more of what Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Ruskin are doing regarding additional research and if they will continue to bring this to the public for discussion. They bring hope to many-and quite possibly-the light of new reason-to live by.


Back to Top