The afterlife experiments |
Possibly the most groundbreaking scientific evidence
for life after death has been presented by Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.,
professor of psychology of The University of Arizona, Tucson, in his
book "The Afterlife Experiments" (April 2002).
Together with his co-researcher Linda Russek, Gary S. became interested
in conducting research bearing on the question of post-mortem survival.
He consequently started to look for known mediums that would be willing
to participate in a scientific experiment bearing on the survival of
consciousness hypothesis. The researchers enlisted the mediums Laurie
Campbell, John Edward, Suzane Northrop, George Anderson and Rev. Anne
Gehman in the project.
The idea was to test if the mediums could produce factual information about
deceased relatives of a so-called sitter under strict scientific conditions.
The sitter was to be someone who had had very close relationships with people
now dead, who was willing to participate in an experiment and furthermore to
keep it secret from everyone, including the media. Two sitters were found and
they were, of course, completely unknown to the mediums.
The experiment was set up in this way: The sitter would be hooked up to an
encephalograph and an electrocardiograph in order to monitor heart-beat and
brain wave effects. She would then be seated in a chair behind a large opaque
cloth screen. The medium would be seated in a chair opposite the sitter, but
behind the screen and out of visual contact, and would be "wired up" in the same
way as the sitter. At the side of the room Gary S. would be monitoring the two
computers recording the brain and heart waves of the subjects. The whole session
would be recorded on both film and tape.
The sitter was instructed to give no information to the medium apart from yes
or no. As no visual contact was possible these two precautions were considered
to rule out the possibility of "cold reading".
One after another the five mediums occupied the chair and the readings were
taped. Every precaution was taken to prevent the mediums from exchanging information
between them during and after the changeovers.
At the end of the day of experiments the two sitters had had continuous sessions
with all 5 mediums. They had apparently had contact with several deceased family
members and a whole series of information about their personal lives had been revealed.
After the sessions the two hundred pages of transcripts from the videotapes
were handed over to the sitters to be scored, i.e. the information conveyed by the
mediums was checked for accuracy. The results were extraordinary. For the first
sitter the results showed that the mediums had ranged from being 77 percent to 95
percent accurate. The average hit rate was 83 percent. The hit rate for the second
sitter was similar to that of the first sitter.
The first reaction of the researchers was "maybe anyone can guess like this", so
they set up a control group of sixty-eight students from the University of Arizona.
The hit rate of the control group was 36 percent.
When the 83 percent hit rate of the mediums was compared with the 36 percent of the
control group it turned out that the statistical probability of this difference
occurring by chance was less than one in ten million.
Also the mediums had duplicated the information given by the other mediums. In the
past, skeptics had insisted that information in one medium's single session could
not be duplicated by another medium, but this claim was clearly refuted by the
research. The five mediums continually replicated key information already disclosed
by the previous medium. For instance all five mediums had reported information
about a deceased son of the first sitter. Three of the mediums mentioned the son's
name as beginning with an M (which was correct) and the probability of getting this
correct is less than one in four million against chance.
Concerning the son, three of the mediums saw much blood, one said he "went
out with a boom", and one said he shot himself (this was correct - the sitter's son
killed himself with a gun).
When these data were confronted with the actual guessing of the control group
the combined probability was less than one in 125 million. When added to this that
four of the five mediums reported seeing a little, dark dog which was beloved to the
deceased son, we get that the combined probability of correctly guessing this information
was less than one in two and a half billion.
After this initial experiment the researchers designed and conducted a more
sophisticated experiment involving 10 sitters in which they were not allowed to speak
during the first part of the session. This new design would definitely eliminate any
possibility of the mediums picking up clues about the sitters' age, sex or personality
via their tone of voice.
The subsequent results confirmed the first findings: the accuracy of the information
conveyed by the mediums in the silent period was 77 percent and in the yes / no period
85 percent correct.
The hit rates of the data conveyed by the mediums could not be explained as originating
from any conventional source of information as all possible precautions had been taken
to secure that the mediums had no prior knowledge about the identity of the sitters.
The experiments strongly suggest that survival of consciousness is possible and that
good mediums are able to pick up information, which seems to be facilitated to them
from the sitter's deceased relatives.
The afterlife experiments conducted at the University of Arizona are important evidence
for post-mortem survival, not only because they present very convincing results, but
also because they are easily replicable. It is relatively easy for other scientists,
indeed for skeptical scientists, to replicate the experiments. Any scientist with an
interest in the topic can conduct experiments similar to those reported in "The Afterlife
The afterlife experiments strongly support the idea of post-mortem survival and
they suggest that information can be conveyed to the living from the "other side" via mediums.
All the data from the research plus transcripts from the readings can be seen in the book
by Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D. "The Afterlife Experiments" (Pocket Books, New York, 2002).
What the evidence shows
The results from the seven above-mentioned fields of research strongly suggest that
something is going on that we cannot just reject or ignore. The results have been reached
through scientific studies, experiments and gatherings of data, carried out by doctors
and PhD's at universities and hospitals. These results are not easily refuted. The evidence
supports the idea that the survival of consciousness is possible, indeed that consciousness
can exist independently of the physical body. It also suggests that there is another
dimension "out there" into which our Self, "I" or consciousness merges when it leaves
the physical body. Beings from that dimension can contact their loved ones after they
have passed over. Furthermore the research indicates that contact with this dimension
can be established via mediums. The evidence from children who remember previous lives
and from regression therapy indicates that our Self or "I" can reincarnate into a new