In my first post about John Lerma, a review of his book Into the Light, I expressed my discomfort about the long, guru-like monologues that all of his stories relayed. All of the dying patients, no matter who they were or how old they were, sounded like a Lerma lecture. They all called him Dr. Lerma, using his name frequently. Never Doc, or Doctor, or John. They never have meltdowns. In this second book, published in 2009, I got the same squeamish feeling, even when he described the death of his own father.
When Lerma writes, “Dad said the angels told him…” or some other patient says the same thing, it almost becomes “ex-cathedra” dogma, as if Moses or the Pope said it. Who can argue with the angels? It certainly puts Dr. Lerma into the position of an authoritative, sacred scribe transmitting End Times truth. That is if you believe it all.
Dr. Lerma, who was raised Catholic, has worked many years in hospice care in Houston and San Antonio, TX, so I have to assume that at least half of what he wrote is based on real events and people. Many of the incidents are classic PDE and NDE fare, so there is no reason to question or doubt all of what is described. There are some persistent Lerma themes that come through the “angels” in the second book. One is the pre-birth covenant in which people agree to suffer and die to aid the enlightenment of mankind and the salvation of souls. Another is the need for self-forgiveness and self love (as opposed to forgiving and loving others, which of course he would also espouse). The angels apparently have a lot to say on self-forgiveness.
Then there is the theme, mentioned at least four times in the book, where our lower selves must discover our higher selves and the two must be united. That is what Jesus meant (in Lerma’s interpretation) wherever two or three of you are gathered together, I will be in the midst. The two are the higher and the lower self. I cannot begin to accept that New Age proposition as being so important to the angels of God, and I’m sure that that is not what Jesus meant when He talked about two or three being gathered together.
Toward the end of the book, there is another reference to Jesus Christ that takes Him out of the nebulous realm of New Age Christ-force Being of Energy and Light. Lerma tells the story of “Syriana,” a Lebanese girl whose family was bombed in their home during Ramadan. The mother, a sister, and the brother were instantly killed. The father and 15-year-old Syriana survived. But due to exposure to Plutonium shells, she, like many of her playmates, contracted cancer. That is what brought her to Lerma’s hospital and hospice care in Houston.
As her family paused at the gate of eternity, they told her that there was a secret about the One Truth that she would find within. This Truth is something that they had always heard was a lie. She promised them she would never stop looking for it. As a 12-year-old child she had met an entity that she knew as the Prophet Jesus. “He took me into Israel and spoke to me of the richness of the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish faiths.”
This entity continued to guide her in hospice care. At one point, Lerma asked her if she believed that Jesus was the Messiah. She still saw Him as a prophet at that point because He had never told her He was Messiah or the Son of God. She asked Lerma what he thought. He answered, “Syriana, honestly, I will never assume to know what Jesus is thinking or wants.”
Just before she died, Syriana saw Him at the foot of her bed.
“She looked at all of us with tears rolling down her face. ‘Don’t you see him?’ ‘See who?’ ‘Jesus. He said he is Jesus Christ who died for our sins. He was crucified and died for us, Dr. Lerma. Dr. Lerma, when he was washing my feet ever so gently and with a radiating sense of non-condemnation, I felt his wounds. When I looked up to look up at his wounds, I saw all of them. They were not bleeding. They had the whitest light I ever saw radiating from them. Before my daddy died, he told me he saw the light from his wounds as well. He is standing in front of all of us now. He is all white, and the angels, my family, and the other prophets are now singing to him. Oh my! He is God! The one God! My God! I’m so sorry, God! I’m so sorry!’” (p. 217)
Well, if that story is true, that certainly should close the book on who Jesus is. And if that doesn’t do it, the New Testament says the same thing.
However, there is a story about the UFO crash in Roswell, NM in 1947 that undermines the credibility of Lerma’s other stories. A Col. Marsh Bradfield wound up in his care as he died. Because death was imminent, he was ready to tell the story of his experience at Roswell, NM when the saucer crashed. He was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, but he was visiting family on the 4th of July. There were thunderstorms in the region. On the morning of July 5th, Mac Brazel showed up at the Bradfield door to announce that something weird had occurred on his ranch. The two of them drove out to the crash site, arriving just and the Army did. There was time, however, to put some of the pieces together to get a better idea about the symbols. There was one symbol that they recognized. It was the German Iron Cross which was found on Nazi military vehicles and aircraft. The Army then began a disinformation campaign to convince the public that this vehicle, an experiment concocted by imported German scientists, was actually from another world.
I’ve been reading about Roswell for decades. I don’t recall anyone mentioning that such a symbol was found among the wreckage. Furthermore, the Army tried to make the public believe that this other-world incident was really a weather balloon. They’ve been trying to explain it away ever since 1947. I suspect that this tale is total BS, but just in case I know who to call on to check it out. Stanton Friedman, a physicist, ufo researcher, and columnist for the Mutual UFO Network would know of this situation if it ever existed.
In the meantime, there is so much in Lerma’s books that I want to believe. I really would love to pass this book out to all my friends and family as a definitive commentary alongside the Bible as a guide to what the afterlife is really all about. But I keep recognizing things that one would find in books about our quantum universe, remote viewing, ufo contactee lore in which our DNA is evolving to a higher consciousness, things I heard from Don Ware when I wrote the Gulf Breeze Six story, thing from Robert Monroe, things from New Age and reincarnation stories. It’s quite a spiritual, consciousness-raising casserole.
Yet, how could someone who is trying to make the world a better place make this stuff up? Wouldn’t you reap a karmacopia of bad energy? When all is said and done, I don’t know what to think about Dr. John Lerma. I do know I won’t be giving his books to friends for Christmas.
Here is Dr. Friedman's quick response: