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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is It Safe to Die? Negative NDE's, Part III


Dr. M. Rawlings, Cardiologist

Not all NDEs are warm and fuzzy

Tamara Laroux related on CBN that as a young woman she was despondent due to a divorce, so she shot herself in the chest. She found herself in hell. She heard people there cry out to people on earth, don’t come here. Her misery and depression was greatly magnified there. Perhaps because she asked God to forgive her before she pulled the trigger, Tamara actually was given a second chance. The hand of God pulled her out of a place of burning torment and misery and pulled her over heaven, which was exquisitely beautiful. Then that same hand brought her back to her body. She again asked for forgiveness and recovered fully. A brief clip of her story can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGQDkCi-OIY.

Tamara’s story wound up on Godvine.com. Among the comments below the clip was one by a woman named Kat who also tried suicide and went to hell but was pulled back. She had previously lost a son. He met her there, and she promised him she would never try suicide again. Kat’s brief testimony was as compelling to me as Tamara’s.

Dr. Maurice Rawlings was skeptical about reported NDE experiences until a 43-year-old postman named Charles McKaig dropped dead in his office. McKaig flatlined several times, but during lucid moments he pleaded to be resuscitated because every time he lost consciousness, he found himself in a literal hell. He insisted that the doctor help him pray the sinner’s prayer. Dr. Rawlings barely knew how to do it, but they stumbled through the prayer together. Several days later, McKaig could not recall saying anything about hell. He did recall meeting deceased relatives over there. He remembered saying the sinner’s prayer with Dr. Rawlings, and he did become a devout Christian after his experience.

A new understanding

That episode literally scared the ‘hell’ out of both of them. Rawlings began his own quest to understand what happened that day. He began a study of world religions, including his own Christian upbringing. He listened to afterlife tales from other medical personnel, and he began to listen closely to the experiences of his own patients. And of course, he began reading the books of afterlife researchers who had already written books on the subject. Over time, considering the tales he heard from other doctors and nurses, he concluded that there were as many negative experiences as positive.

He wrote two books to specifically deal with the negative experiences, because he felt that the trend in NDE research was so slanted toward the positive that people were in danger of being too blasé about what awaits us all on the other side. Beyond Death’s Door (1978) was followed by To Hell and Back in 1993. He writes, “While a positive case may say, ‘I’ll never be afraid of death again, it was so beautiful over there,’ the negative case might say, ‘It’s not dying I’m afraid of. It’s returning to that awful place again’” [Hell and Back, 32]. The negative experiences often include “grotesque” people or entities “lurking in the shadows along a lake of fire. The horrors defy description and are difficult to recall” [Death’s Door, 45].

A case in point: A physician in California shared the story of a friend of his. “At the height of his success, no one could have known he was so despondent. He told me he was searching for more than life had to offer. I didn’t understand him myself. I should have listened, because that night I was called to his home in Beverly Hills and found him on the floor with a bullet wound through his mouth. He revived to consciousness and responded to resuscitation for a while before he died. I asked him if he hurt. He shook his head and said no. I told him we were going to try to save him. He nodded in agreement. His last words were, ‘I’m scared. Don’t let me go back to hell. I can see it now.’ I don’t know what he saw” [Death’s Door, p. 37].

Rawlings writes that pacemakers save lives, but often are the cause of clinical death. One man whose pacemaker failed was resuscitated by Rawlings himself. The patient claimed that he went flying through a blazing tunnel and arrived at a huge lake of fire burning like an oil spill. People were moving aimlessly about, like animals in a zoo enclosure. He spied an old friend who had died. He hailed him, but his friend Jim did not respond or smile. Jim was taken around a corner where he was heard screaming. The heart patient tried to run by there was no way out. He started yelling, “Jesus is God. Jesus is God!” He suddenly found himself on the operating table being stitched up with a new pacemaker [Hell and Back, 71].

In a 1992 documentary called “A Glimpse of Glory,” a young man named Lee Merritt told of being in a dark tunnel with demons within the walls. “The darkness was so real you could touch it and it would burn” [Hell and Back, 74].

A crusader is born - with a new slant on NDEs

Rawlings explains that NDE’s have multiplied in recent decades due to vastly improved methods of resuscitation. Whether on the war front or in the ICU, many who would have died in 1940 are spared today. He encourages medical personnel to quit avoiding the issue and begin to record what people tell them, much like Drs. Raymond Moody, John Lerma, and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. That is not to say that there were no negative NDE’s before the 70’s. Another tale cited by Rawlings occurred in Canada in 1948. Hell was described there as dark, hot, dry, crushing, lonely, and full of agony [M. Ford, On the Other Side, 1978].

The deeper he probed into the topic, the more Rawlings realized that a dangerous trend had developed in the field. He noticed that people tended to effectively remember the positive experiences, but if negative ones are not noted immediately, the patient will soon forget them. Thus, psychiatrists like Moody and Kubler-Ross, who interview patients much later, will find a strong bias toward positive experiences.

Furthermore, he claims that he offered to share some of his findings with known and published researchers. All declined. Only one explained that the new information would conflict with what had already been published. Among those authors, including Dr. Kenneth Ring, a new religion began to develop called the Omega concept. This New Age-like movement included out of body experiences (OBE’s), remote viewing, UFO’s, and all manner of paranormal phenomena.

Dr. Rawlings raises the question of why some who are clearly not prepared to face the being of light do see him/it and feel the unconditional love and non-judgment. He suggests the possibility that the light is really the fulfillment of Paul the Apostle’s warning that Satan himself can transform himself into an Angel of Light (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15). Some of the warm and fuzzy experiences have given after-life researchers the idea that God is love, therefore no one will ever be judged negatively on the other side. This completely contradicts New Testament statements of Jesus Christ that on the Day of Judgment there will be a great separation of souls. Jesus also made it abundantly clear that those who corrupt and abuse children will wish they had never been born when they arrive in the great By and By. That includes Catholic priests and evangelical ministers who abuse those in their congregation. Even those who claimed to have done miracles in the name of Jesus will not be safe if their lives are full of corruption and sin (Matthew 7:22).

In this post, I have not at all exhausted all the narratives provided by Dr. Maurice Rawlings. His research seems broad, varied, and impeccable. This could be one of the most important books written in the previous century. He cannot claim to have all the answers as to the mystery of what happens when we die, but the trend in afterlife research is in fact answering many of those questions.

There will always be mysteries. For instance, in one of Whitely Strieber’s books a woman who was close to death saw an alien who told her that soon he would come to take her away. She responded, “But you are ugly!” The alien retorted something to the effect, “Just wait, sister. Soon you’ll look just like me.”

I may take a break from this topic for a while, but I’m not at all done with it. A near future post may deal with the crash my father’s plane in Colorado, which is also a study in the paranormal. Then back to the negative near death experiences.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Is It Safe to Die? Negative NDE's, Part II


Bishop Curtis ‘Earthquake’ Kelley, taken from Bound to Lose, Destined to Win, by Kelley, with Diana Stone, 2007.

Early life of crime and voodoo

Curtis’s grandparents pleaded with their daughter not to marry Robert Kelley, but he was a tall, charismatic, charming young man who wooed her in church, so she married him anyway. She was deeply committed to her faith and knew how to pray. Erma and Robert had 10 children, which they raised in Stamford, Connecticut, in a rough, gang-riddled part of the town. Curtis was the seventh child. In Stamford, that meant nothing. Children there did drugs, sold drugs, and got shot at every age.

But in Haitian voodoo, the seventh child, being a son of a voodoo priest, meant everything. And Curtis’s father was just that. When Curtis was 5 years old, Robert brought a Haitian witch into the home to teach Curtis occult lore. The idea was that she would teach him all her dark arts, then transport him back to Haiti to work with Papa Doc Duvalier. She brought occult paraphernalia with her and stored it in “Kirkie’s” room. Curtis claims that from the time he was 5, he saw demonic presences in his room, and never got more than two hours of sleep a night.

For 10 years, there was a battle for Curtis’s soul. His mother continually prayed for her children and anointed them with oil. Their father beat them, ignored them, and lured them into his illegal activities. Curtis would take bets and money back forth to the local gambling den.

A lovely woman once said to me, “I don’t believe in demons…I don’t want to believe in demons….I don’t want to live in a universe where there are demons.” Ah, Millie, neither do I. I don’t want there to be rapists, murders, and thugs in the universe, either, but they are here. They are not limited to our dimension. Children with no spiritual covering are not exempt from their influence. When Curtis was around 4, a disembodied voice taught him step by step how to get high by melting his plastic toys over the stove and inhaling the fumes. He only quit when he was seriously burned. The Kelley house was full of disembodied presences, all of them utterly malicious.

Curtis was on cocaine by the time he was 12. He could levitate or go out of body at will. He knew the names of various demons and knew how to use them. Goat spirits would come out of the closet and the kids would be chased around the house by spirits. His dad would not associate with regular witches. If they couldn’t disappear at will or walk through a wall, he had nothing to do with them. Cursing others and making trouble for opponents was a common activity.

He finds out that hell is for real

Kirk did it all…the gang life and the voodoo. Although at one point, he gave his life to Christ and had a genuine conversion, he fell away into a worse life than before. While still a teen, he followed the same voice that taught him to burn his plastic toys and overdosed on drugs in the back seat of the car. At the bar where he was taken by his older brothers, he saw demons coming up through the bar floor. He begged his brothers to take him home. They had no idea that he had taken so many drugs. They angrily threw him into the back seat of their car and started driving. But before they got home, Curtis died.

He felt his soul going down, because that’s where hell is. Whenever a shaman or practitioner brings a spirit up through the floor or ground, they are calling on entities from hell. He actually saw the bottom of the car the sewer pipes, dirt, and rocks under the street.

I was dragged to a place in the earth that was red and black. Then the spirits dropped me to the bottom of a floor. Demonic spirits beat me on the head and laughed as they mockingly said, “You did voodoo for us. You were a sorcerer. You sold drugs for us. We tricked you! Now you’re in hell. You can’t get out of here. You belong to us now. You are lost forever!” They continued to laugh at me, mock me, and remind me of every bad thing I had ever done. They tormented me in ways I do not want to talk about in this book.

Curtis had a total life review there in hell. He suffered at the hands of “hideous and deformed demonic spirits of every size and form.” Suddenly two golden hands appeared and grabbed him by the shoulders. With demons screaming “No! No! You can’t have him!” the hands took him back up through the earth, through the bottom of the car, and back into his body. A voice spoke to him and said, “Because of your mother’s prayers, and because you have been chosen by God, you were spared.”

His clueless brothers dumped him on the sidewalk at home. It was his sister that got him to the hospital ICU. While there, a small angel appeared to him and said, “I was sent from the throne of God to protect you.” The angel warned him that a certain demonic spirit (by name) would come looking for him that night to take him back, but that he would be protected. Curtis claims that that very thing occurred that night.

The entities that led Robert Monroe through his out of body journeys made it very clear that there was no hell, heaven, no God, no throne. Reincarnation entities often make the same claim. Many others, like Earthquake Kelley and those whose stories are ensconced on my bookshelf, claim that they have stood before the throne of God. Heaven is a monarchy. It is not a Democracy or a Dictatorship. It is a benevolent place where thugs and gangsters do not exist.

A vital message from Jesus to the Church

Later in life Curtis saw Paradise and met his deceased son there. At that point, he had been a minister for several years. The loss of his son and persecution from other ministers took a terrible toll on his enthusiasm to fulfill his call to preaching and deliverance. Again he found himself in the hospital. As he praised God and thanked him for sparing him once again, he went OBE. He found himself in Paradise. Across a river that he could not cross, he saw his son and spoke to him.

The description of Paradise was classic and typical of many descriptions that I have read: music, beautiful grass and trees. No shadows. A sparkling river. What makes Curtis’s experience totally unique is the fact that he met Jesus Christ there. Jesus unleashed a long lament about His church. He railed against the sins of Christians, including abortion, adultery, love of material things, unforgiveness, bitterness against God for tragic circumstances of life, personal vanity, and bigotry.

He sent Curtis, who at this point is Bishop ‘Earthquake’ Kelley, to go back and warn the church that unconfessed and undealt with sins puts God’s church people in serious spiritual jeopardy. Any tendency that Curtis ever had to harden his heart against God and some explicit command that he had been given ended after that experience.

If this book were the only one with the kind of narrative that I have relayed here, I would take with a grain of salt. Although the material is no weirder than books about ufo abductions or shamans, the fact is, the man will make a lot of money selling it, and the stranger the stories are within, the faster it will sell. However, so much of what is written in the book is found in other accounts, and is backed up by biblical accounts.

I can’t do the book justice in a 1400 word blog, but I can point to the internet where the book can be bought brand new for under $10.

My next post: a cardiologist resuscitates a man who claimed to have been in hell. The doctor finds that the number of negative NDE’s almost equal positive ones, and he wants the world to know it.