I Think We’re Good on Near Death Experiences Now, Thanks

Question from Kamil:
Question about Howard Storm: some reasons not to believe, but other reasons it may be true.

1) he is supposedly dead, and in spirit form, yet he has nerves and can feel the cold floor or his hands making fists.

2) his experience takes place in the hospital room and the rest is in the hallway of the hospital. It is just a long dark road. He probably didn’t pay attention to how the hospital looked, so his brain had to fill in the gaps of the way it looked.

3) the demons mock his hospital gown. Why would his “soul” be wearing his hospital clothes?

4) These shadow looking demons are attacking him. Anyone could interpret this as anything. However, Storm assumes he is in hell, therefore he thinks of Jesus, and this makes his experience automatically religious.

The only things I don’t get are:

1) How could his experience be so detailed?
2) he talks about having infinite knowledge, and says everyone’s NDE is different to suit them and their beliefs.
3) He asks detailed questions about the USA economy and future wars and gets answers
4) he sees 80 new primary colours

Usually, I find accounts so detailed like this could be fabrications because the more detailed it is, the less likely it seems to be true. However, in this case, I think he seems genuine. I don’t think he lied about his whole experience. He did become a church reverend. It’s just that his account was so detailed. Is it possible he really believes he had the experience, but that he added stuff to it later to make his story more convincing? I just wonder, maybe he believes he saw demons, Jesus and all, but maybe he added bits about his detailed questions and answers?

Also, what do you think are the odds his story was real?

Answer by SmartLX:
Straight to your “don’t get” list:

1) The detail is unverifiable, in both the sense that we have only his word how detailed it was and the sense that the details themselves cannot be verified. Lots of people can write a detailed story. They’re called writers.
2) This flies in the face of the argument several people have brought here, that NDEs are more believable because they’re consistent. Regardless, it’s an explanation of a fact he would have known beforehand, namely that people’s NDEs do not always line up.
3) He gets answers, but how many have proved correct? If any have, what were the chances? Did he tell the story after any predictions came true, giving him the chance to retcon the predictions? My piece on prophecies may help you analyse this aspect of the story.
4) Another unverifiable claim. Think about this: if you hadn’t been taught as a child which were the primary colours, how would you determine it? How would you recognise a fourth colour as another primary if it showed up?

The event occurred in 1985, so even if it was a complete fabrication to begin with he might believe a lot of it now. I doubt it was a complete fabrication, so a kernel of belief formed in an extremely vulnerable moment can grow and extend to all kinds of ideas. The strength of his belief has many potential sources besides truth, so be careful about letting it inspire belief in you.

10 thoughts on “I Think We’re Good on Near Death Experiences Now, Thanks”

  1. Not being able to withhold ridiculing. I love the bit about writers and many potential sources besides truth.

    And, how don’t they get tired of trying to prove the unprovable and most unlikely explanation, supernatural, in the face of all the sciences of neurology and others stating many possible causes of such events, except the supernatural and also many scientific findings about the probable origin the probable origin of energy that is the very ’empty’ space of the Universe, i.e. nothing, which is, the Universe, actually energy and even if not so, then positive and negative energy in the Universe come to nothing when put together.

    SO, WE ARE NOTHING IN BOTH SENSES, LITERAL AND NOT. WE ARE BUNCHES OF ATOM THAT AT ONE POINT IN TIME CAME TOGETHR AND UNITED BY PROCESS OF EATING STUFF, FOOD, HAHAHA, AND AT THE OTHER POINT WILL SPLIT, DISINTEGRATE AND BECOME SEPARATE ATOMS AGAIN.

    BIG DEAL, WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT?
    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING…

  2. Well, the person might be genuine.
    A lot of people who have hallucinations are. The mind plays tricks on us and sometimes its hard to tell whether its a trick or reality.
    I know (and it breaks my heart to know) two schizophrenics (what are the odds, right?) and the breaks from reality they experience are very real to them. When they remember the breaks and recall them, they are very eloquent and would have you believe (just like they still somewhat believe) that what they saw or heard actually happened in real time and not just in their brains.

    The thing is, its their subjective experience and its very real for them – just like this NDE is this person’s subjective experience and very real for him.
    But its subjective, its happening in someone’s brain, it’s not “real” for others, it does not open doors to other realities or dimensions for others.

    I do not and cannot laugh away the fact that it (the NDE or the psychotic break or any other mind “trick”) happened – to the person to whom the experience occurs it is probably as real as real gets.
    But ask me to believe that this episode means that there really are (already) intelligent machines that have installed chips in us and that control us via those chips … or demons that laugh at our hospital dressing gowns (its similar) … i.e. ask me to believe that it has real wider implications for all of us if we would just “open our eyes”, then please do permit me to be skeptical. Very, very skeptical.

    There be no boojums in reality/ RWOT. Only in our minds. And the boojums in our minds be very real.

    1. The accounts don’t raise the odds at all for me. They’re contradictory, they happen at a moment in a person’s life where the memory of them can be seriously impaired, they either regurgitate religious imagery the subjects knew beforehand or conjure new things that can’t be verified, and there’s never any good evidence that they received genuinely new information about the world around them.

      The odds that we have souls independently of all this seem pretty low to someone who doesn’t believe in a god or similar entity. There’s no good evidence for them either, and this is plainer if you don’t start out believing that we were all imbued with one by such a deity.

      1. Those are good points. I know there are some very compelling out of body experiences where a person in a hospital setting sees things they “shouldn’t have seen” and they sound absolutely extraordinary. If they could really prove one of these cases or catch them on camera, it may prove something. I’m waiting for the 2021 AWARE study to come out to see if any new patients can detect the hidden objects. The study was supposed to be out in 2019 and now it is set for 2021 so we will see

        1. There are NO compelling out of body experiences. This can be said because there is NO compelling empirical data or evidence that these happen to people. All we have, at the end of the day, are assertions that they happened.

          1. Tim! Here is an example of an amazing OBE, if you read it I promise you that you will be amazed!

            Veridical Features of His OBE
            1. The doctor shining the light in his eyes. The doctor who checked
            his pupils was the consultant anesthetist, who entered the ITU for the
            first time that day, just as the patient’s condition deteriorated. The
            junior doctors were unavailable; subsequently the consultant reviewed
            the patient. When the patient’s condition stabilized following the
            administration of fluid to increase the blood pressure, the junior
            doctors arrived and the consultant returned to his office until he began
            the ward rounds later that afternoon. The consultant checked that the
            patient’s pupils were reacting by shining a light into them. He
            remarked, ‘‘Yes, they’re reacting, but unequal.’’ The patient reported
            hearing the doctor saying, ‘‘There’s life in the eye’’ or ‘‘something like
            that.’’ This was inaccurate, although this highlighted his interpretation
            of what was said and was a good comprehension of what the
            consultant meant.
            The patient was unconscious by the time the consultant reviewed
            him, and remained unconscious when the consultant left the bedside.
            It was only as the ward rounds approached the patient’s bed area four
            hours later that he regained full consciousness and excitedly tried to
            communicate what he had experienced. The patient correctly
            identified the consultant as having shone the light in his eyes, rather
            than one of the junior doctors with whom he was familiar. The patient
            was deeply unconscious at this time and had not previously seen the
            consultant that morning, although he had seen the other junior
            doctors. However, it is possible that he heard the consultant’s voice at
            the time of unconsciousness, which may have contributed to the
            construction of a mental model.
            2. The nurse cleaning his mouth. When the patient had been put
            back to bed, he had drooled from the side of his mouth. Once his
            condition had stabilized, the nurse cleaned his mouth. He knew who
            his nurse for the day was, and was familiar with the nursing
            procedures to be performed. He knew that his mouth was cleaned by
            using a pink sponge dipped in water. When performing any nursing
            procedures the nurse always explains her actions, even if the patient is
            unconscious. He could therefore have heard the nurse explain her
            actions, although he adamantly denied having done so, and could also
            have felt her cleaning his mouth. However, because he had drooled,
            a long suction catheter, normally used for endotracheal suction, was
            used to clean the oropharyngeal secretions from the back of his throat.
            Journal of Near-Death Studies ndst-25-02-02.3d 9/2/07 05:00:45 78
            78 JOURNAL OF NEAR-DEATH STUDIES
            This long catheter was used in preference to the shorter, hard, plastic
            Yankauer sucker, as it is softer and more comfortable for the patient;
            this is not the usual procedure, as most nurses use the Yankauer
            sucker. After his mouth was cleaned, a moist pink sponge was put into
            his mouth to freshen it up. The pink sponge is not long, as the patient
            reported, but the suction catheter that was used first was long. He
            could therefore have ‘‘seen’’ both pieces of equipment. Also, the
            secretions cleaned away were pink in color.
            3. The physiotherapist ‘‘poking her head around the curtains.’’ The
            patient also reported seeing the physiotherapist looking very nervous
            and ‘‘poking her head around the curtains’’ to see if his condition was
            improving. The same physiotherapist was on the ward rounds at the
            time he reported the experience. She had been on duty all day, and the
            patient was aware of this fact. It is possible, but not confirmed, that
            she inquired verbally about the patient’s condition, as she was ‘‘poking
            her head around the curtains.’’ Thus the patient could have heard her
            asking, which could have contributed to the construction of a mental
            model. The patient’s eyes were closed throughout the period the
            physiotherapist was checking on his condition. However, if his OBE
            was a mental reconstruction, it is surprising that the patient should
            report her to be ‘‘poking her head around the curtains, looking very
            nervous.’’ It would be more likely that he would construct a view of her
            standing closer to the Veridical Features of His OBE
            1. The doctor shining the light in his eyes. The doctor who checked
            his pupils was the consultant anesthetist, who entered the ITU for the
            first time that day, just as the patient’s condition deteriorated. The
            junior doctors were unavailable; subsequently the consultant reviewed
            the patient. When the patient’s condition stabilized following the
            administration of fluid to increase the blood pressure, the junior
            doctors arrived and the consultant returned to his office until he began
            the ward rounds later that afternoon. The consultant checked that the
            patient’s pupils were reacting by shining a light into them. He
            remarked, ‘‘Yes, they’re reacting, but unequal.’’ The patient reported
            hearing the doctor saying, ‘‘There’s life in the eye’’ or ‘‘something like
            that.’’ This was inaccurate, although this highlighted his interpretation
            of what was said and was a good comprehension of what the
            consultant meant.
            The patient was unconscious by the time the consultant reviewed
            him, and remained unconscious when the consultant left the bedside.
            It was only as the ward rounds approached the patient’s bed area four
            hours later that he regained full consciousness and excitedly tried to
            communicate what he had experienced. The patient correctly
            identified the consultant as having shone the light in his eyes, rather
            than one of the junior doctors with whom he was familiar. The patient
            was deeply unconscious at this time and had not previously seen the
            consultant that morning, although he had seen the other junior
            doctors. However, it is possible that he heard the consultant’s voice at
            the time of unconsciousness, which may have contributed to the
            construction of a mental model.
            2. The nurse cleaning his mouth. When the patient had been put
            back to bed, he had drooled from the side of his mouth. Once his
            condition had stabilized, the nurse cleaned his mouth. He knew who
            his nurse for the day was, and was familiar with the nursing
            procedures to be performed. He knew that his mouth was cleaned by
            using a pink sponge dipped in water. When performing any nursing
            procedures the nurse always explains her actions, even if the patient is
            unconscious. He could therefore have heard the nurse explain her
            actions, although he adamantly denied having done so, and could also
            have felt her cleaning his mouth. However, because he had drooled,
            a long suction catheter, normally used for endotracheal suction, was
            used to clean the oropharyngeal secretions from the back of his throat.
            Journal of Near-Death Studies ndst-25-02-02.3d 9/2/07 05:00:45 78
            78 JOURNAL OF NEAR-DEATH STUDIES
            This long catheter was used in preference to the shorter, hard, plastic
            Yankauer sucker, as it is softer and more comfortable for the patient;
            this is not the usual procedure, as most nurses use the Yankauer
            sucker. After his mouth was cleaned, a moist pink sponge was put into
            his mouth to freshen it up. The pink sponge is not long, as the patient
            reported, but the suction catheter that was used first was long. He
            could therefore have ‘‘seen’’ both pieces of equipment. Also, the
            secretions cleaned away were pink in color.
            3. The physiotherapist ‘‘poking her head around the curtains.’’ The
            patient also reported seeing the physiotherapist looking very nervous
            and ‘‘poking her head around the curtains’’ to see if his condition was
            improving. The same physiotherapist was on the ward rounds at the
            time he reported the experience. She had been on duty all day, and the
            patient was aware of this fact. It is possible, but not confirmed, that
            she inquired verbally about the patient’s condition, as she was ‘‘poking
            her head around the curtains.’’ Thus the patient could have heard her
            asking, which could have contributed to the construction of a mental
            model. The patient’s eyes were closed throughout the period the
            physiotherapist was checking on his condition. However, if his OBE
            was a mental reconstruction, it is surprising that the patient should
            report her to be ‘‘poking her head around the curtains, looking very
            nervous.’’ It would be more likely that he would construct a view of her
            standing closer to the bedside, without the need to ‘‘poke her head
            around the curtains.’’

  3. Because doing eye checks, and sponging mouths, and peeking around curtains, never happens in a hospital? This is supposed to be proof?

    The patient was supposedly unconscious, but that doesn’t mean his brain was shut off. There are different levels of awareness, and his memory can still be actively engaged in storing things that his senses are picking up, even if he isn’t fully awake.

    I see nothing to get excited over here. It’s obvious you really really want to believe in these stories, and want to ignore the skeptical nature of these things. But unless you can provide empirical data for souls or consciousness that is separate from the physical structure of the brain, tales of pink sponges aren’t impressive.

    1. Tim, Dr. Sartori said he met Junior doctors, and that day, they were off. Other doctors came, and he correctly identified them while he was “out”. He was also able to report the colour of the sponge and the way the lady looked who was behind the curtains casting glances, how could he get all of this info?

      1. Kamil – How do we know she actually identified the doctors? How do we know she wasn’t aware of the schedule because someone talked about it, either before or after she was unconscious. How do we know how deeply unconscious she was? How do we know whether or not she saw the pink sponges in another person’s room when she was walking into the hospital? How many people did the psychotherapist visit that couple of days? How hard is it to imagine that someone checking on your condition would be nervous at the idea that you weren’t improving?

        She hasn’t provided empirical data or evidence for any of these claims.

        Aside from that, let’s do a little thought experiment, Kamil. Let’s say that she really did leave her body and really did see those things. Prove to be it has a supernatural cause. Can you do that? Can you show me that there cannot possibly be a natural explanation for what happened? Since we don’t know how it happened, why should anyone assume it was a supernatural event?

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