Ever since I joined the IANDS Board in 2000, we have lamented that no “ultimate NDE video” existed, and we’ve dreamed about producing such a video—always concluding that such a project was beyond IANDS’ means.
Then, in the fall of 2003, The Learning Channel aired a brand new British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) production about NDEs entitled The Day I Died. IANDS Board members were immediately and powerfully impressed with the quality of the 45-minute program. It showed two in-depth case studies of NDErs—one in the U.K., the other in the U.S.; depicted the two most recent prospective NDE research studies—one in the U.K., the other in the Netherlands; interviewed the most outstanding NDE researchers worldwide; presented both skeptical and “believer” perspectives; and reenacted the most compelling case of veridical (verifiably accurate) perception in an NDE during radical surgery for a brain aneurysm. The production was completely up-to-date and covered virtually everything an inquiring mind needed for an informed and balanced introduction to the phenomenon of NDEs. In short, most, if not all, Board members considered it the best NDE production made to date—very close to “the ultimate NDE video.”It was only natural, then, that several Board members wanted to show The Day I Died at a variety of venues, including our own conference. Former IANDS Board member, Jason MacLurg, M.D., researched the matter with passion and persistence, but concluded that the BBC had no intention of making the program available for purchase. Nevertheless, the program’s producer, Kate Broome, provided Jason with the full, uncut one-hour version along with the understanding that anyone who wanted to show it would get the BBC’s permission for each showing. (This is how we were able to show the video at the IANDS conference in Chicago last June; those of you who attended may remember Jason showing it there. He and several other Board members have also shown it at several other venues.) Though we were grateful to have some way to show it—and Ms. Broome always accommodated our requests to show it in educational contexts—the process of getting permission each time we wanted to use it was quite cumbersome.
But all that is about to change.
A couple of months ago, I decided to pursue the matter again. The BBC confirmed their resolve not to make the program available for sale, and they referred me to BBC America. BBC America also expressed their resolve not to offer it for sale, and they referred me to Films for the Humanities and Sciences (FHS), which sometimes acquires distribution rights for educational programs to be shown at educational venues. I contacted FHS and, through a series of communications and negotiations, persuaded them to pursue the acquisition of distribution rights. When I returned home from the recent IANDS Board meeting in mid-February, I found an e-mail informing IANDS that FHS had succeeded.
Although all the details are not yet known, we do know the following:
- IANDS members will be able to purchase The Day I Died in either DVD or VHS format for $89.95 by ordering through a special phone number. This price represents a 40% discount from the $149.95 that FHS will be charging at their website. To my knowledge, the only available discount will be for IANDS members.
- Just the opposite of popular movie videos or DVDs we rent or buy from local stores, which are intended for home viewing and not for public showing, FHS programs like The Day I Died are intended for public showing and not for home viewing. Specifically, The Day I Died can be purchased for showing in any educational context: Friends of IANDS (FOI) groups, schools, universities, churches, community agencies, hospitals, hospices, etc. So you could, for example, buy a copy and donate it to your FOI. Or donate it—perhaps taking a tax deduction—to your church, hospital, or library—along with a request that they organize and advertise a showing of the program followed by a question-and-answer period.
- A few years ago, a donation was made to IANDS with the charge that IANDS use the money to promote understanding of NDEs in medical schools. The Board used some of the funds but has been waiting for the right opportunity to dedicate the remainder. We are currently exploring the possibility of using it to donate a copy of The Day I Died to each U.S. medical school. (We would be happy to accept donations enabling us to send a copy to each international med school, too!!)
- The IANDS Education Committee is working with FHS to develop a study guide to accompany the video that would be available for free at both the FHS and IANDS websites. This guide would facilitate the Q&A session following the showing of the program and would lead interested people to further near-death-related resources.
- Several IANDS Board members have pledged to take a variety of actions to make the availability of The Day I Died known to organizations that would have an interest. Although it was never IANDS’ intention to benefit from making the program widely available, when people “do the math,” they may decide to join IANDS to leverage the discount: Would you rather pay $149.95 for the video alone, or $134.95 for an IANDS general membership plus the video ($45 + $89.95)? As the kids say, “Duh!”…and IANDS gets new members!
I can hardly think of a better way for IANDS to fulfill its new mission—to build global understanding of near-death and near-death-like experiences through research, education, and support—and to uphold its values of objective inquiry into NDEs and similar experiences, than through this video initiative.
I believe we will accomplish a great service to humanity through the dissemination of The Day I Died. My sincere, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed and will contribute to this service!