1998 Salt Lake City

1998 North American Conference

 

October 8 - 10, 1998

Salt Lake City, UT

 

 

 

 

Note: Presentations are listed in the order that they appeared during the conference.

1998 Salt Lake City

     

The Case for Heaven

Mally Cox-Chapman, M.A.

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Author and experiencer Mally has brought to her research the inquiring mind of a Yale-trained journalist and the compassion of the NDEr, giving her an enviable ability to capture people's stories. Since the publication of The Case for Heaven, she has been one of the most requested guests on New England radio and television.

Light: Its Mystery, Message and Meaning in the NDE, STE and Me

Elizabeth Fenske, Ph.D.

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An experience in the Light comes to us to awaken us to Light's Mystery. It gives us a Message and is that which gives our Life its ultimate Meaning. The most fundamental thing in the Universe for Light is LIGHT. It is the mystery behind all mysteries, i.e., how it brings about Life and Growth. It presents us with a message, which awakens us and brings about healing. Its message is one of unity and wholeness, growth and nurture and ultimately that of illumination and a return to the oneness of the Universe.

Belief Systems and the Near-Death Experiences

Sandra Elizabeth Harter Rogers

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Sandra Rogers begins this session by reviewing her own death experience focusing on parts of her experience that motivated her interest in finding a common thread in the various religions and belief system in the world. She makes an assertion that one of the common threads the world religions have is a belief in an afterlife based on the NDE. She discusses her belief that the knowledge of the near death experience can be a catalyst toward world peace

Life Everlasting

Duane Crowther

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No description of this presentation is currently available

Analogous Dilemmas in Near-Death Studies and Modern Physics and What These Dilemmas Imply

Craig Lundahl, Ph.D. & Arvin Gibson

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Researchers and others having an interest in the current state of the near-death and modern physics research and some of the implications of that research. We discuss status of the search for suitable explanation of various near-death phenomena, various theoretical and experimental physics, cosmological and astronomical findings. Corroborative NDE and OBE and their implications. Serendipitous natural constants and other physical relationship which lead to an anthropic world and universe. Implications concerning further research oriented more towards spiritual otherworld and/or guiding intelligence cause-and-effect relationships.

What NDEs Involving Children Reveal About the Meaning Of Life and the Purpose Of Death

Harold A. Widdison, Ph.D.

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The death of a child violates what most adults, parents especially, believe to be the natural order of things. In the normal course of evens, children should outlive their parents, not the reverse. So when a child contracts a serious disease, it is almost inevitable that everything should be done to prolong it's life. Thus the vast arsenal of medical science is brought to bear on preserving the child's life. This often isolates the child from its parents, siblings, friends, and other relatives. People who have had the privilege of working with dying children have discovered that these children can teach us much about the real meaning of life and death if we listen to them. Those parents who are able to love their dying children enough to listen to them, who can give their child permission to die, share in a beautiful but difficult experience. The presenter shares with the audience some of the gifts dying children have given others. Accounts of dying children's pre-death visions, NDEs of children, and NDEs where children are a key component. While this presentation cannot address why every child dies, it explores reasons some children report that they died, the status of children after death, and the continuity of parent/child relationships in life and death.

The NDE: What Caregivers Need to Know

Diane Corcoran, Ph.D.

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No matter what you personally think happens in an NDE, its effects on the experiencers are profound. In this session, the basic NDE are discussed, what it is, how it occurs, typical experiencers reactions to be aware of, and how to handle the experiencer with compassion and understanding.

Amazing Grace: Healing Effects of NDEs on Those Dying and Grieving

Bruce J. Horacek, Ph.D.

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Ring (1991) argued that NDEs act as compensatory gifts helping individuals cope with and understand life's difficulties. He saw NDEs as conferring "amazing grace" on individuals whose lives were spinning out of control toward self destruction. Expanding on Ring's contention that NDEs can be seen as healing gifts, this session presents evidence of seven categorical situations where participating in or knowledge or NDEs and nearing-death awareness experiences serve as healing agents in facing one's own death or the death of significant others. NDEs and nearing-awareness experiences seem to fee persons from paralyzing death anxiety and, consequently, allow them to focus on additional ways to help each other face dying and grieving.

Ecstatic Experiences and the Possibilities for Clinical Application

J. 'Joe' Timothy Green, Ph.D.

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Although in everyday speech we use the term ecstasy to refer to a sense of overwhelming joy, the word has its roots in both the Latin expression ex statis, which means "to stand outside of ones self", as well as the Greek work ekstasis, meaning "a being set apart from itself." This has led many to suggest that the ancients used the term ecstasy to refer to the experience of finding ones conscious awareness outside the physical body. This occurs during an NDE but it is also known to occur at other times and under other conditions. This presentation discuss NDEs as one form, or one member of the family of ecstatic experiences. I discuss three other ecstatic experiences lucid dreams, OBEs and shamanic journeys which occur as other times and under other conditions. While NDEs by definition occur at the point of apparent physical death, lucid dreams occur during the sleep state, OBEs are known to occur most frequently during the conscious waking state when the person in "mentally calm and physically relaxed", and shamanic journeys usually occur during drumming, rattling, singing and dancing. Despite these differences, all four experiences have amazing similarities, which, I argue, is because they share the same underlying phenomenological nature, which is best described as ecstatic. Because lucid dreams, conscious OBEs and shamanic journeys are not related to death or physical injury, the idea of developing a therapeutic modality based on the facilitation of ecstatic experiences is a real possibility. Shamanism is, in fact, exactly this: a therapeutic modality. I discuss how many of the leaders in the contemporary Western shamanic movements have written or commented on the fact that NDEs are a form of shamanic experience. From the shamanic perspective, an NDE is a shamanic initiation and NDErs are among the best candidates for further training in shamanism. For those who have no experience of ecstasy, lucid dreaming is the most easily accessed of ecstatic experiences. I review new research on lucid dreams and show how anyone is able to experience ecstasy during the dream state and how some of these dreams share similar components to NDEs. I discuss how I, and many others, have begun to incorporate some of this into clinical practice in mental health, sometimes with amazing results. I outline what I feel should be clinical subspeciality that can be scientifically validated and should be incorporated into clinical practice in medicine and mental health. Finally, I discuss how developing a clinical approach would have lasting benefits for NDErs and for the field of near-death studies.

The Implications of the NDE

George G Ritchie, Jr., M.D.

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George may be the actual alpha point in the field of near-death studies, as it was his account of a life-changing experience that started Raymond Moody on the road to Life after Life. In other words, without George Richie there would be no IANDS conference. Physician and author, he has spoken widely about his experience.

Aftermath: Startling Differences Between Adult and Child Experiencers

P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D.

This is a 2 Tape set.
Download must be ordered as Part 1 & Part 2. This is Part 1

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In 1994, Atwater went back and redid all her work with child experiencers.  Although she had studied many, she was uncomfortable with the prevailing notion that kid's cases were just about the same as adults.  What she found is contained in the book "Children Of The New Millennium," a major study of children's near-death states and the new Millennial Generation (due out Spring 1999 from Three Rivers Press in New York City).  Children's episodes follow the same four type pattern as adults, described in her book "Beyond the Light."  Most kids have the Initial or Simple Experience (76%) and most of their "deaths" come from drowning, suffocation, and surgery.  but when the aftermath is studies, their response to what happened to them can be just the opposite as that of adults, sometimes radically different.  Children do not have history, a reality system in which they can make sense of that occurred or integrate it properly.  Focusing on their stories, "out-of-the-mouth-of-babes": kind of thing, distorts their truth and missed altogether their true voice and very different perceptions.  This talk contrasts kids' cases with those of adults.  A child of any age can have a NDE, and that includes pre-birth, during delivery, and immediately after.  Once they are verbal, what they tell their parents about that happened to them is often surprising and sometimes embarrassingly accurate in its detail.  But dealing with it, coping with the loss of their "real home" once the episode ends, can be painful.  Where attempted suicides for adult experiencers afterward is less than 4%, with kids it is 21%-over a third of Atwater's research base of 277 child experiencers were having serious problems with alcohol within five to ten years.  Various differences are discussed: children can hardly wait to go to church afterward and often drag their parents with them; adult experiencers, the vast majority, leave the traditional church experience to pursue mystical states and a more spiritual approach.  Kids are drawn to math and science after, adults turn away; kids later form lasting marriages, adults seldom do; kids tend to close down, become loners, unsocial, while adults tend to loosen up, become more friendly and open.

Materials for this session (opens in a new window)

There is a related web site (opens in a new window).

Aftermath: Startling Differences Between Adult and Child Experiencers

P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D.

Download Part 2 of 2

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See Part 1 above for description.

Similarities Between NDE and Shamanism

Thomas Nibley

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No description of this presentation is currently available

Angels in the Making

Frances Gomez

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Utilizing cognitive and decision-making theories, participants will be introduced to material which allow them to gain knowledge about dying, death, and grief. Social cognitive theory allows the exploration of social variables and self efficacy in changing old behaviors and/or adopting new ones.

Integrating the Near-Death Experience into a Lifestyle Change

Grace Bubulka, R.N., M.S.N.

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NDE's have often been described as life changing significant events. Twenty, forty or more years later, it is not unusual to hear a person vividly describe the event, which may have even occurred in their early childhood. What, however, are the factors that lead to a person's perception of the NDE? When people come together and openly recount their NDE, some do so with tears, some with elated emotions. There are those who are visibly shaken by the event. Others reveal little emotion but use words or other non-verbal mannerisms that belie the importance of this occurrence to them. Did the circumstances surrounding the NDE effect the person's perception? Did the response of significant others and/or professional alter the person's ability to disclose? Are there factors within the person him or herself that could effect their perception? What are some common methods of adaptation? Can the NDE promote a lifestyle change? if so, how does it effect people? Research and discussions with nurses, chaplains, oncology and trauma staff propose some insight and raise some additional thought provoking questions.

The NDE, Career Values, and Spiritual Wellness: A Comparative Study

Lauren B. Thibodeau, Ph.D.

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An overview of the research project which consists of research used from Super's Work Values Inventory (1985) and Ingersoll's Spiritual Wellness Inventory (SWI) (1995) to compare 41 near-death experiencers. The quantitative data was remarkable robust, suggesting that the incidence of an NDE was much more important than any other variable such as years since NDE, type of NDE, gender, age at NDE. This study found that NDErs and non-NDErs who participated are different in terms of their work values and levels of spiritual wellness. Qualitative data from the study further suggest that NDErs feel very isolated and unlike others. As a result, NDErs reported feeling extremely reluctant to discuss their profound, traumatic experiences and its aftermath.

After the Light: Living With One Foot In Heaven, Living with One foot In Hell

Kimberly Clark Sharp, M.S.W.

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Coming back from a near-death experience requires major adjustments on all levels of experience. Or, as express by the Genie in the movie, Aladdin, "All The Powers Of The Universe!!! itty-bitty living space." This presentation covers the more remarkable aspects of returning to our "itty-bitty living space" as shared by countless NDErs. Author of "After the Light" is representative of these NDErs--those who return with paranormal abilities. Sharp's NDE in 1970 was only the springboard into a life populated with angels, demons, ghosts, and other spiritual visitors. How she coped with divine awareness, life altering synchronicities and sometimes frightening apparitions is of value to anyone who has had a spiritually transformative experience that defies western culture's definition of "consensual reality".

NDEs Following Violence: Resultant Positive Spiritual Growth

Barbara R. Rommer, M.D.

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Violent crimes often have catastrophic results, permanently affecting the lives of all who are involved. Those who are blessed to have a near-death experience at the time, often demonstrate the ability to "rise above" the usual human emotions as a result of remarkable spiritual growth.

Experiencer Panel A

Panel Members

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The experiencer panels are always some of the high points of the conference. Each of the four or so experiencers on the panel tells his or her experience and answers questions from the audience.

The NDE and Life Changes

Rev. Howard Storm, M.Div.

This is a 2 Tape set.
Download must be ordered as Part 1 & Part 2. This is Part 1

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Many people who have heard Howard speak of his experience say that his life best represents the life-changing potential of the NDE. The once cynical and self-serving professor is today serving his community and parishioners as pastor of an Ohio church. He has shared his story with many audiences, including those of national and regional television programs.

The NDE and Life Changes

Rev. Howard Storm, M.Div.

Download Part 2 of 2

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See Part 1 above for description.

Mormon Theology

Brent Top & Wendy Top

This is a 2 Tape set.
Download must be ordered as Part 1 & Part 2. This is Part 1

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No description of this presentation is currently available

Mormon Theology

Brent Top & Wendy Top

Download Part 2 of 2

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No description of this presentation is currently available

They Come by Light: Healing Gifts and the NDE

Kenneth Ring, Ph.D.

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In this presentation, we consider various aspects of the connection between the near-death experience and healing. To begin with, we review the evidence that suggests that the NDE facilitates the emergence of healing gifts in the NDEr and present several illustrative case histories. We then explore some possible factors that may underlie this effect before discussing the hypothesis of the Light as a healing force in its own right. We conclude by commenting on the role of the NDE in healing from psychological despair, the healing power of NDE stories and, finally, the way in which the NDE may be understood as a kind of "benign virus" whose contagious effects themselves may represent a significant source of healing for those who are "exposed" to this phenomenon of our time.

The Three Very Different Types of Subjective Light

P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D.

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After twenty plus years of original fieldwork, interviews, observation, and analysis, of people who experience near-death states, Atwater, has noticed some surprising things about the "lights" experiencers claim to see during their episode.  they actually describe three very different types of light; and these lights, when reports are examined carefully, seem to reveal aspects of Creation's story.  And this is not insignificant.  For instance, the most evidential and compelling cases of genius Atwater discovered with child experiencers of near-death states, was with those who had "dark light" episodes before the age of fifteen months.  "Dark light' has mistakenly been associated in the past with that which is negative, evil, base.  In making such a judgment, we may have either overlooked or even misconstrued the very meaning of subjective light.  This is explored, as Atwater discusses some of her findings in her latest book "Children Of The New Millennium."

The goal of this talk is to both challenge and inform.  The term "light experience" has become synonymous with near-death states over the last several decades, and the "light" experiencers are said to refer to is White Light, Bright Light, the Light of God, the Light of Love.  "Children Of The New Millennium," a major study of children's near-death states and the new Millennial Generation of kids, reveals three distinctive types of light experiencers have, be they adult or youngster.  The three types of subjective light are: Primary Light, Dark Light, and Bright Light.  Each of these types have different colorations, feeling tones, and effects; children especially encounter "The Darkness That Knows."  Electrical sensitivity can be traced to the intensity of "Bright Light" (not length of exposure as some claim), but genius, at least with kids, links back to "Dark Light."  Various points of view are offered for this as Atwater reviews her research in respect to the effect of subjective light in near-death states.

Materials for this session (opens in a new window)

Related materials are available on-line (opens in a new window).

Mystery of Our Eternal Home

Sarah Hinze, B.Sc. & Brent Hinze, Ph.D.

This is a 2 Tape set.
Download must be ordered as Part 1 & Part 2. This is Part 1

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No description of this presentation is currently available

Mystery of Our Eternal Home

Sarah Hinze, B.Sc. & Brent Hinze, Ph.D.

Download Part 2 of 2

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No description of this presentation is currently available

The Earth's Future In NDE Prophetic Visions and Prophecies from the Bible and Modern LDS Holy Writ

Craig Lundahl, Ph.D.

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A description of the prophetic vision or PV. I'll discuss the five elements of the prophetic visions for the future of the earth. Along with a comparison of the events of NDE prophetic visions of the earth's future with events of the earth's future in prophecies from the Bible and the LDS Doctrine and Covenants. Implications of the findings of this study.

Suicide and The Near-Death Experience

Sandra Elizabeth Harter Rogers

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Sandra Rogers begins this session by reviewing her own suicide attempt and subsequent NDE when she fired a .38 caliber pistol into her chest. She then discusses the questions of whether or not suicide is an unforgivable sin, whether or not suicide is an escape from life's tough lessons, and the determining factor of kind of experience one has in the afterlife following a suicide. Answers to the above are based upon the accounts of NDEs, her own and others Ms Rogers has investigated since her own experience.

Experiencer Panel B

Panel Members

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The experiencer panels are always some of the high points of the conference. Each of the four or so experiencers on the panel tells his or her experience and answers questions from the audience.

I Stand All Amazed

Elane Durham

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Author of "I Stand All Amazed" talks about her own death bed vision which took place in October of 1976. It is extensive and thought provoking.

Research Panel

Panel Members

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A researcher panel consists of several people who are doing research into NDEs talking about their current projects, results, difficulties, etc., with audience participation.

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