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Deteriorates into Nonsense
on January 13, 2005
The early sections of this book, which deal with the author's research into children's near-death experiences, are moderately interesting, though Atwater's criteria for an NDE are rather loose, and she includes many cases that seem more like vivid dreams - and even cases when no NDE was remembered at all! But it's the later chapters that drag this book down into 2-star territory, as Atwater blends UFOs, alien abductions, genetic modification, folklore, channeling, and wacky predictions in a fruity melange of New Age craziness. Here's a typical quote:
"A contemporary voice on the subject of the new race aborning in our time is Gordon-Michael Scallion. He is known as an intuitive futurist and modern-day prophet ... It was he who several years ago affirmed that the fifth root race [i.e., the alleged next phase of human evolution] is the blue race and linked it with the then soon-to-appear blue star, which he later identified as the comet Hale-Bopp. He associated the manifestation of both of these developments with Christian beliefs about the Second Coming of Christ, and also with the Native American prophesy of the White Buffalo and the portentous 1994 birth, in Jamesville, Wisconsin, of an all-white female buffalo calf ..." (pp. 211-212)
Scallion goes on to establish his prophetic bona fides by predicting that "between 1998 and 2001, everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear will experience a spiritual event that parallels the event that occurred two thousand years ago" (i.e., the birth of Christ). Well, it's 2005, and if it happened, I missed it. But maybe I lacked eyes to see and ears to hear.
Don't get me wrong. I think near-death experiences, when properly researched, provide compelling evidence of life after death. But Atwater's silly book cheapens the field and undercuts the serious work done by others. Read it for amusement only.