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318 of 335 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convincing...
This is my first experience with reading a book on near death experiences and the science behind it. I've read books before on personal accounts of the afterlife but these books mainly came from a New Age/Metaphysical perspective. Never before had I read anything coming from a scientific view. Dr. Long, a radiation oncologist, over the period of ten or more years had...
Published on January 21, 2010 by Green

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessarily defensive and repetitive, but a solid statistical study.
This book is full of sound reasoning and strict quality control, in my opinion. This is a study based on statistics, where minor inconsistencies in a testimony would lead to its exclusion from the study. From that perspective, it is thought provoking and quite effective in dismissing the skeptical arguments against the veracity of near death experiences...
Published on May 7, 2011 by MankyInky

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good evidence, but needs editing., September 3, 2013
This review is from: Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences (Paperback)
In Evidence of the Afterlife, Jeffrey Long, founder of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) website, puts forth nine categories of evidence for the survival of consciousness after death, from the numerous NDEs reported by visitors to his website and from other researchers in the field. While he says that each category of evidence, taken by itself, is evidence for the afterlife, I would say that only the first four of the categories provide real evidence for the survival of consciousness after death, while the remaining five are rebuttals of skeptics' claims that NDEs are merely hallucinations/dreams or that they are a product of Western cultural conditioning.

Here are his nine categories of evidence:
1. The first category is divided into two parts: A. NDEs occur when, from a medical perspective, the brain should be unconscious, such as when a patient is clinically dead with no detectable EEG brain activity. This implies that consciousness can exist without the brain. B. To add to this argument, NDEs are lucid experiences, with a heightened sense of awareness, more than the normal awake state. This implies that NDEs are not products of brain activity, which is shutting down at the time of death.
2. NDEs often involve an OBE (out-of-body experience) in which the NDEr perceives accurately what is going on in the room around them, sometimes even seeing what's going on elsewhere, outside of their body's perceptual field. These perceptions are evidence that the mind, at the time of the OBE, is functioning outside of the body.
3. NDEs of blind people include seeing (with vision) what is going on in the room around them. This occurs even to those who are blind from birth, for whom visual perception is an impossibility because their visual cortex has not been developed. This is strong evidence that mind can operate apart from the body.
4. NDEs occur in patients who have been put under general anesthesia, which, from a medical perspective, renders their brains unconscious. The conscious NDEs of these patients are strong evidence that the mind can exist independently of the brain.
5. Many NDErs experience a "life review" in which they re-experience events of their lives with lucid clarity and in chronological order. This is evidence that the NDE is not a hallucination or dream, because hallucinations and dreams are generally vague, have fictitious parts in them, and probably would not evoke long-forgotten memories in their correct order with accuracy.
6. During the NDE, many NDErs meet spirits of deceased relatives from the distant past, but hardly ever do they meet the spirits of live people. This is evidence that the NDE is not merely a hallucination, for a hallucination would probably evoke apparitions of live people with whom the NDEr interacted recently, who are imprinted on the NDEr's most recent memories.
7. Young children (under the age of five) have NDEs with the same essential content as adults. This is evidence that the NDE is not merely a product of cultural beliefs, because, generally, young children have not absorbed their culture's beliefs about the afterlife.
8. The essential characteristics of NDEs are the same across cultures, implying that NDEs are not merely a product of Western cultural beliefs.
9. The after-effects of NDEs on NDErs are far reaching, often transforming their beliefs and lifestyles, and sometimes endowing them with psychic capabilities. This is evidence that the NDE is not merely a hallucination, for a hallucination probably could not affect the NDEr so profoundly. (The author does not explain why he feels this way.)

In the course of the discussion the author provides many examples of NDEs to illustrate the evidence. He also touches upon many interesting aspects of the NDE, like the 360-degree panoramic perception during the OBE, and how, when NDErs encounter other spiritual beings, the method of communication is often telepathy.

While this book has valuable content, it's arguments were not always put forth clearly. (For this reason, I have summarized them for you :) ) Paragraphs do not always flow coherently, and there are some structural oversights, implying that the publication was rushed, without sufficient editing. For this, I have taken off a star.
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123 of 168 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Total Rip-Off, February 22, 2010
Richard Masloski (New Windsor, New York USA) - See all my reviews
I believe in the distinct possibility of an afterlife. Having had precognitive dreams lead me to conclude that if the Future could simultaneously exist with the Now, then the Future must reside in some other dimension of time and space. I believe in the distinct probability of a Supreme Creator. To believe that there isn't something more behind the majesty and mystery of Life is absurd. I also believe that we are fragments of what was once a totality - and if Love and Compassion and Creativity are in us, those attributes must be part of the bigger picture. The lesser cannot contain something that the greater does not possess. But following this reasoning, the dark side of Life is out there also - Evil, the Devil, call it what you will. Anyway - to paraphrase the Bard...there is more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our philosophies.

Paraphrase. Does the author of this book know what that word actually means? He uses it many, many times when offering up a quote from someone's NDE. If it isn't that person's actual words being offered us, why must the good doctor paraphrase that person's sentiment?

The main point, however, is the utter dishonesty and blatant hucksterism of the book's title, subtitle, red-ribboned (so that it will catch the prospective buyer's eye) cover announcement that says: "LARGEST NDE STUDY EVER CONDUCTED REVEALS PROOF OF LIFE AFTER DEATH." The title and subtitle are equally (and falsely) gradiose: EVIDENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE: THE SCIENCE OF NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES. Truly extraordinary claims - and coming from a doctor no less! So I was thrilled when I found this slim volume in my local bookshop. Having heard many years ago that a number of hospitals throughout the land were going to place hidden messages in high, hidden locations in their operating rooms so that should a patient have an out-of-body experience while on the table they might float high enough to read the message and relate it back to the World once they'd regained (hopefully) consciousness. So, with the book's bold, emphatic statement I thought it might include the absolute latest results from that experiment that has been ongoing now for years.

No such luck. The book is NOT scientific whatsoever. It is strictly anecdotal. It even repeats the same oft-told tale of the OBE experiencer seeing a sneaker on a hospital ledge that was later found to be there. Is that the best verifiable evidence there is? Dr. Long, who wrote this book with help of an unexplained Paul Perry, bases his astonishing, almost dictatorial conclusions regarding the Afterlife on stories totally similar to those told in ALL the books on NDEs going back to Raymond Moody's seminal 1975 book entitled LIFE AFTER LIFE. There is, painfully, absolutely nothing new in this book that would qualify as scientific evidence for an afterlife. The chapter dealing with the blind NDE cases really doesn't clearly state that any of those reporting their experience were able to see in the way those who are not blind "see" things, colors, the world. The chapter dealing with children's NDEs are, according to Long and Perry, unaffected by the "Oprah" effect because the children five and under reporting their experiences are too young to have been influenced by the deluge of TV shows and specials and books that could have, conceivably, tainted their tales. The trouble is - the children five years or younger are relating their NDEs and OBEs after having grown into adulthood! Dr. Long bases the majority of his book on accounts of Near Death Experiences he has received via his website! That's it, that's all! He then does a bunch of statistics with his info in an attempt to make his findings seem scientific. But they aren't. They are stories from the internet - and from what I discern, the good doctor never really met with any of his e-mail evidenciary respondents. Did he check out any hospitals to see if the people writing him were ever actually flat-lining? No. He takes their written word as gospel truth - and then gives us bits and pieces of their testimonies...and for some weird reason he "paraphrases" many of them. Why? What is being added or altered in the paraphrased account? Real names aren't given. Dates aren't given. Nothing that is not already in dozens of other (and often much better) books is given. The book is a bomb, but not in the sense that Randy Jackson uses the word whenever he gets knocked off his feet by a fabulous singer.

There is a condescending tone that runs throughout the book that is also extremely annoying. He (Long or Perry) is extremely repetitious, especially when ending every chapter with a too-fast, too-assertive "Bingo!" moment wherein he concludes that there is Life after Death because of the anecdotes just given. He pounds his chest a bit much also in proclaiming he is a doctor. He actually begins the book with himself during his medical residency in 1984, stumbling upon mention of NDE while reading medical magazines in the University library. He is astonished to read about it, having never heard of such a thing before. Moody's book came out in 1975. It was a best-seller. It was the talk of the town and NDE became common knowledge with publication of that book. How is the heck could someone NOT have heard about NDEs for nine years, especially someone studying to be a doctor?

The book promises much via its P. T. Barnum-esque cover pronouncements, yet delivers nothing really new at all. It also has no index. And again, no mention of who Paul Perry actually is. And as I said in the beginning, given that physics tells us that energy cannot be destroyed but only transmuted, then the energy that perhaps creates the soul may, indeed, persist after physical demise. But that does NOT mean that it is a continued existence in the Elysian fields or the pits of Hell. (The negative NDEs aren't even discussed in the book, of which there have allegedly been several.) So, yes, there may be a life after death...but in the way that there is a lingering smoke after you snuff out a candle's flame. The smoke dissipates and becomes something else. We may die, retain our personal identites for a time and then become a part of the cosmos in a collective sense. The fragment returns to the whole, perhaps, but then may lose itself in becoming part of the Oneness from which we all came into being.

Anyway, the contents of the book do NOT match its cover. I was - and am - disappointed and pray that someday a truly great book about the possibility of an Afterlife is written before I discover the answer to the Great Riddle via direct experience.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another participant review, April 12, 2010
I was one of the people who contributed to Dr. Long's research, and a small piece of my experience was included in the book. Needless to say, I am a believer not only in the validity of near-death experiences but also of the existence of an afterlife.

Dr. Long and his colleagues carried out a substantial research project and careful analysis, and his conclusions are perfectly reasonable (as well as profound) given the data they collected. This book is clearly intended for both the a true skeptic (one willing to look at the subject with an open mind) and those who simply seek more information on the issue of near-death experiences. I didn't need convincing of the existence of an afterlife, though I found the similarities between my experience and those of others as a surprise. Regardless of what some pseudo-skeptics may think, the commonality between experiences reported by people who have never met, who had no prior knowledge of these phenomena, who come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, is compelling evidence by any measure. This is what qualitative research is about. By definition, empirical data is limited to this material world. At best, empirical research can only point to the existence of the phenomena, not to conclusions. The experiences of those of us who have died and been resuscitated is legitimate data as well, especially when it is in the hands of a researcher who understands qualitative research methods. (Dr. Long's arguments on why these experiences aren't the last gasps of dying brain are particularly powerful.)

This book will not satisfy those who have already decided that there is no life after death--the pseudo-skeptics--nor those who are so grounded in the material world that they cannot admit the possibility of a nonmaterial reality. For everyone else, this book presents compelling, reasonable conclusions worthy of consideration.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it! Loved it! Lived it!, September 20, 2011
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This review is from: Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences (Paperback)
I had first heard of this book while listening to Dr. Long on Coast2Coast radio.I was lucky enough to get through on the open line portion of the show,in which I explained my Near Death Experience. Dr. Long advised me that I had a transcendental NDE in which you see relatives who have passed on, or religious fiqures. As a retired NYC Police Sergeant who suffered a massive heart attack after the attacks on the World Trade Center, I became super sensitive to the spirit world. This is common, after experiencing a traumatic injury or illness and subsequent NDE. In my opinion Dr. Long leaves no doubt that there is an afterlife. There will always be skeptics regarding this matter. But I can assure you from someone that has lived through one, that they are very real. And you are given a glimpse of the other side. My book "Running with the Bulls,The Road to Fresh Kills, A Journey into the Paranormal", is an example of what happens after experiencing a NDE. I highly recommend Dr Longs book to all,because we will all be on the other side sooner or later.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you Dr. Jeff!!, February 12, 2010
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I cannot say enough for this book!! It speaks volumes. It speaks the truth!!! There is a lot of research going on out there but there are still so many skeptics. It takes so much bravery & dedication to stand up & say that you believe, after all that you have heard & seen, knowing that you may be opening yourself up to negative comments. Speaking as a person to whom this has happened, & having the medical proof to back me up, I stand firm when I say it is real. If I could wish anything in this world, it would be that everyone experience what I did, or what has been told to you in this book. However, even then, I am sure we would still have the hard headed skeptics. I was one of these skeptics, for the longest time, until I finally started to look at the evidence presented, & started to accept my own experience in 2002. This evidence came not only from what I saw & the tests that came back, on my after-effects, but on the work people like Dr. Jeff is doing.
Dr. Sam Parnia is conducting the Awareness project,which is also mentioned in this book. There has been evidence before of out-of-body, with verdical perceptions. This project is the largest & involves a representative from almost every county, Canada included, I am so very proud to say. These representatives are professional, scientific people, who look for the facts, just like Dr. Jeff has.

I understand that many of you may feel this is all "not real", & unfortunately, I too have struggled with my experience.

I contacted Dr. Jeff thinking I had totally lost my mind, after my experience & trying to deal with my after-effects. Easier to blame it on my brain, thinking something had gone wrong, than accepting it for what it was. Although as far as I know, he has not experienced a NDE himself, he was sympathetic & assured me I was not crazy. He told me of IANDS, the International Association of Near-Death Studies. He helped me understand what I had gone through...what I was still going through, from the standpoint of a professional who cares & is trying to help.

I go onto his site, weekly. I read the stories, which contain many of the same truths that I have experienced. In this tough world where people step over people trying to get ahead, or will kill a person in the name of GOD....their GOD....people that will take advantage of their own children....the list goes on....I look to Dr. Jeff's site to remind me of who we truly are. As I was told, in my latest NDE, which was very short & so I did not post on this site...."LIVE THE LIFE OF LOVE THAT YOU ARE". This message should be spread to everyone. We all come from the BIGGEST LOVE imaginable & only turn into what we are, as time goes on. We are shaped by society, our families, what is done to us. This book helps us to remember who we were, before all this "coating" on our soul/essence/spirit, that makes us do or say, the things we shouldn't. Don't point & make negative comments on something you don't understand. The many have spoken. The many have experienced.
The proof is in so much research, including this book. Open your mind. If people like Dr. Jeff hadn't taken steps likes these, we wouldn't be able to talk on the telephone, fly to another country, access info on the internet, drive to the store....wake up people. Do you really believe that you end, after your body quits? You don't! Dr. Jeff's book has helped improve my outlook, once again. Given me hope in such a sad hopeless filled world...& no, I am not some religious nut, just someone that reads the papers & listens to the news...I am also someone that analyzes things until I cannot analyze any more, to find the answers. There is so very much out there that we little humans do not know about. Let's work together & find the truth together by helping one another instead of acting like children, in this endevour. Don't stamp your feet & cry out "not good enough". Look at Dr. Jeff's work, which not only comes from his own website, reporting to you what experiencers have gone through. Look at the other research that has occurred or is still in the process, in finding answers. LOOK & THINK about what he has written. GO & RESEARCH, for yourself, before you start giving negative reviews. Dr. Jeff certainly gives you a lot of evidence & information to help you, if you so choose to do an honest research of your own.
One last comment...the book is written on the "man on the street" level. It's refreshing to someone like me, who has been doing her own research for the last decade (only for her own sanity), & has tired of having to look through the dictionary or medical books for the terms. Dr. Jeff, you speak from the heart, armed with the proof, & my heart as well as others out there, have heard you. Thank you for being our voice!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, Not New, March 10, 2010
I hadn't read anything about near death experiences for a few years, but this one seemed fresh and new. So of course I had to read it. The authors have collected thousands of NDE's on their website and analyzed them statistically. Their numbers are probably better than the other well-known NDE authorities. Their description of the syndrome is thorough and systematic. Their attempt to be all inclusive, taking reports from non-English languages and non-Western cultures is praiseworthy.

Unfortunately, the book leaves more questions than answers. Do these anecdotal experiences prove that there is an afterlife? Not necessarily. Do they prove that there is some kind of lucid mental activity that can take place even while the brain is shutting down from lack of oxygen? Maybe. Is there some part of the mind that doesn't depend on the brain at all? Intriguing possibility, but not proven. Is there an afterlife that extends beyond the few minutes the patients were in medical crisis? What lies beyond the barrier that the patients report? The line which--if they cross it--there is no coming back? The authors don't even touch these questions. And what is the "science" touted on the book's cover, beyond collecting anecdotes and analyzing them statistically?

The anecdotes reported by children are particularly interesting, but again, not convincing. They were not taken from children and don't sound childlike. They were recollections reported by adults. So they don't really support the authors' contention that they are free of cultural influences.

On the other hand, the book is well written, thorough, engaging and quite readable. So, if you're interested in the near death experience, you should definitely read it. I recommend it, but with some reservations. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and understandable NDE Scientific Review, July 29, 2011
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This review is from: Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences (Paperback)
This is a well written and well researched book explaining the scientific lines of evidence that clearly prove that Near Death Experiences are not hallucinatory or the result of oxygen deprevation to the brain during death. Dr. Long has studied NDE's utilizing his extensive medical background. This book, and the Afterlife documentary that Paul Perry has released, will provide in-depth and current details on the research and evidence now available concerning NDE's and OBEs. Simply amazing!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a scientist I can appreciate this work deeply, April 20, 2011
This review is from: Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences (Paperback)
As a scientist in neuroscience research now for over twenty years, I can truly appreciate what Dr. Long has put together here. While a lot of books on this subject are plagued by personal agenda and speculations, Long has avoided these and assembled meaningful information which doesn't come to us filtered through a pre-conceived message or selling one's own ideas. This was important to me because the subject on Near Death Experiences is laced with personal speculations and motivations and in some cases even attempting to relate to science which does not exist. The science here is clinical data, not speculative. The other issue on this subject is criticism from `scientific' sources which in themselves are nothing more than speculative, and no criticism I have found to date actually has real clinical data to back it up. Long deals with some of these issues quite well and dispels some urban myth regarding such criticisms as being `sacientific' in any way.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but not scientific..., April 26, 2012
Riaan (South Africa) - See all my reviews
I firmly believe in the afterlife. But that's what I BELIEVE. I certainly can't provide any PROOF. I have to rely on the subjective anecdotes of the people who go through these amazing experiences and decide for myself.

The title of this book is misleading. It evidently doesn't provide evidence of the afterlife, especially if you consider that the author relies on the stories of anonymous writers who post their near death experiences via a survey on a website!

Allow me to quote the author: "By collecting NDEs via the Internet, I could examine the content of a large number of experiences, reliably determining similarities and differences, and find out once and for all if NDEs are real or imagined".

Now that's real and believable science, isn't it?

It's very disturbing that the author considers this as scientific proof; most scientists would scoff at this kind of research. It's embarrassing.

Perhaps if the author had sat down with his subjects, recorded their stories and verified their medical records, then maybe it would be more believable because that's how most other NDE researchers would perform their research, they certainly don't do it via the Internet!

There are convincing arguments for the afterlife, and they are presented here, but they are demonstrated in an almost giddy, childlike fashion as if the writer wants to say: "Look! Look what I found! Look, here's the evidence!". There's not much in the way of sophistication.

The author does a great job in debunking sceptics' theories on why NDE's occur, most of which are flimsy and don't hold up to scrutiny. In addition, the author does cite other - more reliable - NDE studies which have been carried out and have yielded remarkable results.

The field of NDE's is fascinating, but credible SCIENTIFIC PROOF is needed before we can convert the skeptics. This, I am afraid, is not it. As a writer, I consider this book to be written in a poor and rudimentary fashion; it lacks literary prose. Allow me to site a few examples:

"By studying thousands of detailed accounts of NDErs....Yes, you read that correctly. I have studied thousands of near-death experiences"

Here's another gem filled with literary wonders:

"Also, many NDErs in the study had been changed so much by their experience that they were no longer the same; they had become nicer!"

See what I mean?

If you are a newcomer to NDE's, I suggest that you start with the works of Dr. Raymond Moody (Life after Life) or one of Bruce Greyson's books on the subject. This book should really be last on your list of NDE literature.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Credible, but not "proof positive.", February 1, 2010
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This elegant book postulates 9 lines of evidence that serve as compelling verification of the existence of life beyond physical death. The arguments for an afterlife as presented in this book, clearly puts the onus on skeptics to prove that there is no afterlife, which from my perspective can NOT be done. How does one go about proving that something doesn't exist? For example: I defy anybody to prove that I never went to Florida, or prove that I have never suffered a headache. Just because I've never been to India, doesn't mean that you haven't. NDE's are so subjective that it is impossible to denounce the existence of heaven just because one hasn't (or doesn't remember) ever being there.

There is an old maxim that I believe is attributable to Mark Twain "If one person calls you an ass, ignore him. If two people call you an ass, check for tracks. If three people call you an ass, buy a saddle." It occurs to me that several million people from all over the world are telling us, as best they can, that there is in fact a higher reality than this one. "Evidence of the Afterlife...." Is very well written and organized. No, it does not provide "proof positive" (as the only real way to obtain that type of proof is to find ones self without breath) but based on a preponderance of the evidence, I would say that the authors successfully plead their case. 5 Stars and high praise from me.
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Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences
Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences by Paul Perry (Paperback - January 4, 2011)
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