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Old 07-03-2013, 08:38 PM
 
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We already had a thread on this, but I can't find it.

Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, wrote the book "Proof of Heaven" and claimed to have a near death experience while his brain wasn't working during a coma brought on by a severe e coli infection.

His web site: Dr Eben Alexander Unveils His Near Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife

Esquire Magazine has published a months-long investigation into the doctor, his background, and what happened during the time he was hospitalized and in a coma. The story has been completely debunked.

Esquire article: Dr. Eben Alexander Proof of Heaven Investigation - Proof of Heaven Factual Omissions - Esquire

I read the book and Dr. Alexander goes to great lengths to make the case that his brain was completely non-functional during the days his near death experience happened. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, of course knowing we can never really know. He has been given more weight than most authors who've written books on near death experiences because of his neurosurgeon background.

Then I read the Esquire article. It's obvious Dr. Alexander never thought anyone would investigate his claims. Wow. Read it yourselves. He's nothing but a lying liar.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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I've read many books on the afterlife and try to keep an open mind. Some have a ring of authenticity, or at least sincerity.
Dr. Alexander's book doesn't. I didn't question his account of his medical condition so am surprised to learn that part has been debunked. I had assumed the medical facts were true because it would be too easy for others to check it out.
It was his afterlife experiences that seemed ludicrous. To me, they sounded like nightmares and dreams happening to someone who's taken heavy medication and can't quite wake up. And I never bought the part about his sister, somehow that seemed a little too contrived.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:09 AM
Status: "Restricting people from life is not the answer." (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Somewhere.
10,369 posts, read 23,590,195 times
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I found this book at a thrift store for 50cents. Have not read it yet, but I will give it a whirl. It can't be any worse than the "Heaven is real" book by Todd Burpo that i did read.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:06 AM
 
5,127 posts, read 6,614,934 times
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Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
I've read many books on the afterlife and try to keep an open mind. Some have a ring of authenticity, or at least sincerity.

Dr. Alexander's book doesn't. I didn't question his account of his medical condition so am surprised to learn that part has been debunked. I had assumed the medical facts were true because it would be too easy for others to check it out.

It was his afterlife experiences that seemed ludicrous. To me, they sounded like nightmares and dreams happening to someone who's taken heavy medication and can't quite wake up. And I never bought the part about his sister, somehow that seemed a little too contrived.
Yeah the part about his sister always nagged at me too. Why didn't she just introduce herself in "Heaven"?

The strange thing is that Dr. Alexander himself told the writer to talk to the three doctors that worked on him. I guess he didn't expect him to do just that! He only talked to one of them and she said she made the decision to put him into a chemical coma because he was thrashing around and delusional due to the infection attacking his brain. They brought him out of the coma several times and he was still thrashing and delusional, so they put him back under each time. So he was conscious (but delusional) every time they took him out of the coma.

Dr. Alexander claimed he went into a coma naturally because of the e coli for days and that he had no brain activity the whole time. He spends half the book documenting that lie.

He also claimed he screamed "God help me!" just before slipping into the coma and that everyone heard it, but the doctor denied it. She said not only did no one hear it, but he couldn't have screamed because he had a tube down his throat.

He has a history of lying. He's had multiple malpractice suits and lied about the medical mistakes he made, even going so far as to change the records.

It's offensive that he concocted these lies about a sensitive subject for so many people just for money and fame.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Southern Illinois
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Originally Posted by PinkString View Post
I found this book at a thrift store for 50cents. Have not read it yet, but I will give it a whirl. It can't be any worse than the "Heaven is real" book by Todd Burpo that i did read.
Why read lies?
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
Why read lies?
I can't answer for her -- but you recall our LOA discussion about the three things I got from an online friend?

I never tell the whole thing -- turns out my online friend was a huge scam artist. She was all honest and let me help you at the beginning of the "friendship" and then reeled you in when she caught you like a fish. Very much like that show on MTV Catfish?

It turned out, I got caught and released, if you want to keep up with fishing terms. I didn't fit her scamming profile.

I don't like what she did and probably still is doing out there -- and I'm no longer in contact with her, but I will forever be grateful for her advice.

So, sometimes you can be greatly helped by some lies.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: earth?
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Have not read the book, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. He could be a person of questionable character AND have had an extraordinary experience. To me, his perception of the event is most interesting. He says he didn't like the title . . .
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Have not read the book, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. He could be a person of questionable character AND have had an extraordinary experience. To me, his perception of the event is most interesting. He says he didn't like the title . . .
Since he was only in an induced coma, it now seems very likely that his experiences were 1) drug-induced dreams or 2) totally fabricated or 3) some combination of both. Nothing extraordinary about any of those.

He might not have liked the title but the entire thesis of his book and his public appearances is that his account proves there is a heaven.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,955,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Since he was only in an induced coma, it now seems very likely that his experiences were 1) drug-induced dreams or 2) totally fabricated or 3) some combination of both. Nothing extraordinary about any of those.

He might not have liked the title but the entire thesis of his book and his public appearances is that his account proves there is a heaven.
I disagree with your analysis of what happened, but it's a world-view disagreement, most likely.

As far as "proof of Heaven," I think that was a publisher's marketing ploy - I believe his EXPERIENCES were real and led him to believe there is a pleasant life-after-death, scenario - the "Heaven" thing is too narrow - I think if you look at the bigger picture, it could be interesting for those who are drawn to this issue.

There will always be skeptics and "debunkers." I thought this thread was not for that purpose, but I have been wrong many times before.

Carry on.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Southeast Texas
755 posts, read 1,313,568 times
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I haven't read the book, but now I'm curious about it. Usually neurosurgeons are all about the science and not believing that a person with a near-death experience sees what they say they see; instead saying it's the brain's response to extreme stress. My theory is that it would be really difficult to verify what a person with a near death experience actually experiences. I mean sure, they can probably do the MRI scan while the person is going through one and see which parts of the brain are lighting up, but how can they measure/verify what the person is actually seeing, hearing, etc.? Maybe the Heaven thing is how the whole after life scenario fits in his world view so that is what he experienced. I guess they can debunk the story or the medical documentation, but how can they debunk what he says he experienced while in the coma?

Having not read either the Esquire article or the book I may be way off base though.

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