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Paranormalia is a great blog. The only issue is that poor Robert gets distracted by the necessity to earn a living. Everything he posts is well thought out and nuanced.

Long may you continue to do so, Michael. Down with the pseudo skeptics and their dogma... and the academic establishment over here, aswell. Susan Blackmore(now retired from commenting on NDE'S)has very succesfully smothered one of the most incredibly important phenomena(NDE)with nothing much more than speculation(Dying Brain model). I have never heard of anyone that had one of these experiences that was satisfied with her explanations ..."Oh yes, I see now, it was just the cells misfiring etc"..but this view holds the floor.(Old Fenwicks a bit dotty you know! but Peter Fenwick is not dotty and he is the true expert on mental states, not her. How has she got away with it? But she has! Scott free. So good luck to Winston Wu.  

I agree completely Michael. It is possible to waste a lot of time and energy on people who simply want to debate and aren't prepared either to look at the research properly or maintain an open mind.

I view study of the paranormal as a personal journey. I am happy to share what I have found and discuss it with open-minded people but I am tired of debating with people who haven't read the research or won't, and simply regurgitate statements of others who often have their own agenda and/or haven't examined the original research either.

I have lost count of the number of times I have asked for some kind of critique of the research of others (my interest is survival rather than psi phenomena per se)only to receive either a cursory response not addressing my question or no response at all.

I think you nuance beautifully.

I have just noticed that Victor Zammit is on the committee for SCEPCOP website.

"I have just noticed that Victor Zammit is on the committee for SCEPCOP website."

As they used to say on Ally McBeal: "Bygones."

(For those who never saw the show, it was a shorthand way of saying, "Let bygones be bygones.")

I should add that linking to the SCEPCOP site was not so much an endorsement as a heads-up. I just figured it would be of interest to some readers of this blog. I haven't read much of the material on the site, and some of what I have read I disagree with.

Still, it's a resource.

Materializations(which Victor accepts)...I find the concept depressing..because we are already up against the 'impossible' with the idea of 'spirits' floating around the intensive care units'. Elizabeth Kubler Ross recounted such an experience and I still don't know what to think, other than her old age persuaded her to give us a bit of extra encouragement(of course, I wasn't there)still I find it hard to believe in materializations and here the skeptics have us on a plate(even the pseudo skeptics)

“because we are already up against the 'impossible' with the idea of 'spirits' floating around the intensive care units'”

It appears to be so.

It appears that spirits come to greet us before we leave our physical bodies. There are exceptions to this of course sometimes the soul leaves the body before the body completely fails.

It appears that spirits come to greet us before we leave our physical bodies. There are exceptions to this of course sometimes the soul leaves the body before the body completely fails. - william

I find that a comfort and a kindness. How wonderful that the soul is so loosely attached to the body that before the body completely fails that the soul so readily is able to get out before it suffers the trauma of the accident. At least that is what happens in many instances. It would be rather grotesque if the soul had to remain with the body past the point of death, even unto being buried. There does though seem to be some variation in that aspect of death and might explain why it is that some people have NDE's and some don't?

I also love death bed visions by the way. The free online book Death Bed Visions by Sir William Barrett is a really good read. I found it very comforting. I've met several people at church who have told me stories of their relatives experiencing death bed visions.

Death Bed Visions by Sir William Barrett:

Yes,why doesn't everyone close to death have an NDE? Cardiac arrest seems to be the the most common trigger..Van Lommel suspects that many NDE's are just not remembered, though.Who knows? Death bed visions(fascinating and so hard to account for by brain pathology) surely are all part of the same phenomena... I sometimes wish we could see the 'soul' departing and wave goodbye but then when you think about it, that would cause one hell of a problem...the incarnate fruitlessly grabbing at the airborne ankles of the discarnate,"Come back, you can't go yet." As Jung said,"If the human soul is anything,it must be of such complexity and diversity that it cannot possibly be approached through a mere psychology of instint." 

Hi Paul Welsh, this is Winston Wu of SCEPCOP. I just wanted to say that I do not endorse everything that anyone says, including Victor Zammit or John Benneth. I do not believe that a group has to unanimously agree on everything, if it did, that wouldn't be free thinking but conformity. Zammit and Benneth are there because they are people I've known a long time, and Benneth is an old friend of mine. They are there as sources to consider only.

To Steve Wood, a remote viewer on my email list named Greg Stone wrote a debunking of Blackmore's Dying to Live long ago. It's posted somewhere online, if you haven't read it, try googling it. I will try to find it and host it on my new site as well.

But I read on, I think, that Blackmore has recanted her views.

Hi Winston. I appreciate your reply. I didn't take Victor's presence on the committee as an indication that you endorse everything he says and I don't know anything about John Bennet.

My reason for raising the observation about Victor is that I have mixed feelings, his book is interesting and there is clearly a lot of work in it, there are often interesting articles on his website and for a while I used to subscribe to his site but I found the manner in which he rises to the bait others offer, and the content of his responses on occasion made me question his judgement and the ranting style put me off completely. Interestingly, on the You-tube videos he didn't come across like that at all.

So although SCEPCOP may turn out to be another resource as Michael puts it. This may only be a problem for me but speaking for myself I am not sure it adds to the credibility of the site. On the other hand who cares what I think.

Damn I wish I could edit mypostings on here. I meant to say "So although SCEPCOP may turn out to be 'another resource' as Michael puts it, I'm not sure Victor's involvement in the direction of the site necessarily adds value.

I guess the proof will be in the pudding.

Thanks for that, Winston. Not sure that Ms Blackmore has in fact revised her view, but I think I'm right in saying that both her and Chris French will accept any positive hits in the 'aware study'.. providing there are no cock-ups in the methodology(It will surely be a miracle if there aren't)

Yes,why doesn't everyone close to death have an NDE? - Steve

I have read that some drugs and gases used during anesthesia do cause sort of an amnesia when they are used? I also suspicion that the soul is more loosely attached in some people? People are different in so many other ways that I don't see why we should all be the same in that aspect too? What I mean is that people who have troubling childhoods probably spend more time disassociating from their bodies and their lives so perhaps that is the reason they are more likely to have NDE's? I'm not saying the NDE isn't real, because I definitely believe that many of them are, just that some people have taught themselves how to sort of "leave" and thus it's easier for their soul to get out when their is trauma. Some people cling to life more than others. Some people are so terrified of dying that they probably cling to their bodies more than others. There probably comes a time though, when the body is so dead that it becomes impossible for the soul to stay in it. It's a blessing because who wants to inhabit a corpse that is starting to decay and smell? Ewwwwww!!!

Steve - perhaps the reasons why more NDEs are not reported might include failure to remember. I am told we all dream every night however I seldom have any recall of my dreams.

I realise the following may not be a reasonable suggestion, but I wonder if hyponotising those who have survived heart attacks where there has been a flat ECG/EEG reading might reveal useful information? Just a thought.

"Yes,why doesn't everyone close to death have an NDE? - Steve"

As Mrs. Piper was going in and out of trance, she seemed, from her mumblings, to be aware of the spirit side of things, as if every trance was an NDE. She even hated to come back to the physical. But when fully in the physical she had no memory of what happened when she was in the trance.

Mr. Winston Wu,

I would like to say that I think your article "Debunking the Arguments of Paranormal Skeptics and Debunkers" a very bad one. You only tell us one side of the history! For example:

"In Flim Flam, he gives something like 28 debunking points, if my memory serves me correctly. I had the opportunity to confront Randi at a Parapsychology Association conference with proof in hand, and in tape-recorded interaction he admitted he was wrong on all the points." (Hal Puthoff)

Prescott asked Puthoff about this. He says:

"I did manage to contact Hal Puthoff by e-mail. He replied promptly, but said that after having relocated several times over the past three decades, and having put many of his belongings in storage, he no longer knows where to find the tape. "

It's clear that Puthoff is lying. There is no such tape. You should alert the readers about this, but you don't!

There are many others problems with your article, this is just one.

"It's clear that Puthoff is lying."

I wouldn't go that far, but I do think it's troubling that he can't find the tape.

Moreover, I'm very doubtful that James Randi "admitted he was wrong on all the points." Randi does not strike me as the sort of person who would concede defeat that easily.

Thanks, Art and Paul etc, interesting comments. Sorry, tried to post sooner.

"Randi does not strike me as the sort of person who would concede defeat that easily."

This is correct. In fact, Randi replied Puthoff:

It starts: "Shortly after The Magic of Uri Geller was released in 1975, the parapsychology journal Psychoenergetic Systems published a lengthy attempt at rebuttal by Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff of what they considered to be the major errors I had committed. Upon publication of this T&P blast, I immediately prepared a response which I submitted to Fate magazine and to Psychoenergetic Systems — now defunct — but it was refused. It never saw print, in either publication.

Following are the 24 points I make in this book that T&P disputed and the "facts" as they contend, together with my comments, which have heretofore been denied publication. "(...)

Now I think it's very clear that Puthoff is a liar (of course Randi is a liar too, but Randi is a magician, not a scientist. A scientist who lies is much more problematic than a magician).

Hi Vitor,

What other problems do you have Winston's article?

Although I think the Puthoff-Randi exchange should have been left out until the tape was found, I don't think we can neccessarily assume he is lying.

Hi, Major

Puthoff said that Randi admitted he was wrong on all the points. But Randi would never admit it, on the contrary, he replied many points - not all - in a very reasonable way. So it's clear that Puthoff lied about this.

There are many other problems in Wu's article. For example:

"During the year 2000, famous mediums were tested under controlled conditions by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona (, which revealed some astonishing results. The experiments involved a group of mediums and sitters who were not told each other’s identities beforehand. Separated by a cloth screen, the mediums were only allowed to ask a few yes or no questions before giving their readings. Their readings turned out to average between a 70 to 90 percent accuracy rate, far above the chance level of 33 percent! The odds of this happening by chance, according to Dr. Schwartz, are one in trillions! Even more astonishing, in the second experiment involving a different group of mediums and sitters, the mediums were not allowed to ask anything at all, yet they STILL retained the same level of accuracy as the mediums in the first experiment! A report on these experiments was published in the January 2001 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. The report, Accuracy and Replicability of Anomalous After-Death Communication Across Highly Skilled Mediums, which you can obtain by emailing Dr. Schwartz himself "

What is the problem? Again, Wu only shows one side of the history! There are MANY problems with the experiment:

So, the article has many flaws.

Wasting time with "the skeptics" is just back-peddling.

Discern who is a legitimate skeptic that wants to aid research, and those who are merely part of an intellectual ego-war, like Dawkins, Hyman, and Randi.

Proceed forward and ignore the latter. They do not undermine your credibility. Rather, they will fade into the background.

Furthermore, I would not be so quick to lump people like Susan Blackmore in the skeptical-zealot camp. She recognizes NDEs exist and has taken an approach to explore a non-extra-worldly explanation. The research she has done can be used now in either support of another world, or in argument against it. And, if the other-world explanation is true, arguments against it only ultimately reinforce the real position. Therefore, there's no need for insecurity.

It doesn't have to be either "it's all true or it's all lies." Like William James said, "it only takes one white crow to proove that not all crows are black." I'm a big believer in near death experiences but I'm not gullible enough to believe they are all true. They don't have to be. If only one of them is "real" that's enough to proove that something of who we are survives the death of the physical body.

When I was about nineteen years old I remember hearing a preacher say, while holding the Bible aloft, "it's either all true or it's all lies." At the time I thought that sort of made sense, but now that I'm a whole lot older (56) I know that's not the way life is. Just like any other book some of it can be true and some of it embellishment and misquotes and the sequence of events can be misremembered, etc. But, if only some of it's true it might behoove me to pay attention and perhaps at least to try and figure out what might be true. The same thing can apply to near death experiences, death bed visions, ADC's, readings from Psychic Mediums, etc. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water.


Can I ask if you are just taking the words of skeptics uncritically? I hate to sound mean when it comes to that crowd but I verify everything they say. I treat them as a species of creationist. Honestly if James Randi told me the sky was blue I would step outside to check.

Kris, if the skeptics are right or wrong it doens't matter by now. The fact is that Wu only shows one side of the history, and that is a big problem.

It certainly matters if the skeptics are right or wrong! I don't know where this idea came that one has to present both sides but that is not true. For example with the holocaust one doesn't have to present holocaust denial.

Wu had a obligation to present information he considered to be accurate or filter out info he considered to be flawed.

Now if the skeptical side is wrong then he has no obligation to give them equal space.


your example - holocaust - is not a valid one. I don't know any scientific journal that published an article that denial holocaust.

By the other side, both articles - by Schwarts and skeptics - were published in scientific journals. And Wu was trying to show scientific evidence, so Wu had an obligation to present both sides. If he thought skeptics were wrong, he should replied their article.

I would say it is unwise to present a case without at least challenging some of the objections too. I haven't browsed Winston's site so this comment isn't aimed at him.

It is far more productive to present one's case and tackle the serious objections at the same time. Not presenting valid or reasonable criticism is an indication of a lack of thoroughness. This would put me off the persons evidence.

Some may consider it a misrepresentation of the issue and therefore dishonest. It is perhaps unwise simply to present one side and not acknowledge the other.

I think we will highly disagree on this Vitor.

First of course you cannot find Holocaust denial in any scientific journal for obvious reasons , however it has occasionally reared it's ugly head in historical works.

Wu was trying to present the pro paranormal side not both sides. Another question is were these counterpoints available when Wu wrote his articles.

Do you think a lawyer is bound to present both sides at a trial?

Or think of my argument with holocaust denial, am I obligated when I teach the subject to also teach why wingnuts deny it. Am I obligated to give them any credibility?

Is English a second language for you? I am curious if it is you have a good grasp on it.

Steve Wood wrote:
"Materializations(which Victor accepts)...I find the concept depressing.."

Why? Victor Zammit has never seen a materialisation - in fact very few people have.

By materialisation I mean a full-form living walking, talking entity seen by all in good light who is capable of rational conversation. It is the ultimate example of survival after death.


just shows one side of the history turns the article weak.

At a trial we NECESSARILY HAVE both sides. Each lawyer represents one side. This is the worst argument you could give.

And the counterpoints WERE avaliable to Wu. He revised his article in 2008. Skeptics' reply was in 2001.

My English is really not good. But I think you can understand me :)

Whether you present and rebut opposing views depends on your objective. If you are trying to convince experts it might be helpful. If you are trying to educate neophytes it might just confuse them.

Hi, Anonymus

in this case, I think Wu could have used better examples than Schwartz or Puthoff.

I don't recall how deatbhed visions got into the discussion, but if anyone is interested, here are the best references on the subjectI have been able to find.

"Dying Hours," by D. P. Kidder, 1848
"Dying Words," by A. H. Gottschall, 1888
"Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death," by Frederic W. H. Myers, 1903
"Death and Its Mystery : Before Death" by Camille Flammarion, 1922
"Deatbed Visions," by Sir William Barrett, 1926
"At the Hour of Death," by Karlis Osis, Ph.D. and Erlendur Haraldsson, Ph.D. 1977
"One Last Hug Before I Go," by Carla Wills-Brandon, Ph.D. 2000
"The Art of Dying," by Peter Fenwick, M.D. and Elizabeth Fenwick, 2008

"My English is really not good."

Your English is quite good enough, Vitor!


"Now if the skeptical side is wrong then he has no obligation to give them equal space."

I'm not sure what constitutes "equal space." But if the skeptical side is wrong it would be hard to demonstrate that without a fair and honest depiction of their views and exactly where the flaws are.

You don't have to be afraid of presenting mistaken views unless you don't know how to show them for what they are.

And comparing skeptics to Holocaust deniers is a bit of an unfair stretch.

While the evidence of paranormal activity is abundant, it isn't as established in mainstream thought as the Holocaust, so skeptics can plausibly deny paranormal activity with more rationality than deniers can the Holocaust.


The appointment my family and I had with George Anderson exceeded all of our expectations.

Six of us went, 2 believers, 4 skeptics. Seventy minutes later, the score was Believers 6, Skeptics 0.

The loss our family experienced was a bolt of lightning in a clear blue sky. Three plus years ago, it came out of nowhere, and devastated friends and family alike.

I became aware of George 13 years ago. Saw him on Unsolved Mysteries. Then came across Joel Martin and Patricia Romanowskis' book about George, "We Don't Die".

Twelve years of Catholic school did not help my faith, my belief in God, or life after life. It was impossible to believe that there was a continuance of spirit. Lucky for me, I came to know about George Anderson.

It really helps ease the pain to know there is a better place, there is something beyond this life, and that our spirit continues its journey when we drop the physical bonds of this earth.

Georges' work and ability has helped all of us more than any other individual, group, or institution has.

We are lucky to have this information, knowledge and understanding passed on to us by a man who has been blessed, and dare I say burdened, with this ability to hear what most cannot.

George also came up with a code name my skeptical nephew picked before the appointment. George addressed my nephew directly, and said the name "Dorothy" to him. George said it is not someone living, and not someone who has passed, but it was a codename, and if George said it, my nephew would know he was really hearing from his father!

That little nugget was George’s walk-off, game winning, grand slam home run!

As we were leaving, George opened the door to the hotel room, thanked us for coming, and said, "Keep me in your prayers", or "Remember me in your prayers", words to that affect. That hit me. Here's a guy who has a direct line to the other side, asking for us to pray for him. It helped me to remember he is just a guy like everyone else, just more fine tuned.

Joe D.
Staten Island, N.Y.


So what is the skeptic's answer to this?

1-It didn't happen
2-The person is lying
3-Someone was in cahoots with Anderson
4-The person is insane
5-He got tipped off by body language
6-The person unwittingly tipped Anderson off
7-Lucky guess
8-Anderson was reading the person's mind

Is anyone of these points LESS mind boggling than what happened was really that family's deceased relatives and there IS life after life?

"My English is really not good. But I think you can understand me"

That summarizes my own motto.



The html is not working.


June 2004:

My friend Ann and myself came to Long Island from Buffalo for an appointment. Our children, my daughter Julie and her son Joey, both 21, were killed on the interstate when Joey apparently fell asleep at the wheel.

The appointment was extraordinary, no way could George know some of the things he told us. The one thing that really stood out, was Joey told him to tell his mother not to grieve too much because she would be with him soon enough. George looked at her and told her, they have no time concept in Heaven, it could be years. Ann and I talked several times after this meeting, and she told me she felt such peace and never felt the need to know more.

Well, Ann died suddenly on June 4, of a brain aneurysm. He was right, she would be with Joey soon enough. He told me things about Julie that even I forgot. I walked away from that experience knowing that he connected with both of our Angels. I just wish it were me he saw going to be with my daughter. But, I am still here struggling daily with life without my Julie. Ann, you are with your son now, taking care of Julie until I get there. Someday I'll be with all of you.

And the skeptic explanation for this would be??


Un-named poster: I agree whether you present opposing views depends on your objective. The point I was making was that if you don't then expect your objectives to be called into question.

To Jack - there are many many personal experiences reported which are amazing. They are meaningful to the person experiencing them but unless the reader knows the person they may be hard to accept.

"I don't recall how deatbhed visions got into the discussion, but if anyone is interested,here are the best references on the subject I have been able to find."

Many of those books are free to download on-line. Links are here:

(I hope this displays correctly...)

Zerdini,thanks for your comment.I find the concept depressing because it is going to be difficult enough to prove the existence of the human soul or'spirit'(whatever that is)without making claims that Abraham Lincoln etc has materialized in somebody's bedroom ..If materialization is a fact, then I agree, it would be cast iron why are the 'materializations' not being co-ordinated to achieve this. Most of my family are dead and I've longed to see my father again and I truly believe he has tried to make contact with me. If this materialization was possible, I think he would have. Of course I can't say that materializations don't happen, but lets try and find the 'invisable man in the machine' first and take it from there.

"They are meaningful to the person experiencing them but unless the reader knows the person they may be hard to accept."

-OK. I'm happy to say that the story I pasted about Anderson and the nephew's code word...also happened to me directly!

-Only mine was even harder than one word or name...I specifically had 9 things that I asked to be told to me (including that I had seen with my own eyes, 3 times, my mother who passed on) and all of the 9 things were brought up...all of them. With no questions asked, no information given by me...and it was IMPOSSIBLE to research or guess. So I guess that will be hard to accept because you don't know me but I can assure you it happened to me directly when I had an appointment with a medium, who was not George Anderson.

One last story...(must be pretty hard for an "essence" to do this!)

Monday morning, my bedroom door opened...I thought it was my cat pushing open the door. My fiancé and I both leaned over to greet him, (my cat), and a man stood there with a kind smile and his hands in his pockets. We both sat there knowing that he did not belong there. Speechless, he and I just stared at this male figure and started to lean backwards. The man was my grandfather. I never knew him-but he looked just like my brother. He did not say anything but my boyfriend and I clearly heard, “call your mother and tell her I love her”. He just dissolved. I turned to Jon and asked him if he saw it what I just saw. He just your mom! I called my mom and she was frantic...she said that she just saw her dad and he scared the shit out of her. She was having a full panic attack. It was like she had just caught him peaking in on her. He popped around a corner and she jumped out of her chair and nearly poked her eye out as she applied eye shadow. She immediately started calming down as soon as I told her about our experience moments earlier. I think she was on the verge of a heart attack. I told her he came to Jon and I. I know he came to me to calm her down…doesn’t hurt that my future husband is a cardiologist and he ran over to the house to verify that her heart rate was too dangerously high and took her to the hospital. No heart attack to report, thank GOD! I have an MBA and my fiancé is a doctor. Purely terrifying and exhilarating all the same time! There is definitely life after death and my grandfather looks great! I am officially not afraid to die…my grandfather showed me!

Steve: "...I've longed to see my father again and I truly believe he has tried to make contact with me."

-I understand, I "long" the same way, in fact it was nice to read what you wrote about this, to know that I'm not the only who reads this blog who feels that way.

-Sorry to change the subject, but I wondered if you would write more about what you mean by him trying to contact you? What happened?

To Paul Welsh:

I appreciate your comment. It is true that Victor sometimes rants on a bit. But he does that on his site. I have full control of mine. And virtually all of the content on my new site, except for the off-site links, were written purely by me.

SCEPCOP right now is mostly a protest against CSICOP, not an actual formal real organization (at least not yet). It's mostly a statement of principle, that if the skeptics can form organized groups against us, then we can do so against them too.

Check out my new intro letter on the home page. It's much better and more eloquent than before.

To Vitor:

I don't understand your point. Just because Puthoff lost the tape doesn't mean he's lying. We can't say one way or the other. But I do not see that he has any history of lying. I merely quoted it as what he said, for you to consider it. Randi has been caught lying on numerous times in the past, so I don't consider him credible. If anyone wants to get his side of the story, they can go to his site.

I spoke with Randi on the phone back in 2000. We talked for an hour. Though he was obviously very closed minded and overly opinionated, he was also very detail oriented, well read, articulate, and a powerful speaker. He debates like a pro and acts like he cannot be wrong.

If there are other parts you disagree with about my treatise, like you said, feel free to discuss them with me on my forum, as I do not regularly post here.


To Vitor:

My debunking skeptics article was written back in 2001. I have actually only revised little bits of it since then. That's why some of the info might be outdated or old.

But most of the points still stand, and a lot of what's presented are just basic common sense, such as the anecdotal evidence chapter.

I do not have the time to rebut everything that CSICOP says. They are not an objective balanced organization. Even one of their founders, Dennis Rawlins, found that out long ago when he wrote sTarbaby.

I've seen what they do though. They deny, make baseless accusations, assume flaws and lack of controls in protocols, seeing whatever they want to see, etc.

I don't have to read every CSICOP or JREF article to find anything new. It's the same old tactic time and time again. Deny, deny, deny.

Nothing new comes from their camp. They contribute nothing to science, just like movie critics contribute nothing to movies.

It's better to invest your time reading up on the new real research going on, such as Dean Radin's Noetic Sciences, for example. Those are the stuff breaking new ground. Skeptics are not bring up anything new, except 19th Century outdated criticisms.

Anyway, there's only so much one person can do. Other people are already rebutting the skeptics and their articles too. It's better I just refer you to them. I've said all that I have to say on the matter in my treatise and new mini essays.


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