A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

Critical Thinker's Dictionary

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Raymond Moody

A parapsychologist with a medical degree (from the Medical College of Georgia) and Ph.D.s in philosophy and psychology (from the University of Virginia).  He has written several books on the subject of “life after life.” He compiled the list of features many consider typical of the near-death experience (NDE): a buzzing or ringing noise; a sense of blissful peace; a feeling of floating out of one's body and observing it from above; moving through a tunnel into a bright light; meeting dead people, saints, Jesus, angels, etc.; seeing one's life pass before one's eyes; and finding it all so wonderful that one doesn't want to return to one's body.

Moody conducts his paranormal studies at his private research institute in rural Alabama, which he calls The John Dee Memorial Theater of the Mind. Dee popularized crystal gazing in16th century England. Moody is continuing in the spirit of Dee, trying to evoke apparitions of the dead  under controlled conditions. Moody has a mirrored room where guests come to scry, hoping for a visit from a dead loved one.  ABC reporter Diane Sawyer tried it out for about 45 minutes but didn't have any visitors. Maybe she didn't have a strong enough desire to see a dead loved one. Maybe she didn't have a strong enough belief that gazing into mirrors can induce an altered state of consciousness. Maybe she should have stayed in the room for a day or two.

There are many frauds who claim to be able to see into the past or future by various means of divination and there are many who hallucinate due to sensory deprivation, extreme concentration on a single item, or lengthy gazing at uniform or kaleidoscopic surfaces.  But Moody and many of his guests claim success at having spirits visit them in the mirrored room. Moody, like Charles Tart, is convinced that an altered state of consciousness is the gateway to the other world. Mirror gazing is just one of many methods Moody uses to try to induce an altered state.

Moody is also an advocate of past life regression. He claims that he was skeptical about reincarnation until undergoing hypnotherapy during which he discovered that he had had nine past lives. He claims that just about anyone can experience a "past-life journey" and that such trips help one overcome phobias, compulsions, addictions and depression, among other things.

On May10, 1998, Moody succeeded Tart to the Bigelow Chair in Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Upon his appointment, Moody was quoted as saying:

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach again, and believe that UNLV should be applauded for it’s determination to adhere to the strictest standards of scientific rigor regarding claims of rational ‘evidence’ or ‘proof’ of the continuation of consciousness upon bodily death....the extraordinary states of consciousness commonly deemed paranormal are an enduring human concern that will not go away, and I have been hopeful that students with a serious interest in these topics would have a setting within which they could learn about paranormal phenomena from a non-ideological perspective.

He gave some indication of his non-ideological rigor by announcing that he has invited Brian Weiss, M.D., “expert in past life regression,” to conduct a community forum at UNLV. He also invited to UNLV Dianne Arcangel who, says Moody, is “an expert in the field of facilitated apparitions.”

*note: Bigelow pulled the plug on the Consciousness Studies program at UNLV after five years and no significant results.


further reading

Have You Seen "The Light?" Robert Baker

LifeAfterLIfe.Com

A chiropractor interviews Dr. Moody

Last updated 20-Dec-2013

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