The Book 4th Edition
'We should not go for complete skepticism,
but for degrees of probability'.
Professor Bertrand Russell
In sharing the results of my research into
the afterlife I have come across many different reactions—from
those who readily accept the afterlife as a belief to others
who are skeptics and debunkers.
An open-minded skeptic is someone who generally
will not accept superstition or beliefs to explain physical
or psychical phenomena. He or she will however accept scientifically
and other objectively based results. As has been explained,
to a person all of the most famous psychic researchers began
their investigations as open-minded skeptics.
I am on record for publicly articulating
a skeptical view of life. I was not prepared to accept things
I was told on 'faith'. I doubted, I questioned, I read,
researched and investigated. I still consider myself an
open-minded skeptic—but not in the specific and the
particular issue of the afterlife because I thoroughly investigated
Like the many scientists who bothered to
systematically investigate the afterlife, I too came to
the irretrievable conclusion that we do survive physical
death. The evidence I was able to obtain myself for the
existence of the afterlife is for me definitive, absolute,
irrefutable and positively conclusive.
historically there are also what are known as “closed-minded
skeptics” also known as debunkers. These people have
already made up their minds about everything. And, like
the clergy in Galileo's time, they will refuse to consider
even scientific information that contradicts their personal
beliefs. They have changed the definition of “skeptic”
from “one who doubts” to “one who will
never accept”. The term “closed-minded skeptic”
as used in this book refers to this group.
Closed-minded skeptics who claimed they
investigated psychic phenomena have mostly rejected the
results of psychic experiments and observations, even when
the results were objectively obtained. Their logic was that
if the results proved positive, the experimenter must have
been unqualified or there was fraud. They took the role
of prosecutor not investigator.
In context of testing the paranormal (psi)
and afterlife evidence, it is critically important to fully
understand the very serious implications of the ‘experimenter
effect’. So far it has shown that professional psi
experimenters have become victims of their unconscious (perhaps
even conscious), of their negative partiality, when conducting
The classic experimenter effect was demonstrated
by Professor Marilyn Schlitz and Professor R. Wiseman (1997
and 1999) in collaborative studies into whether or not a
person can detect when someone is looking at them from behind.
In these experiments Professor Marilyn Schlitz who is open-minded
toward psi phenomena achieved positive results while Professor
Wiseman who is a closed minded skeptic did not. This happened
even when they used the same experimental equipment and
procedures and the same pool of subjects.
Some unreasonably closed-minded skeptics
have made most cowardly attacks on the lives and reputations
of great men and women involved in psychic science and have
been responsible for holding back knowledge of the afterlife
for several decades. Many are still operating today, accepting
large salaries and grants from the materialists to 'debunk'
all things relating to the afterlife and psychic phenomena.
A classic comment which illustrates the
inflexibility and the determination of the closed-minded
skeptic to block any inconsistent new information was made
at one of my meetings at a meeting of Humanists in Sydney,
Australia. One hard-core, closed-minded skeptic burst out
after I presented the objective evidence for the afterlife:
I would not believe in the afterlife even if you could prove
it to me, Victor!
Because of conscious and unconscious deletion,
closed-minded skeptics only have some pieces of the jigsaw
puzzle. They are NOT seeing the overall picture. Yet some
of them have been very vociferous about their unsubstantiable
claim that the afterlife does not exist.
I concur with other empirical psychic researchers
that even if the perfect demonstration of evidence for the
existence of the afterlife say, materialization of a loved
one was witnessed by closed-minded skeptics, these skeptics/debunkers
would refuse to believe the evidence had anything to do
with the afterlife.
Historically, closed-minded skeptics and
debunkers have opposed every invention and discovery and
have made fools of themselves:
• Sir William Preece, former chief engineer of Britain's
Post Office, will be remembered for making one of the most
'idiotic' comments in history about Edison's inventions.
Sir William stated that Edison's lamp (parallel circuit)
was a 'completely idiotic idea'
• professors, including Professor
Henry Morton who knew Edison, stated immediately before
Edison demonstrated the electric light globe: 'On behalf
of science ... Edison's experiments are a ... fraud upon
• the Scientific American, The New
York Times, The New York Herald, the U.S. Army, academics—including
Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy Simon Newcomb from
John Hopkins University—and many other American scientists
all heaped derision, ridicule and denigration onto the Wright
brothers claiming that it was: 'scientifically impossible
for machines to fly!’
• one of the leading scientists from
the French Academy of Sciences stated that hypnosis is a
fraud and stated after seeing a hypnotized subject with
a four inch needle in the top of his arm: 'This subject
has been paid for not showing he's in pain’
• another scientist from the French
Academy of Sciences, after listening to a record made by
Edison, stated: '... clearly that is a case of ventriloquism’
• John Logie Baird, the inventor of
television, was attacked by closed-minded skeptics who stated
it was: 'absolute rubbish that television waves could produce
There are hundreds of other examples of
how closed-minded skeptics refused to believe anything that
was not consistent with their own entrenched cherished beliefs
and their five senses.
But what has to be remembered is that the
belief of closed-minded ‘skepticism’ in itself
is NOT scientific, not empirical. Closed-minded skepticism
does NOT have the substance of science or objectivity to
show that it is correct. On the contrary, closed-minded
skepticism, like religion, is a subjective belief and as
a belief it is subject to fundamental error and to complete
While there have been many eminent scientists
who after investigating psychic phenomena did accept the
existence of the afterlife, there has NEVER ever been any
scientist in history—a physicist, biologist, geologist,
astronomer or anybody else—who could rebut the existing
evidence for the afterlife.
The rational and informed searcher will
reject the world conspiracy theory—that all those
highly accredited scientists in different countries who
have worked to show that the afterlife exists got together
over the last one hundred years or so to fool the rest of
The afterlife is inevitable and the consequences
of it are enormous.
After 22 years of dealing with all
kinds of paranormal skeptics, I can relate to you there
are at least seven reasons why closed minded skeptics tend
to remain stubborn about their skeptical beliefs –
and why some of them unreasonably attack those who scientifically
and empirically investigate evidence for the paranormal
Of course, the seven reasons below
can apply to any person who inflexibly holds strict subjective,
personal beliefs. The six reasons could equally apply to
any Fundamentalist – religious or secular.
My experience with closed minded skeptics is that they do
not investigate the evidence. Basically, they completely
reject any information which is not consistent with their
own cherished skeptical beliefs - even if it is scientifically
My experience also tells me that theses closed minded skeptics
do not have skills, competence and the ability to perceive
the paranormal with true empirical equanimity - in an objective,
scientific balanced way:
THROUGH COGNITIVE DISSONANCE’: ‘Cognitive
dissonance’ is a term used by psychologists to describe
the discomfort that arises when people are confronted with
information fundamentally inconsistent with their beliefs.
When a materialist is confronted with highly persuasive
evidence for the paranormal-afterlife the materialist will
deny it has any validity. This is because the evidence will
elicit anxiety, increase his blood pressure, sweat etc.
Denial will follow. The materialist will become angry, hostile
and even aggressive. He will try to reduce anxiety by rationalizing
his beliefs and going into extreme DENIAL.
This is another term in psychology which explains that some
people may have a very powerful – usually unconscious
super-glue connection with an idea or a thing. Applied to
the skeptics this is where a class of skeptics are ‘cathexed’
to closed minded skepticism. Because the connection is powerful
and unconscious, they will attack their source of anxiety
– the person who puts forward the evidence for the
paranormal. So, one cannot use logic, science or repeatable
and objective evidence to try to reverse their cathexis.
PROGRAMMING (NLP) states that when these
skeptics are confronted with information which is fundamentally
inconsistent with their own deeply cherished beliefs, the
mind of the skeptic will DELETE that information. This is
because the new information will give a great deal of anxiety
to the skeptic. As with ‘cognitive dissonance’
above, the skeptic will experience anxiety, disturbance
of his ‘comfort zone’. This accounts for the
skeptic going into complete DENIAL. The more aggressive
skeptics will even cheat, mislead and lie about the real
PROGRAMMING – ‘environment determines
perception’: there is a saying that by and large,
the environment you were born in will shape how you will
see the world. If a Western skeptic from New York was born
in India, more likely than not the skeptic would be a Hindu.
If born to a radical, extremist Islamic family, the skeptic
would be a Moslem. If born to an orthodox Jewish family,
the skeptic would be an orthodox Jew. One needs to have
skills to rise above environmental conditioning and programming.
5. BRAIN-EXPLANATION FOR 'CLOSED
SKEPTICISM': Here is another explanation
for the stubbornness of closed- minded skeptics. It's the
biological argument for closed-skepticism. When you have
a rigid belief system the neurons in the brain fire in a
certain defined network. So if information (e.g. afterlife
evidence) comes into the brain and contradicts the rigid
belief system (skepticism) those neural pathways will fire
in the same old way and will not de-code the new information.
It’s just like a filter. It's only when the skeptic
has a dramatic experience that a new neural pathway is established
and the old one gradually falls into disuse. Belief systems
are fundamental to filtering reality.
6. PRIMARY MOTIVATION:
MONEY, POWER AND STATUS. There is also a
very tiny minority who choose to be closed minded skeptics
for career advancement and/ or to make money, to attain
influence and celebrity. For example, you may get a scientist
who will reject the paranormal because he/she can get funding
for opposing the paranormal. These people will never listen
to logic, to science, to rational reasoning, to common sense.
They can’t move from their position because they would
lose money, power and status.
'SMORGASBORD ARGUMENT': Professor Stephen
Hawking, the astronomer, is most notorious for using this
'SMORGASBORD' argument - picking and using only the information
that substantiates his own negative prejudices. This closed
-minded skeptical professor does not know that in a court-room
situation his 'smorgasbord argument' would be torn to shreds.
Why? Because he would be cross-examined on the critical,
most vital evidence that he deletes - that fundamentally
contradicts his deeply entrenched negative prejudices. This
closed-skeptical scientist makes a huge error thinking that
he is an expert in law as well. Wrong! A litigation lawyer
has exclusive technical knowledge of what is relevant, what
is evidentiary what is essential admissible evidence - certainly
not an astronomer!
Victor Zammit November 2011
A LAWYER PRESENTS THE EVIDENCE FOR THE AFTERLIFE
Rebutting the skeptics on EVP and
What do the debunkers say about electronic voice phenomena?
Of the objections raised by the debunkers and closed minded
skeptics I quote a leading representative of the hardcore
skeptics, an assistant Professor of Psychology at Pace University
in the United States, Professor Hines. In his book called
Pseudoscience And The Paranormal—a Critical Examination
of the Evidence (1987) we are told the following on page
76. Remember, this hardcore skeptic explicitly claims that
his work is supposed to be a 'critical examination of the
... if one takes a tape recorder out to a graveyard one
can record the voices of the dead. How? Put the machine
in the 'record' mode with a blank tape and turn the volume
all the way up. Then, when you play the tape back, if
you listen carefully, you'll hear the voices of the dead.
They're not very clear, to be sure, but if you listen
long and carefully, you can begin to make them out...
the tape recording... is picking up stray sounds from
the environment and especially, the sound of the breeze
or wind passing over the microphone...
If one expects to hear voices, constructive perception
will produce voices... the Indians used to believe that
the dead spoke as the wind swirled through the trees.
The tape recorder has simply brought this illusion into
a technological age (Hines 1987:76).
Now here was the opportunity for this assistant professor
to identify the classic research done by some of the world's
top scholars and others and to issue a credible scholarly
rebuttal of the research on a scientific basis. Here was
the opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge of scientific
method (if he had any) to rebut EVP.
He was expected to scientifically scrutinize the research
of Dr Raudive in Germany, Friedrich Jurgenson in Sweden,
Peter Bander in England, Marcello Bacci in Grosseto, Italy,
Professor Walter & others such as George Meek in the
United States, to name just a few.
The scientists and other reputable researchers mentioned
do not go to 'the graveyard'. They usually work in carefully
controlled conditions in laboratories with other observers
who include amongst them some skeptics, atheists, physicists,
engineers, journalists, clergymen, psychics. Sometimes they
work in professional recording studios as with Dr Peter
The voices are clearly not auditory hallucinations—they
have been heard by rooms full of people and by millions
of people across Europe at the same time. You can purchase
tapes full of them from any of the National EVP Associations
(see links at the end of Chapter 3). You can listen to them
on the Internet. Thousands of voices have been identified,
recorded and corroborated by independent witnesses. Much
of the subject matter has been checked and found to be factual.
Electronic voice-pattern analysis has matched the voices
to those of the person while alive.
Why did this Assistant Professor not deal with any of the
evidence, starting with say, the contents of Dr Raudive's
international book Breakthrough? Technically, when
evidence for the afterlife is presented by the presenter,
the onus shifts onto the other party not accepting the evidence
to argue on what technical basis the evidence is not accepted.
This assistant professor should have examined some of the
best 'spirit voices' of the 72,000 voices taped by Dr Raudive
such as the voice of Raudive's own secretary Margarete Petrautski,
who called out Raudive's wife's name 'Zenta' and identified
herself as 'Margarete'. She then went on to say: 'Imagine,
I really exist!'—English translation from German,
'Bedenke ich bin' (Bander 1973: 25).
Assistant Professor Hines should explain why the apparent
voices were not really voices and if it is admitted that
they were voices, why they were not those of the dead.
He should have taken a sample of this Margarete Petrautski's
voice and compared it with the tape recording of her voice
before her death as the researchers did. Highly sophisticated
voice machines exist today which can accurately and scientifically
measure all voice variables, e.g. pace, rhythm, accents,
origin, etc. The Margarete Petrautski tapes are excellent
subjects for scientific scrutiny because of the exceptionally
good quality recordings of her voice. Yet this Assistant
Professor chose to ignore scientific method and fall back
on his closed-minded entrenched skepticism.
If the Assistant Professor endeavored to adhere to scientific
method and showed in some way that he could be technically
correct, or that the evidence presented should not be accepted,
identifying the project as subjective, one would perhaps
discuss the project with him and explore the voices to ascertain
where the voices could be coming from.
But he didn't. Assistant Professor Hines chose not to identify
the classical scientific work done and being done on EVP
on a global scale because he knows this scientific work
is substantive and cannot be rebutted.
In scientific method, as in formal logic, as in litigation
– court proceedings from the lowest to the highest
level, if anyone does not formally rebut the evidence produced,
then the scientific evidence stands as absolutely valid
until it is rebutted—if ever it can be rebutted. That
is a fundamental scientific premise.
My experience with closed-minded skeptics and debunkers
however is that some will never listen to reason and will
never read the research.
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