Reincarnation studies and control groups

#1
Hi everyone,

Something that has bothered me about reincarnation studies were that they did not involve control groups. One way I think they could have been involved is if someone took some statements from someone recalling past lives and tried to apply them to those who the researchers don't consider to be the correct dead person, and comparing their accuracies. At least I can't find them. Has anything like this been done?
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#2
Hi everyone,

Something that has bothered me about reincarnation studies were that they did not involve control groups. One way I think they could have been involved is if someone took some statements from someone recalling past lives and tried to apply them to those who the researchers don't consider to be the correct dead person, and comparing their accuracies. At least I can't find them. Has anything like this been done?
It's an interesting question and I have searched Google but found nothing at all. I remember reading once about a girl who under hypnosis "recalled" a life in history with such accurate detail that the hypnotist ended up asking her where she was getting the information from. In reply, she gave the name of a book she had read when she was younger. I wish I had the details, but it was so long ago that I read it.

You might want to try asking here:
http://www.hypnosisonline.com/forum/default.asp?CAT_ID=1
 
Last edited:

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#3
#4
Pretty strongly-opinionated article. It concludes thus:
In conclusion, the concept of reincarnation stands in contradiction with logic, social justice, morality and even common sense. Looking beyond the apparent comfort it provides to this life by promising further lives in which perfection may be attained, belief in reincarnation cannot bring any beneficial result, but only resignation and despair in facing fate. Why then accept it as a major spiritual belief?
I find myself disagreeing with almost every statement in that conclusion, it certainly doesn't seem to represent a dispassionate investigation, but takes a stance opposed to the whole concept under consideration.
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#5
Pretty strongly-opinionated article. It concludes thus:

I find myself disagreeing with almost every statement in that conclusion, it certainly doesn't seem to represent a dispassionate investigation, but takes a stance opposed to the whole concept under consideration.
Yeah, I only linked to it for the details of one case. I agree with you otherwise. I may look further on that case to see if I can find a more balanced report.
 
#6
I do think hypnotism may have some weaknesses as an approach, but I don't rule it out as useless. For example the case of Robert Snow / Carroll Beckwith starts out with hypnotic regression, but is followed up with years of painstaking research.
 
#7
Hi everyone,

Something that has bothered me about reincarnation studies were that they did not involve control groups. One way I think they could have been involved is if someone took some statements from someone recalling past lives and tried to apply them to those who the researchers don't consider to be the correct dead person, and comparing their accuracies. At least I can't find them. Has anything like this been done?
In his first book, Jim Tucker references a psychologist from some university in England (I'm blanking on the guy's name) who did a study where he asked young children to just make up stories about a fake past life and see if he could match it closely to any other child, his idea being that Tucker and Stevenson studies were based purely on coincidence (which to me, if you've read enough of them, is bordering on absurd). He published something with his results, which I read in part. From what I read it was hardly worth continuing, since the author was obviously out to refute Tucker and Stevenson's findings just because he didn't like them. For the cases I read, he really didn't manage to find any of the fabricated stories matching beyond a couple of close calls; they didn't contain specific village or city names, missed on actual past life names, and were not remotely as specific as many of the reincarnation studies. They were, in my opinion, utterly unconvincing of the chance that alllll those studies were just coincidence. Again, if you read Tucker and Stevenson's stuff, to me it is readily apparent that coincidence is just very, very unlikely. I hope this kind of thing is what you were referencing... if not my bad.
 
#8
A bit offtopic, but still somewhat relevant. At first I read Typoz's answer and agreed with him on his stance about the conclusion of that article. However, the article has, IMO, a very good point in presenting an alternative explanation to reincarnation: that of spirit possession. And I'm not talking spirit possession in the typical Christian sense of "evil entity possesing the body of a victim", but more of non-local mind/consciousness being channeled into a new body.

What do mediums do? They channel the personalities of people(dead or alive, most often dead), which exist within the collective subconscious. There are extremely good mediums, who may almost become the person they're channeling, including changing physical characteristics of their own (e.g. the medium may change his/her voice pitch, gait, manneurisms depending on who they're channeling). What if this channeling may sometimes happen 'automagically' and especially if it happens during early foetus development? For relevant examples, please consider the reincarnation cases of:

Dorothy Eady - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Eady (She started having memories of a "past life" only after falling down the stairs when she was 3)

and

Sobha Ram enters the dead body of Jasbir - http://www.iisis.net/index.php?page...n-sobha-ram-jasbir-jat-walter-semkiw&hl=en_US

In more traditional hypnotherapy, there's a technique called Deep-Trance Identification ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_trance_identification ) which has been successfully used to 'channel' the artistic traits of artists into hypnotized people. Vladimir Raikov has used this technique to channel Russian painters for example (http://drpulos.com/blog/the-other-side-of-the-mind/):

Raikov would then provide his subject, Elena, in this case, a mathematics major with a sketch pad, pieces of charcoal and coloured pencils. She was encouraged to take time off from her science and math courses and practice sketching on her own.

Over a period of eight weeks she was re-hypnotized twice a week, taken into a deep hyperalert trance and the “artificial reincarnation” of Repin was reinforced on each hypnotic session. At the end of this “training” or profound alteration of beliefs, Elena was not a Repin. However, according to invited art critics who examined her work, she had the abilities of a highly seasoned art illustrator and could have taken on a new career as a professional artist had she chosen to do so.
And in Tibetan Buddhism there is(was) a technique called Throng-jug (http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Trongjug) in which a highly-developed adept could possess the body of a younger, healthier person.

IMO, Mediums, Deep-trance identification and Throng-jug(if we're to believe it existed) point to the fact that it's entirely possible to transfer one mind, or at least part of it, to another body (= possession). Maybe that's what happens during reincarnation?

[end of offtopic, I know the thread was not intented to discuss possible explanations for reincarnation, but I just felt like writing this here]
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#10
However, the article has, IMO, a very good point in presenting an alternative explanation to reincarnation: that of spirit possession. And I'm not talking spirit possession in the typical Christian sense of "evil entity possesing the body of a victim", but more of non-local mind/consciousness being channeled into a new body.
Probably a good idea to look at all possible theories. Even in my past as an occultist, reincarnation has never been something I could believe in but some of the evidence that was coming out was interesting. Spirit possession seems an interesting explanation worth looking into.
 
#12
In his first book, Jim Tucker references a psychologist from some university in England (I'm blanking on the guy's name) who did a study where he asked young children to just make up stories about a fake past life and see if he could match it closely to any other child, his idea being that Tucker and Stevenson studies were based purely on coincidence (which to me, if you've read enough of them, is bordering on absurd). He published something with his results, which I read in part. From what I read it was hardly worth continuing, since the author was obviously out to refute Tucker and Stevenson's findings just because he didn't like them. For the cases I read, he really didn't manage to find any of the fabricated stories matching beyond a couple of close calls; they didn't contain specific village or city names, missed on actual past life names, and were not remotely as specific as many of the reincarnation studies. They were, in my opinion, utterly unconvincing of the chance that alllll those studies were just coincidence. Again, if you read Tucker and Stevenson's stuff, to me it is readily apparent that coincidence is just very, very unlikely. I hope this kind of thing is what you were referencing... if not my bad.
That was what I wanted to know about. Thank you!
 
#13
It's an interesting question and I have searched Google but found nothing at all. I remember reading once about a girl who under hypnosis "recalled" a life in history with such accurate detail that the hypnotist ended up asking her where she was getting the information from. In reply, she gave the name of a book she had read when she was younger. I wish I had the details, but it was so long ago that I read it.

You might want to try asking here:
http://www.hypnosisonline.com/forum/default.asp?CAT_ID=1
I am not sure if that was what I had been looking for, but still that's interesting to read about.
 
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