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Posted on Sunday, March 29 - 2009

Psychics Deborah and Paul Rees have been awarded a £4,500 government grant to teach people how to contact the dead .

Copyright © Daily Mail

Two clairvoyants have been awarded a £4,500 government grant to set up a school for psychics. Paul and Deborah Rees had their palms crossed with taxpayers' silver after applying for funding through a Department for Work and Pensions job creation scheme. The couple's Accolade Academy of Psychic and Mediumistic Studies aims to train people to contact 'the other side'.Yesterday critics branded the award a 'disgrace' and said public money should not be spent on 'hocus pocus' business ideas at a time when thousands are losing their jobs. But Mr Rees, 40, and his wife, 37,defended the public funding.Mr Rees said: 'People who feel their tax money has been wasted should remember that if they'd lost a child they would go to a medium to get peace that their loved one has passed safely and is in a better place.

'Our job is to provide substantial evidence to bring ease to people's grieving.' The couple, who have been working as mediums for five years, admitted they were surprised to get the Want2Work grant aimed at setting up new businesses. Mr Rees, a father-of-two who worked as an upholsterer for 17 years, said: 'They hadn't invested in psychics before so we really had to prove ourselves.' The couple run the £65 workshops from their home in Bridgend, South Wales, and say the cash will be spent on printing, advertising and website costs. But Conservative Welsh Assembly member Jonathan Morgan said: 'It is an utter disgrace. The peopleadministering the scheme should be disciplined for allowing this project to get public funding  -  and the money should be recouped.' Mark Wallace, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'The last thing our money should be spent on is this kind of hocus pocus. 'At a time when people who are alive are losing their jobs, it's absurd that money is being spent trying to contact the other side.' Welsh Assembly chiefs have now launched an internal investigation into the funding of the psychic school. A DWP spokesman said of the £21million Want2Work scheme, aimed at getting 200,000 people back into work: 'We give real help to anyone who loses their job to get back into work as quickly as possible.'

Copyright: DailyMail

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Posted on Thursday, March 12 - 2009

Published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies, 25(2), Winter 2006, the paper is titled "A Prospectively Studied Near-Death Experience with Corroborated Out-of-Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing." The authors are Penny Sartori, Paul Badham, and Peter Fenwick. Penny Sartori, the lead author and lead investigator, works as a nurse in an intensive care center. As the article explains, She attempted to verify the out-of-body component of the NDE by placing hidden symbols on top of each patientís cardiac monitor, attached to the wall beside the bed and above head height.... She also recorded arterial blood sample results taken during the period of unconsciousness when the NDE was assumed to have occurred and any drugs administered. This was to explore the suggestions that NDEs are due to anoxia, hypoxia, hypercarbia, or drug administration. The first thing to note is that the patient in this case, a sixty-year-old male, did not see the hidden symbol. As he reported to Sartori:No, Iíll be honest with you, Pen, I didnít look. I didnít twist my head back that way; I was just looking at my side. I could see you and the doctor and two to three others around me.Even so, the NDE has its unusual features - which we'll get to in a moment. The experience took place after the man, recovering from sepsis following cancer surgery, passed out in the intensive care unit. ... the nurse noted that the patientís respiratory rate had increased markedly and his oxygen blood saturation levels had dropped to 70 to 86 percent, from its previous normal level of 96 percent and above. The senior author (P.S.) then manually ventilated the patient with 100 percent oxygen provided by means of an Ambu bag, and the drop in oxygen level was rectified. Although his oxygenation remained stable above 94 percent, the patientís blood pressure then dropped to 85/50 millimeters of mercury, his skin became very clammy, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. There was a brief episode of supraventricular tachycardia that reverted spontaneously without any medication.... By the time he was put into bed he was deeply unconscious, his eyes were closed, and he was not responding to verbal command or deep painful stimuli.He did not show any signs of alertness for.

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Posted on Friday, October 24 - 2008

It should strike us as odd that we feel inclined to nod our heads in agreement to the twangy, sweetly discordant folk vocals of Iris Dement in "Let the Mystery Be," a humble paean about the hereafter. In fact, the only real mystery is why we"re so convinced that when it comes to where we"re going "when the whole thing"s done," we"re dealing with a mystery at all. After all, the brain is like any other organ: a part of our physical body. And the mind is what the brain doesóit"s more a verb than it is a noun. Why do we wonder where our mind goes when the body is dead? Shouldn"t it be obvious that the mind is dead, too? And yet people in every culture believe in an afterlife of some kind or, at thevery least, are unsure about what happens to the mind at death.

My psychological research has led me to believe that these irrational beliefs, rather than resulting from religion or serving to protect us from the terror of inexistence, are an inevitable by-product of self-consciousness. Because we have never experienced a lack of consciousness, we cannot imagine what it will feel like to be dead. In fact, it won"t feel like anythingóand therein lies the problem. The common view of death as a great mystery usually is brushed aside as an emotionally fueled desire to believe that death isn"t the end of the road. And indeed, a prominent school of research in social psychology called terror management theory contends that afterlife beliefs, as well as less obvious beliefs, behaviors and attitudes, exist toassuage what would otherwise be crippling anxiety about the ego"s inexistence. According to proponents, you possess a secret arsenal of psychological defenses designed to keep your death anxiety at bay (and to keep you from ending up in the fetal position listening to Nick Drake on your iPod). My writing this article, for example, would be interpreted as an exercise in "symbolic immortality"; terror management theorists would likely tell you that I wrote it for posterity, to enable a concrete set of my ephemeral ideas to outlive me, the biological organism.

View: Full Article | Source: Scientific American

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Posted on Wednesday, September 24 - 2008


Copyright © Yahoo! News

A fellow at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world's leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences.The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project's origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain.What sort of methods will this project use totry and verify people's claims of "near-death" experience? When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain.

And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases - as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion? So the only way to tell is to have pictures only visible from the ceiling and nowhere else, because they claim they can see everything from the ceiling. So if we then get a series of 200 or 300 people who all were clinically dead, and yet they're able to come back and tell us what we were doing and were able see those pictures, that confirms consciousness really was continuing eventhough the brain wasn't functioning.

How does this project relate to society's perception of death? People commonly perceive death as being a moment - you're either dead or you're alive. And that's a social definition we have. But the clinical definition we use is when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and as a consequence the brain itself stops working. When doctors shine a light into someone's pupil, it's to demonstrate that there is no reflex present. The eye reflex is mediated by the brain stem, and that's the area that keeps us alive; if that doesn't work, then that means that the brain itself isn't working. At that point, I'll call a nurse into the room so I can certify that this patient is dead. Fifty years ago, people couldn't survive after that.


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