Saturday, October 28, 2017

In this October 2017 class we have looked at Christianity and the Life to Come and we have examined the modern phenomenon of Near‑Death Experiences (NDE). 

There are biblical citations supporting same:
Chapter 32, Westminster Confession of Faith;
2nd Corinthians 12:2;
The Second Helvetic Confession at Chapter 7 (1575).

We looked at Dr. Raymond Moody's groundbreaking book Life After Life, Mockingbird Press, 1975.  We looked at Dr. George Richey's NDE of 1943 – the one that set off the relatively new review of this material by the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

We looked at the historical aspects of Socrates through his people Plato's writings in the Phaedo of the immortality of the soul.  In the Phaedo[i], Plato discusses pretty much the concept that Christians seem to now accept as the immortality of the soul.  Though that highly technical concept is slightly different as they found in the New Testament.   The New Testament (technically) seems to teach of a physical resurrection when the dead will rise (get their bodies back – not sure I want mine back.  (smiles)) and live with the Christ in a resurrected state.

Then we looked at particular NDEs that I picked because they were NDEs that cannot have been forged and were outside of the possibility of individuals desiring to achieve some outcome or initiating the NDE on their own. 

For example (here in Georgia) I brought you the very real NDE of Viola Horton[ii] who had an NDE in 1976 in Augusta, Georgia and here NDE made it through various publications and was extensively vetted.  I also found all of her historical data and produced that to the class.  She existed; the event was real. 

Then we looked at Cecil Willie, an individual in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who had an NDE from a bleed out in Baton Rouge.  He could not have forged his statements.  His showed a real and interesting experience with his deceased relatives and the living Christ.  I showed the class the NDE of Inez Dawes in 1925 in Minneapolis, MN.  It would be hard to falsify that NDE almost 100 years ago.

Then we looked at Chris Markey, the lawyer I spoke to from Chicago, Illinois and his NDE from heart surgery.  There were many others: Richard Cole, Dr. Mary Neal, Martha Sinclair, Charles McKaig, the unassuming postal worker in Knoxville, Tennessee as made famous by Maurice Rawlings.  It would be difficult to forge that event since Charles McKaig had an NDE (and went to hell) on the stress test in Dr. Rawlings' office.  And on and on and the list is endless. 

As I indicated, when Moody published his book in 1975 he had studied 150 events.  The current collection (and there are numerous databases) [iii]based (potentially) in New Orleans, LA (actually it is Houma, LA) has a database of 25,000 NDEs of which 5,000 are exceptionals.  Thus current sample size is enormous in comparison to Moody's original sample size. 

So what can we take away from this study?  11 to 13 percent of these individuals have negative experiences and we're all hopeful that we do not.  The vast majority have extremely interesting experiences and show (if you can believe them) the almost complete certainty that this is not hypoxia[iv] or anoxia[v] and that there are interesting worlds and things to come beyond our imagination.   A great beyond awaits us all.

The reason that hypoxia or anoxia cannot be an explanation for all of these events is that with 25,000 sample size we have thousands of veridical (coinciding with reality) statements that are provable in the third dimension outside of the physical presence of the preparer's deceased or person who testifies.  That is there must be the existence of consciousness outside the body or (in Occam's razor) these events must exist because thousands of these individuals in the sample size testify about third dimensional events in time and space that occur far away from where they are having a cardiac arrest or dying in a car accident, etc. 

Thus, following Occam's razor the most likely event or the simplest outcome is these events exist otherwise you have to go through the continuous tortured materialist reduction theory of anoxia and that all that exists are the material matter and atoms that we define. 

And if you chase any particle physicist (God forbid that my son is now headed in that direction) there's nothing there.  The farther you go down into the material from electrons down to protons to neutrons to quarks, you find that eventually there is nothing there.  Its only energy.  All is energy.  And, energy can be neither created nor destroyed.[vi]

So what is the answer?   Personally, I put my trust in the Christ (who many many of these individuals encountered).   Acts. 16:I.   I will leave the conclusions of this material to the reader.

Conclusions that I think are reasonable:

Life Continues
Christ Exists
Heaven and Hell exist
Life continues without out physical bodies
We get, sometimes, another body
Communication is always by telepathy
Many times our entire lives are reviewed (life review).
People we have known appear in NDEs.
Other belief systems (may) exist
The NDE experiences are not homogeneous
Sometimes atheists go to heaven
There seems to be a purpose or
          mission to our lives
Many are told to “its not your time”.

The Bible is a Guide to a great life.

Hugh C. Wood, Esq.
Atlanta, GA

Phaedo.  Spoken through Phaedo of Elis – an eyewitness. 

Viola J. Horton, Augusta, SC.  Died in Gallbladder Surgery on May 5, 1971.  She listed at Chapter 17 “Who’s Dead” of Shockey, Peter. Reflections of Heaven: A Millennial Odyssey of Miracles, Angels And Afterlife.  Doubleday. 1999.  

If you are interested in reading many of these events in their “raw” format, 25,000 of them may be found at

Hypoxia is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level. Hypoxia may be classified as either generalized, affecting the whole body, or local, affecting a region of the body.

The First Law of Thermodynamics. Rudolf Clausius (1850).

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Christianity and the Life to Come Class 2

Class 2

Hugh C. Wood, Esq.
Atlanta, GA

While there is not particular order that material is covered in these classes, we move now into some of the more classic (modern) reviews of Near Death Experiences (NDE).

The first (modern) clinical writer on the NDE was Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004) was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief.

Originally Published by Macmillan Publishing in 1974

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, [1926–2004] was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, humanitarian, and co-founder of the hospice movement around the world. She was also the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, which first discussed The Five Stages of Grief. Elisabeth authored twenty-four books in thirty-six languages and brought comfort to millions of people coping with their own deaths or the death of a loved one. Her greatest professional legacy includes teaching the practice of humane care for the dying and the importance of sharing unconditional love. Her work continues by the efforts of hundreds of organizations around the world, including The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation:

[Click on Link Below]
Elizabeth Kubler Ross on Death and Dying

The Near Death Experience - An Interview with Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
This video clip, taken from the film Visions of Hope, is an interview with Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross on the 'near death experience' or NDE. The interviewer is Tony Adams. The film is introduced by David Furlong. The full length film can be obtained from the Spirit Release Forum The music on the clip is from Faure's Pavane. op 50.


Moody, Raymond, MD, Life after Life, Mockingbird Press (1975).

The groundbreaking, bestselling classic.  Raymond Moody is the “father” of the modern NDE (Near Death Experience) movement, and his pioneering work Life After Life transformed the world, revolutionizing the way we think about death and what lies beyond. Originally published in 1975, it is the groundbreaking study of one hundred people who experienced “clinical death” and were revived, and who tell, in their own words, what lies beyond death.

A bestseller that has sold more than thirteen million copies around the globe, Life After Life introduced us to concepts—including the bright light, the tunnel, the presence of loved ones waiting on the other side—that have become cultural memes today, and paved the way for modern bestsellers by Eben Alexander, Todd Burpo, Mary Neal, and Betty Eadie that have shaped countless readers notions about the end life and the meaning of death.

[Click on Link Below]
Life after Life Video

Life After Life - Raymond Moody


Dr. Raymond Moody, when he was with the Psychiatry Department of UVA encountered the profound NDE of a fellow Dr., George Ritchie MD.   Ritchie's NDE, perhaps a "classic" deep NDE was the NDE that - in many ways - opened the investigation of all modern NDEs.


The NDE that Started it all.

George G. Ritchie, MD.   (Dec. 1943)

Dr. Ritchie was a Boy Scout, an MD (Med. College
of Virginia) and a Presbyterian.


                                          [Click on Link Below]
                                          George G Ritchie NDE  


In Kevin Williams Blog on NDEs, George Ritchie wrote the following overview of his encounter with the Christ in his NDE.

Seeing spirits among the living
"With a start I noticed that we were moving. I hadn't been aware of leaving the hospital, but now it was nowhere in sight. The living events of my life which had crowded round us had vanished too:  instead we seemed to be high above the earth, speeding together toward a distant pinprick of light.
"The distant pinprick resolved itself into a large city toward which we seemed to be descending. It was still nighttime but smoke poured from factory chimneys and many buildings had lights burning on every floor. There was an ocean or a large lake beyond the lights; it could have been Boston, Detroit, Toronto, certainly no place I had ever been, but obviously I thought as we came close enough to see the crowded streets, one where war industries were operating around the clock.
"I noticed a certain phenomenon repeatedly - people unaware of others right beside them.  I saw a group of assembly-line workers gathered around a coffee canteen. One of the women asked another for a cigarette, begged her in fact, as though she wanted it more than anything in the world. But the other one, chatting with her friends, ignored her. She took a pack of cigarettes from her coveralls, and without ever offering it to the woman who reached for it so eagerly, took one out and lit it. Fast as a striking snake the woman who had been refused snatched at the lighted cigarette in the other one's mouth. Again she grabbed at it. And again .. With a little chill of recognition I saw that she was unable to grip it.
"Like me, in fact, she was dead.
"In one house a younger man followed an older one from room to room. 'I'm sorry, Pa!'  he kept saying. 'I didn't know what it would do to Mama!  I didn't understand.'
"But though I could hear him clearly, it was obvious that the man he was speaking to could not. The old man was carrying a tray into a room where an elderly woman sat in bed. 'I'm sorry, Pa,'  the young man said again. 'I'm sorry, Mama.'  Endlessly, over and over, to ears that could not hear.
"Several times we paused before similar scenes. A boy trailing a teenaged girl through the corridors of a school. 'I'm sorry, Nancy!'  A middle-aged woman begging a gray-haired man to forgive her.
"What are they so sorry for, Jesus?'  I pleaded. 'Why do they keep talking to people who can't hear them?'
"Then from the light beside me came the thought:  'They are suicides, chained to every consequence of their act.'
"Gradually I began to notice something else. All of the living people we were watching were surrounded by a faint luminous glow, almost like an electrical field over the surface of their bodies. This luminosity moved as they moved, like a second skin made out of pale, scarcely visible light.
"At first I thought it must be reflected brightness from the person at my side. But the buildings we entered gave off no reflection, neither did inanimate objects. And then I realized that the non-physical beings didn't either. My own un-solid body, I now saw, was without this glowing sheath.
"At this point the light drew me inside a dingy bar and grill near what looked like a large naval base. A crowd of people, many of them sailors, lined the bar three deep, while others jammed wooden booths along the wall. Though a few were drinking beer, most of them seemed to be belting whiskies as fast as the two perspiring bartenders could pour them.
"Then I noticed a striking thing. A number of the men standing at the bar seemed unable to lift their drinks to their lips. Over and over I watched them clutch at their shot glasses, hands passing through the solid tumblers, through the heavy wooden counter top, through the very arms and bodies of the drinkers around them.
"And these men, every one of them, lacked the aureole of light that surrounded the others.
"Then, the cocoon of light must be a property of physical bodies only. The dead, we who had lost our solidness, had lost this 'second skin' as well. 
"And it was obvious that these living people, the light-surrounded ones, the ones actually drinking, talking, jostling each other, could neither see the desperately thirsty disembodied beings among them, nor feel their frantic pushing to get at those glasses. (Though it was also clear to me, watching, that the non-solid people could both see and hear each other. Furious quarrels were constantly breaking out among them over glasses that none could actually get to his lips.)
"I thought I had seen heavy drinking at fraternity parties in Richmond, but the way civilians and servicemen at this bar were going at it beat everything. I watched one young sailor rise unsteadily from a stool, take two or three steps, and sag heavily to the floor. Two of his buddies stooped down and started dragging him away from the crush.
"But that was not what I was looking at.  I was staring in amazement as the bright cocoon around the unconscious sailor simply opened up. It parted at the very crown of his head and began peeling away from his head, his shoulders. Instantly, quicker than I'd ever seen anyone move, one of the insubstantial beings who had been standing near him at the bar was on top of him. He had been hovering like a thirsty shadow at the sailor's side, greedily following every swallow the young man made. Now he seemed to spring at him like a beast of prey.
"In the next instant, to my utter mystification, the springing figure had vanished. It all happened even before the two men had dragged their unconscious load from under the feet of those at the bar. One minute I'd distinctly seen two individuals; by the time they propped the sailor against the wall, there was only one.
"Twice more, as I stared, stupefied, the identical scene was repeated. A man passed out, a crack swiftly opened in the aureole round him, one of the non-solid people vanished as he hurled himself at that opening, almost as if he had scrambled inside the other man.
"Was that covering of light some kind of shield, then? Was it a protection against ...  against disembodied beings like myself?  Presumably these substance-less creatures had once had solid bodies, as I myself had had. Suppose that when they had been in these bodies they had developed a dependence on alcohol that went beyond the physical. That became mental. Spiritual, even. Then when they lost that body, except when they could briefly take possession of another one, they would be cut off for all eternity from the thing they could never stop craving.
"An eternity like that - the thought sent a chill shuddering through me - surely that would be a form of hell.  I had always thought of hell, when I thought of it at all, as a fiery place somewhere beneath the earth where evil people like Hitler would burn forever. But what if one level of hell existed right here on the surface - unseen and unsuspected by the living people occupying the same space. What if it meant remaining on earth but never again able to make contact with it. I thought of that woman who wanted that cigarette. To want most, to burn with most desire, where you were most powerless - that would be hell indeed.
"Not  'would be,'  I realized with a start. Was. This was hell: And I was as much a part of it as these other discarnate creatures. I had died. I had lost my physical body. I existed now in a realm that would not respond to me in any way ...
"There were two other things distinctly unique about the beings of this realm. Since hypocrisy is impossible because others know your thoughts the minute you think them, they tend to group with the ones who think the same way they do. In our own plane of the existence, earth, we have a saying, "Birds of a feather flock together."  The main reason that they stick together is because it is too threatening to be with beings with whom you disagree when they know it.
"One of the places we observed seemed to be a receiving station. Beings would arrive here oftentimes in a deep hypnotic sleep. I call it hypnotic because I realized they had put themselves in this state by their beliefs. Here were what I would call angels working with them trying to arouse them and help them realize God is truly a God of the living and that they did not have to lie around sleeping until Gabriel or someone came along blowing on a horn.
"We were moving again. We had left the Navy base with its circumference of seedy streets and bars, and were now standing, in this dimension where travel seemed to take no time at all, on the edge of a wide, flat plain. So far in our journeying we had visited places where the living and the dead existed side by side: indeed where disembodied beings, completely unsuspected by the living, hovered right on top of the physical things and people where their desire was focused.
"Now, however, although we were apparently still somewhere on the surface of the earth, I could see no living man or woman. The plain was crowded, even jammed with hordes of ghostly discarnate beings; nowhere was there a solid, light-surrounded person to be seen. All of these thousands of people were apparently no more substantial than I myself.  And they were the most frustrated, the angriest, the most completely miserable beings I had ever laid eyes on.
"Lord Jesus!'  I cried. 'Where are we?'
"At first I thought we were looking at some great battlefield: everywhere spirits were locked in what looked like fights to the death, writhing, punching, gouging. No weapons of any sort, I saw as I looked closer, only bare hands and feet and teeth. And then I noticed that no one was apparently being injured. There was no blood, no bodies strewed on the ground. A blow that ought to have eliminated an opponent would leave him exactly as before.
"If I suspected that I was seeing hell, now I was sure of it. These creatures seemed locked into habits of mind and emotion, into hatred, lust, destructive thought-patterns.
"Even more hideous than the bites and kicks they exchanged, were the sexual abuses many were performing in feverish pantomime. Perversions I had never dreamed of were being vainly attempted all around us. It was impossible to tell if the howls of frustration which reached us were actual sounds or only the transference of despairing thoughts. Indeed in this disembodied world it didn't seem to matter. Whatever anyone thought, however fleetingly or unwillingly, was instantly apparent to all around him, more completely than words could have expressed it, faster than sound waves could have carried it.
"And the thoughts most frequently communicated had to do with the superior knowledge, or abilities, or background of the thinker. 'I told you so!'  'I always knew!'  
"Didn't I warn you!'  were shrieked into the echoing air over and over. With a feeling of sick familiarity I recognized here my own thinking. In these yelps of envy and wounded self-importance I heard myself all too well.
"Once again, however, no condemnation came from the presence at my side, only a compassion for these unhappy creatures that was breaking his heart.
"What was keeping them here?  Why didn't each one just get up and leave?  I could see no reason why the person being screamed at by that man with the contorted face didn't simply walk away. Or why that young woman didn't put a thousand miles between herself and the other one who was so furiously beating her with insubstantial fists?  They couldn't actually hold onto their victims, any of these insanely angry beings. There were no fences. Nothing apparently prevented them from simply going off alone.
"Unless -  unless there was no 'alone' in this realm of disembodied spirits. No private corners in a universe where there were no walls. No place that was not inhabited by other beings to whom one was totally exposed at all times. What was it going to be like, I thought with sudden panic, to live forever where my most private thoughts were not private at all? No disguising them, no covering them up, no way to pretend I was anything but what I actually was. How unbearable. Unless of course everyone around me had the same kind of thoughts - Unless there was a kind of consolation in finding others as loathsome as one's self, even if all we could do was hurl our venom at each other.
"Perhaps this was the explanation for this hideous plain. Perhaps in the course of eons or of seconds, each creature here had sought out the company of others as pride and hate-filled as himself, until together they formed this society of the damned.
"Perhaps it was not Jesus who had abandoned them, but they who had fled from the light that showed up their darkness.
"There were beings arguing over some religious or political point, trying to kill the ones who did not agree with them. I thought when I saw this, "No wonder our world is in such a mess and we have had so many tragic religious wars. No wonder this was breaking Christ's heart, the one who came to teach us peace and love."
"We were moving again. First he had shown me a hellish realm, filled with beings trapped in some form of self-attention. Now behind, beyond, through all this I began to perceive a whole new realm!  Enormous buildings stood in a beautiful sunny park that reminded me somewhat of a well-planned university. As we entered one of the buildings and doorways, the air was so hushed that I was actually startled to see people in the passageway.
"I could not tell if they were men or women, old or young, for all were covered from head to foot in loose-flowing hooded cloaks which made me think vaguely of monks. But the atmosphere of the place was not at all as I imagined a monastery. It was more like some tremendous study center, humming with the excitement of great discovery. Everyone we passed in the wide halls and on the curving staircases seemed caught up in some all-engrossing activity; not many words were exchanged among them. And yet I sensed no unfriendliness between these beings, rather an aloofness of total concentration.
"Whatever else these people might be, they appeared utterly and supremely self-forgetful - absorbed in some vast purpose beyond themselves. Through open doors I glimpsed at enormous rooms filled with complex equipment. In several of the rooms hooded figures bent over intricate charts and diagrams, or sat at the controls of elaborate consoles flickering with lights.  Somehow I felt that some vast experiment was being pursued, perhaps dozens and dozens of such experiments.
"And something more ... In spite of his obvious delight in the beings around us,  I sensed that even this was not the ultimate, that he had far greater things to show me if only I could see.
"And so I followed him into other buildings of this domain of thought. We entered a studio where music of a complexity I couldn't begin to follow was being composed and performed. There were complicated rhythms, tones not on a scale I knew.  'Why,'  I found myself thinking.  'Bach is only the beginning!'
"Next we walked through a library the size of the whole University of Richmond. I gazed into rooms lined floor to ceiling with documents on parchment, clay, leather, metal, paper. 'Here,'  the thought occurred to me, 'are assembled the important books of the universe.'
"Immediately I knew this was impossible. How could books be written somewhere beyond the earth!  But the thought persisted, although my mind rejected it.  'The key works of the universe,'  the phrase kept recurring as we roamed the domed reading rooms crowded with silent scholars. Then abruptly, at the door to one of the smaller rooms, almost an annex:  'Here is the central thought of this earth.'
"Is this ...heaven, Lord Jesus?'  I ventured. The calm, the brightness, they were surely heaven-like!  So was the absence of self, of clamoring ego. 'When these people were on earth did they grow beyond selfish desires?'
"They grew, and they have kept on growing.'  The answer shone like sunlight in that intent and eager atmosphere.  But if growth could continue, then this was not all.  Then ...there must be something even these serene beings lacked. And suddenly I wondered if it was the same thing missing in the 'lower realm'. Were these selfless seeking creatures also failing in some degree to see Jesus?  Or perhaps, to see him for himself? Bits and hints of him they surely had; obviously it was the truth they were so single-mindedly pursuing. But what if even a thirst for truth could distract from the truth himself, standing here in their midst while they searched for him in books and test tubes ...
"I didn't know. And next to his unutterable love, my own bewilderment, all the questions I wanted to ask, seemed incidental. Perhaps, I concluded at last, he cannot tell me more than I can see: perhaps there is nothing in me yet that could understand an explanation.
"It is this realm which removes forever the concept that we stop learning or progressing in knowledge when we die. I could call this realm the realm of research, or the mental realm or the realm of intellectual, scientific and religious knowledge. All would be correct.
"This is the realm where I believe the souls go who have developed the greatest interest in a particular field of life's endeavor, the ones who want to keep on researching and learning more in their particular fields. This gives hope to all people who want to keep learning and have established enough wisdom to realize we have just begun to scratch the surface in any field when we are on the earth's level of development.
"I became aware that the Christ was watching some souls in their study of the universe's religions and saw he did not judge any of them. They too were not judging the religions which they were studying but were interested in the many different ways the beings of the universe had attempted to come to understand their Creator. I suddenly realized how wrong it was for any of us on earth to judge another's approach to God or to feel we have the only answers. The moment that realization came into my mind it was followed by his thought placed in my mind:
"You are right, for if I, LOVE, be lifted up, I shall draw all humanity unto me. If you come to know the Father, you will come to know me. If you come to know me you will come to know that LOVE includes all beings regardless of their race, creeds or color."   


Viola J. Horton 

whose Near Death Experience (NDE) is reported extensively in Chapter 17 “Who’s Dead” of Shockey, Peter. Reflections of Heaven: A Millennial Odyssey of Miracles, Angels And Afterlife.  Doubleday. 1999.   NDE occurred on May 5, 1971 in Augusta, SC.

Chapter 17
Who’s Dead?

It took about a year to raise the financing to produce the film Life After Life, but we finally
did it. While scripting the film, it dawned on me that the letter to my dad would be a very good
way to open the story. Although it was an intimately personal letter, I found that people who
read it were moved by it. Ultimately, it became the answer to our prayer about making a film
that would touch people’s hearts. Somehow it seemed fitting that the letter introducing my father
to the stories of near-death experiences would become the entryway to introduce viewers to
those inspiring stories. In the following chapters you will hear the full experience of Viola
Horton, one of those whom we interviewed at length.
I met Viola Horton on a beautiful spring day in 1991, twenty years after her amazing
near-death experience. She cheerfully agreed to fly up to Nashville from Augusta, Georgia,
where she and her husband Jud lived. She would be among several people whom Raymond
Moody had suggested we interview for the film.
Viola impressed me as a really sweet soul—a kind of country, grandmother. In fact, I
wished she had been my own grandmother! The wisdom she had gained from her years here on
earth plus the knowledge she acquired from her close encounter with death would have been
nice to be around while growing up. She had a good sense of humor, too, which put my film
crew and me at ease as we anxiously prepared for the shoot that day.
The original plan was for Dr. Moody to sit next to the cameraman and have Viola
address him while she was being filmed. It didn’t take too long, though, before she was being
“interviewed” by everyone in the room including the film crew, my wife and a few friendly
neighbors who happened to drop by. Her story and the way she told it was heart warming.
It all began when Viola was admitted into an Augusta, South Carolina hospital in the
spring of 1971 for routine gall bladder surgery. The operation was believed to have been
successful. Not wanting to become dependent on pain medications, Viola refused all drugs after
the 3rd day. As she would soon learn, though, she was not on the road to recovery. She suffered
for the following three days as her pain intensified. Her condition worsened—and on May 5th at
12:15pm—Viola died on the operating table. This was the start of her amazing journey.
Who’s Gone?
The doctor looked up at the nurse, then, taking a heavy breath, solemnly cast his eyes
down toward a woman lying motionless on the operating table. The surgical room, which just
moments earlier had echoed with the doctors desperate attempts to resuscitate the woman, was
now completely still. Only the steady tone of a flat line heart monitor broke the silence—a
painful reminder of the scene that had just unfolded. The time of death was duly noted, 12:15pm,
May 5, 1971. As far as they could tell their efforts to save the life of Viola Horton had failed.
“I’ve lost her,” the doctor sighed. “She’s gone... she’s dead.”
“Well, who’s he talking about? Who’s gone?” wondered Viola. She was in excruciating
pain when she heard a faint buzzing in her ear and then felt herself “pop” out of her body. Free
of her earthly shell, she immediately went to the head of the bed where she “sat down” to have a
look around, and then found herself floating up to the ceiling, hovering over her now lifeless
body. A new sense of freedom swept over her. She suddenly felt strangely unfettered by the
usual labels with which she had always identified herself. For the moment, she was no one’s
wife, mother or daughter. And for a woman who had just been pronounced dead, why, she had
never felt more alive! “But how could this be?” she wondered.
Viola observed the doctors momentarily and then glanced about the operating room. As
she did so, she became aware of voices—people out in the hallway. The room had been
completely sealed off for surgery, but as Viola would soon discover, walls and closed doors
presented no obstacle to her. She simply went through them, like vapor through a screen door.
She encountered her anxious family in the hall. She noticed right away that her
daughter, Kathy, was wearing an outfit that Viola considered unbecoming. Upset and in a hurry,
Kathy had apparently left home in a rush. She had grabbed whatever clothes she could find, and
in a strangely mismatched-matched outfit, dashed to the hospital. Shocked that her daughter was
dressed this way in public, Viola immediately went to her and said, “Kathy, go home and change
your clothes.” Kathy did not respond to her mother. It seemed that Kathy was unable to hear
her. Never one to give up though, Viola persevered, urging her husband, “Jud, take Kathy home
and change her clothes. She shouldn’t be out like this.” But, he too was oblivious to her words. It
was as if Viola had become invisible!
The realization that no one could see or hear her was just beginning to sink in when Viola
noticed her brother-in-law standing in the hall. He had just been approached by one of his
neighbors and they struck up a conversation. The neighbor asked the in-law what he was doing
at the hospital and also inquired about his plans for the upcoming weekend.
“Well, it looks like my sister-in-law is going to kick the bucket...” he said. “I was
planning to go to Athens but I’ll stick around now to be a pall bearer.”
Viola was infuriated by this insensitive remark but she had to face the fact that, for the
moment, there wasn’t much she could do about it. It seemed that she had attained a unique
vantage point, one, that many people only dream of—a fly on the wall!
Fortunately for Viola, she would have the opportunity to confront her brother-in-law
about this little conversation sometime after her release from the hospital. Laughing, she would
watch his face turn several shades of red while quoting him word for word. Though he would
make quite an attempt to deny it, he eventually would give in, admitting that it was exactly what
he had said.
But for now, Viola was trying to make some sense of the strange situation when she
noticed that there were presences with her, whom she took to be angels. They didn’t exactly look
like angelic beings, at least not the way she had always envisioned, with wings, halos and golden
harps. Still, there was something about their presence that gave her a much-needed sense of
peace. She came to recognize them as her guardian angels and understood that they had always
been with her.
Another exciting discovery was that she was able to travel anywhere her thoughts could
take her. Instantly, after thinking that she would like to see her sister, Viola found herself in
Rockville, Maryland at her sister’s home. She observed her sister getting ready to go to the
grocery store. Viola took note of the clothes she was wearing, the search for misplaced keys and
a lost grocery list, and finally, the car she drove to the store. Viola was feeling in no mood to go
grocery shopping, so instead decided to visit another nearby sister. She was able to determine
that this sister had also gone shopping. Like the conversation with her brother-in-law, all of these
details would eventually be verified when Viola would have a chance to talk with her sisters.
While she puzzled over this peculiar disembodied condition, her guardian angels asked
if she was ready to leave this area. Without any hesitation she replied, “Yes, I’m ready to go
All at once Viola felt herself being whisked in an upward motion through a long black
tunnel. She had no idea how she entered the tunnel and noticed that the walls of the tunnel did
not touch her. The radiant light at the end of the tunnel mesmerized her and it drew her ever
closer. Faster and faster she went through this remarkable passageway. At one point she saw
what she described as a “gray area” where she saw colorless souls shifting aimlessly about,
apparently unable to transcend their earthly attachments. She did not linger there, but instead
focused on the fantastic light up ahead.
Viola accelerated through the end of the tunnel, emerging into what appeared to her as a
beautiful valley full of flowers, flowing rivers and brilliant colors. Birds and animals dotted this
magnificent landscape. Viola could think of no words to describe this place for she had never
seen anything like it. The world that she had left behind was nothing more than a pale imitation
of this heavenly scene.
Everything was bathed in a glorious love and light. And somehow she understood that
the light and the love were the same thing! This radiant loving light pulsated all around her and
was so incredibly bright that she could not resist the temptation to look at it, yet it did not hurt
her eyes. She felt that this love was alive and it was almost as if she could see it, touch it and feel
Viola soon found that she was not alone in this wonderful place either. She encountered
friends and family who had died before her. Although these people would initially appear to her
at the age she had last seen them, she soon realized that they were all in the prime of life. They
were filled with great warmth and spoke to her, not in words, but in what can only be described
as a kind of mental telepathy, in which there are no misunderstandings.
The first person she encountered was a childhood girlfriend who had died in the polio
epidemic of the 1930’s. Her friend was a loving woman who assured Viola that everything was
fine and that she was happy. Viola’s mother and her grandparents also came to greet her. She
was overjoyed to see her mother and grandmothers again, and to meet her grandfathers for the
first time, both of which had died before she was born.
During this time a baby also appeared to her and said, “Hi, I’m your brother.”
“I don’t have a brother,” Viola replied, somewhat baffled.
He then proceeded to show himself to her as a small infant dressed in a cap and a long
dress with booties and socks. He told her, “Look me over now and remember how I looked this
way and you can tell our father when you get back and he’ll tell you what happened.”
Later on in the hospital, after Viola would recover enough to talk, she would tell her
father what she had seen and heard. He would shake his head in disbelief and reply, “Well I
don’t know how you knew that because nobody but your mother, the doctor and I knew about
these things.” Viola discovered from her father that she did indeed have a brother who had died
as an infant, but had never been mentioned to the later children.
Viola was experiencing a joyous homecoming, overflowing with love. But the best was
yet to come! It was at this time that she was approached by a warm, loving presence of
extraordinary light that completely engulfed her. She felt that the light was an extremely
masculine being, yet it also possessed what she considered to be softer, feminine qualities. Viola
recognized this brilliant light—and later told me during our interview that she had known it to
be Jesus. She reveled in His wonderful love, which pulsated all around her. He totally accepted
her and forgave her for everything she had ever done. But deep inside Viola wondered, could
she ever forgive herself for some of her selfish ways?
And then she saw it—a panoramic view of her entire life. It unfolded before her in a
dimension of time as she had never experienced. It seems to be there all at once! It began with
her birth and included every minute detail of her life right up to the present moment. There were
no secrets, no hidden truths. She observed her earthly actions as though she were watching a
movie while simultaneously having the sensation that she was actually living her entire life over
again. Viola Horton became aware of every feeling, every thought, and every deed she had ever
done and realized fully for the first time the implications of her actions on others.
As the events in Viola’s life were reviewed, she was surprised to learn that it was not her
outward success that received attention but rather the simple acts of kindness she had done.
Many of her big achievements that she had considered to be important, didn’t count for very much
here. She came to understand that it’s the little things one does, like giving someone a helping
hand, or hugging a child, anything done unselfishly, that matters most of all.
Viola was feeling a glorious peace wash over her soul. In this brilliant light she had
found acceptance, forgiveness and most of all, love—wonderful love. She never wanted to leave.
And that is why she was absolutely devastated when she was asked by the light, “Are you ready
to go back?”
“No, I want to go on to the city of light.” she pleaded, glimpsing the amazing scenes that
awaited her up ahead.
But again the voice came, “No, don’t you want to go back?”
She paused for a moment and listened. Someone was crying; it sounded like a young
girl. Looking back over her shoulder, Viola was able to see her daughter and husband standing
next to her hospital bed. They were trying desperately to hold on to the woman they both loved.
She could hear her daughter’s tearful pleas, “Mom don’t go, come back to us. Mama, I need you.
Mom, come back.”
And then Viola was asked again, “Are you ready to go?”
She gazed off into the distance toward a city filled with splendid light. How she longed
to go there, to stay in this wonderful place forever. But her daughter was counting on her; Viola
couldn’t let her down. So with a heavy heart she replied, “It seems that my daughter needs me...
so I must go back.”
“That is good, for it is not your time yet,” came the voice.
And then it was over. As swiftly as Viola had left her body, she instantly returned.
There was no tunnel, no beautiful light. Her spirit simply entered her body through the top of
her head and she was immediately consumed by the pain and suffering of her earthly being.
The angels, who were still with her, told her that she would need to make some kind of
sound or movement so that the doctors would know to keep fighting for her life. Viola found
this request to be rather amusing since she had never felt more alive. She laughed out loud. The
astonished doctors wasted no time in their efforts to restart her heart. Before leaving, the angels
informed her that she would remain unconscious for three days in order to suppress the
knowledge she had been given.
While Viola slept, her anxious family waited and prayed for her recovery. True to the
angel’s word she awoke on the third day—a changed woman. It was several more days before
she could speak and tell her family of her fantastic encounter.
She emerged from this experience with a great appreciation for people and most of all,
the wonderful love that had been shown to her.
“Oh, I’m not perfect,” she confesses. “I’m still human—I’m still selfish. But it has
changed my way of thinking. It's made me a more understanding person of others. I think I'm a
better person about watching out for the needs of others and not being always so selfish.”
She answered many questions on that day of filming from those of us who wanted to
know more about what she had learned from her time in the light. Viola said she was frequently
asked about hell, “Was it “a fiery pit?” The answer she gave to us was quite straightforward and
simple, “Well, what I found to be hell was separation from God. This is a total hell.”
And leaving the presence of God’s light that day was one of the most difficult things she
ever had to face.
“I didn't want to return, and I would love to go back. Some day I will and then
hopefully I can stay and won’t have to come back.”
Although she spoke longingly of the day when she could return, she stressed that while
here on earth she felt a mission to love others the way she experienced while in the presence of
God’s loving light.
Over the next several years, my wife and I kept in touch with Viola and her husband,
Jud, and they became like family. Upon hearing about the birth of our firstborn daughter, Viola
sent us a beautiful baby-quilt lovingly crafted by her grandmotherly hands.
Jud called us early in the spring of 1997 to tell us that Viola had finally returned to the
Father. We all will miss her.
I couldn’t help imagining that during her great homecoming, my own Dad may have
been among those greeting her. I can almost hear him saying, “So, you’re Viola! You don’t know
me, but I want to thank you...”

Viola J. Horton.  Died.  April 1997.
She is buried at
Westover Memorial Park at

2601 Wheeler Road
Richmond County
Georgia  USA

I believe, but an not certain, that her husband Robert Judson Horton died in December of 2003 and is buried in the same cemetery.

Retired Clothier SAVANNAH, Ga. - Mr. Robert Judson 'Jud' Horton entered into rest Sunday, December 21, 2003 at Candler Memorial Hospital in Savannah. Mr. Horton was the beloved husband of the late Mrs. Viola 'Vi' James Horton of 49 years. Family members are one daughter, Katherine Horton of Savannah; three brothers, Henry Horton of North Augusta, S.C., Fred Horton of Atlanta and Billy Horton, Statesboro; one sister, Mitia Key, of Augusta; many nieces and nephews who were more like his own children and he leaves behind many friends who were like his own family. Mr. Horton had lived in Augusta since 1948. He was a clothier with Daitch and Company, he served as an artillery sergeant in Europe during WWII and he was a member of St. Mary's on the Hill Catholic Church. Graveside services will be held Tuesday, December 23, 2003 at 11 a.m. at Westover Memorial Park with Father Allan McDonald celebrant.


Chris Markey, Attorney
Chicago, Illinois

NDE  2006

What a great fellow.  I interviewed Chris Markey by phone in 2014.   Why his story has to speak for itself, all I can say that (as an attorney) I called and talked to him about the NDE and he confirmed and verified every fact that was and in published by the International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS).

The Central Theme of Markey's NDE, as asked to him on the other side was:

"At that time in your life,
what did you do for your fellow man”?

A new twist on the structures of Heaven comes to us from a trial attorney name Chris Markey, 61, who died at 8:15 a.m. and again at 10:15 a.m. on October 10, 2006 in the I.C.U. at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago after a triple bypass operation. The first "death" lasted for six minutes and the second thirteen. Said Markey to researchers:

"I'm here to tell you that death is so instantaneous it's unbelievable, less time than to roll over in bed.
"A [spirit] came to meet me. He said, 'Chris, call me Gabe; come with me. Follow me.' So I went with him up this tunnel.

"We go to this incredible room. The room had floors and walls. It had no ceiling. It was incredibly bright and lit. There was absolutely no climate whatsoever: no wind, no heat. no cold. There were 250 to three hundred people there, waiting to see -- me!

"They hugged me. They all kissed me. They were so thrilled to see me. They were all shiny, radiant. They were communicating a level of affection I had never experienced before -- just beauty, shining, energy, love. It came time for my examination -- whether I could get into paradise.

                                          [Click on Link Below]
                                          Atty Chris Markey NDE.  Chicago, IL 2006

(continued)  "Clearly this was paradise. They were all around me, very quiet, and the 'movie' of my life started. And way up behind me there was this spiral-pointed mountain and the spiral was moving, because there were so many people coming up and going back, coming up and going back. And at the top was this mountain man with beard and long hair. It could only be JESUS. He kept asking the questions from His mind to my mind. You didn't really hear sound. The question was clearly framed and right at you. And it was only one question repeated over and over and over again: 'At that time in your life, what did you do for your fellow man?' I remember not being to call up much from when I was a little kid. I went to a Catholic grammar school and we went to Mass before noon every day. We had to cross two dangerous streets, and from sixth to eighth grade they picked me to be a crossing guard and that picture came right out of the 'movie.' I had just taken it so seriously to protect those little kids."