Police captain Bob Snow and reincarnation

#1
This video exemplifies what I consider to be the typical reaction to the intrusion of paranormality into everyday life. This may be because it is almost exactly how I reacted when this kind of thing happened in my life, but it is very interesting to hear this police captain go through his story of how he investigated a past life regression session for the purpose of proving that it was just a trick, a trick he knew it had to be. He didn't even consider the possibility it might be real until long after e started the investigation.

Skeptics: If the only questions or qualms you have with the material presented in the video are already mentioned by Snow, please do not raise them as if they are novel observations on your part. This video is being presented for the purpose of showing what happens when a true non-believer/skeptic is confronted with compelling data. This is what happened with Crookes, Hodgson, Stevenson, myself, and many others. Our current position on paranormal phenomena is not a reflection of a past position on the same subject, as this video demonstrates in the case of Bob Snow.

In addition to the interesting way Snow went about his research, the facts of the case are interesting also, though he has less to go on than Stevenson's group has in their better cases.

AP
 
#2
This video exemplifies what I consider to be the typical reaction to the intrusion of paranormality into everyday life. This may be because it is almost exactly how I reacted when this kind of thing happened in my life, but it is very interesting to hear this police captain go through his story of how he investigated a past life regression session for the purpose of proving that it was just a trick, a trick he knew it had to be. He didn't even consider the possibility it might be real until long after e started the investigation.

Skeptics: If the only questions or qualms you have with the material presented in the video are already mentioned by Snow, please do not raise them as if they are novel observations on your part. This video is being presented for the purpose of showing what happens when a true non-believer/skeptic is confronted with compelling data. This is what happened with Crookes, Hodgson, Stevenson, myself, and many others. Our current position on paranormal phenomena is not a reflection of a past position on the same subject, as this video demonstrates in the case of Bob Snow.

In addition to the interesting way Snow went about his research, the facts of the case are interesting also, though he has less to go on than Stevenson's group has in their better cases.
Interesting presentation Bob Snow gave, although I honestly don't know what to think about it. But I find it great to see adults indulging their childlike curiosity, and being brave enough to go on an interesting journey of self-discovery, without knowing where it will lead, and without worrying about the judgement of others.
 
#3
Interesting presentation Bob Snow gave, although I honestly don't know what to think about it. But I find it great to see adults indulging their childlike curiosity, and being brave enough to go on an interesting journey of self-discovery, without knowing where it will lead, and without worrying about the judgement of others.
... and without worrying if there's a book deal at the end of it.:)

Seriously though, I agree with Andy. Without interviewing Bob, the hypnotherapist, and listening to the original tape there's really not much more to say here, IMO.
 
#4
It's hard to imagine a more credible witness, and I believed his story. All I'll say is that it's impossible to know whether it was a past life of the detective, or some veridical information that he picked up in some other way. I suppose a sceptical view might be that at some stage in his life, the detective might have come across the information, then forgotten it, and the hypnosis session have jogged his memory and led him to believe it represented a past life.

What militates against this is the obscurity of the painter and the difficulty of finding any information about him, even by a determined and experienced detective. Sure, there turned out to have been a lot of information recorded by the painter himself, but it wasn't published and very hard to get access to. How would the detective have come across that information previously if he had simply forgotten doing so?

So on balance, I'm inclined to believe something paranormal was going on, though I'm not sure whether it was an actual past life regression--maybe super-psi? I disagree with Prescott's conclusions in that linked article, by the way: if one could access information from the collective unconscious, I see no reason why that information might not present itself in ways that could be interpreted as coming from a dead person trying to make contact through a medium, or as communication from a previous incarnation in a regression session.

There are a number of frameworks that could be used to provide some kind of explanation for what might actually be super-psi. As you can probably tell, I tend to be quite keen on the notion of super-psi, because of its parsimony. It also ties in quite well with other things, like morphic resonance; NDEs (where there may be cultural influences on how events are interpreted); and the notion of the imaginal realm and the relevance of that to mythology and various paranormal/spiritual phenomena.

Another point about the detective's credibility is that he didn't find the picture of the hunchback lady (has it since been located? I don't know). If he'd been out to scam people, he'd probably have wanted to base the scam around something that could actually be seen and verified. And also, of course, because publishing his book about the episode might threaten his existing publishing career (which actually seems to have been the case), as well as his standing as a detective, I find it hard to attribute a scurrilous motive, so it's very hard to impeach his sincerity. Moreover, he wasn't interested in the spiritual implications, so wasn't out to create a new career as an evangelist or guru. Coming out about his experiences only seems to have had negative potential for him, so why do it except for a genuine desire to get it on the record?
 
#5
I disagree with Prescott's conclusions in that linked article, by the way: if one could access information from the collective unconscious, I see no reason why that information might not present itself in ways that could be interpreted as coming from a dead person trying to make contact through a medium, or as communication from a previous incarnation in a regression session.

There are a number of frameworks that could be used to provide some kind of explanation for what might actually be super-psi. As you can probably tell, I tend to be quite keen on the notion of super-psi, because of its parsimony. It also ties in quite well with other things, like morphic resonance; NDEs (where there may be cultural influences on how events are interpreted); and the notion of the imaginal realm and the relevance of that to mythology and various paranormal/spiritual phenomena.
If cases of psi in survivalists contexts were psi only between living, then also cases of the same force would have to appear in non-survivalists contexts, but it is not, because cases of psi more robust precisely are cases in survivalists contexts pointing to two kind of psi, psi between living and psi between living and deceased.

Finally, the survival hypothesis is more parsimonious than the super psi hypothesis in the sense that phenomena such as NDEs, apparitions, mediumship and people who remember previous lives converge in a kind of afterlife, while the super psi hypothesis have to resort to a different explanation to address each of these phenomena. There is also incomprehensible things for super psi hypothesis, for example that mediums in trance also used to perceive auras around living beings, which is simply explained by a survival hypothesis through the aura as surface of the spirit.
 
#6
I'll have to do some more reading about past life regression, done a little this morning. From a psychotherapy angle, it seems apparently effective. Bob Snows presentation definitely gave me the impression he had undertaken some therapy, and was working through some things whilst undertaking his investigation. His explanation also felt partly like reverie, and partly dream-like, in the way it bound emotional messages within the visual imagery.

From my own point of view, episodic type memories (at least) are probably not stored in the brain. It seem to me that the unique spatial structures in the brain (dendrites/dendritic spines etc.), and the unique patterns of activation of these same structures via sensory input/output, somehow correlates with another process which works across space and time, and it is this process which enables us to experience 'meaning'.
 
#7
In addition to the interesting way Snow went about his research, the facts of the case are interesting also, though he has less to go on than Stevenson's group has in their better cases.
According to Steve Sakellarios (producer of In Another Life, Reincarnation in America), synchronicity, like Snow ending up face to face with the picture, is involved in many PL cases. Same for Jeff Keene's case. According to the footnote at the bottom of this page, Snow verified all 28 of the points noted on the session tape.

http://ial.goldthread.com/robertsnow.html

Cheers,
Bill
 
#8
... and without worrying if there's a book deal at the end of it.:)
People who go public with such cases often find it a deficit for their careers. Angela Grubbs, an attorney, used to have a website for her book and its now gone. Can't hire a lawyer who thinks she discovered a past life. Steve Sakellarios, for a long time, removed his name from his website because his video publishing business was suffering because he was associated with a reincarnation site.

Cheers,
Bill
 
#9
I can never understand why "super-psi" is regarded as parsimonious. As an attempted explanation it is in effect providing a blank slate upon which anything and everything may be written. A number of problems arise immediately from opening that doorway: Why stop at tuning in to a single individual, rather than an unlimited number of different individuals? Why is the target always deceased rather than another living individual? Why does the subject show no particular talent at say remote viewing or precognition in a general sense, rather than only in relation to a single specific person? Why does this super-psi not show up in other contexts, such as ganzfeld tests? All in all, super-psi is about as far from being parsimonious as it is possible to get, as compared with the very much simpler alternative, that a person is merely recalling memories of their own earlier existence.

Another aspect which is rather harder for any of us to judge, is the degree of emotional involvement of the person (Cpt. Robert Snow in this case) involved. Now people can exhibit an obsessive urge to follow some path, such as solving some mathematical theorem, or creating something such as a piece of great music or art. Such people are often very driven, and a police officer following a case may perhaps become powerfully involved in seeking to uncover the facts. So when a person is supposedly following a trail which is of personal significance, that is their own potential previous life, there may be powerful emotional involvement too, but as outsiders we are unable to judge whether this is qualitatively different (as one might perhaps expect) than say investigating some more conventional case. That, I think is something which we can't really know, but nevertheless may be one of the most important factors in assessing the meaning.

In this particular case, it almost looks as though there was a plan, the obsessive recording of information by Carroll Beckwith almost doesn't make much sense until paired with the complementary obsessive research by Robert Snow. These are things which perhaps from a disinterested perspective we might not like to consider, but it might suggest not only that reincarnation happens, but even when looking at a single lifetime, there could be a pattern or purpose behind the events in our life, no matter how mundane things may seem at times.
 
#10
Bob Snows presentation definitely gave me the impression he had undertaken some therapy, and was working through some things whilst undertaking his investigation.
Are you saying that carrying out this investigation seemed to have a therapeutic effect, or that he had had some additional therapy of some kind?
 
#11
I can never understand why "super-psi" is regarded as parsimonious. As an attempted explanation it is in effect providing a blank slate upon which anything and everything may be written.
Yup. That's why it's parsimonious! ;)
A number of problems arise immediately from opening that doorway: Why stop at tuning in to a single individual, rather than an unlimited number of different individuals? Why is the target always deceased rather than another living individual? Why does the subject show no particular talent at say remote viewing or precognition in a general sense, rather than only in relation to a single specific person? Why does this super-psi not show up in other contexts, such as ganzfeld tests? All in all, super-psi is about as far from being parsimonious as it is possible to get, as compared with the very much simpler alternative, that a person is merely recalling memories of their own earlier existence.
The way I see it, there's information "out there". With mediums, they can access it from a number of different sources they consider deceased people. Indeed, the information may relate to specific deceased individuals. But does it come from them, or some trace of them out there? With the detective, he wasn't a medium, so not especially psychic. Maybe he could connect strongly with only the one source of information. With Ganzfeld, the sender puts the info out there and the receiver tries to connect with it. Now and then in dreams, visions and other circumstances, e.g. a close connection with an individual, the connection can be spontaneous. There's a zillion different ways to receive information from out there, but the parsimonious thing is that there's only one out there out there: call it the collective unconscious or whatever.
 
#13
The way I see it, there's information "out there". With mediums, they can access it from a number of different sources they consider deceased people. Indeed, the information may relate to specific deceased individuals. But does it come from them, or some trace of them out there? With the detective, he wasn't a medium, so not especially psychic. Maybe he could connect strongly with only the one source of information.
I think the difference in many of the reincarnation cases is that the receiver of the information perceives it as experience in the first person. Observing information clairvoyantly is one thing, but if there is one single thing that we are all intimately familiar with it is how it feels to experience something from the first person perspective. Snow, Angela Grubbs, Jeff Keene, and others all described their cases as if they are the person experiencing it, although the trigger was different in each case (hypnotic regression, spontaneous dreams, and visiting an emotionally charged historic site, for example). I think the most parsimonious explanation is that latent memories from their own past experiences suddenly came to the forefront of their conscious minds from their own unconscious/subconscious mind.

Cheers,
Bill
 
#14
That was my point. The question is, what was the mechanism for this limitation, given the open-ended and limitless nature of the proposed super-psi?
No idea about the mechanism of access except that it depends on the mental state and capacity/capability of the accessor, and possibly, in the case of things like Ganzfeld and telepathy, of the depositor, of information.
 
#15
There's a zillion different ways to receive information from out there, but the parsimonious thing is that there's only one out there out there: call it the collective unconscious or whatever.
But that's too resort to parsimony because you ignore real differences that mediums report about psi between the living and psi between the living and the deceased, memories of possible past lives are in first person while clairvoyance is in third person, trance mediums also tend to perceive auras of living, etc.
 
#16
Yup. That's why it's parsimonious! ;)


The way I see it, there's information "out there". With mediums, they can access it from a number of different sources they consider deceased people. Indeed, the information may relate to specific deceased individuals. But does it come from them, or some trace of them out there? With the detective, he wasn't a medium, so not especially psychic. Maybe he could connect strongly with only the one source of information. With Ganzfeld, the sender puts the info out there and the receiver tries to connect with it. Now and then in dreams, visions and other circumstances, e.g. a close connection with an individual, the connection can be spontaneous. There's a zillion different ways to receive information from out there, but the parsimonious thing is that there's only one out there out there: call it the collective unconscious or whatever.
I don't think much of super-psi. Can it explain all of the phenomena for which psychical research has developed a large body of empirical evidence? Only at the expense of becoming incredibly convoluted and complicated, with the unconscious mind assuming virtually godlike powers of deception and psychic abilities. With mediumistic communications, the medium’s unconscious mind would supposedly be able to extract information telepathically from living minds and clairvoyantly from things located anywhere in the world and also in the past and future, integrate all this into a consistent whole, and present it in the guise of the appropriate discarnate personality. While also deceiving the conscious mind of the medium. The unconscious mind would have to be able to create the various cases of proxy sitters, drop-in communicators, the cross-correspondences, and the like. Further, the unconscious minds of ordinary people (not just gifted mediums) would have to be able to execute other incredible deceptions, including death-bed visions, at-death appearances, apparitions, NDEs, shared-death experiences, children who remember past lives, and more.

With super-psi there would have to be a worldwide conspiracy of the unconscious minds of the population, all trying to fool us into thinking that survival is real. Of course this can't logically be ruled out; it is ultimately possible that in any area things are not what they seem. Maybe I'm not really writing this post. It is interesting that even in principle super-psi can't be falsified, since an entity with virtually unlimited powers of deception can by definition be responsible for any evidence apparently against it. By the way there is no independent evidence for "living agent psi" of such magnitude.

The survival hypothesis provides a single simple explanation for this diverse array of phenomena.
 
#20
That was my point. The question is, what was the mechanism for this limitation, given the open-ended and limitless nature of the proposed super-psi?
I dunno what that label means, so can't really discuss it.

However on past life regressions, sometimes the information recorded at the time of the session has been shown to be incorrect. At other times the patients perspective has not been 'first person', instead they watch scenes play out from a dislocated position, often from above.

Both of these observations seem difficult to understand if I try to explain these patients experiences as their literal past lives.
 
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