How To: Stop Terrorism and End
the War in Afghanistan (and perhaps
stabilize the economy, reduce crime, eliminate gangs,
end prejudice, stop human trafficking, improve education, prevent civil war, end cruelty to animals, give
people hope, and much, much more...........)
By A Husband of a Near-Death Experiencer
M illions know what the human race is missing. They learned about the one
thing which could mitigate all of these problems during their unexpected voyages.
“We’re all the same!” one told a TV audience. “We’re all part of this big-picture
reality! If everyone knew it they’d stop fighting each other!”
These voyagers are the near-death experiencers you’ve heard and read about. Many tried tell others
what they’d learned and eventually gave up. Many thought, “It’s pointless. “I must be the only one shown their
life by a spirit.” It sounded too much like a Scrooge story.
But millions have had that life review. Re-experiencing their lives, they felt every bit of joy and pain they’d
caused others. Good deeds rippled from person to person, and they experienced the joy it brought others at every
step. The bad stuff was just the opposite. They felt the consequences of those actions, too, and for some it was
hell. “Karma”; some thought. It was the ultimate rehabilitation. Transformation was unavoidable.
These millions have seen a piece of the puzzle that is invisible to the rest of us. They know that everyone is
part of the same plan. They think that if people understood this, peace would exist by default.
As the lucky husband of a near-death experiencer (NDEr), and as a student of these experiences for 30 years,
I’ve found the preceding to be typical. NDErs are frustrated that, in this ‘age of enlightenment’, beliefs can be so
wrong that we kill each other.
NDErs experience something that evidently answers fundamental questions about mankind – who we are
(‘eternally existing conscious beings, somehow interconnected with each other’) and the reason we’re here (‘to
learn and mature efficiently by living the intense experiences of earthly life’). At least; that’s what they seem to
be saying in their anecdotal accounts through which one can hear them struggle to relate experiences that are
beyond words. Whatever specific incidents they encounter they become transformed into tolerant, peaceful,
global citizens (if they weren’t so enlightened, beforehand).
My wife learned these things moments after she dropped a gun that shot her in the chest. She was 23. Sixteen
years later, as a single mother with two twelve-year-olds, she mentioned her experience to a counselor who gave
her the phone number for an NDE support group. The phone number was mine. We met at a Perkins restaurant
and she told me this story (paraphrased):
‘We lived in an old farmhouse that had ten-foot ceilings. One night, when my husband was working, I thought
the doorknob on the back door had turned and called him for help. Nothing was found, so I told him to leave
his .22 Ruger pistol with me. When I got home from work the next day, one of my girlfriends was in the house
with her daughter and I was afraid her daughter might play with the gun. When I moved it to the dining room it
slid out of the holster, hit the table, and shot me with a hollow-point bullet. I slid to the floor and told my
girlfriend to call the life-squad number which had come in the mail the day before. I’d put it on the phone only
because I had tried to throw it away three times (since I think stickers are tacky) but couldn’t because I couldn’t
make my fingers let-go of it.
‘I passed-out but then suddenly was conscious again, without any pain, and saw my girlfriend trying to
explain to a paramedic what had happened. She was crying so I tried to explain what happened but no one
listened to me, which I thought was rude until I realized they couldn’t hear me. I could see my husband in
another room with two policemen who were questioning him. He was insisting he’d been at work when I was
shot. At that point I noticed my body on the floor and realized I didn’t have a body; that I seemed like a ball of
light that was above everyone and that I could see into the whole house. I felt that I had no connection to my
body. I felt peaceful, with no discomfort except for a feeling of sorrow or pity for the people worrying about me
because it all seemed so unimportant. I also knew many things without knowing how I knew them – like I could
move from one place to another by just willing it, and that I couldn’t leave my body until it died. I wanted it to
die so I could leave. Then, just as I began to think about my husband being alone if I died I was suddenly back in
my body and the pain was the worst I’d ever felt. It caused me to pass out.
‘I bled internally at a country hospital for over an hour before being transferred to Good Sam hospital in
Cincinnati where a surgeon met us in the parking lot, cut my side and inserted chest tubes at which point I passed
out again. I found out later that the bullet had gone through my liver, broken three ribs, put a hole in my lung and
stopped in my shoulder.
‘I knew that my experience had been real because I later told my husband and my girlfriend what I’d heard
and seen during that time and they confirmed all that I’d seen. They agreed that I couldn’t have witnessed most
of what I had seen from the position of my body.
‘Before that time I’d been a very passive and religious person. After my experience I no longer felt less than
others because I saw everyone as the same. I knew that people are supposed to be accepting and non-judgmental
of each other.’
My wife’s experience was not as deep or as profound as many, and yet she “got” the message that left her
convinced of her ‘eternalness’ and the even-deeper conviction that we are here to take care of each other.
Because the effects of these experiences are so universal I think the inescapable conclusion is that this
information could change the world if everyone were to learn what experiencers learned. Could that knowledge
be the ‘convenient truth’ that will bring us together?
Let’s review things that are known about these experiences.
NDEs have common aspects that are amazingly consistent. That makes them statistically significant. We’re
certain that, at a minimum, some aspects are real since, when it has been possible to check on them, they’ve been
verified. Confirmation of her observations convinced my wife of that. Observations of other experiencers have
been similarly confirmed whenever it has been possible to check them for accuracy. Physiological conditions
suspected of causing NDEs (indeed, even measurable continuation of brain function) have been proven
unnecessary for them to occur. Unfathomable as these facts are, no hypothesis has been able to account for them.
We are evidently comprised of more than molecules that make-up our physical bodies. It seems there is no better
example of truth being stranger than fiction. For that reason NDErs have been reluctant to admit them. Thirty
years ago everyone thought they were crazy. Today, serious researchers realize they’re not.
Perhaps the most important of experiencers’ claims are these: we are the same; death is not the end of
consciousness; we’re all part of an invisible plan in which no one is more special than anyone else; everyone is
here for the purpose of learning how to live with and take care of each other. If what they say is true we have a
resource that could unify people, probably more surely than would an alien invasion.
The general public is aware of these experiences but knows little about them. NDE studies have been
published in The Lancet and other journals but the general public hasn’t seen them. Curiosity-feeding
dramatizations are what the public has seen; possibly leaving viewers less persuaded than the journal readers.
Without fair exposure to verified aspects of NDEs the facts seem unbelievable. With fair exposure, the facts are
undeniable, however ineffable they may be.
These millions of accounts address our most fundamental questions. If experiencers are correct, everyone is a
part of the same big-picture. Knowledge of that should create a space, first for tolerance, and then for acceptance
One of the best sources for NDE information is the International Association for Near Death Studies which
has studied these facts and published a quarterly journal for decades. Find it at www.iands.org.
Now let’s address potential benefits of publicizing this information.
The world is in crisis. History shows it has always been in crisis, but nowadays it’s a smaller world with
portable nuclear bombs, and transport capabilities and fanatics that want to culturally cleanse the planet. Our
increasing population requires more food, water, living space, and safe haven. As these become scarce, the
opportunities and reasons for killing each other will only grow. The combination of growing world crises added
to knowledge of our responsibilities which NDEs have shown, could provide the incentive that would
successfully address these issues.
As for terrorists – we can’t keep nuclear weapons from them forever. Our stressed economy can’t keep
increasing its defense expenditures. Without a means for changing their thinking, extremists will never recognize
anything but their distorted beliefs and terrorism will never end. Up to now, we’ve been limited to intelligence
for defense and only military options for fighting them. Since the truth of our greater reality would affect people
of all cultures and in all countries, this information seems to be the only thing that will ultimately change our
If society doesn’t change we’ll forever live with palpable fear. It’s worst for those who frequent or live near
public transportation, parks, shopping centers, tunnels, bridges, skyscrapers – even our churches, mosques and
temples. We’ll add entire cities to that list if and when terrorists acquire just one nuclear weapon.
Newborns start life in an ever-more-dangerous world. Our great-grandchildren will, too, if we don’t evolve.
Terrorists are winning now, even when they’re not attacking us. This is our new “normal”. Experts say we’ve
been lucky. They’re surprised a large attack hasn’t been repeated. They also say terrorists love anniversaries;
dates like nine-eleven, 2011. That date passed, but we were hit overseas.
Plans for using this information to achieve peace are not new. Leading academics began to follow research on
NDEs when the medical profession learned to successfully resuscitate people. They seriously discussed ideas for
using this information at a UN symposium in 2008 reasoning that such profound, implicative events could
counteract dangerous beliefs.
These experiences are mystical experiences, but, they’re not the singular experiences that fostered religions
and their endless schisms. Those incidents were not subjected to scientific peer-reviewed studies.
By contrast, there have been a great number of NDEs. In the early 1980’s a Gallup poll found there have been
eight million survivors with NDE’s in the US, alone. They have very consistent characteristics that have been
rigorously studied. They have statistical significance, making important the fact that they all teach the same
principles of peace and understanding.
As already suggested, no matter what they’d believed before their experiences, NDErs will tell you they
learned why we are here and how we’re supposed to live, and that for them violence toward others is unthinkable.
It becomes impossible for those who’ve learned these things to believe women are inferior, that God instructs us
to kill, or that a suicide-bomber gets rewarded in the afterlife.
Some NDErs speak of life elsewhere in the universe. That makes logical sense. Would the billions of stars in
the billions of each galaxy exist for no reason? We stopped thinking “flat-earth” long ago; it’s time we stopped
thinking “small”. We’re part of a far bigger plan than we’ve imagined. We have new evidence and we’d be
stupid to ignore it. Not entirely surprisingly, near-death experiences also say there’s a universal intelligence far
beyond the grasps of our finite minds.
Famous people have had these experiences, too. To name just a few, those admitting to that include Peter
Sellers, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Bennett, Donald Sutherland, Burt Reynolds, Nebraska Senator Robert Kerrey,
Debra Winger, Chevy Chase, George Lucas, and Jordan’s King Hussein. Before you conclude they and other
survivors were hallucinating, think about other paradigm changes – even recent ones – that enhanced our
understanding of reality.
Galileo and Copernicus found our true position in the universe. Astrophysics tells us starlight traveled billions
of years from galaxies billions of light years from us, and that makes our universe more than 6000 years old.
Medical science discovered microorganisms, and surgeons learned to wash their hands. Scientists discovered
invisible radiation – radio waves, ionizing radiation like X-rays, and photons in the spectrum below and above
visible light. Physicists discovered relativity and quantum physics, finding subatomic behaviors as
incomprehensible as NDEs. Biologists found that organisms evolve over time. Earth scientists discovered plate
tectonics. It has always taken a while for man to believe in what he can measure but can’t see.
And, by the way, evolution is part of the ongoing paradigm shift. Even the Catholic Church accepts that it
causes change, stating that evolutionary biology is consistent with creation. Evolution happens. It’s the reason we
need a different flu shot every year. It also has made bedbugs harder to kill.
So, survivors started our newest paradigm shift. Consciousness can exist apart from the physical brain; does
survive when brain and body functions are interrupted. And, note that attributes of “consciousness” include
nothing less than “vivid and complex thinking, sensations, and memory formation under conditions in which
current neuroscientific models of the mind deem them impossible, such as under general anesthesia, and in
cardiac arrest.” 
Skeptics have responsibly suggested that physiological conditions such as visual cortex firings, a flood of
endorphins, low blood oxygen, and even psychological conditions might produce these experiences. But, they
don’t. As another leading researcher pointed-out those kinds of conditions produce “…disorganized and
compromised cerebral function and impaired attention” [during which] “consciousness and memory formation
would not be expected to occur.” 
As with other discoveries, the evidence filters through society and it’s eventually accepted. That can be
accelerated if people realize its potential benefits and that we may be running out of time. We need to see if this
resource can prevent genocides, end permanent feuds, make politicians responsible, and give the world some
hope for its future. We can test that potential by starting a global conversation about our best scientific studies on
these experiences. Once that is underway, experiencers who’ve lived these events (many of whom have kept
them secret) could feed this conversation indefinitely. It could even start an unparalleled news-feeding frenzy.
Perhaps we would finally grow-up.
More specifically, here’s how this information could produce positive results. Since terrorists are religious,
they already believe we’re more than our physical bodies; that we have non-physical, spiritual components.
They’re just missing the knowledge of our sameness, that we’re all in this together, interconnected within a
single universal plan. Teach the terrorists that and we win, not by conquering or killing them – the usual goal of
wars – but by making them partners. They will learn, through this paradigm-changing conversation that people
with conflicting faiths are not “infidels” and that no divine being instructs them to kill.
Similarly, in the present Arab Spring and with events like the massacre in Norway, information about human
interconnectedness could produce miracles. One effect could be prevention of additional Norway-like killings.
It’s needed in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and now especially Egypt and Libya – everywhere that
special interests exploit uncertainty and desperation – to prevent citizens from becoming hostages of “true
believers” and despots. Long-standing prejudices will end.
Change won’t stop there. For adolescents, life can suddenly make sense; feel purposeful. They’ll realize they
shouldn’t wait until they’re adults to be responsible. Those feeling abandoned will know they’re important parts
of this reality; that as such, they deserve respect and can respect themselves. Drive-by shootings, rapes, high
school massacres, gang wars, bullying – for most, these crimes will be unthinkable. Kidnappers and people-
traffickers will see their victims as the family members they essentially are.
This information will dovetail with the world’s increasing push for freedom. Governments will grant more
rights, if only because they’d lose all support if they didn’t. Expect countries to reduce national security and
military expense, and wars to become obsolete. Can you imagine all of that? The Beatles did.
In short: there could be progress with most problems that humans face. That should be our future. It could be
our future; our combined futures.
This could be our “convenient truth” – proof of shared humanity in a shared reality – this decade’s greatest
Unless this knowledge inhibits our free-will, and counters some unknown law of this inscrutable reality, we’ll
realize these benefits. Let’s all commit to honest and open-minded investigation of this windfall phenomenon
and participate in the conversation that might fast-track the advance of global civilization.
Our universal prayer should be this – “May the universal intelligence approve of our efforts and honor our
intentionality with its help!”
Address responses to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
IANDS website – www.iands.org
Jane Seymour, Peter Sellers, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Pastorelli, Sharon Stone, Gary Busey, Larry Hagman, Sally
Kirkland, William Peterson, Tony Bennett, Donald Sutherland, Eric Estrada, Burt Reynolds, James Cromwell, Chevy Chase,
Lou Gossett Jr., Eric Roberts, Rebecca DeMornay, George Lucas, Ozzy Osbourne, Elvis Presley – http://www.near-
death.com/famous.html; Senator Robert Kerrey of Nebraska, Debra Winger, – Vanity Fair, January 1992, page 98 Bob
Kerrey’s Odyssey, by Peter J. Boyer, and Jordan’s King Hussein – The New York Times, April 22, 1984, Section 6, page 24,
King Hussein’s Delicate Balance by Judith Miller, Cairo bureau chief
Explanatory models for near-death experiences - The handbook of near-death experiences: Thirty years of investigation
(pp. 213-234). Santa Barbara, CA, US: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, xv, 316 pp Greyson, Bruce; Kelly, Emily Williams; Kelly,
Edward F. Holden, Janice Minor (Ed); Greyson, Bruce (Ed); James, Debbie (Ed), (2009)
Science and the Near-Death Experience: How Consciousness Survives Death by Christopher David Carter. Lake Book
Manufacturing, 2010 ISBN 978-1-59477-356-3
Explanatory addendum –
Millions have had a near death experience (NDE). According to the prevailing medical definition of death,
many of these people were clinically dead for many minutes. While temporarily dead, they were able to move
freely without gravity holding them down, and without physical boundaries limiting their movement. The first
thing those experiencers learn is that when their body dies they continue to feel as alive as ever. They can float
about and observe their bodies and surroundings. They learn and accept that there is life after death.
There are many detailed reports of NDErs that viewed a replay of their lives that included not only how they
directly treated and affected others, but how their actions indirectly affected even more people as the effects of
their actions rippled through strings of others’ relationships.
During these experiences (as these millions of NDEr “reporters” have variously disclosed), they usually leave
their bodies. For some often-long-duration time, before they reenter their bodies, they learn that although
peoples’ color, appearance, language, etc. may be different, all of them have conscious essences (or souls, or
spirits) which are basically the same as everyone else’s, and that all are part of a grand plan within which they
live on earth for a period of time and then “die” (in this physical world), only to continue-on with full
consciousness in an environment having characteristics that these “reporters” have (unfortunately, and variously)
just barely glimpsed.
Today, now that millions around the world have had NDEs and so many have been reported, people have
been more willing to reveal what they’ve experienced. When people thought they were the only ones that had
such experiences they often found that others considered them crazy. Despite such reactions, most knew what
they had witnessed had been real, and they learned (as a “truth” of great importance) that it is wrong to harm
If the knowledge that NDErs have acquired could be exported to the rest of the world, and if it were actually
accepted after learning the irrefutable evidence for its reality, peace would spread.
Although understandable, it’s unfortunate that people don’t easily learn from others’ experiences. Many get
burned before realizing a hot stove is dangerous, or need to touch a newly painted surface near a WET PAINT
sign. It’s also unfortunate that many have beliefs that prevent them from accepting that this “grand plan” could
be so inclusive, and that despite the positive values taught by our religions their teachings do so much to divide
Perhaps, eventually, NDEs and other spiritual experiences will be so broadly studied, reported and accepted
that we will become civilized enough to have peace, and to work together as the global family members we