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The rhetoric pervading Tart's account implies that scientism or dogmatic materialism is the only obstacle to accepting a survivalist interpretation of NDEs. But this is simply not the case. First, it is crucially important to note that one could have good reasons for disbelieving that NDEs are visions of an afterlife . For instance, this essay has actually presented data which suggests that NDEs are glimpses of another world after death. One need not have any commitment to materialism—dogmatic or otherwise—to doubt that genuine glimpses of an afterlife would involve train rides, false out-of-body perceptions, or encounters with living persons, fictional characters, and mythological creatures. It is entirely possible that an afterlife exists but that NDEs are not glimpses of it—a view similar to the Buddhist belief that the dying pass through several illusory bardo states generated by their own minds before entering the 'real' afterlife (Fox 94-96).

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This raises further questions about the extent to which near-death researchers have also used leading interviewing techniques (Fox 199-200). As Greyson points out, how a counselor responds to an NDEr "can have a tremendous influence on or whether it is regarded as a bizarre experience that must not be shared" [emphasis mine] (Greyson, "Near-Death" 328). While some counselors might take a dismissive attitude to such experiences, many are likely to influence NDErs in the opposite direction, and near-death researchers seem particularly likely to positively reinforce an afterlife interpretation of NDEs. This may be one reason why so many NDErs accept that interpretation. Another may be that widespread belief in an afterlife among the general population has already primed NDErs to interpret unusual experiences on the brink of death in terms of an afterlife. And on top of such outside influences, Fox notes:

Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences

Nor was Locke finished with public affairs. In 1696 the Board of Tradewas revived. Locke played an important part in its revival and servedas the most influential member on it until 1700. The new Board ofTrade had administrative powers and was, in fact, concerned with awide range of issues, from the Irish wool trade and the suppression ofpiracy, to the treatment of the poor in England and the governance ofthe colonies. It was, in Peter Laslett’s phrase “the body whichadministered the United States before the American Revolution”(Lazlett in Yolton 1990 p. 127). During these last eight years of hislife, Locke was asthmatic, and he suffered so much from it that hecould only bear the smoke of London during the four warmer months ofthe year. Locke plainly engaged in the activities of the Board out ofa strong sense of patriotic duty. After his retirement from the Boardof Trade in 1700, Locke remained in retirement at Oates until hisdeath on Sunday 28 October 1704.

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Fox has uncovered further evidence that temporal lobe activity may bring about NDEs. He notes that when he examined complete NDE accounts from the RERC archives, rather than the incomplete extracts published by major near-death researchers, he found signs of temporal lobe epilepsy in a significant number of NDErs. In particular, he found signs of , a compulsion to write extensively about spiritual realities. In one case from the RERC archives, for example, a man reported an OBE, a tunnel experience, encounters with deceased relatives, and a life review, followed by 11 pages of speculative hypergraphic testimony about the meaning of life, the purpose of existence, the soul, and the beginning of the universe (Fox 161). Fox concludes that:

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A similar explanation seems plausible for the so-called 'decision to return' in near-death experiences, where NDErs often seem to struggle with trying to figure out who made the decision. In their study van Lommel and colleagues found that only 5 out of the total 62 NDErs (8%) even reported encountering a border between life and death; this was the least common NDE element found (van Lommel et al. 2041). Most NDErs simply find themselves 'back in their bodies' with no idea of how they transitioned back to normal consciousness, just as we would expect if the physiological conditions necessary to maintain hallucinations had disappeared.

This account was written in 1969 for publication in Marihuana Reconsidered (1971)

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[] In his first commentary Bruce Greyson denied that near-death researchers appeal to such "'high probability' guesses" when making a case for veridical paranormal perception during NDEs—which is a bit too strong given that such instances can be cited. (In fact, in my response I cited three examples of 'high probability guesses' proffered by near-death researchers). More importantly, though, Greyson maintained that there have been cases of NDErs accurately reporting quite unpredictable details, noting for instance "one man's accurate description of his cardiac surgeon during his open-heart surgery 'flapping his arms as if trying to fly'," a detail which Greyson described as "corroborated by independent interviews with the doctors and nurses involved" (Greyson, "Paranormal" 240). (The surgeon in question had developed a habit of keeping his arms close to his chest and pointing with his elbows to keep his hands sterile.)