Customer Reviews


71 Reviews
5 star:
 (37)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (12)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but magnificent
First and foremost, to address some 'ugly' things:
1. The vast majority of criticism of this book seems to be the ever so popular a priori criticism: please read the book, then question.
2. The research is not 'soft' on evidence; the quantative data is there, albeit abhoringly incomplete: this is to be expected, this book is one of the first of the kind.
3...
Published on Oct. 5 2003 by Alan Wilder

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Schwartz makes it hard not to believe in the afterlife
Life after death has been one if the many controversial topics of discussion. Inductive arguments exist such as is there life after death, are love and life eternal, and is there a survival of consciousness after physical death. In this book Dr. Gary Schwartz and his research partner Dr. Linda Russek set out to investigate this phenomenon. With the help of a handful of...
Published on Dec 9 2002 by Sheri Campney


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but magnificent, Oct. 5 2003
By 
Alan Wilder (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death (Paperback)
First and foremost, to address some 'ugly' things:
1. The vast majority of criticism of this book seems to be the ever so popular a priori criticism: please read the book, then question.
2. The research is not 'soft' on evidence; the quantative data is there, albeit abhoringly incomplete: this is to be expected, this book is one of the first of the kind.
3. CSICOP 'rebuttal' of this book is awfully weak, I expected more. The part that would be most devastating, aligations of cold reading, is also the weakest because the people sampled in the Afterlife Experiments do a beginning session without gathering any information. Schwartz has a reason to be righteously indignant on this point: if it is cold readings, PROVE it. It is easy to be an armchair critic, but doing one's own experiments is considerably harder.
Now, having cleared this, although the research is flawed, particularily the sample size, this is to be expected. However, regardless of this, the qualitative side is so thorough that it makes the sample almost irrelevant. I do not think this book 'proves' consciousness survives: no experiment in my mind can completely prove it. However, we may now perhaps begin formulating the afterlife THEORY, which is downright exciting.
I am not sure if research like this will ever hit mainstream, however. Materialism is still much too popular to allow for extensive research, which would make the sample size stronger.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for the Truly Objective, Jan. 30 2004
By 
Jeff Danelek (Lakewood, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death (Paperback)
Gary Schwartz' After Life Experiments may not be the best book I've ever read, but it certainly may be one of the most important. Schwartz' willingness to stake his professional career and academic credentials in pursuit of the question of whether human consciousness survives death is nothing if not courageous, and his book echoes that daring approach to a subject "real" science has chosen to consistently ignore. This book, I believe, will be remembered as the forerunner of a host of similar works in the future, and may be looked upon by future generations as a watershed work in the field of parapsychology.
That being said, I will not do another chapter by chapter critique of the book, for the contents have been well covered by other reviewers. What I do want to discuss is how it is being reviewed. I find it most curious that it either consistently receives five stars and high praise (often by apparently cogent, intelligent reviewers) or one star and some turgid two sentence review to the effect "this is all nonsense." There's almost nothing in between these two extremes. Obviously, it has hit a few raw nerves and is being set up as the biggest challenge for the skeptical community to date. It's fascinating to observe to what extent debunkers will go in their efforts to silence an author's work, and wonder if that's a sign of their intellectual superiority or evidence of some deep seated fear. I really don't know, but I find it an interesting phenomenon in any case.
As for the book, I strongly advise anyone with even a modicum of objectivity to read it. It may not change your life, but it's certain to change a few minds or, at very least, get you thinking. A nice read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book on Psychic Mediums, July 2 2003
By 
Jeffrey Goldstein "book fanatic!" (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Afterlife Experiments is a fabulous and very well written book. I have probably read hundreds of books on the subject. This unique book is by far my favorite (I have read it twice already!). Pay no mind to the negative reviews as I cannot fathom how one can rate this fascinating book poorly. As you read the book you get the feeling that the author has tremendous integrity. Gary Schwartz goes to great lengths to eliminate any possibility of fraud in testing the mediums under very controlled conditions in a laboratory setting. In my opinion this book provides very compelling evidence for the legitimacy of psychic mediumship. Some of the information the mediums bring forward is truly mind-boggling! Does this prove definitively that there is an afterlife? Probably not - but the "living soul hypothesis" as discussed by the author seems to be the best explanation. I have absolutely no doubt that the famous mediums tested by Gary Schwartz are the real deal. The greatest tricksters or magicians in the world clearly cannot do what these mediums have done. Read this wonderful book and decide for yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Schwartz makes it hard not to believe in the afterlife, Dec 9 2002
By 
Life after death has been one if the many controversial topics of discussion. Inductive arguments exist such as is there life after death, are love and life eternal, and is there a survival of consciousness after physical death. In this book Dr. Gary Schwartz and his research partner Dr. Linda Russek set out to investigate this phenomenon. With the help of a handful of well-known mediums, they set out to prove, or disprove, the existence of an afterlife through a series of well-controlled experiments.
I had a hard time in the beginning of this book believing in it. Being one of I am sure many people these days that are questioning their faith, the thought of life after death was pretty much a doubt to me. It is hard not to become a believer however after reading this book. The circumstances of the experiments left me rereading the scientific results searching for my own explanations, however I could not find any. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Russek were very careful to control their laboratory conditions in each experiment they conducted. In these controlled experiments the mediums attempted to contact those family and friends who had past on of "sitters" who at times were hidden from view and kept silent so as not to allow the mediums any opportunity to get any kind of hints from the sitters. The two Dr.'s first started testing the survival of consciousness hypothesis before moving through several other experiments each getting more and more controlled with the use of curtains, walls, and silence. Through several experiments including a single blind experiment, kept secret from everyone but the experimenter, they were able to scientifically rule out telepathy and remote viewing, amongst other things, while the mediums accurately conveyed several facts with no help from the sitter. Not only were the mediums accurate independently, but as a group collectively. Through out the entire book the Dr.'s remained their biggest skeptics. The thought of being deceived lead them to be more cautious about accepting "evidence" from their experiments and the people in them no matter what their credentials. They used arguments of elimination to rule out logically the various possibilities of deception, telepathy, and even remote viewing.
At one point Dr. Schwartz states that science is a systematic approach to obtaining knowledge. After several of the experiments Dr. Schwartz goes so far as to compare the results with control groups outside the experiments to see if they could come up with the same results as the mediums. Science must continue to address the issues of the fraud hypothesis. The only way to do this is by repeating the same conditions and examining the results over and over under these conditions if any one is to believe in mediums. The one thing that grabbed me the most about the book was surprisingly not the extraordinary accurate information that these mediums were able to obtain in these highly controlled experiments, but the fact that Dr. Schwartz welcomes any help in discovering any flaws in his experiments in order to develop better ones. It is as if he does not want to believe his own findings.
Was there a possibility of deception by the people involved in these experiments? With each experiment the chance of deception decreased as the control levels increased to disprove each deception. Each experiment is described clearly and the findings were for the most part consistent. I feel that Dr. Schwartz presents his findings of an afterlife with scientific evidence through his controlled experiments. I believe his findings to be valid and convincing. There were some attacks on the mediums which could fall under the fallacy of "arguments against a person" where people felt that the mediums were using nothing but magic and forer effects to get there information. But it is in my opinion that the highly controlled experiments and the measures that were taken disprove these attacks.
The claim of an afterlife is well presented in this book. The evidence collected in these experiments support the claim of an afterlife with 80% accuracy and disproves other hypothesis like telepathy, magic, fraud, deception, and remote viewing. The use of control groups double-checking the evidence support the accuracy of the evidence collected. I would have to agree with Dr. Russek when she states "Let the data speak, whatever the data says". The experiments conducted by Dr. Schwartz make it hard not to believe in an afterlife.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Example of:, Dec 2 2002
By 
1. How one's credentials get you in the door, but still allow you to be fallible and self-deceiving. That's why studies need to be repeated by others. That's what happened with "cold fusion", and what has happened with EVERY study of ESP, precognition, and mediums. This one wasn't, and the critical independent reviews were ignored in the blind rush to publish.
2. How difficult it is to do good research. On the surface, this looks to be a well-conducted study. Even I was fooled, until I read the report of Ray Hyman, "How Not to Test Mediums", in the Jan/Feb 2003 "Skeptical Inquirer". Over a dozen key rules of good research were broken. Most telling is the failure of Schwartz's best medium, Laurie Campbell, to have greater than chance success with 6 "sitters", despite allowing the sitters to score their own readings. The only sitter she succeeded with rejected every accurate statement in one reading that started by saying "this has female energy", not even accepting as a hit the name of his love partner who died, and accepted everything as an amazing hit in the other reading, which he assumed must have been for him, despite the fact that it contained none of the information she provided in a previous un-blinded sitting for him! Despite this negative result, Schwartz claims that the success with this one (of six) sitters PROVES his case. Amazing!
3. The power of self-deception and self-fulfilling prophesies. Watch how this review and every negative review of the book gets panned by other people, and every positive review of the book gets praised. Read the report of Ray Hyman, "How Not to Test Mediums", in the Jan/Feb 2003 "Skeptical Inquirer", and see how Schwartz ignores and rationalizes away all criticism of his sloppy techniques.
4. How you can't judge a non-fiction book by it's reviews. It's so comforting to believe in an afterlife, in ESP, in fate, in external meaning to one's life, and so HARD to be a skeptic! Do you think scientists enjoy having their work cut to shreds? How much easier to believe your fantasies uncritically.
5. The danger of true believers publishing non-peer-reviewed books and articles, especially ones like Deepak Chopra's, who has now profited from an audiotape with Schwartz in addition to his millions from every quack therapy imaginable.
6. How true believers will ignore every critical study, including ones by scientists who STARTED as true believers and got disillusioned when they OPENED their minds, like Ray Hyman, Susan Blakemore, me, and Basava Premanand. Mr. Premanand has devoted his career to investigating the claims of Indian gurus, yogis, and fakirs, and has found not one "miracle" that he couldn't perform himself using the knowledge of physiology, chemistry, and sleight-of-hand.
7. How most skeptics and scientists, if given one wish, would say something like Mr. Premanand said, "I'd like to witness a real miracle before dying". Houdini spent his last years trying to communicate with the dead, and discovered that every medium was a fraud. Unfortunately, Dr. Schwartz has done great damage to science and common sense with this book, which only adds to the overwhelming pile of nonsense that people will read and gullibly believe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Peer review, May 27 2002
By A Customer
Many times in science an experiment appears to prove a hypothesis. The mechanism that is used to be certain that data and an experiment are really accurate is peer review. Nothing gets into the good scientific journals without it. There is no peer review of this data, and simply stating that Schwartz is "Harvard trained" doesn't cut the mustard. So is Deepak Chopra, who claims that cataracts can be reversed if you "brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, spit into a cup of water, and wash your eyes for a few minutes with this mixture". John Mack is a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who writes about alien abductions. Sorry folks, it takes more than this book to "prove" that psychics are real.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars debunk the debunkers..., Nov. 10 2003
By A Customer
So, I'm supposed to believe this book is bunk and is not objective based upon an article that appeared in a publication "objectively" entitled Skeptical Inquirer? I'll pass on that one.
I do think this study's methodology is not perfect, but I don't think you're going to find perfect methodology to study life after death phenomena. It comes down to faith in the long run. I think this book is an interesting study of mediumship. One of those read it and decide for yourself books.I wouldn't take it as proof, but it is encouraging. I'm just weary of holier-than-thou skeptics and their arrogant, flawed methods of "debunking" and review. They are no more scientific or objective than anyone else.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book on Psychic Mediums, July 2 2003
By 
Jeffrey Goldstein "book fanatic!" (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Afterlife Experiments is a fabulous and very well written book. I have probably read hundreds of books on the subject. This unique book is by far my favorite (I have read it twice already!). Pay no mind to the negative reviews as I cannot fathom how one can rate this fascinating book poorly. As you read the book you get the feeling that the author has tremendous integrity. Gary Schwartz goes to great lengths to eliminate any possibility of fraud in testing the mediums under very controlled conditions in a laboratory setting. In my opinion this book provides very compelling evidence for the legitimacy of psychic mediumship. Some of the information the mediums bring forward is truly mind-boggling! Does this prove definitively that there is an afterlife? Probably not - but the "living soul hypothesis" as discussed by the author seems to be the best explanation. I have absolutely no doubt that the famous mediums tested by Gary Schwartz are the real deal. The greatest tricksters or magicians in the world clearly cannot do what these mediums have done. Read this wonderful book and decide for yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book on Psychic Mediums, July 2 2003
By 
Jeffrey Goldstein "book fanatic!" (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Afterlife Experiments is a fabulous and very well written book. I have probably read hundreds of books on the subject. This unique book is by far my favorite (I have read it twice already!). Pay no mind to the negative reviews as I cannot fathom how one can rate this fascinating book poorly. As you read the book you get the feeling that the author has tremendous integrity. Gary Schwartz goes to great lengths to eliminate any possibility of fraud in testing the mediums under very controlled conditions in a laboratory setting. In my opinion this book provides very compelling evidence for the legitimacy of psychic mediumship. Some of the information the mediums bring forward is truly mind-boggling! Does this prove definitively that there is an afterlife? Probably not - but the "living soul hypothesis" as discussed by the author seems to be the best explanation. I have absolutely no doubt that the famous mediums tested by Gary Schwartz are the real deal. The greatest tricksters or magicians in the world clearly cannot do what these mediums have done. Read this wonderful book and decide for yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book on Psychic Mediums, July 2 2003
By 
Jeffrey Goldstein "book fanatic!" (Long Island, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Afterlife Experiments is a fabulous and very well written book. I have probably read hundreds of books on the subject. This unique book is by far my favorite (I have read it twice already!). Pay no mind to the negative reviews as I cannot fathom how one can rate this fascinating book poorly. As you read the book you get the feeling that the author has tremendous integrity. Gary Schwartz goes to great lengths to eliminate any possibility of fraud in testing the mediums under very controlled conditions in a laboratory setting. In my opinion this book provides very compelling evidence for the legitimacy of psychic mediumship. Some of the information the mediums bring forward is truly mind-boggling! Does this prove definitively that there is an afterlife? Probably not - but the "living soul hypothesis" as discussed by the author seems to be the best explanation. I have absolutely no doubt that the famous mediums tested by Gary Schwartz are the real deal. The greatest tricksters or magicians in the world clearly cannot do what these mediums have done. Read this wonderful book and decide for yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death
The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death by Ph.D. Gary E. Schwartz Ph.D. (Paperback - March 18 2003)
CDN$ 28.99 CDN$ 18.17
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews