Month: February 2013

203. Out of Body Experience Expert Robert Bruce on Our Demon Haunted World

Interview with out of body (OBE) expert and author Robert Bruce explores extended consciousness as an open-minded skeptic. Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Robert Bruce author of, Astral Dynamics: The Complete Book of Out-of-Body.  During the interview Bruce discusses why out of body experience finding don’t generate scientific attention: Alex Tsakiris:   Recently journalist, Matt Baglio, published a book called, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. What he was go to Rome and went to the school where the Vatican instructs priests in how to perform exorcisms. He sat in on dozens and dozens of exorcisms and what he found was that, despite the modern perception, they weren’t just bringing people in to convert them to Christianity or convert them to Catholicism. They have licensed therapists there. They say 95% of these people are not demon possessed.  But, surprisingly, they claim 5% of them are. And, they have very specific criteria that they use in determining that; and they have unbelievable stories that this journalist has gathered and that these exorcists can attest to. So it seems that this is a phenomenon that is much more prevalent than I think most of us are willing to acknowledge or even look into. I think most people just won’t even examine the evidence for it. Robert Bruce:   You hit the nail on the head there. People don’t want it to be true. They don’t want to know. They avoid the information. Now, to be a true scientist you need to be an open-minded skeptic. I mean, open-minded skepticism is pure science. You’re open-minded and you’re skeptical.  You look at the evidence and you examine the phenomena, or whatever it is, until you start to understand it. Now, I have that same approach and I approach this not just with my own experiences which made it real to me. Anybody who doubts this, and they should doubt it until they see it for themselves or experience it for themselves -- Heaven forbid. If you confront one demon or an evil spirit—even a poltergeist, a real one— you become a believer. Robert Bruce's Website Click here for YouTube version Click here for forum discussion Bonus Material: Interview with Andrew Paquette and Graham Nicholls explores experiences working with extended consciousness. Listen Now: Download MP3 (68 min.) Play It (Interview With Robert Bruce): Listen Now: Download MP3 (54 min.) Read It: Today we welcome world-renowned out-of-body experience expert, Robert Bruce, to Skeptiko. Robert is the author of several best-selling books including the one he’s probably best-known for, Astral Dynamics, which is also the domain name where you’ll find his excellent website, He holds seminars around the world on out-of-body experience travel and spirituality and other related topics. It’s a pleasure to have you on, Robert. Thanks for joining me on Skeptiko. Robert Bruce:   Good day, Alex. It’s nice to be here at last. Alex Tsakiris:   Yes. Robert, you’re known as an expert on primarily out-of-body experience, what some people call astral projection. You also have quite a bit to say about spirituality in general. I read your first book, Astral Dynamics. I didn’t quite make it all the way through. It’s a pretty big, fat book. But I was very impressed. It’s very practical. A lot of step-by-step kinds of instructions. Down to earth but meaty, not like it’s light or anything like that. Packed with a lot of information.


202. Scientific Evidence of Afterlife Overwhelming Says Chris Carter

Interview with author Chris Carter explores the scientific evidence for the survival of consciousness. Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Chris Carter author of, Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness.  During the interview Carter discusses the consequences of accepting scientific proof of an afterlife: Alex Tsakiris:   Are there unintended consequences for overthrowing materialism? Maybe the game is going to wind up being played one way or another. We’re going to wind up with scientific materialism or Church rule. Someone has made the decision that at the end of the day I choose the phony scientific materialism over the thin, phony Church state. Chris Carter:   I think that’s a false dichotomy. I don’t think that’s the choice. One of the major themes of my book is that there’s a third alternative, one that does not require a leap of faith and one that does not require embracing the pseudo-scientific ideology of materialism. There’s a third alternative and it is to examine the evidence without prejudice, without materialistic prejudice or religious prejudice, and see what the evidence says. I believe that the conclusions that the evidence implies are not dogmatic. They do not ask people to go out and burn those who disagree with us at the stake or to wage war against those who disagree with us. Chris Carter's Website Cynthia's Book: Belief Is So Last Century Click here for YouTube version Click here for forum discussion Play It: Listen Now: Download MP3 (58 min.) Read It: Today we welcome Chris Carter back to Skeptiko. Many of you know Chris for his withering attacks on skeptical nonsense and his books, Science and the Near-Death Experience, Science and Psychic Phenomena, and his latest, Science and the Afterlife Experience. Chris holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in philosophy from Oxford. He’s a very fine writer, and it’s a pleasure to welcome him back to Skeptiko. Chris, welcome back. Thanks for joining me. Chris Carter:   Thanks, Alex. How are you doing? Alex Tsakiris:   Great. Everything’s good. This latest book is really fascinating. It’s obviously a topic that we love to talk about here. You really dig into so much. I’m hoping we can talk about the book but also talk about a lot of other things surrounding the book. I’m anxious to have you back on.