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Advances in Reincarnation Research: A Tribute to Ian Stevenson, MD

Founder of the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies

A Presentation for the Society for Scientific Exploration

by Walter Semkiw, MD

 

Ian Stevenson's Gift to Mankind

My name is Dr. Walter Semkiw.  I am a physician and I became involved in reincarnation research at the end of 1995.  I had the honor of doing a presentation on reincarnation research at the 30th Annual Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) Meeting on June 9, 2011, in Boulder, Colorado.  My presentation was entitled Advances in Reincarnation Research: A Tribute to Ian Stevenson, which I am sharing with you on this page.

It was an honor for me to do this presentation, as Ian Stevenson, MD was a cofounder of the SSE, as well as a pioneer in research focused on objective evidence of reincarnation.

Dr. Stevenson, pictured to the right, was a psychiatrist and Professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He founded the Division of Personality Studies in 1967 as a department at the University of Virginia dedicated to reincarnation research. It has been renamed as the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS).

Over a period of 40 years, Dr. Stevenson traveled around the world studying children who spontaneously remembered past lives. He chose to focus only on children, rather than adults, as he thought that memories in childhood were more likely to be valid, as adults could confuse apparent past life memories with historical information learned by normal means.

Dr. Stevenson researched over 2500 children with spontaneous past life memories.  In approximately 1200 of these cases, the child's past life memories could be objectively validated through research. In none of the cases was the child a famous person in the prior incarnation.

I envision that objective evidence of reincarnation will make the world a much more peaceful place, as reincarnation research demonstrates that we can change religion, nationality, race and ethnic affiliation from lifetime to lifetime.  Though new and independently researched cases allow us to more fully understand how reincarnation works, it was Ian Stevenson who laid the foundation which allows us to conclude that sufficient evidence exists to support that reincarnation is a reality.

Through his detailed research, Ian Stevenson has left a great gift to humanity. Unfortunately, at this time, his work is largely unknown to the general population. One of the missions of IISIS is to make Stevenson's work accessible and known to people around the world. Numerous Ian Stevenson reincarnation cases are found on the IISIS website in the section: Independently Derived Reincarnation Case Studies

I am sharing my Society for Scientific Exploration presentation with you on this IISIS web page as part of the effort to promote Dr. Stevenson's research.  IISIS is a nonprofit dedicated to reincarnation research, focusing on objective evidence of reincarnation and the positive societal change that evidence of reincarnation can bring.  The first IISIS Award, given to those who have made significant contributions to establishing evidence of reincarnation, was bestowed to Dr. Stevenson.

Reincarnation Cases with Physical Resemblance from One Lifetime to Another

In 1995, I began encountering reincarnation cases in which it appeared that individuals have the same facial features from lifetime to lifetime. One such case involves Jeff Keene. Image comparisons on this page can be enlarged by placing your cursor on the image. You can then use your arrow keys to scroll up and down on the enlarged image. Images are provided inverted or upside down as it allows better appreciation of overall bone structure in facial appearance, whereas with right side images, the brain focuses on differences, such as whether an individual has a beard or not.

Prior to discussing specific cases, let me share with you principles of reincarnation which are derived from independently researched reincarnation cases, including those of Ian Stevenson.

Principles of Reincarnation

Independently researched cases demonstrate the following principles of reincarnation, which I will be citing as we go through our case studies.

  • Facial features are observed to be similar from one incarnation to another
  • Spirit being guidance is observed in the development of reincarnation cases
  • Relationships seem to be renewed through reincarnation.  People are shown to reincarnate in soul or family groups and there is evidence that souls plan their incarnations, including who their parents and siblings will be.
  • Religion, race and ethnic affiliation can change from lifetime to lifetime, which has huge positive implications for society.  Most conflicts are based on differences in these cultural markers of identity. To know that we can change religion, race and ethnic affiliation from one incarnation to another can help us see ourselves in more universal terms and thus create a more peaceful world.
  • Child prodigies and innate talent are explained through reincarnation.
  • Geographic memory is observed, which I define as past life memories or emotions that are stimulated by visiting past life locations
  • It is demonstrated that the soul can inhabit more than one body at a time, a phenomenon which I call “split incarnation.” An older term is for split incarnation is parallel lives.
  • Xenoglossy cases demonstrate that past life personalities are retained intact within the soul. Xenoglossy refers to the phenomenon of an individual being able to speak a foreign language that was not learned by normal means in the contemporary lifetime.  In some xenoglossy cases, the past life personality is observed to emerge intact, sometimes not even knowing that it has died.
  • Reincarnation cases are also observed where individuals are attracted to their own past lives, which I call “affinity cases.”

Why is Everyone Famous and Past Lifetime?

I would also like to address something that skeptics always point out, which why does it always seem that people think that they were someone famous in a past incarnation. I believe there are several reasons for this, the most obvious of which is that satisfies one's ego. But other reasons include what I call a “landmark associations” and spirit guidance.

Landmark associations occur when a person knew or was associated with a famous person in a past lifetime and they confuse their own past lifetime with that of the famous person.  For example, someone who thinks they were Leonardo da Vinci in a past incarnation was really a little known student or assistant to da Vinci.  Since this individual cannot come up with his or her name from that incarnation, this individual gravitates to the famous person, Leonardo da Vinci, who serves as a landmark for that incarnation.

Because a past life relationship existed, Leonardo may serve as a spirit guide to this individual, giving inspiration telepathically. The individual then starts to believe that they are the reincarnation of Leonardo, rather than simply being guided by da Vinci..

Keep in mind, though, that until one’s evolution on Earth is completed, famous people have to reincarnate like everyone else. Also, there can be a bias in reincarnation research because to find somebody objectively and historically, they have had to leave a mark on society, that is, they have had to have left a record.  As such, it is easier to locate a published writer in a past lifetime than a little known farmer or laborer.

The John B. Gordon | Jeff Keene Reincarnation Case

Let us now go back to the reincarnation case of John B Gordon | Jeff Keene. Jeff's story starts in May 1991 when he was on vacation in Sharpsburg, Maryland with his wife Anna.  Jeff had no interest in the Civil War or reincarnation, but he had an intuition that should he should visit the nearby Civil War battlefield called Antietam.

At a particular location called Sunken Road, Jeff listened to an audio-taped narration of events that had happened there. Afterward, as he walked away from the Sunken Road, Jeff experienced a flood of emotions in which he felt grief and rage at the same time; he started to cry uncontrollably and he lost all sense of time. When this flood of emotions passed, he stated that he felt as exhausted as if he had run a marathon. He had no idea what had happened to him. Keep in mind that Jeff is a decorated firefighter who doesn't have panic attacks when running into burning buildings.

Jeff eventually deduced that he had been a Civil War Officer, John B. Gordon, who had almost been killed at the very spot that he was standing at in the Sunken Road. Jeff later accessed memories from this lifetime and found that he knew details involving the Civil War and the life of John Gordon which he did not learnt by normal means.

Writing Structure Can Remain Consistent from Lifetime to Lifetime

John B. Gordon had written a book entitled Reminiscences of the Civil War. We had a linguistic was done by a linguistics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in which Gordon's writing style was compared to that of Jeff Keene. The analysis demonstrated that the linguistic writing style of Gordon and Keene are the same. This implies that from lifetime to lifetime, one has the same mind and style of communication.

Jeff Keene has written a book about his story entitled, Somebody Else's Yesterday, in which he identifies individuals in his firehouse who he believes fought with him during the Civil War. One of these individuals is Wayne's Zeleta, who Jeff has proposed to be the reincarnation of Cadmus Wilcox.  Jeff's case can be reviewed in detail, along with the linguidtic analysis noted above, at: The Reincarnation Case of John B.Gordon | Jeff Keene.

Carroll Beckwith | Robert Snow Reincarnation Case

Another significant case that I encountered involves retired Indianapolis Police Captain Robert Snow, who had no interest in reincarnation, but went for a past life regression on a dare. Though he didn't expect anything to happen, Capt. Snow tapped into a past lifetime where he saw himself as an artist, painting a portrait of the hunchback woman. Capt. Snow states that the memories of this past lifetime were even more real than waking consciousness. He remembered 30 specific details from that lifetime.  Unfortunately, Snow did not access the past life artist’s name.

As he didn't believe in reincarnation, Snow tried to investigate a rational explanation for his memories. He thought that perhaps he had learned about this artist in school, forgot about it and then the memories surfaced during the regression. Snow, a professional detective, searched for this artist and the portrait of the hunchback woman for a year, but found nothing and gave up.

At that point his wife, Melanie, suggested to Captain Snow that for their anniversary they take a trip to New Orleans, a city that they had never been to before. On the last day of their visit, Snow wandered into an art gallery in the French Quarter and in the very back of the gallery, he saw the exact same portrait of the hunchback woman that he saw in his past life regression. From the painting, he now had the name of the artist, Carroll Beckwith, and found that Beckwith had written a diary that was retained by the New York Academy of Design. Snow got a copy of the diary and validated all 30 memories from his regression.

An interesting and important aspect of this case is that Robert snow didn't realize that there was a physical resemblance between he and Carroll Beckwith. I heard Captain Snow tell his reincarnation story at a conference in the year 2000. Someone in the audience asked if he physically resembles Beckwith and Snow replied that there was an image of Beckwith in his book, but he didn't think he looked anything like Beckwith.

As I had been looking at the issue of common facial features from lifetime to lifetime for five years prior to Captain Snow's presentation, I knew that one has to compare photographs side-by-side in the same pose to perceive that a resemblance exists. After his presentation, I ran up to Captain Snow and asked him to allow me to take photographs of him so that I could show him that a resemblance does exist between he and Beckwith.

In his presentation, Captain Snow stated that he had proved reincarnation and that if it was a court case, he would win the case without plea bargaining. He had already written a book on his reincarnation case, but he didn't realize that there was a physical resemblance. This demonstrates that one must carefully compared image comparisons in the same pose and at comparable ages to appreciate physical resemblance from lifetime to lifetime.  Captain Snow's case may be reviewed in detail at: The Reincarnation Case of Carol Beckwith | Robert Snow.

Many people, when they first see the image comparisons assume that the match was made based on comparing photographs first, which led to the proposed past life match. In the cases that I am presenting, it is the other way around, where matches were established prior to comparing images.

John Elliotson | Norm Shealy Reincarnation Case

Our next case involves Norm Shealy, MD. PhD.  Norm is a world famous neurosurgeon, having invented the TENS unit and the Dorsal Column Stimulator, which are used for pain management.  In 1972, while he was at a medical meeting, the speaker mentioned a 19th-century British physician who used hypnosis so that people could undergo surgery without experiencing pain. Norm states that at the time, he was neutral about reincarnation, that is, he didn't know if he believed in it or not. But when Norm heard the name of the 19th-century physician, "John Elliotson," Norm states that he felt an iceberg sensation go down his spine and he viscerally knew that he had been John Elliotson in a past lifetime.

A year later, Norm traveled to England to research Elliotson.  Norm hired a cab and told the driver to take him to the Royal College of Surgeons. At one intersection, Norm felt that same iceberg sensation go down his spine and he was physically turned around so that he was looking out the back window of the cab. He told the cab driver to turn around and to go in the opposite direction. A few blocks up, he found London College Hospital and he told the cab driver to stop at the hospital. Norm went in and found that indeed, Elliotson had practiced there.  He went into Elliotson’s old office and felt a great sense of familiarity.

Significantly, Norm found that he and Elliotson wrote parallel works. Elliotson had given the Haverian lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons on the hypocrisy of medicine in accepting new ideas. Norm had written a book on this very same topic and he used the same examples in history as Elliotson had in his speech. Norm wrote this book before he learned about his connection to Elliotson. As such, we see how individuals can unconsciously draw upon information that stems from a past incarnation. Further, the parallel works show that attitudes can remain consistent from lifetime to lifetime and that patterns of behavior can be repeated.

Norm Shealy has been telling his past life story involving Elliotson ever since 1973. When I heard about his case in about the year 2000, I asked Norm if he looks like Elliotson. Norm related that he never thought about it, but he sent me an image of him taken at about the same age as Elliotson is in a portrait.. A physical resemblance is clearly noted. Again, like in the Snow case, the past life match was established before physical features were examined, supporting that physical resemblance in reincarnation cases is a consistent phenomena. This case can be reviewed in detail at: The John Elliotson | Norm Shealy Reincarnation Case

Spirit Guidance in Reincarnation Cases

Also let me point out that in these three cases, guidance by spirit beings appears to have been involved.  I propose that it was not a coincidence that Jeff Keene had the intuition to go to Sunken Road, that Robert Snow found the portrait of the hunchback woman in New Orleans or that Norm Shealy was intuitively led to London College Hospital.  Rather, I propose that it was telepathic spirit guidance, perhaps from their own souls, that led these men to specific geographic locations which helped them solve their reincarnation cases. Such examples of spirit being guidance, which include numerous examples from cases researched by Ian Stevenson, are compiled in the section: Spirit Being Involvement in Reincarnation Cases

The Reincarnation Research of Ian Stevenson, MD

Let us now turn to the work of Ian Stevenson, who was a Canadian born physician and biochemist who became a chief of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.  He had his first paper on reincarnation published in 1960 and then his classic book, 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, was published in 1966.

Chester Carlton, who invented the photocopying process that led to the formation of Xerox Corporation, endowed the University of Virginia $1 million for the purpose of funding reincarnation research. With this endowment, Dr. Stevenson founded the Division of Personality Studies, which, as mentioned, is now called the Division of Perceptual Studies. Dr. Stevenson was then able to do reincarnation research full-time beginning in 1967. He retired in 2002 but continued to publish. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 83.

As noted, over his career, Dr. Stevenson researched over 2500 children with spontaneous past life memories.  In approximately 1000 of these cases, the child's past life memories could be objectively validated through research.

I was fortunate to spend a day with him at the end of 2001. In fact, Dr. Stevenson was the one who suggested that I join the Society for Scientific Exploration and he served as my sponsor to join the SSE. I found him to be a very gracious man.

Jim Tucker MD, another psychiatrist, has taken over for Dr. Stevenson at the University of Virginia and it is significant that when Dr. Tucker appeared on US national television, he stated that there is now sufficient evidence to conclude that reincarnation exists.

The Reincarnation Case of Alessandrina 1 & 2 

Dr. Stevenson published a great deal on birthmarks which seemed to stem from gunshot or stab wounds from the prior incarnation, but he first published on similarity in facial features across incarnations late in his career, in his massive, 1997 two-volume work, Biology and Reincarnation.

This Stevenson case involves a little girl named Alessandrina who died of meningitis in 1910, when she was five years old. Three days after she died, her mother had a dream in which Alessandrina appeared and told her mother that she would be reborn to her.

Based on this dream, her parents went to séances to see if they could communicate with Alessandrina, who did come through in the séances.  Alessandrina, through a medium, told her parents that she would be born with the twin. She also cautioned that after three months of pregnancy, she would no longer be able to speak through the medium as she would be to deeply attached to the body.  This statement suggests that the soul is involved with the developing fetus from the early stages of gestation.

Alessandrina's prophecy came true as fraternal twins were indeed born.  One of the twins looked remarkably like Alessandrina.  Due to the prophecy and physical resemblance, the parents called this child Alessandrina also.  We will refer to the girls as Alessandrina 1 and 2.

When she was able to speak, Alessandrina 2, spontaneously reported incidents that had occurred in Alessandrina 1’s life, which Alessandrina 2 did not learn through normal meets. In addition, Alessandrina 1 & 2 both had similar personality traits and phobias of loud noises and barbers. The parents were convinced that Alexandrina 1 had reincarnated as Alessandrina 2.

These images demonstrate a resemblance in facial features, though this similarity in appearance could be explained by genetics since this is a same family reincarnation case.  This case can mean reviewed in detail at: The Reincarnation Case of Alessandrina 1 & 2.

Announcing Dreams in Reincarnation Cases

Please note that if this is accepted as a reincarnation case, then Alessandrina 1 predicted her rebirth in the dream given to her mother.  Ian Stevenson called such dreams “announcing dreams," as the soul announces its upcoming birth through these dreams.  Announcing dreams are very common in Ian Stevenson reincarnation cases.  They occurred in 22 percent of reincarnation cases that Stevenson studied, demonstrating that the soul plans its incarnations in advance and chooses the family that it will be born into. Announcing dreams are compiled in the section: Spirit Being Involvement in Reincarnation Cases

The Reincarnation Case of Rashid Khaddege | Daniel Jurdi

Our next case really represents a breakthrough regarding Stevenson cases that demonstrate physical resemblance. This case involves Daniel Jurdi, who as a child had spontaneous memories of his past lifetime as Rashid Khaddege. Rashid was born in Lebanon in 1943. When he was 25, he went for car ride with his friend Ibraham who crashed the car at a place called Military Beach. Rashid was killed in the accident.

A year later, Daniel was born and when he was two years old, he started describing his past lifetime as Rashid.  He eventually told his parents his past life name, Rashid Khaddege, where he lived in the past lifetime and other details. Daniel gave enough information that his parents were able to locate the Khaddege family. Based on information that Daniel knew, the Khaddege family accepted Daniel as the reincarnation of their deceased son and they would keep a bed for Daniel in their home for his monthly visits.

Ian Stevenson initially studied this case in the early 1970s when Daniel was still a small child. Stevenson revisited Daniel over 20 years later, in 1998, and realized that as an adult, Daniel had the same facial features as his past life persona, Rashid. This case can be reviewed in greater detail at: The Reincarnation Case of Rashid Khaddege | Daniel Jurdi

The Reincarnation Case of Hanan Monsour | Suzanne Ghanem

Another key Stevenson case from Lebanon, which also demonstrates physical resemblance across lifetimes, involves Suzanne Ghanem, who as a child remembered her past lifetime as Hanan Monsour. Hanan was born in the mid-1930s and after her third child, she developed heart problems and had to have open heart surgery. The procedure could not be done in Lebanon and as she had a brother living in Virginia, she arranged to have the surgery done at the University of Virginia.

Unfortunately, Hanan died the day after surgery was done, which occurred in about 1965. Only 10 days later, Suzanne was born and she had full memories of her past incarnation as Hanan, including her past life name and the names of 13 Monsour family members. Suzanne gave enough information to be reunited with her past life family.

Even Hanan’s husband, Farouk, a career police officer, accepted Suzanne as the reincarnation of his deceased wife.  To support this belief, Farouk pointed out that Suzanne could identify their friends by name in photographs of them at social events, even though Suzanne had not met these individuals in her contemporary lifetime.

Ian Stevenson initially studied Suzanne when she was just a child in the late 1960s. Almost 30 years later, in 1998, he revisited Suzanne and found that as an adult, Suzanne had the same facial features as Hanan.  This case can be reviewed in detail at: The Reincarnation Case of Hanan Monsour | Suzanne Ghanem

These two very significant cases involving Daniel Jurdi and Suzanne Ghanem, which demonstrate striking physical resemblances to their past life personas, didn't even make it into an Ian Stevenson book. Rather, they were published around the year 2000 in a book about Ian Stevenson called Old Souls, authored by Tom Shroeder, a reporter from the Washington Post.

The Reincarnation Case of James Huston | James Leininger

Now let us turn to the very important case of James Leininger, who in childhood had memories of a past lifetime as a World War II fighter pilot named James Huston. His parents were Christians who did not believe in reincarnation, but when James began having nightmares of dying in a plane crash, gave the name of the WW II aircraft carrier he flew from, which was called the Natoma Bay, gave the name of his best friend on the Natoma Bay and stated that he died in the Battle of Iwo Jima, his father, Bruce, was able to research and validate little James’s memories.

The Leininger's have written a book on their son's reincarnation case entitled Soul Survivor.

As a young boy, James was eventually reunited with Huston's surviving sister and little James gave so many specific details about James Huston's life that the surviving sister accepted James of the reincarnation of her deceased brother and even gave all of Huston's surviving artifacts to James Leininger.

This is the most publicized reincarnation case in America.  This case was first aired on ABC Primetime in 2005 and at that time I predicted that little James would grow up to look like the mature Huston.

These photographs comparing James Leininger and James Huston only became available in January 2011. In this comparison, James Leininger is 12 years old. His father, Bruce, sent this image to me and asked whether I saw a physical resemblance between Huston and his son James.  I matched the images in comparable angles and sizes and in this comparison, it is clear that James Leininger is developing the same facial features as the mature James Huston.

Once again, the investigator of the case, Bruce Leininger, was not initially convinced that a physical resemblance existed, but when the images are placed side-by-side, the resemblance is evident. This case can be reviewed in detail at: The Reincarnation Case of James Huston | James Leininger

Why did Ian Stevenson focus on Birthmarks and not Facial Features?

One question that must be asked regarding Ian Stevenson cases is: Why did he put so much energy in analyzing birthmarks related to wounds incurred in prior incarnations, rather than focusing on facial features, which are so much more specific?

The answer, I believe, is simply that photographs were not available for comparison in many of the cases he studied.  Many of his cases, some going back to the nineteenth century, came from villages in Asia where people did not possess cameras.

Also, it is ideal for photographs to be of subjects at about the same age as the past life personalities, such as we observed in the Daniel Jurdi and Susan Ghanem cases, and photographs must be in the same pose. Otherwise, a physical resemblance may not be apparent. Recall that in the cases of Robert Snow, Norm Shealy and James Leininger, the investigators did not initially realize that a physical resemblance existed.

In contrast, Ian Stevenson had access to autopsy reports, as birthmark cases are related to past life violent deaths incurred by bullet or stab wounds.  Autopsies are usually performed when violent deaths occur.

Ian Stevenson did state in is book, Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect, published in 1997, that reincarnation researchers should look for similarities in facial features in reincarnation cases.

How does the Soul create Similar Facial Features from Lifetime to Lifetime?

So if it is true that facial features remain consistent from lifetime to lifetime, how does that happen; how does this work?

It is my hypothesis that the soul projects an energy template or hologram that the physical body shapes around. In medicine today, orthopedic surgeons use electric currents to help shape healing bone. I believe that the soul similarly projects an energy hologram or spirit body that serves as a template for physical appearance, as well as a mechanism for downloading information that accounts for innate talents and child prodigies.

Spirit Photo

We are looking at different sources of evidence to support the hypothesis that the soul projects a spirit body into the physical body, which the physical body shapes around.

For example, this photograph was taken at the scene of a fatal accident by a policeman, which seems to show a spirit form floating above the accident scene. This spirit form above the car reflects the facial features of the deceased boy, who was slumped face down on the front seat of the car at the time this photo was taken. The spirit face is caught in a very dynamic expression and it appears that he is shouting “No!” as if he was not ready to die.

In contrast, the posture of the physical body, lying face down on the seat, would not allow the maintenance of such a dynamic facial pose. This dynamic facial pose argues against a double exposure.  Details regarding this image can be accessed at: Spirit Photos

Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC)

Another piece of supporting evidence comes from Instrumental Trans-Communication, a field of study in which is it is observed that spirit beings can use electronic devices, such as telephones and televisions, to communicate with the living.

In this photograph, Friedrich Jurgensen, pictured to the left when alive, projected an image of himself from the spirit world on a friend's television set during Jurgensen’s own funeral. The spirit image is on thre right. In this image it appears that one does have a spirit body that has the same appearance as the physical form.  For more information, go to: Instrumental Trans-Communication

Renewal of Relationships through Reincarnation: Stevenson Twin Study

Let us now turn to the issue of relationships being renewed through reincarnation. A critical study in this regard was done by Ian Stevenson who researched 31 cases involving twins (62 individuals in total), in which past lives of each twin was objectively validated.

In 100% of these cases, a significant past life relationship existed for the twins. The most common type of past life relationship was that of siblings, though other past life relationships also included friendships, business partnerships and being spouses.

What does this mean? This study shows in a very convincing manner that souls plan their lifetimes, including parents that they will be born to and siblings that will be in their families.

As noted previously, another piece of evidence that supports that souls plan lifetimes is the observation of what Ian Stevenson called announcing dreams. In 22% of Ian Stevenson reincarnation cases that were validated, the soul foreshadowed its upcoming incarnation by providing its future parents or others with dreams announcing that they would incarnate to a particular family. Ian Stevenson called these announcing dreams, as from the spirit world, the soul was announcing its upcoming incarnation.

This image demonstrates one of the twin cases studied. Past life sisters, Phyu and Saipai, reincarnated as the twins San and Nyunt.  In addition to being objectively validated cases which show that souls plan lifetimes, these images also demonstrate that facial features remain consistent from lifetime to lifetime.

Planning Lifetimes

I use this next drawing to illustrate how we plan lifetimes.  Before we are born we chart out our future incarnation much as we would plan an extended vacation. We plan who we want to meet with, based on shared karma, emotional attachments and joint projects. We make contracts to rendezvous with these people at different times and places in our lives. The captions states, "If you've got the karma, we’ve got the ticket," and "Group Excursions are Our Specialty."

The Reincarnation Case of Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen

The next case involving Barbro Karlen demonstrates the very important principle that we can change religion, nationality and ethnic affiliation from lifetime to lifetime. Barbro Karlen was born into a Christian family in Sweden in 1954, nine years after Anne Frank died.

From childhood, Barbro had vivid memories of her lifetime as Anne Frank. As soon as she could talk, she told her parents that her name was not Barbro, but Anne Frank. Her parents didn't know who Anne Frank was, as the diary of Anne Frank had not yet been translated or published into Swedish. Her parents thought that her memories were all fantasies.

Their opinion changed when Barbara was 10 years of age and they took a trip to Amsterdam, the location of the Anne Frank House and Museum. By now they knew who Anne Frank was. Barbara's father wanted to visit the Anne Frank house, so at their hotel he picked up the phone to call for a cab. Barbro told her father that they don't need a taxi as the Anne Frank house was nearby. Her parents asked how she could know where the Anne Frank house is, as she had never been to Amsterdam before.

Barbara told her parents that she would show them the way and she took her parents by the hand and led them on a 10 minute walk through the winding streets of Amsterdam directly to the Anne Frank house. Her parents were stunned. Inside the Anne Frank house, she knew where artifacts, including photographs, should have been found, but that had been taken down for preservation. At that point her parents realized that her memories were not fantasies, but that she had lived before.

In addition, like Anne Frank, Barbro Karlen was a childhood writing prodigy. I need to point out that Anne Frank is not the most famous victim of the Holocaust because she was the only one who had a bad death. She became the most famous victim because as an adolescent, she produced a written work, her diary, which was readable and addressed universal themes, such as the issues of good and evil, which everyone could relate to.

Similarly, Barbro had her first book published at age 12, which became the best-selling prose book in Swedish history. She wrote on similar themes such as the nature of man and issues of good and evil. This case demonstrates that talent can be conveyed from lifetime to lifetime.

Barbro wrote a book about her past lifetime as Anne Frank which came out in 1996. The book is called And the Wolves Howled. In her book, Barbro never states that she looks like Anne Frank, as her conviction of being the reincarnation of Anne Frank is based on her memories, not her appearance. When I met Barbro in the year 2000, though I was initially skeptical, I was impressed by her story and I was the first to compare images, which do show consistency in facial features.

Religion, Nationality and Ethnic Affiliation can Change from Lifetime to Lifetime

The crucial thing about this case is that Anne Frank was persecuted as a Jew while Barbro Karlen was born into a Christian family in Sweden. Please consider that if during the time of World War II, the German people knew that one could be born Jewish in one lifetime and Christian in another, then the Holocaust could never have happened. In this way, reincarnation research can truly transform the world and help end violence based on differences in cultural markers of identity.  This case can be reviewed in detail at: The Reincarnation Case of Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen

The Reincarnation Case of Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp

This next case demonstrates how artistic talent can be replicated from one lifetime to another. Peter Teekamp, as a small child, repetitively heard the words “go gone” echo in his mind. He would shout “go gone” as a cheer as he played. Peter was born in Holland and at one point he asked his teachers what does “go gone” mean in Dutch. His teachers told him there was no such word, as they did not associate his cheer with the name of the artist Paul Gauguin.

Peter Teekamp's reincarnation case is very compelling and can be reviewed in detail on the IISIS website at: Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp.   Note that facial features between Gauguin and Teekamp are consistent. What is most striking and I believe historic is that Peter unconsciously replicated the artistic development of Paul Gauguin in his boyhood and young adulthood.

Replication of Artistic Compositions

In these parallel sketches, Peter replicated designs made Gauguin, but at an earlier age. Peter never saw these Gauguin sketches until he was 53 years old.  In replicating Gauguin's artistic development, perhaps the most impressive sketch is the view of Jesus from above while on the cross, which is an unusual point of perspective.

Peter, throughout his life, resisted the thought that he may have been Paul Gauguin. He did not like Paul Gauguin as a person and he thought that Gauguin’s art was cartoonish and unfinished. In his contemporary lifetime, Peter developed a much more realistic and even surrealistic style, as demonstrated in his painting entitled Presentation of the Christ.

It was not until Peter attended a conference that I organized Norm Shealy's farm in 2005 that Peter even tried to paint in the style of Gauguin. I was the one who asked him if he could paint like Gauguin, if he wanted to. In response, Peter created a series of paintings inspired by Gauguin which are almost indistinguishable from Gauguin’s art. Of note, Peter states that creating the Gauguin-like art is effortless for him.

Below and to the right, we see Gauguin’s Yellow Christ on the left side and Peter's version on the right. Though in his contemporary lifetime Peter has chosen to do a more realistic style of painting, note how the subject matter involving Jesus Christ is the same.

Peter even reconnected with his past life wife, Mette Gauguin, who has been identified as Michelle Moshay.  Peter met Michelle later in life and she became his research partner. Michelle has her own stories that relate a past life connection with Paul Gauguin and as you can see, her facial features correspond to those of Mette.

Indeed it was Michelle who found the parallel sketches in which Peter unconsciously replicated the artistic development of Gauguin. Like Gauguin, Peter goes on extensive international trips, painting as he travels.  While he left on an international trip, he left his portfolio with Michelle and as she researched Gauguin, she found that Peter had unconsciously replicated the Gauguin sketches. Thank you, Michelle, for making this historic discovery.

Interestingly, Peter synchronistically found what appears to be an original Gauguin sketch, which would be worth millions if it is authenticated. Authentication is a difficult process, but if one is able to make the leap of faith based on the case description which is found on the IISIS website, one can purchase what is likely an original Gauguin sketch from Peter. This sketch, as well as Peter's Gauguin-inspired art, can be viewed at:  The Reincarnation Case of Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp

The Reincarnation Cases of Penny Peirce and the Phenomenon of Split Incarnation

The next set of cases involves Penney Peirce, a published writer who was advised back in the 197'0's about two prior lifetimes by a medium. This medium gave past life information that was encyclopedic in scope.

The medium told Penney that in her most recent past lifetime, she was a man named Charles Parkhurst. The medium gave an incredible amount of specific information about Parkhurst, which Penney was eventually able to validate. She even found a portrait of Parkhurst which demonstrates a distinct physical resemblance. It even appears that Parkhurst and Penney went to the same optician.

The medium also told Penney that in a previous incarnation she was a writer named Alice carried. As in the description of Charles Parkhurst, the medium gave Penney an extraordinary amount of detail about Cary to the point that Penney realized that it was impossible for the medium to come up with so much information from her own consciousness.

Part of the information that the medium gave Penney was that Alice Cary had a sister named Phoebe, who the medium said reincarnated as Penney's sister Paula. Penney was able to historically validate all the information that the medium gave her regarding Alice Cary and found that she and Alice Cary have similar facial features. In addition, Penney's sister Paula did indeed have similar facial features, as well as personality traits, that corresponded to Alice Cary’s sister Phoebe.

It is significant to note that in all three lifetimes, those of Alice Cary, Charles Parkhurst and Penney Peirce, these individuals all were published writers who focused on spiritual issues. These cases, like in the casers of Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen and Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp, demonstrate how talents are conveyed from one lifetime to another.

The critical thing to realize is that the lifetimes of Alice Cary and Charles Parkhurst overlap by. 29 years. This set of compelling reincarnation cases supports the premise that a single soul can animate more than one body at a time. I call this phenomenon ‘split incarnation.” Theses cases can be reviewed at: The Reincarnation Cases of Penny Peirce and the Phenomenon of Split Incarnation

Please note that the Ian Stevenson case of Hanan Monsour | Suzanne Ghanem, described above, also demonstrates split incarnation, if it is assumed that the soul is involved with the fetus from the time of conception.

Go to Part 2: Advances in Reincarnation Research, by Walter Semkiw, MD