28. November 2013 · Comments Off on Extraordinary Evidence of Past Lives · Categories: reincarnation · Tags:

In my on-going study of Life, Death and Beyond, I have been examining the concept of Past Lives. Most people in the West dismiss the concept of past lives and reincarnation out of hand without ever considering that learned scientists of our time have been devoted to researching the available evidence with the goal of discovering whether or not reincarnation does indeed exist.  One such devoted researcher was Dr. Ian Stevenson, who documented over 3,000 cases spanning 40 years where children as young as two got impossible facts right about their past life experiences.

Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence For Past Lives

Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence For Past Lives

Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence For Past Lives is a non-fiction book by journalist Tom Shroder, editor at The Washington Post, who traveled extensively with psychiatrist Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia.  Stevenson conducted past life and reincarnation research in Lebanon, India, and the southern states of the U.S.  Dr. Stevenson investigated children who spontaneously remembered recent ordinary lives. He was mainly seeking hard evidence such as birthmarks that occur at the sites of injury in the previous life. To him these marks constitute important proof of reincarnation. Many of the stories cannot be dismissed by simple explanations. The events and the recollections are just too incredible.

Dr. Stevenson’s methodology involved listening to stories, comparing and contrasting variants of stories, verification of empirical claims, and constructing long, detailed narratives that attempted to “capture” the complex experience of his informants, who claimed to remember incidents from past lives. At the outset, Shroder saw his role not only as an observer, but also as a skeptic. But as his journey with Stevenson progressed, Shroder found it increasingly difficult to reject the possibility of past lives and I think you may agree once you read the case details of the case of Hanan Monsour / Suzanne Ghanem, which is one of the few that are Western based.


Previous Life / Current Life

The Reincarnation Case of Hanan Monsour / Suzanne Ghanem is a story about a little girl who telephoned her still living past-life husband every day and was heartbroken and angry when he re-married. Hanan was born in Lebanon, in the mid-1930s. When she was twenty, she married Farouk Monsour, a member of a wealthy Lebanese family. The couple had two daughters, named Leila and Galareh. Hanan had a brother named Nabih, who became prominent in Lebanese society, but died as a young man in a plane crash.

After giving birth to her second daughter, Hanan developed heart disease and her doctors advised her not to have any more children. Not heeding the warning, she had a third child, a son, in 1962. In 1963, shortly after the death of her brother Nabih, Hanan’s health started to deteriorate. She then started to talk about dying. Hanan’s husband, Farouk, said that Hanan told him that “she was going to be reincarnated and have lots to say about her previous life.”   This was two years before her death.

At age thirty-six, Hanan traveled to Richmond, Virginia to have heart surgery. She tried to telephone her daughter Leila before the operation, but couldn’t get through. Hanan died of complications the day after surgery.

Ten days after Hanan died, Suzanne Ghanem was born. Suzanne’s mother told Ian Stevenson that shortly before Suzanne’s birth, “I dreamed I was going to have a baby girl. I met a woman and I kissed and hugged her.  She said, ‘I am going to come to you.’  The woman was about forty. Later, when I saw Hanan’s picture, I thought it looked like the woman in my dream.” In other words, Suzanne Ghanem’s mother had a dream that she would have a child that had the appearance of Hanan Monsour, and this dream became reality.

Little Suzanne trying to call her daughter from her previous life!

Little Suzanne trying to call her daughter from her previous life!

At 16 months of age, Suzanne pulled the phone off the hook as if she was trying to talk into it and said, over and over, “Hello, Leila?” The Ghanem family didn’t know who Leila was. When she got older, Suzanne explained that Leila was one of her children in her past life and that she was not Suzanne, but Hanan. The family asked, “Hanan what?” Suzanne replied, “My head is still small. Wait until it is bigger, and I might tell you.”

Suzanne Names & Identifies 13 Past Life Family Members
By the time she was two, she had mentioned the names of her other children, her husband, Farouk, and the names of her parents and her brothers from the previous lifetime—thirteen names in all.

In trying to locate Suzanne’s past life family, acquaintances of the Ghanems made inquiries in the town where the Monsours lived. When they heard about the case, the Monsours visited Suzanne. The Monsours were initially skeptical about the girl’s claims, but they soon became believers when Suzanne identified all of Hanan’s relatives, picking them out and naming them accurately. Suzanne also knew that Hanan had given her jewels to her brother Hercule in Virginia, prior to her heart surgery, and that Hanan instructed her brother to divide the jewelry among her daughters. No one outside of the Monsour family knew about the jewels.

Before she could read or write, Suzanne scribbled a phone number on a piece of paper. Later, when the family went to the Monsour’s home, they found that the phone number matched the Monsour’s number, except that the last two digits were transposed. As a child, Suzanne could recite the oration spoken at the funeral of Hanan’s brother, Nabih. Suzanne’s family taped the recitation, though the tape was eventually lost.

Suzanne Still Loves Farouk, her Past Life Husband
At five years of age, Suzanne would call Farouk three times a day. When Suzanne visited Farouk, she would sit on his lap and rest her head against his chest. At 25 years of age, Suzanne would still telephone Farouk.

Suzanne Identifies Past Life Friends from Photos
Farouk, a career policeman, accepted Suzanne as the reincarnation of his deceased wife, Hanan. To support this conclusion, Farouk points out that from photographs, Suzanne accurately picked out scores of people they had been acquainted with, and knew other information that only Hanan would have known.

In the image comparison, Hanan Monsour is on the left side and Suzanne Ghanem is on the right.  There is a striking physical resemblance which supports the premise that facial features remain consistent from one incarnation to another.

We in the West have a very limited understanding of the nature of reality, and as this case demonstrates, there is much more to our life than we presently acknowledge. This is one of many examples of people who have died only to return with the memory of their past life, and when the rebirth occurs while past life relatives and family are still alive, the evidence can be verified and shared.  We need to be more open and be especially attentive and inquisitive regarding the statements of little children who may have much to say about their life before this life. What they say should not be ignored as mere imagination, but should be thoughtfully considered, for we are much more than we presently understand.

Ouija Board

Ouija Board

Today I want to tell you about some interesting relationships I discovered, that came about as a result of individuals using  a Ouija Board.

Over the past few years I have read dozens of books on Spiritualism and Mediumship. There have been many interesting books written by mediums as well. This history goes back to approximately the mid-1850s when the Fox sisters started communicating with spirits using a system of tapping; a sort of short-hand similar to the Morse Code used for telegraphic communications, which was just starting to be deployed about that same time as well (1844 – 1860). Later the mediumistic tapping evolved into automatic writing.

The Ouija Board is probably the most successful and recognizable object that came out of the early age of Spiritualism in this country.  It’s exactly the kind of object that American Spiritualists were attracted to because it had this “do-it-yourself quality.”  In the 1850s, 1860s, American spiritualists believed ardently in what they were doing. They had an idea that talking to the dead would eventually be as effortless and as ordinary as dinnertime conversation.  So they set themselves to the task of figuring out: “How to accomplish this?  What method could we use?” 

They experimented with trans-mediumship and automatic writing. There was a little plank called the planchette, which is French for “little plank,” that was used; it was a little triangular table on ball bearings that was used for automatic writing with a pencil inserted into it.  Eventually spiritualists hit on something they called the “Alphabet Board,” or the “Talking Board.”  This is what eventually became the famous Ouija Board.  The earliest image of the Ouija Board appeared in the New York Tribune in the year 1886.  There was an article about spiritualists in northern Ohio who were just entranced with this thing that they called the “Talking Board” that was supposed to be the easiest method yet for speaking to the other side. 

And the newspaper featured a couple of drawings.  One of which showed a man and a woman using the “Talking Board,” balancing it together on their knees, which is important because the “Talking Board” also provided a means for people in the Victorian Era to have an excuse to have a very flirtatious experience.  It gave men and women the perfect justification to sit knee to knee, maybe even join hands while they were consulting this magical board.

Now the interesting thing is, the Ouija Board was a homemade invention. Less than five years later, there was a group of novelty manufacturers in Baltimore who seized upon the idea and managed to get a patent on it which they called the Ouija Board. The name is a source of mystery.  Everybody has different stories about where it came from, but nobody really knows.  The invention just took off.  It spread across the country like wildfire!  People were enthralled with it. World War I also gave the Ouija Board a boost due to the tremendous casualties. People used it to try to contact the deceased soldiers in their families.

In 1966, the original Baltimore manufacturer of the Ouija Board sold it to Parker Brothers.  In the following year of 1967 with Parker Brothers doing the marketing, the board, for the first time, outsold Monopoly. That’s how popular the Ouija Board was at that time. The late ‘60’s saw an occult revival sweeping through the nation.  The Woodstock Generation was not only open to Eastern religious ideas, but they were open to all kinds of occult ideas that were coming out of the age of spiritualism; an echo coming from the earlier 19th Century movements. One of them was called the Theosophy movement, which had helped re-popularize some of the occult concepts of the late 19th Century. So when the late 60s saw this occult revival, the Ouija Board was at the ready, and young people embraced it.

Ouija circles sprang up in dormitories and interestingly enough, very often it was women who were conducting the nightly Ouija sessions, which unbeknownst to them was a reenactment of Spiritualism of a hundred years earlier. (Kathleen happened to be one of those adventurous college girls of the 1960s!)


Breaking-Death-Barrier Book

This brings me to a discussion of a book which I recently became aware of through someone who described it on my blogsite. It is titled: Breaking the Death Barrier, published in 1974.  The blog poster suggested that it would be a good read, and so even though it was no longer in print, I was able to find a rare copy and purchased it. I wasn’t sorry!

Breaking the Death Barrier is a book by an anonymous author only known as “Lisa.”  It chronicles her experiences using a Ouija Board in the years starting at the close of WWII in 1945 through the early 1950s. What is interesting about this book is that the author, a young mother who had lost her husband in the waning days of WWII, and a few close friends started using  the Ouija Board as a sort of game, but then started getting intelligent messages regarding her husband from the Other Side. This totally shocked them. They did not know what to make of it, and they had no grounding in metaphysics.

There is nothing overly unusual about their experience mainly because as I have already discussed, people have been using “talking boards” since before the turn of the Century and many thousands of people have successfully gotten messages from the Great Beyond as well.  But Lisa didn’t know about that history at that time.  She was sure it was just a diversion.

But this was a game that proved to provide valid evidence about the status of her husband who was an American aviator in the war.  Through the use of the Ouija board Lisa established contact with her husband, whom she did not know was deceased!  The spirit she contacted provided specific details about when and where his plane had been shot down in Germany.  But she was not able to confirm this until many months later when she received official word from the War Department.

As Lisa and her small study group continued their work with the Ouija board she soon made contact with a new, unfamiliar spirit named Betty.  At first she was annoyed that Betty had butted in and taken over, but she shortly realized that Betty was an advanced spirit who would become a tremendous guide and teacher to the group!  They soon learned that Betty was a recently published but deceased author who provided not only proof of her former Earthly existence but then took Lisa’s study group “under her wing” to teach them advanced wisdom from her higher vantage point; what she termed the “Unobstructed Universe.”

However, at first, they did not know exactly who Betty was and neither may many of you, so I will explain. You will then begin to understand just how synchronistic this connection was in terms of evidential proof of the Afterlife as well as the important that role the Ouija Board played in this story.

Betty’s identity turned out to be the author, Betty White, author of a series of well-known metaphysical philosophy books published between 1937 and the late 1940’s known collectively as the Betty Book Series. The first two books were channeled through her while she was still in the flesh, before she made her transition to the Other Side in 1939. The books were published by her husband and partner, Stewart Edward White, who was an already established author in his own right as a well-known writer of outdoor adventure stories about the frontier life as well as being an early advocate for the environment.

Now let’s take a look at how Betty White developed her mediumistic ability! In 1922 Betty and Mr. White met a couple known in the literature as Joan and Darby. They were the authors of Our Unseen Guest, a book published in 1920. The couple were well-known professionals and had decided not to reveal their identities due to the subject matter of their book: conversations with an American soldier who died in World War I in France. They believed they could not risk their professional careers with the controversy their book was sure to bring because the soldier came from a well-known family in the East.  Joan became a medium for this dead soldier, only known as, “Stephen.”  Over time Stephen gave them information on life, and life after death, and the continuation of consciousness. It all started for them several years earlier when the couple had been playing with a Ouija board. Not long after Joan became a full trance medium.

Betty’s story began on March 17, 1919. It was on that evening when a small group of friends arrived at the White’s home with a Ouija board.  Betty was present that evening, but had no interest in the spirit game, but the board repeatedly spelled out her name. She was reluctant to join the “spirit reading,” but the board then began to spell out repeatedly, “Get a pencil.” Betty had no knowledge of automatic writing, but a few days later she did get a pencil and as she sat quietly alone, the pencil began to move across the paper without effort from her. For the next few months, “automatic writing sessions” with spirit took place. A year later, Betty was a full trance medium herself, like her friend, Joan.

And in 1937, after many years of working quietly, Stewart White told the story of Betty’s development and repeated the basic teachings of “the Invisibles” in what has become a classic work in the field, The Betty Book. White believed that these messages embodied a valuable philosophy and a religious interpretation for daily life. Enough readers agreed and a second “Betty” book was issued in 1939 as, Across the Unknown. Betty made her transition in 1939, and in the months after her death, Mr. White received communication he believed to be from Betty through their old medium friend, Joan. These were gathered into a third book titled, The Unobstructed Universe (1940), which proved the most popular volume in the series and remains in print to this day.

I became interested in the Betty Book Series when I discovered that the Whites had made their residence in Hillsborough, California, just a few miles from here.  Also, I named my website after the title of their third Betty book, The Unobstructed Universe.

The point of all this is that when Lisa started receiving messages from Betty through the Ouija board, she had no idea who Betty was!  Betty was already dead and Lisa had never heard of her. Betty began the relationship by providing a number of clues for the novice girl study group in the form of assignments to go to the library to seek out certain of the Betty Books just mentioned as well as certain magazine articles.

And of course they were excited and amazed to discover that Betty was not only giving them information about a subject about which they had no prior knowledge, but proof of her former existence in a body on earth and her continuing life somewhere in the Unobstructed Universe.  And to underscore the web of relationships even further, they also had some interactions with Joan and Darby’s dead soldier, Stephen along the way!

They also had a series of adventures which also included physical materializations of so-called “dead” people including Lisa’s husband who, as mentioned earlier, as a pilot in 1945, had been shot down in the final days of WWII over the Black Forest in Germany. In fact, the first clue Lisa got in the beginning of the book from the Ouija board was evidence of when and where he had been shot down even before she had received official word from the War Department about his death! 

Breaking the Death Barrier is an important find because it provides ties in with the two earlier published books, Our Unseen Guest as well as the Betty Books and further “evidential” proof of the fact that life is indeed continuous, that we don’t die, but go on to live a greater life once we leave here.  And all three of these book’s authors started out by using the Ouija board.

That said, in recent times the far right Christian movement has scared a lot of people out of even trying the Ouija board. If you haven’t and would like to try it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start with a Prayer of Protection, because “this is not a game.”  This is potentially an opening to your own opportunity to connect with the Spiritual Realm and more rapidly develop your own mediumistic abilities.