Reality TV Show Planned Focusing On Children Who Recall Their Past Lives

My spin on this would be a Maury Povich-style “my bad kid” episode focusing on children who are the reincarnations of Nazi officers, bloodthirsty cannibals, et cetera. Via the Huffington Post:

A Los Angeles production company is currently holding a nationwide casting call for children who claim to have, or have had, past life memories for a new reality series, “Ghost Inside My Child,” scheduled to air on the Bio Channel later this year.

A pilot episode of the series aired a few months ago, with three kids who had gone through various steps of recovering memories of their alleged past lives.

One case from the first show concerns James Leininger. At the age of two, Leininger reportedly started having terrifying nightmares of his death. Ultimately, the family came to believe that he was the reincarnation of James Huston, a fighter pilot who died in World War II at Iwo Jima. Amazingly, Leininger not only knew the name of Huston’s ship without prompting — the Natoma Bay — but other details as well, such as the names of his shipmates.

Cases like Leininger’s are rare, but parapsychology expert Loyd Auerbach, who has helped the producers with reincarnation research, said that the original soul seems to have died from a traumatic death 15 months before the child’s conception.

But since there have been no widely accepted scientific studies supporting the existence of reincarnation, the proposed series is attracting the attention of skeptic organizations like the James Randi Foundation, an organization that works to expose paranormal and pseudoscientific frauds in the media.

“The people who lost a loved one have to re-experience the loss, are told outlandish claims about their loved one being alive again and stuck in the body of a child somewhere,” he said. “I think this is a crassest manipulation of belief and of the fear of death merely for the sake of reality TV ratings,” organization president D.J. Grothe said.

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  • LucidDreamR

    Nothing like the Huffington post for some real inquisitive reporters, in depth stories and unbiased reporting! What a source!

    • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

      you expect them to take past lives nonsense seriously and do research? There’s no reason to take a position against unreason. It’s unreasonable.

      • Hoarfraust

        Your rigid faith in knowing what is or isn’t worthy of investigation or research is as like a religious belief as any other.

        • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

          I have no faith at all. Only facts. Understanding facts as they are? Not a matter a faith.

      • echar

        Nice trolling, who’s sock puppet are you?

        • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

          I freelance

          • Matt Staggs

            Not gonna lie. I chuckled. Good comeback.

  • Earthstar

    James Randi is a fraud and a joke. He’s a fundamentalist of the worst sort. The scientific studies are there, people like Randi just can’t accept it.

    • drokhole

      Pretty revealing interview with Randi at the end of Will Storr’s new book “The Heretics”. It’s featured in this blog post:

      Wow
      http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2013/03/wow.html

      • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

        wow indeed. that’s some seriously petty character assassination of James Randi. Gossip? for real?

        • drokhole

          What are you talking about? That’s not gossip. That’s in the last chapter of Will Storr’s (http://www.willstorr.co.uk/www.willstorr.co.uk/Will_Storr___Homepage.html ) new book “The Heretics” (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Heretics-Adventures-Enemies-Science/dp/1447231686 ). Will Storr interviewed Randi and those are direct quotes. Sheldrake’s correspondence with James Randi is also well-documented (Storr even brings this up with Randi).

          Or are you claiming that Will Storr is guilty of “petty character assassination” of James Randi? Are you positive? Have you investigated this? Are you insinuating Will Storr is a liar and the quotes in his book are pure fiction? Because that’s some seriously petty character assassination of Will Storr.

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            The quotes are cherry-picked and made in bad faith by a man with an agenda. Back on topic: are you saying that people actually have past lives?

          • drokhole

            First they were gossip, now they’re cherry-picked? Okay, do tell how they have been cherry-picked. There are quite a few excerpts, in what way do they misrepresent Randi? For example, do you mean this is cherry-picked:

            “Then there is the dispute that Randi had with Gary Schwartz, in which Randi said he had assembled four experts, among them Stanley Krippner, to serve as neutral investigators of Schwartz’s claims. When an associate of Schwartz, Pam Blizzard, publicly stated that Krippner had never agreed to play such a role, Randi angrily attacked her on his website. Yet it turned out that Blizzard was right, as Krippner himself confirmed to Storr. Storr zeroes in on this altercation.

            “You called this woman a liar,” I say. “But you were the one who was telling the lie.”

            “I don’t know,” he says. “I’d have to look over the whole sequence.”

            “Might you have been telling a lie?”

            He turns a little on his seat.

            “I’m not denying it,” he says. “I’m not denying it.” [p. 365]”

            What do you think is being left out here? Or how about this:

            “Storr proceeds to the notorious incident in which Randi dismissed Sheldrake’s dog experiments by claiming he had performed similar experiments that disproved Sheldrake’s thesis. In the ensuing controversy, Randi eventually had to back down to the extent of saying that the experiments were purely informal and that the data (which he had previously offered to share) had been lost.

            In the interview, Randi at first hedges on the question of whether he said he had performed experiments:

            “I must admit to you that I don’t recall having said that these tests were even done. But I’m willing to see the evidence for it.”

            “I have these emails.”

            “Oh.”

            When I ask for a second time what prompted him to do these tests, his memory stages a sudden recovery. “Curiosity,” he says. “I’m an experimenter.” He remembers the name of the dog and its breed and that the experiment was “very informal. I napped most of the time.”

            When I press him about his treatment of Sheldrake, he insists that he didn’t lie because when he made the offer to send the information, the data hadn’t yet been lost. But he says that they were swept away in Hurricane Wilma, which happened in 2005 – four years before he stated that the data was available. And in the email, he tells Sheldrake a different story still – that the flood took place in 1998. [p. 364]”

            Or maybe when Randi said this:

            “Oh, I agree. No question of that. I don’t know whether the lies are conscious lies all the time … But there can be untruths.” [p. 368]

            I wonder, would you be so forgiving and/or jump to the defense of Rupert Sheldrake or a parapsychology researcher if they made such a remark?

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            You are over-invested in this. The bottom line: there’s no such thing as past lives. There’s also no such thing as psychic powers. I can understand that you’re disappointed, but it’s a mistake to blame this all on James Randi.

          • drokhole

            And yet you continue to respond. Matter of fact, you’ve got the most responses to this article. Congratulations!

            I’m not “blaming this all on Randi.” I was responding to Earth Star’s comment on Randi (whose organization is mentioned in the article with a quote from its president) with a fresh interview that was conducted with the man, and you accused me of spreading gossip – so I asked you to prove this assertion, to which you’ve done nothing but respond with more deflection and personal attacks. I take it you weren’t a fan of how your hero came off in Will Storr’s interview, I can understand that you’re disappointed.

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            I have no stake in this. It is you who are deflecting. The accusations of bad character, etc. You are hereby King of the Assholes.

          • drokhole

            A wise man recently brought this quote to light in another article here:

            “When people talk about others, I can hear them speak about themselves.”

            - Michael Sams

          • Bubb Burster

            The Late Dr. Ian Stevenson, Psychology Dept. Chair at the University of
            Virginia for many years, conducted impeccable research into the
            reincarnation phenomenon. His report “Twenty Cases Suggestive of
            Reincarnation” is available in book form and is extremely fascinating.

            http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-C

            You can also Google his name for much more information and links to websites featuring his work.

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            well, since he was the dept chair, then reincarnation must be true!

    • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

      Yes, there are scientific studies, all of which demonstrate that there is no such thing as psychic power. Randi is pretty funny, be he’s pretty serious about exposing frauds. Interesting reversal in that you accuse others of fraud….

      • echar

        He’s made his living out of being deceptive. Watch his Ted talk. He tricks people into believing they are watching something interesting, when he is actually pitching his books and his academy. I am not sure why Randi is even being mentioned to be honest.

        IMO, Haystack hits the nail on the head about exploiting kids though.

      • Daniel Gill

        Putting aside any speculation as to what this state of consciousness can do for people, the scientific studies of spiritual emergence psychosis would point to the fact that it is meditation or communion that can cause someone to go psychotic. often these people have no prior psychiatric problems. If you study korean, vietnamese, japanese, thai etc.. mediumship, even victorian spiritualism or yoga, you realize that manic psychotic states are common . I deserve $1 million for pointing this out, in and of itself. it proves that this phenomenon has testable and recordable outcome

      • alisa

        On the contrary, there have been a number of interesting studies printed in peer-reviewed journals suggesting that humans (and other species) may have abilities that have previously been labeled as “paranormal.” The remote viewing research done by SRI beginning in the 1970′s is one example of work done is this area. Sadly, according to the physicists who were studying this phenomena, attacks by fundamentalist skeptics contributed to the lack of funding for this fascinating research.

        • alisa

          p.s. As someone interested in a valid scientific study of currently unexplained phenomena, I am an advocate of open-minded and rational skeptics, NOT the fundy types who ridicule studies they haven’t even looked at and who lie to the public (as Randi has admitted to doing repeatedly…one example: his lies regarding research done by Rupert Sheldrake: http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controversies/randi.html). Refusing to even consider certain research in no way aides the advancement of science.

        • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

          That’s a steaming pile of crap.

          • alisa

            dude, no need to get all steamy and crappy on me; i totally respect where you’re coming from. I am happy to elaborate on any of my statements that you take objection with, and amend them if I have spoken in error. I absolutely appreciate your differing perspective, but wanted to clear up the common misconception that scientific research has in any way disproved certain psychic phenomena. I can list a number of the aforementioned studies printed in various journals (The physicists who conducted experiments at SRI published their work in both Nature and the Proceedings of the IEEE) if you would like. Likewise, I am very much interested in learning about the studies you have heard about which supposedly demonstrate there is “no such thing as psychic power.” Again, I welcome your thoughts in this debate, as I hope you will thoughtfully consider mine (views I have reached over many years of research, and which gradually shifted my disbelief to an interest in exposing the truth).

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            what am i thinking right now?

    • Haystack

      Are there really any compelling scientific studies that confirm past life regression? If anything, psychology has shown that memory of any sort is surprisingly unreliable.

      On the other hand, one does not have to look very far to find solid examples of children being exploited by reality TV.

  • Daniel Gill

    I would have preferred a show about a charismatic Christian community, and how the souls of new converts are saved, and how charismatic christian churches work, operate, what they think, etc… I am reading a book now called When God Talks Back by T. M. Luhrmann, and well, imagine the popularity of something like THAT as a reality show! Would be interesting I think too for outsiders. Charismatic movement is similar to the spiritualist mediums and the wiccan community. With little differences.

    • jnana

      But there is a big difference. The difference is The Spirit Christians invoke. We invoke the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is unique. The Spirit doesn’t actually ask for blood sacrifices or such rituals. Instead, the Holy Spirit is welcomed into the body and soul of the individual who lives by Love. The Holy Spirit manifests itself uniquely as well. When someone is truly possessed by the Holy Spirit they are transformed into the likeness of Christ. Christ was the One who was wholly possessed by God.
      Compare the transformation by the Holy Spirit with other spirits people invoke. Sure, they may grant them powers, knowledge, and other gifts but this comes at a price. And these spirits can’t be trusted. Some are malign, others are just imperfect. So that’s why I invoke the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Love and can be trusted.
      Everyone is a medium and is possessed by spirits. Most are just blind to this.

      • Daniel Gill

        You’re wrong on many levels. All spirits are considered to bring gnosis by Japanese adherent to the Shinto faith. I believe this myself. Though spirits may ask for blood sacrifices, they do not demand this, but all spirits can be served with ectoplasm. or water. the difference between you and me being that you are just ignorant, and i have studied mediumship within a wider context. the bible wasn’t even translated into english until many years after it was written, and as far as I am concerned, your God doesn’t give two shits for me.

        • jnana

          for one, the bible isn’t my god. I use it as a reference and guide, but it is not my god and I am not bound to everything it says.
          two, I studied shamanism and such prior to solely invoking the holy spirit in my spiritual praxis. it was my interactions w/ other spirits, which sparked my interest in the story of Jesus. it was only when I committed myself to the Good and accepted the Holy Spirit into me, that I became free from bullying by spirits. not that they didn’t continue bullying or even stepped it up, but I was granted a glimpse of gnosis of the Eternal, and realized who I am, beyond causes and effects.
          what is it I am ignorant of?
          what is the gnosis these other spirits bring? and have you not ever been deceived by any of them? how many mediums do you know who haven’t been deceived by the spirits they’ve channeled? when I choose to channel the spirit I choose to channel the Highest of the High and would rather not risk being deluded, as I’ve been burnt before. for me, its important to test the spirits. what are the fruits of the spirits who guide you? what boons have you received?
          I can assure you my god, being the god of love and the creator of caring and compassion, cares for you. My God is the Spirit of Care itself.

          • Daniel Gill

            Your assumption that others around the world do not channel the highest is plain ignorance .

          • Calypso_1

            Ectoplasm Duel!

          • jnana

            Let us see… who’s mucous… is the MOST… VISCOUS!!!

          • Daniel Gill

            ectoplasm is not mucous. shows how much you know

          • jnana

            I feel no need to justify myself but just to clarify what I meant I was referring to the Amazonian shamans’ practice of sharing a special mucous of their own as power, giving it to their initiates to drink and perhaps other spiritual uses. This reminds me of the Spiritualist’s Ectoplasm.

          • Calypso_1

            are you familiar with the idea of the Hologenome?

            It has to do with symbiotic evolution between microorganisms & the environment of macro-flora/fauna as a fundamental & heritable trait of natural selection that causes whole ecosystems to evolve together.

            I have long thought that the role of shamans might have an interesting microbiological aspect considering their intimacy with the natural world. The idea that they might be an inoculate or transmission vector in the case of dark forces becomes particularly intriguing when you take at face value the knowledge that plants give them. Perhaps the communication & interaction with life begins at much smaller scale.

          • jnana

            never heard the term, but I do believe parasites and fungi and such have an effect on consciousness and behavior. I’m just beginning my yearly parasite cleanse. I also think many entheogens, particularly the mescaline containing cacti, derive some of their effect on consciousness by killing physical parasites.
            but you bring up an interesting idea. shaman as mediator b/w macro/micro biological worlds….

          • Calypso_1

            I wouldn’t relegate it to just ‘killing’ off parasites. The relationships as currently understood are far too dynamic. Perhaps a regulating of internal biomes. Or bringing into the forum of consciousness the underlying dynamics that are actually taking place at this level of life.

          • jnana

            I think some bugs have gained an ascendancy that shouldn’t have, because of modern diet, antibiotics and what not. that’s why I prefer raw milk and fermented foods, raw vinegar, whenever possible. I also think some of these bugs make us crave the sugary starchy foods that help them thrive. what is useful is doing a parasite cleanse and then introducing some “good” bugs via raw milk, kombucha, and fermented foods. Personally, it aids my digestion as I’m prone to heartburn.

          • Calypso_1

            even now we are reintroducing worms to digestive tracts to heal them.

          • Daniel Gill

            there is no similarity whatsoever

          • Calypso_1

            patooie

          • jnana

            both are thick, sticky liquids which are links with the spirit world

          • Daniel Gill

            no kidding

          • Calypso_1

            yes, there was kidding.

          • jnana

            I never said that. Sorry if its misconstrued that way. I have much tolerance for other spiritual traditions and am not afraid to recognize the similarities(as well as differences). I do believe that someone who is sincerely invoking the Highest, who is Love itself, is invoking the Christ who manifested the Highest here on the physical plane. Whether or not they see it that way isn’t an issue to me. What is important, I believe, is the intentions of the heart.
            But I do have to ask, don’t you think individuals get tricked by spirits they channel? Wouldn’t you agree that one has to be very cautious when channeling a spirit? I have read channeled material that I pretty cool, but there is often a lot of bullshit. Same can be said about a lot of shamans. And same can be said for those who are supposedly invoking the Holy Spirit and healing, speaking, etc. in the name of Jesus.
            Nevertheless, what I know comes from my experience. I had no prior dispositions towards the Christ, in fact, I hated Xian theology. But my experience with other spirits and other traditions gave me wisdom, but also disappointed me. So far, I have yet to be disappointed by the Christ.

          • Daniel Gill

            Ascetics in ancient times were frequently lone warriors or travelled with a band of other ascetic warriors. the Yamabushi are a good example. these men were gnostic and armed. so no, your fluffy view of the world against the facts does not add up. if you think everyone channels Jesus and just doesnt know it you are clearly very ignorant. what the hell makes you special that you know and they don’t?

          • jnana

            a warrior views the world as a warrior. but it is a limited view. to view the world with gnosis is to view the world with love. to view the world with love is to know it as it is.
            He who has discovered the world has discovered a carcass. He who has discovered the carcass, the world is not worthy of. That is Gnosis. He who has discovered the body has discovered the world. no need for silly war games.

          • Daniel Gill

            again, you didn’t listen to what I said,
            whether yogis or yamabushi there have been many spiritual warriors.
            christian gnostics in the USA support war overwhelmingly

          • jnana

            Christian gnostics in the USA? All 10 of them?

    • jnana

      But there is a big difference. The difference is The Spirit Christians invoke. We invoke the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is unique. The Spirit doesn’t actually ask for blood sacrifices or such rituals. Instead, the Holy Spirit is welcomed into the body and soul of the individual who lives by Love. The Holy Spirit manifests itself uniquely as well. When someone is truly possessed by the Holy Spirit they are transformed into the likeness of Christ. Christ was the One who was wholly possessed by God.
      Compare the transformation by the Holy Spirit with other spirits people invoke. Sure, they may grant them powers, knowledge, and other gifts but this comes at a price. And these spirits can’t be trusted. Some are malign, others are just imperfect. So that’s why I invoke the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Love and can be trusted.
      Everyone is a medium and is possessed by spirits. Most are just blind to this.

  • BuzzCoastin

    my guess would be that if they attract a big enough audience
    to justify spending advertising dollars
    to attract morons to buy bling-bling
    Hollyweb will find enough kids
    and a genre will be born
    & memes turned into consumer goods

  • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

    Incidentally, what does this article have to do with James Randi?

    • Andrew

      His last name is kinda silly.

  • bobbiethejean

    Which is more likely: the unfalsifiable claim that nature behaves in a way which goes against all known laws of physics OR that people are lying, coaching their children, and/or reacting predictably to bizarre coincidental circumstances? I wonder which one has more of a precedent. Hmm… *theatrically scratches chin while making contemplative noises and gazing around wistfully.*

    • Andrew

      My only objection to the hypothesis that people are lying is that it puts too much faith in the theory that humans are able to know truth.

    • Bubb Burster

      Just because we humans have not, YET, been able to make instruments capable of discerning certain states of matter and certain physics particles that may make it possible to the essence of a person’s “spirit” to survive the death of the body, does not mean it is “against the laws of physics”. To say the we, in the 21st century, only a few hundred years of modern scientific exploration, could claim to know ALL of the laws of physics and that none other will ever be discovered or uncovered is folly and hubris !

      The Late Dr. Ian Stevenson, Psychology Dept. Chair at the University of
      Virginia for many years, conducted impeccable research into the
      reincarnation phenomenon. His report “Twenty Cases Suggestive of
      Reincarnation” is available in book form and is extremely fascinating.

      http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-C

      You can also Google his name for much more information and links to websites featuring his work.

  • NathanSpeller

    Having done regressions on myself, I can state that it has been psychologically healing and informative and has altered my life in positive ways. The concept of an eternal soul, being non-physical, is impossible to prove through the physical sciences, but that doesn’t make people liars. If anyone needs proof of the spiritual dimensions I challenge them to an heroic dose (5-7 grams) of psylocybe cubensis. If your “reason” concerning para-psychological topics comes from statements by someone like James Randi, who isn’t even scientifically trained, I suggest you open your mind to “trying on” alternate opinions and models and do your own tests.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.garrison.31 Jacob Garrison

    The last time I saw a nonsensical New Age/Spiritualistic word battle this good someone threatened to bust out their spirit staff and do something Gandalfy. I had my fingers crossed.