DREAM ROMANCES, Journal 13, 1907-8, pp. 90-96. Report of a
Russian woman who describes having been visited regularly as a child by a female apparition. The visitor is dressed in the style of Louis V1 and the narrator subsequently experiences frequent dreams of Marie-Antoinette. During a visit to Versailles the narrator claims to have been able to guide friends round the Queen’s apartments, finding them to correspond exactly
to her dreams. A/DV/R/haunt/russ
Hill, J. Arthur. SOME REINCARNATIONIST AUTOMATIC
SCRIPTS, Proceedings 38, 1928-9, pp. 375-87. Stirring scenes
apparently in medieval Scandinavia are described in automatic writing, in which the narrator claims to have had a tempestuous relationship with the writer. Other figures in other settings are also claimed as part of the writer’s past history. R/eur
Thomas, C. Drayton. A DISCOURSE GIVEN THROUGH MRS
LEONARD AND ATTRIBUTED TO SIR OLIVER LODGE,
Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 134-56. Statements about afterlife conditions by a
communicator claiming the identity of the scientist and SPR researcher are given at length and found to compare, at least in terms of meaning, with the opinions published in his books. The exception is reincarnation, about which the living Lodge was previously non-committal but which the communicator now says actually occurs. The author and sitter, an ordained Christian and spiritualist, finds the communicator’s mannerisms bear a convincing likeness to Lodge’s but is distressed by the remarks about reincarnation.
See also note by W.H Salter on Myers’s views about reincarnation, pp.
A CASE OF ALLEGED RE-INCARNATION, Journal 40, 1959, pp.
428-9. Report of an investigation into an Indian child who remembers two consecutive previous lives. BR/R/ind
Chari, C.T.K. PARAMNESIA AND REINCARNATION, Proceedings
53, 1960-62, pp. 264-86. Argues that the phenomenon of déjà vu,
frequently taken to indicate reincarnation, can equally be explained by paramnesia, the distortion of memory. Instances of veridicality can be held to demonstrate paranormal cognition, such as telepathic exchanges between parent and child, again not requiring the reincarnation hypothesis. The possibility of ‘precognitive paramnesia’ is also discussed (273).
Osborne, Arthur A. REINCARNATION, Journal 42, 1963-64, pp. 86-
9. The Mr ‘A’ described in Chari’s article makes himself known and reveals more of the background to the case, arguing, against Chari, that the explanation is reincarnation and not any of the alternatives suggested. R/asia
Spedding, Frank. CONCEPTS OF SURVIVAL, Journal 48, 1975-6,
pp. 1-18. This discussion of survival evidence touches on reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, a typical spirit communicator, and mystical experiences. GD/R/obe
Darroch, Jane. Journal 48, 1975-6, pp. [AGAINST
REINCARNATION]. A correspondent responds to the claim, made in a broadcast by a psychiatrist, that some patients’ symptoms are caused by traumatic memories in past lives. She says: ‘I am reluctant to believe in reincarnation because it seems such a waste to forget everything one has learnt, lost contact with one’s loved ones and start again as a baby.’ R/scep
CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 53, 1985-86, pp. 468-78. Ian Stevenson
rejects criticisms of his work by D. Scott Rogo. R/scep-r/asia
Sidgwick, E. ON PHYSICAL TESTS AND THE LINE BETWEEN
THE POSSIBLE AND IMPOSSIBLE, Journal 1, 1885, pp. 430-32.
Exposes likely errors involved in Spiritualistic research: confusing moral and physical evidence; forgetting that the burden of proof lies with Spiritualists; overlooking the lack of definition between the possible and the impossible.
CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 465-6. GD/PR
ON THE METHOD OF RESEARCH PURSUED BY THE
SOCIETY, Journal 2, 1885, pp. 25-32. A critic with Spiritualist
inclinations complains at the failure on the part of the Society to deliver a verdict on the voluminous evidence received. Myers explains the reason for its hesitancy. GD/PR
CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 54, 1987, pp. 226-7. The Indian
parapsychologist C.T.K.Chari, a sceptic of reincarnation, replies to criticisms of his review of a book on Stevenson’s work. R/scep/asia
Pasricha, Satwant & Stevenson, Ian. INDIAN CASES OF THE
REINCARNATION TYPE TWO GENERATIONS APART, Journal
54, 1987, pp. 239-46. Reincarnation cases in India dating from the 1930s are compared with cases from the 1960s and later and found to be similar in most respects. Author's abstract: Thirty-six cases of the reincarnation
type in India whose subjects were born before 1936 were compared with fifty-six cases whose subjects were born in 1965 or later. Fifty-four variables – of demographic data, features of the cases, and investigation of the cases – were analyzed. Significant differences occurred between the two series in only five variables. Cases of children who claim to remember previous lives in India appear to show over many years a notable stability of their main features. R/asia
Chadha, N.K. & Stevenson, Ian. TWO CORRELATES OF
VIOLENT DEATH IN CASES OF THE REINCARNATION TYPE,
Journal 55, 1988-89, pp. 71-9. Cases involving a violent death in a
remembered life are found to show a shorter interval between death and birth than those having a natural death. The effect is found in all cultures except Sri Lanka. The age of the subject when first speaking about the previous life is also found to be significantly lower with violent death compared with natural death. R/asia
Stevenson, Ian & Chadha, N.K. CAN CHILDREN BE STOPPED
FROM SPEAKING ABOUT PREVIOUS LIVES ? Journal 56 & 57,
1989-1991, pp. 82-90. Analyses of data from Indian cases of the
reincarnation type shows no statistical support for the theory that Hindu parents encourge false memories of past lives. R/asia
Rivas, Titus. ALFRED PEACOCK? REINCARNATION
FANTASIES ABOUT THE TITANIC, Journal 58, 1991-92, pp. 10-15.
Claims by a retired engineer that he was a drowned passenger on board the Titanic are shown to be invalid. R
Haraldsson, Erlendur & Samararatne, Godwin. CHILDREN WHO
SPEAK OF MEMORIES OF A PREVIOUS LIFE AS A BHUDDIST
MONK: THREE NEW CASES, Journal 63, 1998-9, pp. 268-91.
Authors’ abstract: In Mahayana Buddhism – especially in Tibetan
uddhism – some children who are chosen to be lamas are considered B
monks reborn. No such tradition exists in the Theravada Buddhism of Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, but occasionally a child may appear who claims to have been a monk in a previous life. This report describes an investigation of three cases of children in Sri Lanka who at an early age claimed to remember a life as a Buddhist monk and showed monk-like behavioral traits. In two cases their statements regarding the previous life were recorded before attempts were made to verify them. In two cases a deceased monk was identified who seemed to match their statements about a previous life. The strength and weakness of each case is examined and some interpretations are discussed. R/child/asia/relig
Haraldsson, Erlendur. BIRTHMARKS AND CLAIMS OF
PREVIOUS-LIFE MEMORIES. 1: THE CASE OF PURNIMA
ELKANAYAKE, Journal 64, 2000, pp. 16-25. Author’s abstract:
Children who speak of memories of a previous life may explain birthmarks as related to wounds inflicted upon them in the former life. In this case a girl claims to have been an incense-maker, and to have died in a traffic accident. After a location had been given an incense-maker was identified whose life corresponded to many of her statements. He had died in a traffic accident two years prior to her birth, and the post-mortem report revealed that wounds had been inflicted on him in the same area as her birthmarks. R/child/asia
Haraldsson, Erlendur. BIRTHMARKS AND CLAIMS OF
PREVIOUS-LIFE MEMORIES, 2: THE CASE OF CHATURA
KARUNARATNE, Journal 64, 2000, pp. 82-92 (illus). Author’s
abstract: This case concerns a young boy in Sri Lanka who made several statements regarding a previous life, among them where he had lived and how he was killed when travelling in a truck through a forest. The boy associated two birthmarks with his claimed memories. His statements were recorded and published, and afterwards a person was found in the area whose circumstances had corresponded to the boy's statements. The birthmarks corresponded to the location of injuries of the person later identified as the previous personality. R/child/asia
Barrington, Mary Rose. THE CASE OF JENNY COCKELL:
TOWARDS A VERIFICATION OF AN UNUSUAL 'PAST LIFE'
REPORT, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 106-12. Books written by members of
the public about their own cases are often ignored by researchers, who fear that they may be fictional rather than factual. Yesterday's Children by
Jenny Cockell relates a very unusual case of ostensible reincarnation. The purpose of this article is to confirm that interviews with the author and her principal witnesses lead to the conclusion that the case should be treated as a genuine research report. R
Suggestions for Further Reading (books and articles in the SPR library)
Christie-Murray, David, Reincarnation: Ancient Beliefs and Modern
Evidence (London: David and Charles, 1981). Places recent past-life
research into the appropriate historical context.
Matlock, James G., ‘Past Life Memory Case Studies’ in Stanley Krippner, ed., Advances in Parapsychological Research 6, (London: McFarland,
1990), pp. 184-267. Useful assessment of Ian Stevenson’s work and its
Stevenson, Ian, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, (Charlottesville,
VA: University of Virginia Press, 19). The first full-length publication by Ian Stevenson describing his early work on past-life memories in India. See also:
Children Who Remember Previous Lives (Charlottesville, VA: University of
Virginia Press, 1987), which expands on his earlier work and answers many of the objections of sceptics.
Wilson, Ian, Reincarnation (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1981).
Critique of the reincarnationist interpretation of Ian Stevenson’s work.
See also the Journal of Scientific Exploration, which carries articles by Ian
Stevenson and others on past-life research.
BOOK AND BOOK REVIEWS
Bernstein, Morey. THE SEARCH FOR BRIDEY MURPHY, Journal
38, 1956, pp. 376-8. An amateur hypnotist carries out age regression experiments on a neighbour, uncovering a supposed previous existence as an Irish lawyer’s daughter in the early nineteenth century. BR/R/hypn
Iswarananda, Swami. DOES THE SOUL REINCARNATE?,
reviewed by H. H. Price, Journal 43, 1965, pp. 43-4. A Hindu Swami
rejects reincarnation as ‘nothing to do with the essential doctrine of Vedanta…’ BR/R/relig
Walker, E. D. REINCARNATION: A STUDY OF A FORGOTTEN
TRUTH, Journal 43, 1965, p. 157. Claims to be ‘the first extensive work on reincarnation ever published (no review). BR/R
Stevenson, Ian. TWENTY CASES SUGGESTIVE OF
REINCARNATION (PROCEEDINGS ASPR, 1966), reviewed by
John Beloff, Journal 44, 1967, pp. 88-94. ‘…the first serious systematic
attempt to survey the spontaneous case-material bearing on the problem of reincarnation.’ Full review of ground-breaking work. BR/R
Guirdham, Arthur. THE CATHARS AND REINCARNATION,
reviewed by R. J. Woolger, Journal 45, 1970, pp. 422-4. A practitioner
of hypnotherapy follows up a series of apparent retrocognitions of the Cathar sect of 13th century France recounted by a patient, finding them to be historically accurate and thus evidence of reincarnation. BR/R/hist
Guirdham, Arthur. A FOOT IN BOTH WORLDS, reviewed by
Roger Woolger, Journal 47, 1974, pp. 385-7. The author of THE
CATHARS AND REINCARNATION and OBSESSION continues his
speculations on reincarnation and group memory. BR/R
Stevenson, Ian. TWENTY CASES SUGGESTIVE OF
REINCARNATION, reviewed by John Beloff, Journal 48, 1975, pp.
177-9. Second enlarged edition of a classic study, introducing cases of Indian children with memories of ‘past lives’. BR/R/child
Ryall, E. W. SECOND TIME ROUND, reviewed by Andrew
MacKenzie, Journal 48, 1975, pp. 241-2. The author describes memories
of a former incarnation as a Somerset farmer born in 1645. The claim is given credibility by the introduction of Ian Stevenson, which rejects fraud and cryptomnesia, but the reviewer doubts whether reincarnation is the actual explanation.
CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 320-21. BR/R
Stevenson, Ian. CASES OF THE REINCARNATION TYPE
VOLUME I. TEN CASES FROM INDIA, reviewed by John Beloff, Journal 48, 1976, pp. 306-9. The first of a planned series of volumes
offering selected cases of memories of past lives. BR/R
Owen, Iris M. & Sparrow, Margaret. CONJURING UP PHILIP,
Iverson, Jeffrey. MORE LIVES THAN ONE? THE EVIDENCE OF
THE REMARKABLE BLOXHAM TAPES, reviewed by Graham
Hough, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 464-6. Extracts from tapes of
hypnotherapy sessions in which the subjects appear to be describing their past lives. BR/R
Guirdham, Arthur. THE LAKE AND THE CASTLE, reviewed by
Reneé Haynes, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 466-7. Further volume advancing
the author’s theory that he and a group of friends shared earlier incarnations, including one among the Cathars in Provence. ‘…much of interest here: telepathic incidents simultaneously involving three or four people in different parts of the world, various precognitive experiences, and some very odd examples of synchronicity.’ BR/R
Stevenson, Ian. CASES OF THE REINCARNATION TYPE,
VOLUME II, TEN CASES IN SRI LANKA, reviewed by Robert
Thouless, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 894-5. Buddhist cases of children with
memories of past lives, in one of which 16 items of information were recorded in writing before being verified. BR/R/ind
Moss, Peter and Keeton, Joe. ENCOUNTERS WITH THE PAST, reviewed by David Christie-Murray, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 312-4.
Hypnotic regression into past lives, by a leading practitioner. BR/R/hypn
Stevenson, Ian. CASES OF THE REINCARNATION TYPE.
VOLUME III. TWELVE CASES IN LEBANON AND TURKEY,
reviewed by Robert Thouless, Journal 51, 1981, pp. 101-2. Cases of
past life memories from the Alevis in South Central Turkey and the Druses of Lebanon. BR/R/mideast
Christie-Murray, David. REINCARNATION - ANCIENT BELIEFS AND MODERN EVIDENCE, reviewed by Michael Perry, Journal 51,
1981, pp.101-4. Study of reincarnation: beliefs, history and evidence. BR/R
Wilson, Ian. MIND OUT OF TIME? REINCARNATION CLAIMS
INVESTIGATED, reviewed by Michael Perry, Journal 51, 1981, pp.
167-70. Sceptical treatment of reincarnation by a historian, taking in children’s memories of past lives, and well-publicised cases such as the
Pollock twins and Bridey Murphy. BR/R/scep
Walker, Benjamin. MASKS OF THE SOUL: THE FACTS BEHIND REINCARNATION, reviewed by Michael Perry, Journal 51, 1981, pp.
170-71. The book’s ‘bias is anti-reincarnationist, but the arguments on
either side, the major lines of evidence and their various possible interpretations, are all fairly and clearly set out…’ BR/R/scep
Rogo, Scott D. THE SEARCH FOR YESTERDAY: A CRITICAL
EXAMINATION OF THE EVIDENCE FOR REINCARNATION,
reviewed by James G. Matlock, Journal 53, 1986, pp. 229-39. The first
book by a parapsychologist to include material other than Ian Stevenson's child cases, including hypnotic regression cases. The reviewer acknowledges this contribution, but laments a lack of 'scholarly seriousness' and a 'gratuitous' attack on Stevenson. The review is followed by an extended reply by Stevenson rebutting the author's criticisms. BR/R/scep/scep-r/ind
Stevenson, Ian. CASES OF THE REINCARNATION TYPE,
VOLUME 4: TWELVE CASES IN THAILAND AND BURMA,
reviewed by C.T.K.Chari, Journal 53, 1986, pp. 325-9. Cases of past-
life memories in south-east Asia, received with constructive criticisms by the reviewer, particularly in relation to the interpretation of local religious doctrines. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 53, 1986, pp. 476-7.
Stevenson, Ian. CHILDREN WHO REMEMBER PREVIOUS
LIVES: A QUESTION OF REINCARNATION, reviewed by Ian
Wilson, Journal 55, 1988, pp. 227-34. An important assessment of
decades of work by the veteran investigator of past-life memories in children. A landmark study, although the reviewer, a Roman Catholic
sceptic, would have preferred a more critical approach. Stevenson's detailed rebuttal to Wilson's comments is included.
See also Journal 66, 2002, pp. 57-8, where David Christie-Murray
reviews a revised edition. BR/R/scep/scep-r
Pasricha, Satwant. CLAIMS OF REINCARNATION: AN
EMPIRICAL STUDY OF CASES IN INDIA, reviewed by Erlendur
Haraldsson, Journal 58, 1992, pp. 274-5. Review of cases of past-life
memories by an Indian researcher and associate of Ian Stevenson. BR/R/ind
Cockell, Jenny. YESTERDAY'S CHILDREN: THE
EXTRAORDINARY SEARCH FOR MY PAST LIFE FAMILY,
reviewed by Ian Wilson, Journal 59, 1993, pp. 307-9. The author
describes her search for traces of the life she believed she lived as an Irishwoman until 1932, and her meeting with the man, now 71, who would have been her son. '…profoundly impressive and convincing.' BR/R/ire
Edwards, Paul. REINCARNATION: A CRITICAL
EXAMINATION, reviewed by John Beloff, Journal 61, 1997, pp. 345-
8. Philosophical debunking, covering well-known cases and the work of Ian Stevenson. The reviewer finds the study thought-provoking, but finds nothing to convince him that we cannot survive death.
CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 61, 1997, pp. 413-4; Journal 62, 1997, p.
Stevenson, Ian. WHERE REINCARNATION AND BIOLOGY
INTERSECT, reviewed by David Stevenson, Journal 62, 1998, pp.
463-4. ‘Those who are not determined sceptics are likely to find a persuasive case that some people do have memories and behaviours suggestive of previous lives and that some of those identified as particular persons reborn have physical birthmarks or defects or other characteristics which support this identification.’ Condensed version of Reincarnation
and Biology. BR/R/bio
Stevenson, Ian. REINCARNATION AND BIOLOGY, 2 vols,
reviewed by David Stevenson, Journal 62, 1998, pp. 463-4. ‘Those who
are not determined sceptics are likely to find a persuasive case that some people do have memories and behaviours suggestive of previous lives and that some of those identified as particular persons reborn have physical birthmarks or defects or other characteristics which support this identification.’ BR/R/bio
Stevenson, Ian. REINCARNATION AND BIOLOGY: A
CONTRIBUTION TO THE ETIOLOGY OF BIRTHMARKS AND
BIRTH DEFECTS, Journal 64, 2000, pp. 119-20. Investigates links
between birthmarks and past life memories of fatal injuries. BR/R/bio
Stevenson, Ian. WHERE REINCARNATION AND BIOLOGY
INTERSECT, reviewed by John Beloff, Journal 64, 2000, pp. 119-20.
Illustrated one-volume overview of material contained in Reincarnation
And Biology: A Contribution To The Etiology Of Birthmarks And Birth Defects.
CORRESPONDENCE, p. 254. BR/R/bio
Harris, Lynda. THE CATHARS AND ARTHUR GUIRDHAM,
reviewed by David Christie-Murray, p. 276. Sceptical examination of
the reincarnation claims made in best-selling books by a medical doctor and psychiatrist. BR/R/scep