Crazymaking news

When I moved up to Oregon in 1999, I thought I was escaping the threat of earthquakes. People in Salem, Oregon where I settled were so lax about the threat of the big shakers that many residents did not strap in their water heaters. It was the earthquake preparedness equivalent of living in a place where you never locked the doors at night.

A few years after moving I was watching a NOVA program on PBS and first learned of the existence of the Cascadia fault. Considering that Salem is about an hour away from the coast and that the Cascadia fault is over a hundred miles offshore, I did not worry.

Apparently neither did the New York Times. In this graphic printed on April 30, 2011, the esteemed newspaper showed that from a natural disaster standpoint, the entire Pacific Northwest was the safest spot in the whole country in which to live.

Then comes a story in the June 20, 2015 issue of The New Yorker virtually predicting the most catastrophic earthquake-tsunami in U.S. history.

Guess where it is. You’ve had lots of clues. It’s not California.

There are no guarantees. Life is a crap shoot. But I found it interesting how two well-established information sources could not be farther apart in assessing a very significant risk issue.



Combat soldiers and NDEs

Here is a 45-minute webinar produced by the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) about the near-death experiences of soldiers.

The webinar was intended to introduce the near-death experience phenomenon to mainstream media. It was also intended to draw attention to the IANDS Conference coming up over Labor Day weekend 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.

If you have not studied NDEs, the video is a good introduction to what they are. The panel includes two nurses, who are IANDS leaders, and a Vietnam veteran who had an amazing NDE.

The webinar gives insight into the dilemma which continues to flourish — soldiers who have NDEs face a stone wall of resistance. Imagine while being in combat having a profound reality-defying, out-of-body experience where your consciousness is suddenly in deep space looking back at Planet Earth.¬† Is this real or is it insanity?

Then imagine coming back into the body and being confronted with an institution that does not want to hear about your experience. What would it feel like if your doctors would rather fill your body with drugs than consider or even acknowledge the life-changing experience you just had? What would it be like to have to deal on your own with this encounter with different dimensions?

IANDS intends to change that situation by instructing medical professionals on how to recognize signs of a classic NDE.


To me, there’s an interesting bonus topic regarding NDEs in the military. It’s a topic that probably won’t be openly discussed any time soon, possibly even at IANDS.

NDEs  sometimes create stunning perceptual changes in the people who have them. Some come back with new perceptual skills they did not have before. Many NDErs come back extolling the virtues of universal love. Many have radical personality changes. For soldiers who have been trained to kill, becoming non-violent all of a sudden creates massive conflict.

Some soldiers who have NDEs in combat do their hospital time to recover and are then expected by the military to go back out and fight. The military does not recognize profound spiritual epiphany as a good reason to sit combat out. This leaves the soldier in quite a challenging situation.

It reminds me of the females in the military dealing with being raped or sexually harassed. Who listens to them? Who believes them? Who supports them? They are treated more as an annoyance to the group agenda.

Beyond the personal challenge a soldier faces after having had a near-death experience, a collection of NDE stories among soldiers could imply that warfare is not the way to go. Considering how much money we pour into warfare, it would make sense to study the phenomenon more seriously.

Near-death experiences among soldiers creates a personal crisis for the soldier that has profound implications for all of us — if we would just listen to what these experiencers have to say.