Stories abound about the afterlife from people who supposedly have died, gone to heaven or hell, then returned to tell the tale. Interesting. No one can prove their experience of course, because it is experienced alone within the soul, not within the body. Surgeons and nurses in the emergency room surround the person who is brain-dead, and the body is still as stone. Yet, the owner of the body, after being revived, swears to a mystical journey that took place outside the physical self that rivals Stephen King novels and Kubrick films. Come to think of it, a movie about the soul’s journey to heavenor hell, lots of souls from lots of people for lots of reasons, could be quite entertaining. Bit of a money-maker too, probably. I don’t mean silly flicks like Ghost, or Defending Your Life (man, that s-u-c-k-e-d). I’m not even referring to that heartwarming film Sixth Sense which focused on the living person’s experience with the afterlife, rather than the dead. I don’t even refer to Enter the Void, a cool, mess with your mind type of film that follows the death of a drug dealer. I mean films that don’t focus on one person alone, rather like editing and splicing Youtube accounts of life after death. Except a better budget. And better actors.
A gorgeous woman attempted suicide by shotgun (held it to her heart since shooting herself in the face might upset her relatives…how considerate). She went to hell for trying to kill herself, was redeemed when she begged forgiveness, admitted into heaven for a glimpse of what she had been missing…finally the Hand that held her dropped her back inside her mortal coil and she went on to write a best-selling book. Not your typical afterlife story.
This one is about an OBE (out-of-body experience) rather than dying and returning to life. Regardless, Bill Wiese was pulled out of his body and imprisoned in a stinky, painful prison cell in hell. He claims he was as lucid as “now”, a discussion on TBN. Two enormous creatures, being demons, materialized, distinctly reptilian, appeared cursing the Lord and beating up on him, with “absolutely no mercy.” Ouch. However the worst of it was the hopelessness, believing this torture would never end. That’s creepy. There were countless people but they weren’t permitted to be with each other, utterly alone and in agony. They weren’t even allowed to sleep (a nightmare I can barely imagine). Bill’s opinion on why he had this experience? God feels we don’t fear Him or hell enough anymore and that Christians have become too complacent. There is some argument for that.
Suicide sent Angie Fenimore to hell, although she argued when she managed to return that she already was in hell and simply took all of it with her. As a child, Angie was sexually and psychologically abused by her alcoholic father. She married at 19 and discovered having her own family didn’t free her from her “secret misery.” She attempted to kill herself and found herself in hell. All of her misery was intensified as she was surrounded by shadows of other people, mumbling to themselves, completely self-absorbed as they re-lived the point of their suicides. Angie was given a choice “is this what you really want?” Wisely, she said no and woke up on the couch where she overdosed. The lesson she learned was how her actions affected the people around her. She hadn’t tried to kill herself because of what other people did to her, but because she hadn’t tried to overcome it. Angie also wrote a book, “Beyond the Darkness“. It’s probably a best-seller. Meh. Perhaps a quick trip to Satan has its perks.
Matthew Deval was 12 when he first died of a drowning in a swimming pool. His quick life flashed in front of him and he felt peaceful. Matthew claimed Jesus took him by the hand and forced him to return to earth. This left Matthew confused and unhappy. Years later, he married and had a daughter but by then he was consumed by personal problems and depression. He desired to return to heaven and had the irrational belief that if he killed himself he would find Jesus. This time he awoke in a grey place, hell. Somehow he split into 7 people. Two of him were in his past, experiencing all the people he once knew whom he had hurt. Another self saw the suffering his death would eventually cause. A hand picked him up by the scruff of his neck and warned him if he” continued to live life as he did he would end up back in this place.” When he returned, Matthew quit a thousand-dollar-a-week drug habit, sobered up and moved to Vegas to join a suicide prevention counselling group. Imagine going to Vegas of all places, to run a non-profit organization that saves people from suicide? Whatever happened to what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Meh. Divine inspiration meets casino-ville.
Kenneth Hagin lived his life with a heart defect, he was often ill. One day he died at home, watching his parents and siblings trying to revive him. He descended into a strange well where he was surrounded by giant orange flames. He saw the gates of hell and was drawn to them. He believed a creature met him there but he barely noticed, still staring at the gates. Kenneth suddenly felt a hand grab him out of this hellish place and he returned to his body. Somehow he returned to the bottom of the well and he was surrounded by flames. He cried out to God to forgive him, felt himself ascending from the well, and returned to life. Whatever it was this sickly boy did during his brief years, it must have been pretty nasty. He never did say, of course.
Life After Life – Raymond Moony
Raymond Moony’s documentary interviews 6 people’s accounts of life after death. Of course, Moony has a book about life after death and proof of God (what is it with these people and best-selling literature)? People are profoundly changed after returning from their afterlife experience. Their primary goal is to love people and interact with kind human beings.One example is:
Case One – Sandi Rogers – Nurse- Suicide by gunshot wound. Sandi claimed that after she shot herself she could feel herself being pushed down the hospital hallway by paramedics. Sandi felt bliss while she was outside of her body and had a feeling of lightness. Someone ethereal took on Sandi’s pain and they became intertwined. Sandi felt she was given a choice to remain in this blissful place but she would have to experience all of the pain that had brought her to suicide. Somehow she would have to re-live her entire life in this place. She chose to return, naturally, and learned to see the world from other people’s perspectives who had hurt her. Sandi was boring.
Life Beyond the Grave 2 – the 700 Club
Another collection of people’s experiences with the afterlife.
Case One – Mary Neil – Mary drowned in a kayaking accident and she too, saw the light. She prayed that God’s will be done. She was overcome by the sensation of being held and comforted. She left her body and was left by a group of “heavenly beings.” They were overjoyed to greet her. She knew they had known and loved her since she existed. A sense of disappointment descended on everyone when they realized she had to return her to her body.
Case Two – Carl Knighton Carl wasn’t as fortunate as Mary. His marriage and military career, when both ended around the same time. For 2 weeks he smoked crack then took valium. He overdosed and died and felt himself descending until he could smell the stench of hell. He felt tugged and pulled, and voices said “we gotcha! we gotcha!” He saw lost souls in the lake of fire. He called on the Lord to help him and the hand of God grabbed him out of hell, returning him to his body. 3 days later, Carl surrendered his life to Jesus. He repented, remarried and began a mission to tell people about heaven and hell. Preachy type.