‘The ghost hunters’

This is an extract from the article by Stacy Horn titled ‘The children who’ve lived before’ in the May 2015 issue of Reader’s Digest. It refers to Prof. Jim Tucker, the lead researcher on past-life memories of little children.

“Tucker was a child psychiatrist in private practice when he heard about the reincarnation research being conducted by Dr. Ian Stevenson, founder and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at UVA. He was intrigued and began working with the division in 1996; six years later, when Stevenson retired, Tucker over as the leader of the division’s past-life research.

The UVA team has gathered more than 2500 documented cases of children from all over the world who have detailed memories of former lives, including that of a California toddler with a surprisingly good golf swing who said that he had once been legendary athlete Bobby Jones; a Midwestern five-year-old who shared some of the same memories and physical traits – blindness in his left eye, a mark on his neck, a limp – as a long-deceased brother; and a girl in India who woke up one day and began speaking fluently in a dialect she’d never heard before. (Tucker describes these cases in his book ‘Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Their Past Lives.)

The children in the UVA collection typically began talking about their previous lives when they were two or three years old and stopped when they were six or seven. ‘That is around the same time that we all lose memories of early childhood.’”

Some of the counter-arguments adduced by sceptics read like some arguments used by defence barristers in court. All manner of scenarios are posited to cast doubt on claims which they will not accept. However, as we have learned from the law courts, the British adversarial approach is not as effective as the French approach – to seek the truth without wasteful unproductive challenges.

Hopefully, the truth will out!