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Near-Death Experiences

Date: 04-29-04
Host: George Noory
Guests: Howard Storm, Bev Harris

In a half-hour interview, Howard Storm shared his near-death experience, which he has chronicled in his book My Descent into Death.

An atheist at the time, after entering into a hell dimension, he came out of it a changed man, and subsequently became a Pastor. In describing his experience of hell, he said he walked down a long featureless passageway that became progressively darker. He was escorted by individuals who grew in number and eventually turned on him, violently attacking him.

The second half of the show featured Open Lines devoted to the topic of near-death experiences.

Visions of Hell

Many cultures throughout time have ascribed a Hell or netherworld as a possible location for the afterlife, typically where the less-than righteous might end up. But the specifics of such a place show a fair amount of variety. Here is brief rundown on some of the conceptions:

  • Ancient Egypt: The Duat or underworld was inhabited by disbelievers of Ra (the sun god), and their fate was to be dismembered each evening and then put back together in the morning when Ra rose.
  • Ancient Greece: Ruled by Pluto, Hades was a place of ingenious tortures, such as the endless pushing a rock up a hill endured by Sisyphus. A fate even worse than Hades, for the most egregious sinners, was the bottomless pit of Tartarus ruled by Kronos.
  • Aztec: It took four years to arrive by boat to the underworld known as Mictlan, and during this travel one might be beset by hideous demons. A dark and gloomy place, Mictlan was said to be more restful than torturous.
  • Buddhism: Some branches of Buddhism believe there are eight types of hell between death and rebirth. These include Raurava 'The Great Screaming Hell,' a 4,000 year long pit stop for drunkards and Avici 'The Hell of No End,' for murderers.
  • Chinese: In Taoism, eighteen levels of hell have been described. The fate of a person's soul is squabbled over by various gods, but sinners can bribe their way out by getting living relatives to burn paper money.

Source: Hell: An Illustrated History of the Netherworld by Richard Craze

Voting Machine Update

First hour guest, investigative journalist Bev Harris gave an update on the continued voting technology controversy. She commended the state of California for possibly filing criminal charges against Diebold, the voting machine manufacturer. In San Diego county, she said, they spent $33 million on Diebold's machines and 40% of them didn't work. Harris also noted the viability of three other touchscreen voting machine manufacturers, who in contrast to Diebold, have a paper ballot tracking system that backs up the electronic tabulations.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Thursday April 29, 2004

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