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Contemporary Studies of Alternate Time Recollections in Children

Ian Stevenson (1918-2007), a psychiatrist with the University of Virginia School of Medicine for 50 years, began reincarnation researchin 1960 when he learned of a child in Sri Lanka reporting past life recall. He exhaustively questioned the child and parents, including people who the child recalled were his parents in his past life. This led to Dr. Stevenson’s conviction that reincarnation was possible. That same year, Dr. Stevenson published two articles in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research about this child. The more cases he discovered, the greater became his ambition to scientifically quantify the possibility of reincarnation, until then virtually ignored by science.


In 1997 he published his major classic: the 2,268-page, two-volume book, “Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects,” which focused on deformities and other anomalies children are born with which can’t be traced back to inheritance, prenatal or perinatal (created during birth) occurrences. This monumental work contains hundreds of pictures presenting the evidence, documenting 200 cases of children having memories and birthmarks which corresponded with the lives and wounds of deceased people whom these children recalled as having lived as in a past-life. In 1997, Dr. Stevenson published a condensed version of this book entitled, “Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.” Many people, including skeptics and scholars, agree that the cases presented by Dr. Stevenson offer the best evidence yet for reincarnation.


During his original research into cases involving children’s memories of past lives, Dr. Stevenson did note that these children frequently bore lasting birthmarks which supposedly related to a wound they suffered in a previous life. Stevenson’s research into birthmarks and congenital defects has such particular importance for the demonstration of reincarnation, as it furnishes objective and graphic proof of reincarnation, superior to the memories and reports of the children and adults questioned, which even if verified afterwards cannot be assigned the same value in scientific terms.

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Celebration of the Birth of New Earth (2007)
Credit: BlueStarChild.com

Contemporary Studies of Alternate Age Recollections in Children

Contemporary Studies of Alternate Age Recollections in Children

In many cases presented by Dr. Stevenson there are also medical records as further proof. Dr. Stevenson adds that in the cases he researched and “solved” in which birthmarks and deformities were present, he didn’t suppose there was any other apposite explanation than that of reincarnation. Only 30-60% of these deformities can be ascribed to birth defects related to genetic factors, virus infections or chemical causes (eg. those in children damaged by the drug Thalidomide or alcohol). Apart from these demonstrable causes, the medical profession has no other explanation for the other 40-70% of cases than that of mere chance. Stevenson has succeeded in giving us an explanation of why a person is born with these deformities and why they appear precisely in that part of their body and not in another.

In 35% of cases he investigated, children who died an unnatural death in a past life developed phobias in the current life. For example, if they had drowned in a past life then they frequently developed a phobia about going out of their depth in water. If they had been shot, they were often afraid of guns and sometimes loud bangs in general. If they died in a road accident they would sometimes develop a phobia of traveling in cars, buses or trucks.

 Another frequently observed unusual form of behavior, which Dr. Stevenson called philias, concerns children who express the wish to eat different kinds of food or to wear clothes that were different from those of their culture. If a child had developed an alcohol, tobacco or drug addiction as an adult in a previous incarnation he may express a need for these substances and develop cravings at an early age.

 Many children with past-life memories show abilities or talents from their previous lives. Often children who were members of the opposite sex in their previous life show difficulty in adjusting to the new sex. These problems relating to the ‘sex change’ can lead to homosexuality later on in their lives. Former girls who were reborn as boys may wish to dress as girls or prefer to play with girls rather than boys.

Until now these human oddities had been a mystery to conventional psychiatrists. In the past, doctors blamed such peculiarities on a lack/surplus of certain hormones, now this may need to be reconsidered.

A paperby Dr. Stevenson, available at the link below,was presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration held at Princeton University from June 11-13, 1992. The title of the paper is “Birthmarks and Birth Defects Corresponding to Wounds on Deceased Persons”and provides perhaps the most compelling scientific evidence suggestive of reincarnation. Dr. Stevenson’s paper presents evidence that physical characteristics, such as birthmarks and deformities, may be carried over from a past life to a present life.

Reference: https://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/research/ian-stevenson.html

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