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Archives: Book Reviews

Passport to Past Lives: The Evidence by Robert T. James

Reviewed by Thelma B. Freedman, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 20, 2005


Robert James has written a fascinating account of his extensive research projects and the findings from them. He first presented two brief overviews of his work in the pages of the Journal, V. VII (1993) and V. IX (1995), and spoke about it at the APRT Spring Conference of 1995 in Washington, DC, which focused on research. This book expands on his previous work and provides rich detail about his results.

Dr. James’ first research project was designed to test many of the claims that critics raise about past life regressions and therapy. Noting that some critics claim that most published regressions come from people in therapy for … Read the rest

The Book of the Soul: Rational Spirituality for the 21st Century by Ian Lawton

Reviewed by Louis Siron, C.Ht.
In JRT Issue 20, 2005


I had the pleasure recently of reading “The Book of the Soul: Rational Spirituality for the 21st Century” by Ian Lawton.

You might wonder at the term “rational spirituality.” What does this mean? How can spirituality be rational? I had the impression of a subject that is typically faith based being defined in a logical factual way. As it turns out, that impression was not far off the mark.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, 1) rational: able to reason, not foolish or silly, sensible; synonym reasonable and 2) spirituality: spiritual nature, character, or quality.

Here we have a very unusual book; a book that fills a void in the literature … Read the rest

Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior by David R. Hawkins

Reviewed by Sydney S. Heflin, Ed.D.
In JRT Issue 19, 2004


 “Imagine…what if you had access to a simple yes-or-no answer to any question you wished to ask? A demonstrably true answer. Any question…Think about it.” So begins Dr. David Hawkins’ book, Power VS Force. Impeccably researched over 20 years, and with scientifically derived and objectively organized truths, the information in this book is like a bucket of ice water in the face of the discerning reader.

The author of many scientific papers, Dr. Hawkins co-authored Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Nobelist Linus Pauling. He also has an extensive background as a therapist and teacher. Extrapolating from the initial work of Dr. John Diamond in the late seventies, in the … Read the rest

Return of the Revolutionaries: The Case for Reincarnation and Soul Groups Reunited by Walter Semkiw

Reviewed by Sydney S. Heflin, Ed.D.
In JRT Issue 19, 2004


Dr. Walter Semkiw is currently Chief of Occupational Medicine at Kaiser, San Francisco. Dr. Walter Semkiw’s new book, Return of the Revolutionaries, is an impressively extensive examination of the history and current literature on reincarnation; in just the first 86 pages. If only these first seven chapters were the entire book, this work would be a very valuable addition to the literature. However, those chapters are just an introduction to a new avenue of research, which will surely be met with delight, as well as controversy, in the field of reincarnation study. Frankly, this researcher/reviewer inclines toward the delighted end of that spectrum.

Cutting edge research is … Read the rest

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reincarnation by David Hammerman and Lisa Lenard

Reviewed by Janet Cunningham, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 18, 2001


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reincarnation is a book that should be in the waiting room of every past-life therapist…and in the hands of anyone who has ever wondered if they have lived a previous incarnation.

According to Carol Bowman, who wrote the forward, [this book] is the most comprehensive practical guide to reincarnation I’ve seen…It gives you the tools to distinguish real past-life memories from fantasy.

Using the “Idiot’s Book” format of simple, to-the-point language and eye-catching icons, Hammerman and Lenard have created an up-to-date informative and extensive volume that covers the questions most asked by clients (and even practitioners!).

Just a few of the important themes include:… Read the rest

Shadows on My Mind: A Psychologist Explores Reincarnation and PSI by Marie Gates

Reviewed by Janet Cunningham, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 18, 2001


Marie Gates’ earliest memory in this life was of her death as an adult woman in a Catholic hospital. Her book describes her search to understand the memories and to verify, if possible, some of the details that she learned through past-life regressions. She describes several paranormal experiences she had such as synchronistic events, vivid dreams, and precognitive knowing.

There are elements that are confusing in the reading of Gates’ book. One example is when she becomes obsessed over a being called Mohari. The experience comes in a dream, which she later attempts to understand through past-life regression. In sharing the overlapping in her mind between her lifetime as … Read the rest

Soul Samples: Personal Exploration in Reincarnation and UFO Experience by R. Leo Sprinkle

Reviewed by Barbara Lamb, M.S., M.F.C.C.
In JRT Issue 17, 1999


Leo Sprinkle has written a thoughtful, inspiring book from his long years as a university professor, a scientific researcher of unusual human experiences, a philosopher, and a helper/healer of thousands of persons.

The objective of the book, in Leo’s words, is “to offer one person’s views of the journey of the soul, the significance of UFO activity, and the role of the individual person in human evolution…Thus I share with any reader these personal events that have helped me to learn to love myself, others, and life itself, to become aware, and to acknowledge the interactions of humans, Extraterrestrial beings and higher beings.”

The book shows his own … Read the rest

Looking for Carroll Beckwith: A True Story of a Detective’s Search for his Past-Life by Robert L. Snow

Reviewed by Linda Adler, L.C.S.W.
In JRT Issue 17, 1999


Police Detective Robert L. Snow had never given much thought to reincarnation and past lives; it wasn’t within his frame of reference. His life was concrete and dealt with only what could be proven. However, a friend challenged him to test his beliefs and recommended a psychologist for regressive hypnosis.

When Snow regressed to his life as the painter, J. Carroll Beckwith, he found the experience so vivid and realistic he began to question what it was. Convinced it was all his imagination, Snow was determined to find a “logical” explanation for what he had experienced. Using police investigative techniques, he embarked on a quest to disprove the evidence … Read the rest

Life Without Guilt by Hazel Denning, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Thelma B. Freedman, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 17, 1999


Most people carry a burden of guilt. If it’s deep seated enough, it can be like an insidious virus that infiltrates every aspect of your life, so that all of your responses to life and others are filtered through the guilty feelings. Many people have been able to eliminate their guilt through the technique of past-life regression, discovering that there are spiritual lessons to be learned in all past experiences. You will read their stories here, in Life Without Guilt.”

So begins Dr. Hazel Denning’s inspired analysis of pervasive guilt in all its destructive forms: its sources, its effects on lifetime after lifetime, and how it can … Read the rest

Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives by Tom Shroder

Reviewed by Thomas G. Shafer, M.D.
In JRT Issue 17, 1999


Old Souls is an interesting volume which details an investigative reporter’s first hand experience with the work of Ian Stevenson. I found it to be well written in a narrative style more like a novel or quality newspaper feature piece than the usual “kiss and tell” personal experience book or dry recital of facts and theories. The author paints very vivid word pictures of Lebanon and especially India and also develops his “characters” with good description and a marked sense of their inner motives and conflicts much more typical of quality fiction. In short, it is a very readable book.

The content, a review of Dr. Ian Stevenson’s … Read the rest