I. To expand the use of a scientific perspective in the study of reincarnation cases. II. To develop objective and reliable techniques to evaluate empirical evidence. III. To motivate individuals to test the possibility of past-life influences in their own lives. IV. To share with the public both research techniques and results of investigations.
WHAT IF REINCARNATION IS REAL?
If tentative evidence from this project proves to be valid, it will be important for society. How we think of ourselves and others will change dramatically. What if we reincarnate in different races, genders, religions and cultures?
A reader has speculated about these implications with lyrics and some rap.
REXP coordinator Paul Von Ward spent about four weeks (April - May) in Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, with rail transits of beautiful nature-corridors through Slovenia and Austria. They included research on an exciting new archeological discovery in Bosnia, visits to ancient ruins of Magna Graecia in southern Italy, and reincarnation cases from Germany, Croatia, and Italy, involving possible past-lives of current Reincarnation Experiment subjects.
New reincarnation cases were identified in both Zagreb, Croatia and Bari, Italy. One which can be evaluated by our empirical protocol (meaning we have considerable verifiable data on the alleged past-life) involves the George I Gurdjieff (see Croatia Project page). Others involve more historical figures, where documentation is more illusive. Our Italian collaborator Francesco Palmirotta, Ph.D. is well known for his therapeutic innovations and is supportive of our reincarnation research.
In Bolzano, Italy, a German researcher and Paul met to exchange material on one of the most intriguing cases being evaluated by the Reincarnation Experiment. It involves the possible reincarnation of Claus von Stauffenberg. Even if you are not a World War-II buff, you will recall the movie "Valkyrie" about the heroic, aristocratic German officer who led an attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944. It failed and Stauffenberg and some of his co-conspirators were executed within 24 hours. Our research initiative is described here.
THE REINCARNATION EXPERIMENT UP-DATE (# 3 - 2009)
(1) Anne Strieber and Paul Von Ward Discuss the Scientific Aspects of Reincarnation Research. On Saturday, May 9 at 1:00 PM Whitley and Anne Strieber's Dreamland Program features Anne and Paul's lively exchange.
Paul Von Ward has been exploring the science behind reincarnation, and it turns out that there is an amazingly solid basis for it. In this interview with Anne Strieber, he recounts a group of scientific experiments and research that validates the fact that something of the human being survives death. He tells of research using MRI scans that reveal evidence of what he calls the psychoplasm, or soul genome. He tells how this aspect of ourselves may carry information about our past lives that affect our present life.
This is one of the most profound discussions of reincarnation and how it actually works that ever presented on Dreamland.
(2) In the May 8-10 New Science and Consciousness Conference at the Brian O'Leary Montesuenos Eco-Retreat Center in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, Paul's opening-night lecture reviews new developments in physics, biology, genetics and evolution that support the psychoplasm concept as the likely mechanism that accounts for the empirical and psychological evidence associated with the concept of reincarnation. His day-long workshop deals with research tools and techniques, types of verifiable evidence, and how the science relates to various metaphysical notions of reincarnation—all illustrated by credible and well-documented cases. Jay Schumacher, Ph.D. past-life regression therapist, will also contribute to the workshop. (3) Biometrics and Past-Life Legacies. Beginning with the research of the late Ian Stevenson, and subsequently observed by several researchers, it is evident that certain physical similarities seem to be associated with well documented, multifaceted cases. The REXP effort has documented and used reliable statistical analyses to demonstrate that specific facial, biometric matches (not the ordinary look-a-like pairings) in strong reincarnation cases cannot be dismissed as random coincidence. (See the earlier Up-Date #1-2009).
Given the state of research in epigenetics—which shows physical mutations can jump generations without changes in the underlying DNA—we, along with various associates, have decided to evaluate some of the randotypic biometric factors (fingerprints, irises, handwriting, etc.) in a sample of reincarnation cases. One of the first initiatives in this area is a joint venture with an Indian research facility to use modern iris-recognition technology to test whether any matches show up between subjects and the posited previous personality. Agreement-in-principle has been reached (with Adrian Finkelstein, MD, and Paul Von Ward as principal investigators) to proceed with the first step, to acquire the necessary software and equipment. The respective roles of the parties are being worked out, including the designation of staff IT support.
(4) REXP Associates: Honoring Lorin Kee. We periodically note contributions to the REXP by individual associates. Here we wish to honor significant and ongoing contributions by Lorin Kee. In addition to being an excellent writer, with both a big-picture and analytical mind, Lorin is also a professional videographer. In the early days of the project he helped develop the various stages of our facial-geometry measurement techniques. He created a process for image overlays that made it possible to do a quick analysis of facial similarities. These in-motion images eliminated the subjective, facile look-alike matches popular with amateurs on the Internet. He then developed the use of PhotoShop grids to facilitate easy measurements to arrive at comparative ratios. All the special photo, audio, and video website material bears his deft touch. Check out his FaceBook site at and Google him on the web for his avocations.
THE REINCARNATION EXPERIMENT UP-DATE (# 2 - 2009)
The Reincarnation Experiment is a unique, independent, and volunteer effort to focus scientific principles on the millennia-old belief in reincarnation. Colleagues use their particular expertise to evaluate areas of empirical evidence that suggest an indirect, but inherited past-life legacy may shape each person's psychophysical development. At this time our focus is only on cases with past-life clues that can be corroborated through biometric or DNA matches, verifiable memories and behaviors, and third-party assessments of personality factors and documented biographies.
NOTE: Please scroll down for sections on:
- Media Exposure for Reincarnation Experiment - Donation Procedure Corrected - Get Free Downloads - Ecuador Event Blossoming - YouTube Cross-Examinations - Public Participation - Feedback and Share - Unsubscribe
Media Exposure for Reincarnation Experiment: Three upcoming big media events will expose several million people to evidence that "one can corroborate" that the reincarnation hypothesis (still in the process of definition) better explains many human anomalies and day-to-day behaviors than any current genetic, neurological, or environmental theory of individual development.
(1) Coast-To-Coast's George Knapp will discuss the project with Paul on his April 19 Saturday Night/Sunday Morning Show on AM Radio from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am (PST). Check C2C, as it's known, has the largest nighttime radio audience of millions in the U.S. It is also streamed on the Internet. George Noory hosted Paul on the C2C weekday show in September 2008.
(2) November Hanson's "Voice of the People" program hosts Paul May 2 (9-11 p.m. EST) on the web's Paranormal Radio Network. Check here for details. November hosted Paul on January 31, 2009.
(3) Whitley Strieber's UnknownCountry presents a credible edge in science, religion and culture. His Dreamland program is heard Saturday afternoons at 1:00 PM Pacific online (with video) at www.unknowncountry.com/dreamland/. Paul recorded two segments, one for his quarter-million, public audience and another for his special subscribers on April 21. Whitley also hosted Paul in 2008.
Get free downloads: With this report, we offer readers several ways to get free downloads of books and other material. that might be of interest to our visitors and regular readers.
Go to this link, scroll down halfway on the page and download a free PDF of Part I of Paul's book The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation. Ecuador Event: A multifaceted conference in Ecuador (May 8-10), including my presentation and workshop on the Reincarnation Experiment at Montesuenos and similar new science concepts with Brian O'Leary, has been extended two days. May 12-13 will involve Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews and known as the Health Ranger. The entire event takes place at Montesuenos, the hilltop gathering-center overlooking Vilcabamba, Ecuador, with fabulous views into the Podocarpus national forest and the surrounding mountains.
YouTube Cross-Examinations: In interviews and public events, Paul is often pressed to defend his scientific approach to reincarnation research and his reservations regarding subjective beliefs about reincarnation that cannot stand-up to independent scrutiny. Some of these are caught on film that can be made public. Here are two examples for your review.
(1) Paul's responses to 30 minutes of questioning by a TV journalist can be seen on the Reincarnation Experiment website at this link or on YouTube in three parts at: Part I, Part II, Part III.
2) The Canadian VisionTV documentary on reincarnation mentioned in the last Up-Date was broadcast March 3, 2009. It included segments on our project's theory and approach, and presented a responsible overview of the reincarnation phenomenon. It included a case by our colleague Adrian Finkelstein, M.D., psychiatrist and highly regarded reincarnation researcher. We were pleased to be included with some explanations of the use of biometrics in evaluating apparent cases of past-life connections. Check these links. The first for an introduction of the documentary and the second for some cross-examination of Paul. Public Participation: Almost a dozen professionals are cooperating with the Reincarnation Experiment on various efforts to evaluate the empirical evidence for the reincarnation hypothesis. They represent the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Russia, Australia, India and all regions of the U.S. Individuals are invited to submit potential reincarnation cases. We assist the individual to corroborate the evidence and evaluate the relative strength of their case.
THE REINCARNATION EXPERIMENT UP-DATE (# I - 2009)
NOTE: Please scroll down for sections on:
- Facial, DNA, and Iris Comparison Research - Donations for India Project - Activity in Croatia Project - Future Events (Ecuador and Colorado) - Archive of 2008 Events - Edgar Mitchell and Quantum Hologram - Canadian Documentary Film - Public Participation and Feedback
The Reincarnation Experiment is a unique, independent, and volunteer effort to focus scientific principles on the millennia-old belief in reincarnation. Several colleagues and I study areas of empirical evidence that suggest an indirect, but inherited past-life legacy shapes each person's psychophysical development. We deal with traits not explained by the parental genome and the child's learning environment.
Can human personalities actually be shaped by something beyond our direct genetic and social influences? Physics, biology, genetics, and consciousness studies are expanding our understanding of the apparent multidimensional and energetic nature of human reproduction and development. This emerging consensus suggests that a level of information (entropy) beyond the purely physical genome is involved in its expression and evolution.
We refer you to science editor Sharon Begley's Newsweek (Jan. 26, 2009) review of research that challenges the standard genetic notion of inherited characteristics. Similar studies described in The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation suggest that our unique physical features, knowledge, and behaviors that can be documented in the life of a person already deceased may have been transferred outside the ordinary DNA evolutionary process.
In this context, our project seeks to identify, document, and evaluate the evidence that is the basis for the almost universal belief in reincarnation. We have developed a model that accounts for several areas of verifiable matches found in the strongest cases on record.
Is Similar Facial Geometry Part of Reincarnation? Well-rounded cases of alleged past-life matches suggest that may be the case. We have used biometric techniques to compare the facial geometry between alleged past-lives and present-day subjects with a large random sample of matches. See this page. The positive results were far beyond our expectations:
An analysis of the variances between 13 reincarnation cases and 132 random matches from the Internet was done to determine how much the statistical odds were that the close resemblances found in the cases could be attributed to chance. By conventional criteria, using a two-tailed test, the smaller variances in the reincarnation cases versus the larger variances in the random group were considered to be extremely statistically significant.
Assuming the variances would always be closer among the reincarnation cases, we converted "t = 4.1299/df = 433" to a one-tailed test. With a P = 0.000022, the odds are only about 20 in 100,000 the difference is due to chance. In other words, the odds that the close facial-geometry matches of the past-life/present-life pairs happening by chance is only 2 out of 10,000.
Remember this is only one aspect of the multiple-factor, psychophysical model used to compare matches. When the other physical and personality factors have similar high correspondences, the level of exceptionality of the reincarnation cases suggests that it is unlikely another individual alive today could be as closely matched to the same previous life.
This statistical data has been provided to scientists in the Perceptual Studies Division at the University of Virginia and the Institute of Noetic Sciences to seek peer reviews of both the process and analyses.
DNA and Reincarnation: Discussions with a number of medical and genetic researchers have focused on the following questions: What is the role of DNA in reincarnation? Can we separate the DNA hypothesized to be a part of the soul genome (passed from one life to another outside the parental genome) from the genes inherited from one's biological family tree?
The short answer to such questions is "We don't know." Reincarnation theory postulates that a subject would have some DNA-based features more like those of his previous incarnation (outside the family's phylogenetic tree) than the same features in his parents. We don't yet know if and how the soul genome (psychoplasm) mixes with the parental genome to result in such different effects (well documented in Ian Stevenson's and other cases.)
A concept paper was drafted to engage other researchers in the process of identifying areas of the genome that could plausibly come from past-lives.
While it might be worthwhile to engage in speculative sequencing of DNA in the chromosome areas, with focus on the genes/alleles mentioned in the concept paper, it may also be a distraction until we better understand the epigenome. This term suggests a composite of factors that mediate what actually happens as specific genes express themselves. Depending on the "on and off orders" given by the epigenome, protein production and cell reproduction vary greatly. Could such variances indicate a psychoplasm?
This means better understanding of epigenesis will be required before the role of DNA in the hypothesized psychoplasm can be determined. However, we still seek DNA samples that represent both previous and present lives linked by an alleged reincarnation connection. Please contact us.
Iris Comparisons in Reincarnation Cases: We are partners in a developing project to test whether iris recognition software can be used to compare biometric patterns between current subjects and their alleged past lives. This exciting development involves an American/Indian partnership.
In 2005 the psychoplasm model excluded the iris (due to its randotypic nature of formation) from the biometric factors we considered likely to be involved in reincarnation. (Its unique patterns derive from random openings and closings of the fetus' eyes during gestation.) Independently, also in 2005, psychiatrist Adrian Finkelstein, M.D. included it in his reincarnation model, but was unable to gain support for its validation. See his website.
It became more clear in the last couple of years that the epigenome (or a comprehensive soul genome) likely determines gene-expression variances. Thus, last year we expanded the psychoplasm model to include all the factors considered stable by biometric science, including the iris. Then, coincidentally, an opportunity presented itself for us to work together.
Due to the initiative of a mutual colleague (Wilja Witcombe) working in India, a world-class eye research center with an interest in scientific research on reincarnation was identified. Dr. Finkelstein and I have agreed to be the principal investigators in a joint project involving technology and expertise of our Indian colleagues in a pilot test comparing iris images in suitable cases.
You can help this project materialize in two ways: One is to help identify good reincarnation cases where the previous life was recent enough that close-up photographs are available. The other is to donate some amount to help fund the laboratory equipment and technical personnel needed. Contact us about possible cases. Go to the website page below for donations.
Donations Needed for Technical Support of the Project: All the biometric and DNA research efforts of the Reincarnation Experiment require funding for equipment, software, and occasional technical expertise. If you would like to contribute any amount to this effort, please go to the website home page and scroll down to the PayPal button and click on it.
Reincarnation Experiment in Croatia: In December I was hosted for a week in Croatia by researcher and media personality Drago Plecko. Our project was presented at a public lecture in Zagreb, following an arrival interview broadcast on the national Croatian TV "Good Day Show." The lecture was followed by press stories and an hour-long, live TV interview on The Science Program. As a result of the public's positive reaction, Croatia's HRTV-1 has decided to make a full-length documentary on our reincarnation work.
For more details on our cooperative project in Croatia with Drago Plecko, click here.
Ecuador Workshop (May) and ISSSEEM Presentation (June): Paul will conduct an international workshop on the Reincarnation Experiment in Loja, Ecuador the weekend of May 8-10 at Brian O'Leary's retreat center Montesuenos.
He will also present a scientific paper and PowerPoint exhibition of evidence from the Reincarnation Experiment at the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine's (ISSSEEM) annual conference in Boulder, Colorado during the period June 26-29, 2009.
From July 10-12, also in Boulder, Colorado, Paul presents his developing cosmogony (a self-learning universe grounded in a primal consciousness as the substratum of energy and matter) at a private gathering of individuals studying channeled material relevant to reincarnation. Members of this group share an interest in extradimensional sources concerned with the evolution of human consciousness. Paul will describe the Reincarnation Experiment's scientific model for evaluating tangible or objective evidence of links between currrent and deceased individuals. He stresses that the odds that the similarities in such positive cases cannot be attributed to chance is very high.
Notable Late 2008 Events: Local groups of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Daytona Beach and Homosassa, Florida organized programs for Paul's lecture on the Reincarnation Experiment. Go to the Public Events Page for details of these programs and other related public events, including radio interviews, for the last quarter of 2008. It also contains upcoming media events.
Edgar Mitchell and Quantum Hologram: Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell and Paul Von Ward met on October 21 to discuss areas where physics research on the concept of quantum holograms overlaps with and potentially supports the information-rich biofield concept of the psychoplasm (or soul genome). MRI technology provides holographic images based on energy fields that reflect the reality of coherent info-fields associated with live organisms that are transferred through space and time.
Documentary Involving Reincarnation Experiment: A Canadian VisionTV documentary on reincarnation was broadcast March 3, 2009. It included segments on the project's approach theory and presented a responsible overview of the reincarnation phenomenon. We were pleased to be included.
Public Participation: Almost a dozen professionals are cooperating with the Reincarnation Experiment on various efforts to evaluate the empirical evidence for the reincarnation hypothesis. They represent the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Russia, Australia, India and all regions of the U.S. Individuals are invited to submit potential reincarnation cases with empirical data for review by members of this group. We strive to corroborate the evidence and evaluate the relative strength of each case for publication.
Press Release by Nashville IONS Linda Jones-Ellis
The enclosed press release by an independent organization provides an interesting overview of the Reincarnation Experiment. It opens as follows:
Case Evaluations: Visitors to the Reincarnation Experiment website submitted a number of new cases suggestive of reincarnation to be evaluated with our five-factor, psychoplasm model. Several were good examples of precocious individuals who obviously possess a level of knowledge and talents that appeared before they had been taught. Their suggested previous incarnations had demonstrated skills and experience that (if the psychoplasm hypothesis is valid) could account for the subject's precocity in the same areas.
The cases included matches between two musicians with comparable instruments and interests, two physicians involved in war zones and dedicated to public service, two lawyers focused on political reform, two priests with progressive religious inclinations, and others less professionally focused. In all a form of career progression, building from one life to the other is self-evident. If other empirical factors are equally persuasive, some will be published in the future as examples of possible personality links between two specific lifetimes. DNA and Reincarnation: A recent area of research focus is evidence for personality changes related to transplants and transfusions. See notes. This area is important in our attempt to identify the role of genetic patterns in shaping behavior as well as phenotype features. A reader's questions and our response follows:
What is the role of DNA in reincarnation? How do we separate the DNA hypothesized to be a part of the soul genome (passed from one life to another outside the parental genome) from the genes inherited from one's biological family tree?
The short answer is that we don't know. However, reincarnation theory postulates that a subject (like your son) would have some DNA-based features more like his previous incarnation (as in a grandparent or other family member) than like the same features in his parents (as in this case, you and the father). We don't yet know if and how the soul genome (psychoplasm) mixes with the parental genome to result in these different effects. (The theory and its scientific base is discussed in chapters 9 and 10 of the book The Soul Genome.)
However, in your case, with the grandparent still alive, the similarities between grandson and your father likely result from the DNA that was directly passed on to your son from your father through the non-mitochondrial DNA that mothers transfer to their children (male and female). One does not have to postulate anything paranormal to explain the physical similarities in the two that you described.
A concept paper (open PDF here) has been drafted in an attempt to engage other researchers in the process of identifying areas of the genome that could plausibly relate to the types of evidence for reincarnation that have been documented by the University of Virginia's Division of Personality Studies, this Reincarnation Experiment project and other researchers. It is an initial step in developing a protocol for comparisons of alleles for specific genes and possibly other regions in the so-called "junk" area of the genomes of subjects and their posited previous incarnations.
Notable October/November Events: Local groups of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Daytona Beach and Homosassa, Florida organized events for Paul's lecture on the Reincarnation Experiment. Click on this link for details of these programs and other related public events, including radio interviews, for the last quarter of 2008.
Edgar Mitchell and Quantum Hologram: Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell and Paul Von Ward met on October 21 to discuss areas where physics research on the concept of quantum holograms overlaps with and potentially supports the information-rich biofield concept of the psychoplasm (or soul genome). MRI technology providing holographic images based on energy fields reflects the reality of coherent info-fields associated with live organisms that can be transferred through space and time. A summary of this discussion will be posted on the website in the near future.
Documentary Involving Reincarnation Experiment: In October, the experiments of Paul and other reincarnation researchers (including psychiatrist Adrian Finkelstein who has collaborated with the Experiment) was filmed by a production company for a national Canadian TV documentary. Its premier will be reported as soon as the date is available.
December Event in Croatia: Paul will give a public lecture on the Reincarnation Experiment in Zagreb, Croatia on December 15 and hold private discussions with psychiatrists, psychologists, health and education specialists, and individual subjects. This event, organized by the Val Kultura agency, was stimulated by the revelation of compelling reincarnation matches by Croatian researcher Drago Plecko. For more details on the Croatia announcement click here.
Public Participation: Almost a dozen professionals are cooperating with the Reincarnation Experiment on various efforts to evaluate the empirical evidence for the reincarnation hypothesis. They represent the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Russia, Australia, and all regions of the U.S. Individuals are invited to submit potential reincarnation cases with empirical data for review by members of this group. Efforts will be made corroborate the evidence and evaluate the relative strength of the case for publication.
Please give us your feedback on this newsletter, with suggestions for what you would like see.
THE PRESENT STATE OF SCIENTIFIC REINCARNATION RESEARCH
After the publication of findings from this experiment, participants and others asked about the quality of scientific research in the field of reincarnation. The following comments describe something of the circumstances we found.
It is difficult to find people who take a scientific research approach
to reincarnation. Many people collect different types of evidence on
specific cases that could potentially be used to test a scientifically
formulated hypothesis, but it is usually not collected or evaluated to
meet the criterion of objectivity required by scientists.*
requires a simple, but rigorous process: Acceptance of a hypothesis
requires (1) that the evidence for and against it can be tested by both
the believer and the skeptic, (2) that verifiable evidence best
explains the hypothetical assumption, and (3) that such evidence cannot
be attributed to chance or accident. When these conditions are met, one
can then claim a plausible, working hypothesis—until further scientific
efforts improve on it. (A good example is the ongoing public debate
about "black holes" and "dark energy.")
However, since most
scientists dismiss the notion of reincarnation, little professional
thought has been given to the formulation of a testable hypothesis. At
this point, it not possible to prove the general theory of
reincarnation since science cannot prove something that is claimed to
take place in other dimensions (like an ethereal soul that lives between
lifetimes). Several theoretical explanations (archetypes, holistic
memory, morphic fields, and others) can equally explain the memories,
habits, and features often attributed to reincarnation.**
to this project (read the comments from Mishlove, Shealy and others at
the Peer Review page) no one had developed a testable scientific model
of what appears to be reincarnated and how it seems to occur. Until a
testable model along the lines suggested by this experiment is used by
a large number of people, people who believe in individual, linear
reincarnation will not be able to prove that theory is better than some
We can use scientific methods to develop a
persuasive case that the measurable similarities that Ian Stevenson,
this project, and others have found between present and previous lives
require a mechanism like the Greek notion of reincarnation to explain
them. Stevenson tentatively labeled that mechanism psychophore, but did
not develop a model that could be tested. The Reincarnation Experiment
has developed a more detailed model than Stevenson's known as a
psychoplasm (or soul genome). It can be tested by specific and
measurable factors that show to what extent a person today objectively
resembles a previous personality.
This model produces data
which suggests that there is little likelihood that another explanation
can explain the correspondences in the cases reported in the project
and many other strong cases we know about. At this stage of research,
this is the best we can do to make a scientific case for sequential
Only after we develop a large number of strong
cases based on objective data (or at least data that different people
can evaluate for themselves) that cannot be logically attributed to
chance, can we support the claim of a scientific approach to the
implications of and processes involved in what we popularly call
We believe that the best current summary of the
scientific state of reincarnation is contained on this site and in the
publications it discusses. As new areas are targeted, we will note them here. For example, click here for discussion of iris patterns in reincarnation research.
A long-term goal of the project is to
organize a symposium for researchers to discuss how their particular
areas of evidence or procedures could contribute to building a science
of reincarnation. Its aim would be to help each specialist
(psychologist, regression therapist, dream analyst, personality
theorist, channel of an extra-dimensional being, past-life-based coach,
geneticist, psychic reader, biometric analyst, historical
biographer, etc.) to develop an understanding of how their data
collections could help build a credible and comprehensive, scientific data-base. Only
after such interdisciplinary cooperation will we see the emergence of a
science of reincarnation. ___________________ *(Chapter 11 of The Soul Genome discusses sources and methods that would improve the scientific quality of reincarnation research.) ** (These alternative arguments are described on pages 80-81 in The Soul Genome.)