Preface by Paul Von Ward On a Novel Based in Emerging Science: Marie-Antoinette’s Present by Marie-Alix Ravel
Could the soul of Queen Marie-Antoinette, brutally separated from her body by its decapitation in October 1793, have been reborn as a baby girl in the sixties? If you believe in reincarnation, you may consider it possible. Otherwise, you are likely to be skeptical. Whether you are a believer or skeptic, this compelling narrative by author Marie-Alix Ravel will cause you to question some of your current beliefs about the nature of reality.
The book is not science fiction partially based in reality. It is reality cloaked in fiction, based in the emerging science of reincarnation. Pseudonyms and some fake details have been used to protect the identities of the protagonist and her family and friends.
The most important is that Kiera does not want to make claims to her past identity — while well documented and theoretically sound — as they have not yet been accepted by enough scientists. However, the individuals investigated by the project take very seriously their role in helping science evaluate the widespread belief in reincarnation.
For these reasons, Marie-Alix Ravel has carefully disguised some of the facts, but not their substance, to protect the identity of Kiera Hermine, her family, and their friends. Otherwise, the narrative (written in the first person of the central character for the purpose of a novel) is a biography of an extraordinary adventure. Weaving the bare facts of scientific research into this novel, the author creates a life story that reveals the most important secrets associated with the life of Marie-Antoinette. And it reads like an intriguing mystery that probes some of the deepest mysteries of human life in the universe.
As a hypnotherapist and an intuitive reincarnation researcher, Marie-Alix Ravel learned of Kiera Hermine's life story in the course of her psychological counseling and spiritual therapy practice in Los Angeles, California. She attempted to verify Kiera's claims when possible. Based on her natural intuition honed by years of helping her clients, Marie-Alix Ravel systematically studied the clues Kiera had accumulated from her dreams, inexplicable coincidences, psychics, and channeled information.
Her prodigious amount of research and evaluation convinced Marie-Alix Ravel that it made a strong case for the possibility of Kiera being the reincarnation of Marie-Antoinette. After reading of my book The Soul Genome, Marie-Alix Ravel asked me if she could use our scientific protocols to assess the evidence she had accumulated and any new data that was required. Impressed by the scope of her research and its meticulous documentation, I agreed to help Ms Ravel evaluate the validity and reliability of Kiera's case as it had been developed over the course of almost two decades.
The Reincarnation Experiment was organized in 2005 to test the reincarnation hypothesis through empirical evidence that could be verified for both lifetimes. Its underlying theory posited that, if reincarnation is real, science can identify the effects of the same soul acting in two or more lifetimes. Its reincarnation model was based on four decades of research by American psychiatrist Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia prior to his death in 2007 and a meta-analysis of scores of other strong, independently-researched cases.
Stevenson's approximately 2,500 cases from around the world and our meta-analysis suggested that physical features, specific memories, cognitive styles, interpersonal traits, emotional profiles, and talents carry forward from one lifetime to another. In order to verify and document these similarities our project designed procedures to measure and validate all these areas of evidence and determine if their coincidence in two lifetimes could be attributed to chance or something more solid and real. The use of these factors to measure the strength of alleged reincarnation cases was evaluated in a pilot test — reported in the book The Soul Genome.
The same methodology was used to assess the evidence already accumulated by Marie-Alix Ravel. Finding her work to be credible, we collected the additional psychophysical data required by our research methodology. We started with biometrics to compare the genotypes of both Marie-Antoinette and Kiera Hermine.
Finding that they were biometrically similar enough to have been in the same family, we had to test whether Kiera was a biological descendant of Marie-Antoinette. (This requires use of mtDNA which is passed only from mother to child.) Using such DNA samples from Kiera and maternal relatives of Queen Marie-Antoinette, a qualified laboratory determined the mitochondrial sequences were different. Thus, the similarities we found cannot be attributed to family relationships. Could the reason be a past-life legacy carried forward from Marie-Antoinette to Kiera?
In the second stage we evaluated historical and psychological materials on both personalities in order to ascertain if both lifetimes could have been expressed by the same personality. Finally, we used quantitative measures to assess just how likely the similarities between Marie-Antoinette and Kiera were attributable to chance or fraud.
When our investigation was complete, I was persuaded that if reincarnation is real, and the soul of Marie-Antoinette has reincarnated in this era, she is most likely in the body of an anonymous young woman we now know as Kiera Hermine. The evidence is so powerful that any reasonable person would conclude that something like the theory of reincarnation is the most likely explanation to account for the story you are about to read.
Nightmares of a wheel rolling over cobblestones, feet climbing steps and feeling the blood in her mouth just before waking up troubled Kiera's childhood. At age 23, told that her newborn might be mongoloid, Kiera's nightmare returned. Disturbed by psychological turmoil, Kiera received help from a psychic who suggested a connection between her nightmares and Marie-Antoinette's death by guillotine. Visiting Versailles again, Kiera experienced a flood of memories from earlier in Marie-Antoinette's reign.
Continuing with hypnotherapy, Kiera began to understand the vicissitudes of her relationships in light of a possible past life involving centuries-old personality patterns and relationships. Her historical research confirmed many of her memories, but that knowledge made her life even more complicated. Author Marie-Alix Ravel has woven Kiera's unusual life into a story of the soul.
As scientists we cannot yet say that we have absolute proof of reincarnation, but, on the other hand, we cannot say that we have a better explanation for the many verified facts taken from the lives of Marie-Antoinette and Kiera Hermine.
While Marie-Antoinette’s Present is a compelling story in its own right, I suggest it be read thinking "If this is true, could I be the reincarnation of someone who lived 200 years ago?"
Marie-Alix Ravel as an Associate in the Reincarnation Experiment has assisted in developing evidence and serving as an evaluator in many other cases. As a therapist, researcher and the author of Marie-Antoinette’s Present, Marie-Alix Ravel has been intimately involved in the evolution of Kiera’s reincarnation case. You can find her work at: www.mariealixravel.com and her book at www.marieantoinettespresent.com.