Scientific Studies of Reincarnation

Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia presents his findings of reincarnation cases he meticulously researched.

Dr. Stevenson was a pioneer in this research, was funded by the founder of Xerox Corporation, and published numerous articles and papers on the subject. Today, this important research is still carried on by the University of Virginia even after his passing.

Notes About Dr. Stevenson's Findings
After examining many cases of reincarnation, Dr. Ian Stevenson often found that when a child is 2-3 years old, children with past life memories may say things such as:

"When I was big, I..."

"You're not my mother. I want to go to my real mother."

"This house is too small. My house is much bigger."

"Before I came to you, I lived near the sea."

A "Complete Case" of Reincarnaton May Include:

  • Sometimes, a person involved in the case will make a prediction (a dying or elderly person about parents and/or circumstance desired for the next incarnation)
  • A dream announcement may have occurred, usually by a mother-to be, about who's coming back
  • The child is found to have birthmarks or birth defects, sometimes, that correspond to physical textures (e.g. wounds) on a deceased person (the former body they inhabited
  • Statements by the person reincarnated about persons, places and events of the previous life
  • Unusual behavior that corresponds to behavior shown by the presumed previous personality (e.g. phobias, philias, aversions, behavior as if the opposite sex, sometimes)

Phobias and Aversions Shown in Infancy and Early Childhood:

  • Fear of the instrument or mode of death (how the person died prior), such as vehicles, firearms, bladed weapons
  • Fear of the site of death, such as the place where a drowning occurred

Children may show a strong like or dislike for people they associate with from the prior life, and this may include vengefulness or hatred with inclinations toward crime related to features of the previous life.

Principal Interpretations of Cases of the Reincarnation Type

Normal Interpretations: Fraud, fantasy, cryptonesia (source amnesia), paramnesia (crediting the subject with more knowledge about the previous life than he or she really has), genetic memory

Paranormal Interpretations: extrasensory perception combined with development of a secondary personality, possession (imposition on the subject of memories of a discarnate person), reincarnation

Requirements for a Case to be Considered Strong Evidence:

  • The subject's statements correctly correspond to events in the life of only
  • one deceased person
  • The two previous families had no previous knowledge of each other
  • The subject's state,emts were recorded before verification
  • The case was investigated within a few weeks or months of its development

Universal Factors in Cases of the Reincarnation Type
Factors found in every culture from which cases have been studied so far

  • Age of first speaking of previous life (2-5 years)
  • Age of discontinuance of spontaneous references to previous life (5-7 years)
  • High frequency of violent death in concerned previous personalities
  • High frequency of mention of mode of death in previous personality by subject of case