Two celebrities start a book club and choose a “proof of heaven” book

One might expect Kim Kardashian (but perhaps not Chrissy Teigen, whom I thought was smart) to read a book like this, but when these people with their millions of followers decide to start a book club, that means that their followers will read what the celebrities recommend. How sad, then, that, as Mashable reports, these two, along with celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkins, have joined forces to start a book club, and their very first pick happens to be full of woo and faith (click on screenshot to go to Amazon site):

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Yes, it’s a book about near-death experiences (NDEs), and if you have any doubt that this is just about spirituality, or even physiological effects on the brain, go to the author’s site and read this on the page called “Our transformation by Jesus Christ.

 I thought of my mortal life and how, when it is complete, I too, will take on a new appearance, one of greater beauty, purity and love. The promise of Christ to make me whiter than snow is just that: a promise that he will keep!

I’m always wary of celebrity endorsements, for how many celebrities have the authority to pronounce publicly on important matters? But when Teigen and Kardashian start pushing a book that proves heaven, well, it’s just sad.  Maybe, one of these fine days, people like them will choose a book that doesn’t tell people what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. (Don’t expect The God Delusion to be one of those!) It’s also sad that the book was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and that it gets 4.5 stars on Amazon, holding at position #925 22 years after publication. 

Such is the power of confirmation bias. I’ve always thought that if you wanted to pull a Sokal-ian hoax and become a millionaire at the same time, you’d write a NDE book in which you meet Jesus and then return to life to tell people the Good News. But it wouldn’t work, for no publisher would touch it—not unless you went under deep cover and didn’t reveal the hoax till the end. (Even then, contractual stipulations against lying might make you give back the dosh.) But think how much books like Proof of Heaven and Heaven is for Real made for their authors!

Here are two Amazon summaries, the second of which is more objective (my emphasis):

On the night of November 19, 1973, following surgery, thirty-one-year-old wife and mother Betty J. Eadie died…. This is her extraordinary story of the events that followed, her astonishing proof of life after physical death. She saw more, perhaps than any other person has seen before and shares her almost photographic recollections of the remarkable details. Compelling, inspiring, and infinitely reassuring, her vivid account gives us a glimpse of the peace and unconditional love that awaits us all. More important, Betty’s journey offers a simple message that can transform our lives today, showing us our purpose and guiding us to live the way we were meant to — joyously, abundantly, and with love.

From Library Journal

Eadie died at age 31 after surgery. During the time she was clinically dead, she alleges to have traveled through the spirit realm learning about the laws of nature and the history of the universe. The angels and other spiritual beings explained to her the reasons why different individuals chose to be on the earth and to accomplish certain acts. Her vision includes insights into the question, “Why are we here?” Our souls chose to come to the earth at certain times to be united with families that we had been soul mates with earlier in the spiritual realm, she explains. Perhaps her most intriguing insight regards the fall of humankind. “Eve did not sin because she was tempted but because she so desperately wanted to become the mother of mankind,” she states. Much of her story is similar to other near-death experiences. However, she obviously includes many of her personal views about religious philosophy. Her use of mythical elements detracts from the credibility of her story. A better source on this topic is the works of Raymond A. Moody (e.g., Near Death Experiences , Sounds True Recordings, 1991) . — Ravonne A. Green, Emmanuel Coll. Lib., Franklin Springs, Ga.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. —

36 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I imagine there’s a real good treatment of the conditions of her “death”, the doctors and what they did or not, and how they decided, and perhaps the periods of uncertainty while trying to save the person’s life, that give the angelic revelations even more credibility…. as I said, “imagine”.

  2. Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Any book recommended by a Kardashian is unlikely to make it to my reading list; especially this one.

    One of my favorite science fiction writers is Connie Willis. She wrote a novel about scientific study of NDEs in a hospital setting that I enjoyed. May have to read it again.

    “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passage_(Willis_novel)”

    • bric
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful! I was just about to recommend the same book.

  3. E.A. Blair
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who is disturbed by the words (my emphasis)

    “The promise of Christ to make me whiter than snow is just that: a promise that he will keep!”

    given the current racial and political climate? After all, when we have Fux News people insisting that Jesus and Santa can only be white, what does something like this say about attitudes?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      She converted to Mormonism who were pretty racist in her day

      From their Bibble…

      3 Nephi 19:30 “And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus”

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Good point.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:34 am | Permalink

      Since fresh snow is commonly about as white as it is possible to get, how can anything be *whiter* ?

      Umm, Jesus = bleach?

      cr

      • Posted February 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        There’s those soaps and detergents that have the ultraviolet light producers that are sold as “whiter than white” …

  4. Sastra
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    In some ways this could be considered encouraging. Near Death Experiences are one of the most common forms of evidence theists produce to support their claims. They seem to think there is something sober, scholarly, and scientific in NDEs.

    Kim Kardashian, however, has a reputation as an airhead. Anything she endorses is not going to take on an additional aura of credibility. While this gullible tale may enthrall the sort of people who want to be just like Kim Kardashian, apologists who consider NDEs impressive evidence which ought to convince more skeptics are probably cringing like now. “Nooo …”

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    It only confirms the evidence already in place regarding the so-called celebs and a good part of the population. Another one of those gag reflex moments coming up.

  6. Kevin
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The Heaven Delusion

    God’s easy to smite, he’s such a terrible character. But heaven is literally, imaginary. It can be whatever anyone wants.

  7. MP
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    >>The angels and other spiritual beings explained to her the reasons why different individuals chose to be on the earth and to accomplish certain acts. ….. earlier in the spiritual realm, she explains. Perhaps her most intriguing insight regards the fall of humankind. “Eve did not sin because she was tempted but because she so desperately wanted to become the mother of mankind,”<<

    Just curious. Why do Christians always meet other Christian entities when they pass to the "other side"? Why didn't she meet a Hindu or Buddhist spirit who gave her an insight into other religions?

    • darrelle
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Because Christianity is true and all other religions are false.

      • Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        The buddhists are in hell with the Hindus, atheists, and islamists. Gotta go the other way to meet them.

  8. keith Cook ¿
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Reading one of these books would be a NDE I’m not sure i’ d want to survive it…

  9. Marilyn
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    My first question, was the author brain dead? As far as I’m concerned as long as the brain is functioning, you’re not dead and are capable of hallucinating or imagining all these ‘memories’.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      According to some sources she refuses to release her medical records. I can’t see copies of her records online at her websites so I think she probably hasn’t released them…

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Brain death is by definition irreversible, so one thing we can say for sure about anyone who wakes up and reports an NDE is that they have no firsthand knowledge of what real death is like.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      “My first question, was the author brain dead?”

      Manifestly.

      cr
      (Sorry, couldn’t resist an opening like that)

  10. Badger3k
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I call Shenanigans on the whole thing. Does anyone really expect us to believe that a Kardashian can read?

    • MP
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Audiobooks

      Giving her a benefit of doubt 😛

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “Strait is the gate, and narrow the way,” the good book says.

    Not sure Kim K gonna be able to squeeze on through.

  12. Posted February 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see whether I understand this. She’s wandering around heaven, chatting to all these nice, white folks, when two angels in high vis vests labelled “Security” come up to her: “Ma’am, we have to see your boarding pass”. Next thing she wakes up and writes a book. Did I leave out anything important?

  13. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    From a grammarians point of view there is something odd about the phrase “complete near-death experience”.

  14. Susan Davies
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who follows “celebrities” is a lost cause to start with.

    • reasonshark
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      The mere existence of celebrity culture is an indictment of any society that encourages it. The vast majority of them do nothing of merit, act as whitewashing and/or shills for big business, and wield an influence over the populace that is grossly disproportionate to any actual qualification or responsibility. It’s a symptom of the wealth-fame-ambition fetishized obsessions of the worthless external values of a sad and shallow culture.

      It’s unfair, inefficient or even counterproductive, a fountain of water mixed with bullshit, and a way of sabotaging critical thinking in exchange for manipulating its followers into its copycat mind-drones under the term “brand loyalty”. It plays off the worst groupthink aspects of human psychology and sociology.

      It replaces a nuanced understanding of collective cause-and-effect with a simplified fixation on individuals who get attention at the expense of many other contributors, thus exhibiting a contempt for anyone arbitrarily overlooked by its own narrow hunt for idols.

      In short, it’s dishonest, intellectually feeble to the point of vacuousness, and amoral at its best, ethically disturbing at its worst.

      If it isn’t apparent yet, I hate celebrity culture with a passion.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted February 5, 2017 at 4:02 am | Permalink

        Don’t hold back – tell us how you really feel 🙂

  15. Walt Jones
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    When my sister was considering hospice, an evangelical cousin of ours related a story she had heard about an NDE. The inappropriateness was overshadowed by her obvious joy in describing how when the woman who had supposedly died, on her way to heaven, went past hell and saw her parents suffering, because they were unbelievers.

    She doesn’t know I’m an atheist, so it wasn’t personal. It’s how she thinks.

    • bric
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      “When the saints in glory … shall see how miserable others of their fellow-creatures are, who were naturally in the same circumstances with themselves; when they shall see the smoke of their torment, and the raging of the flames of their burning, and hear their dolorous shrieks and cries, and consider that they [the saints] in the mean time are in the most blissful state and shall surely be in it to all eternity; how will they rejoice!” – Jonathon Edwards, The End of the Wicked Contemplated by the Righteous: Or, the Torments of the Wicked in Hell, No Occasion of Grief to the Saints in Heaven (1834)

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

        And of course I’m sure that we (just about every single last one of us) would think that anyone who would rejoice at that sort of thing is a sadistic bastard and should be the most deserving of Hell…

        cr
        (why did Saint Mother Teresa suddenly flash across my mind…?)

  16. Helen Hollis
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    When I am gone thoughts are summed up by this

  17. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    “but when these people with their millions of followers decide to start a book club, that means that their followers will read what the celebrities recommend.”

    With the greatest respect, I doubt that the sort of people who watch Kim Kardashian are capable of reading anything longer than a tweet.

    I suspect starting the book club was probably the producers’ idea anyway… good for the image…

    (could I possibly get more cynical about Hollywood celeb ‘reality’ shows?)

    cr

  18. chris moffatt
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    “…she alleges to have traveled through the spirit realm learning about the laws of nature and the history of the universe.”

    Well that should clear up all the debate over the multiverse, big-bang, ekpyrotic universe etc once and for all. Should be worth at least one Nobel prize for Physics. Should resolve a ll the remaining questions in quantum theory too – another Nobel!

  19. Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    If they insisted on choosing a book about the afterlife, it would have been nice if they could have picked one by some hardcore Muslim cleric describing how, in fact, someone would be waiting for them at the other end with a wienie fork, ready to roast them in roaring flames for the next quintillion years, just for starters.

    Apropos “The God Delusion,” I’ve seldom seen an attempt outside of the evangelical religious rags to actually address Dawkins’ arguments. Instead, “enlightened” writers attack him for having a bad attitude, or for being impolite, or for being insensitive, etc. They seem to believe this relieves them from the necessity of bothering to think about whether the man’s arguments might be true or not. Perhaps it has something to do with the currently fashionable tendency to condemn “Islamophobia.”

  20. Dominic
    Posted February 6, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Sorry – this is bollocks about being ‘clinically dead’ – the whole point of ‘dead’ is that it is a one-way thing. There is no revival. If her brain was dead she would not have woken up. Just having your heart stop does not mean you are dead. Therefore, it was just a mental state that she was in.
    grrrr…


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