Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

The Illusive Dr Parnia Tweets

Thanks to one of the regular contributors for this reminder, but Dr Parnia tweeted for the first time in a very long time:

parnia tweet

I use the word illusive since he doesn’t really clarify what this means. Is this AWARE II, surely not as that is well under way now. Are these sub-studies of AWARE II? Are they completely new studies, and if so how will they differ?

Anyway, hopefully we will learn more before long.

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41 thoughts on “The Illusive Dr Parnia Tweets

  1. David on said:

    Makes me think he has something becausethis looks really expansive.


  2. Eric on said:

    AWARE II is, technically, a single study being conducted in several sites. A “series of studies” seems… Broader?


  3. Agree with both comments. These must be new studies, and it may well be that they are a follow up to data that will be coming out of the AWARE II study when it is published in 2020. The implication would be that something happens, and that if it were just zero consciousness, why bother studying it?


  4. David on said:

    I am looking at a much simpler paper. It was recieved in October 17 online in December and in print about Feb 18. So for an early 2020 he must be ready to submit in about a year and if he must have the raw data by now and that would explain the hiring…it must be for the expansion.


  5. OK, I might have been misleading there. If I go back to the correspondence I have received from Dr Parnia, he said the following:

    “We won’t end the study until September 2020 and will only then analyze the data.
    We anticipate releasing official news about the “launch” of the study in mid 2018, once we have all the study sites and methods up and running” (I just hope this Tweet isn’t related to that…if so then this is what has happened to AWARE II

    perhaps I should have reread the email before saying 2020:

    “We will anticipate another [media] event to conclude the study in 2021 around the time that it is to be published.”

    He’s very clear in the email that there will be no more leakage, and that they want a full dataset etc.

    However, does that mean he doesn’t know some results already…heck no! Does that mean that we aren’t allowed to speculate on those results, and the implications of his recent announcement…again, of course we can. Basically from the point he started ramping up recruitment and doing the rounds of television studios being much more assertive in his position on the nature of consciousness after death, I am utterly convinced he has one hit, and possibly more.

    My concern is that AWARE II is suffering from a thing called “scope creep”. This announcement is either regarding new studies or that AWARE II is either morphing into something different, or has been shelved/cut short. Think another email might be in order, although he is unlikely to tell me anything that is not in public domain, but clarification on whether AWARE II is still ongoing would be good.

    The fact that they were recruiting for AWARE II a couple of years ago, and in the email to me is saying “going to launch” in 2018 is very confusing. New email will be going out tonight!


    • Chad on said:

      I thought he had 300 recruits already Can you ask him if those 300 recruits meant 300 who survived cardiac arrest and were interviewed?


      • Those were the inclusion criteria, so i would assume so. I would expect that by now they would be near the half way point in terms of recruitment given the patient recruitment activities they initiated last year (I have been doing this recently for a GvHD study that was suffering from poor recruitment, and will be doing it in my next job back in the UK).

        I’m just confused by the apparent contradictions in the statements. Firstly he’s saying that AWARE II is ongoing with a planned completion in 2020, then he’s saying they are going to launch it in mid 2018…which is why I have asked for clarification specifying exactly what is going on. Maybe it refers to the addition of new centers, or maybe they had a surge of hits in recent months and have decided they have enough data from AWARE II to meet their “endpoints”, and wish to conduct new studies to further elucidate exactly what is going on, rather than knowing that it is going on. Anyway, hopefully he will send a quick email to let help us clear this up.


  6. Reblogged this on The you inside and commented:
    Is the AWARE study all starting over again, or being integrated into something else?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It reads like expansion to me. Perhaps other people and funding are a factor. At the end of the day, the AWARE study raises multiple issues that could specialist to varying contributors / analysts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you are right NT, and yes, positive hits from AWARE II will generate more questions than answers, and will cause an explosion in research on this subject. Only makes sense for Dr Parnia to get ahead of the curve and assert his position as the preeminent researcher in this area.


  8. David on said:

    This really seems like something new. Aware was not really exploring what happens it was just looking for confirmation if anything at all happens…the hits….He hinted at this before when he made some bold statements about a consciousness field……..I will be really interested because in all honesty I have no idea what you would do beyond confirming a hit. …..That makes me think they really found something.


  9. Hi again, Ben

    I think (but I don’t know of course) that this may be related to a new and additional experiment which he has previously alluded to. I’ve copied this post which I made on a psi forum about the tweets.

    This may be about the experimental tests I believe they are conducting on cardiac arrest patients (in addition to the OBE visual component and the level of oxygen depletion in the brain) whereby they are introducing sounds into the ears after the heart has stopped to help to determine and pin down once and for all the precise capabilities (or rather lack of) of brains after cardiac arrest.

    So if they introduce a sound direct into the ear of a patient in cardiac arrest and the patient hears and remembers that sound, then that must mean that the brain is still functioning. (In theory at least)

    Assuming the ears are plugged with this sound and the patient doesn’t hear it, but reports external sounds, such as doctors saying very specific things during the resuscitation, then that means there was something else other than the patient’s brain that was receiving the information, hence the psyche, separate consciousness.

    The funding he’s got recently has enabled him to ‘go to town’ somewhat on this, I would imagine. But once again, I might be wrong.

    As to the state of Aware 2 and what they might have in the way of hits, your guess is as good as mine. I’m convinced they’ll get hits sooner or later, it’s just a matter of patience.

    But if what I think Parnia is up to with the ear stimulus bears fruit… then that is also going to be pretty hard to explain away for materialists.


  10. Samwise on said:

    Am I missing what this could mean?

    – Additional studies regarding consciousness and NDE´s, as a result of positive hits.

    – Additional studies regarding methods to enhance oxygen delivery during CPR or other methods regarding issues not related directly to consciousness and NDE´s.

    – The start of the NDE´s and consciousness aspect of the study and perhaps the end of studies not related directly to them.

    – The start of the entire study. This seems unlikely because of the announcment of 300 recruits but likely because they wanted researchers not long ago.

    Sam is doing something great but he does not/can not focus entirely on the NDE aspect and that means we have to wait for years to know what happens after life. I understand and do not blame him if the study is postponed but if it is then I will look into the possibility of initiating another study.

    For example, one camera records the entire resuscitation room (except for patient to avoid ethical issues) and another camera records the EEG machine. Both have synchronized clocks that show how much time have passed, so it is possible to tell which recorded scenes correspond and if there was no brain activity present during the patients observation outside of the body.

    I think this is better than Aware 2 for exploring NDE´s because,
    – Fewer researchers are needed
    – First hand empirical evidence that can be shared is gathered
    – It rules out the chance that the patient does not pay attention to a specific target
    – Rules out mistakes or cheating because the original live scenes can be saved automatically to a cloud so one can recognize any post editing.


  11. Chad on said:

    What do you make of this?

    I remember Woerlee said something about cardiac massage giving enough blood to the brain that it might let it hallucinate during cardiac arrest. This is something I accidently ignored before, during cardiac arrest the CPR might give enough blood to sustain hallucinations. The only problem with this theory is the lack of dizziness/confusion in NDEs, but otherwise I feel its quite threatening. Will Parnia just tell us something already?


  12. Hi chad. However in additions ndes and the like like shared death happen in all brain States. In addition not all caridac arrests have cpr etc. I don’t know of many come back from cardiac arrest without CPR of indeed any.

    Here an interesting case from quora. It also on a few Facebook groups I on and been discussed in Titus Rivas Facebook page too with the writer of the quora piece:


  13. David on said:

    Chad. Parnia explained that strange case well I thought. His research has shown cpr does not provide enough blood to get nerve cells to communicate. It just keeps tuem from dying. Z I would call that one a hit. Out of the park.


  14. David on said:

    I like how he releases his reults through job ads.


  15. Does anyone know of well corroborated NDEs where they observed things a fully conscious person couldn’t? Other than Pam Reynolds and Al Sullivan. I just read this and it seems consciousness is indeed possible if the CPR is good enough. It seems impossible to guarantee a person is not conscious, so the only way to overcome this is if they observe something a fully conscious person in their position couldn’t. Ben has Parnia replied at all? Sorry if this post seems like spam I’m just edgy about these articles I’ve read…


  16. Parnias research with eeg has shown the opposite. This link does not show any eeg …….I am sure Ben can add some more.


  17. Oh Panias audio hit I think occured when there was mo brain activity.


    • Joffrey, I wonder, does your ref. correlate with this paper (2012). Carhart-Harris is co-author on both papers.

      “Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin” where they say … “These results strongly imply that the subjective effects of psychedelic drugs are caused by decreased activity and connectivity in the brain’s key connector hubs, enabling a state of unconstrained cognition.”

      So less activity is more cognition? Does DMT (the paper you ref.) also quieten the brain down? So in the ultimate state of a true NDE where there is no blood flow in the cardiac arrest model, tremendous cognition occurs.

      So are both papers kind of “on the way” to confirming that NDEs as something extraordinary and not having an ordinary explanation?


    • He’s bound to have had at least 1 OBE by now right? There’s no way the OBEr can miss the target this time, it’s right next to their body. So since he’s still supportive of this, he must of had a hit? Otherwise if the OBEr didn’t see the target he’ll know it’s a hallucination.


  18. Fronteirs again google them.


  19. Sorry for my absence. I have been moving country this past week, (Canada to UK) lost WiFi in my house before I left, and have had some family tragedies.

    Firstly Z, thanks for posting that link to Parnia‘s latest TV appearance. It definitely points to his sitting on some more significant data than “seeing the colour of someone tie”.

    I find the DMT thing interesting, but take David’s point about cautioning anything that comes out Frontiers. However, if the brain is a “receiver” like a TV set, then it is quite possible that certain mind altering drugs may indeed be able to temporarily “detach” the conscious from the brain, and that rather than that research being evidence that the NDE is a subjective natural experience, it could actually support the idea that the conscious is a separate entity. Having said that I haven’t read the whole article yet, but will.

    Finally my book on the origins of life is nearly ready, and I will be letting you all know when it will be available. It is a subject that is actually much more closely aligned with my area of scientific expertise. You will also learn my real name!


    • I hope there dramatic music when we all learn your real name Ben 😀


      • I will see what I can do with windows media! I will also be producing some Youtube videos. I believe that the origin of life and nature of consciousness are two of the most important questions regarding who we are and whether there is a “God”.


  20. Looking forward to it Ben. That is more mine as well…..hope all is getting better. Ever read any of Stuart Kauffmans work. I had a seminar on his work. Agree on Parnia.


    • Hi David, I haven’t really come across him much as he is post origin of DNA, and is more focused on genetics. He is never cited in the material I review which is very up to date. My area of focus is entirely on the likelihood of the DNA code appearing by random natural processes. This is the central question around the origin of life. There is currently no answer to this question, and no viable theory.


      • He was stymied like our seminar on the chicken and egg on how a basic metabolic system could arise independant of the coding. …..


      • The good old chicken and egg. I have a section in my book tilted: “The chicken and egg problem – it’s old, but is it rotten?” My book is very focused on DNA and the translation system, although I do briefly touch on metabolism first vs genetics first etc. It is very interesting that leading researchers in the field accept that they are no closer to explanaining how we get to LUCA than we were back in the fifties when DNA was first discovered.


  21. Yeah I think he has more than ties because he was saying the brain is a type of receiver. I would think he must have something to go out on that limb.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Just spotted this BBC article (14 Sept 2018) on the DMT paper above comparing DMT experiences with NDEs

    One of the DMT paper authors doesn’t think much of Dr. Eben Alexander’s famous experience. But, I wonder, has he really looked at all the fine details? Also Dr. Ray Moody is quoted.

    In the BBC article they say 30 volunteers were tested but in the DMT paper the number is 13.

    Also shared-death experiences are not covered. And, as I’ve read, how can a hallucinating brain on DMT be compared to a brain not functioning during cardiac arrest (but the person has an NDE)?
    And when one author says … “There is nothing here to begin to enable us to propose that on DMT, you literally transcend the laws of this universe and do actually go to another world,” doesn’t this imply actual NDEs could be really different? I mean, people do say they experience “another world” sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I ignore the BBC as they are an organisation driven by a left-wing atheist ideology. This study says nothing about NDEs at all…nothing. What it says is that drugs that affect neurological processes alter the users experience of consciousness. They may be mimicking a deep meditative state, and they may indeed be separating their conscious from the brain for brief moments, but because their hearts kept beating, they were not in a Near Death state.

      I am now proof reading my book on the origins of life, and I talk at length about the establishment’s relentless focus on trying to show that everything has a materialistic explanation and that there is no “soul” or God. The BBC are the very worst for this.


    • I do think the original article is worth a full post actually as it insidious and needs to be rebuffed properly. I will try to put some time aside this week.


      • These scientists have presented misleading conclusions in the past as well. They claimed that DMT increased brain activity, when brain activity actually decreased,

        Now, they claim that NDE experiences mimic DMT experiences but the differences were significant according to their own scale. The differences in NDE experiences were medium for experiencing separation from the body, seeing the deceased, experiencing the past or future, understanding everything and large for reaching a place of no return. With DMT there was a medium difference for entering other or unearthly world.

        So, the markers that are fundamental and specific for both experiences all have a large or medium difference but they are saying that the experiences mimic each other and that there is no significant difference because the other markers had small differences, despite that those markers are common in many drug experiences and not specific for either of these experiences (except for seeing a bright light).

        More info regarding their scale;
        “Cohen (1969, p23) An effect size of 0.5 is described as ‘medium’ and is ‘large enough to be visible to the naked eye’. A 0.5 effect size corresponds to the difference between the heights of 14 year old and 18 year old girls. Cohen describes an effect size of 0.8 as ‘grossly perceptible and therefore large’ and equates it to the difference between the heights of 13 year old and 18 year old girls. As a further example he states that the difference in IQ between holders of the Ph.D. degree and ‘typical college freshmen’ is comparable to an effect size of 0.8.”


  23. I wonder when Dr.Parnia will give us an update. He wrote in the coming weeks but 10 weeks have now passed.

    Liked by 1 person

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