AFTER DEATH COMMUNICATION RESEARCH
The After Death Communication Research Foundation (ADCRF) was started by Dr. Jeff Long in 1999. I have been the webmaster since 2002. The website www.adcrf.org is the reflection of input from experiencers who share their first-hand after-death communications (ADCs) experience. ADCRF became an extension of the earlier website that specializes in the study of the near-death experience (NDEs) and is modeled after the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) website www.nderf.org in data-gathering and information sharing. The other website is Out of Body Experience Research Foundation (OBERF) which is everything else that is not an ADC or NDE. Therefore, we have quite a collection of stories that span the spectrum of human consciousness. Using answers from the experiencers to the web-form questions, I was able to learn about how the ADC fits into the spectrum of consciousness.
Below, I talk about the ADC in terms of who, when, how, where, and look at demographics or commonalities between the experiencer and the deceased. I am very interested in the spiritual aspect of ADCs, so have also included a section on ADCs and religion.
REASONS FOR INTEREST IN ADC's
The majority of people reported that they came to the website to help them cope with their grief. My impression from reading the narratives is that experiencing an ADC may not be as tied to the state of alertness as much as it may be tied to the degree of grieving. Many who were deeply grieving would receive comfort or a sign from their loved one.
Participants were asked to select their degree of bereavement prior to the experience. Interestingly, people who are severely suffering are more likely to access the website. This finding would be of interest to publishers as it could extend to self-help books that would help ease the suffering. The third largest category as those who suffer no sadness or grief feelings may be suggestive of those people who are genuinely interested in the ADC phenomena from having had one themselves as a form of validation or sharing.
MAJORITY OF ADC'S ARE COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN BLOOD RELATIVES
Are you aware that the majority of ADCs reported occur between emotionally close blood-relatives? It is also common for a contact to occur within 1 week of passing, most commonly within 24 hours of death. Not only is this a fascinating concept, but it gives credibility to the soul cluster group concept that relatives are much more than just our family on earth. I don't know if the group of significant others is an underreported group, if the closeness in age makes it less likely than blood-relatives to report, or if there are other factors. I would like to emphasize that I do read many ADCs between significant others.
ADC'S HAPPEN MOST OFTEN WHEN AWAKE AND WHILE DREAMING
Another result concerned the ratio of dream ADCs to waking ADCs. Many people might try to assert that dream ADCs are less evidential that waking ADCs. In my opinion, they are just as valid and perhaps more evidential in forming thoughts regarding a universal paradigm. It might be possible that the dream state is an easier medium of communication for those on the other side to contact their loved ones. Perhaps it is our DNA that allows others from the same soul cluster group to communicate with us? Studying the link between dreams and consciousness could have implications regarding communication with the other side.
Contributors were asked about their degree of alertness immediately prior to the experience. About half of the people reported that they were fully alert during the experience, while the other half reported that they were dreaming. Very few people reported that they were in a meditative or drowsy state. There are many people who may try to contact their loved ones through meditation or states of drowsiness. Perhaps they may even try to contact their loved ones through a trance medium. The above finding is suggestive that contact with loved ones may be more genuine if received through the more commonly reported mechanisms of dreams or being fully alert.
The occurrence of dream ADCs does not correlated with the degree of bereavement. The data is consistently distributed between the degree of bereavement and the “asleep” or “fully alert” state of alertness, and fairly equal to one another. Most people would tend to discount ADCs that occur in the dream state as less real than other ADCs. This finding suggests that dream ADCs are not products of a grieving mind.
TYPICALLY, ADC'S CONSIST OF 1-2 PEOPLE
It is interesting that the majority 320 (77.3%) of people only saw or sensed one other person in their ADC. On one hand that is to be expected for waking ADCs, however, that high of a number is a bit surprising because it includes dream ADCs. One could speculate that if the majority of dream ADCs only have one person that it is more likely to be an authentic communication. It would make more sense that if these communications were purely dreams or waking hallucinations, that both, living and deceased relatives would be reported in the same experience. There were only 4 (1%) out of 395 experiencers that reported both, deceased and living persons.
In the ADC, there is usually one or two persons. This begs the question, are only some individuals allowed to come back with a specific purpose to communicate to specific people? Or perhaps only some individuals have the capacity to communicate across the veil after they pass to the other side. Maybe there is some combination of will on the part of our beloved departed ones and ability or help from others. I would postulate that a certain energy state is necessary for a communication to occur depending on the type of ADC. As in telepathic communication, there would also be some measure of the recipient being able to tune in on a certain energy state to receive the message.
NATURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP
Out of 355 participants who commented on the nature of their relationship with the deceased, the overwhelming majority 281 (79.2%) reporting that the relationship between themselves and the deceased was a close or very close relationship. Interestingly, 22 (6.2%) reported their relationship as antagonistic. Many of these answers indicated a resolution of unfinished business between the experiencer and deceased. The other categories consisted of those people who didn’t have a close relationship such as an acquaintance or patient, never met the deceased such as too young to know the deceased, or the child died within days of being born.
Another surprising finding has to do with the gender of the deceased and the gender of the experiencer. There were more deceased males, yet more women who received ADCs. This finding is suggestive that ADCs are not projections or reflections of self since a majority of males contact a majority of female experiencers.
TIMING OF THE ADC
Whether one is sleeping, meditating, or fully awake, will not determine the timing of the ADC. It doesn’t seem to matter what state of alertness the person is, most of the contacts are reported during the first week after the deceased passed over. The more fully alert the experiencer, the less likely the ADC will happen after one week. Interestingly, many of the ADCs occurring within one week and up to one year are for the purpose of comforting the experiencer.
The majority of people did not have a witness for to the event. However, 103 (24.6%) did have a witness. The rest were uncertain. Of those reporting a witness, the types of events consisted of movement of inanimate objects, a twin having the same experience at the same time, another person witnessing a one-sided conversation between the experiencer and the deceased, people saw the lights flicker, or heard something that was attributable to the deceased. Another common form of witnessing occurred in precognitive dreams. The experiencer would tell someone of their dream of the deceased’s death, then it would turn out to be true around the time of the dream.
ADC AND RELIGION
Having an ADC is not an earth-shattering event that causes one to change their religion. Most ADC experiencers consider themselves "moderate" before and after their experience. The second largest group of experiencers was "liberal" before and after the ADC. One reason for the religious attitudes and acceptance of ADCs could be that most major religions teach that there is an afterlife. For the majority of experiencers, the experience seems to only affect attitudes surrounding death, and does not rise to the level of creating conflict with religious beliefs.
Interestingly, ¼ of the experiencers did report a shift in their religious thinking to what they considered to be a more spiritual outlook towards their religion. There are a few other trends that bear commenting on. "Spirituality" was looked at as moving from the dogma of organized religion to actually living the spirit of the religion. There were many people who considered it "spiritual" to move from externalized organized religion, to their internalized own form of spirituality.
I had previously done a lot of work on analyzing the near death experience (NDE) in regards to spirituality and religion. For those who are unfamiliar with what a NDE is, it is when a person dies, has an experience, then returns and tells us about it. The comparisons between NDEs and ADCs are fascinating and most of it is statistically significant. The distribution pattern in ADCs is more like a line with more liberals who participate in the survey. The line stays much the same after the experience. However, for the NDE, the distribution pattern is shaped more like a bell-shaped curve. In the NDE, religion or spiritual designation does not seem to affect whether or not they have the experience, but it does drastically affect the person afterwards.
There is no statistical significance between pre and post experience for ADCs, yet for NDEs there is. In ADCs religions designations do not change very much, so a person’s change in designation or religion is not likely to be from the ADC experience. However, for NDEs the change in designation or religion is statistically significant, so there is a relationship between the designation and the experience. This means that NDEs generally do affect participants on a spiritual or religious level, while the ADC experience tends to affect the spirituality of the person, but not necessarily the religious outlook of the person.
For both, ADCs and NDEs, the top three categories are Christian, Catholic and Spiritual. However, the number of Catholics participating in the ADC survey is much higher for ADCs than for NDEs. It is statistically significant that both the pre and post experience observed ADC values for Catholics is higher, yet lower for NDEs than the expected value. The religion that changed the most for both, ADCs and NDEs was the “Spiritual” category. Many NDErs (71%) did tend to shift their beliefs within their particular religion, with the shift in the direction of spirituality. The same trend exists for ADC participants, only not as pronounced.
I think it is important for producers and media to know what motivates people to seek information about the after death communication phenomena. Most people are looking for a way to alleviate their pain. Others are simply curious.
There are interesting patterns about consciousness which may surprise you. The connection between blood-relatives contacting each other within 24 hours after the passing is curious. It is also seen in the NDEs with the majority of beings that are seen on the other side as being blood-relatives – known or unknown to the person. Many of the people on the other side are familiar, even if the experiencer doesn't remember the name.
I was also surprised that there are two main states in which ADCs occur – waking and dreaming. ADCs represent another piece of the puzzle in the consciousness spectrum when we as human beings are trying to explore different states of consciousness.