Prophecies From Near-Death Accounts Parallel Predictions Of Blessed Virgin
By Michael H. Brown
Those who experience what are termed "near-death" episodes have come back with warnings similar to those who claim to see or hear the Blessed Virgin Mary. Not everyone who has such an experience shares prophecy, and usually, if there are glimpses of the future, they are of a personal nature -- relative to the person's own life. But a number of prominently reported cases in which a person clinically "dead" has later been revived include predictions of major events that loom in the not-too-distant future -- disasters said to be awaiting earth if it does not hurriedly come back to Christ and goodness.
A year ago, we heard one that involved a former New York-area nightclub owner, Ned Dougherty, who had issued such warnings in a book that was published about six months before September 11 and explicitly predicted terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., "severely impacting the way we live our lives in the United States." He said he was shown the future by the Virgin Mary (a "lady in light") during a death experience in 1984. Dougherty, in a book called Fast Lane to Heaven (and then on a video produced by Focus Worldwide Network, which is headed by retired Archbishop Philip J. Hannan), also foresaw unseasonable weather changes, freakish storms, great tidal forces, wars starting in the Middle East, record snowfall, record heat waves, massive volcanoes, and financial collapse [see stories]. Likewise, we reported on a former atheist and college professor, Dr. Howard Storm, who similarly "died" (from a ruptured duodenum) and foresaw a total breakdown of Western society (his near-death encounter so powerful that he is now a minister in the Cincinnati area). Rescued by Jesus, Reverend Storm asserts that his glimpse of the future came by way of three angels who spoke to him.
Other cases have now come to our attention that are strikingly similar, warnings with such stark predictions that we can only offer them for your individual consideration. It is always difficult to gauge prophecy, and it is likewise challenging to balance potentially dire future events with what should be the joy of living in the here and now as a Christian. While we report on such prophecies (Scripture tells us not to despise them, and Jesus Himself, in Matthew 24, outlines similar calamities), they do not consume us. The major message of current supernatural events, especially near-death episodes, is that we live forever and that God is always with us -- that no matter what transpires on earth, there is the eternal. "For a Christian, there is only one attitude toward the future; it is hope of salvation," she said at Medjugorje -- adding that predictions of catastrophes on specific days come from "false prophets."
At the same time, the Blessed Mother has also dispensed secrets that are known to include what have been termed warnings to the world and great "chastisements." She says she has come "to call the world to conversion for a last time." She states that there is "a great struggle" between Satan and Jesus. She has warned that the peace of the world is in danger, that without conversion there will be "upheaval in a region" of the world. "Be converted without delay," she said to the main seers. "You cannot imagine what is going to happen nor what the Eternal Father will send to earth. That is why you must be converted. Renounce everything. Do penance."
The future is not set in stone, the Blessed Mother has implied. That is, certain punishments can be lessened or outright averted. The same is claimed by those who see the future during a glimpse of the afterlife. For example, Dr. Howard Storm says he was told that if humanity changes for the better, the future he was shown -- a future in which the infrastructure of the U.S. would be dismantled -- may be altered. This has also been explained to other near-death experiencers. Prophecies seem to involve scenarios of what would happen if the world continued in the state it was in at the moment of the prophecy. As one told a researcher named Margot Grey, "During my experience, I was also shown events that are likely to happen in the near future, but was made to understand that nothing is absolutely fixed and that everything depends on how we choose to use our own free will, that even those events that are already predestined can be changed or modified by a change in our own way of relating to them. A successful prophecy is one that changes enough people to sufficiently prevent the prophecy from actually happening."
There is no doubt, however, that many such predictions are serious -- some so dramatic that we have no idea what to make of them. Generally, the visions outline a future of catastrophic natural disasters and social upheaval followed by a new era of peace and enlightenment. Many are said to be events that will happen in the next few decades. While not predicting all-out nuclear war, which he doesn't believe will happen, Dr. Storm believes "one or two" nuclear bombs may explode as God permits conflict in order for men to come to their senses. He also warns of a "massive worldwide economic depression" that will leave the world with almost no technology.
Another man who had a near-death brush said he was given visions in which the world economy would collapse, war would erupt between China and Russia, people will be required to have a computer chip implanted in their bodies (those refusing will be outcasts), and there will be natural disasters that cause starvation and famines. He too has asserted that a horrible world war will be averted if mankind changes for the better.
We don't know what to make of that particular case; we have certain questions about the experience. And across the board, we have warned that deception can occur in this realm too -- that many near-death episodes seem to veer toward what we would describe as "New Age."
But in many regards, they closely parallel predictions from reputed Marian apparitions. According to a man named Ricky Randolph, a volcano will explode in the United States, covering many cities with darkness. Like Dougherty, he has foreseen a collapse of the U.S. government, and like Dr. Storm, he foresees people killing each other for food and water. According to researcher Kevin R. Williams (who compiled much of the synopsis), Randolph also saw "a giant explosion in the earth's atmosphere [that] will destroy much land. Eventually, mankind will become more peaceful."
An experiencer named Angie Fenimore who died in 1991 believes that mankind is approaching the final moments before Jesus returns -- and like Medjugorje, she sees a great battle between "the forces of light and the forces of darkness." Meanwhile, Williams reports on a woman named Cassandra Musgrave who stated that between 1992 and 2012 "great natural disasters will happen such as earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, and weather changes. Earthquakes will strike the eastern coast of the U.S. Japan will slip into the ocean. There will be three days of darkness from the explosion of volcanoes. Ultimately, these natural disasters will stop. Humanity will always have the light."
We don't know about Japan slipping into the sea, but we know that since 1992, more than half of the top ten disasters in all of American history have occurred.
Then there is Elaine Durham -- who foresaw tremendous destruction around the Pacific rim, as well as the breaking apart of massive icebergs that would cause changes in the shorelines. Dr. Kenneth Ring, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Connecticut who has studied hundreds of near-death cases, states that if one can rely on such prophecies, "there will be an increasing incidence of earthquakes, volcanic activity and generally massive geophysical changes. There will be resultant disturbances in weather patterns and food supplies. The world economic system will collapse, and the possibility of nuclear war or accident is very great (respondents are not agreed on whether a nuclear catastrophe will occur). All of these events are transitional rather than ultimate, however, and they will be followed by a new era in human history, marked by human brotherhood, universal love, and world peace. Though many will die, the earth will live."
Once more, the words echo from Medjugorje: "Repeated prayers and fasting reduce punishments from God. I have always said that misfortune will only come if the world does not convert. Call the world to conversion. Everything depends on your conversion. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the laws of nature." As she also said at that famous site, in a message that now loudly resonates,"You will not have peace through presidents, but through prayer."
[resources: for Dougherty see Fast Lane to Heaven and From the Hamptons to Heaven; for Howard Storm see My Descent into Hell; for Sondra Abramas see Her Life After Death and Her Return To Life; for messages of Medjugorje see Our Lady Speaks From Medjugorje; for potential future events see Sent To Earth, The Final Hour, and The Day Will Come; for recent weather episodes see video, Sent To Earth]
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