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Book Review Journal and Software Designs


Full Circle

by:  Harris, Barbara and Lionel C. Bascom

Publisher: Pocket Books

Copyright: 1990

Cover: Bill Charles

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, 6/5/1994       

Summary: Recommended.             .


Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, June 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 1:

There are some lessons in life which must be learned through experience. Once experienced however, an act of faith is required to sustain and make the lesson have meaning.

Barbara Harris underwent a near death experience (NDE) in 1972. Full Circle chronicles her inner and outer struggles to make what she learned have meaning. What she learned was that life is about love–love for the infinite powers of love within oneself as well as within others. Love thyself and thy neighbors. A rather prosaic lesson to learn but if learned can transform a life. Trouble is of course that few people, even those having first hand experience at the lesson, are fully capable of infusing meaning into it and even less capable of sustaining it.

Full Circle would have been a better book had Ms Harris devoted more effort at explaining how her journey to near death helped put the events of her life into perspective. For instance, she divorced her husband. Simple enough reason–they had grown apart, partly because he could not understand her proclivity to give. She moved beyond materialism. Are we ro infer that he was left behind? That her spirit of love could not reach out and touch him? A minor point admittedly, for buried within Full Circle is the message that each individual is responsible for their own life, their own peaks and valleys. But s011, we would like to believe that if we are transformed, it rubs off on those nearest to us.
Definitely recommended reading, but don’t expect any deep insights into NDE.



Voice From the Grave, A

by: Mercado, Carol

Publisher:: Diamon Books, The Berkley Publishing Group

Copyright: 1979

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, 6/5/1994  

Summary:  Excellent. Highly Recommended.  A murder victim comes back form the grave to reveal her assailant.                                                              

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, June 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 1:
Dateline: Chicago, February 1977. Teresta Basa, a therapist at Edgewater Hospital, was found murdered in her apartment today.

As familiar in 1977 as now, reports of murder steam by us in the daily paper. Occasionally, the stream stops–a child is shot for no other reason than that they are a child in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the others–the dope dealers, the dope buyers, the gang members, the accident victims, the mere victims–they have become so commonplace in their deaths that death announcements blur in the current. Blur that is if the death is deemed worthy enough to be announced by the mechanics of news in the first place….
Why was the death of Teresita Basa different? The angle, the news merchants would say, was that her spirit supposedly possessed another woman who then identified her murderer.

Mercado’s book is worth reading despite the sensational angle. The writer handles it well. The possession by the dead woman is discussed, the affect it has upon the woman possessed and her family. More importantly, Mercado gives us a sense of Teresita Basa and the love of those around her which may have contributed to her “coming back”.


Many Lives, Many Masters – Book Comment

ManyLivesManyMastersby: Brian L. Weiss, M.D.

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Copyright: 1998, ISBN: [0671657860]

Cover: Julie Metz, Steve Krongard

Type: Softcover

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, June 5, 1994


Summary: Highly recommended for a sampling of reincarnation beliefs around the world.

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, June 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 1:


Past life regression and UFO abductions–what do they have in common?

One of the best books on past life regression is Brian L Weiss’s MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS. It is the exemplar of the genre. The book recounts the therapeutic sessions of Catherine who, according to Weiss, has memory of over 80 past lives–from ancient Egypt, to life as a slave in America to a rather mundane existence early in the 20th century.

Once the therapy starts, once the past lives are explored for their emotional content, Catherine becomes a changed person. She is freed of traditional fears, phobias and anxiety. In the highest tradition of inspirational literature, Masters leaves the reader feeling good about the human condition. However, the reader must accept the validity of reincarnation as the foundation for Catherine’s changed life. More than reincarnation, the reader must accept the process by which memo-ties of past lives are brought to the surface. It is here that Masters and other books on the subject of past life memories run into trouble.

Reincarnation, the belief that we have lived before in another time and place, is not in dispute. Reincarnation is a matter of faith shared by millions the world over. The use of hypnosis to remember incidents in past lives is in dispute. The use of hypnosis to recover anything in memory is in dispute. Like the current crop of literature on UFO abductions, the question is whether the reported memories are in fact memories or virtual fantasies. Could it be that the mind is structurally pre-programmed to have certain kinds of memories, to construct a certain kind of reality, like the inherent structures for language development?

No one knows. If anyone does know, they’re not telling.

The fact is, we know more about outer-space than we do inner-space. But past life regression therapy seems to work in reshaping lives. Until we know more, this is one instance in which the end justifies the means.

The benefits of reading MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS greatly outweigh the simmering controversies associated with the material. Weiss presents excellent background material on reincarnation beliefs.



Out There: The Government’s Secret Quest for Extraterrestrials– Book Review

OutThereby: Howard Blum

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Copyright:  1990, ISBN: [0671662600]

Cover:  Roger Ressmeyer/Starlight

Type:  Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, June 5, 1994

Summary: Government cover-up of UFO events?  What about a dis-information campaign designed to cover-up a lot of “stuff”?  A good book to start a series of questions. 

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, June 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 1…..

Ever wonder whether the government is lying to us about UFOs?

Mr. Blum has written a rational, revealing, balanced look at what ufologists have come to refer to as the government’s conspiracy of silence. The conspiracy and the conclusion drawn from Blum’s book can be summarized by a quote attributed to an FBI agent. The agent, participating in the investigation of some supposedly top secret briefing papers dating back to 1952, said, “We’ve gone knocking on every door in Washington with those MJ-12 papers. All we’re finding out is that the government doesn’t know what it knows. There are too many secret levels. You can’t get a straight story. It wouldn’t surprise me if we never know if the papers are genuine or not?”

There are some other high points in the book: the capabilities of radar, satellite and telecommunication facilities rim-ruing America’s defense perimeter is examined; the history of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Project is presented in some detail; the extraterrestrial landing port planned for Elmwood, Wisconsin is discussed. A not so high point but intriguing because of its implications if true: the Air Force Office of Special Investigations’ intrusion into the life of Paul Bennewitz…..

It is impossible to escape the impression that the author has written this book for two audiences: believers and non-believers. It’s a noteworthy achievement considering the subject. Most books fall squarely in the believer or non-believer category. But Mr. Blum is a former reporter for The New York Times. Reporters are truth seekers. He even brings up the name and opinion of another former New York Times reporter, Seymour Hersh. The bottom line, because of the facts both pro and con, is that you leave this book still believing or still unbelieving. It will not change your mind about UFOs. Therefore, we may conclude, the truth about UFOs is that nobody really knows the truth. But if you really believe the United States government is capable of orchestrating a conspiracy on the scale and proportions required to hide the existence of extraterrestrials, you should most definitely read this book.

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