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To Touch the Light – Book Review

ToTouchTheLightby: Kevin D. Randle

Publisher: Pinnacle Books

Copyright: 1994, ISBN: [0786000473]

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, July 5 1994


Summary: Inspirational in part, over-reaching in others: Speculative discussion on a scientific basis for Near-Death-Experiences and reincarnation. Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, July 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 2:


This is really two books in one. Not unusual for a book though in this instance you get the feeling that the author did not have enough material for the first book so the second was sort of attached by circumstance. Like Barbara Harris’ FULL CIRCLE (see June 1994 issue), Randle’s work deals with the near death experience (NDE). Four specific experiences are examined, including that of Tom Dolembo who is mentioned in Ms Harris’s book.


TO TOUCH THE LIGHT is a frustrating read. The author employs the rather annoying technique of using ellipses within quotes to supposedly indicate expunged material. It would have been less annoying had he simply summarized the quotes.


TO TOUCH THE LIGHT adds to the NDE controversy by stressing the question of whether we chose the time we die. In almost all reported NDEs, the person is offered the choice of returning to their dying bodies or proceeding toward the light. One of the subjects in Mr. Randle’s book (Sara Ward, a mother of three) said she was not offered that choice. Tom Dolembo’s near death also raises some questions about the time we die and choice. Riding in a car which hits a patch of ice and crashes, Dolembo is drawn into a tunnel toward a brilliant light. He is not offered a choice to stay with the light or return. He abruptly returns. Both Ward and Dolembo reported that their experience left them feeling at peace with life and a vague sense that they had a purpose in life–not unlike a mission but more aptly described as a purpose. The inference is that we all have a purpose in life. But do we have a time, a predetermined time that we die? Answering this question leads to other questions–some of which are tailor made to raise the ire of traditional Judaea-Christian believers.


From examining NDEs, TO TOUCH THE LIGHT goes into a discussion of reincarnation and past-life regression. The discussion can be characterized as light-weight to say the least. But to be fair, Randle strives toward objectivity. His failure in this results from an attempt to use science and scientific discipline to bolster the validity of reincarnation. It becomes a theme in the second part of the book.


There is no suitable way to use science to support a matter of faith. To make the attempt, as Randle does in a chapter devoted to the Bridey Murphy reincarnation case of the mid-1950s, results in a fact-counter-fact argument leading to a dead-end (no pun intended). The material on past life regression is similarly hampered by an attempt to see the science of it all. The specter of science is raised to bolster the possibility that near-death-experiences and belief in reincarnation are more than the product of the brain gone awry. It is a fruitless endeavor.


The first part of TO TOUCH THE LIGHT is inspirational though not well written. The second part is too superficial or perhaps attempts to cover too much ground to make it informative.


Not By The Book: Combat Intelligence Officer in Vietnam – Book Review

NotByTheBook-CombatIntelligenceOfficerInVietnamby: Eric McAllister Smith

Publisher: Ivy Books

Copyright: 1993, ISBN: [0804107963]

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, July 5, 1994

Summary: Informative reading for those interested in information management before it became a “science”.

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, July 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 2:


With the information age already a couple of decades upon us, it is surprising that the ins and outs of information management is still a murky area populated by computer specialist. After all, we have computer hackers, amateur astronomers, and spiritual consultants of invariable stripe fluttering around the fringes of psychology, But there is no bubbling crop of amateurs playing loosely with the roles of information management. The reason for this might be that the subject is rather difficult to grasp. Smith’s NOT BY THE BOOK provides a basic primer for those interested.


NOT BY THE BOOK is not pedantic and it is not an in-depth examination of intelligence operations, nor is it meant to be. It relates some vignettes and anecdotes of Smith’s tour in Vietnam. He discusses his training, his arrival in Vietnam, his impressions of the country and the people he met and worked with. And of course, there was the work he did. The blurb on the jacket is rather misleading with its implication that Smith has some major conflict with the U. S. Army. Such a conflict would of course justify writing a book. The “one man against the U.S. Army” slant is nothing more than the familiar encounters of the bureaucratic-kind. Despite the familiarity however, Smith’s tale is interesting.


Assigned as an intelligence officer in the Americal Division, Smith commenced his tour by interviewing captured prisoners of war. He does an excellent job of relating how information gleamed from these interviews was supposed to move around the intelligence (information) processing circle. From interrogator to information analysts back to the order of battle shop where the interrogator supposedly had a library of information on the adversaries he was interviewing. What could and did go wrong with that circle is the fascinating element in Smith’s tale.


Recommended as informative reading.


Wars of Gods and Men, The – Book Review

WarsofGodsandMenTheby: Sitchin, Zecharia

Publisher: Avon Books

Copyright: 1985                                     

Type: Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, 7/5/1994           

Summary: Excellent series: The Earth Chronicles                          


Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, July 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 2:
Sitchin starts THE WARS OF GODS AND MEN with quotes from one of the ancient scrolls collectively referred to as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scroll quoted is titled The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness. Sitchin then quotes from the Prophet Ezekiel concerning the prophesied Last Battle on Earth involving Gog and Magog. Gradually, he introduces us to the ancient kings and gods of Asia and Africa.

What is fascinating about Sitchin’s work (including WHEN TIME BEGAN, THE LOST REALMS, THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN–all part of the Earth Chronicles) is the masterful way in which he blends main-stream history into his own brand of speculative history. Of course it could be argued that there is nothing masterful about the construction, just the facts fitting into place. Masterful or not, there is definitely something here worth digesting. But before you can do that, you must determine where main-stream history ends and speculation begins.

Succinctly, the premise of Sitchins Earth Chronicles is that a race from another planet colonized earth some 450 thousand years ago. Interactions between these “gods” and their hybrid offspring, Mankind, has resulted in unrecorded history from about 100 thousands years ago to 3760 years ago when Mankind was granted kingship–the right to rule himself.

The idea that ancient Earth was visited by an extraterrestrial civilization is not new. There has been so much speculation on this that one is tempted to surrender to the deluge and admit that there is something to it. It’s a temptation but I don’t think surrender is quit in order. The speculation is being fueled by the seemingly incredible similarities, oddities and belief systems of ancient cultures. Traditional, main stream history just doesn’t explain the how and why of the human race. Religions hide more than they reveal. Into the void steps the Sitchin, the Collyns’, the Bramleys–authors who see the touch of another world upon ours. It could be–and I just throw this out as a non-original thought–that modern Man emerged about 200 thousand years in north east Africa and hasn’t changed anything except his clothing, his fantasies and his perspective.

However, if Sitchin is correct in his belief that the Anmnraki from the planet Nibiru are responsible for the course of human history, there is a very good chance that they will return in July of 1995 and they won’t be happy. Standby.


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