18070Update: Esquire vs. NDEr Eben Alexander
- Aug 19, 2013NHNE Wavemaker News List
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NDE RESEARCHER ROBERT MAYS EXAMINES THE FACTS
NDE Researcher Robert Mays examines some of the facts surrounding the
article that Luke Dittrich wrote for Esquire about Dr. Eben Alexander.
To read the complete article, click here or here (pdf)
...if Dittrich had interviewed Phyllis, she would have told him:she and
her mother saw a rainbow as they were entering the hospital about 1 PM.
It was to the right of the entrance (north of the hospital) where there
are mountains. They commented on the rainbow and Betty noted, "It's a
perfect rainbow!" When they turned the corner into Eben's ICU room a few
moments later, Eben was sitting up in bed.
Later that day, Phyllis emailed friends back in Boston, telling them
about Eben's miraculous recovery -- and about the rainbow she and her
mother had witnessed. She offered to show me the email.
...if Dittrich had asked her, Holley would have confirmed the story:
indeed, at some time in the ER Eben had shouted out "God, help me!" and
everyone present including Holley and Michael Sullivan had rushed to his
side -- Holley had been just outside the curtain -- but Alexander fell
back unresponsive. Those present were given hope that he was recovering,
but those hopes faded quickly.
I spoke with Holley Alexander recently. She said that this incident
occurred about an hour or so after she had arrived in the ER with Eben.
"It happened before they sedated him, while the doctors were trying to
get vital signs and spinal fluid and all that. I said to Michael
[Sullivan], 'He spoke!' and Eben kept writhing. Dr. Potter might not
have heard it. She was in and out, checking scans, spinal fluid, so it's
very likely that she wasn't there.
And yes, this happened before Alexander was intubated, so Eben
Alexander's only embellishment was to fudge the timing of the incident,
for dramatic effect -- a trivial adjustment.
Dittrich did not recheck with Dr. Potter and did not show her how he was
quoting her. Had he done so, he would have gotten a surprise.
Sylvia White reported that Dr. Laura Potter became concerned after she
was contacted by the press when the Esquire article first appeared, and
subsequently expressed her alarm about the way her remarks were being
twisted. Dr. Potter made the following statement in an email:
"I am saddened by and gravely disappointed by the article recently
published in Esquire. The content attributed to me is both out of
context and does not accurately portray the events around Dr. Eben
Alexander's hospitalization. I felt my side of the story was
misrepresented by the reporter. I believe Dr. Alexander has made every
attempt to be factual in his accounting of events." -- Dr. Laura Potter
So Luke Dittrich's portrayal of the events regarding Alexander's illness
is inaccurate. Dittrich took Dr. Potter's statements out of context,
twisted them and misrepresented them.
Now we see that all three key flaws in Eben Alexander's story have
turned out to be totally false or trivial. And Luke Dittrich is relying
especially on this last one to build a case that Alexander's story is a
complete fabrication, and his heavenly experience a hallucination or a
All it would have taken was a simple conversation with two or three of
the people identified in Proof of Heaven as witnesses -- who were
available to be interviewed -- to corroborate or definitively refute
Alexander's account. In this last case, Dittrich's argument rested
solely on the assessment of Dr. Laura Potter. Yet had he asked her, Dr.
Potter would have confirmed the accuracy of Alexander's story. Likewise
Holley, Michael Sullivan, Phyllis Alexander and Sylvia White would have
confirmed the accuracy of the story in Proof of Heaven.
To Esquire's Editor in Chief David Granger, Luke Dittrich's story is
great journalism. To me the Dittrich article is shoddy and irresponsible
journalism -- shoddy because of Luke Dittrich's and his Esquire editors'
evident failures: failure to consider alternate explanations (rainbow),
failure to check with the cited witnesses (Phyllis and Betty Alexander),
failure to verify information with additional witnesses (Holley
Alexander, Michael Sullivan and others), failure to check with medical
experts (on the likely cause of coma), failure to check again on crucial
testimony of the sole cited witness (Laura Potter), failure to read the
book carefully (Dr. Wade's statement about Alexander's coma), failure to
verify conclusions via other witnesses (Holley Alexander and Sylvia
White), failure to exercise care in asserting erroneous facts (use of
drugs was not mentioned in the book), failure to exercise care in
quoting and interpreting recorded remarks (Dalai Lama), and failure to
exercise common sense in interpreting the meaning of statements (Dalai
CONCERNING THE ESQUIRE ARTICLE ABOUT EBEN ALEXANDER III, M.D.
By P.M.H. Atwater
"The book Proof of Heaven honestly and effectively portrays the
near-death experience of Eben Alexander III, M.D. His case has been
mentioned several times in this newsletter. I was one of the near-death
researchers he turned to, and I have interviewed him at length. I can
personally verify that what happened to him, although unique in its
medical components, was typical of such experiences -- what it consisted
of and how he responded to it – including the pattern of aftereffects
which he now displays. I have no hesitation, then or now, in presenting
Dr. Alexander as an honest, loving, and caring individual, who has done
his best to share the elements of his close brush with death, how
medically "at the edge" he was, the near-death episode that filled and
expanded his world, his recovery, and the reason he feels he survived. .
. to share the message of an afterlife with others around the world. His
sense of mission is strong. Like so many of us, though, he crossed paths
with a staff writer for a magazine who misquoted him and failed to
thoroughly check out what appeared to be facts. The result was a
magazine article printed in Esquire Magazine that defamed him in ways
that have been difficult at first to counter. Clearly, there seems to be
a case of fraud here, or at least of an author who did not do all the
fact-checking that could and should have been done. If you are
interested in the truth in this matter and how the Esquire author
"goofed," please access this link for a complete and accurate accounting
of the real facts."
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