A Christian publication is spreading around another “near-death experience” as if it proves God and Jesus are real, despite the fact that these visions have been largely explained away with science.
This alleged vision of Heaven comes from a man who got in a car wreck and then went into a coma for eight days. That’s not to be confused with the 13-year old “Miracle Boy” from Alabama or the neurosurgeon who misrepresented his near-death experiences and claimed his was proof of the Christian God. They all have shockingly similar coma stories.
In this case, the Christian Post is practically salivating over the story of Tom Dolezal, a Christian man from Montana. He said he had a “vivid memory” of his experience with Jesus, God, and angels.
As he was leaving a family celebration for his father’s 90th birthday, Dolezal stood outside his family’s home and described feeling an evil spirit come over him.
“I felt like my eyes were burning,” Dolezal described. “I had a couple of family members outside with me and I couldn’t look at them. I felt like someone kicked me in the heart and I felt a spiritual force that affected me and it felt like it was trying to put a wedge between me and my family.”
After shaking it off, he hit the road that evening to make sure he made it back home in time for church on Sunday. Dolezal would never make it home that night, as he was driving through Wolf Creek Canyon in Helena he collided head-on with a truck pulling a horse trailer. Completely knocked unconscious with 22 broken bones, Dolezal, who says he doesn’t recall anything from the accident, said that’s when he found himself in Heaven.
“I had an out-of-body experience,” he told Liberty County Times. “I just flew away and I flew up into Heaven and Heaven is stacked!“
You heard the man: he has seen Heaven! And it is “stacked”… whatever that means. There’s no mention of who caused the accident, or if Dolezal’s feelings before the accident were a sign of an underlying medical condition or were added in after the fact, but we are expected to believe he really saw Heaven.
Dolezal recounted seeing a lot of people in “purple robes” as he was laying on the floor. Beside him was a harp and eventually he realized they were holding a service just for him.
“Then I was standing beside Father God in the room so high I couldn’t see the top. I was looking at God’s face and his eyes were closed,” he said. “I saw an angel lying in a way no human could. He had a very pleasant face and he seemed to be resting. Perhaps he is my Guardian Angel as he seemed tired,” Dolezal added.
Suddenly, he recounted, the scenery changed and he found himself standing in a field as Jesus approached him.
His near-death experience sounds like a lot of others we’ve heard, in that it’s just as vague and confusing. It’s not unusual for Christians to see Jesus and God, and it’s almost always just how they pictured it, because that’s how the brain works. It’s no different than “seeing” an alien that happens to be green with large black eyes since that’s how they’re often depicted in pop culture.
There is rarely any mainstream mention of the people who see random hallucinations that aren’t religious or people of other religions who also have spiritual near-death experiences.
NDE memories usually consist of vague colors and feelings, and when there are specifics, we don’t ever see anything truly groundbreaking — it’s often just the same general images and scenes we’ve all thought about before. People who experience these hallucinations see what’s culturally familiar to them. We would expect Christian NDEs to involve Jesus and angels whereas a Hindu in the same position might see Yama, the god of death, and his messengers, called yamadoots.
These stories may be interesting, but they are ultimately no proof — or even evidence — of any afterlife. So let’s stop pretending they have merit.
(Image via Shutterstock. Portions of this article were first published in No Sacred Cows: Investigating Myths, Cults, and the Supernatural)