Friday, April 26, 2013

#525: Dannion Brinkley

Dannion Brinkley is an author best known for describing two near death experiences in his 1994 book Saved by the Light (later adapted as a movie), and for subsequently becoming a prominent figure in the New Age and New Thought Movement. He has, for instance, worked closely with the famous near death ”researcher” Raymond Moody (to be covered later).

In his near-death recounts Brinkley claimed that he met 13 Beings of Light who told him that “those who go to Earth are the real heroes and heroines [in othre words, Brinkley is really an angelic being on a mission from God], because you are doing something that no other spiritual beings have the courage to do. You have gone to earth to co-create with God,” and, apparently, to receive visions of future events. Brinkley foresaw that there would be a breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1990 and subsequent food riots (according to Moody the forecast struck him as ”silly and absurd” at the time but later proved accurate – funny enough Moody only mentioned this after the fall of the Soviet Union). Brinkley's visions also reportedly included the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War, but unfortunately Brinkley never mentioned these visions to anyone before his 1994 book. A pity, isn’t it? And extremely surprisingly, the forecasts he did make in 1994 –  a 1995 nuclear accident in Norway and a pre-2000 economic collapse in the United States – never occured. Brinkley also claims the events surrounding his first near death experience left him with ”special powers”, i.e. psychic and paranormal abilities, but these don’t seem to be testable (presumably, they magically refuse to work in controlled situations).

His most recent book (with Kathryn Peters-Brinkley, presumably his wife) is The Secrets of the Light: Spiritual strategies to empower your life ... here and in the hereafter, which contains a garbled mess of quantum woo and claims to the effect that ”chaos is not something to be avoided, but is, if used with intent, an unfailing source of spiritual growth, so we should welcome it” (according to his fan Don Croft). Brinkley is currently apparently writing a new one: ”is this like The Secret? Well, yes, sort of, but it’s soooo much more.” Indeed.

Among Brinkley’s other claims are recounts of his alleged actions as a CIA sniper in Laos during the Vietnam War, even though military records show that he was stationed in Georgia as a truck driver throughout the events.

To be fair, Brinkley does seem to have done some pretty decent charity work in his life, but that doesn’t quite disqualify him from receiving an entry.

Diagnosis: He does seem to enjoy some popularity, but primarily among those with a tenuous grasp on reality to begin with. Probably rather harmless.

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