#97 Liz Entin: The Forever Family Foundation : In Search of The Afterlife
johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer to Venus, I’m Johnny Burke and today’s guest is Liz Entin, she is an entrepreneur, host of The WTF Just Happened podcast, and volunteer for the Forever Family Foundation. Today, we will be talking about her experiences that prompted her to volunteer at the Forever Family Foundation and what we can all learn from that. Liz, welcome to the show.
Liz Entin: Hi, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
johnny Burke: We’re going to talk about your podcast in a few minutes, but how did you get interested in exploring afterlife evidence to begin with?
Liz Entin: I’m a cultural Jew, but an atheist and was always raised very science minded. I always thought an afterlife was something just tied to traditional religion and was very much wishful thinking. And then unfortunately in 2015, my dad passed away and we were very close. It was really devastating. And I just kind of took a shot in the dark and thought, is there any possibility of time travel? I kind of knew it wasn’t necessarily true, but I did a bit of Googling, read tons of books by Einstein on theories of time travel since it seems time isn’t as linear as we thought. So I found all the research starting first with cases of kids with past life memories.
johnny Burke: That is where it started with-I believe it was Dr. Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia. It’s interesting that you mentioned you thought that the afterlife was tied to traditional religion. Now I think a lot of us know by now that they’re not tied together obviously. Right?
Liz Entin: Right. I thought belief in it was, which made me not think it was really true,
johnny Burke: Believe it or not, that’s only the first time I’ve heard that. That’s never come up before, but it’s a very good point.
Liz Entin: Really ?
johnny Burke: Yeah. Yeah. I’m really kind of surprised I don’t hear that more often, but that does make a lot of sense where someone might think, ‘well, if I believe in the afterlife, then maybe I’m obligated to belong to a faith community’ of some sort.
Liz Entin: It wasn’t like I felt I was obligated. It was just the only presentation I’d heard of it was through heaven and religion and none of that was very evidential. It all seemed very fantastical. None of it was substantial or concrete I know people get so much strength from faith. So I don’t want to insult anyone or diminish people’s faith, but from my perspective, like a very science-minded person, just nothing I’d heard about in any religious writings gave me any reason to think this could be true.
johnny Burke: You had mentioned you were an atheist. Before any of this happened, you had no belief in the afterlife whatsoever, which I think is interesting because a lot of the people that do come forth, many of those people also didn’t have any kind of spiritual beliefs whatsoever. It’s almost as if they’re chosen to have those beliefs, to be made an example of. What was the turning point that made you think the afterlife was actually a real thing?
Liz Entin: Oh, that’s so hard to say. I don’t a hundred percent think afterlife is real. I think there is a preponderance of evidence that makes it most likely conclusion, but I’m still not a hundred percent. I’m probably like 95%
johnny Burke: That’s pretty close. Tell us about some of the personal experiences that maybe happened after your dad passed.
Liz Entin: Oh, God, there were so many, first of all, getting some readings from mediums. I took all sorts of precautions. I gave fake identities, Google Voice numbers, had friends, not even family members paid for me, and they would just know things they couldn’t have known. Then got what could be called signs from my dad as time went on, those were just pretty remarkable. And they added to the body of evidence. I’m happy to share a sign or two, if you would like,
johnny Burke: Of course. I was just about to say that. Sure.
Liz Entin: I’d say this one, my dad had a favorite color. I put it as green in the book, I kind of disguise a few things just because I still get medium readings. And this is kind of, this color thing is important to me. So I’d been told that feathers were a sign, and I don’t know if I really believe signs. So I was walking along the street, and I see this green feather sitting there and I pick it up, take it home. Like I’m willing to consider it. Then fast forward quite a few months later. And I had a reading with a medium who’s certified by Forever Family Foundation. Her name is Gina Simone.
johnny Burke: I was just about to ask about that. Yeah. Okay.
Liz Entin: Yeah. So at the end of the reading, I asked her, “has my dad sent me any signs?”. I had just started volunteering for Forever Family Foundation. I had not told anyone about these signs and Gina didn’t know who I was. She said, ” I don’t always want to say exactly because then you might get too attached and miss others, let’s say you wanted me to say green feather.” I was like,” okay, Gina, it was a green feather.” And then fast forward, even a year later, I was like okay, that’s impressive. Maybe she was reading my mind, I don’t know.
I know Gina at this point, and I’ve been volunteering for couple years at Forever Family Foundation, and I helped run their social media. So we’re away at one of third brief retreats in Connecticut. And one of my positions, one of the things I was doing at this one was getting just little short video clips for social media from the mediums. And I missed getting Gina. And I just felt horrible about that. And I went up to the founder who was my main mentor and just a rock in my life, Fran Ginsburg, who sadly passed away and I told her I missed Gina and how bad I felt. And she was just like,” well, why don’t you just do a video call with her and get it?”
And as I get home, I walk into my apartment, go to my room, start working alone on my computer. And I’m like obsessing even more about this. And I look over and there’s a pile of green feathers sitting in my room. I don’t own anything with that. I have no idea how that happened. I was just like what the???
johnny Burke: That’s pretty crazy. We’ve all heard stories like this. It reminds me a little bit of your friend, Annette Marinaccio who had stories, not about feathers, but plenty of other types of things. Speaking of the Forever Family Foundation, it’s my understanding they actually certify mediums. Did you witness this happening, or did they just explain how it worked?
Liz Entin: I just had read about that. They keep that part really, really secret. So no one really knows the exact details of it. All we do know is that they test and certify mediums to eliminate chances of cold reading or the medium, knowing your identity, which is called hot reading.
johnny Burke: Bob Ginsburg told me about a medium that had one screen where they had their client on video, and another screen where they had the client’s Facebook. And I thought, oh, come on, man, no wonder people are skeptical. I can share with you the way it was explained to me. And I think this was Sirry Berndsen that brought this up. Great interview as well. I think there were four or five back-to-back readings. They did no idea who these people were. The sitters were then interviewed by the staff who literally graded the responses. You had to get a certain percentage, like 65 or 70%, yes, not just maybe. obviously, she got certified, she said only about, 15% of the mediums that go through the program get certified. Bob told me the same thing.
Liz Entin: Yeah. Yeah.
johnny Burke: It’s important for people to know that, and it’s okay to be an open-minded skeptic, but there’s a real service that this organization provides. So tell us more about your activity, how you got involved and the kind of things that you took part in.
Liz Entin: I was already getting some medium readings. I was taking classes at the Rhine Institute with Loyd Auerbach and John Kruth . And I was reading quite a bit of Dr. Julie Bieschel from Windbridge and through them had found the mediums in New York, who’s certified by Windbridge. Her name’s Laura Lynne Jackson ,turns out she’s really well known. I didn’t know that, I was
just listening to what the scientists said, and Dr. Diane Hennessy Powell recommended Laura Lynn Jackson, apparently.
johnny Burke: Laura Lynn Jackson is like the LeBron James of mediums, I guess or the Tom Brady of mediums. she’s very well known.
Liz Entin: Yeah. She came highly recommended by scientists. So I went to one of her events. She was very patient with me because I basically like stalked her with like scientific questions and was like, I can’t believe this is true. I was just like ridiculously annoying, and she was very patient. Very nice. As I asked every skeptical question. This is a lot of what my book goes into kind of this whole story of how I came to all this and all my awkward moments at like Laura Lynn’s thing, as well as other awkward moments of mediums. So I went to Laura Lynn, and I asked her, I really wanted to get behind the scenes and that really thought I’d find the catch. My hope was that there wouldn’t be a catch because I wanted this to be true that I didn’t want to deceive myself. So I asked Laura, if she knew of anywhere similar to Windbridge, but Windbridge was in Arizona, and I live in New York and LA did she know of anywhere?
She sent me to Forever Family, and I have so much gratitude for that because that’s where I met Fran and Bob, and Fran was really a rock in the early stage of my grief. So I reached out to Forever Family Foundation and decided if I volunteer, I can kind of get a behind-the-scenes view. I’ll figure out what is really going on here. if this is all true, this is the most remarkable research that has ever been done in the history of all time. Like there aren’t even words, it’s more remarkable than space exploration. It’s more remarkable than string theory.
So I reached out to Forever Family, sent them my skills. I’d done quite a bit of work in social media and then started volunteering, attended some of the events and got to know people and I’m no longer trying to find the catch. I still feel as amazed by the research, but it’s changed where I feel this has just transformed my life. I think most people who come into this were not as skeptical as me. So I really feel if I can really help people and be like, this is how extreme I was and I think it’s real. I think that’s kind of a very important voice for grieving people and hopefully helps them and gives another level of credibility.
johnny Burke: They have grief retreats. Annette was telling me about that, and they were featured on the Netflix docu-series Surviving Death. I think Bob was in it, Sirry Berndsen and a couple of other people. It is pretty heavy stuff. Forever Family Foundation and Windbridge, and I’m sure there’s a few others, I think are really doing, some very cool work. If it can allay someone’s grief, that’s obviously a good thing, isn’t it?
Liz Entin: Yeah. it transformed my grief as well. As I said, it’s the most remarkable science ever. It just helped me so much. I feel like I want to give back and help other people. Cause grief is just, it’s just unbearable.
johnny Burke: Since you brought it up, a friend of mine, her name is Gina -a big fan of the podcast and someone that we actually know that lives near us. Her dad died not too long ago and me and my brother sent her emails to let her know that we were really sorry about what happened. she wrote back” thank you for your podcast. That single-handedly helped me get through this, let me tell my dad it was okay to pass, and gave me the courage to stand up and give a eulogy.” I wasn’t expecting anything like that. I was floored! that’s valuable. That means more than money or any silly accolade. I think that’s the type of thing that these organizations are after.
Liz Entin: Yeah, completely. I think a combination of that and just giving your own tragedy a meaning, you want to honor your person, but first of all, that’s amazing. Congratulations on getting that. no money can ever. equal that feeling and you sort of feel like you want to dedicate your life and service to them. As I started volunteering at Forever Family, I met a lot of parents whose kids were my age, like Fran and Bob’s daughter Bailey who passed, and is the reason for Forever Family. I think would be exactly my age, who should a year older.
There’s something about when you meet all these people who lost children young. And you’re like, “well, why am I still here?” There becomes something about feeling like life is more about being of service and giving help. I think helping people in the darkest of grief, it’s so hard and there’s so little help about grief because our society so frightened by it, so awkward about it. I feel our society really doesn’t know how to cope with it. And that was for me very lonely in the early days.
johnny Burke: When we talk about grief, I can’t help but notice that those people that do have some faith – or maybe a lot of, it have a slightly easier time with it. When we talk about purpose- and you just mentioned these people that you met had young children that passed and you’re probably thinking, well, they passed and I’m still here. Why is that? What’s the reason for it.? The people at the foundation, do they talk about stuff like in-between lives and pre-birth planning or any of that, or do they avoid it?
Liz Entin: I haven’t specifically heard Fran and Bob talk about that, but I have heard mediums talk about that and I have heard near-death experience research talk a bit about that. And Dr. Ian Stevenson has passed away and his protege, Dr. Jim Tucker has talked about that, and they’ve talked about it in evidential ways. I guess mediums actually talk about it quite a bit that people plan to come for short periods of time or plan to go live this life of hardship. I can’t evidentially back that up. I can’t dismiss it.
johnny Burke: But if there’s like 7,000 people that talk about roughly similar cases, you start to scratch your head and think, Hm, don’t know if I can really dismiss that either. It’s not like they all got together and said, Hey, let’s make up these stories. I was curious because I’ve never been behind the scenes, and I’m very, very interested in organizations like these because I think they definitely serve a purpose. I love the title of this podcast; The WTF Just Happened podcast and you have, I believe a companion book.
Liz Entin: It’s a book in general . Right now it’s available for pre-order and you can only pre-order an ebook, but it’s going to be available in print and eBook versions and it publishes October 28th. So I’m not sure when all of you guys are listening October 28th, 2022,
johnny Burke: This episode should come out September 30th. I think so it’ll be before that. Let’s talk a little bit about the things that you discuss on the podcast. I’m sure it’s not that far from what we talk about on Closer To Venus.
Liz Entin: Yeah, I think it’s pretty similar. So I have conversations with different people about evidence of an afterlife. And a lot of them are the people that were in my book that just made all the difference to me. I have some psychic mediums on such as Joe Perreta ,Reva Ko Rebecca Ann Lo Cicero. , those are all mediums who are very close friends of mine and part of Forever Family Foundation ,and a few other mediums too have conversations with them about their abilities. And I try to keep the conversations very evidential, like, tell me why you think this, what happened? How can you back it up, and I also interview other people in this research too, for example, Annette Marinaccio, who is a fellow volunteer at Forever Family Foundation also wrote a book – she’s a logical left-brain accountant. I let people speak how they like to speak, but I want to stay away from belief. I want to stay away from spirituality, how it’s traditionally known and really keep it concrete.
johnny Burke: Good point. Really, really good point. It seems to me the word spirituality has really been watered down.
I remember looking up some of the top podcasts in the spirituality category and they all seemed to be like influencers.
And I’m thinking if someone says the word spiritual, I’m thinking of spirits, the spirit world, the unseen world and these spiritual, blogs and podcasts and shows has nothing to do with that. Nothing.
Liz Entin: Right. It seems to be something that means something different to so many different people. I think it’s come to really mean belief in a lot of ways. It’s not comforting to hear that package of spirituality when I’m just desperately want something to give me solid evidence that my dad’s still here if that makes sense.
johnny Burke: it does. And you made a good point about the word spiritual or spirituality- you tend to think of a belief. One of the cornerstones of Closer To Venus is that everything that is discussed has to be based on experience. It just keeps everything more genuine, and we don’t get off track by talking about what’s written in this book or that book. There’s certain things, when we talk about research from Dr. Ian Stevenson, I think he had about, about 1500 cases where the kids that had past life memories were brought to meet the family, knew things about the family he could have never known- even family secrets . This is back in the sixties and seventies when they didn’t have Google, right ? in many cases, the families actually accepted that child as a reincarnation of their past loved one. Now, if that is not a compelling case for the survival of consciousness, I don’t really know what is.
Liz Entin: Right?
johnny Burke: And speaking of which, I’m sure you saw a lot being involved with the Forever Family Foundation; what’s the one or maybe a handful of things that really stick out as really compelling ?
Liz Entin: Oh, my God. I can name a few, but overall it comes down to a preponderance of evidence and I notice most researchers and people who research draw the same conclusions for the same reasons, which backs that up for me too. So I think some of the cases of, Dr. Jim Tucker, Tucker’s taken over for Ian Stevenson. He has researched these incredibly strong cases and all the cases have a consistency such as all the intense evidence that you just talked about which is there. Like the medium readings I get and watch others get, they just know things they couldn’t.
I try to ask myself the question if consciousness is created by a brain and then when you die at the end of it, that’s, it, is the truth, how can this one thing have happened? And it can’t,
johnny Burke: No, it can’t,
This is a fairly well-known case that happened in 1987, her name is Barbara Bartolome, she went to the hospital for some kind of procedure, something went wrong, and she wound it flat-lining. She basically, rose above the body, she didn’t have any brainwaves and she remembered what they were saying, exactly what they did. She explained,” I watched myself flatline. If the brain creates consciousness and once the brain waves shut off, there’s no way she should have remembered anyway. And how do you explain when she can look down and see exactly what happened and what person said this, and this person said that, how do you explain that?
Liz Entin: You can’t
johnny Burke: You can’t, right. There’s so many cases like that. You’ve had some really intense and educational and experiences with this organization. What would you say to someone who thinks, once you die, you die and that’s it. What would you tell them?
Liz Entin: I meet a lot of people like that who are in grief who ask me” why do you think it’s true?” I would start with is saying it makes no sense that brain w neurons that are made of mass and matter can suddenly create consciousness, a deep emotional consciousness. Another thing is this seems to be how the world works. In other ways like television, the cloud, internet, almost everything that functions here seem to download. Again, the cloud. Then I would say we already have things that don’t make sense in our limited mass material world. For example, the concept of infinity, we cannot wrap our minds around it. We don’t have the whole picture. Then I’d add the way dogs hear sounds we don’t.
Why do we think we can see everything? I’d say, check Forever Family, check Woodbridge, and a few good books to read, to start off with
johnny Burke: I would normally ask why do most scientists say that there is no afterlife despite all of this evidence, but I think you’ve already answered that. And I’ve noticed a couple people that will usually chime in and say the intuitives are going to be centuries, if not millennia ahead of the scientists, god bless ’em. I, have a lot of respect for anybody who rolls up their sleeves and tries to do the research. But I think organizations like Forever Family Foundation and Windbridge and a handful of others, they’re way ahead of everyone else, because they’re approaching it in the right way, the way an intuitive or a medium would do it. And I think those people along with the near-death experience survivors are going to tell us a whole lot more than someone who’s just looking in the material world. Would you agree?
Liz Entin: I think they’re going to learn different things. I think the two are going to come together. Like you take a scientist that studies medicine. We got vaccines in a year. That’s unheard of, they just do remarkable things, these scientists studying the material world or Dr. Lisa Randall, Dr. Brian Green, studying string theory. I think most of the scientists doing remarkable work, studying the material, just haven’t delved into this research. What would happen if they really took two years and dedicated full two years to this?
johnny Burke: I don’t think it would happen.
Liz Entin: it won’t happen, but if it did-
johnny Burke: It won’t because they’re limited to just one dimension. You mentioned the Rhine Research facility, I believe they focus on consciousness science. They do some really interesting experiments. Now that’s more like it. If you had more people doing that type of research, if more people kind of jumped on that train, then we’d be getting somewhere because they’re not just limiting themselves to the material world.
Liz Entin: Yeah, like Loyd Auerbach ,who is one of the main people at Rhine Research is president of Forever Family Foundation. Like there’s a lot of collaborations ; look at Sir Roger Penrose and Dr. Stewart Hameroff. Sir Roger Penrose had worked quite a bit with Steven Hawking and they’re studying this. There are some that do it. I think most just haven’t delved into it. And they dismiss it because it’s so tied into religion. Unfortunately there’s so much contention between religion and science. The worst of religion is trying to interfere with science. And the worst of spirituality is trying to interfere with science. That’s kind of my overall thought on it, but it’s an endless question. I can’t tell you how often I talk about this with other people studying this and sometimes I’m like, they don’t believe this. I must be like making this all out, out of wishful thinking. And then, you know, I go through everything we’ve talked about
johnny Burke: I know what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s wishful thinking. It seems that if someone wants to learn more about this, besides listening to our podcast, I should probably put the links somewhere in the show notes for the Forever Family Foundation and Windbridge. That would be a good place to start.
Liz, thanks so much for joining us today. How can our listeners find you online?
Liz Entin: Oh, great. Go to my website where you can get the book, find the podcast and it’s www.wtfjusthappened.net. You can also find all my social media links and find links to some of these resources such as Forever Family Foundation. Windbridge, I have a link to resources.