#56 Walter Semkiw: Reincarnation Research: The New Technology Of Spirit
Johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer To Venus. I’m Johnny Burke. Today’s guest is Dr. Walter Semkiw, president of the Institute for the Integration of Science Intuition, and Spirit website, editor of reincarnationresearch.com and author of Born Again. Today, we’re going to be talking about some of the more compelling cases for reincarnation. Walter, welcome to the program. You’ve compiled quite a few cases, speaking of which for reincarnation with the research that you’ve done. How did you find yourself on this path?
Walter Semkiw: Well, it was on a lark, really. When I was doing my medical training in Chicago- which is where I’m from, friend of mine said, I should see this medium who’s working out of a local metaphysical bookstore. And at the time, I didn’t believe in psychics or mediums, but it was winter in Chicago, there was nothing else to do. And I thought, what the heck, it might be entertaining. The medium was a trance medium, which means that the person goes into a meditative state and allows spirit beings to utilize their body to communicate with human beings.
Typically, when the spirit being comes in, the voice, the mannerisms all change, so it actually looks like there’s a totally different person there, based on those characteristics. So anyway, this was a trance medium, and two spirit guides came through. The first one said he was the universal guardian, given to those who have come into life to make a statement. I was told that I was here to bring a new way of thinking, which at the time sounded ridiculous – how am I going to do that? the session went on, and they told me about two past lives. One of them was in the American revolution. And then I went down to ask the most important questions. Like,” when am I going to find it a girlfriend?”
Johnny Burke: Good for you. You got your priorities straight.
Walter Semkiw: Yeah. They said, well, do you have any questions? So I said,” well, can I know who I was on the American revolution?” the guide said, go to John Adams, and you will see yourself in the physical characteristics and temperament. My initial thought was they meant that I knew John Adams. And if I study John Adams, I would find myself somewhere in his circle. The guide replied, John Adams was a statesman or representative. And I said, “you mean, I was John Adams?” ” They said this was true.” at the time I thought that was crazy. And, I did nothing about it for 12 years . One interesting tidbit is they said that they saw me as being a physician, not just in the physical sense, but in a corporate sense. Well, I did not tell anybody at the bookstore anything about me. I was in a residency program, where I could have gotten into clinical medicine or corporate medicine. And I went the corporate route. So they somehow knew that. So, I did nothing about those John Adams thing for 12 years.
And then I became the corporate medical director for an oil company, Unocal 76. Part of my territory was Hawaii. So I was in Honolulu on business in the morning I met with managers and truck drivers. Part of my responsibility is to make sure the truck drivers are healthy enough to hold gasoline. Anyway, it was lunchtime, The head manager said, “well, let’s meet in the parking lot in 10 minutes and we’ll go have lunch.” I was the first one out there. I was standing up, it was broad daylight. I was wide awake and. All of a sudden, this booming voice inside my head said,” study the life of Adams.” it was like somebody had a megaphone inside my skull. It was that dramatic. I was taken aback; I couldn’t deny it happened. Nothing like that happened to me before, and it has not happened since, but that made me go to the bookstore in Honolulu and get books on the American Revolution and John Adams. And over time, it appeared to me that individuals in Adams’ circle seemed to be reincarnated around me. My first book Return of The Revolutionaries, goes into that story in great detail. The more important thing is that it motivated me to become a scholar on reincarnation research. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and, I built reincarnation research.com, to make evidence of reincarnation accessible to people.
The pioneering research in the field was Ian Stevenson. He was a psychiatrist at the university of Virginia, chairman of the department, and he had heard about these young children who had spontaneous past life memories that could be validated. So, he decided to pursue this. And for 40 years he traveled around the world studying young children with spontaneous past life memories. The typical child, as soon as they learned to speak, which is usually about three years old, the child starts talking about a previous lifetime. They give details, their parents name, their siblings names they’ll remember where they lived. The child gives enough information to the biologic family that they can locate the past life family, because they know the location, the name and all that. When the child is reunited with the past life family, the child can identify family members by name- people they had never met before in their life and, new family secrets and, the child demonstrates enough that the past life family will accept the child as the reincarnation of their deceased loved one. . Stevenson studied 2,500 of these cases. And, in about 1500, the past life was validated. In other words, in about 1500 of the cases, they were able to locate the past life family and, the past life family accepts the child was their deceased loved one, but in about a thousand cases, they weren’t able to find the past life family. Still, that’s 1500 cases, which is a lot. The issue though, was that Stevenson wrote his books for other academics. He really wanted the academic society to accept his research. So he was very meticulous, very detail-oriented, which was great for presenting evidence, but his books are very hard to read. One book on birthmarks was 2000 pages long, you know , not many people are going to crack that thing open.
So what I’ve done is I’ve taken what I think are the most important Stephenson cases I’ve rewritten them in story form easy to read. I put these cases up on the website. There are so many cases that if I was going to try to talk about them all, we’d be here for three days. So that was really the purpose of the website, cause, it’s inefficient for me to try to do those through presentations. Through the 1500 cases, we can formulate what I call principles of reincarnation, which explains how reincarnation works. So we not only just have evidence of reincarnation, there’s enough material that we can Figure out exactly what the mechanism is, how it works, that sort of thing.
So on the left side of the website, reincarnation research.com, there’s a list of all these principles of reincarnation. So the one on top is physical resemblances. there will be a whole list of, cases that show that people look the same from lifetime to lifetime. Ian Stevenson noted that people who died of a traumatic wound, a bullet wound, or stab wound in the next lifetime, they will have a birthmark at that exact same spot. Stevenson went to great lengths to show this he got autopsy reports, and in fact, he has this 2000 page book on birthmarks.
Johnny Burke: That’s a lot of pages from one book. So, a question about when you met with the medium, it sounds like you really did get your money’s worth and got an awful lot of information. You were actually told that in a life, you were John Adams or were you one of his compatriots or one of his associates?
Walter Semkiw: No that I was John Adams .
Johnny Burke: That’s pretty incredible. It seems like Dr. Stevenson was a huge influence on your work. You had basically taken his work and made it a little bit easier to read for those people that are not researchers and people that don’t have time to read book that’s 2000 pages long. You actually met him in 2001, what was that like?
Walter Semkiw: Oh, very nice, took an overnight flight, to, Charlottesville from California. So Stevenson was at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. I explain my work. I did share with him that it appeared that I’m the reincarnation of John Adams and, he shared that, he has a whole file of people who claim to be reincarnated, famous people.
Johnny Burke: He has a file of all those claims.
Walter Semkiw: Yeah. Yeah, pretty thick file.
Johnny Burke: Quite a few.
Walter Semkiw: guess I made it into that file afterwards, but he was actually very gracious . He took me out to lunch at this country club they have. At the end of the visit, even though I told them this thing that probably sounds like outlandish, about Adams. He actually offered to sponsor me, to join the Society for Scientific Exploration, which has an organization that he co-founded. It’s an organization of people who are scientists, medical doctors, so forth who are interested in metaphysical topics such as reincarnation. I don’t know how seriously he took me; he took me seriously enough to sponsor me to join. In that organization, you have to have a doctorate and have to be published in your field- you don’t have those criteria, somebody can sponsor you, to get you in. By that time of course, I had a doctorate, but I had not yet been published. That’s why I needed a sponsor and Stephenson himself was my sponsor, which I take as a great honor.
Johnny Burke: That’s a very incredible story. I wasn’t even aware that you met him until recently. As we all know, he is definitely the pioneer and reincarnation research. Now some common questions that seem to come up; one is as when we dream of people in places that seemed very familiar, even though johnny or Walter has never been there in this lifetime. Would you consider that evidence of a past life or could it be a shared experience through perhaps the Akashic records?
Walter Semkiw: Well, it could be a reminder of a past lifetime most people can’t get enough information subjectively from either past life regressions or Intuitions. Most people don’t get enough information to be able to identify somebody specifically in history. Another part of my work involves collaboration with Kevin Ryerson, who’s probably the most famous trance medium on the planet. He’s the one who was featured in Shirley McClain’s books and, he was in the movie Out On A Limb, which was Shirley’s movie. Kevin is also a trance medium, just like the person I saw back in 84.
I found that people, kind of like what you just said, will get intuitions or feelings that they might have been somebody in a past lifetime and they would approach me with that hypothesis. I didn’t really have a good way to assess whether this is true or it’s just kind of fleeting fantasies. So I was looking for a psychic who can help me sort out which cases. valid and which are not. And I went through about a dozen psychics and none of them seem to be able to do that, until finally I was referred to Kevin , and Kevin, channel’s a spirit being by the name of Auhtun Re. Ahtun Re claims he was last incarnated on Earth 3,500 years ago in Egypt. And since then he served as a spirit guide, sort of monitoring human progress and helping where he can. After working with Kevin and Ahtun Re for a period of months, I came to the conclusion that Ahtun Re can make accurate past life identifications. You made a reference to the Akashic Records , so that’s what he’s doing. Once I found out that Ahtun Re could make accurate past life matches, I got all excited and went to town, asking about every celebrity alive today: who are they before? Past life historical figures- have they reincarnated now? And so I’ve been doing that work for 20 years and we’ve accumulated a huge database of past life matches. If you go to the website all the way at the bottom, you’ll see celebrity reincarnation cases.
Johnny Burke: Another thing that comes up a lot in these discussions about reincarnation, is eventually we stumble into that life between lives space, that was made popular by Dr. Michael Newton. How often does that come up in your research and in the cases that you’ve looked at?
Walter Semkiw: Well, There’s a category; spirit being involvement in reincarnation cases. Under that category, there are all these cases that show that it appears that the spirit world directly interacts with people to help them find their past lives. in 20% of the Stevenson cases, the children report remembering what happened between lifetimes. But those memories are- they’re usually pretty vague, they’ll say that they saw a great spiritual being and they communicated with the child and the spirit being, will say, ” now it’s time to incarnate.” And that’s their last memory before they’re born.
Johnny Burke: So it’s a bit vague.
Walter Semkiw: There is but it’s scant. I’ve been involved in past life regressions over time and the subjective approaches to determining past lives usually it’s not fruitful. We mainly rely on the spontaneous past life memories of children, and I’m familiar with Dr. Michael Newton‘s book, and it’s pretty fantastical stuff; whether it’s true or not I kind of doubt it.
Johnny Burke: One of the things that comes up when people that talk about the life between lives space is soul agreements. soul families; groups that reincarnate over and over. And I’ve heard that several times where some people even remember meeting their soul family and making an agreement to incarnate again. The details as you mentioned, are a bit vague, but do you have experience with that?
Walter Semkiw: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. What the cases show is that we all have a destiny with people that we’ve made the soul agreements with before. Some very strong evidence comes from Stevenson’s work where he has a twin study of 31 sets of twins, and all of the twins remember their past lives. So these are validated cases. And he found that in a hundred percent of the cases, the twins had various significant past life relationships. They were both siblings in the past lifetime- that was the most frequent. They could have been friends in a past lifetime. They could have even been a married couple before. And these people are able to reincarnate as twins.
Quite a trick of the soul, when you think about it. That means the soul is able to influence the process of conception. So that a particular soul is born to a mother, which is part of the predetermined plan. And it really makes you think of life differently. It’s not as random as you think, there is kind of a plan or destiny.
Johnny Burke: Yes, destiny, indeed. As you said, there’s a reason for everything. I know when we’re young and we go to church and we hear platitudes like “God puts this person in your path for a reason””, everything happens for a reason”,
“there are no coincidences”. Later on, it seems like as we get on some kind of a spiritual path those platitudes actually have some truth. You mentioned, past life regression. That’s becoming almost as common as going to the dentist. I could Google a past life regression and find 10 or 15 therapists in my area. And some of them are offering life between life sessions.
Walter Semkiw: Right.
Johnny Burke: What are your thoughts on that?
Walter Semkiw: in between life regression?
in general, I’m not a big fan of those subjective methods, like regression. That’s not to take away anything from anybody who does it or has had a good experience. But the researchers at the University of Virginia don’t accept regression in general as a valid method for research. It can help a lot therapeutically, subjectively, but, it’s too easy to make things up. I myself, am a bad candidate for regression because it’s hard for me to really see anything. But when you’re with the therapist, you feel ” my God, I have to come up with something” so I dreamed something up. Real or not, I have no idea.
My motivation for doing this and for building the website, which took like 15 years, is that these reincarnation cases, from children and Stevenson study, shows that religion nationality and ethnic affiliation can change from lifetime to lifetime. And most wars and conflicts are based on differences, in religion, nationality. Exactly we’re seeing now in Afghanistan.
Johnny Burke: Exactly. I was thinking that today.
Walter Semkiw: When people realize that you could be Jewish in one life, and Christian in another, Muslim in another. These are just superficial parts of your identity . Then people will stop focusing on that and people will stop fighting. It’s going to take a couple of decades to get this information out, and to educate people. But, my prediction is that evidence of reincarnation eventually is going to totally transform the world in terms of how we see ourselves and others.
A great case in this regard, is the reincarnation of Anne Frank. Her name is Barbara Carlin, the reincarnate. She’s a typical Ian Stevenson case, except there was no Ian Stevenson to study her. Frank was born in Germany, when the Nazis took over, the Frank family, fled to the Netherlands to Amsterdam to try to get away from the Nazis. They hid in an attic for two years until they were discovered and sent to concentration camps. And the entire family died except for the father, Otto. Anne Frank died in 1945. Barbara Carlin was born nine years later in 1954 to a Christian family in Sweden. So this dramatically shows if the Nazis knew you could be Jewish in one lifetime in Christian in another, the Holocaust could never have happened.
This was really the most important part of this research. An interesting perspective is using this evidence, I’m trying to do something very similar to what John Adams did. Adams was part of the American Revolution, which helped bring a democracy, which essentially took power away from political monarchies – kings and queens , and gave the power and responsibility to the people. What’s happening today is you can think of the traditional religions, Christianity, Judaism, and all that as old religions as spiritual monarchies. Evidence of reincarnation Is going to take power away from those traditional religions and transfer responsibility to people. People will realize they’re responsible for their own lives and when you do bad things, bad things are going to happen to you sooner or later.
Johnny Burke: That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from your website. There’s actually two- evidence of reincarnation will end these endless cycles of violence, but even more important with that evidence, there is no need for faith. Which basically is going to take the power away from, the religious institution or figureheads. Just look at what’s happening in Afghanistan. That’s a prime example, but my fear is, and I think that’s shared by many people- it’s just seeming like it’s endless. It’s never going to stop unless there’s some kind of a massive shift in ideology, which means bombing people back and forth., And we’re going to come get you , we’re going to seek you out- that’s never going to stop.
Walter Semkiw: Right- until people see themselves as different. Basically religion divides us . The reason that religion is so powerful in that way is because, first of all, they exist because of fear of death; Due to fear of death and confusion about what life is about. People grasp to religions to comfort them. To say “everything’s going to be okay and you’re going to go to heaven”, and so forth. Or if you’re Islamic, you need to pray five times a day, and if you do that, you’ll get into heaven and. If you listen to the Koran and it says, it’s Okay. to kill infidels. That’s going to keep happening.
Evidence of reincarnation is going to make this whole religious thing more understandable. Rather than looking to some priest or Pope or Moolah to tell you how to live your life and what to do to get into heaven, people are going to realize, you’re stuck with heaven. You don’t have any other choice, so, the way it works is you’re going to come back until you’ve learned your lessons and then you don’t have to reincarnate anymore. In my work with Kevin and Ahtun Re, the spirit guide, in general, we need about a hundred lifetimes to learn what we need to learn, then be able to evolve on another plane, much like my friend Ahtun Re the spirit guide, does.
Johnny Burke: Speaking of other planes, tell us about reincarnating from a different world or a different star system.
Walter Semkiw: Well it’s possible. I don’t have evidence of this, but, in my discussions with Ahtun Re, he says that that does happen, that many of us are from another system, like the Pleiadeans, but right now, there’s no way to prove it, but, I think it does happen.
Johnny Burke: Experience with mediums, trance mediums, spirit guides; it seems to be that we can learn a lot more from that realm than we can from a religious text , which has been edited quite a bit- to say the least. So it might not be direct proof, but I think it does give us some kind of a compass to really find answers for the questions we have. What about the cases of split incarnation, or what is known as parallel lives?
Walter Semkiw: Right. So, there’s definite evidence for that. So split incarnation is when one particular soul is able to animate more than one body. So lifetimes can overlap in time. Stevenson had these cases too. I sort of discovered a few cases on my own . Probably the most dramatic one involves an individual in Germany who remembered committing suicide, was able to locate where his past life was. He was even able to locate his past life son, and through the son was able to validate all his memories. Stevenson actually thought this was one of the strongest cases he had published. had. The interesting thing is the reincarnate was born six weeks before the past life individual died. So there was an overlap of about six weeks of lifetimes.
Johnny Burke: They can animate more than one body at a time?
Walter Semkiw: When there is a split incarnation, the two splits- they’re going to look similar, if not the same and, similar talents. We’re basically the same person from lifetime to lifetime, but circumstances, differ. It’s amazing what we can actually derive from all these cases. For some things we can rely on evidence, but for other things, like how many lifetimes do we have to have? How is it that we have certain talents and other people have different talents? I addressed all these big picture questions in a book I wrote called Origin Of The Soul and The Purpose of Reincarnation. That book consists of my dialogues with Ahtun Re about these big picture questions. Once I realized that I have a very close relationship to a real spirit being -which not many people can say- then I would ask these bigger picture questions, and that’s contained in my book, origin of the soul.
Johnny Burke: The big picture questions are what I think a lot of us are after. Another quote I really liked from your site:’ reincarnation research; the new technology of spirit.”
Walter Semkiw: Yeah, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
Johnny Burke: it’s extremely cool, tell us a little bit more about that. Or is that just simply a title that speaks for itself?
Walter Semkiw: it’s just the thought that evidence of reincarnation is going to create a new technology for us to understand, in light of the spirit world.
Johnny Burke: Could it also, as we had mentioned before, decrease the importance and emphasis on religion? As one of my guests told me” The Bible has a lot of good information, but it’s also been the subject of the longest phone game in recorded history.” So we both had a laugh when we thought, okay, that makes sense, but there are people that literally believe what they read in the Bible word for word. Which to me is, it’s a bit alarming.
Walter Semkiw: Yeah, that happens because if you do that, then life is going to be much simpler for you. You know what I mean?
Johnny Burke: oh yeah, I do.
Walter Semkiw: And, you know, kind of goes back to the quote you mentioned about with “compelling evidence of reincarnation, who needs faith?” That’s the difference. When you are familiar with the evidence of reincarnation and the depth of evidence that there is, then you don’t have to fear death anymore. And when you don’t have to fear death anymore, there’s no need for faith.
Johnny Burke: I don’t know how I can improve on that, so I think we should stop there. That’s incredible. Walter, thanks so much for joining us today; amazing stories. Your website, reincarnation research dot com sounds to me like it’s the go-to source for answers on this topic. Other than that, are there any other books that you’ve written, , which our listeners should be familiar?
Walter Semkiw: I mentioned my first book Return Of The Revolutionaries is that was published back in 2003. This is more about my personal story, but have a more recent book called Born Again, where I have what I consider the most important reincarnation cases, including such as the Anne Frank Case. And the other book is Origin Of The Soul, if you read those two, you’ll know a lot.