Curious about Opinions on Penny Sartori findings

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Russian-Tank's picture
Curious about Opinions on Penny Sartori findings

Hey all!

Haven't been on in a while and I'd like to wish all Happy Holidays. I am also curious to know your impressions on Dr. Sartori's findings. She claims to have talked to patients who had NDEs which not only included decent veridical perception stories while they were supposedly unconscious or brain dead, but (ex: a patient being able to correctly identify a new doctor never seen before or having saliva cleaned by a specifically pink swabs brush) but some have even apparently overcome diseases and illnesses after these NDEs. One woman even had one featuring the creation of the universe. Having apparently never studied the topic she took Quantum physics classes and was spot on on everything she had seen in the NDE.

Another is a man having an NDE and talking to his relatives including his sister who he knew to be living. Apparently it was found out she died a week before his NDE.

Here is a link to this article, would love some opinions

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
NDE's are an undisputed fact.

NDE's are an undisputed fact.
What causes them? No clear evidence as yet, as far as I am aware. Some very educated hypotheses, but nothing indisputable as yet.
Are they evidence of an afterlife? No
Are they evidence of a god or gods? No

That is's another 'I don't know ' .......yet, thing. I will wait until the scientists publish a complete answer.

Cognostic's picture
1. You would have to cite

1. You would have to cite the papers where she allegedly made these claims.

2. Spontaneous remission is a real thing and it occurs with or without OBE. Attributing it directly to an OBE needs to be carefully documented, controlled for, and validated through studies.

3. There are no valid scientifically designed studies where anyone experiencing an NDE has been able to do the things you mention were done. Just asserting it, does not make it true. But it does sell books.

YES I AM GOING TO WADE THROUGH THE ARTICLE BUT FIRST -- WHO IS THIS "Penny Sartori" The name itself is suspicious. Having studied Buddhism I suspect the name is a pseudonym.

PENNY SATORI: name appears legit and she has a PhD. Some recognize here as an expert on NDE; however, she is talking about spirits. Seems like a waste of a PhD. ( PhD by the University of Wales)

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ..... University of Wales Trinity Saint David - That explains the Spirit Shit.

This makes no sense at all... "She got her PhD for her research into NDEs." That is not the way PhDs work. What does she have a PhD in? From Wikipedia " Her work also gained her a PhD in 2005." Sounds like she does not have an actual PhD. It sounds "Honerary"

Despite its name, the University of Wales is not Wales' only university. Neither is it the kind of conventional campus-based university that A-Level students include on their application forms.

It was a federation of universities across Wales, founded in the late 19th Century.

As such, it acted as an umbrella body for higher education in Wales until the institutions that once formed part of it and which built its reputation gradually parted company. But the brand name has remained and the university continued to act as a degree-awarding authority, validating courses at home and abroad. It is also responsible for other national institutions, such as the University of Wales Press. Its chancellor is the Prince of Wales, who is also one of its most famous former students, having spent a term at Aberystwyth in 1969. Others include former Labour leader Neil Kinnock who met wife Glenys while studying in Cardiff.

So we see some creative marketing going on here with the whole University PhD stuff. Spirits and a less than reputable mail order university. I still have no idea at all what her major was at university.

21 October 2011
The troubled University of Wales (UoW) has been effectively abolished and its council chairman has resigned.

The UoW has been criticised over BBC Wales revelations of a visa scam at a partner college in London.

Hugh Thomas, who has been under pressure to quit, said he was stepping down in the "best interests of the transformed university".

The UoW will be rebranded in a merger and future students will receive Trinity St David college degrees.
The merger involves Trinity St David and Swansea Metropolitan colleges. BBC Wales education correspondent Ciaran Jenkins said it will effectively signal the end of the University of Wales as an institution after 120 years. The new merged college will operate under the royal charter of Trinity Saint David, which dates back nearly 190 years.

Penny Satori is selling books, and nothing more. Please send links to the papers she has published. It sounds like bullshit from the ground up.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Oh well done mate. I could

Oh well done mate. I could not even be bothered to look this up. Dear old RT is back on his afterlife bandwagon again, just in time for a new decade. I just can't be bothered to debunk it anymore, especially when I can sit back, throw bananas in your general direction and pick up the results in the morning.

I do love a trained chimp...but I love a bonobo better *wink*

boomer47's picture


"2. Spontaneous remission is a real thing and it occurs with or without OBE."


It is also far more common than people might suspect. The rate is 1:30,000. I discovered that when doing a bit of research about Lourdes. Since 1858, the Catholic church has recognised 65 cures at Lourdes as miraculous. Not one involved the regrowth of a missing body part, such as legs arms or eyes.

" WHO IS THIS "Penny Sartori" The name itself is suspicious. Having studied Buddhism I suspect the name is a pseudonym."


A person may have as many degrees asa thermometer yet still be an idiot. This is especially noticeable when someone ventures way outside of their discipline yet tries to remain/present as expert. In terms of current public atheists, Richard Dawkins comes to mind.

In psychology there is Carl Jung. He invented to terms 'racial archetype' and 'synchronicity'.The second being used to account for the phenomenom of 'meaningful coincidences' .Herr Doktor Jung also believed in poltergeists. He writes of his personal experiences in his autobiography "Memories,Dreams and Reflections "

Yet with Freud, Jung is considered a pioneer in psychiatry and psychology .

I think there is a human tendency to defer to experts. In logic it's a logical fallacy, argument from authority .Any claim should be able to stand its own merits. So far, out of body and near death experience do not . Every claim of proof I have seen in the last 30 odd years has been anecdotal.

Especially interesting in the case of out of body experiences, aka astral projection . A belief in that practice is millennia old, being part of shamanistic beliefs. Yet there is no proof as far I'm aware.

I have come across people who have claimed to be able to astrally project at will . A simple test gave the lie to that claim Yet I believe those people were quite genuine.One claimed to be able to read human auras ---the Theosophical Society has been publishing a staggering array of woo for over a century.

Grinseed's picture
Is this why I can never sell

Is this why I can never sell you a bridge Cog, even when you are as drunk as a typewriter totin' chimpanzee?
Cynical ape.
Have an agree.

Cognostic's picture

I don't know.... I seem to recall buying a bridge or two once or twice in my life. The real mistake was the underwater banana plantation. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Russian-Tank -...but some

Russian-Tank -...but some have even apparently overcome diseases and illnesses after these NDEs.

I managed to overcome an illness just this week, without a NDE.


Russian-Tank - Having apparently never studied the topic she took Quantum physics classes and was spot on on everything she had seen in the NDE.


toto974's picture
I've battle an annoying flu

I've battle an annoying flu for weeks now. Didnt' go to a doctor, i've just used some medicine for my throat. Yes without NDEs!!!

Nyarlathotep's picture
Cognostic - I still have no

Cognostic - I still have no idea at all what her major was at university.

My guess? Theology.

boomer47's picture
"Cognostic - I still have no

"Cognostic - I still have no idea at all what her major was at university."

Was it even an accredited university?

Sheldon's picture
I am dubious about her PhD

I am dubious about her PhD though, all I could find was Wikipedia saying she wrote a book about NDEs and was awarded a PhD, it never actually said which or even if a university awarded this

Blockquote>"...worked as an intensive care nurse for seventeen years

....cared for many patients who were close to death...

began researching near-death experiences, culminating in the publication of her monograph The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five Year Clinical Study...

...Her work also gained her a PhD in 2005. She now works as a lecturer and consultant....

...Many of the phenomena reported appear religious in nature...."

I also found this article from BBC...

"An intensive care nurse from Swansea has published an academic book about near death experiences following 10 years of research. Penny Sartori, who works at Singleton and Morriston Hospitals in Swansea, has 15 accounts, mainly from heart attack patients, of near-death experiences.The book, costing £85 (fuck me, my comment), is intended for academic study and college libraries."

So this ridiculously pricey tome seems to have been entitled a clinical study by the author herself, and has a test group of just 15. Unsurprisingly it seems little more than a collection of anecdotal claims from citing those 15 patients, and a slew of unevidenced assumptions and conclusions by the author.

""Current science says it is a by-product of the brain. But it may be that consciousness is around us and the brain might be a mediator, an antenna, instead of controlling consciousness."

It maybe controlled by an evil wizard, but this is clearly nothing more than pure speculation based on claiming x occurred and there is no clinical explanation for x. The addition of supernatural causation is entirely an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

Here is another BBC article from a US research team claiming that "Near death has biological basis"

"The study, in Neurology, compared 55 people who had had near death experiences and 55 who had not.

Those with near death experiences were more likely to have less clearly separated boundaries between sleeping and waking, the scientists found.

Study author Professor Kevin Nelson of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, who led the study, said the findings suggests that REM state intrusion contributed to near death experiences.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "I see it as an activation of certain brain regions that are also active during the dream state.

"However, I hesitate to call it dreaming or dreaming while awake. This is the first testable hypothesis of a biological basis for these experiences."

"People who have near death experiences may have an arousal system that predisposes them to REM intrusion," he added."

I watched the interview of this woman, and she is no scientist, her bias was risible for a start.

Edit: as an aside I live within 20 minutes of Swansea, I have family there, and one of my friends is a consultant at Morrison hospital as well, as well a professor based at Swansea university. I suspect he'd roll his eyes at this guff.

Cognostic's picture

"Further unexplained aspects of the NDE, such as meeting deceased relatives who were not known to be dead at the time of the experience and gaining information in ways other than through the senses, could not be explained by physiological or psychological factors.
Having examined all aspects of the NDE, the phenomenon remains unexplained when considered from the current scientific perspective of consciousness being a by-product of neurological processes. This small study has suggested that NDEs occurred during unconsciousness in two of the patients and has contributed to the growing body of research in this area. The fact that clear, lucid experiences were reported during a time when the brain was devoid of activity (Aminoff et al., 1988, Clute and Levy 1990, de Vries et al., 1998), does not sit easily with current scientific belief.


It's a "Spiritually Transformative Experience." Just nearly dying - whether or not you have an NDE - is a "TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE."


Woo Woo Bullshit!

Cognostic's picture

I have been able to have and have been engaging in OBE since I was 21 years old and heavy into Zen meditation. There are two scientifically observable phenomena that occur during the OBE and I believe it is no different than the NDE.

1. Sleep Paralysis: This occurs during waking up or falling asleep, a person is aware but unable to move or speak. During an episode, one may hallucinate (hear, feel, or see things that are not there), which often results in fear. It happens during meditation when the body shuts down and the mind remains active. This is what happens during sleep. If it did not happen you would dream about running and then wake up across town.

2. Phantom Limb Syndrome: a condition in which patients experience sensations, whether painful or otherwise, in a limb that does not exist. It has been reported to occur in 80-100% of amputees, and typically has a chronic course, often resistant to treatment. Amputees will reach out for things with limbs they do not have or try to stand because their brains tell them the limbs are there.

Okay, so what happens during an OBE. The brain shuts down the connection to the body as it does in sleep. As it does this there is a rushing sound, like standing next to a fast moving train or riding a motorcycle at 100 MPH on the freeway. There is a vibration like wind and then the astral body is formed. (There is no astral body. The mind creates a body because it is not receiving sensory input from the body. It does this in exactly the same way it creates a phantom limb. ) Everything occurs in the brain and it is 100% natural. Anyone can learn to do this.

The same effects have been known to occur in isolation chambers. I believe I can teach anyone to experience an OBE in just a couple of months through meditation and limiting sensory input to the brain.

My assertion is that this is exactly what happens during an NDE. The body goes into shock, unconsciousness, or otherwise shuts down. The brain is not receiving sensory input from the body and so it creates the sensory input. It creates the idea of an astral projection. The light at the end of the tunnel effect has been produced in a lab, ""at near death, many known electrical signatures of consciousness exceeded levels found in the waking state, suggesting the brain is capable of well-organised electrical activity during the early stage of clinical death." There is a whole lot going on in the brain during an NDE.

That's my story and I am sticking to it. No soul. No after life. Just natural organic brain/body interactions. A bit of research into dream cultures might serve to help one understand this phenomena better. It is only in our modern world that the techniques for producing these effects have become mystified and representative of a passing after death. At one point in history, it was simply talking to the Gods and entire cultures (Dream Cultures) were formed around these abilities.

OBE and NDE are nothing but brain states. Anyone can experience an OBE with practice and I assert it is not much different from an NDE.

Sheldon's picture
Christ, not this nonsense

Christ, not this nonsense again. People sometimes go into cardiac arrest and are revived, their brains become oxygen deprived, and unsurprisingly sometimes imagine all manner of things.

You seem almost as steadfastly dishonest in rehashing argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacies than Jo, and he is the mother and father of liars on this topic.

RT "Dr. Sartori's findings. She claims"

And why should anyone care what she claims? Are her claims peer reviewed? There's nothing on any news channel suggesting science has evidenced anything supernatural, quelle surprise.

RT "some have even apparently overcome diseases and illnesses after these NDEs. "

Could they not do this before, and after? I can do this, as can everyone else RT, so the assertion that surviving a cariacc arrest has somehow enabled them through supernatural means to overcome disease, is manifest nonsense...dear oh dear RT it's the same old BS you post here every time.

You do know how science goes about validating claims don't you? Do you know what peer review means for example? Can you not imagine the kind of global news that would ensue if this crack pots claims were remotely validated by science, through peer review and a global scientific consensus? Now ask yourself has that happened?

LogicFTW's picture
NDE's an OBE's?

NDE's an OBE's?

Really? People really believe this shit?

It is really simple, first NDE's:

Near death experience, I have had those, so have most people. What is special about that? I see absolutely nothing special.


REALLY??? if OBE were a thing, we would know about it. It would be simple to conduct test on. And even if it only happened to 1 in 10,000 people in an emergency operating room, it would happen all the time. But it does not. Instead we get highly vague highly circumstantial reports of it.

People that can resist anesthesia, and wake up during major surgery.. does happen, rarely, but it does. And we get all kinds of documented medical cases with compelling evidence of this, (like people waking up screaming, or if paralyzed people being able to recount in great detail what they experienced, a precise timeline of the events of the surgery etc.

OBE's nothing but extremely rare vague cases, there is nothing here. Besides, it breaks all the known laws of biology, physics, chemistry, etc.

How do you even "see" if you cannot use your eyes? How do you seperate it from a dream? You can not. I can very confidently say OBE's are pure bull shit.

Again if it were a real thing, it would be known, documented, repeatable testable etc. IF you can believe in OBE's you may as well believe in Paul Bunyan and his 40 foot (12 meters) tall blue ox, based on the standards of evidence applied.

Cognostic's picture
RE: Besides, it breaks all

RE: Besides, it breaks all the known laws of biology, physics, chemistry, etc.

Respectfully Disagree. It is only biology, physics and chemistry. It's interpretation is all Woo woo that violates known laws of biology, physics and chemistry,

It's completely natural, commonly occurs, and there is nothing spiritual or magical about it. Astral bodies do not leave regular bodies and roam about. The brain, on the other hand, does, and is capable of, making it seem so. The error occurs in the interpretation and not in the actual experience. The error is all the online New Age gurus spouting utter and complete bullshit.

boomer47's picture
@ Logic

@ Logic

"How do you even "see" if you cannot use your eyes"

We do this constantly by the use of imagining.

Reports I read suggests the mind has cobbled all together.

"Again if it were a real thing, it would be known, documented, repeatable testable etc."

Nonsense; argument from silence ,a basic logical fallacy IE that it has not ben proved to be true does not mean it is false . (see Russell's teapot)

My view is there are probably scientific explanations for both NDE and OBE . For NDE SEEMS to be caused by the dying brain. A reasonable hypothesis to me, but not one which has been proved . Similarly, OBE 's SEEM to be produced by the mind under certain circumstances .

Both NDE and OBE are first and foremost directly experienced by the individual. I see nothing strange or irrational in a person accepting their experience on face value. . As long as their beliefs don't harm others and they don't proselytise, I don't care if they believe I don't know, that they have their very own guardian angel who is with them at all times .

LogicFTW's picture
I think we are sort of

I think we are sort of arguing the same thing, just different ways.

I am saying, if we were to take someone's claim of an out of body experience being an actual thing instead of a figment of their overactive imagination, we then start talking about breaking all known laws of physics, chemistry, biology etc.

Why do people understand a bullet to the brain = serious mental impairment and likely death. But we can suddenly have our thoughts, conscious, and ability to leave suddenly "leave" our body and we suddenly some how miraculously think we can do this stuff with out a brain or eyes. It be like expecting someone that has been blind all their lives, to suddenly, if they concentrate hard enough, be able to read war and peace book (not made special to blind people) in 5 minutes and understand it and recall it perfectly.

Do I believe people have obe's absolutely. But it is about as signficant that I thought of the tooth fairy while I wrote this. The thought is unproven and achieves nothing. It should be regarded as ridiculous, a waste of time to even consider it being true. As soon as someone realise the ideas are completely unevidenced.

I use the "there is no evidence of it" argument all the time. To me, absence of evidence (especially when well investigated) IS powerful evidence for absence. It does not by it self prove anything, but it must be considered. And absence of evidence powerfully adds to a conclusion that its bullshit.

Cognostic's picture
@Logic: Yea... we are on

@Logic: Yea... we are on target.... IMO

jay-h's picture
Unless you have an accurate

Unless you have an accurate transcript, there is also the problem that the researcher can put much 'deeper' meanings into a patient's words. Even unconsciously just like when people map meanings to the words of fortune tellers. Especially when he patient is making a number of confused statements.

algebe's picture
Dr. Penny Sartori is a

Dr. Penny Sartori is a published author.

I'm convinced. She truly has discovered an absolutely awesome way to get rich quick. Find something that people are deeply afraid of, such as death, and then write a book that calms their anxieties by feeding their fantasies. That's how the Bible, Quran, and Book of Moron became best-sellers.

From the blurb:
“In medicine, we’re trained to believe that the brain gives rise to consciousness. My research into NDEs has made me question this prevailing paradigm, which admittedly is very widespread. The most important lesson for me has been a deeper appreciation for death and a whole lot less fear and anxiety about it.”

Sheldon's picture
The only information I can

The only information I can find about her PhD is that she wrote a book on NDE and was "awarded" it. Sounds very dodgy to me, and I couldn't listen to her on YouTube for more than a couple of minutes, she was just making one unevidenced assertion after another. She claimed she had looked into the eyes of a dying man when he screamed in pain because she altered the position of his bed to wash him, and she changed places with him and experienced what he was experiencing. Any real scientists would be embarrassed at such nonsense. As usual these are clearly woo woo religious claims, made without the pretence of objective evidence, and based on rhetoric and anecdotal claims, and the claims themselves of course have no explanatory powers whatsoever. She's making money off it with her books and lectures, which says it all really.

Something has allegedly happened, and they can't explain it, therefore the cause is supernatural. It's the very definition of an argument from ignorance fallacy.

Fleeing in Terror's picture
The lack of oxygen causes a

The lack of oxygen causes a high and hallucinations.

Sheldon's picture
Well it's not necessary to

Well it's not necessary to explain these phenomena anyway, not having an explanation for these experiences doesn't validate anything. Though it's obvious that a brain going into oxygen debt is unlikely to function normally.

Russian-Tank's picture
@Sheldon I personally think

@Sheldon I personally think the oxygen theory doesn't hold up because people have NDEs in all sorts of situations, even in some instances where they have normal levels of oxygen. I am personally agnostic on the concept of NDEs at the moment. I used to believe them but I agree with your logic, lack of explanation doesn't mean that it is a soul that is stored in the body and leaves to tell a story while the patient is "dead". I will say this, whatever the cause, some of the documented cases sound quite compelling. If the answer is fully rooted in the brain, I would assume it's multiple factors that may cause NDEs, maybe even working together. It's probably not just loss of oxygen or hypoxia.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Why do you think that?

Why do you think that?

Cognostic's picture
@Russian-Tank and Russian

@Russian-Tank and Russian Tank: Both of you are correct. The lack of oxygen does play a part in the NDE. It is also not necessary or not the only factor. As I stated above; the main factor is "sleep paralysis." The body goes into sleep paralysis and sensory input from the body to the brain is blocked. The brain then generates a phantom body in the same way it generates a phantom limb. All an OBE is, is a brain state. It occurs when the body shuts down. Any body that has gone into shock, is shutting down. Death is certainly a reason for a body to go into shock, for the body to shut down, and for the brain to begin running out of oxygen.

From the sources I have read, the "white light" phenomena is directly linked to lack of oxygen. "Dr. Susan Blackmore, author of "Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences" (Prometheus Books, 1993), notes that many NDEs (such as euphoria and the feeling of moving toward a white light) are in fact typical symptoms of oxygen deprivation."

It's an interesting field of study and something that I have not looked at in many years. I am not up on some of the current research; however, my reasoning behind not keeping up is that there is so much bullshit Woo Woo out there. I got sick of reading what the latest mystic had to say about NDE and OBE. I am 100% convinced - well, being a skeptic, as convinced as convinced can be, the OBE and NDE are very close to the same thing and both are merely Brain States.

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