Jon Danzig's Reviews > Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives

Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss
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Sep 20, 2012

Read in September, 2012

This is one of the worst books I've ever read - parading as a scientific analysis when it is nothing of the sort.

Dr Weiss has conducted his research without scientific protocols or peer review, yet as a "scientist", Dr Weiss should have the skills and resources necessary to have conducted his "investigation" properly and scientifically. The fact that he chose not to has, I believe, discredited his book as a work of fairy tale-like fiction.

Rather than a conventional review, I will go through some of the claims made in the book, page by page, and show how it's full of nonsense.

Page 27-28 – In regressing under hypnosis an anonymous patient called Catherine to a “past life”, Dr Weiss claims that Catherine can “vividly” see that, “The year is 1863 BC”. Yet this date could not have existed at that time, so how could Catherine possibly have seen it? In later hypnosis sessions, Catherine was only able to reveal the date of her past life if she could “see or hear” it: so it makes a complete nonsense of history to be able to “see” a date that didn’t exist contemporaneously.

Page 28 – In another hypnosis session, Catherine claimed that her daughter from 1863 BC, called Cleastra, was her niece in the present time called Rachel. Why didn’t Dr Weiss question Catherine more closely about this astonishing claim? It could simply have been the result of Catherine’s vivid imagination. How precisely did she know? No details, scientific basis or substance are provided; it was just presented by Dr Weiss as a fact.

Page 29 – Catherine states now that she is in the year AD 1756 and her name is Louisa. Why no surname mentioned? With a surname in more modern time such as the 18th Century, the existence of such a person could be verified. Throughout the book, Catherine never states and is never asked for a surname. Neither is any specific address given or asked, which could be factually verified.

Page 30 – Dr Weiss asks Catherine if he appeared in her past life. Yes, she replies, Dr Weiss was her teacher in the year 1568 BC. Again, no questioning on how Catherine could presume that. It is accepted and presented as fact by Dr Weiss, without challenge. Again, a contemporaneously non-existent date is presented, when dates of more modern times could not be revealed as Catherine claimed she could not “see” them.

Page 36 – Dr Weiss claims that reincarnation was mentioned in the Bible, but it had been deleted early on. Where is the source? For a doctor who claims to have written many scientific journals, this is one book written in a most unscientific way. Dr Weiss does not provide a list of sources or references to support any of the claims he makes in this book.

Page 42 – Now Catherine claims that the man who killed her in 1473 was her current boyfriend, called Stuart. Again, no questioning by Dr Weiss on exactly how she came to this conclusion. Also, Dr Weiss did not give Catherine’s verbatim account, even though Dr Weiss claimed to have written down or recorded her words. This was a critical commentary by Catherine, and Dr Weiss should have quoted her directly.

Page 43 – Catherine claims that her mother in a previous, undated life is the same mother she has now. Again, no precise details are provided. No mention of when or where this happened. It’s all skipped over. No clear description of the mother then and her mother now. It’s all accepted without question. This amazing revelation is all over in one paragraph and not mentioned again. Where is the close questioning by the scientist that Dr Weiss is supposed to be?

Page 43 – Dr Weiss states, “According to most writers, groups of souls tend to reincarnate again and again...” Most writers? Maybe Dr Weiss could claim that most writers who write about reincarnation, but surely not most writers generally? It’s this type of imprecise writing that makes Dr Weiss’s book not one of scientific scrutiny and discovery, but a book of imprecise narration. Again, no source to back up his claim about “most writers...”

Page 43 - Dr Weiss states, “I felt the need to apply the scientific method, which I had rigorously used over the past fifteen years in my research, to evaluate this most unusual material emerging from Catherine’s lips.” Good idea. Yet, nowhere in the book does Dr Weiss apply any scientific methods to evaluate the claims made by his patient, Catherine. He only ever makes lip service to scientific methods.

Page 44 – Dr Weiss wrote that, following the hypnosis sessions, Catherine gained “psychic powers”. However, Catherine’s father (in her present life!) expressed doubt about Catherine’s new powers. Dr Weiss wrote, “To prove to him that it was true, she took him to the race track. There, before his eyes, she proceeded to pick the winner of every race.....she took all the money that she had won and gave it to the first poor street person she met on the way out of the track.” Where is the source and independent verification for this story? If true, it should have been easy to check and prove the truthfulness of this account. By not doing so, by not even explaining why he could not do so, Dr Weiss has demeaned the intelligence of every one of his readers.

Page 44 – Dr Weiss states, “This was tangible proof.... I could not deny her psychic abilities.” Dr Weiss calls this one, unverified account of winning at the races as “tangible proof” of psychic abilities. Whatever happened to Dr Weiss’s scientific training? This was not proof at all.

Page 46 – Under hypnosis, Catherine is “regressed” to an unknown date in history to a town she thinks is called “Brennington”. Dr Weiss states, “Here she (Catherine) said some words I could not identify. Whether they were Gaelic or not, I have no idea.” Dr Weiss had no idea? He had recorded the sessions. Surely it would have been easy for him to identify whether the words spoken by Catherine were Gaelic or not, and if he could not, to explain precisely why. The lack of precision, detail, or questioning in Dr Weiss’s writings undermine his title of Doctor.

Page 47 – Dr Weiss wrote of Catherine, “She had never heard of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Yet she was relating similar experiences to those described in these writings. This was a proof of sorts.” A proof of sorts? This was not proof of anything. How could Dr Weiss ascertain that Catherine had never heard of the Tibetan Book of the Dead? His scientific training should have taught him that it is impossible to prove a negative. To put forward this as proof, again makes a mockery of true scientific discovery.

Page 54 – Dr Weiss states that, under hypnosis, Catherine tells him things about his own father and his son, that could not possibly have been known by Catherine. This might be impressive if it was independently verified.

There is no way of telling whether the entire book is a complete work of fiction, and if it is, then of course it would be easy for Dr Weiss to make up anything to try and impress the gullible reader. After all, the existence of Catherine is not proven. She could be a person made up. We don’t know her full name. Why has she not come forward to confirm what Dr Weiss has written about her? This book has made a lot of money. Who knows what was the true motive of Dr Weiss to write it?

Page 57 – Dr Weiss refers to “thousands of cases recorded in the scientific literature” of children miraculously being able to speak foreign languages “to which they had never been exposed.” Again, no source for Dr Weiss’s claims. Not even one book is sourced to show that there has been any scientific study, let alone thousands, about children who speak languages that they have not been taught. I challenge Dr Weiss to provide the so called scientific studies to which he so casually refers.

Page 66 – another hypnosis session in which Catherine is regressed to a town in Wales called something like “Hamstead” when Catherine was a man called “Christian” – again, no surname ever stated. Dr Weiss says, “She could not see a year.” How was it that she could not see a year? It seems that Catherine was only able to tell the year if she could see it written down, but that was impossible for the times she could date from BC. This seems so nonsensical. Then Dr Weiss quotes Catherine as saying, “It’s a port, a seaport in Wales. They’re talking British.” British? There was, and is, no such language as British. Perhaps the people around her were talking Welsh or English, but not British. Why didn’t Dr Weiss question this?

Page 82 – Under hypnosis Catherine described a wedding in a past life. Dr Weiss asks her if there was anything in the newspaper about the wedding, because if there was, he could have looked up the date. “No,” replies Catherine, “I don’t believe they have newspapers there.” Dr Weiss writes, “Documentation was proving difficult to come by in this lifetime”.

This was a nonsensical statement for Dr Weiss to write, as if giving credence to the idea that there was documentary evidence to support any of the other past lives described by Catherine. In fact, Dr Weiss did not provide any documentary evidence at all in his book to support any of the pasts lives described by Catherine.

Page 88 – Dr Weiss writes that he was “driven to pursue the experience with Catherine in a careful, scientific manner” and to look at the information “objectively”. In the book, Dr Weiss makes several references for the need to explore everything in a scientific manner and with objectivity, but nowhere did he do this. This is an old trick. By mentioning the need for scientific scrutiny and repeating often that he is a scientist, to the vulnerable reader, this could seem the same as conducting peer reviewed, empirical, repeatable scientific experiments. But Dr Weiss did no such thing, he just wrote about its importance, without doing it. Dr Weiss did not follow any scientific principles in his study of Catherine.

Page 106 – Dr Weiss simply states that he knows Catherine’s information to be true “intuitively” and “my bones also knew”. This is the best he has to offer. It’s not the same as scientific evidence.

Page 116-117 – Under hypnosis, Catherine describes herself as a 35-year-old German pilot in the Second World War shot down in France. Again, no specific detail is garnered by the questioning of Dr Weiss that could have proved beyond doubt whether such a pilot actually existed; such as what was the pilot’s full name and rank and squadron? This hardly seems the work of a true scientist.

Page 117–118 – Dr Weiss writes, “During this entire process with Catherine, I had been reluctant to discuss her revelations with other professionals. .. I had not shared this remarkable information with others at all.” A true scientist would insist on sharing his data with other professionals to discuss and verify. By not allowing the data to be independently scrutinised, we only have Dr Weiss’s word for what happened between him and “Catherine” and we only have his interpretations of the results. This is simply not good enough. No drug testing, no murder trial, not even a newspaper story, should ever rely upon one unverified source as evidence.

Page 129 – Dr Weiss lists a number of people who had “psychic experiences” without naming them or providing any verification or proof. A chairman of a hospital department whose dead father protects him; a professor whose dreams provide the answers to his research experiments; a “well-known doctor” who knows who is phoning him before he picks up the phone (yeah, isn’t that ‘Caller Display’?!), a woman who’d never been to Rome before but, when she visited, knew every street as if she had previously lived there. This is all gossip; the fact that Dr Weiss is prepared to quote such examples without providing any substance means that he does not adhere to scientific principles at all. This is the case throughout the book, only lip service is made to science, as if that is good enough to make the book scientific, which of course it is not.

Page 159 – during the hypnosis sessions, Dr Weiss states that Catherine speaks the voice of “masters”, sort of gods who control the spirit world and are the well of all wisdom. Of course, Dr Weiss accepts this without question. One master, named by Dr Weiss as the “poet Master”, provided a summary of all wisdom as follows, “Everything must be balanced. Nature is balanced. The beasts live in harmony. Humans have not learned to do that. They continue to destroy themselves. There is no harmony, no plan to what they do. It’s so different in nature. Nature is balanced. Nature is energy and life..and restoration. And humans just destroy. They destroy nature. They destroy other humans. They will eventually destroy themselves.”

This is all just reactionary, doom laden nonsense aimed to appeal to the least sophisticated of human thinking. “The beasts live in harmony”? The animal world is vicious, involving wanton and brutal killing for food, sex, territory and power... animals destroy each other and can often be very damaging to the rest of nature. Look at the damage caused by locusts, for example, or ants, or foxes. Humans are animals too, so we cannot be expected to be any different or, actually, any better. Yet... how many animals have invented courts and parliaments to resolve differences, create laws and govern ourselves in a civilised manner? How many animals stop at traffic lights?

What animals make plans for industry, transport, schools, hospitals and libraries? The standard of living of the average ant hasn’t ever improved..yet humans have made huge strides to improve their way of life. If describing humans as being worse than animals is wisdom that Dr Weiss believes truly comes from “masters” of the universe, then it doesn’t seem so wise or enlightened to me.

Page 199 – Dr Weiss describes how Catherine had gone to see a psychic astrologer called Iris Saltzman. According to Dr Weiss, Saltzman confirmed all of what Catherine had revealed under hypnosis. This is hardly scientific validation. How does Weiss know what really happened at that session with Saltzman? How does he even know it even happened at all?

Page 203 – Dr Weiss describes how progress is going to be made in proving past-life memories. He writes, “The important strides that are going to be made in this field will be made using scientific methodology. In science, a hypothesis, which is a preliminary assumption made about a series of observations, is initially created to explain a phenomenon. From there, the hypothesis must be tested under controlled conditions. The results of these tests must be proved and replicated before a theory can be formed. Once the scientists have what they think is a sound theory, it must be tested again and again by other researchers, and the results should be the same.” I say, hear hear! But throughout his book, Dr Weiss has not used any of the scientific methods he claims to subscribe to.

In fact, his methods were so unscientific, that the so called “evidence” he has presented to the world would have to be excluded from any scientific report, as being a complete sham and the opposite to true scientific discovery.

Page 203 – Dr Weiss quoted several scientists who had published “detailed, scientifically acceptable studies” to support reincarnation. For example, the work of Dr Joseph Banks Rhine, a pioneer of parapsychology. Yet, despite the requirement agreed by Dr Weiss for experiments to be “repeatable”, Dr Rhine’s results could never be duplicated and several of his assistants were accused of fraud. Dr Weiss named Dr Ian Stevenson as another scientist who had proved reincarnation. Yet Dr Stevenson was on record as recognising a “glaring flaw” in his researches: “the absence of any evidence of a physical process by which a personality could survive death and travel to another body”.

Page 217-218 - Dr Weiss explains that after Catherine he has regressed under hypnosis 12 other patients. He recounts a Jewish housewife who ran a 19th Century brothel in New Orleans (surely verifiable, but no substance provided) and who has “even more of a facility for accurately predicting future events”. Dr Weiss claims, “I am still the scientist. All of her material must be scrutinized, evaluated and validated”. Yet, so far, Dr Weiss has failed to do that with any of the material he has presented. At least at the beginning of his book, on page 10, Dr Weiss admits, “I do not have a scientific explanation for what happened.”

In reading “Many Lives, Many Masters”, I had an open mind and was prepared to consider any evidence provided. I am disappointed that a doctor should write an account in such an unscientific manner and without any evidence to offer, when much could have been offered to either validate or disprove what happened.

For example, why not release the recordings of the sessions with the patient? Or at least, prove that the patient really existed? How are we to know that this wasn’t simply a work of fiction? It’s impossible to tell from what has been written. It could have all been made up, only first names have been used. Dr Weiss made no attempts to verify the astounding claims made by his patient, Catherine.

Dr Weiss, on page 11, argues that, “throughout history, humankind has been resistant to change and to the acceptance of new ideas. Historical lore is replete with examples. When Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter, the astronomers of that time refused to accept or even look at the satellites...So it is now with psychiatrists and other therapists, who refuse to examine and evaluate the considerable evidence being gathered about survival after bodily death and about past-life memories. Their eyes stay tightly shut.”

It is disingenuous of Dr Weiss to compare his discoveries with that of Galileo or to claim that there is “considerable evidence” to prove life after death. Galileo’s discoveries were proved by real evidence. So far, there is no similar scientifically validated or accepted evidence to prove life after death or past-life memories. To try to suggest that such “evidence” equates with the discoveries of Galileo is simply quasi-science aimed to hoodwink unquestioning and unscientific members of the public.

Just because “Catherine” spoke her words under hypnosis, why should they be considered any more valid or believable than if she had simply told a story whilst wide awake? Her stories seemed imaginative fiction to me; I could not tell them apart from many other made-up stories I have read or heard, but it doesn’t make them true. People have been telling stories ever since we could talk. There was nothing truly special in the stories of Catherine. All her historical references, which were quite vague anyway, could have been remembered from school lessons or documentaries or other books she had read, or simply from her imagination.

Dr Weiss only claimed to know Catherine in the privacy of his consulting room, he didn’t really know her personally or in the “outside” world. How could Dr Weiss know if she had hidden or even open talents as a story teller? Also, I’ve been hypnotised many times, there’s nothing really that special about it, I knew exactly what I was saying during hypnosis and could remember it all afterwards.

As I wrote at the beginning of my review: Dr Weiss has conducted his research without scientific protocols or peer review, yet as a "scientist", Dr Weiss should have the skills and resources necessary to have conducted his "investigation" properly and scientifically. The fact that he chose not to has, I believe, discredited his book as a work of fairy tale-like fiction.

Review Copyright 2012 Jon Danzig
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 56) (56 new)

message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa As promised, I have read your review. You make some compelling arguments, which I very much appreciate. I do believe however it's like trying to argue faith with a follower: The very definition of faith is to believe in something you cannot see, touch, prove or unprove.

I trust you will allow me to link back to my post, as I have allowed you to link to yours.

Thank you again for your insight.

message 2: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Danzig Thanks Melissa for your response, and I am happy for you to link to our postings. I don't argue with anyone's faith or beliefs.

My review only challenged the 'scientific' claims and 'facts' made in Dr Weiss's book, since he states he is a scientist and his book purported to provide "evidence" of reincarnation. This the book doesn't do, as I hope I have demonstrated.

Whether reincarnation actually happens or not is a different matter. You are right, faith is the belief in something that cannot be proven. If Dr Weiss's book had really proven reincarnation, faith would not be needed.

message 3: by Michala (last edited Sep 22, 2012 01:06AM) (new)

Michala Moravkova Reading you review was like reading a whole book :)
I have not read the book so it is difficult to say something here.
People do love such stories and even I do. We all want to believe and often forgive or overlook small or big details ...
It is very important to rise questions to make people think and thats what your review done with me :)
Otherwise your review is very precise and goes into the detail! Well done

message 4: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Danzig There's an interesting discussion about my review among professional hypnotherapists at

message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Shennan This review makes plenty of valid points, if the novel presents itself as factual it should be executed that way, with details and quotes from the patient and peer reviews from other scientists. Also, doesn't it seem strange that the woman said her current boyfriend was her murderer in a past life, yet she failed to elaborate on this further? Surely this would be cause for concern?

Michelle Well put Jon, I am quite a fan of Dr Weiss, and the book is quite intriguing as well. But I am not convinced. I regard it as a possibility, but not fact.

I find your review made a very valid point, and longing for the proper research and reference methods one would find in a scientific paper. Such a pity actually

message 7: by Jon (last edited Sep 27, 2012 08:29AM) (new) - added it

Jon Danzig My follow-up article: 'Fact or fiction? The girl, the hypnotist and past lives'

Short link

message 8: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Danzig Jake, can you please re-post your criticisms of my book review but without quoting most of my review again in the comments section, because it was taking up so much space. Your criticisms are welcome and important for people to read, but there doesn’t seem to be much point in repeating most of what I’ve written in the comments section. Thank you.


message 9: by Jon (last edited Sep 29, 2012 02:04PM) (new) - added it

Jon Danzig Fascinating related article in today's edition of The Lancet:

'The psychiatrist who wanted to believe'

message 10: by Dj (last edited Oct 03, 2012 01:27AM) (new)

Dj Cunningham I have not formulated a conclusion with reference to past lives and remain as agnostic on this faith position as any other. It has been my recent observation, however that the book in question is currently popular as what I can only describe as a 'conversion tool'. What surprises me most is the level of closed mindedness exhibited by a section of the (therapeutic)community who appear to claim the moral and professional high ground on knowledge and enlightenment. The unquestioning nature of this belief system attached to an over zealous desire to convert or condemn is contrary to the questioning mindset I had previously associated with enlightened thinking. Any faction which claims to be trying to enlighten and educate others with a rigid attitude of you are either for or against us, concerns me, I confess. When I make reference to a 'conversion tool', my observation has been to engage young vulnerable people who have experienced bereavement. First the book is offered as a means of understanding. From there it becomes considerably more sinister. I do not claim to have identified any agenda, purely my observation and not presented as a scientific fact.

message 11: by Cory (new)

Cory D. Dr. Weiss is not making up the story, he believes in reincarnation, I think it's the fact that Catherine guessed right how his son died, a sensitive issue for any parent as you can understand (interestingly, you didn't mention this in your review if I am not mistaken) that has made him so biased to accept as true everything that Catherine tells him, it's more of a personal issue for him, not a very scientific approach, but the truth in this case.

I met him once and he is a very pleasant person, definetely genuine about his beliefs.

message 12: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Danzig Hi Cory, thanks for your comment. The story about Catherine is anecdotal, there is no way to independently verify it. I wrote my review not to challenge Dr Weiss's beliefs, or his personality (I don't know Dr Weiss), but simply to assess and challenge the 'evidence' presented in his book.

message 13: by Cory (new)

Cory D. The situation is more complicated, if you consider theory of evolution, it has a lot of of scientific research in support, and yet if you look more into this, you will find scientists dissenting, it seems that we cannot just jump and believe in something, see here for yourself

message 14: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Danzig Thank you for your contribution Cory. Surely it’s the beauty of science that it is, or at least should be, self-correcting over time. It takes many years, sometimes centuries, to reach consensus on evidence. It’s therefore vital that we welcome all debates that challenge ‘evidence’ so that we can reach wider understanding. Regarding the theory of evolution, it has reached consensus among most scientists, but there should always be room for dissent. All minds need to be open to change on receipt of new or superior evidence.

message 15: by Suma (new)

Suma I have read Dr. Weiss book a long time back. Being a rationalist I too found it difficult to believe all that was in the book. But being a rationalist also means that you tend to unfairly believe anything that is giftwrapped in a scientific wrapper. So it kind of left me confused, and reading your article cleared the fog a lot. :)

message 16: by Lola (new)

Lola I read Many Lives, Many Masters years ago. I am reading it again now with only about 30 pages left to completion. Many of my questions and observations are the same as yours, Jon. I googled, "Has "Catherine" in Many Lives, Many Masters ever been revealed?" That's how I came upon your read. No. She Hasn't. Why? Because I suspect she is not real. Reading this book and "Catherine's" historical recollections throughout her vast reincarnations is more like reading which fashions were popular in which centuries. Mostly it was what people were wearing. She seemed to most always have blonde hair and blue eyes in her reincarnations. Never had a last name in any lifetime, nor did anyone else. Most of the buildings had white columns. She certainly lived most of her lifetimes in illness, poverty, and darkness, and Dr. Weiss points out that she never seemed to be famous or rich in any of her lifetimes, as if THAT was real proof of her existence and reincarnations. It's a wonder "Catherine" would choose to come back at all to being an earthling with her never-ending lifetimes of dreary existence. Very little, if anything, was actually said about her state of mind, what she was deeply thinking or how things affected her, and THEN! (this is what I love) she tells Dr. Weiss this is all for HIS benefit: not hers. The "Masters" also tell him this is all for HIM and the way to get the word out is to Write A Book. Well, well, well. Also, he goes on to say how the many, many, many layers of her fears are rapidly being stripped away and each week she comes in, she's more beautiful than ever, more confident than ever, etc., etc. Yet, he tells how her sessions have lasted months on end. She was one messed up chick! One last thing: The "Masters" verbalize in sentence structures most ten-year-old children can outperform and offer absolutely no real new or profound wisdom. They sound like they're incapable of speaking English. Also, Catherine and the Masters always seem unable to answer questions that REALLY need answering or might actually take an extensive and intensive look into those things that none of us can answer. Her response at the Masters not being around to answer any tough questions is "They're not here. They only come when they choose." Sorry to be so long-winded. I am so sorry I paid again to re-read this book. It is pure nonsense. But! I'm certain it made Dr. Weiss rich, which is probably precisely why he wrote it.

message 17: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Danzig Thank you for your comment Lola, and to Suma for the one previously. If you look at how many on Amazon gave this book four or five stars, we seem to be a minority to have read the book with critical, rational eyes!

You may also be interested in my new blog which reports on this and other issues at

message 18: by Robin (new)

Robin Thomas Was feeling somewhere “intuitively” and "in my bones' that there was something which didn't feel right...reading your review has helped to put words to those feelings. Thanks Jon

message 19: by Marian (new)

Marian Matus There is lot to question thats very true even though I want to believe. What is my main concern why noone questions the time/era it was written - I mean late eighties - why something mysterious was happening only or mainly in those years 50' 60' 70' 80' there is not much happening after year 1990 - there is few but not as many as in those years and also
did anyone of you think that some one or a group of some people just shut them up and erased all evidence about this therapy and Catherine to have all of us just guess and argue about this book ?
lets think with WIDE OPENED MIND there is lot going on in this world and almost all of us don't even know.

just a thought I had to write in here ;)

message 20: by Rosemary (new) - added it

Rosemary In 325 AD the Council of Nicea removed any mention of reincarnation from the the Bible, by excluding books or sections of books that mentioned or discussed it, and from Church doctrine.

message 21: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Exactly!! Rosemary!! that was exactly what I was going to discuss!!
I was expecting someone to comment something like that. Thank you. As you say in your comment, the Council of Nicea changed the mention of reincarnation. The Bible in Aramaic has the proper word written and it was changed in the 4th-5th century.
This information for a person that has never heard of this is shocking, for me it was at the beginning but everything has more sense now. I have found the same answer through many sources, It is said that we are eternal beings who have being through maaaany lives. And it is not important how many lives we have lived but the lives that are affecting us now (in this live) and why and to get rid of the fear and undone things from the past.
Fascinating subject

message 22: by Barbara (new)

Barbara We are spiritual beings having a human experience

message 23: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt Jon wrote: "Thank you for your comment Lola, and to Suma for the one previously. If you look at how many on Amazon gave this book four or five stars, we seem to be a minority to have read the book with critica..."

I'm reading this book for my Psychology class. Even though he's an m.d. and a psychiatrist, I'm still not sure what this book has to do with Psychology. Anyway, I really appreciate your thoughts. Completely agree. He sets himself up as a scientific authority, and then goes completely off the rails. He starts jumping to assumptions, and then states that they must be facts. This is one of the hardest books I've ever read because every time I think I can just power through and finish it, he says such complete rubbish, I have to laugh and put it back down again. I can't wait to write the book report!

Jessie Eisenmann Thank you for this review! I felt swindled the whole time I was reading this book... I think he plays on the fact that a lot of us want to believe in an afterlife, in the paranormal, etc. so that when we get a smidgen of encouragement in this direction from a 'scientist,' it's difficult to resist.

message 25: by Steve (new)

Steve Coffey Great review. Very thoughtful comments. A good book that is based on scientific research is Life before Life by Jim Tucker. Unfortunately, Brian Weiss's book gives any serious research into the issue of reincarnation a bad name. I felt like I was 'watching'a cheap 1980s American made for TV mini series. Very disappointing.
Steve Coffey. Hi Jon, I appreciate you critique its quite mind provoking. Am a Psychology student and as I sit in class and listen to Schizophrenia explained and other Mental/Psychological health issues. First appreciate Dr Weiss's own admission that he had strong temptations to verify the material using science, but the thrill was too strong especially when an aspect of his own life is brought into picture by Catherine. For me he did his work and for Great men and women of our century he gave us a challenge to go further and prove that the spirit world really exists. Reincarnation is actually mentioned in the bible but Christians only see and hear what they want i.e. First Adam fell to sin, Jesus, second Adam. Thats what Dr Weiss has made plain. Jesus taught about John the Baptist being the spirit of Elijah made strong and more resolute to serve. I don't personally believe in reincarnation but I would like to go further.

Guys, until today science cannot even prove where rain and snow comes from, nor the winds, leave alone entering the spiritual arena, we are spirit and unlimited by what can be seen, we are that perfect image of God. Read John 10:34 and Psalms 82:1-6. We posses power and might but to see and prove limits our power to go beyond.

message 27: by Dr (new)

Dr S Dear dr JON , I first read MANY LIVES......., some 20years back and reading it again and again , to get heartful laughs as to how dimvit psychiatrists in USA are allowing a pseudo-psychiatrist like dr weiss brian to trade a fantasy-novel as a proof of Reincarnation . I am happy to find answers to my querries , the very querries you have made out in your post .It is most disgusting when a qualified scientist-psychiatrist puts his credibility at stake to get rich . Dr Weiss could not have become rich if he had published his "nonsense" as a Novel . His 'defacto-novel' has sold because he has written it as a 'Psychiatrist' , and people get swayed and convinced when they come across something written by a qualiied doctor , and that too of the calibre of Dr Weiss . Effectively he has demeaned the rationalist-scientists . Most unbecoming of DR WEISS . I wonder how is still chairing the psychiatry department , and why his licence has not been cancelled for trading 'something-most-unscientific' as a peice of 'scientific-discovery' .DR S L AGGARWAL , 74 , MBBS;DTCD , Retd Chest Physician ; B-5/122 PASCHIM VIHAR , NEW DELHI-110063 , INDIA .PHONE 9312268988

message 28: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Trinh I read this book more than 7 years ago and was not convinced its "scientific proof". Today my old friend mentioned this book again which led me to find your review. Now I know why I have many doubts while reading this book :)I totally agree with your point that Dr. Wess's book is lack of "scientific" claim and fact to provide evidence of reincarnation. I noticed that Catherine's stories located in places where European people live only and she was European people mostly in her past lives...this is another limit of scientific proof as reincarnation by definition can be in any forms, bodies of any ethnics, times, places etc...or Dr. Wess's lack of knowledge of other cultures to make up more reincarnation stories for Catherine (?) This is one of my doubts.

Akanksha Fantastic criticism. His claims to science admitted me thoroughly throughout the book. Not to mention that I think he hasn't even explored his own field of psychiatry to provide answers for this presentation. Dissociative Identity Disorder? (Whether or not that even is a real illness is another debate altogether). Dr Weiss writes firmly that Catherine does not have these diagnoses, with no reasoning to back up their exclusion.
It thoroughly irritated me that throughout the whole book, he quickly jumped to accepting Catherine's presentation as evidence to his own complex, subjective theories.

Akanksha *annoyed, not 'admitted'

Weihao Actually, at the first reading,I did not think this book was totally real, however, I had some basic research in the field of mysticism, and as I'm influenced deeply by Taoism and Buddhism, Thus willing to accept some ideas Concerned with reincarnation. Besides, I learned that Dr Weiss had written a series of books in this genre, in Chinese we called it 心灵学.All of us wanted to touch the ultimate theory of the universe and life,maybe we just needed to filter the information and choose the stuff suitable for us. As what Charles Louis Montesquieu had done for himself.

Weihao Actually, at the first reading,I did not think this book was totally real, however, I had some basic research in the field of mysticism, and as I'm influenced deeply by Taoism and Buddhism, Thus willing to accept some ideas Concerned with reincarnation. Besides, I learned that Dr Weiss had written a series of books in this genre, in Chinese we called it 心灵学.All of us wanted to touch the ultimate theory of the universe and life,maybe we just needed to filter the information and choose the stuff suitable for us. As what Charles Louis Montesquieu had done for himself.

message 33: by Charlotte (new) - added it

Charlotte Meng When it comes to intangible matters, of course it's not possible to rigorously prove them. I feel happy right now--are you going to trust me and believe that what I say is truly reflective of my mind's current state or do you also demand that my endorphin levels be measured at this exact moment? The "proof" in this book are purely anecdotal, but one can still test the insights and principles gained from the messages of the "Masters." And they are principles that we know already--not to kill, to love others unconditonally, to empathize with them, to show them charity etc. regardless of who they are. These are essentially the ten commandments, the six pillars of Islam, and likely the main tenets of most other religions still alive today. Not necessarily all ten commandments, not necessarily all six pillars, but the general sentiments of those rules are strongly reflected in the messages of Weiss's "Masters."

message 34: by Nasrin (new)

Nasrin Nejad Many things cannot be proven by science, simply because science has not progressed enough. Many things that started as science fiction in the past later on changed into scientific facts. People who refuse to keep an open mind are in essence no different from the so called scientists of Galileo's time who were eventually proven wrong!

message 35: by Prasoon (new)

Prasoon Majumdar Quite interesting reviews here , just finished "Miracles Happen" and going to pick up "Many Lives Many Masters". Well i really do not understand why people cannot think beyond space and time and always looking for proofs. Reason is we cannot think beyond space and time and are always bonded. In "Miracles Happen", it also has something called consciousness sharing, now how the hell can some unknown person tell things about you who has no psychic power or so describe your whole lifetime with accuracy. Do science has the guts to prove it and will it ever has the guts to prove the limitations of mind. Read from that unlimited perspective and redefine your lives. When diseases healed miraculously, science cannot prove it. Its good to suspect but great scientists has always defined that consciousness is the origin of every damn universe and material is just a derived bio-product and surely bio products will always perform less in comparison so is our conscious mind. Lets not waste our mind in useless discussions and explore a wider part. It will be more useful. Its better to experience the Brian regression rather than discussing here senselessly about something you guys have not explored or don't know. Science will take ages to understand God's particle when its already discovered thousands of years ago . LoLz,, you guys are too far from reality. But i really respect that you have so much of time to investigate someone who is providing you a different vision rather than making your life more meaningful.

Marie Kimbe I totally disagree. It's not parading as anything but makes sure you keep an open mind because not all can be seen.

message 37: by Lisa (new)

Lisa E The BC date was the only clue I needed. For a well educated man, he (and his editors) sure did a lax job on just that one detail! I have read 4 chapters and that is all of this lifetime I am going to give to this book!

Kelly Whoa, that was the longest review I've ever seen on good reads. You must have been pretty passionate, Jon, to have spent so much time on it. I have two questions for you though, are you a writer, an author, an editor? Have you personally met Brian?

The reason I ask these questions is because there is a lot, a lot of politics involved when writing a book SUCH as this one. AND given his occupation, he didn't necessarily want to be kicked out of all his success. Stating actual scientific proof and facts would have led his life into a much more dangerous road. Because believe it or not, us humans today are not prepared for such facts. And sometimes, people understand fiction more than fact. Take Star Wars or Green Lantern, what if those were actual scientifically proven books? How would the world react? I know personally as an author myself who's written 2 books based on reincarnation, the less facts that are in a book, the more people can read it with an open mind and open heart. And all the author can do is hope and pray some truth resonates with the reader.

Brian Weiss had and has countless data and recordings of sessions, do you think all of them can be put in a book?
I doubt it. He is in currently on tour, he'll be in Los Angeles October 25th, perhaps you should ask him yourself?

Thank you for your time and review. I'm just here to give you perspective and to show you that everything done has its reasons. And Brian may have reasons why he never made his book with more scientific proof.

message 39: by Prasoon (new)

Prasoon Majumdar I feel Kelly is correct in portraying the fact that all things have reasons. Perhaps, sometimes, facts are stranger than fiction but still some people put it as fiction so that facts are not misinterpreted and its dignity is not impacted because if you digest fiction as pure fact then it may dilute the fiction but if you digest fact as pure fiction then the fact is preserved in reader's minds and this is how it should be taken. I am not saying everything that is said is true, but if you read a book by Yogananda Paramhansa "Autobiography of a Yogi", you will realize the same things which does not just imply to above but its a generic universal truth. There are things above time-space continuum and we should all respect all.

Marypoppings Well I really loved the book

message 41: by Clifton (new) - added it

Clifton Garner I believe that books like this one are top inspire others to dream, to find answers outside of the fragmented belief structures that are handed to us by our families, friends, and trusted faith leaders. Socrates used dialectical reflection with his students to allow them to embrace their beliefs, question them, and then find deeper meaning within the spaces where questioning lies. To effectively do this, requires guidance, insight, an experience in doing so. The failure to find value in this work for oneself speaks more about where the critic is in his or her journey than the merits or purpose of the book. Just as any other book is written and published, it's done so with editing in mind for the ease of readability. One can't expect to publish a book and add everything that hundreds of thousands of people would like more information about. If a subject is not extrapolated well enough, perhaps it was just edited to allow for ease of readability and publishing success.

message 42: by Elinaanela (new)

Elinaanela I agree with Jon Danzig. This book lost me the minute Catherine said "BC." Also drives me nuts when she says she has blue eyes. And in one life she is a man and apparently has blonde hair and blue eyes, and yet he doesn't ask her even remotely investigative questions like, "How do you know you have blue eyes?" I really wondered about the editors of this book.

message 43: by Zeze (new)

Zeze This one of worst books l'v ever read. Where is the scientific evidence that the auther insisted that he used throughout the whole book? Who are Catherine? he doesn't know anything about her and he insisted that she is not actresses or not making up anything, he doesn't even collect information about her?or asked any of her friends about her personality.
Where are unique informations that represented in every story that Catherine told? she repeated common things that everyone can says, nothing new or special in her words. I was wondering why the auther with his reaserch background doesn't bothered himself to ask why she avoided important questions like the name of places, time and dates for some events? or asking questions like what language you are speaking?
Why he was focused on unimportant information like what you are wearing? if she is really came from those times that she mentioned why she was thinking that her shoes or clothes were funny? hello did you wear fashion before, that is how your people used to? I'm a reaseracher and that is not a scientific research, it just a story of oneside.

message 44: by Sarah (last edited Mar 02, 2016 04:08PM) (new)

Sarah Brownlee Nasrin makes the best point so far in this entire thread: "Many things cannot be proven by science, simply because science has not progressed enough."

There's a lot of talk about how this book has no "scientific evidence" but I sometimes think that the modern society we live in is confused about what science actually is. Science was born from humanities and is - and always will be - the desire to learn, expand your mind, and open yourself to ALL possibilities - otherwise, we would never progress as a civilization. It is NOT to dismiss something as faff and nonsense, simply because there is no "evidence" to support it. There is not one person here who has the right to dismiss the claims in this book as rubbish, nor the author's work as nonsense, simply because it could very well be real, factual and true; and just because we ourselves haven't seen/experienced it, it doesn't mean it's a work of 'fairy-tales'.

However, I do find it astonishing that Western society sees fit to impose itself as judge and jury over who qualifies as a 'scientist' and who doesn't. The reviewer is quick to label Weiss as a false scientist, because he apparently has no evidence to support his claims, but this would imply that science applies to the body alone. Yet who made this rule exactly? And doesn't this frame of thought seriously limit us in terms of discovering, learning and progressing?

Reincarnation revolves around the soul, not the body. It's easy to attain evidence for the body; we can see it. But if you don't believe in the soul, then of course you would think reincarnation is pure rubbish. But does this make it any less scientifically plausible (again, science is about learning and progressing) simply because YOUR own personal beliefs will not allow it to be? There are some who recognize the true core of science - keep learning, dismiss nothing. Somewhere along the way, it seems to have lost itself. And as the lady above rightly stated, science is not yet advanced enough to deal with certain elements in this world. Reincarnation may well be one of them. To dismiss something as nonsense simply because there is no evidence for it hinders progression, it does not aid it. But Dr. Weiss, from what I know of him, has done marvels for this issue. He has opened the eyes of many people and healed a great deal. I'm not entirely sure how this warrants unjust attack and being accused of 'parading as scientific analysis when it is nothing of the sort' - when, in reality, that is exactly what it is. The reviewer claims to be one of the few who can read this book with critical, rational eyes - a relatively arrogant proclamation, I must admit - but I disagree. There is nothing rational about disregarding something as false simply because he himself has seen no evidence for it; if anything, it is distinctly irrational. It shows only a distinct lack of open-mindedness, and with it, a refusal to open one's eyes to anything that does not fit in with their own personal belief system, something that never bodes well for progression.

message 45: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie This work is based on intuitive knowledge it's different from book and reasoned knowledge.
Its the domain of the right hemisphere (intuition) not the left hemisphere.

message 46: by Bob (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bob Lamothe Terrific review of a bunch of new age junk. I was struck exactly by the lack of science used to verify anything written. One thing I noticed that you didn't mention, the whole idea that the "Masters" were there to communicate specifically with Weiss was just an example of ego stroking. It seemed pretty clear to me that Weiss was letting his ego get in the way of science, the masters had chosen him to relate this important information. Not much different than claiming to be a prophet from God.

message 47: by Anna (new)

Anna Jon, I missed where your credentials are given...

message 48: by Sheri (new)

Sheri Meshal Time is not linear.

message 49: by Deborah (new)

Deborah I agree with you Jon. Why claim it's scientific when it isn't at all? He could have asked leading questions about her past lives so that he could research them and find out if they were true. Also, he contradicted himself when he said she could tell him the date she was in and then she could not... Because she didn't see or hear it.

I don't know why people who support him got angry at your rewiew. You're pointing out pretty logic things. I would believe it if I could at least research some of the stuff she said, a town, a family surname?

Laurene Camacho WOW! I am amazed at how angry the original reviewer is as well as many of the respondents. It's apparent by the systematic deconstruction of the book that it was not read as a means for enlightenment or understanding. It seems that this book was read and reviewed as a means to prove the reviewers righteousness. There are many things in this universe that science has not proven, nor ever will, therefore faith is necessary to accept that it is there, right before you. Without faith we are sentenced to limited scope in understanding. I live in love and light and your words sadden me, as you have limited your thinking and disregard the possibilities.

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