The 2017 AREI Symposium

Posted by Roberta Grimes • May 05, 2017 • 19 Comments
Afterlife Research, Appearances

It astonishes me now to realize that I met Craig Hogan just in 2009, and Susanne Wilson and the Zammits in 2014. For decades my obsessive hobby of investigating the afterlife was a lonely slog, with no colleagues and with no one in my life who even cared about what I was learning. I had known about Victor Zammit since the nineties, but he lived in Australia. Before the Internet, how useful was that?

It turns out, though, that during my decades of immersion in doing afterlife research, many others also felt called to do this work. They also labored on their own. But in the past few years we have found one another, connecting at conferences and on the Internet, and confirming (this should surprise no one) that all of us have reached the same conclusions. In particular, I have deeply connected with Craig Hogan, Susanne Wilson, and Victor and Wendy Zammit, and a year ago we formed an organization that is dedicated to sharing these truths.

The entire purpose of The Afterlife Research and Education Institute, Inc.  is worldwide afterlife-related research and education! As we gear up, we are making plans to raise money for electronic communications research, for an online university, and for outreach and support to local groups that share our interests. And on the weekend of September 15th we are excited to be holding our first annual Symposium! We hope you will be eager to join the five of us and two-dozen other experts in the broad field of afterlife studies. Together we’ll explore not just the standard afterlife topics but also cutting-edge afterlife communications practices; the best methods for achieving rapid spiritual growth; new thinking about how best to manage the transition that is not really death; and what the dead tell us is the purpose of human life. All in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.

This will be the world’s largest and most comprehensive afterlife symposium! We have arranged special rates for two-room suites at the Embassy Suites for our attendees, as well as optional “bucket-list” experiences including a tour to Sedona, tours of Old Phoenix, and hot air balloon rides. This Symposium will be the third time that I have worked with Craig in putting on a large event, and I think it’s going to be our best one yet. Early-bird pricing ends on May 15th. Click HERE for more details. This is going to be fun!

Roberta Grimes
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19 thoughts on “The 2017 AREI Symposium

  1. Wish I could be there … next event maybe? Unless I win in the lottery :-).

    From the other side of the Atlantic I want to thank you all dearly for the research that you provide to the rest of us, and that for free. I have no words but praise for all you do. Thank you Roberta, the Zammits, R. Craig Hogan, Susanne Wilson and ALL the guests on the show. I find nothing near what you do in my own country, so yet again we look to the US. And there it is.



    1. Thank you, Bent! It’s our pleasure to be doing this work and helping so many people, and it’s wonderful that the Internet enables us all to be so close worldwide. Soon AREI hopes to have an online university, and eventually these meetings will mostly be online and you will be a part of them! Meanwhile, I’m sending you a hug;-).

  2. Roberta, I am SO sad that I can’t be there as I will be on vacation – island-hopping in the Canary Islands, 15 September for two weeks. I really want/need to get across the Atlantic and attend one of these annual (or bi-annual) events in Arizona. I have been lucky enough to have already met Wendy and Victor, but I would love to meet you and Susanne as well one day. The nearest you and I have got to meeting is one Skype chat – so far. That must change! Hugs, Brian x

    1. I would love to meet you, too, Brian! These annual events are so much fun, lots of hugs and laughter and deep chats with people that we never would see otherwise. I really wish you could be there, but I believe we will be hosting them annually for awhile so perhaps with some planning we can make it happen!

  3. Already bought my ticket. Live in Phoenix, so right in my backyard. Looking forward to this.

    1. Hello Carol! We love the Phoenix area and the Phoenix people – what a joyous and spiritually open place it is! Please do come and find me and introduce yourself, and if there is anything we can do for you please let us know!

    1. Heh – you have no idea how often that happens, Mike! I was named after an uncle, so I suppose it’s fitting.

      It would be lovely if you could come to one of these – they are an amazing amount of fun!

  4. I am so looking forward to this event. I am registered and set to go. It will be great to see you again. I was at the 2015 conference in Scottsdale. I can thoroughly relate to the “lonely slog” you speak of. I still have very few in-person friends who share my passion for afterlife/consciousness research. I mostly end up exploring in writing since few in my sphere want to discuss it. That is starting to change, however. I think it will change even more in September!

    1. It will be great to see you again, Joshua! Yes, the world really is changing: I have seen it happen just since The Fun of Dying first was published in 2010. Give it seven more years, and everyone is going to be more or less taking the truth for granted… and soon after that, the world really will change. See you soon!!

  5. Hi Roberta

    Just to emphasize the point Bent made…your work and passion is spreading rapidly around the world. Like him, I wish I could attend as the revelation/realization takes hold that we don’t die or that we are more than our physical bodies, many of us are wanting to KNOW more so that we can live in harmony and optimize our Higher Self asap.
    I am writing from South Africa and sharing my discovery with others on a daily basis.
    Can you imagine being able to move away from conflict, racism, poverty, gender of sexuality issues, power issues, becoming conscious about the integrated spheres of biosphere and evolved mankind.
    Imagine too the housewives, teachers, judges, lawmakers (including Donald Trump) understanding their serious roles in our various societies and that we ultimately ARE ALL ONE!
    Has not the time come where consciousness movements are making accessible to everyone this information regardless of ability or background simply because it is important.
    I would LOVE to be there simply for the excitement of knowing how our collective awareness of consciousness is evolving.
    Spiritual pioneer Roberta Grimes, i applaud you all (and those throughout mankind)for seeking to remind us who we REALLY are.
    Make that online university/college/place of learning a reality.

    With most sincere wishes

    Martin Koopman
    Cape Town
    South africa

    1. Wow, Martin, thank you for your kind words! It’s wonderful to watch the world awakening now, and thrilling to be a part of it. We do want to begin the online university, but it’s going to be a huge undertaking and quite expensive – we had thought to start it this year, but now next year seems the better bet.

      I’m delighted that you are spreading the word where you are, Martin, because that is how truth is going to dawn everywhere, over all the earth: with each of us doing what we can. And if I can ever be of help to you, please do let me know!

  6. Roberta,

    Hello there. My wife has signed up our family to attend the 2017 AREI Symposium. I think we also paid to attend your Sunday workshop. I look forward to meeting you.

    My wife is a committed believer in the afterlife, near-death experiences, and the reality of mediums. I am skeptical of all of this, but agreed to come to support her, with an open mind, hoping I might learn some interesting things.

    I thought I would raise one concern that I have based on having read one of your books and perused this site. The after-life community, if that is the correct terminology, seems fairly hostile to traditional science, in particular physics. Science seems to be dismissed as dogmatic, a religion, a joke, formally committed to materialism (almost as if scientists are imagined taking some kind of initiatory oath to materialism), and in any case not to be taken seriously. Einstein and Planck are tolerated, based on a few quotes about consciousness or God which seem to support the existence of the afterlife, but that is about it. The century of physics which followed them seems to be ignored. Decades of research supporting the emergence of consciousness from the brain is also dismissed as obviously wrong, without mentioning the specifics of why.

    I understand that based on your own personal experiences, visions, etc. and that of mediums you trust, you question highly successful scientific theories and models. Yet your research program seems not to engage traditional scientists; rather, you dismiss them out of hand. The leading models of physics don’t leave room for forces required for mediums to move chairs with their thoughts. If leading theories of physics are wrong, how specifically are they wrong? What is a modified theory that incorporate these facts which you think are real? Are there any accomplished physicists (as opposed to lawyers or business people) who support afterlife claims who can engage on this? Isn’t that a worthy goal of AREI, alongside looking for evidence of speech from the dead amidst electronic noise?

    I am asking this mostly to explore the openness of the AREI community. Are you open to ideas which challenge your beliefs, especially when they are highly successful scientific models? Or do you start from the truth of your core tenets (the reality of the afterlife and mediums) and judge science from that perspective, regardless of its success in other realms?

    I hope the former, as it will make the conference more interesting for me personally. (If you have posts seriously engaging critics and addressing their claims, I would enjoy reading them. Much of what I’ve read is rather dismissive.)

    Thank you in advance.


    1. Hello Michael! I can understand that if you don’t know the history you might find our attitude (and mine, in particular) to be shocking. Science is good, right? So being dismissive of science must be bad. Oh, would that the truth were so simple, and so black-and-white!

      Mainstream science is indeed a belief-system. This was not always so, but at about the start of the 20th century we were receiving excellent communications through deep-trance mediums that were being actively studied and written up by researchers who believed they were doing cutting-edge science (and they were). To avoid having to consider this new information being given to them while they were then trying to deal with quantum mechanics, the scientific gatekeepers – the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals – adopted materialism as what they then called “science’s fundamental dogma.” They are too sophisticated (or too embarrassed) to use the term today, but they continue to enforce their dogma: if it ain’t based in their materialist paradigm (of which they have made quantum mechanics an honorary part, even though it doesn’t fit), then they won’t allow scientists to study it (in the case of university departments) or publish it (in the case of peer-reviewed journals). And this remains true even though by now physicists have pretty conclusively established that – as Einstein said – there is no matter, but what we consider to be matter is a form of energy.

      We don’t merely tolerate Dr. Einstein and Dr. Planck, sir. We revere them! They – and some other, lesser physicists as well – didn’t consider themselves to be bound by materialist dogmas, and as a result they did wonderful pioneering work that will be celebrated by modern physicists only when these folks are shamed into studying the implications of that work by what is soon to be a flood of good electronic communications from those that we used to think were dead. Give it another ten years – twenty, at the outside. And among those working hardest on this effort now are Dr. Planck and Dr. Einstein, believe it or not!

      There is in fact no evidence that consciousness is generated by the brain – quite the contrary! – but scientists continue to look for some matter-based mechanism to explain consciousness because their materialist dogma demands it. (They call it “the hard problem” for a reason: the way they are going at it makes it for them “the impossible problem.”) I can state this confidently, since I read their literature. It’s pathetic, really, that scientists are forced (if they are to make a living) to continue to waste their careers in earnestly searching among the tubes in the back of that old black-and-white TV for the source of Walter Cronkite.

      Modern scientific theories are wrong to the extent that they limit what they will allow researchers to consider. For them, everything that exists must be based in matter! So even though their understanding of gravity and other forces seems to suggest that traditionally understood matter and its correlate energy make up less than 5% of the universe, the other 95% – dark matter and dark energy, which by definition are NOT material – must be made up of exotic matter-based particles (gluons, or whatever) or else they don’t exist at all. Scientists have tied their field in knots, quite literally.

      There’s a puddle on the floor? Figure out where it came from! You can study the walls in order to do that, but don’t consider the ceiling or your research paper will be rejected and your funding will dry up. Is it any wonder to you that my having watched this fumbling continue for the past half-century while genuine researchers were studying nearly 200 years of excellent evidence of what actually is going on has brought me to the point of ridiculing such pointless, beliefs-based and therefore too-limited research?

      I don’t believe in the afterlife. I am in fact quite skeptical by nature. But I know with certainty that human minds are eternal aspects of the base consciousness that continuously manifests this universe, and I know quite a lot about the environment that human beings perceive after they leave their material bodies: I know all of this, since for the past half-century I have been engaged in an entirely OPEN-MINDED search for the truth! Would that materialist scientists had the academic freedom to do the same.

      I’m delighted that you plan to attend the AREI Symposium! Please find me and introduce yourself and we’ll share a drink and some great conversation ;-).

  7. Roberta,

    Thank you for your reply.

    You once again assert without evidence that “mainstream science is a belief system,” that materialism the “fundamental dogma” of science and that somehow scientists are prevented from researching and publishing on certain topics. This is clearly not true — I’ve read abundant research on psychic phenomena, the paranormal, the power of prayer, the ability to speak with the dead, etc. In the health field, for example, there is abundant research on “alternative” topics such as chi, homeopathy, chiropractic, etc. It seems that faced with the failure of science to support your beliefs, rather than tackle the challenge head-on you instead posit some kind of worldwide conspiracy. You forget that any scientist who could prove the existence of the afterlife would generate massive fame and wealth. (Just look at Eben Alexander, whose debate I reference below, for an example of fame and book deals following his “proof” of heaven).

    You also groundlessly claim there is no evidence for consciousness being generated by the brain. I find this rather startling given how much material arises from even a cursory search. Have you honestly looked for such evidence?

    If curious, you might enjoy the following Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the topic of the afterlife, which matches two scientists I greatly respect with two promoters of the afterlife. They present a number of pieces of evidence for the consciousness arising from the brain. The debate format is not ideal for hashing out scientific ideas but is entertaining and approachable.

    I submit that being truly open minded entails facing evidence against your belief system, not just holding a fringe belief. I think the quality of ideas in your movement would benefit from truly engaging with the evidence presented by the scientific community, rather than denying it, or engaging in ad hominem attacks, or ignoring it.

    As a visitor to your conference I would find this much more stimulating.

    But it is your conference to run as you see fit. I do appreciate your kind offer to look you up, and I am sure we will do so.


    1. Oh dear. And Michael, again you assume “without evidence” that I haven’t looked into all the scientific research that is generally available, that I haven’t especially sought scientific evidence against my own conclusions, and that in your few minutes of reading my blog you have made yourself competent to judge my fifty years of varied and intensive research, the conclusions that I have reached, and the many things that remain hypotheses to me pending further evidence. You consider yourself worthy to command of me in this space and after I have written whole books on these subjects that I must distill for you those entire fifty years of research into a single response to your blog post comment. And you consider your position to be reasonable?

      If you had the patience or the interest to read extensively in this field, you would not have what to me is frankly a peculiar bias toward a certain very limited form of scientific research, but I won’t judge you. I will only remark that until you are able to broaden your mind a bit you are not going to learn much. And from the way that you express yourself here, not broadening your knowledge in these areas actually seems to be your objective.

  8. Roberta,

    I apologize if you misunderstood my questions and comments. I don’t believe I “commanded” you to do anything, and certainly acknowledge you are under no obligation to directly address my questions. I do believe I am “worthy” to politely inquire about your worldview and approach to acquiring knowledge, even if those inquiries don’t appear to be welcome.


    1. Michael, I’m delighted to explain to you my worldview and my approach to acquiring knowledge! I didn’t realize that was what you were asking, so I apologize as well. There is a kind of person – always male, in my experience – who is irritated by the very notion that there might be a non-material reality so he approaches interacting with me as if no one could rationally believe in things like life after death, and he, from his superior rational perch, is going to be the one to show me the fool. Unfortunately, your comments read very much as just what these folks say: not as questions, but rather as dismissive hectoring. I refuse to entertain the latter anymore. The former, though, I am happy to answer! Here are my thoughts:

      MY WORLDVIEW: I want to understand the truth about reality, entirely uncolored by anyone’s beliefs or preferences. You will notice if you read my work that I am as hard on Christianity as I am on science, although in fact I am a Biblical scholar and have written extensively about Jesus. There is ONE reality, after all! My podcast is called Seek Reality because learning as much as I can about our one reality has become my entire purpose in life.

      MY APPROACH: I have spent most of the half-century or so that I have been doing this work following threads of information, challenging every one of them, trying to understand what is real, and – once there is an objective grounding that I can glimpse – trying to learn as much as I can about each thread so I can figure out how it fits. What I have discovered over decades is that there is indeed one complex reality that we with our limited earth-minds can assemble! It is like a gigantic tapestry on which everything fits equally, both what we think of as spiritual truths and what we think of as scientific truths. The fact that Christianity studies only spiritual truths and stopped wanting to learn more about even those spiritual truths 1600 years ago, and the fact that what mainstream science studies is just material truths and it refuses to even look at evidence that reality might extend beyond those beliefs-based lines (except, for many years, to try to find ways to debunk spiritual truths) makes science limited in precisely the way that Christianity is limited. So I approach both disciplines with equal skepticism, and I take from them only what I can independently confirm is real. When you have begun with awe to assemble that genuine tapestry that is all of reality, to see how it does indeed all fit together, naturally you begin to challenge everything! You won’t risk adding any thread that will distort the eventual completed picture. And when you have been at this for as long as I have, you realize sadly that mainstream science is just as much a limited belief-system as is mainstream Christianity.

      So I use whatever I can find of scientific discoveries, but (for example) when those searching for the source of consciousness insist that it must be somewhere in the material brain and they refuse to consider any of the overwhelming (and, for me, now determinative) evidence that this is simply impossible, I see the dead-end in their work before they reach that dead-end. As, eventually, they will.

      That anyone would consider Eben Alexander to be an afterlife expert is a perfect example of what even well-meaning scientists are doing wrong. Near-death experiences have nothing to do with death. They are a form of out-of-body experience. Those who have near-death experiences don’t go where the dead go, they don’t experience anything of the genuine death process or the afterlife, and they have experiences that (while often wonderful) are illusions pulled from their own minds. Dr. Alexander has based his work on his medical background, his own NDE, and the NDEs of others. He knows little (insofar as I have been able to determine) about genuine death, the afterlife, or the greater reality that we can now glimpse, so to consider him to be an expert on these matters is like considering Joe Pesci to be a legal expert because he starred in My Cousin Vinnie.

      When scientists begin to study ALL the evidence that relates to the source and the nature of consciousness, and when they are free to explore the possibility that Max Planck might have been right when he concluded that actually matter arises from what we experience as human consciousness, then they will start to get somewhere! Until then, though, their insistence that the brain can be the only source of consciousness is the precise equivalent of the cargo-cult belief that airplanes must give rise to trade goods because it sure looks as if that’s where they come from.

      Does this help? If you want to talk further, please just contact me through this website so we won’t continue to bore everyone else!

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