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BOOK REVIEW:
Marilyn Monroe Returns: Healing of a Soul (Adrian Finkelstein)

Finkelstein's Reincarnation Evidence

Greatest Lost Opportunity

Power of Past Life Healing

Evaluations

Conclusion

Introduction:

"Marilyn Monroe Returns: Healing of a Soul" by (Adrian Finkelstein) is aptly titled. Despite the author's claims to the contrary, this book is mainly about "proving" that Sherrie Lea Laird is, in fact, the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. For, by page count, healing of Laird's "soul" is quite clearly a secondary objective.

So has Finkelstein proved Laird that was Monroe? You decide...

Legal Type Objections to Finkelstein's Reincarnation Evidence:

Past life regression practitioners, like Finkelstein, claim that regression is a science because it follows certain ethical standards of practice. Yet, as these ethics and standards for regression practice are not published or available to the general public, unlike me, another accepted and recognized standard must be applied.

So here the standards applied to evidence gathered in a court of law are used to evaluate Finkelstein's past life regression evidence. The author has invited this examination in his "Scarborough Country" interview (08-04-06) where, Finkelstein said
"If only you could hear the regressions, you would know the truth..."

Since the excerpts of the transcripts from the regressions are thoughtfully provided in his book, here is how this regression evidence would hold up in a court of law:

Objection: Creating a Material Fact Not on Record
"Fact Not on Record" means that the questioner supplies a material fact that should have originated from the witness. This is considered unfair because the witness should be supplying the testimony not the questioner.

* Material Fact - Name: Among the very first questions Finkelstein asked Laird in regression was her name and age. Laird responded that she was 19 and her name was Marilyn Monroe. Yet, at 19, Monroe had not yet been invented by the then Norma Jean Baker. So Finkelstein "creates a material fact not yet in evidence" by asking Laird (p. 105) point blank "Isn't your name, Norma Jean?" At the very least, Laird should have been able to supply her past name under regression.

* Material Fact - Date/Manner of Death: Finkelstein "creates a material fact not yet in evidence" by just asking Laird point blank (p. 122) It is "...August 1962? Are you experiencing a suicide through an overdose of pills and alcohol?" With all the controversy and speculation about the true manner of Monroe's death, at the very least, the manner of her death should have come directly from Laird in regression... instead of being first supplied by Finkelstein.

* Material Fact - Marital Partners: Finkelstein "creates a material fact not yet in evidence" by supplying the names of Monroe's husbands not once but twice. He asks Laird point blank (p. 124) about a picture: "Is it your (first) husband, Jim?" and again (p. 121) "Did Arthur Miller, your (third) husband, call you a 'no talent pill popper?'" Finkelstein should have asked Laird who Monroe had been married to... but he tells her instead TWICE. At the very least, Laird should have been able to supply the names of Monroe's marital partners under regression.

* Material Fact - Pregnancy: Finkelstein "creates a material fact not yet in evidence" by just asking Laird point blank (p. 122) "Were you carrying Jack's (JFK) child and have an abortion when you were two month's pregnant?" Finkelstein should have asked Laird if Monroe had ever been pregnant and how that turned out... but he tells her instead. At the very least, Laird should have been able to say if she was pregnant (and how it turned out) under regression.

Objection: Leading the Witness
"Leading the Witness" means that the questioner is suggesting an answer or putting words in the mouth of the witness. This is considered unfair because the questioner helps the witness to tell a pre-planned story.

(p. 106) When Laird says "Ted is giving me drugs..." Finkelstein leads her into identifying Ted by asking, "Could he be your boyfriend's uncle, Ted Lewis?" So Laird agrees: what should have happened is Laird answering who that "Ted" was.

(p. 119) Finkelstein asks about
"Jerry Giesler, the divorce lawyer" and then asks "Is he your lawyer?" and then "Does he help you with a divorce?" and all Laird has to do is answer yes. Although she does identify her (second) husband, Joe DiMaggio, as the one being divorced, this was just after a series of questions (p. 118) were asked about DiMaggio (so this could have been a lucky guess).

(p. 120) Finkelstein asks about
"Ralph Greenson" which Laird correct identifies as Monroe's "doctor" but then he asks did Monroe say "that you want to be cured and not to find out how you are crazy?" and then Finkelstein asks "Does he say that 'you do not need a man to feel whole?'" All Laird need do is agree: what should have happened here is Laird retelling what Monroe actually said.

(p. 123) Finkelstein asks if Laird recalls Monroe ever wearing a
"brunette wig, a little pill box hat, and a conservative blue suit?" and then if Laird recalls Monroe "meeting with Jacqueline Kennedy while dressed like this." All Laird need do is agree: when she should have described what Monroe wore at the time.

(p. 125) Finkelstein asks Laird if Monroe and Ted Jordan
"had ever been lovers?" and then "later did you remain close friends?" All Laird need do is agree: when she should have described Monroe's history with Jordan herself.

(p. 262-9) Finkelstein asks Laird about
"Norma Jean" supplying many details of Monroe's early life in the questions: "How did you acquire this slight British overtone?" (p. 262) "Did you want to get married at 16?" (p. 265) "At your wedding to Jim Dougherty?" (p. 266) "... letters to... Shanghai?" (p. 269) "...an Army photographer: he feels your pictures will do what to the troops?" (p. 269) All these allowing Laird to correctly guess the right answers. All these details should have and could have emerged from the regression sessions.

(p. 270) Finkelstein asks about the
"publication in which [Monroe's] pictures appeared for the Army camp... [with] a very interesting name. It has to do with the flag of the United States... what is the design on the flag?" After all this prompting, Laird answers "Stars and stripes." Finkelstein replies "Exactly. That's the name... Stars and Stripes." Is this regression or guessing here?

(p. 271) Finkelstein asks about
"a romantic affair...?" Laird answers "He's a guy. I think I told you." Finkelstein responds "You told me? Eddie?" Laird says "Yes." Then Finkelstein says "Eddie Friedman" first and then "the one [who] later on would be known as Ted Jordan, right?" because Laird does not know. If she was Monroe, she should know (& Laird contacted Jordan in 1999 - p. 74.)

(p. 275) Finkelstein asks about "that great industrialist [who] took an interest in [Monroe]?" When Laird does not get the right answer, Finkelstein gives a clue: "Let me be specific. He's building planes." This time Laird gets this aviator right: it is "Hughes." Of course, Finkelstein has to add "Howard Hughes."

(p. 276) Finkelstein asks about a specific "camera man." Laird gives the correct answer of "Leon." Of course, Finkelstein has to add "Leon Shamoy." Same thing with the title of a movie: Laird says it was "Some funny name." Finkelstein gives a clue: "Like 'Hell's" something?" which Laird picks up on: "Hell's Angels."

(p. 280) Finkelstein asks about a specific "photographer." Laird gives the correct answer of "Tom." Of course, Finkelstein has to add "Tom Kelly."

(p. 282) Finkelstein asks about a specific "writer who signed [Monroe] on for 'All About Eve'?" Since "Eve" was where Monroe broke through into stardom, one would think this would be memorable. All Laird can get is that "it's got to do with a W, but I don't know." So Finkelstein responds "How about Mankiewicz with a W." Finally Laird gives the correct first name of this famous writer "Joe."

(p. 282-3) Since Laird cannot recall the titles of Monroe's early movies, Finkelstein must name them: "Love Nest, Let's Make It Legal, Young as You Feel."

Objection: Compound Question
A "Compound Question" is when more than one question is combined in what seems to be a single question. This is considered unfair because the answer to the first question can be contained in the second question.

(p. 114) "...Mortensen? Is he your real father?"
(p. 116) "...Peter Lawford? Was he perverse... weird sexual things?"
(p. 117) "...Fred Karger? Did you have a relationship with him?"
(p. 117) "...Natasha Lytess? Did she try to touch you?"
(p. 118) "...Joe DiMaggio? Did you love Joe? Why did you marry him?"
(p. 120) "...Laurence Olivier? Was he a spoiled person?"
(p. 120) "...Tony Curtis? Felt like he was kissing Hitler?"
(p. 121) "...Clark Gable in 'The Misfits'? That he died?"
(p. 121) "...Jack [JFK]? Did you fix his back?
(p. 122) "...Elizabeth Taylor? Did you physically fight with her?"
(p. 122) "...Jacqueline Kennedy? Did you call her 'the statue"?"
(p. 200) "...John F. Kennedy? When did you first meet?
                  Were the two of you ever lovers?
                  When did you first have sex with him?
                  Did you have a tryst in the White House?
                  Where was the last time you saw him?"

(p. 203) "...Robert Kennedy? Did you ever have an affair with him?
                  Did he ever promise to marry him?
                  When was the last time you saw him?"

(p. 204) "...John or Robert Kennedy? Did they tell you state secrets?
                  Did they ever discuss the existence of extra-terrestrial beings?"

(p. 204) "...John F. Kennedy? Did you conceive a child with him?
                  If so, did you have an abortion? When and where?

(p. 276) "...Darryl Zanuck? Does he know about your screen test?"
(p. 277) "...Darryl Zanuck? Reaction to [Monroe's] test? Does he hire you?"

Objection: Badgering the Witness
"Badgering" is when the witness is asked the same question repeatedly. This is considered unfair because this allows the questioner to "keep fishing for" the answer desired from the witness until it is supplied.

The WORST case of Finkelstein's badgering involved Laird's daughter, Kezia. Finkelstein wanted to "prove" that Kezia was the reincarnation of Gladys Baker Eley, Marilyn Monroe's mother (presumably to strengthen Laird's claim).

That Gladys Baker had been
"mentally ill and institutionalized for 50 years" (p. 253) with "paranoid schizophrenia" (p. 181) meant that this knowledge might be too toxic or too dangerous or too frightening for Kezia to handle. Yet this really was of no concern to either mother Laird or doctor Finkelstein. Kezia resisted regression in both the first (p. 254) and second (p. 255) sessions.

Undaunted, Finkelstein then put Kezia through a "free association" (p. 256) to get the "proof" he wanted (for Finkelstein claims "partial amnesia" is achieved by this technique but it is not!). That Kezia cried several times throughout this process was less important than "proof" (and how did this help the healing of Kezia's soul?).


Back to Finkelstein's questioning of Laird...

(p. 114) "...Red Dragon?" Laird answers "I don't know." Finkelstein asks "Didn't you work there as a waitress?" which is the correct answer.

(p. 119)
"Whom did you call (the "C" word)?" Laird incorrectly answers "Bette Davis." Finkelstein asks "How about Joan Crawford?": the correct answer.

(p. 203)
"Did [Robert Kennedy] promise to marry [Monroe]?" Laird answers "Momentarily" the first time Finkelstein asks and then "Not really" the second time and then "Maybe one day" the third time which is (?) the correct answer.

(p. 205)
"Did anyone give you an enema?" Laird answers "I was wanting to" the first time Finkelstein asks and then silence the second time and then "I think my doctor [did]" the third time and then "I don't think so" the fourth time which is (?) the correct answer (plus these pointless questions help Laird heal how?).

(p. 259)
"According to your birth certificate, you are Norma Jean. What is the name on your birth certificate?" (Could Norma Jean be the answer?)

(p. 269)
"You don't have to remember necessarily. I can give you a clue. His first name starts with Da. Correct." When Laird cannot remember Finkelstein finally gives up and supplies the correct answer of "David Conover" (p. 269).

(p. 279)
"Who hires [Monroe] after [not being renewed] by Fox?" Laird answers "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer". Finkelstein responds "Mayer obviously comes up after but there is another one before." When Laird guesses "Universal" wrongly, Finkelstein has to give the correct answer of "Columbia."

The bottom line is that regression questions are supposed to be - in Finkelstein's own words - "nondirective questions for emotional abreactions" (p. 194). English translation: Finkelstein should have asked open ended questions and let Laird supply the details... and release the past life emotional blocks in the process of remembering them. How unfortunate that Finkelstein chose not do that!

Greatest Lost Opportunity in Reincarnation History:

The History Problem: There is an inherent problem with gathering "regression evidence" on "historical personalities" (well documented lives). Their lives are so well known that most are acquainted with their personal facts. In Marilyn Monroe's case, there are tons of movies, TV programs, books, magazine-Internet articles about her, because she is considered a cultural icon. With such a famous past personality, rarely would any new information emerge after 40+ years.

Yet in an amazing synchronicity: on August 5, 2005 (in the midst of Finkelstein's regressions on Laird), the "Los Angeles Times" published the tape transcripts of Marilyn Monroe's sessions with her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson. This was a golden opportunity for Finkelstein to have regressed Laird about the specifics of that unpublished Monroe session BEFORE reading about it.

* What Should Have Happened: Finkelstein should have immediately regressed Laird BEFORE viewing these transcripts. They could have compared what came out of Laird's regression session to the Greenson transcripts. Had Laird accurately reported what Monroe said to Greenson, this would have convinced even the most hardened skeptics of Laird's claim to have been Monroe. Since the Greenson information was previously sealed by government officials and since it related to a specific past incident, it would have been a perfect test of regression evidence.

* What Did Happen: Laird "refused to feel the need to address" the transcripts (p. 172). Finkelstein did not object: instead he sent Laird books on Monroe ("The Marilyn Diaries" and "Marilyn's Last Words") even though the regressions had not yet been completed. A hardened skeptic could draw the conclusion that since Laird's performance in her first regression was not impressive ("disappointing" is how Finkelstein characterized it (p. 186)) he sent her these books (and also later on "Marilyn: Her Own Life in Her Own Words" (p. 258)) and gave her six months to "research" Monroe (p. 186) so she could do better in future sessions.

This could have been the greatest opportunity to PROVE that Sherrie Lea Laird was, as a matter of fact, the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. People might want to wonder why neither Laird nor Finkelstein wanted to take advantage of this golden opportunity to advance the frontiers of reincarnation science.

So has Finkelstein helped Laird heal her past lives? You decide...

Power of Past Life Healing:

Past life healing is powerful. If the person's problem comes from a past life... it is most quickly and effectively healed when the past life issues are resolved. It is the person's connection with the past (not the regression) that heals. Here's how:

* Past Still Present: When one is being harmed by the past, it "feels" as Laird describes it on p. 174: "Here she (Monroe) is, wrecking my plans and ruining my karma with her karma... It truly feels like she did all the bad things and then stuck me out here to fend for myself and freak my family out." The past only stops being present when it has been healed. As Laird put it, "I feel so relieved of the pain of being Mar(ilyn)..." (p. 177).

* Past Life Healing Process: Laird's experience shows the classic pattern of past life healing. First, the individual connects with the past life emotions. Second, they heal these emotions through understanding and forgiveness. Finally, they move forward into the future through greater self love and self awareness (p. 227). At the end of the book, Finkelstein correctly identifies that the overall purpose of past life healing which is to learn "love yourself and each other, and, in this way, heal yourself, and thus live in peace and experience God's joy" (p. 308).

* Emotional Release: "When you feel it, you heal it" is the core of past life healing. Whether you experience a past life emotional release through channeling, regression, or self help exercises, it is the connection with the unresolved emotions that frees you from them. In Finkelstein's words: past life "healing occurs as a result of [the client] being able to abreact, to get out of your system all [the] emotional poison." (p. 218) Quite clearly, Laird had deep cathartic releases during the course of her regressions. However, I do NOT agree with Finkelstein that past life healing MUST be "surgically" painful (p. 227) to be successful.

* Cessation of Symptoms: At the end of any healing process, the "presenting symptoms" of the problem should end. In Laird's case, she was plagued with suicidal compulsions prior to her past life regressions. Afterwards, the compulsions which were disrupting Laird's life first diminished and then disappeared. In the beginning Laird said: "I can't stand my life any longer. The flashbacks and nightmares of being Marilyn Monroe are worse than ever... I feel if I continue this way I'm gonna end it all" (p. 81). At the end, the pain was over (p. 177).

* Forward Motion: At the end of a past life healing process, the desire-need-compulsion to disrupt the present by focusing undue attention on the past falls away. The individual's energy can then be fully focused on their present life. As Finkelstein put it, "the similarities between [the past and present personalities] that are negative must be unlearned... the ones that are positive should be cherished" (p. 91) In Laird's case, this freed her to put more attention on her child and on her singing career. As she quite rightly said, "The only life that counts is the one we're living right now" (p. 59). This is the true power of past life healing.

Evaluations:

* About Laird: Here are some conclusions I have reached:

-
Cavalier Attitude Toward Suicide: Both on television and in this book, Laird exhibits an extremely cavalier attitude towards Monroe's suicide. It can be summed up this way: "So she threw away Marilyn's great body and super star movie career... so what? Laird just gets a new great body and another career in singing and a few brushes with suicide... but, fixed up by the 'master healer' now, so its all good..." As Laird put it, (p. 173) Monroe had "no real regrets because now she is endlessly a canvas on the world." Finkelstein also has a cavalier attitude because he constantly refers to Monroe's suicide as "premature and tragic" (p. 148). I have never seen, either in the literature or in practice, someone so unconflicted by a suicide committed in their last previous life. This is inconsistent with the usual suicide profile and with how new lives are created.

- Involvement of Children: The greatest difficulty that I have with Laird is her inclusion of her daughter in her past life exploration. I am of the opinion that children (under 21) should not participate in past life exploration except under the following circumstances. These are, if, due to heavy past life resonances: 1) the child is a danger to themselves or others, 2) their health or well being is threatened, and/or 3) their childhood is disrupted. In my opinion, Laird's burdening her daughter with the knowledge that she is the reincarnation of a seriously mentally disturbed individual, in and of itself, is a threat to her future well being. As it is, her daughter felt "overwhelmed" by her mother's situation at press time (p. 218).

-
Her Marilyn Claim: I have intentionally not commented on Laird's claim to be the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. Sherrie Lea Laird is not my client so it would be inappropriate for me to do so. If it brings Laird peace to believe she is the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe, I would not wish to disturb that peace.

* About Finkelstein: Here are some conclusions I have reached:

-
Limits of Hypnosis: Hypnosis has it limits. Finkelstein believes "somnambulistic hypnosis" is an all powerful, infallible, unbeatable "truth serum" (p. 96) so perfect that it can selectively block "all acquired information" (p. 102) about a particular subject. BUNK! Many in the military are trained in exactly how to beat hypnotic inductions, lie detector tests, and (in some cases) chemical truth serums. Hypnosis is only a state which the individual is highly suggestible because they have entered alpha or theta brain wave states where it is more difficult to lie (but not impossible). The fact that someone can break out of the hypnotic state at any moment if they choose to (p. 105) shows that hypnosis not unbreakable or all powerful. Plus the individual still has access to their entire mind: "acquired information" and all.

-
Trick of the Brainwaves: Finkelstein remarks that "Sherrie (Laird) proved to be a sponge when it came to knowledge" (p. 97). If true, Laird's mind would contain vast amounts of Monroe data (since she was aware of a connection to Marilyn from childhood). Certainly, she had seen photographs of those close to Marilyn often in the past... so much so that Laird recognizing pictures of Monroe's family proves nothing. By opening her eyes and looking at the pictures Laird would have shifted back to the conscious beta brain wave state where her sponge-like brain would have activated her facial recognition center to discern matches.

-
Biometric Markers: Finkelstein puts much emphasis on what he views as the physical similarities between Laird and Monroe. I am sure I am not alone in voicing the opinion that there are Marilyn celebrity look-a-likes that more closely resemble Monroe than Laird does. For how reincarnation effects biology, click here.

-
Astrology Proves Reincarnation? Perhaps the most astonishing thing in this book is Finkelstein's statement: The "karmic astrological concordance in [one of his cases] another proof favoring the validity of [their] reincarnation" (p. 30) (he also uses this to "prove" Laird's claims to be the reincarnation of Monroe on p. 180). This is the same as saying that you know an EKG or an MRI is correct because your pendulum told you so. Astrology is not a science, reincarnation is.

Conclusion:

* About Me: Here are some conclusions I have reached:

-
Thank You - Past Life Healing: The first thing I MUST thank Finkelstein for is this: That the past life healing process does not require regression and that healing can be "carried on without [the subject] being in a hypnotic trance" (p. 212). This is CONTRARY to the regression party line that "past life healing can only happen in a regression session conducted by a licensed practitioner while under hypnosis." The truth is that past life healing happens when the individual connects with their own personal past life truth by whatever means (p. 91).

- Thank You - Big Pharma: The second thing I MUST thank Finkelstein for is this: (p. 23) "Hospitals and doctors have a vested interest in cooperating with pharmaceutical companies and maintaining their medical 'standard' practices." I should know: "pharmaceuticals" almost killed me in this life... more than once. I wish more doctors would show this kind of courage and honesty.

- Thank You - Liberation: Although Finkelstein believes his book to be the "Holy Grail of Reincarnation Studies" (p. 178), I have shown above that there are too many flaws in it to merit such a lofty title. That being said, the final thing I MUST thank Finkelstein for is showing me that past life regression as practiced by "so called scientists" is much closer to past life channeling than they would like you to believe. The real difference is that I am honest about past life information flowing through me as a channel... while regression practitioners like Finkelstein - who supply all the research in advance or chat/free associate with clients when hypnosis proves to be inconvenient - are NOT. That has been very liberating! If you want to take one thing from this book that can be truly liberating for you, it is the advice that Finkelstein says he always gives to his clients: "Be aware of God within always. This is the greatest blessing to humanity. Act always as if God were within you and you will see miracles happening. And they are not really miracles but the manifestation of the natural law" (p. 177) which is karma.


 

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