North California I.A.N.D.S. Chapters
IANDS’ mission is to build global understanding of near-death and near-death-
like experiences through research, education, and support.
Our goals are:
• To encourage thoughtful exploration of all facets of near-death and near-
• To provide reliable information about near-death and near-death-like
experiences to experiencers, caregivers, researchers, educators, and the public;
• To serve as a contact point and community for people with particular
interest in near-death and near-death-like experiences.
IANDS’ purpose is to promote responsible, multi-disciplinary exploration or near-death
and near-death-like experiences, their effects on people’s lives, and their implications for
beliefs about life, death, and human purpose. IANDS does not subscribe to any particular
interpretation of the near-death experience.
IANDS publishes two quarterly periodicals, the scholarly Journal of Near-Death Studies
and the newsletter Vital Signs, in addition to other informational and research materials. It
sponsors a national conference in North America annually and other conferences
IANDS has evolved from an organization serving mainly researchers to a much more
inclusive one. Today IANDS serves six distinct classes of people:
People who are interested in doing research on near-death experiences and/or near-death-
Health Care Professionals:
People who care for experiencers’ physical and/or mental health.
People who have had a near-death or near-death-like experience.
People close to experiencers
Many of our services for experiencers are also applicable to people who know them well.
We also have specialized materials for those close to experiencers.
People who teach about near-death and near-death-like experiences.
Interested other people:
People with special needs or other interests related to these experiences, including those
with terminal illness, those in grief, and the general public
What is a Near-Death Experience?
The term “near-death experience” (NDE) was coined in 1975 in the book Life After
Life by Raymond Moody, MD. Since then, many researchers have studied the
circumstances, contents, and aftereffects of NDEs. The following material summarizes
many of their findings.
A near-death experience (NDE) is a distinct subjective experience that people
sometimes report after a near-death episode. In a near-death episode, a person is either
clinically dead, near death, or in a situation where death is likely or expected. These
circumstances include serious illness or injury, such as from a car accident, military
combat, childbirth, or suicide attempt. People in profound grief, in deep meditation, or
just going about their normal lives have also described experiences that seem just like
NDEs, even though these people were not near death. Many near-death experiencers
(NDErs) have said the term “near-death” is not correct; they are sure that they were in
death, not just near-death.
Near-death experiencers (NDErs) have reported two types of experiences. Most
NDErs have reported pleasurable NDEs. These experiences involve mostly feelings of
love, joy, peace, and/or bliss. A small number of NDErs have reported distressing
NDEs. These experiences involve mostly feelings of terror, horror, anger, isolation,
and/or guilt. Both types of NDErs usually report that the experience was hyper-real—
even more real than earthly life.
IANDS supports and encourages research in the field of Near-Death studies by:
• publishing the only scholarly journal in the field: the Journal of Near-Death Studies
• producing a comprehensive bibliography of near-death related articles in print
• maintaining an archive of near-death experiences for research and study
• providing a channel for researchers to publish research requests
Since Raymond Moody published Life after Life in 1975, there have been a number of
landmark studies, including the one recently in Lancet.
If you are writing a paper on the Near-Death experience, we have resources here.
• Important Studies
Included here are articles about research that is of special interest in the field of near-
History and Founders
The pioneering work of psychiatrists Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Raymond Moody, Jr.
and George Ritchie brought near-death experiences to public attention in the
1970's. During the years that followed, research studies by Kenneth Ring, PhD,
Michael Sabom, MD, Bruce Greyson, MD, and others extended the early findings
and stimulated additional interest in the field.
To meet the needs of early researchers and experiencers, IANDS was founded in
1978 and incorporated in Connecticut in 1981. It was the first organization in the
world devoted to the study of near-death and similar experiences and their
relationship to human consciousness. Today its varied membership represents every
continent but the Antarctic.
A Brief History of IANDS
Below is an idiosyncratic history of IANDS, as told by the recollections of all its
presidents to date. It was published in our newsletter, Vital Signs, 1999 No. 4. John
Audette subsequently enlarged and made corrections to his portion, which are
The Early Founding of IANDS, by John R. Audette, M.S.
The Beginning of the 1980s, by Kenneth Ring, Ph.D.
Reflections on IANDS, by Bruce Greyson, M.D.
The Middle Years: The Struggle for Survival, by John Alexander, Ph.D.
The Road to Recovery, by Elizabeth "Pat" Fenske, Ph.D.
IANDS Before the Millennium, by Nancy Evans Bush
My Year As President, by Bruce Horacek, Ph.D.
IANDS Now and in the Future, by Diane Corcoran, Ph.D.
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