Leslie Kean's new Netflix documentary

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Leslie Kean's recent book has earned itself a documentary for Netflix (in the US at least, though she claims it will be premiering globally on January 6th) based on her book and other research similarly titled 'Surviving Death': https://twitter.com/lesliekean/status/13...8958887937

You can also read about it from this article by the Hollywood Reporter: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-f...-exclusive

There is some info from the production company as well: http://www.breakthrufilms.org/tv/survivi...th-netflix

The series will be split into six episodes:
  1. NDEs
  2. Mediums Part 1
  3. Mediums Part 2
  4. ADCs
  5. Crisis Apparitions
  6. Reincarnation (featuring Jim Tucker by the looks of it)
I am very concerned however that parallels will be drawn between this series and Gwenyth Paltrow's Goop Lab unfortunately. I don't imagine that their episodes on mediumship in particular will be well-received, and skeptical 'reviews' are likely to follow. Based on the summary of the episode, I am concerned they will focus more on testimonies and seances than research. Hopefully it isn't as hoaky and melodramatic in areas as the trailer makes it seem. According to Kean's Facebook, she says this series will be mostly covering different material to what she mentioned in her book.

Edit: According to Bulletnews, Sam Parnia will also be making an appearance, so hopefully he provides some details on his latest work. But if I've learned anything it's that this won't matter ultimately, since he along with Tucker and the others will be dismissed as pseudoscientists or whatever. I imagine certain other big figures in (pseudo)skepticism will have their say as well.
(This post was last modified: 2020-12-15, 10:13 PM by OmniVersalNexus.)
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Welp, I have some troubling news about this documentary...

After doing some digging, medium Laura Lynne Jackson is starring in two of the episodes (the first one on mediumship and one on ADCs I think). For how long/to what extent I don't know, but that doesn't bode well for the documentary. She previously starred in the aforementioned 'Goop Lab' and was heavily criticised for her 'demonstration' of mediumship coming across as a mix of cold reading and warm reading. It wasn't that impressive honestly. Her involvement with this documentary won't look great in terms of the documentary's credibility since some will recognise her from Paltrow's own Netflix series. It will likely earn ridicule/complaints, but hopefully she isn't given that much attention. 

I'll reserve judgement until reviews are released and until I watch it myself, but I'm not optimistic about this, especially if Lynne Jackson is involved. I do hope that more credible researchers are given the spotlight frankly, and they don't alienate audiences by pushing the proponent's side too much. Healthy skepticism should be included if it is aimed at general audiences.

Also, as an update, there's been a mistake in that article I cited claiming Parnia will be involved. Dr Parnia, Jeff Jack and Paul Matusheski were involved in a documentary from 2010 that went by the SAME name-'Surviving Death'-according to IMDb. The 2010 entry does not mention Leslie Kean's involvement. 
(This post was last modified: 2020-12-15, 10:17 PM by OmniVersalNexus.)
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So the trailer for the documentary has finally been released onto YouTube, a mere two days before its release despite having been announced several weeks ago:

Already there's some comment claiming NDEs are caused by losses of blood to the brain and 'imbalances of neurotransmitters' (lol) and a few accusations of the show peddling pseudoscience. Good lord the pseudoskeptics are fast.

The rest seem preoccupied with wanting the NDE-inspired series 'The O.A.' back. Frankly, I'd say Netflix have been avoiding advertising this until the last minute, since this is the first time they seem to have acknowledged it on their main platform.

Edit: You can find a few more news articles covering it now, and of course the vocal militant atheists in comments sections are out in force claiming its 'all nonsense', such as after this article: https://news.avclub.com/netflixs-survivi...1845984459

Bit annoying how they refer to veridical crisis apparitions as just 'ghosts' but whatever. Still not happy that LLJ is involved. However, according to the UVA, Dr Greyson makes an appearance as well as Tucker, so that's good. It's just a shame many will apply the 'fallacy of guilt by association' with this documentary.

Another edit: Looks like the Forever Family Foundation are also involved in the 4th episode on ADCs and deathbed visions.
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-05, 01:06 PM by OmniVersalNexus.)
There are 221 Youtube comments. My guess is Netflix wouldn't even bother with this documentary unless they could could expect at least 200,000 viewers in the first month.

Probably more like at least a million viewers within a month.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2021-01-04, 09:50 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: There are 221 Youtube comments. My guess is Netflix wouldn't even bother with this documentary unless they could could expect at least 200,000 viewers in the first month.

Probably more like at least a million viewers within a month.

I was able to find at least one early review in fact:


Not sure how he reviewed this two days prior to its release but perhaps it has been released earlier in other countries? Based on what he says this seems like a mixed bag, going from NDEs such as Dr Mary Neal's, to 'ghost hunting'. According to him, this documentary actually addresses skeptical criticisms on several occasions, moreso with NDEs, and he ends up rating it 5 stars. Nevertheless, it sounds like skeptics won't enjoy this one bit and will unfortunately probably try to tear it to shreds. It's already passed 50k views as of typing this (after 6-7 hours mind you), so I imagine it won't go unnoticed by at least some of them. 

Another very small reviewer from YT says that he remains largely unconvinced but was certainly intrigued. However, as I suspected would be the case with unfamiliar audiences, he was put off by the inclusion of mediums.
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-04, 10:45 PM by OmniVersalNexus.)
(2021-01-04, 10:10 PM)OmniVersalNexus Wrote: I was able to find at least one early review in fact:

Not sure how he reviewed this two days prior to its release but perhaps it has been released earlier in other countries? Based on what he says this seems like a mixed bag, going from NDEs to 'ghost hunting'. According to him, this documentary actually addresses skeptical criticisms on several occasions, moreso with NDEs, and he ends up rating it 5 stars. Nevertheless, it sounds like skeptics won't enjoy this one bit and will unfortunately probably try to tear it to shreds.

Another very small reviewer from YT says that he remains largely unconvinced but was certainly intrigued. However, as I suspected would be the case with unfamiliar audiences, he was put off by the inclusion of mediums.

Skeptics will always attack anything related to Psi, Survival, etc. It's like saying it's unfortunate that storms can sometimes knock down trees.

Mediums are part of cultures the world over, the people who support them just don't hang out on Youtube.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Given the volume of research and evidence available to read for those genuinely interested, it’s hardly likely that TV series will change the minds of determined nay-sayers. If it causes a few people to look further into the subjects covered I think that’s a worthwhile outcome.
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(2021-01-04, 11:03 PM)Obiwan Wrote: Given the volume of research and evidence available to read for those genuinely interested, it’s hardly likely that TV series will change the minds of determined nay-sayers. If it causes a few people to look further into the subjects covered I think that’s a worthwhile outcome.
Unless of course pseudo-skeptical articles and idiotic comments start spreading misinformation about the research into the subjects first, which is a likely outcome of this. Atheists and skeptics are the most vocal of social media users in my experience, so they won't stand for it. I'm predicting outcry from the Skeptical Inquirer, Sean Carroll, Steven Novella, hive-minds on Reddit etc. within at least a few weeks of its release, along with the usual YouTube skeptic community making at least some passing comments. That's what I've come to expect now. The Internet is simply that cynical and negative to me that I can only see my attitude as a realist one rather than pessimistic.
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-04, 11:55 PM by OmniVersalNexus.)
The number of people who watch the documentary and will never see any comment section or possibly even a review online is just so much larger than the number being influenced by such skeptical attempts at outreach. (Especially when you factor in non-Western countries where there isn't the same Science vs Religion conflict.)

Companies like Netflix don't put time/money into stuff like this if they don't think anyone will watch. Same reason why Hollywood Medium was a show, why X-files was a show, etc.

As Obiwan says it likely is not going to move the needle on its own, but it likely will touch a lot of people who already - on independent grounds - believe in at least the possibility of an afterlife. Most people don't even realize there is a field of research dedicated to things like Psi and Survival.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2021-01-05, 03:27 AM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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Another recent review that is largely positive but again more critical of the mediumship stuff:

According to this reviewer there is a medium involved who attempts to channel spirit guides around her during a seance, and it comes off as hoaky and bizarre, even laughable. But I imagine this is equally due to the sense of discomfort and the strangeness of the situation or the voices resulting in such a response. It's been that way for me before.

It's nice he states that the folks like Greyson, Tucker and Fenwick (who also features in the documentary) are 'actual academic experts' who make some of the episodes better than others. They do indeed also not only mention (and refute) some skeptical points, but include those who are skeptical of mediums and explain why.
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