No Beginning… No End: A Cardiologist Discovers There Is No Such Thing as Death

Review by Joey Madia

I don’t know if it is the same for all veteran book reviewers, but I have learned to either not take too much stock in the endorsements that sometimes fill up to ten pages at the front of a book (!) or to just ignore them completely. But, in the case of Dr. Terry Gordon’s No Beginning… No End, several important names caught my eye. When the likes of Don Miguel Ruiz, Bruce Lipton, Caroline Myss, John Edward, and Patch Adams are saying this is a book worth reading, one ought to pay attention.

I also want to mention the expectations that I had because of the subtitle. Having studied the survival of consciousness after death for many years as an author, researcher, podcast host, and field investigator, as well as communicating with dozens who have died and still engage with the living, I expected this to be a book securely in the camp of Science versus Spirituality. So few MDs are crossing that thick, black line, and it is hard to blame them. The medical profession gatekeepers suspend tenure, credibility, and career health like the sword of Damocles over the heads of those who do so. This is also not a criticism: Books by MDs securely in the camp of Science are invaluable to the larger work of researchers, experiencers, and psychic mediums. However, Dr. Gordon brings in and draws from both camps, in the same way as does a quantum physicist. Part clinical case study, part spiritual guide, and part autobiography, No Beginning… No End is an important text for those willing to seek the robust results at the nexus of Science and Spirituality.

Dr. Gordon’s credentials as an MD are impressive. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology, which clearly presents itself in his astute observations on human nature and motivation. As a medical intern and then as a crisis cardiologist, he has dealt daily with life and death for decades. Many of the stories he tells—devoid of the hope he assigns them—would be heartbreaking. Continue reading

Alien Scriptures: Extraterrestrials in the Holy Bible (3rd Ed.)

“Beyond the Ancient Aliens”

Review by Joey Madia

A few months ago, I reviewed the most recent book by this articulate and passionate author. Initiation: The Spiritual Transformation of the Experiencer is a handbook for those who have had alien contact, or know someone who has. Reverend Carter’s insights into the nature of these extraterrestrial beings is refreshing, comforting, and enlightening. If the field of UFOlogy is to evolve out of split camps, ridicule, sloppy investigations, click-baiting, and a false narrative of fear (such as the one being put forth in the supposed Disclosure of the past few years), then we need to hear more from scholars and experiencers such as Reverend Carter.

Written eight years before Initiation, Alien Scriptures: Extraterrestrials in the Holy Bible also takes as its basis the author’s contactee experiences, which set him on his path to combine theology, spirituality, and UFOlogy to better understand what was happening to himself and others, and how long and why it had been happening. Although the title specifically mentions the Holy Bible—Carter’s area of most expertise because of his Christian schooling and study—Alien Scriptures covers a much broader base, from which the book, and therefore the reader, immeasurably benefit. Continue reading

The Girl in the Corn

“Beware the Food of the Fae”

Review by Joey Madia

Along with abandoned castles, caves, and ancient forests, cornfields are immediately evocative of horror. Images of a pair of gloved hands pulling someone unexpectedly into high corn (something I filmed last autumn for one of my projects), the rats in the corn in Stephen King’s The Stand, scarecrows, and of course King’s Children of the Corn all bring a chill to the spine.

Then there are the entities known as faeries, which are not the cute little sprites that fill the pages of children’s books. Even Tinkerbell, before she was Disney-fied, kills Wendy in JM Barrie’s Peter Pan because she is jealous of her affection for Peter. Faery and UFO lore have significant overlaps (a fact touched on in this story) and the idea of parallel dimensions and the elements that make up a good faerie story—don’t eat the food, don’t invade their space, the exchanging of a human baby with a Changeling, be aware that days are years, etc.—are, at their core, pretty frightening.

Jason Offutt blends these two elements into a story that is part nightmare, part classic horror, and part commentary on family dynamics. Spanning 30 years, The Girl in the Corn centers on two boys, Thomas and Bobby, whose family lives and future prospects are each less than glamorous. Bobby’s mom is straight out of Pink Floyd’s “Mother,” and when the teenaged Bobby finally stood up to her, I really didn’t mind. Nor did I blame his father for having a thing with his secretary. You can blame them both, however, for dressing everything in religious trappings while being truly vile beings—especially when they ask Bobby about playing with Ouija boards and listening to Ozzy Osbourne. Continue reading

The Trial of George W. Bush

“What If Justice Existed?”

Review by Joey Madia

What If is one of the most powerful tools in the storyteller’s toolbox. From the earliest days of humankind, What If was a practical, educational, and at times life-saving tool before it later became an essential starting point for professional storytelling and entertainment. I used this technique for two and a half decades as a theatre-based social justice advocate, workshop presenter, and playwright working with middle and high school students. What If allows us to construct stories with enough resonance to evoke intellectual, physiological, philosophical, ideological, and practical responses in a safe, non-confrontational space. Because there is no immediate danger or serious consequences, participants in a What If exercise are free to take chances and explore options. What If encourages out of the box thinking and rewards participants with new, actionable insights.

Terry Jastrow’s novel, The Trial of George W. Bush, is a highly efficacious exercise in using What If. In this case, “What If the International Criminal Court put George W. Bush on trial at The Hague for war crimes connected to the war in Iraq?” If your initial response is, “Never gonna happen, but an interesting idea,” then read this review and I am confident you’ll want to read the book. If your response is, “Never gonna happen, and it’s a total waste of time to even think about,” then your time is best spent elsewhere. Continue reading

The Bridge

“Tend to Your Bridges Well”

Review by Joey Madia

Based on the Quebec Bridge Disaster of 1907, The Bridge began as a screenplay. From its dedication—“Big Tech: Actions have consequences”—and opening quote from Margaret Meade—“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world”—the author emphasizes the seriousness of the subject matter.

In the present, the protagonists are Ben and Esther, senior-year engineering students at a Canadian university. Ben is a short-cut taking, system-gaming partier; Esther is serious and astute. When their professor pairs them for an Ethics project, sparks fly as they unpack the events of the Disaster.

Using their project as a literary device, Palmer goes back in time to the precipitating events and tragic culmination, out of which, with the support of Kipling, came the advent of the Iron Ring ceremony (which the author knows firsthand). In a private ritual, graduating engineers are given a ring of iron—rough-cut so it snags—which they wear on their left pinkie as a reminder of the seriousness of their work and its potential consequences. Continue reading