In 1997, when I started my video production business "Gold Thread Video Productions," I decided that I also wanted to have a personal project going at the same time. I knew that if I waited until I had time, I'd never start it.
I had studied reincarnation as part of Eastern philosophy since a couple years after graduating high school, or around 1973. But I knew very little about Western investigations. As I talked to people in casual conversation, I found that a surprising number of people had a personal experience related to reincarnation to tell, once they perceived that I wasn't going to make fun of them.
One morning, I woke with a start, and at that point I knew that the personal video project I wanted to do, would be about reincarnation. It was as though the idea had sprung up overnight, or had been planted in my mind while I slept. But all I knew for sure was that the topic had been decided.
Almost this entire project was networked and built from nothing--and with essentially no funds--through the internet. But it wasn't all my doing. It seemed to have a life of its own.
One of the best examples was how Jeff Keene contacted me and became a part of the documentary. Jeff, an assistant fire chief, had just gotten access to the internet at his fire station. Searching on reincarnation, he got something like 30,000 "hits", and noticed my website (I'm generally in the first fifty or so, but rarely toward the top). He particularly noticed that I lived in the same city as his past-life personality, Atlanta, and he called me. I agreed that he should fly down (if I could get funding), and I began to conceive a plan to videotape a psychic past-life reading. This was quite a while before John Edward began "Crossing Over". I obtained contacts for three local psychics through the Edgar Cayce Foundation. I was never able to make the arrangements with one of them, but when I called, I ended up speaking to a man named Steve at the front desk. At some point it came out in conversation that this man created electronic music, and we talked "shop" (video production and music). Finally, during the third or fourth conversation, he asked me what was the purpose of the reading. I explained to him that Mr. Keene believed that he had been Confederate General John B. Gordon in a previous lifetime and I wanted to see if any information came out in the reading that would confirm it. (This wasn't very scientific of me in hindsight to reveal this information, but I never did use that particular psychic.) Steve exclaimed, "John B. Gordon? He was my great-great uncle."
I arranged for Steve to meet Jeff when I flew Jeff down, and though think Steve was skeptical at first, after a couple hours he was telling Jeff it had been an honor to meet him, so I presume he was convinced.
Now, this was just the first of a series of coincidences I experienced with Jeff. I decided to interview him right in front of Gen. Gordon's gravesite (as you will see in the documentary), and I also arranged to videotape two psychic readings. One was a numerological reading (for which I inadvertently distorted the audio) that mostly focused on Jeff's character in this lifetime, but the personality profile that emerged was highly consistent with what I later learned about the personality of General Gordon through studying his private papers. The second reading was arranged hurriedly at the last minute, and was to be specifically a past-life reading. Neither psychic was given any advance information about Jeff, except his name and birth date. In the second reading, which is available for viewing in streaming video from the supporting website at www.ial.goldthread.com, the psychic made references that could be construed as relevant to the past-life as Gordon, and there was a very similar assessment of Jeff's character to the first reading. However, the very first thing the psychic mentioned was very on-target for Jeff's most-recent past life. Jeff had briefly described his memories of this lifetime in a manuscript, written well before the videotaped psychic reading. As you compare the psychic reading and the manuscript, the parallels are quite striking, as you will be able to see for yourself on the website. Of course, I was hoping the psychic would say "You were Gen. Gordon in a past life", and nothing of the sort happened. I was disappointed, and yet I had the feeling there was some purpose behind it, that it wasn't so much a failure of the method, or an oversight, as something purposeful.
Sometime later, I met Jeff in Maryland at the Antietam Battlefield Park, to get shots of him at the scene where he had had his initial "flashback" experience some year earlier. I was combining this shoot with an interview with Carol Bowman, author of "Children's Past Lives". Thus, I had been studying the phenomenon of young children talking about their previous lifetime up until about age seven, when typically they'd forget.
Already I had seen this happen once first-hand since I had been reading about it. I was videotaping a stage mind-reader (an entertainer), as part of my paid video work. He was "working the crowd" at a company picnic, and stopped to give a toy to a little girl who I would guess was about three years old, being pushed in a stroller by her mother. She had curly blond hair and large blue eyes. The mind-reader asked her, jokingly, "Are you married?" But he didn't stop to wait for an answer, he began talking to the girl's mother. I, however, kept watching the girl for a response. I saw her get a very serious, far-away look in her eyes, and then it looked as though she was struggling inside herself for the answer. Finally, it seemed to me that she was trying to say something softly in the affirmative, but I couldn't hear her for the crowd noise. As we walked away, I asked the mind-reader, "What did the little girl say when you asked her if she was married?" He laughed and said, "What difference does it make?"
Now, I found myself in the museum of the Antietam Battlefield Park in Maryland. I was videotaping a sword handle on display, when I heard a young boy call out from about 10-15 feet behind me, "I know that man!" I turned to see a boy about five years old come running up and stand next to me. He wasn't speaking about me, he was referring to a photograph of a Union soldier, John A. Tompkins, displayed behind the glass next to the sword handle I had been videotaping. He exclaimed again, "I know that man!" Quickly, I thought to myself, "I need to ask open-ended questions, not leading ones," and I asked him, "Who is he?" The boy answered, "That's John." Which was correct, and the name was printed below the photograph. I asked, "What did he do?" and the boy answered, "He killed all the bad guys." Just then his parents came up, and I asked his mother if she thought he could have read the name. She said, "I don't know, he's just learning to read simple words." But the father was shaking his head, and said quietly, "He couldn't have read that."
So I felt it was an interesting coincidence that I was preparing to interview Carol Bowman, who studies this phenomenon, and an example of it had played out right before my eyes. But I certainly wasn't prepared for the next bit of synchronicity. Jeff and I were standing in front of the motel where we were staying. Jeff had joined a Civil War enthusiast's tour, and all the participants were booked at this same motel. Jeff and I were having a conversation about twenty feet from the entrance, in the circular driveway, and I was telling Jeff that one of my ancestors, by the name of Fidello Biddle, had actually been at the Antietam battle. As I said the name "Fidello Biddle", two men who were walking near the entrance--far enough away that I was amazed they could hear me at all in the open air--stopped and froze in their tracks. Then they came over to us. It was a man in his mid-30's and an older man (his father as it turned out). One of them asked me point-blank, "Did you say, Fidello Biddle?" As it happened, Fidello was also their ancestor, and we were related. In fact, the older man turned out to be one of my mother's cousins, and they had some long phone conversations catching up subsequently.
These kinds of synchronistic experiences seem to occur more often than they normally would, where past-lives are involved. Recently, as I write this, I sold the first copy of "In Another Life," by request, to someone who contacted me through my website. It turned out that his brother produces documentaries on the Civil War, and had recently produced on one the Antietam Battle. When I mentioned this to Jeff, he knew of the production company and said he greatly admired their work. Jeff asked for the contact information, as he'd been trying without success to get on their website. To my knowledge the person buying the tape did not know that Jeff was in the video.
There have also been a great number of obstacles in producing this documentary, especially on such a meager budget. But often, in hindsight, it seems as though each obstacle acted to steer the project in a better direction, so that the final product you will see was shaped, over a five-year period, by my response to each obstacle. I hope the result conveys something of this tempering process to the viewer.