Nearly 23 years ago, Pembroke Pines-based Survival Research Foundation launched an investigation into whether the deceased really survive death, existing in a parallel world. Dr. Arthur Berger, head of the foundation now headquartered out of Aventura, tells me there is sufficient evidence that suggests there is life after what we call death.
"This issue has been a lifetime interest of mine," Berger tells me. "And it should be to all of us, seeing as we all will die."
Okay, a bit morbid, but moving right along...
Here's how the active study works: while their hearts are still pumping, participants leave some type of locking device behind. They are the soul keepers of the device's code. After they drop dead, they must communicate the secret code to the holder of the device. And if it's correct -- Abracadabra! -- the code to heaven and hell is cracked!
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The million dollar question -- err, or the $1,000 question: Have any codes actually been cracked? Well, yes and no. Roughly 15 years ago, Berger and his team offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who received a message from Robert H. Thouless, a British parapsychologist who ventured into the afterlife in 1984. He was one of hundreds of paranormal lab rats participating in the study. Shortly after the reward was issued, his code was deciphered by a computer that tested different combos till the right one worked. So that doesn't count.
Thus far, no human has cracked a code.
But that hasn't stopped Berger's research, the goal of which is to give the living peace of mind.
"Although I can't give you an exact figure, at the moment we are working with participants from all over the world," the doctor tells me. "If we can leave evidence to our loved ones that there is in fact an afterlife, it would offer so much consolation."