Betty Eadie

Betty Eadie

Betty (Jean) Eadie (born 1942) is a prominent American author of several books on near-death experiences (NDEs). Her best-known book is the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Embraced by the Light (1992). It describes her experience, arguably the most detailed near-death account on record. It was followed by two other works: The Awakening Heart (1996), also a best-seller, and The Ripple Effect (1999), published independently.

Early life and career

Eadie was raised in Nebraska and on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Part Native American, she grew up in troubled family circumstances, dropped out of high school to care for a sister, then returned to complete it and later pursued a college degree. She works today in counseling and hypnotherapy with volunteer work activity and speaks to gatherings about her experiences.

NDE account

In her NDE account, she reports many phenomena similar to other NDE accounts and others unique to her own story. In 1973 at the age of 31, while recovering from a surgical operation, she reported she first felt herself fading to lifelessness, then felt a surge of energy followed by a "pop" and feeling of release, then a sense of freedom and movement unhindered by inertia or gravity, and was met by three angelic beings who spoke with her about her prior existence and hitherto suppressed memories in order to participate in earthly experience. She traveled to terrestrial locations such as her home merely by thinking about them, returned to her hospital, and then passed on through a dark tunnel-like medium in which she reported sensing other beings in a transitory preparatory stage.

Exiting the tunnel, she approached an intense white light and met in heaven with the embrace of Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity, in which encounter she reported a strong sense of love and a high-speed transfer of answers to her many questions. Possessing a corporeal identity of an ethereal kind, she visited numerous places and persons and phenomena such as natural settings and gardens beyond the character of the conventionally material and was taken on a tour of sorts to lengthy learning experiences she said felt equivalent to weeks or months.

In addition to discussing traditional Christian subjects such as prayer, creation, and the Garden of Eden, she reported visiting a library of the mind in which it became possible to know anything or anyone in history or the present in minute and unambiguous detail, as well as being able to observe individuals on Earth and being taken to distant reaches and civilizations of the universe.

Warned initially upon arrival that she had died prematurely, she was at last told she must return in order to fulfill the personal mission allocated her, though its specific character, like numerous other details, were removed from her memory, in order, she said she was told, to prevent difficulties in her fulfilling it. Protesting, she was made to understand the reason behind the necessity for her return and reluctantly agreed to do so, though exacting a promise that she would not be made to stay on earth longer than necessary. Her return to material corporeality she reported as extremely heavy-feeling and unpleasant, initially intermittent in phases, and accompanied not long after by a demonic visitation cut short by an angelic reappearance.

Her doctor reportedly verified her clinical death on a return visit to the hospital, attributing it to a hemorrhage during a nurses' shift change, and took great interest in her recollections. Independent verification of the length of her decease was not possible, but she speculated it could have lasted up to four hours based on her memory of certain details preceding and following it.

Some elements of her account seem on their face inconsistent, such as the idea of an elaborately interdependent universal plan and the human ability to fail at it, but this for example she attributed to the permissible scope of free will within a larger divine control.


Subsequent to her experience, she spoke of it very little and suffered a long-term depression, which she attributed to the anticlimactic nature of returning to corporeality after experiencing the heaven of afterlife. She slowly became involved in near-death groups and studies and gave talks, going on subsequently to write her account in book form, meeting with runaway success.

While her account incorporated elements of traditional Christianity, it also met with a certain degree of resistance as well, largely to its teaching (as she reported she was given it) that some denominations might approximate truth better than others but that different teachings were more appropriate for certain individuals at their given stage of spiritual development, and that therefore judgment should not be passed on them for where they were. She taught similar withholding of censure on individuals for things like atheism and homosexuality and rejected a common traditional image of hell as an eternity of suffering, suggesting that her life review experience, in which she was made to live and feel the full positive and negative consequences of her cumulative actions in intense detail, including their effects on all around her, were a more than adequate equivalent and probably what the term truly signified.

She also stressed that her key lesson was that life's purpose was to learn love and to grow through the exercise of free will, including making mistakes. Other teachings she said she was given included the idea that there were few if any true accidents, that human lives and paths were chosen, agreed to, and prepared for in advance, with memory of such details suppressed and veiled. Suicide she said she was told was wrong because it deprived people of opportunities to learn and grow, and that there was always hope in life.


The Awakening Heart amplified on and discussed many of the ideas brought out in the narrative of her first book, with a few additional technical details. The Ripple Effect pursued these further, incorporating discussion of the numerous letters she began to receive in response from readers, as well as discussing other NDE contacts she later developed. The third book she published through her private publishing company, Onjinjinkta Press. A fourth work was assembled, Prayers and Devotions for Daily Living.

Because of their appeal to the innate human desire for an understanding of afterlife, her works led to a strong reader response which she initially attempted to answer in detail but became forced to limit. To meet some of this demand, she developed a website for general information and inspirational materials, as well as distribution of her books and related materials.

During a 2004 interview on Coast to Coast AM radio with George Noory, she said she was disappointed following her first book's publication that she was not permitted to return to the Celestial realm, but that while she could not presently know the full scope of her earthly purpose, she understood a film based on Embraced would also follow.

Her husband, Joe, worked in aerospace computing. Together they have eight children, and as of 2003, fifteen grandchildren.

See also

External links

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