Blog Post

The Sad Legacy of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

ekr bookMV writes: “I was looking for books on death, dying and grieving, all of which I have spent 49 years dealing with in one way or another. I found books on the above subjects by author Elisabeth Kubler- Ross. All of the books looked harmless except her book entitled: Dreamtime and Inner Space: The World of the Shaman by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross . . . and Holger Kalweit. Is Elisabeth Kubler-Ross New Age or something else that Catholics should stay away from?”

This is an excellent question and yes, Catholics should definitely avoid the writing of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

As I document in my book, The Learn to Discern Compendium, Kubler-Ross was a famous psychiatrist and thanatologist (a person who studies the medical, social and psychological aspects of death).

Born in Switzerland on July 8, 1926, she was the smallest of triplets and grew up in a strict Protestant home. She married a fellow medical school student, the American-born Emanuel Ross and moved to the United States. It was in US hospitals where she encountered what she felt were deplorable conditions for the dying who were often left to die alone and in pain.

In 1969 she authored the groundbreaking book, On Death and Dying, in which she annunciates for the first time the five stages of grief. She also reveals her secularist state-of-mind by asserting in the book that belief in life-after-death was a form of denial.

But that all changed during the 1970’s when she became interested in near-death-experiences and began to get involved in spiritualism, mediumship and other ways to contact the dead. Scandal ensued after she became associated with a so-called psychic named Jay Barham who conducted séances that included sexual relations between participants and entities from the spirit world.

Convinced about the reality of spirit guides, she eventually moved to California where she founded a healing center called Shanti Nilaya (home of peace) which she wanted to make into a network of retreats “affirming survival of the spirit after death in the form of a living entity.” 

She suffered a series of strokes in 1995 and was confined to a wheelchair. Shanti Nilaya closed and she moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.

In this interview with SFGate in 1996, she is old, alone (her husband divorced her in 1976) and bitter about life.

“My only regret is that for 40 years I spoke of a good God who helps people, who knows what you need and how all you have to do is ask for it. Well, that's baloney,” she told the reporter. “I want to tell the world that it's a bunch of bull. Don't believe a word of it.”

The occult ruined the life - and death - of this once brilliant woman. By the time of her death in 2004, she had lost all credibility with the medical community. A year after her death, she was awarded the “Loose Screw Award” by Psychology Today magazine.

Her life story should serve as a warning to all that no matter how educated and prominent, sooner or later,  involvement in the occult will always end in disaster - either here, or in the next life.