Raymond Kinman experienced his near-death experience in 1966 when he was nine years old. As a result of a Judo throw gone wrong, Raymond, a 4th grader at the time, landed on the top of his head, on concrete. As a result, Raymond’s body began convulsing and his tongue retracted, causing his body to suffocate.
Raymond found himself in a place with “no gravity, no color, no darkness, and no light.” Says Raymond, “I didn’t know where I was or how I had gotten there. I was absolutely terrified.” When Raymond was finally able to let go of his fear, he felt better. And then he saw a pinpoint of light “10 million times brighter than the sun.” He then met a spiritual being who knew him and who introduced him to God. “Beautiful, blissful pure love” is how he describes the encounter. After spending time with The Light and a multitude of other beings that made The Light, Raymond was told, against his wishes, that he must return.
When he recovered, he told his mother what had happened. A devout Catholic, she took him to a priest, who told him that since he didn’t see Jesus in the experience, it was probably a trick of Satan. The conflict between what Raymond experienced and the counsel he received from his priest caused Raymond to actively suppress his experience for many years. It wasn’t until years later — when the term “near-death experience” was created — that he realized he wasn’t alone.
Raymond did not speak publicly about his experience for 45 years. In recent years, he has spoken at many chapters and at the IANDS national conference. And now, almost a half century after his NDE, he can say, “When I die I’ll have a big smile on my face… because I know what’s coming!”