Jim Tucker on Larry King Live

Jim Tucker on Larry King Live

Our very own Dr. Jim Tucker was featured on Larry King Live on December 22, 2009. He was interviewed by Jeff Probst, host of CBS’s ‘Survivor’. Read the transcript below:

PROBST: You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jeff Probst, sitting in for Larry tonight. We're joined by Dr. Jim Tucker, assistant professor of psychiatry and neuro-behavioral sciences at the University of Virginia. He is a child psychiatrist, and he has studied over 2,500 cases of reincarnation memories in kids. He's also the author of "Life Before Life." And here to explain reincarnation memories and what he's learned from years of research.

You heard the story of James, young boy, thinks he was in World War II. Is this a similar story to what you researched with the kids?

PROFESSOR JIM TUCKER, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It is. I haven't studied all 2,500 cases. But at the University of Virginia, we've been studying them for nearly 50 years. And what we have found is that kids from all over the world report very similar things at around the age of two or three. They start coming out with these stories about how they lived before. Some of them give a lot of details like James has. Some give much fewer. But it's a very similar phenomenon. It takes place in places where there's belief in reincarnation, but also in places and in families who have never given it a second thought before in.

PROBST: In some of these cases, the kids have similar scars to the people that they are reincarnated from?

TUCKER: That's right. Several hundred of them have had birthmarks or birth defects that match wounds, usually the fatal wound on the body of the previous person. And what we've done with some of them -- Ian Stevenson, who started the work, has done most of this. He was able to get autopsy reports from a lot of the people whose lives the kids seem to remember and to match up just how well the birthmark or the birth defect matches with the wounds the previous person had.

PROBST: Were you able to chart the time between, you know, death and reincarnation?

TUCKER: Well, it varies. The average time is only about 15 or 16 months in our cases. So for the kids who seem to come back with intact memories, the time span tends to be very short. James is an exception of that. We're talking about 50 years. We have others like that. In general, it tends to be quite quick.

PROBST: A study is one thing. Believing in that study that there's a result is another. Has this convinced you these are real?

TUCKER: Well, I think if you look at the strongest cases that they provide pretty substantial evidence that something has gone on here, that there can be this carry-over of memories and emotions that seem to survive after a body has died and then carry-on in another child.

PROBST: All right. Do you talk about life after death? Why some people don't take it seriously and why they should, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


Full Transcript Available here:  http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0912/22/lkl.01.html