“So how did you figure this out exactly?” The pope asks the government officials sent to see him about the problem.
“That’s hardly the problem.” The US official said exasperatedly. “We’re more concerned with the millions dying every day than the research that led to this.”
“All the same.” The pope said. “I have not seen the report myself, only the news stories. So tell me, how was this discovered?”
The US official sighed and put his head in his hands, but the Italian official spoke up. “There was a news story a couple months back about a couple near death experiences of death row victims who all reported seeing lights, hearing angels, and just generally having an experience of heaven when they died.” The official explained. “This prompted some psychology students to go do a survey of near death experiences of convicts which then discovered that all convicts, when they had a near death experience, reported similar visions of the afterlife. The study got leaked before it got sent out for review, and the rest is history.”
“Has the study been published?” The pope asked.
“No.” The Italian official responded.
“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway. Contact the medical college in charge of investigating miracles, the WHO, the CDC, and any other legitimate biological research community. Have them forward you all the relevant studies on brain chemistry of people in various near death situations. They will no doubt demonstrate to you that when people nearly die their brains can enter a state similar to that of a drug addict. Dying does substantially affect brain chemistry you know. Once you get the news outlets to start circulating the studies I will contact my brethren in the Christian, Islamic, and jewish communities to begin circulating the relevant theological background. I will also personally forward to you gentlemen a few papers that have postulated the following. 1: The devil is very good at deceiving. 2: This is nothing new. 3: People who don’t actually die haven’t actually seen the after life. They do call it a ‘near’ death experience afterall.”