Portrait of a Past-Life Skeptic by Robert L. Snow

Publication Details

  • Format: Paperback

Irrespective of which stream of paranormal research, spiritual philosophy or metaphysics you study, as an independent researcher you are invariably greeted in your investigations with silence and non-committal from all types of authority figures.

When they do speak out on any contentious and sensitive spiritual topic they invariably do so under a cloak of anonymity.

Robert L Snow, a one time captain in the Indianopolis Police Department, where he served for thirty-eight years, understands only too well the risks run by those working as respected pillars of society when speaking about such sensitive subjects as reincarnation.

In the introduction to his book Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic he explains just how hard the decision was to share his belief that he was the reincarnated personality of a nineteenth century artist.

As he put it What would the top brass and city administrators think of a police captain who published a book about a New Age concept?

In the end he did, of course, feel that his story genuinely contributed to the debate and that by sharing it he would help add some extra evidence that past-lives are real. As a result he released the first edition of his book back in 1999.

His initial reticence, as it happens, over telling his story was entirely justified for the reaction to his book by the public was in mainly positive, he found that releasing his research was indeed detrimental to his professional career – both as a policeman as well as a successful and prolific writer on police procedures.

The Story Unfolds

In the opening to his book, Snow describes his early years as a child growing up in a middle-class family in the mid-west of America.

He explains how as a young man he drifted into police work more by accident than design for he had always had a personal desire to be a writer.

It was during his time in the normally closed and introspective environment of a police department that Snow gradually became aware that although they generally did not talk about their strange encounters with the supernatural many police officers were experiencing odd paranormal events in their line of duty.

This encouraged him to study the subject of past lives more deeply and he came across the work of Dr Raymond Moody along with his conversation from skeptic to believer in reincarnation through the use of regression hypnosis.

Unrevealed Worlds

Although initially skeptical about the whole subject of hypnotic regression Captain Snow did agree to personally undergo a session on his own.

This consultation began with him being taken back in time by the therapist to his college graduation. From there he regressed even further back through earlier stages in his life until he reached a point before he was born into this life.

With guidance from his higher self the patient was then guided back in time and place to what was to Snow a vaguely familiar landscape located in a valley. From here he experienced himself as a man inside a cave – one who was seriously ill and close to dying alone.

From there the captain found himself in the late 1800s and in a city whilst on his way to meet a beautiful woman by the name Amanda.

Later he found that his name back at that time was Jack and that he was a creatively productive, but somewhat impoverished, artist.

Change of Sex

As the session continued so Captain Snow recalled an inner experience as a teenage girl in Greece before returning back to his lifetime spent as a painter.

The whole hypnotic session had taken an hour to conduct but then required a further forty-five minutes for the police officer to regain his composure and to assimilate what had happened to him.

Over the following month the somewhat confused officer returned to his experiences and the images he had experienced of the paintings in that artists studio.

Although the event had been extremely lucid and somewhat mind-blowing Snow was still searching for a rational explanation for his experiences whilst in the hypnotic state.

As per the training of all police officers Snow then decided to investigate the mystery of the paintings which he saw clearly in his regression and which he felt were known and accredited works of art.

‘Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic’ then continues with an account of the investigative journey Snow took in searching for an answer to his hypnotic enigma.

The Search for Answers

Did Captain Snow ever resolve the mystery of his possible earlier life as a portrait and landscape artist? Was he ever able to reconcile his natural skepticism regarding both the issue of reincarnation and that of modern hypnotic regression?

The answer to those questions will require you to read the book for yourself!

Our Review of ‘Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic’ by Robert L Snow

Having described the background to the story of ex-Captain Robert L Snow’s psychic experiences in this review I have deliberately left out the specifics of the story and any details regarding the success- or otherwise, of his investigations.

The reasons for this is that I simply wish to avoid spoiling the story for those who would like to follow the authors train of thought and line of reasoning for themselves.

What I would say is that the story that unfolds following that initial regression session is captivating and includes some surprising twists and turns along the way.

For those of us in the field of spirituality the concept of previous lives and reincarnation is a comfortable and pretty obvious one. For the more hardened thinkers out there who approach the book with some cynicism and skepticism the story that unfolds in this book will, I have to warn you, be something of a real opener and challenge to your current paradigm.

Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic is a courageous account – a story of dogged determination and remarkable attention to detail. It has to go down as one of the greatest and most thought-provoking accounts of possible past-life regression.

Our Rating


Credit: Review copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.