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   Inside Out - Yorkshire & Lincolnshire: Monday February 14, 2005

REINCARNATION

Johnny Nelson
Johnny Nelson was sceptical about his past life regression

Boxing champion Johnny Nelson didn't believe in reincarnation until he agreed to be filmed searching for his past lives - but now he's not so sure.

Johnny, the World Cruiser Weight Champion, was filmed for Inside Out being regressed into his previous existences.

His guides were Roger and Angie Burman, a husband and wife team from Hull who specialise in leading people through their past lives.

Before meeting them, Johnny says: "I don't think I believe in reincarnation, but I've no idea what I've got myself into."

He is reassured by David Young and Helen Lund, a couple from Mexborough, South Yorkshire.

They tell him that, among their other previous existences, they have been a Chinese healer and a belly dancer respectively.

Mysteries of the past

Cameras follow Johnny as he travels to Hull, where Roger and Angie live on a converted fishing boat.

Roger, who used to be an accountant, believes that, in one of his past lives, he was a sea captain in the era of Captain James Cook.

Roger Burman on his boat
Roger believes that he was a sea captain in a past life

In a 50-minute regression session, Roger tries to relax Johnny and enable to him to gather glimpses of his previous existences.

The first attempt fails, then Roger tries again. To his surprise, Johnny catches mental glimpses of two puzzling images.

The first image is a piece of blank paper with, in children's handwriting, the word, "Jack".

The second image is a boxer, striking a pose with both hands raised in the air and acknowledging the flash of cameras from a crowd of photographers.

As Johnny sees this image, he starts to see the photographers through the eyes of the boxer.

Johnny recognises the boxer in the second image as Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight boxing champion.

Johnson, who was born in Texas, on March 31, 1878, died in a car crash in 1946.

Still sceptical?

Immediately after the regression, Angie, a medium, tells Johnny that the image he saw was after Jack Johnson won the world heavyweight boxing title on December 26, 1908, when he defeated Tommy Burns in Melbourne, Australia.

Old picture of Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson was a world heavyweight boxer

So could Johnny Nelson really have been Jack Johnson in a previous life?

"It's hard to believe," says Johnny. "But I know what I saw."

He does, however, admit to being reluctant to tell his colleagues at the gym about what happened.

"I'm very surprised," he says.

"I don't know what to think, and I don't know whether to be flattered, but I won't be talking about it to too many people.

"If it was a hustle, it was a good one.

"But there's one thing I'd still like to know.

"If this is all true - what am I going to come back as in my next life?"

See also ...

Inside Out: Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
Hotel not-so-Grand

On the rest of Inside Out
Ghost hunting
Mediums

On bbc.co.uk
Religion and Ethics

On the rest of the web
Reincarnation - Wikipedia

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