Woman who claims to have had a near-death experience said she ‘smelled’ God

PLUGGING her book  – Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again – on an episode of Fox and Friends this week Crystal McVea told viewers of her encounter with God:

I saw an immense brightness, a brightness I could feel, taste, touch, hear, smell, that infused me. Not like I had five senses, but maybe like I had 500 senses.

This happened after McVea was given an accidental drug overdose by an anaesthesiologist that stopped her heart. The overdose, she said, had the effect of bringing her into direct contact with God – the Christian one, who lords it over heaven.


She added that the Almighty spoke to her without actually using words. However, she can’t quite remember the conversation  that took place when God ordered her back to bed – something she was reluctant to do. God’s latest reject said:

When I came back I was only allowed to remember a few things.

According to The Raw Story, it’s not the first time Fox & Friends has pitched a book claiming anecdotal proof that the Christian afterlife is more than just wishful thinking.

Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, a guest on the show last December and author of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, actually told viewers that he was certain the child victims of the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut, will remember their deaths in heaven but won’t feel any pain.

Despite the claims of authors like McVea and Alexander, whose stories of the afterlife are snapped up by gullible book buyers, The Raw Story says it is much more likely that these individuals experienced a measurable medical condition.

According to a 1975 study published in Anesthesia & Analgesia, research on nearly 500 anaesthetized patients found that 11 percent experienced some form of mental aberration like extremely vivid dreams, awareness of the outside world and even hallucinations.

Additionally, much more recent research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that in a trial of 18 adults given psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in “magic mushrooms” 94 percent of the participants walked away from the trip saying it was one of the most profound spiritual experiences they’ve ever had.

A further 34 percent placed it as the most meaningful single experience in their life up to that point.

43 responses to “Woman who claims to have had a near-death experience said she ‘smelled’ God”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    “When I came back I was only allowed to remember a few things.”

    How terribly convenient. And, anyway, how would you know that there were things you couldn’t remember? More mumbo-jumbo for the gullible from the fantasy world of religion.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again

    A True Story? I’m gonna need a bit more evidence before I believe that.

  3. Ex Patriot says:

    I believe in life before death. It is best to enjoy it while you can

  4. Broga says:

    They never come back with any piece of startling, previously unknown information that would astonish in its insight. I had the chance of a near death experience seven years ago. I was knocked out and unconscious in a car crash. Seat belts and front and side airbags (highly recommended) left me with nothing more than a few weeks of pain from a smashed nose (probably an improvement) and badly bruised ribs from the seat belts.

    I tried to recall what I remembered during my brief period of being unconscious. That period was a blank. I conclude that is what happens at death.

  5. Angela_K says:

    @Broga. Good point. I was once unconscious as a result of a terrible motorcycle accident, all I can remember is – nothing. I’ve also had general anesthesia three times, same thing – nothing. But then I’m not a deluded christian loon, fantasist or liar.

    I have taken LSD a couple of times years ago when I was a student; purely in the interests of experimental science ;-)and experienced hallucinations and a sense of dreaming whilst being awake.

    Idiots like McVea are just as bad those who claim they’ve been abducted by aliens and been subjected to some bizarre sexual experiments. It would be funny if she said see had met Jesus and Mo.

  6. The Woggler says:

    Why would God give somebody experience of heaven, then order them to leave? Isn’t that rather cruel?

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    Perhaps Mrs. McVea had the same experience as Moses in Exodus 33:23.

  8. gill Kerry says:

    Smell god? Was it his smelly socks?

  9. AgentCormac says:


    Strange also how ‘heaven’ always conforms precisely to their preconceived notion of the place, as painted in their minds by countless preachers, online images, artists, movies and so forth. No one ever comes back and says, ‘Boy, did we got that all wrong – the whole place is actually a vivid turquoise with cerise blotches, it smells of sprouts and everyone who abides there speaks the ‘black language’ of Mordor’.

  10. stokebruernehuman says:

    She is a lying, grasping, deceitful opportunist. Thats it. Simple. Just ask the publisher what the advance on the book was.

  11. Broga says:

    AgentCormac: Indeed, visions of heaven always depend on past experience. My late mother, as much an atheist as I am, used to distract herself in her terminal and painful phase talking about what she would want heaven to be like if there were such a place. She would have a super conservatory looking out on a wonderful flower garden and she would be in the company of all the people she had liked in life. (She had outlived most of them.) She would enjoy the most terrific Hogmanays (she was Scots) and she spent lots of time choosing music she wanted.

    She particularly looked forward to meeting my brother who had pre deceased her years ago and from which she never really recovered. She also had our dead dogs resurrected and was especially looking forward to going for walks with a favourite Labrador retriever. She never mentioned God, Jesus or Angels although she did like the idea of meeting Marcus Aurelius.

  12. AgentCormac says:


    And that is precisely why religion has flourished. Sorry, I’ll start that again – apart from guaranteeing people unspeakable agony in hell if they don’t conform and violence here on Earth if they dare break any rules – that is precisely why religion has flourished. The chance to have all the really good stuff back again. The indescribable opportunity of a perfect existence surrounded by those that they have known and loved. And for eternity, too. Who wouldn’t want that?

    But as you and I both know, it is all an unforgivable betrayal of trust.

    False hope served up as certainty is the most wicked thing one person can offer another.

  13. Matt Westwood says:

    “Woman who claims to have had a near-death experience said she smelled. God!”

  14. Angela_K says:

    There is a lot we don’t know about the human brain but an huge amount that we do. From analysis of those who have suffered physical brain damage to those who have suffered degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and experiments with drugs including anaesthetics, we know the brain holds all our memories, motor function signals and cognitive skills. So when we die the electricity stops flowing and our brain rots in the ground or is burned – all gone forever. The information in the brain is lost and doesn’t magically appear somewhere else to join every human who has ever existed, as Ken and this barking mad McVea suggest. Rather like the dynamic RAM used in electronics, when the power goes off the RAM memory is blanked.

  15. Stonyground says:

    “They never come back with any piece of startling, previously unknown information that would astonish in its insight.”

    Carl Sagan made much the same observation. This is the most obvious reason to be sceptical. Our species has had to work out how to live the good life in the most painstakingly slow way. Every painful step forward has had to deal with the obstacles that revealed religion has laid in our path.

    The scientific approach often gets things wrong. The religious approach always gets things wrong.

  16. Stephen Mynett says:

    Typical dishonest christian, cashing in on a hallucination. The irony is that a load of self-righteous idiots will buy it whereas they would all express moral outrage if any of us published a book titled “My favourite mushroom trips”.

    Broga, yours is an interesting post in that I seem to have subconsciously done what your mother did, ie imagine the best things in life. I had a haemmorhaging duodenal ulcer and managed to get my hg count down to 3.8 (4 is the usual mark for fatality) and while the blood was being pumped back in I had some very interesting hallucinations. They all involved those I had like most or admired – I still find it amusing to think of sitting in a cafe with the most scientific of my nieces and Euclid.

    As far as I am concerned it was all caused by the oxygen starvation to the brain, and that if I am going to hallucinate it is going to be based on tangibles and I would guess that anyone facing death is likely to think mostly of loved ones, those they admired or the things that were important to them.

  17. Marky Mark says:

    (When I came back I was only allowed to remember a few things.)
    …it’s called a Dream. We all do it at night, and even under anesthesia.

    (Additionally, much more recent research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that in a trial of 18 adults given psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in “magic mushrooms” 94 percent of the participants walked away from the trip saying it was one of the most profound spiritual experiences they’ve ever had.)
    …yep, god is a drug induced experience.

    How come these near death experiences NEVER come back describing HELL? Their always at the pearly gates.

    Witch reminds me of the four Nuns awaiting entry to heaven due to a convent fire, and being questioned by St Peter at the gates.

    Pete: Hve you ever stolen?
    Nun: No
    Pete: Have you ever lied?
    Nun: No
    Pete: Ever used the lord’s name in vein?
    Nun: No
    Pete: Ever have a sexual experience?
    Nun: I once masturbated a priest
    Pete: WHAT? Well…wash your hands in the holy water and go on inside.

    Pete: Same questions as before and all answered “No” by the nun until…
    Pete: Ever have a sexual experience?
    Nun: I once let a priest have an orgasm by rubbing his dick between my breasts.
    Pete: WHAT! Your nuns and should be better at repressing your sexual desires…wash your chest in the holy water and go on in.

    All of a sudden Nun#4 quickly cuts in front of Nun#3 in line.
    Pete: And what happens to be your hurry as to cut in line?
    Nun#4: I wish to wash my mouth out in the holy water before Nun#3 has to sit in it.

  18. AgentCormac says:


    Yes she is. And do feel free to join me in leaving damning comments about this work of fiction on Amazon.

  19. Tim Danaher says:

    Broga — your ma sounds like she was one cool lady… I’d want to meet Marcus Aurelius too…. Meditations: 100 Bible: 0

  20. Broga says:

    @Tim Danaher: Although I say myself she was indeed one cool lady. When she died Marcus Aurelius “Meditations” was by her bed.

  21. the Woggler says:

    In reality, of course, Heaven is full of atheists.

  22. Marky Mark said How come these near death experiences NEVER come back describing HELL?”.

    That’s an interesting point, historically. In the Middle Ages, people did have very vivid visions of Hell in their near death experiences: there’s a good example in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People in which a non-believer with a nasty fever he was not expected to recover from saw the damned in agony. I suspect that it’s to do with how people viewed their own existence and death a thousand years and more ago. There’s probably some literature on the subject, but I can’t think of any off hand.

  23. barriejohn says:

    If you look up this woman on the internet you come across the fact that she is an “Independent Consultant for Scentsy” – ie she sells candles. Did she forget about that as well? I smell a rat!

  24. 1859 says:

    Her god is clearly a candle. My girlfriend once told me she would not recommend masturbationg with a candle because it gets warm and goes soft.As they say god moves instrange ways.

  25. Robster says:

    I was once subjected to a few minutes of Mel Gibson’s pile of nonsense about jesus. In that movie, the baby jesus looked like he needed a good shower more than anything else, covered with dirt and blood mixed in with some tasty BO. He would have smelled somewhat dodgy I’d suggest. That is perhaps what the silly woman smelled.

  26. Narcogen says:

    Amazing how people always experience a connection with the god they were raised to believe in during a near death experience. It’s almost as if the experience comes from themselves and not objective reality…

  27. LakeTonkaMark says:

    I had a dream the other night, when I woke up I could remember most of it.
    However, after less than 5 min, I could only remember bits and pieces. Sound familiar? That ever happen to you?

    1859- I really like your nickname. Very clever.

  28. bettydavis says:

    An atheist friend of mine died recently. Apparantly she appeared to a friend of hers who is a spiritualist and said she was OK. I think if there is an afterlife she would have appeared to me instead to tell me we had it all wrong. By the way, who is Ken?

  29. Broga says:

    @bettydavis: Ken is the Irritant of the Site. He serves the purpose of demonstrating the toxic effects of religious superstition on the human brain. His conclusions are based on the bible, fixed and weird. He starts with his conclusion and performs twists and turns, often quoting the bible, to reach his conclusion and prove that which cannot be proved. He dismisses, unread I suspect, those who oppose his weird superstitions. Thus he has no time for, or understanding of, writers and thinkers such as Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker.

    He says almost nothing about his circumstances which, I guess, are bleak and unrewarding but brings us his sad sermons. He has the potential to be a decent man but his faith has produced in him a cruelty and viciousness that should repel anyone with civilised values. Thus he defends biblical abominations, absurdities and contradictions. I don’t know what religion he espouses but whatever it is it leaves him isolated and detached from decent humanity. In his meandering, meaningless and repetitive contributions he demonstrates the reality of the fundamentalist christian and thus he does a service to atheism.

  30. barriejohn says:

    Bettydavis: That’s just what I said recently about those evangelists raising the dead in Africa. Why don’t they perform their miracles in godless countries where they could convince unbelievers of their supernatural powers? If they can do it there, then why not in Europe or America? Has their god lost his power in those places?

    Ken is an extremely irritating and persistent cyst which appeared on my eyelid, and was very resistant to treatment. It does seem to be subsiding now – probably of it’s own accord, like most of the things for which we receive highly expensive modern medicines!

  31. Ian says:

    In 1992 I underwent an investigation for coronary heart disease, everything from the dreaded treadmill, being injected with radio-active isotopes and finally an angiogram.

    During the angiogram, which I watched on a large screen, the provedure being narrated by the surgeon I suddenly felt tired, very tired, and closed my eyes. That was because my heart had stopped!! Well, stopped beated normally, what is known as sinus rhythm.

    When I recovered consciousness I quickly realised, because the theatre sister was rubbing anti-burn cream into my chest, that I had been de-fibrillated i.e jump started.

    I was one of the lucky ones. 40% of the people who undergo the same problem do not recover, they stay dead!

    I can assure you, because I was there, that there is absolutely F*** All there. No sights, no sounds, no smells (although I love Brussel sprouts! Yummy.) no nothing.

    I haven’t got a book deal either – life sure is crap.

  32. Ian says:

    Life might be crap (actually it’s not) but it sure beats the alternative.

    Q: If you go to heaven and sit on the right hand of god, is God’s hand palm up or palm down?

    Just askin’.

  33. Broga says:

    Ian: You have had a tough time and you have my best wishes. Your attitude towards you experiences is entirely admirable. My late brother,a christian, was unconscious for six weeks after an accident. He had no near death experience either because I asked him. However his christian wife prayed to God to save him. His wife said to me, “God answered our prayers.”

    What she didn’t mention was that my brother was brain damaged and remained like that till his early death. Odd that God answered the prayers and saved his life but neglected to repair the brain. I was tempted to mention that the thanks were due to the brilliant neuro surgeon and his team but I didn’t have the heart.

  34. Ian says:

    Broga: Thanks, but don’t get me wrong. I don’t have heart disease, they just thought I might have and succeeded in ruling it out. We all experience ectopic beats i.e where the heart appears to miss a beat, it doesn’t it just gets out of synch. I just take it a few steps further – I have, at times, rather a lot. It’s ad hoc, un medicated and I can still walk four miles in an hour and, not only see my toes I can touch them as well :o)

    That experience led to my becoming involved in cardiac rehab for almost 15 years. Strangely enough in those 15 years I cannot remember any one of the hundreds of people I dealt with talking about religion.

    My brother, who is world war two older than I am has been a lay preacher for decades, lots of them (he must be good because he has a house full of eggs!) and only now is, I think, beginning to realise that I am not as he. I think his perception of me is changing. There are times when I wish I could read minds. Well, perhaps not.

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother and I can empathise with your dilemma.

  35. barriejohn says:

    Broga: An elderly Christian friend of mine died last year. I got the usual bumph through the post, including the news that “the Lord was very kind in that he didn’t let her suffer for long”, and “he took her before me so that she wouldn’t be left on her own”. If her suffering had dragged on then he would have been answering their prayers in not letting her die, and if her husband had gone first then “the Lord” would have been very kind in not leaving HIM on his own. The sad thing is that these are highly intelligent, university-educated people who must realize that they are clutching at straws, as there is no logic in what they say at all, but they have become trapped by their strict religious upbringing. All wishful thinking and putting a positive spin on things, I’m afraid!

  36. AYeshuratnam says:

    McVea’s experience is not something new. Many have felt the presence of God or parents. Dean Mobbs claim that many of the phenomena associated with near-death experiences can be biologically explained,” is only imaginary.. If neurotransmitter problems or side effects of medicinal and recreational drugs can explain the occurrences, why only association with God and angels occur? Why recreational drugs do not show the images of filth and squalor? So Mobbs’ explanation is not convincing.Hindus believe in reincarnation. A man may born again as a dog according to his karma (action).. As Toynbee says, “I do not believe that a human being exists before his birth or continues to exist after his death in the time-dimension in which human beings live in the world.” Biologically speaking, human semen alone can produce a human being and it cannot produce a dog.. The cycle of reincarnation in Hinduism to disentangle the soul from the web of karma is based on unverifiable hypotheses. Nobody has seen till now a dog claiming to be a man in its previous birth. So Christian belief in the immortality of the soul is correct and it is proved by NDE of many persons.

  37. Frederik Risom says:

    “Smells Like Holy Spirit”, I’d imagine…

  38. Broga says:

    @Ian: Thanks for the update. I’m familar (second hand) with the experience of irregular heart beats. My good friend has atrial fibulation (probably got the spelling wrong) and another has needed a pacemaker which is checked every six months. They are both very fit and very active.

    @barriejohn: I have to admit that the imminent death of someone near does shake me up. When my mother was dying I got in a panic, couldn’t sleep and was wondering if she really wanted a religious funeral. Maybe she had opted for the humanist version because of the pressure of my views. It got worse as I began to wonder if I had done all I could for her. Would I be left with regrets when she had gone? I decided I would ask her and offer the alternatives.

    So I said that as we had all been brought up as Presbyterians maybe she wanted a Scots’ Minister and a religious funeral? If she wanted to return to her religious roots that was fine with me. I could easily arrange that and “it won’t bother me in the slightest.” (Blatant lie, of course.)

    This was not long before she died but she retained her usual wit to the end as I was to discover. She looked and me and said, “If you let a minister near me or arrange a religious funeral I will come back and haunt you.” I slept soundly that night.

  39. barriejohn says:


    If neurotransmitter problems or side effects of medicinal and recreational drugs can explain the occurrences, why only association with God and angels occur?

    Where’s the proof of this? How do you know that no one ever has NDEs of anything other than “God and angels”? Piffle, I say!

    Nobody has seen till now a dog claiming to be a man in its previous birth. So Christian belief in the immortality of the soul is correct and it is proved by NDE of many persons.

    Are you serious? These claims are laughable. How odd that everyone thinks that the evidence supports their own pre-held beliefs!

  40. Stephen Mynett says:

    Think we just have another passing troll of no fixed intellect here Barriejohn. Or he may be a relative of Ken’s, their ‘logical’ process is similar.

    Certainly my NDEs have never had anything to do with god,angels and crap like that. However, these religoes will cling to anything to try to prove their ridiculous arguments.

  41. barriejohn says:

    SM: I love the way that these religiots use lttle bits of science to support their inane ramblings. I well remember as a teenager that the Big Bang theory was all the proof they required that Genesis was factually correct – even though they normally ridiculed any scientific “speculation” regarding the past. He talks about human semen being unable to produce a dog, yet must be aware that the religious believe that our physical bodies are inhabited by a “soul”, which makes his argument pointless. Maybe he’ll be back to let us know that we’ve fallen for his joke!

  42. Ken says:

    Broga – ‘He [Ken) has the potential to be a decent man …’

    I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies!

    Barriejohn – ‘Ken is an extremely irritating and persistent cyst …’

    Aye aye! I’ve been called many things, but not that before.

    Incidentally, at the risk of being irritating, a near death experience is not the same as a death experience, where someone actually dies and subsequently returns, and therefore is irrelevant to the issue of a non-material world existing or not existing.