London, Dec 1 (ANI): At first sight, Chris Vicens looks like any other man, but what you don't know is that he once lived as the blonde bombshell herself, Marilyn Monroe, at least according to him.
The 26-year-old shop assistant of Islington, North London, is utterly convinced that he was Marilyn Monroe in his past life.
'Past life regression therapy' is a controversial form of hypnosis in which individuals are encouraged to travel back through time, to recover scraps of buried memory from a 'previous life'.
"Yes, people have scoffed, but I know what I know. When I first awoke from my session and the therapist told me who I'd said I was, I thought: "No, that's not possible - what are the odds of that happening?" the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
"She was murdered in her pool house, then dragged to the bedroom and stripped. Five people were involved in her death. But each time I regress, I learn a little more. I like to think I am a sane and rational person. I am definitely not making this up. Why would I open myself up to ridicule?" he added.
During just five sessions with regression therapist Fiona Childs, Vicens learned details of the life of Monroe - born Norma Jean Baker - he simply did not know before.
"On one occasion, I was with Norma Jean's mother in a farmhouse, which was empty apart from a white object in the front room. Afterwards, I got a book on Monroe and discovered that, although she spent most of her life in orphanages, she spent a short time with her mother," Vicens said.
"During this period, her mother bought a house and furniture on credit. Within a month, all her belongings had been repossessed, apart from a giant white piano - and that was what I saw in my vision," he said.
"Everyone thinks she was found naked in her bedroom after committing suicide, but I know the truth. She was murdered in her pool house, then dragged to the bedroom and stripped. Five people were involved in her death," Vicens added.
Chris French, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, believes the majority of 'regressives' do not set out to defraud but are convinced of their stories' authenticity.
They're experiencing what psychologists call "cryptomnesia", which literally means hidden memories - but they're not memories from another life, just ones from way back in their present one," he said.
It's worth pointing out, too, that reincarnation is a core part of the Hindu faith, which teaches the concept of multiple reincarnations, with souls being reborn in new forms.
"There have been stories of people who go looking for the reason for phobias or recurring ailments, which may help them cope with their problem. In that sense, it can be very helpful - but that still doesn't make it true," French said.
Regression therapists like Andrew Hillsdon, on the other hand, believes the scientists are simply being narrow-minded.
"Experience with more than 1,000 clients has proved to me that there is more to regressive therapy than simple memories and imagination. Time and time again, the level of detail and historical references continue to astound me. There is no way people can be just making these details up," he said. (ANI)