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Offline thedoc

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Does consciousness exist after death?
« on: 20/05/2016 00:50:01 »
Rock asked the Naked Scientists:
   Does consciousness continue exist after death so that we can think something? Please if you will phone me speak legibly and easy English (better to say just yes or no).
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/05/2016 00:50:01 by _system »


 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #1 on: 21/05/2016 06:54:00 »
Science has not fully explained the nature of consciousness, but there is evidence that it is the result of brain function. Based on that idea, we conclude that if the brain stops, there is no consciousness. On that basis, we might be inclined to conclude that there is no consciousness beyond death; all thought stops at that point. However, this analysis fails to take into account the phenomenon of time travel via suspended animation. Futurists have long hypothesized that people could effectively travel far into the future by placing themselves in a state of suspended animation and then "waking up" centuries later.  It is scientifically valid to view death as the ultimate form of suspended animation. How far does time travel via death take us into the future?  Based on our present knowledge, we would have to say it takes us to the end of the universe. If so, we might consider the issue to be of no significance, but that would be true only for we who remain behind in the present reference frame, for whom the end of the universe is, we think, an exceedingly distant phenomenon. But for the person who has died, it is not an insignificant question, because in his reference frame, he arrives at the end of the universe instantly. Therefore, for the dead, the question of what happens after heaven and earth pass away is a significant question, but it is also a question that is beyond the ability of science to answer.
 

Offline Tim the Plumber

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #2 on: 21/05/2016 10:34:39 »
No.
 

Offline exothermic

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #3 on: 22/05/2016 10:01:07 »
Not without a brainstem, basal forebrain, thalamus or cerebral cortex.

 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #4 on: 21/06/2016 10:14:01 »
I am not supporting any theory, just answering this question.

According to Dualism, consciousness depends on a substance different from the brain and thus might survive death.

It is unsettled what substance is that. The quantity and quality of consciousness that remains after the material component is totally lost is also unsettled.

Until any form of consciousness is created in a laboratory, however simple it is, and this is not even in a pre-embryonic phase, Dualism cannot be discarded or refuted.

I am devising a mental experiment, something like the Chinese room by Searle, to show that Dualism cannot be excluded by just showing that mental actions depend on neural activity and that giving proof that by destroying a brain area, specific mental functions are lost is as much against Dualism as demonstrating that muscular function is lost by cutting a nerve.

My recommended lecture: Damasio's Error and Descartes' Truth by Andrew Gluck. University of Scranton Press. Scranton and London. 2007.
« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 11:17:25 by kasparovitch »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #5 on: 21/06/2016 10:46:39 »
Yes it does I had a profound near death experience in 2011 in which was clinically dead on the resuscitation table, my consciousness- self went elsewhere and I continue to exist as a thinking entity full of new life and happiness.
 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #6 on: 21/06/2016 11:03:31 »
Yes it does I had a profound near death experience in 2011 in which was clinically dead on the resuscitation table, my consciousness- self went elsewhere and I continue to exist as a thinking entity full of new life and happiness.

Perhaps. Unfortunately NDE is not scientifically validated so far. The main work on the subject, by JR Moody is flawed, as his sources and methodology have never been disclosed, and many people thus believe it was based in 2 or 3 reports (amongst how many no one knows). Sam Parnia, who devised a multicenter double-blind trial (The AWARE Study), could not report a single validated case. Many reports are completely inconsistent with the most common ones, and the  former are often omitted or given little attention. Most people who are pronounced dead cannot report anything at all. I am not writing off your statement, which is very significant. Only disclosing what is scientifically consensual.
« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 11:20:42 by kasparovitch »
 

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #7 on: 21/06/2016 11:15:38 »
My maternal grandfather died when I was nine, and shortly before his death he and my grandmother were babysitting me for a week while my mother was out of country on business. I was up one night watching Unsolved Mysteries with him while I was having a mild episode of asthma wheezing. In the episode there was a segment about a woman who was visited by her dead father. I asked my grandfather if dead people can communicate with the living. He said he is not sure- but as a Roman Catholic, naturally he believed in life after death. We made a pact. He said that when his time comes, he will, if possible, try to communicate with me. He never did, and neither have any other dead people that i'm aware of. I made a similar pact with my father who, ironically, died shortly after. Six days ago was his two year death anniversary and I have not seen him either.

I suppose if i was the type that believed in ghosts, I would, in some way, convince myself that he visited me.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #8 on: 21/06/2016 11:29:05 »
Yes it does I had a profound near death experience in 2011 in which was clinically dead on the resuscitation table, my consciousness- self went elsewhere and I continue to exist as a thinking entity full of new life and happiness.

Perhaps. Unfortunately NDE is not scientifically validated so far. The main work on the subject, by JR Moody is flawed, as his sources and methodology have never been disclosed, and many people thus believe it was based in 2 or 3 reports (amongst how many no one knows). Sam Parnia, who devised a multicenter double-blind trial (The AWARE Study), could not report a single validated case. Many reports are completely inconsistent with the most common ones, and the  former are often omitted or given little attention. Most people who are pronounced dead cannot report anything at all. I am not writing off your statement, which is very significant. Only disclosing what is scientifically consensual.

You are right the vast majority experience nothing, however some do and it is a life changing event. Those that experience nothing might have in reality experienced something, but forgotten it, like we do in a dream. I am positive that this  type of event will never be proved scientifically because it is profoundly spiritual and involved the non-material part of mankind.
 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #9 on: 21/06/2016 11:29:26 »
My maternal grandfather died when I was nine, and shortly before his death he and my grandmother were babysitting me for a week while my mother was out of country on business. I was up one night watching Unsolved Mysteries with him while I was having a mild episode of asthma wheezing. In the episode there was a segment about a woman who was visited by her dead father. I asked my grandfather if dead people can communicate with the living. He said he is not sure- but as a Roman Catholic, naturally he believed in life after death. We made a pact. He said that when his time comes, he will, if possible, try to communicate with me. He never did, and neither have any other dead people that i'm aware of. I made a similar pact with my father who, ironically, died shortly after. Six days ago was his two year death anniversary and I have not seen him either.

I suppose if i was the type that believed in ghosts, I would, in some way, convince myself that he visited me.

That's very hard to interpret. Janis Amatuzio, a Forensic Doctor, in her book Ours Forever, tells about a woman that the night her husband died, a rainy night, a butterfly stayed all night in a plant outside the window and left in the morning. Michael Sabom, a Cardiologist, in his book Light & Death tells about a woman who was pronounced dead during a neurosurgical procedure and later described in great detail a strange neurosurgical tool that Sabom thought couldn't exist and later confirmed it was highly accurate. I think I'm talking about honest people. What these things mean is something very hard to say.   
« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 11:32:02 by kasparovitch »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #10 on: 21/06/2016 11:34:52 »
My maternal grandfather died when I was nine, and shortly before his death he and my grandmother were babysitting me for a week while my mother was out of country on business. I was up one night watching Unsolved Mysteries with him while I was having a mild episode of asthma wheezing. In the episode there was a segment about a woman who was visited by her dead father. I asked my grandfather if dead people can communicate with the living. He said he is not sure- but as a Roman Catholic, naturally he believed in life after death. We made a pact. He said that when his time comes, he will, if possible, try to communicate with me. He never did, and neither have any other dead people that i'm aware of. I made a similar pact with my father who, ironically, died shortly after. Six days ago was his two year death anniversary and I have not seen him either.

I suppose if i was the type that believed in ghosts, I would, in some way, convince myself that he visited me.

That's very hard to interpret. Janis Amatuzio, a Forensic Doctor, in her book Ours Forever, tells about a woman that the night her husband died, a rainy night, a butterfly stayed all night in a plant outside the window and left in the morning. Michael Sabom, a Cardiologist, in his book Light & Death tells about a woman who was pronounced death during a neurosurgical procedure and later described in great detail a strange neurosurgical tool that Sabom thought couldn't existed and later confirmed it was highly accurate. I think I'm talking about honest people. What these things mean is something very hard to say.   

I that most people who have had a near death experience are honest folk, they know that they will be scoffed at and their stories will not taken serious, as was my case, when I posted here in the forum, as delusional?
 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #11 on: 21/06/2016 11:35:18 »
Yes it does I had a profound near death experience in 2011 in which was clinically dead on the resuscitation table, my consciousness- self went elsewhere and I continue to exist as a thinking entity full of new life and happiness.

Perhaps. Unfortunately NDE is not scientifically validated so far. The main work on the subject, by JR Moody is flawed, as his sources and methodology have never been disclosed, and many people thus believe it was based in 2 or 3 reports (amongst how many no one knows). Sam Parnia, who devised a multicenter double-blind trial (The AWARE Study), could not report a single validated case. Many reports are completely inconsistent with the most common ones, and the  former are often omitted or given little attention. Most people who are pronounced dead cannot report anything at all. I am not writing off your statement, which is very significant. Only disclosing what is scientifically consensual.

[...] I am positive that this  type of event will never be proved scientifically because it is profoundly spiritual and involved the non-material part of mankind.

Sam Parnia in his AWARE Study devised a very clever protocol that could validate scientifically an out-of-body experience. Unfortunately he couldn't arrange for a single person passing the protocol.

The study is still going on to the best of my knowledge and maybe a validated case will happen sometime, I hope.

Sam Parnia reported 2060 cardiac arrest. 140 people survived and could be interviewed later. 101 gave detailed interviews and, of these, 9 had NDE. Of these, 2 could fulfill the protocol, but only one could be interviewed for that purposed. Unfortunately the NDE occurred in a placed not prepared by the protocol and couldn't be validated. The places prepared had a significant image placed so that it could only be seen from the ceiling and no Doctor serving there knew about it.
« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 11:45:13 by kasparovitch »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #12 on: 21/06/2016 11:39:10 »
Yes it does I had a profound near death experience in 2011 in which was clinically dead on the resuscitation table, my consciousness- self went elsewhere and I continue to exist as a thinking entity full of new life and happiness.

Perhaps. Unfortunately NDE is not scientifically validated so far. The main work on the subject, by JR Moody is flawed, as his sources and methodology have never been disclosed, and many people thus believe it was based in 2 or 3 reports (amongst how many no one knows). Sam Parnia, who devised a multicenter double-blind trial (The AWARE Study), could not report a single validated case. Many reports are completely inconsistent with the most common ones, and the  former are often omitted or given little attention. Most people who are pronounced dead cannot report anything at all. I am not writing off your statement, which is very significant. Only disclosing what is scientifically consensual.

[...] I am positive that this  type of event will never be proved scientifically because it is profoundly spiritual and involved the non-material part of mankind.

Sam Parnia in his AWARE Study devised a very clever protocol that could validate scientifically an out-of-body experience. Unfortunately he couldn't arrange for a single person passing the protocol.

Out of Body type episodes cannot be equated with a profound near death experience as no "Clever Protocol" is going to prove or disprove the truth about them.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #13 on: 21/06/2016 11:46:32 »
I am not supporting any theory, just answering this question.

According to Dualism, consciousness depends on a substance different from the brain and thus might survive death.

It is unsettled what substance is that. The quantity and quality of consciousness that remains after the material component is totally lost is also unsettled.

Until any form of consciousness is created in a laboratory, however simple it is, and this is not even in a pre-embryonic phase, Dualism cannot be discarded or refuted.

I am devising a mental experiment, something like the Chinese room by Searle, to show that Dualism cannot be excluded by just showing that mental actions depend on neural activity and that giving proof that by destroying a brain area, specific mental functions are lost is as much against Dualism as demonstrating that muscular function is lost by cutting a nerve.

My recommended lecture: Damasio's Error and Descartes' Truth by Andrew Gluck. University of Scranton Press. Scranton and London. 2007.

Yes a good magician "can fool the brain", because of the limitations of human physical sensory perception, which evolution or God, if you prefer designed/ programmed into us so that we can survive as material oxygen breathing entities on planet earth.

You cannot cut the nerve of the ethereal part of man namely his soul!
 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #14 on: 21/06/2016 11:49:40 »
Out of Body type episodes cannot be equated with a profound near death experience as no "Clever Protocol" is going to prove or disprove the truth about them.

Alan, of course not. But many NDE include an OBE and this could be subject to the protocol and thus validate scientifically the NDE. Only NDE that include OBE can be subject to trial I think.
 

Offline exothermic

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #15 on: 21/06/2016 12:59:57 »
How does a near-death experience provide evidence for the existence of consciousness [after] death?

If the blood flow to the brainstem is blocked for 10-seconds.... you're rendered unconscious, and if it's blocked for more than a few minutes.... you're a vegetable.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #16 on: 21/06/2016 14:41:41 »
How does a near-death experience provide evidence for the existence of consciousness [after] death?

If the blood flow to the brainstem is blocked for 10-seconds.... you're rendered unconscious, and if it's blocked for more than a few minutes.... you're a vegetable.

The only "Evidence" is "believing" the person who relates the story, why should they lie about it, millions have had this experience and are absolutely convinced they saw into the afterlife? In my own case my heart was not beating and a dying brain without a blood supply simply cannot construct the beauty and wonder of what I saw. I was not unconscious at all, my brain yes inactive, however, the non-material part of my being more active and alive than anything experienced as a mortal on earth. I had left this earthy coil into an existence of timelessness, completely unlike the linear time flow we experience in the physical body.

Gone from the resuscitation table for a minute or two, but experience a lifetime on the other side.
 

Offline exothermic

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #17 on: 21/06/2016 15:29:12 »
How does a near-death experience provide evidence for the existence of consciousness [after] death?

If the blood flow to the brainstem is blocked for 10-seconds.... you're rendered unconscious, and if it's blocked for more than a few minutes.... you're a vegetable.

The only "Evidence" is "believing" the person who relates the story, why should they lie about it, millions have had this experience and are absolutely convinced they saw into the afterlife? In my own case my heart was not beating and a dying brain without a blood supply simply cannot construct the beauty and wonder of what I saw. I was not unconscious at all, my brain yes inactive, however, the non-material part of my being more active and alive than anything experienced as a mortal on earth. I had left this earthy coil into an existence of timelessness, completely unlike the linear time flow we experience in the physical body.

Gone from the resuscitation table for a minute or two, but experience a lifetime on the other side.

No, please don't misunderstand me.... I am not denying anyone's experience whatsoever.

Believe it or not, I've had a very similar experience myself [minus the near death part] however, I'd argue that what we've experienced has nothing to do with consciousness whatsoever, but rather.... more like peering into a completely different realm of existence altogether.

 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #18 on: 21/06/2016 17:33:59 »
A 'near death experience' (NDE) isn't an experience after death, by definition (the clue is in the name). The term 'clinical death' is widely used to mean temporary cessation of heartbeat and breathing, but it doesn't necessarily lead to actual death, which is irreversible.

NDEs and OBEs are known to be triggered by seizures, cerebral hypoxia (fighter jet pilots sometimes get them during brown-outs and G-LOC in centrifuge training), by drugs, and by electrical stimulation. When circulation to the brain is interrupted, cerebral hypoxia results, so one should not be surprised to see NDEs and OBEs during acute clinical distress. So there is plenty of evidence to suggest that these experiences are a result of cerebral physiological distress.

There is also plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that consciousness is a brain process involving specific kinds of neural activity; e.g. specific damage to, or interference with, specific neural functions produces specific changes in consciousness.

Biology and physics suggest no plausible means by which any coherent activity of an individual can be maintained after irreversible brain death.

So there is a raft of empirical evidence to suggests that consciousness and its experiences are the functions of a living brain, none to suggest otherwise, and good reasons to think consciousness can't happen without a live brain. Draw your own conclusion  ;)
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #19 on: 21/06/2016 18:46:21 »
A 'near death experience' (NDE) isn't an experience after death, by definition (the clue is in the name). The term 'clinical death' is widely used to mean temporary cessation of heartbeat and breathing, but it doesn't necessarily lead to actual death, which is irreversible.

NDEs and OBEs are known to be triggered by seizures, cerebral hypoxia (fighter jet pilots sometimes get them during brown-outs and G-LOC in centrifuge training), by drugs, and by electrical stimulation. When circulation to the brain is interrupted, cerebral hypoxia results, so one should not be surprised to see NDEs and OBEs during acute clinical distress. So there is plenty of evidence to suggest that these experiences are a result of cerebral physiological distress.

There is also plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that consciousness is a brain process involving specific kinds of neural activity; e.g. specific damage to, or interference with, specific neural functions produces specific changes in consciousness.

Biology and physics suggest no plausible means by which any coherent activity of an individual can be maintained after irreversible brain death.

So there is a raft of empirical evidence to suggests that consciousness and its experiences are the functions of a living brain, none to suggest otherwise, and good reasons to think consciousness can't happen without a live brain. Draw your own conclusion  ;)


If all we have is this tiny infinitesimal moment, this quantum 'speck of time' compared to eternity, then the creator or evolution is a great cheat.

Dreams are different from an OBE in that a person very often wakes up after beautiful one struggling to remember it only moments later, dreams can usually only be fully remembered for a matter of minutes.

Unlike dreams a near- death events imprints itself as a vivid often very beautiful consistent memory, as was my case back in the day that never changers over time!
« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 18:51:31 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #20 on: 21/06/2016 19:14:37 »
Biology and physics suggest no plausible means by which any coherent activity of an individual can be maintained after irreversible brain death.

After irreversible brain death, there are no NDE.

Biolgy and Physics are outside the realm of any experience after death, if there is any. Science did not prove so far that Dualism is wrong neither will prove it.

There are many reports by people who are honest. Many of them report the end of the NDE, like returning to the body or having to decide to come or not before that. This isn't coherent with seizures, drugs, hypoxia, or whatever else. The problem is proving that.

OBE are very significant in that they can be subject to trial. As I told before, Sam Parnia is conducting a multicenter double-blind trial on the subject.

If someday some person pronounced dead fulfills the protocol, that will not be explainable by any physical or biological process.


« Last Edit: 21/06/2016 19:19:39 by kasparovitch »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #21 on: 21/06/2016 22:50:45 »
Biology and physics suggest no plausible means by which any coherent activity of an individual can be maintained after irreversible brain death.

After irreversible brain death, there are no NDE.

Biolgy and Physics are outside the realm of any experience after death, if there is any. Science did not prove so far that Dualism is wrong neither will prove it.

There are many reports by people who are honest. Many of them report the end of the NDE, like returning to the body or having to decide to come or not before that. This isn't coherent with seizures, drugs, hypoxia, or whatever else. The problem is proving that.

OBE are very significant in that they can be subject to trial. As I told before, Sam Parnia is conducting a multicenter double-blind trial on the subject.

If someday some person pronounced dead fulfills the protocol, that will not be explainable by any physical or biological process.



Please look at this testimony of a Romanian Man who was dead it is profound



 

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #22 on: 22/06/2016 05:06:29 »
NDE is not a question of honesty. It a question of people fooling themselves. I believe they had experiences, but not ones that actually happened in reality.

Also, testimony is not evidence.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #23 on: 22/06/2016 05:41:39 »
NDE is not a question of honesty. It a question of people fooling themselves. I believe they had experiences, but not ones that actually happened in reality.

Also, testimony is not evidence.

You can believe what you like , but the experiences are real glimpses into what come after death. What you are saying is like as a hypothetical answering a person or doubting him/her when he informs you he has just come back from the city of Timbucktoo, with you replying 'come of there is no such place" when in fact it is a real city in a small  African country by the name of Mali?

What you believe or what I believe is redundant to the actual truth, simply because Truth is Truth regardless of what our tiny finite minds think about

Alani
 

Offline kasparovitch

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #24 on: 22/06/2016 08:11:40 »
NDE is not a question of honesty. It a question of people fooling themselves. I believe they had experiences, but not ones that actually happened in reality.

Also, testimony is not evidence.

That's exactly what I said. Testimony is not evidence, although most people are honest almost for sure. Moreover, I said that OBE can be subject to evidence and if proved, there is no empirical justification for it.

Now, more philosophically, people who experience NDE are as honest as people who experience seizures, drug effects and so on and later report something similar to NDE. However, the reports of both groups are different in that NDE people often tell about a return before the end of the NDE (some feel a force that pulls them back or are even asked if they want to return before). Please tell me if I'm wrong.
 

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Re: Does consciousness exist after death?
« Reply #24 on: 22/06/2016 08:11:40 »

 

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