The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) is devoted exclusively to providing information about near-death and related experiences to experiencers, researchers, educators, health care providers, and the interested public.
IANDS Utah has a three-fold purpose:
1. To facilitate and foster greater acceptance and understanding of near-death experiences;
2. To advance, encourage and promote research and study of near-death experiences;
3. To provide information, guidance, comfort, care and other assistance to those concerned with terminal illness, death, disability, disease and related issues.
Lynn Johnson, PhD, first had the idea for IANDS of Utah. Lynn is a clinical psychologist who for years had given counsel to patients dealing with NDEs of their own or a family member, usually a spouse. NDEs are so life changing that they often disrupt the equilibrium in relationships.
Arvin Gibson wrote several books about NDEs. As a radio talk show host I had interviewed both Arvin and Lynn on my Sunday evening program called Religion Today on KSL Radio in October 1992. Lynn thought the three of us combined knew enough people who had NDEs or were interested in them to start a support group to share NDEs and help people trying to cope with them.
We originally met in the cafeteria at Cottonwood Hospital. Then moved to a larger room in the Hospital. By the next spring, we were established enough we thought we should officially incorporate as a non-profit Utah corporation: IANDS of Utah, Inc. and we currently meet at the Salt Lake County Government Building in Salt Lake City.
IANDS Utah has no direct or formal affiliation with the national IANDS organization. Each local chapter operates separately. IANDS Utah is the largest local organization in the country. Seattle is a close second.