The banking industry is where I have worked for many years. First in a commercial role for a French bank, and after I got my Ph.D my role was a supervisory one, at the Dutch Central Bank. Currently I am still working for this institution. I also lectured at the University of Groningen, where I got my PhD in economics. I live in the center of the most beautiful city in the world, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Christophor is my second name, which I prefer above Robert (or Bob), his first name. I was born in 1957 in Venezuela and lived a considerable part of my childhood in that country and in Iran (my father worked with Shell). When I was eight years, I moved with my parents and brother Michael to the Netherlands. I went to secondary school in Assen. Then followed a study in General Economics at the University of Groningen. I combined an active student life with a paid job as assistant teacher at the Legal Section of the Faculty of Economics.
After my study I experienced the consequences of a high unemployment rate amongst academics, but eventually I managed to find a job with Crédit Lyonnais Bank Nederland. That position brought me via Nijmegen and the head office in Rotterdam back to Groningen, where I decided to pursue an academic career at the University.
As Assistant Professor I visited several international congresses and published articles in a number of Dutch and international scientific journals. In 1997 I received my Ph.D. in Economics. Since my Ph.D. thesis was about solvency requirements for banks, it was a minor step to a job with the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank). There I first became a banking supervisor. Then I started working as a risk manager in the Financial Markets department, where I could also closely follow the developments in de international financial world. It was from here that I could see how the Great Depression unfolded.
During my career in the financial sector I never lost my human interest. This resulted in writing my first book (Michael’s Circle) which was based on the real story of how friends and family lovingly looked after a terminally ill Aids patient and helped him through the final stages of his life.
In 1995, my disgust over the biggest single massacre in Europe after World War II in Srebrenica, made me write a book about the real experiences of one of the victims, a Muslim girl who became translator for the Dutch U.N. soldiers (Beyond the Yellow Bridge).
My conviction that Near-Death Experiences are true spiritual experiences dates back to 1979 when I read Raymond Moody’s Life after Life. A few years ago I wrote a book in which I compared the essences of NDEs with those of five world religions. My conclusion is that the true essences of the five religions can be found in NDEs, but that not all the essences of NDEs can be found in each individual religion. An updated version of this book will be published in the US, in March 12013. Its title: Essence of Religions , a glimpse of heaven in the near-death.
Between 2008 and 2015, I was president of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) in the Netherlands, called Netwerk-NDE
I believe that everyone should have a social engagement. My social engagement is through my work as board member of the Society for Worldwide Dentistry. I participated in dental projects for underprivileged school children in Kenya, Cambodia, and Nepal. Each of these dental camps were incredible experiences, where I could do something valuable for other people and that also broadened my view on the world.
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