In The Washington Monthly (March-April 2012), Christopher Hitchens is interviewed by Art Levine on his recent death:
There’s nothing in these visionary tall tales that can’t be either simply explained through an understanding of basic science or discounted as the unprovable “revelations” of individuals with no legitimate claim on our belief. That was my position before I experienced my own peculiar hallucinations after death, and I have seen no evidence since then requiring me to recant my position. Was I wrong on the afterlife, as so many among the bien-pensant brayed for me to admit that I was wrong on Iraq? Plainly, no.
If the scenes from my past that subsequently paraded before my view were especially vivid and, indeed, somewhat affecting, it cannot have been coincidental that I had only recently spent time finalizing the paperback edition of my memoir, Hitch-22, with a new foreword reflecting on my then-imminent death. And as one would expect, given my intellectual predilections, there was no angelic being or robed dime-store Jesus to greet me as my near-death experience quickly progressed into what might be termed my death experience (DE). Instead, as my hallucinatory journey continued, I was greeted warmly by the predictable neural holograms of Tom Paine, Voltaire, and George Orwell, who all bore a striking resemblance to their paintings, or, in Orwell’s case, to the penetrating photo of him on the cover of my book Why Orwell Matters. Not for a moment did I believe they were “real.” Even so, Orwell, never one to tolerate cant of any kind, furthered my resolve: “This is all a delusion, my dear boy, but enjoy it while you can.”
They were still enjoying the delusion months later and didn’t believe a word of it …