Hello TheDhamma, all,
I'll leave it to our Bhikkhus t comment further on the reliability of the source. As it was a quote from Bhikkhu Pesala's writings, perhaps he will see this thread and give us the benefit of his understanding.
I think the influence by the last moment of consciousness on the next rebirth follows what is taught in Conditionallity, Paticcasamupadda (Dependent Arising).
Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda teaches:
"from the Buddhist perspective, death is not the end and each birth too is not the beginning of a life. In fact death is the beginning of life and conversely birth is the ending of life. It is just one part of a whole process, a whole cyclic process of birth, death, rebirth and dying again. If one has some understanding of this on-going process, death begins to lose its ability to create morbid terror, because it is not so final after all. T is only the end of a cycle; just one cycle along the way and then the way continues a infinitum with other cycles. The leaves fall off the trees, but it is not the end. They go back to the soil and nourish the roots; next year the tree has new leaves. The same can be said of human life. Conditioned by the moment of death is rebirth
. An understanding of this basic principle helps to relieve ourselves of the fear about death."http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ertain.htm