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A horse in Richmond, Virginia, that in 1927 was investigated by Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine when it was claimed that the animal had extrasensory perception (ESP) powers. It was Rhine's first encounter with, and interest in, such claims, and he readily accepted that the horse could answer questions and make predictions by pushing over children's toy alphabet blocks to spell out responses, because he could not solve the puzzle, but he believed it was due to telepathy.
The magician Milbourne Christopher, who looked into the matter, determined that when Lady Wonder's trainer was unaware of the answer required of the horse, results dropped to zero. It was a case of ideomotor reaction and has become a prime example of that phenomenon in psychology.
Such trained horse acts are well-known, another famous case being that of Clever Hans (which see) though there is no evidence that Hans was purposely trained for this task.
See philosopher's stone.
Leadbeater, Charles Webste
See Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna.
(“Lesser Key of Solomon”) A grimoire from the seventeenth century mostly concerned with who's who in the world of demons. Full of hierarchial lists, and of no use whatsoever.
Solomon's magic circle and triangle, from the Lemegeton.
Named for the lemur, a small mammal from Madagascar, this mythical ancient continent was concocted to explain certain striking similarities between features of different landmasses. Now that continental drift has been confirmed, these correspondences are much, much better explained. As with other imaginary continents such as Atlantis and Mu, Lemuria was said to be the home of a highly advanced civilization who used ESP, psychokinesis, prophecy and other such supernatural powers, flew through the air in glass vehicles, knew the secret of eternal life, had abundant, free energy, and in general were far superior to mere citizens of today.
We're told that all of this information, along with the artifacts and the books, was unfortunately lost without a trace in an unknown cataclysm. Bad luck.
(1810-1875) (Abbé Alphonse-Louis Constant) The son of a French shoemaker who was educated for the priesthood but was expelled for various interesting reasons. He thereupon took the name Lévi, became a mystic, and wrote on the subjects of magic and the kabala. He was a great admirer of Paracelsus. About 1850 he wrote Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (translated as “Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual”) and History of Witchcraft. Those books brought about one of the periodic revivals of interest in the Rosicrucians. Sir William Crookes was an ardent disciple of Lévi, for whatever value that may have.
Levy, Dr. Walter
(1948- ) Hired by Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine as director of his Institute for Parapsychology in Durham, North Carolina in 1973, Dr. Levy was a medical student who had an avid interest in parapsychology and had previously worked during his vacations at the institute, starting in 1969. As soon as he began his experiments at the institute's lab, it was evident that he had a knack for getting positive results.
Rhine had long been under fire for sticking with his statistical studies of extrasensory perception (ESP) rather than going into the more exciting aspects of examining “gifted subjects” such as Peter Hurkos and Uri Geller, who appeared to be able to produce paranormal wonders on demand. Levy, under Rhine's direction, began a series of psi tests on wired-up rats designed to discover whether the rodents were able to influence a random generator, through a computer, to deliver to their brains certain strong pleasure pulses, more often than chance would call for. He also used fertilized chicken eggs in tests to discover if the developing embryos could turn on the incubator lights with psi pulses.
The results of Levy's work were sensational, and the rats, too, seemed satisfied with this line of work; nothing was heard from the eggs. Rhine was well pleased and the institute was prepared to issue a press release on their success. Then suspicious lab workers discovered that Levy was cleverly manipulating the apparatus in order to produce positive results; an auxiliary recorder showed that the rats had no psi powers at all. Nor did the eggs.
Levy resigned his position and went into a medical field.
These are imaginary magical lines traced on maps of England and are said to connect places of power — such as churches, ancient monuments, archaeological sites, and megaliths — in straight lines, thus forming “power grids.” The Stonehenge structure (and, in fact, almost any structure or random location) can be shown to lie at the intersection of at least a pair of ley lines.
Those of the lines that are actually straight (most are not) can be shown to fall within expected chance occurrence on a map of a heavily populated area, especially when features no longer in existence can be included.
A similar notion was developed by the ancient Chinese far before the English came up with it. The Chinese called their lines “dragon tracks,” and they used them for weather forecasting. They were somewhat less successful in that field than today's average TV meteorologist.
The term “ley line” was invented by British author Alfred Watkins.
(queen of the demons) see Adam and Asmodeus.
This author's list of books pretty well explains his taste: The Late Great Planet Earth, Countdown to Armageddon, Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, and The Rapture. The ageless public fascination with disaster has been well served by Mr. Lindsay. His theories are based on ponderous arithmetical calculations that entertain numerous hilarious excuses for failure along the way.
In spite of the sparseness of the evidence he presents, Hal Lindsay's books continue to sell worldwide.
Loch Ness Monster
Lodge, Sir Oliver Joseph
(1851-1940) Sir Oliver was a scientist who did pioneer work in early radio and research on lightning. Among other inventions, he perfected a model of coherer, a device used in early radio before the invention of the vacuum tube.
Lodge's son Raymond was killed in battle in 1915 in France. In 1916, Lodge published a book, Raymond, or Life and Death in which he said that the spirit of his son had communicated with him through various spirit mediums. Raymond, he said, described clothes worn in heaven, as well as all other material things there, as being made of the “smell” of the same decayed matter in the earthly world. Such claims, and his fervent support of the spiritualist movement, eventually made Lodge the laughingstock of his peers and the public, though he was, and still is, a sainted figure to the spiritualists.
Loudun, Devils of
The 1634 case in which Urbain Grandier, a priest at a small town of Loudun, France, was accused of bewitching a local nun, and then a whole group of them, with whom it was reported he became involved in a manner that was anything but religious. Charged with sorcery, Grandier was convicted, horribly tortured, and burned alive. The Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris has a document which is said to be the written pact Grandier made with the Devil.
This case was echoed later by the 1692 Salem witch trials in the American colonies.
It is the town of Lourdes, France, that has attained the strongest international reputation for miracles of healing. This acclaim is the result of a very successful commercial venture that began with a story about Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879), an ignorant peasant girl who said she had a visitation there from “a lady” in 1858.
A shrine was established in 1876 to which some five million visitors a year now flock, occupying four hundred hotels built for them. The public relations people who sell Lourdes as a business claim that there are about thirty thousand healings a year, but church authorities deny that figure, cautioning that less than a hundred claims have been properly documented since the founding of the shrine, and the church has as of this date accepted only sixty-four as miracles, from the millions of cures claimed over the years.
Whether these sixty-four were simply remissions of various kinds or perhaps recoveries brought about by orthodox medical attention, one cannot know, since the records are so sketchy. In several cases, we have no evidence that even the ailments were real. In the absence of proof that the attendance of the afflicted at the shrine was the one element responsible for the termination of the ailment, common sense, as well as the simple principle of parsimony, would require one to strongly doubt the miraculous nature of these events.
Bathing in the mineral springs of Lourdes and drinking of the spring water have been confused with the healing stories. The church has never made any claim that the spring water from the Lourdes grotto is curative in any way, yet every year the souvenir shops sell thousands of gallons to the faithful in tiny vials, as amulets. Those who attend Lourdes in person have consumed millions of gallons more. It is amazing that more worshipers have not contracted diseases from that practice. Europeans are prone to accept the medicinal value of almost any natural spring water — especially if it smells bad. They cannot resist drinking from and washing in the Lourdes spring.
See also Bernadette Soubirous.
The name of Satan before he fell from heaven. Or another designation for the planet Venus. Or the sun god. Take your choice.