Bendit, L(aurence) J(ohn) (1898-1974)

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Bendit, L(aurence) J(ohn) (1898-1974)

Psychiatrist, author, parapsychologist. Born in France May 14, 1898, he was educated at Cambridge University, England, and in 1923 established his psychiatric practice in London. In 1939 he married Phoebe Daphne Payne, with whom he would later write several books. He became interested in psychical research during his college years and joined the Society for Psychical Research, London, in 1937. His doctorate in medicine was the first to be granted for work in parapsychology by a British university. His thesis, Paranormal Cognition, was published in 1944, followed by Living Together Again (1946) and This World and That (1948).

Bendit was also a devoted member of the Theosophical Society and served as the general secretary of the society in London for three years (1958-61). When his term in office ended, the American section invited him to take up residence at the headquarters in Wheaton, Illinois. In 1962 Bendit headed the research department and produced the small volume, Key Words in the Wisdom Tradition. Later that year, he and his wife moved to Ojai, California, and led in the revival of the Krotona Institute of Theosophy's educational program.

Bendit was a prolific author, and he and his wife collaborated on a number of important texts. He specialized in the question of psychic ability in relation to psychological problems.


Bendit, Laurence J. The Mirror of Life and Death. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1965.

. The Mysteries Today, and Other Essays. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973.

. Self Knowledge: A Yoga for the West. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1967.

Bendit, Laurence J., and Phoebe D. Bendit. Man Incarnate. 1957. Reprinted as The Etheric Body of Man. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1977.

. This Transforming Mind. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1970.

Mills, Joy. One Hundred Years of Theosophy: A History of the Theosophical Society in America. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1987.