Bendit, L(aurence) J(ohn) (1898–1974)
Psychiatrist, author, parapsychologist. Born in France May
14, 1898, he was educated at Cambridge University, England,
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Bendit, L(aurence) J(ohn)
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.