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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Torture



Any of a wide set of techniques that use mental, emotional, or especially physical pain, often with the intent of obtaining (some would say coercing) the admission of information such as guilt for breaking a law. During the Inquisition, torture was used on people suspected of Witchcraft in order to get them to admit to the “crime.” In some cases, the confession wouldn’t be accepted without torture. 

During the Inquisition, as now, the definition of what constituted torture (as used by the torturers and those authorizing torture), was extremely limited. It was said that if there were no bones broken, a confession was obtained “without torture.” Yelling, lying, slapping, enforced wakefulness, and denial of food or water, threatening family members, etc., were not legally considered torture.

Although the use of torture is popular in fiction, most experts declare that torture is ineffective for obtaining truth as victims will say anything in order to get the pain to stop.


Astral Projection Story #2 - Astral Escape
Stressful situations can cause people spontaneously to leave their bodies. The phrase "stressful situation" hardly begins to describe the plight of Ed Morrell, who as an inmate of a state penitentiary, was subjected to terrible tortures but who ...
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Witchcraft and Voodoo
Voodoo and Witchcraft are the two most misunderstood religions in the world. Each has a public image and an inner reality. Most frequently that public image has little to do with the private, inner and real religion. Voodoo Voodoo is a mixture of ...
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Magic Provides an Alternative Viewpoint
Where in the world is magic? It is not in science, which denies the reality and value of anything not amenable to the scientific method. It is not in religion. The Church has historically looked upon magic as devilish, and in modern times regards it ...
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The word "cult" used to be synonymous with the word "sect" It meant a religious group. Therefore, Judaism, Christianity or any religion could be considered a cult. But today the word "cult" has taken on a very ominous meaning. Today when the word ...
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Review of theLudy Lescot Tarot Deck
Summary Created by a young Tarot reader from the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Ludy Lescot Tarot enters the darkness and pain of the world in order to better understand and know the light. With unique twists on traditional Tarot imagery, this ...
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The Astral World
The word "astral" comes from the Greek word meaning "related to a star" and it originally described the heavens of the Greeks and the abode of their gods. The concept of the astral world expanded in time to refer to what the ancients called ...
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Review of the Royo Dark Tarot Deck
Summary The Royo Dark Tarot is a rare treasure. It blends magnificent art with dark fantasy and gothic themes as well as traditional Tarot card meanings to create a deck that is not just a cool dark deck, but one that you will want to study and ...
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Sitting here in the dark, watching the moon shine over the autumn landscape (my favorite time of year) I find myself reflecting on the question that is most frequently asked of me: "How do I know if my house is haunted?" The question seems so simple, so endearing and direct, but it is as complex as the human mind or the spiritual realm and it... read this article
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How Many Chakras Do You Have?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Cyndi Dale, author of a number of books, including The Complete Book of Chakra Healing and the new...

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Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sarah Soderlund, author of the new Haunted by the Abyss. I have the honor of talking, lecturing, and...

A Fresh View of Judgement
In my opinion, the Judgement card needs a rename as much as the Hierophant. It is such an important card and so many people seem to misunderstand it....

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