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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

taboo Any prohibition of a motion, a gesture, an item of clothing, a word or phrase, use of a substance, or indeed almost any human action which is thought to provoke a deity, a class of person, a demon, or any other entity.
      Many religions and other belief systems are loaded with such taboos as appearing outdoors with the head uncovered, eating certain foods on certain days of the week, allowing a cat (especially a black one) to cross one's path, showing the sole of one's foot to another person, or living on the thirteenth floor of a building. Entire books have been written listing improper actions, from simple discussions of table manners to serious warnings about divine retribution applied for transgressions.



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Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.

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