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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Paralyzing Ray (Bolar Current)  
  A beam that forces a person to remain rooted to a particular spot.  

From a porte beside one of the stern's bull's-eyes a faint beam shot out and caught them. And persisted, clinging. Georg felt the tingle of it; felt his feet gripping the ground, fastened as though by a giant electro-magnet. The paralyzing ray. He saw Aura's figure waver from the shock; then stiffen... And he and the girl beside him stood rooted.*

The Bolar current, popularly misnamed the paralyzing ray, has no effect whatever of a physical paralysis. It merely generates a sudden gravitational force, transitory, but of extreme intensity so that the victim stands momentarily "rooted to the ground." The subject is highly technical of explanation. The affected material object does not gain an extreme weight, as in the case of an electronized gravity plate with full attractive force: the paralyzing beam acts more in the nature of magnetism - at the contact point of the affected object and the ground into which the Bolar current is discharged.

From Blood of the Moon, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1936
Additional resources -

Compare to the paralysis ray from Satellite Five (1938) by Arthur K. Barnes and the paralysis bomb from If This Goes On... (1940) by Robert Heinlein.

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