The Christian Science textbook, large type edition, by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Science and Health with Key the Scriptures,
 by Mary Baker Eddy

Christian Science crown by Mary Baker Eddy
sublime science

Chapter 5 - - Animal Magnetism Unmasked 


 Earliest investigations



Mesmerism or animal magnetism was first brought into notice by Mesmer in Germany in 1775. According to the American Cyclopaedia, he regarded this so-called force, which he said could be exerted by one living organism over another, as a means of alleviating disease. His propositions were as follows:

"There exists a mutual influence between the celestial bodies, the earth, and animated things. Animal bodies are susceptible to the influence of this agent, disseminating itself through the substance of the nerves."

In 1784, the French government ordered the medical faculty of Paris to investigate Mesmer's theory and to report upon it. Under this order a commission was appointed, and Benjamin Franklin was one of the commissioners. This commission reported to the government as follows:

"In regard to the existence and utility of animal magnetism, we have come to the unanimous conclusions that there is no proof of the existence of the animal magnetic fluid; that the violent effects, which are observed in the public practice of magnetism, are due to manipulations, or to the excitement of the imagination and the impressions made upon the senses; and that there is one more fact to be recorded in the history of the errors of the human mind, and an important experiment upon the power of the imagination."



topic 2 - ending page 101


- PREVIOUS -- NEXT -

chapter index

book index

Please consider a donation

 

Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. BC, Canada - (c) 2010 public domain; Rolf A. F. Witzsche