Chapter 5 — Animal Magnetism Unmasked

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 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders,
 adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness,
 blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man.

  — Jesus.

Earliest investigations

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

 “There exists a mutual influence between the celestial
9 bodies, the earth, and animated things. Animal bodies
 are susceptible to the influence of this agent, disseminat-
 ing itself through the substance of the nerves.”

12 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
15 appointed, and Benjamin Franklin was one of the com-
 missioners. This commission reported to the govern-
 ment as follows:

18 “In regard to the existence and utility of animal mag-
 netism, we have come to the unanimous conclusions that
 there is no proof of the existence of the animal magnetic


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1 fluid; that the violent effects, which are observed in
 the public practice of magnetism, are due to manipula-
3 tions, 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
6 the human mind, and an important experiment upon
 the power of the imagination.”

Clairvoyance, magnetism

 In 1837, a committee of nine persons was appointed,
9 among whom were Roux, Bouillaud, and Clo-
 quet, which tested during several sessions the
 phenomena exhibited by a reputed clairvoyant. Their
12 report stated the results as follows:

 “The facts which had been promised by Monsieur
 Berna [the magnetizer] as conclusive, and as adapted to
15 throw light on physiological and therapeutical questions,
 are certainly not conclusive in favor of the doctrine of
 animal magnetism, and have nothing in common with
18 either physiology or therapeutics.”

 This report was adopted by the Royal Academy of
 Medicine in Paris.

Personal conclusions

21 The author’s own observations of the workings of
 animal magnetism convince her that it is not
 a remedial agent, and that its effects upon
24 those who practise it, and upon their subjects who do
 not resist it, lead to moral and to physical death.

 If animal magnetism seems to alleviate or to cure dis-
27 ease, this appearance is deceptive, since error cannot
 remove the effects of error. Discomfort under error is
 preferable to comfort. In no instance is the effect of
30 animal magnetism, recently called hypnotism, other
 than the effect of illusion. Any seeming benefit derived
 from it is proportional to one’s faith in esoteric magic.


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Mere negation

1 Animal magnetism has no scientific foundation, for
 God governs all that is real, harmonious, and eternal, and
3 His power is neither animal nor human. Its
 basis being a belief and this belief animal, in
 Science animal magnetism, mesmerism, or hypnotism is
6 a mere negation, possessing neither intelligence, power,
 nor reality, and in sense it is an unreal concept of the so-
 called mortal mind.

9 There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The
 pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all-
 embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind.

12 The planets have no more power over man than over
 his Maker, since God governs the universe; but man,
 reflecting God’s power, has dominion over all the earth
15 and its hosts.

Hidden agents

 The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappear-
 ing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front.
18 The looms of crime, hidden in the dark re-
 cesses of mortal thought, are every hour weav-
 ing webs more complicated and subtle. So secret are the
21 present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare
 the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on
 the subject which the criminal desires. The following
24 is an extract from the Boston Herald:

 “Mesmerism is a problem not lending itself to an easy
 explanation and development. It implies the exercise
27 of despotic control, and is much more likely to be abused
 by its possessor, than otherwise employed, for the in-
 dividual or society.”

Mental despotism

30 Mankind must learn that evil is not power. Its so-
 called despotism is but a phase of nothingness. Christian
 Science despoils the kingdom of evil, and pre-eminently


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1 promotes affection and virtue in families and therefore
 in the community. The Apostle Paul refers to the
3 personification of evil as “the god of this
 world,” and further defines it as dishonesty
 and craftiness. Sin was the Assyrian moon-god.

Liberation of mental powers

6 The destruction of the claims of mortal mind through
 Science, by which man can escape from sin
 and mortality, blesses the whole human fam-
9 ily. As in the beginning, however, this libera-
 tion does not scientifically show itself in a knowledge of
 both good and evil, for the latter is unreal.

12 On the other hand, Mind-science is wholly separate
 from any half-way impertinent knowledge, because Mind-
 science is of God and demonstrates the divine Principle,
15 working out the purposes of good only. The maximum
 of good is the infinite God and His idea, the All-in-all.
 Evil is a suppositional lie.

The genus of error

18 As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or
 hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind.
 It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and
21 is both evil and good; that evil is as real as
 good and more powerful. This belief has not one qual-
 ity of Truth. It is either ignorant or malicious. The
24 malicious form of hypnotism ultimates in moral idiocy.
 The truths of immortal Mind sustain man, and they anni-
 hilate the fables of mortal mind, whose flimsy and gaudy
27 pretensions, like silly moths, singe their own wings and
 fall into dust.

Thought-transference

 In reality there is no mortal mind, and conse-
30 quently no transference of mortal thought
 and will-power. Life and being are of
 God. In Christian Science, man can do no harm, for


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1 scientific thoughts are true thoughts, passing from God
 to man.

3 When Christian Science and animal magnetism are
 both comprehended, as they will be at no distant date,
 it will be seen why the author of this book has been
6 so unjustly persecuted and belied by wolves in sheep’s
 clothing.

 Agassiz, the celebrated naturalist and author, has
9 wisely said: “Every great scientific truth goes through
 three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible.
 Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly,
12 they say they have always believed it.”

Perfection of divine government

 Christian Science goes to the bottom of mental action,
 and reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of
15 all divine action, as the emanation of divine
 Mind, and the consequent wrongness of the
 opposite so-called action, — evil, occultism,
18 necromancy, mesmerism, animal magnetism, hypnotism.

Adulteration of Truth

 The medicine of Science is divine Mind; and dishonesty,
 sensuality, falsehood, revenge, malice, are animal pro-
21 pensities and by no means the mental quali-
 ties which heal the sick. The hypnotizer
 employs one error to destroy another. If he heals sick-
24 ness through a belief, and a belief originally caused the
 sickness, it is a case of the greater error overcoming the
 lesser. This greater error thereafter occupies the ground,
27 leaving the case worse than before it was grasped by the
 stronger error.

Motives considered

 Our courts recognize evidence to prove the motive as
30 well as the commission of a crime. Is it not
 clear that the human mind must move the
 body to a wicked act? Is not mortal mind the mur-


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1 derer? The hands, without mortal mind to direct them,
 could not commit a murder.

Mental crimes

3 Courts and juries judge and sentence mortals in order
 to restrain crime, to prevent deeds of violence or to punish
 them. To say that these tribunals have no
6 jurisdiction over the carnal or mortal mind,
 would be to contradict precedent and to admit that the
 power of human law is restricted to matter, while mortal
9 mind, evil, which is the real outlaw, defies justice and is
 recommended to mercy. Can matter commit a crime?
 Can matter be punished? Can you separate the men-
12 tality from the body over which courts hold jurisdiction?
 Mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case;
 and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts rea-
15 sonably pass sentence, according to the motive.

Important decision

 When our laws eventually take cognizance of mental
 crime and no longer apply legal rulings wholly to physical
18 offences, these words of Judge Parmenter of
 Boston will become historic: “I see no reason
 why metaphysics is not as important to medicine as to
21 mechanics or mathematics.”

Evil let loose

 Whoever uses his developed mental powers like an es-
 caped felon to commit fresh atrocities as opportunity oc-
24 curs is never safe. God will arrest him. Di-
 vine justice will manacle him. His sins will
 be millstones about his neck, weighing him down to the
27 depths of ignominy and death. The aggravation of er-
 ror foretells its doom, and confirms the ancient axiom:
 “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

The misuse of mental power

30 The distance from ordinary medical prac-
 tice to Christian Science is full many a league
 in the line of light; but to go in healing from the use of


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1 inanimate drugs to the criminal misuse of human will-
 power, is to drop from the platform of common manhood
3 into the very mire of iniquity, to work against the free
 course of honesty and justice, and to push vainly against
 the current running heavenward.

Proper self-government

6 Like our nation, Christian Science has its Declaration
 of Independence. God has endowed man with inalien-
 able rights, among which are self-government,
9 reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-
 governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by
 his Maker, divine Truth and Love.

12 Man’s rights are invaded when the divine order is in-
 terfered with, and the mental trespasser incurs the divine
 penalty due this crime.

Right methods

15 Let this age, which sits in judgment on Christian
 Science, sanction only such methods as are demonstrable
 in Truth and known by their fruit, and classify
18 all others as did St. Paul in his great epistle
 to the Galatians, when he wrote as follows:

 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
21 these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath,
 strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness,
24 revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before,
 as I have also told you in time past, that they which do
 such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But
27 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
 gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against
 such there is no law.”




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Love is the liberator.