Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Mary Baker Eddy

CHAPTER 5 - Animal Magnetism Unmasked

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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."

(Clairvoyance, magnetism)
In 1837, a committee of nine persons was appointed, among whom were Roux, Bouillaud, and Cloquet, which tested during several sessions the phenomena exhibited by a reputed clairvoyant. Their report stated the results as follows:

"The facts which had been promised by Monsieur Berna [the magnetizer] as conclusive, and as adapted to 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 either physiology or therapeutics."

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

(Personal conclusions)
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 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 disease, 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 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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