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Study Topics
For more information on the teachings of Christian Science, explore the following study topics:

Angels
Animal Magnetism
Baptism
The Bible
CS vs. Evolution and Creationism
Christ Jesus
Death
Devil
God
Heaven
Hell
Holy Ghost
Marriage
Mortals and Immortals
The New Tongue
Purity
Salvation
The Term "Science"
"Science and Health"
Stages of Advancement
The Tenets of Christian Science
The Trinity

An Introduction to Christian Science
ANIMAL MAGNETISM

 

References for Study
The following passages are from the Bible (King James Version) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Galatians 5:19-21 (emphasis added)
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, 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. 

Matthew 15:19, 20 (to :)
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: 

Science and Health, pp. 100:1-101:32
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."

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.

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. 

Science and Health, p. 102:16
The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappearing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front. The looms of crime, hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, are every hour weaving webs more complicated and subtle. So secret are the 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 is an extract from the Boston Herald: "Mesmerism is a problem not lending itself to an easy explanation and development. It implies the exercise of despotic control, and is much more likely to be abused by its possessor, than otherwise employed, for the individual or society." 

Science and Health, p. 103:18-24
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 is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful. This belief has not one quality of Truth. It is either ignorant or malicious. The malicious form of hypnotism ultimates in moral idiocy. 

Science and Health, p. 104:13
Christian Science goes to the bottom of mental action, and reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of all divine action, as the emanation of divine Mind, and the consequent wrongness of the opposite so-called action, — evil, occultism, necromancy, mesmerism, animal magnetism, hypnotism.

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