The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM.               85
would have been entitled to the gratitude of all mankind, and the science would have been at once wrested from the hands of ignorance and empiricism. That they should content themselves with disproving Mesmer's theory of causation, and, after having themselves made a discovery of the true cause, should announce that their own discovery was not worth the trouble of further investigation, is inexplicable.
Soon after this, Mesmer was driven into exile, followed by the execrations of a majority of the medical profession, and died in 1815. He left many disciples, a majority of whom were shallow empirics, and mesmerism was brought still further into disrepute. There were a few able and scientific men, however, who still pursued the investigation, among whom were the Marquis de Puysegur, Deleuze, and others. These gentlemen revolutionized the art by first causing their subjects to sleep by means of gentle manipulation, instead of surrounding them with mysticism in dimly lighted apartments filled with sweet odors and the strains of soft and mysterious music, as was the practice of Mesmer. They developed in their subjects the power of clairvoyance, and demonstrated it in a thousand ways. They caused them to obey mental orders as readily as if the orders were spoken. They healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, and the blind to see. In short, they so far revived the interest in the subject that the Royal Academy of Medicine, in France, felt compelled to order a new investigation. This was done in 1825. A committee was appointed, composed of the ablest and most cautious scientists in their body. For nearly six years that committee pursued its investigations, and in 1831 it submitted its report. It would be tedious to enumerate all the conclusions at which it arrived. Its principal efforts were directed to the determination of the therapeutic value of mesmerism. It confirmed much that had been claimed for it in that respect, and demonstrated the power of clairvoyance, by indubitable tests. It also confirmed the claim that persons could be magnetized at a distance as well as by contact, although