A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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iv               THE ECCLESIA AND PNEUMATIC THERAPY            171
is advisable to say something of the teaching of her forerunner, Quimby. Born in 1802, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby earned his living as a watchmaker in New Hampshire. At the age of 36 he came into contact with Charles Payen, a French mesmerist, who was demonstrating his skill throughout New England and was soon able to achieve a local reputation by his own efforts in this direction. The Belfast (New Hampshire) Journal pronounced him ' A man well proportioned, with a well-balanced, phrenological head, who could give concentrated attention beyond anything that has ever been seen \ His piercing black eyes ' possessed the power of looking at an object even without winking for a length of time \ Gradually his earnestness created a reputation which commanded respect, and in 1843 we ^n^ a Dr. Wheelock writing to a prominent physician of his success in operating upon a woman whom Quimby had magnetized, for a nasal polyp. ' I operated for four or five minutes ', wrote the physician. '. . . The patient did not show the slightest pain. . . . Mr. Quimby is an intelligent man and worthy of the utmost confidence/ About this time he met Lucius Burkmar, who after being mesmerized by John Dods, his employer, would examine the patient, diagnose, and suggest a remedy. Relying on Burkmar's diagnosis, Quimby gave simple, homely medicines, instead of Dods' more expensive ones, and found that they were of equal efficacy. It is said that Quimby used actually to attract the pains of his patients to himself and was obliged to take exercise to rid himself of them. He was convinced that his therapeutic power lay in his ability to demagnetize his subjects and to withdraw their troubles in the process. One day he discovered that, contrary to the prevailing beliefs about mesmerism, a violent electrical storm while the patient was mesmerized had