- 101 -
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.