Dr. Bernard Hollander of London, England, has given...


Dr. Bernard Hollander of London, England, has given out a statement alleging that his investigation has shown him many patients who have become insane on the subject of Christian Science. In the same breath the doctor declares that Christian Science can "make a certain class of people happy." Who ever heard of persons becoming insane because of an influence which made them happy? "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" According to a report which appeared in the New York Times just subsequent to Dr. Hollander's statement in the London press, Dr. Albert Warren Ferris, who for four years had been president of the New York state commission in lunacy, when asked whether he had found that Christian Science had been a factor in insanity, replied that he had never found a case in his state that could be attributed to Christian Science. He said: "The few cases where we have found Christian Science in connection with forms of insanity have been those where the patient took up Christian Science after insanity had come upon him." He also said: "I have never found it a cause in a single case. There are forms of insanity that are accompanied by religious enthusiasm of an abnormal type, and Christian Science is sometimes the form this takes. I should not call Christian Science in any way a cause of insanity, and during the past few years we have studied causes very closely." It should be noted that Dr. Ferris is a man with experience and ability equal to that of Dr. Hollander, and that his testimony is directly opposed to that of Dr. Hollander.

In April, 1910, Dr. F. H. Packard of Boston, in an address before the Harvard Medical College, said that "numbers of individuals, probably naturally of somewhat unstable mental make-up, are totally upset mentally through their efforts to understand and practise Christian Science and other unscientific things." On April 21, 1910, the following answer to Dr. Packard was published in the Boston Post:

"I am glad the gentleman qualified his remarks by the term 'and other unscientific things.' I have watched the effect of Christian Science for many years, during which time I have come in contact with many persons more or less 'unstable' mentally who have been entirely healed by Christian Science and who are well and happy today; but in all that time I have not known of a single instance where it could be said that the derangement of the individual had been produced or 'precipitated' by Christian Science. It is not at all unlikely that some persons in weak mental condition who have turned to Christian Science, as is intimated by Dr. Packard, have not been faithful to this teaching, but have mixed it up with 'other' and 'unscientific' things. Knowing the wholesome influence of Christian Science, and the danger of those mental methods of treatment which are more or less hypnotic and more or less dependent upon human will, I have unbounded confidence in Christian Science as a remedy for insanity, although I would not be willing to vouch for the safety of those who have a mixture of mental theories.

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