I have read in a recent issue the reference to Christian Science,...

Animals' Guardian

I have read in a recent issue the reference to Christian Science, and, with your permission, would like to correct the impression there given, while gratefully admitting the sympathetic tone of the writer. First, then, Christian Scientists are opposed, root and branch, to experiments on animals, not only because, in common with a great number of medical men, they regard them as cruel and futile, but because they cannot conceive of omnipotent, divine Love as sanctioning so horrible a process, or of infinite intelligence as being compelled to resort to it. The very idea reminds one of the famous criticism of Newton's teaching, by no less a man than Leibnitz: "Sir Isaac Newton and his followers have also a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, God Almighty wants to wind up His watch from time to time; otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion."

Secondly, your contributor maintains, and this quite correctly, that the thought of doctors, nurses, and patients, corralled within the atmosphere of a sanitarium, produces a suggestion of diseases, insidious and dangerous in its effect. How insidious and how dangerous, I think he has not yet begun to understand. Where he is wrong is in imagining that diseases so generated can be met, as he infers, in Christian Science, by another form of suggestion and destroyed. The simple fact is that Christian Science, so far from being a process of suggestion, is the deliberate repudiation of it. You cannot produce and heal disease by the same means; no fountain can send forth sweet water and bitte. The danger of mental suggestion is that it is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, ultimating in death. If through suggestion you could take away sickness, you could as easily inflict it. Owing, however, to education through Christian Science, the risk of wrong-doers is increasing, and both in France and England, in recent years, innocent victims have been acquitted in the courts and the mental criminal who had instigated their crimes punished.

When an attempt is made to use hypnotism as a curative agency, all that happens is that, in the unblushing language of one of its exponents, a "paralyzation of the reasoning faculties" takes place, and the patient is induced to believe something which is not true. Exactly how much healing is incurred in such a process, a story told by Mr. Sinnett in his book, "The Rationale of Mesmerism," may explain. A lady, suffering from rheumatism, was treated by mesmerist in Paris, and apparently healed. Four years later the rheumatism returned with all its old virulence. She sent to inform the mesmerist, and learned that, at the time the rheumatism had returned, he had passed away. In plain English, her mentality had been under control during these four years; the disease had never been healed, and the moment the control was withdrawn the inevitable collapse took place.

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August 17, 1912

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