Handling Animal Magnetism

In the Bible evil is called by many names—serpent, Satan, tempter, Beelzebub, devil, great red dragon. In Christian Science all these names are summed up in the generic term "animal magnetism."

Before Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, used this term, animal magnetism had been the subject of a number of investigations and of a number of books. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in a chapter entitled "Animal Magnetism Unmasked," Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 100): "Mesmerism or animal magnetism was first brought into notice by Mesmer in Germany in 1775. According to the American Cyclopedia, he regarded this so-called force, which he said could be exerted by one living organism over another, as a means of alleviating disease."

She continues: "In 1784, the French government ordered the medical faculty of Paris to investigate Mesmer's theory and to report upon it. Under this order a commission was appointed, and Benjamin Franklin was one of the commissioners."

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Coexistence, Not Compromise
November 27, 1965

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