Animal magnetism

Animal magnetism, also known as mesmerism, was the name given by German doctor Franz Mesmer in the 18th century to what he believed to be an invisible natural force (Lebensmagnetismus) possessed by all living things, including humans, animals, and vegetables. He believed that the force could have physical effects, including healing, and he tried persistently but without success to achieve scientific recognition of his ideas.[1]

The vitalist theory attracted numerous followers in Europe and the United States and was popular into the 19th century. Practitioners were often known as magnetizers rather than mesmerists. It was an important specialty in medicine for about 75 years from its beginnings in 1779, and continued to have some influence for another 50 years. Hundreds of books were written on the subject between 1766 and 1925, but it is almost entirely forgotten today.[2] Mesmerism is still practised as a form of alternative medicine in some countries, but magnetic practices are not recognized as part of medical science.

Etymology and definitions


The terms "magnetizer" and "mesmerizer" have been applied to people who study and practice animal magnetism.[3] These terms have been distinguished from "mesmerist" and "magnetist", which are regarded as denoting those who study animal magnetism without being practitioners;[4] and from "hypnotist", someone who practises hypnosis.[4]

The etymology of the word magnetizer comes from the French "magnetiseur" ("practicing the methods of mesmerism"),[3] which in turn is derived from the French verb magnetiser.[5] The term refers to an individual who has the power to manipulate the "magnetic fluid"[6] with effects upon other people present that were regarded as analogous to magnetic effects.[7] This sense of the term is found, for example, in the expression of Antoine Joseph Gorsas: "The magnetizer is the imam of vital energy".[8]


A tendency emerged amongst British magnetizers to call their clinical techniques "mesmerism"; they wanted to distance themselves from the theoretical orientation of animal magnetism that was based on the concept of "magnetic fluid". At the time, some magnetizers attempted to channel what they thought was a magnetic "fluid", and sometimes they attempted this with a "laying on of hands". Reported effects included various feelings: intense heat, trembling, trances, and seizures.[9]

Many practitioners took a scientific approach, such as Joseph Philippe François Deleuze (1753–1835), a French physician, anatomist, gynecologist, and physicist. One of his pupils was Théodore Léger (1799–1853), who wrote that the label "mesmerism" was "most improper".[10] (Léger moved to Texas around 1836).

Noting that, by 1846, the term "galvanism" had been replaced by "electricity", Léger wrote that year:[10]

Mesmerism, of all the names proposed [to replace the term animal magnetism], is decidedly the most improper; for, in the first place, no true science has ever been designated by the name of a man, whatever be the claims he could urge in his favor; and secondly, what are the claims of Mesmer for such an honor? He is not the inventor of the practical part of the science, since we can trace the practice of it through the most remote ages; and in that respect, the part which he introduced has been completely abandoned. He proposed for it a theory which is now [viz., 1846] exploded, and which, on account of his errors, has been fatal to our progress. He never spoke of the phenomena which have rehabilitated our cause among scientific men; and since nothing remains to be attributed to Mesmer, either in the practice and theory, or the discoveries that constitute our science, why should it be called mesmerism?

Royal Commission

In 1784 a French Royal Commission appointed by Louis XVI studied Mesmer's magnetic fluid theory to try to establish it by scientific evidence. The commission included Majault, Benjamin Franklin, Jean Sylvain Bailly, Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, Sallin, Jean Darcet, de Borey, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, Antoine Lavoisier, Poissonnier, Caille, Mauduyt de la Varenne, Andry, and de Jussieu.

Whilst the commission agreed that the cures claimed by Mesmer were indeed cures, it also concluded there was no evidence of the existence of his "magnetic fluid", and that its effects derived from either the imaginations of its subjects or charlatanry.

Royal Academy investigation

A second investigating committee, appointed by a majority vote in 1826 in The Royal Academy of Medicine in Paris, studied the effects and clinical potentials of the mesmeric procedure - without trying to establish the physical nature of any magnetic fluidum. The report says:

what we have seen in the course of our experiments bears no sort of resemblance to what the Report of 1784 relates with regard to the magnetizers of that period. We neither admit nor reject the existence of the fluid, because we have not verified the fact ; we do not speak of the baquet ... nor of the assemblage of a great number of people together, who were magnetized in the presence of a crowd of witnesses ; because all our experiments were made in the most complete stillness ... and always upon a single person at a time. We do not speak of ... the crisis[11]

Among the conclusions were:

Magnetism has taken effect upon persons of different sexes and ages. ... In general, magnetism does not act upon persons in a sound state of health. ... Neither does it act upon all sick persons.

... we may conclude with certainty that this state exists, when it gives rise to the development of new faculties, which have been designated by the names of clairvoyance; intuition; internal prevision; or when it produces great changes in the physical economy, such as insensibility; a sudden and considerable increase of strength; and when these effects cannot be referred to any other cause.

... We can not only act upon the magnetized person, but even place him in a complete state of somnambulism, and bring him out of it without his knowledge, out of his sight, at a certain distance, and with doors intervening.

... The greater number of the somnambulists whom we have seen, were completely insensible ... we might pinch their skin, so as to leave a mark, prick them with pins under the nails, &c. without producing any pain, without even their perceiving it. Finally, we saw one who was insensible to one of the most painful operations in surgery, and who did not manifest the slightest emotion in her countenance, her pulse, or her respiration.

... Magnetism is as intense, and as speedily felt, at a distance of six feet as of six inches; and the phenomena developed are the same in both cases.

...Magnetism ought to be allowed a place within the circle of medical sciences...[12]

Mesmerism and hypnotism

Traitement baquet
Baquet. Interior view: Drawing room scene with many people sitting and standing around a large table; a man on a crutch has an iron band wrapped around his ankle; others in the group are holding bands similarly; to the left, a man has hypnotized a woman. (1780)
Magétisme IMG 4836
Advertisement poster of 1857:
Instant sleep. Miscellaneous effects of paralysis, partial and complete catalepsy, partial or complete attraction. Phreno-magnetic effects (...) Musical ectasy (...) Insensitivity to physical pain and instant awakening (...) transfusion of magnetic power to others

Abbé Faria was one of the disciples of Franz Anton Mesmer who continued with Mesmer's work following the conclusions of the Royal Commission. In the early 19th century, Abbé Faria is said to have introduced oriental hypnosis to Paris[13] and to have conducted experiments to prove that "no special force was necessary for the production of the mesmeric phenomena such as the trance, but that the determining cause lay within the subject himself"—in other words, that it worked purely by the power of suggestion.[14]

Hypnotism, a designation coined by the Scottish surgeon, James Braid,[15] originates in Braid's response to an 1841 exhibition of "animal magnetism", by Charles Lafontaine, in Manchester.[16] Writing in 1851, Braid was adamant that, in the absence of the sorts of "higher phenomena" reportedly produced by the mesmerists,

and in contra-distinction to the Transcendental [i.e., metaphysical] Mesmerism of the Mesmerists … [allegedly] induced through the transmission of an occult influence from [the body of the operator to that of the subject,] Hypnotism, [by which] I mean a peculiar condition of the nervous system, into which it can be thrown by artificial contrivance … [a theoretical position that is entirely] consistent with generally admitted principles in physiological and psychological science [would] therefore [be most aptly] designated Rational Mesmerism.[17]

Vital fluid and animal magnetism

A 1791 London publication explains Mesmer's theory of the vital fluid :

Modern philosophy has admitted a plenum or universal principle of fluid matter, which occupies all space; and that as all bodies moving in the world, abound with pores, this fluid matter introduces itself through the interstices and returns backwards and forwards, flowing through one body by the currents which issue therefrom to another, as in a magnet, which produces that phenomenon which we call Animal Magnetism. This fluid consists of fire, air and spirit, and like all other fluids tends to an equilibrium, therefore it is easy to conceive how the efforts which the bodies make towards each other produce animal electricity, which in fact is no more than the effect produced between two bodies, one of which has more motion than the other; a phenomenon serving to prove that the body which has most motion communicates it to the other, until the medium of motion becomes an equilibrium between the two bodies, and then this equality of motion produces animal electricity.[18]

According to an anonymous writer of a series of letters published by editor John Pearson in 1790, animal magnetism can cause a wide range of effects ranging from vomiting to what is termed the "crisis". The purpose of the treatment (inducing the "crisis") was to shock the body into convulsion in order to remove obstructions in the humoral system that were causing sicknesses.[19] Furthermore, this anonymous supporter of the animal magnetism theory purported that the "crisis" created two effects: first, a state in which the "[individual who is] completely reduced under Magnetic influence, although he should seem to be possessed of his senses, yet he ceases to be an accountable creature",[20] and a second "remarkable" state, which would be "conferred upon the [magnetized] subject … [namely] that of perfect and unobstructed vision … in other words, all opacity is removed, and every object becomes luminous and transparent".[21] A patient under crisis was believed to be able to see through the body and find the cause of illness, either in themselves or in other patients.

The Marquis of Puységur's miraculous healing of a young man named Victor in 1784 was attributed to, and used as evidence in support of, this "crisis" treatment. The Marquis was allegedly able to hypnotize Victor and, while hypnotized, Victor was said to have been able to speak articulately and diagnose his own sickness.

Jacob Melo discusses in his books some mechanisms by which the perceived effects of animal magnetism have been claimed to operate.[22]

Social skepticism in the Romantic Era

A caricature of Mesmer filmed by George Mèliés, 1905

The study of animal magnetism spurred the creation of the Societies of Harmony in France, where members paid to join and learn the practice of magnetism. Doctor John Bell was a member of the Philosophical Harmonic Society of Paris, and was certified by the society to lecture and teach on animal magnetism in England.[23] The existence of the societies transformed animal magnetism into a secretive art, where its practitioners and lecturers did not reveal the techniques of the practice based on the society members that have paid for instruction, veiling the idea that it was unfair to reveal the practice to others for free.[24] Although the heightened secrecy of the practice contributed to the skepticism about it, many supporters and practitioners of animal magnetism touted the ease and possibility for everyone to acquire the skills to perform its techniques.[25]

Popularization of animal magnetism was denounced and ridiculed by newspaper journals and theatre during the Romantic Era. Many deemed animal magnetism to be nothing more than a theatrical falsity or quackery. In a 1790 publication, an editor presented a series of letters written by an avid supporter of animal magnetism and included his own thoughts in an appendix stating: “No fanatics ever divulged notions more wild and extravagant; no impudent empiric ever retailed promises more preposterous, or histories of cures more devoid of reality, than the tribe of magnetisers.”[26]

The novelist and playwrighter Elizabeth Inchbald wrote the farce Animal Magnetism in the late 1780s. The plot revolved around multiple love triangles and the absurdity of animal magnetism. The following passage mocks the medical prowess of those qualified only as mesmerists:

Doctor: They have refused to grant me a diploma—forbid me to practice as a physician, and all because I don't know a parcel of insignificant words; but exercise my profession according to the rules of reason and nature; Is it not natural to die, then if a dozen or two of my patients have died under my hands, is not that natural? …[27]

Although the doctor's obsession with the use of animal magnetism, not merely to cure but to force his ward to fall in love with him, made for a humorous storyline, Inchbald’s light-hearted play commented on what society perceived as threats posed by the practice.

De Mainanduc brought animal magnetism to England in 1787 and promulgated it into the social arena. In 1785, he had published proposals to the ladies of Britain to establish a "hygean society" or society of health, by which they would pay to join and enjoy his treatments.[28] As both popularity and skepticism increased, many became convinced that animal magnetism could lead to sexual exploitation of women. Not only did the practice involve close personal contact via the waving of hands over the body, but people were concerned that the animal magnetists could hypnotize women and direct them at will.

Having removed all misconceptions, foretelling of the future, explicit or implicit invocation of the devil, the use of animal magnetism is indeed merely an act of making use of physical media that are otherwise licit and hence it is not morally forbidden, provided it does not tend toward an illicit end or toward anything depraved. (The Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office: 28 July 1847.)

Political influence

The French revolution catalyzed existing internal political friction in Britain in the 1790s; a few political radicals used animal magnetism as more than just a moral threat but also a political threat. Among many lectures warning society against government oppression, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote:

William Pitt, the great political Animal Magnetist, ... has most foully worked on the diseased fancy of Englishmen ... thrown the nation into a feverish slumber, and is now bringing it to a crisis which may convulse mortality![29]

Major politicians and people in power were accused by radicals of practising animal magnetism on the general population.

In his article "Under the Influence: Mesmerism in England", Roy Porter notes that James Tilly Matthews suggested that the French were infiltrating England via animal magnetism. Matthews believed that "magnetic spies" would invade England and bring it under subjection by transmitting waves of animal magnetism to subdue the government and people.[30] Such an invasion from foreign influences was perceived as a radical threat.

Mesmerism and spiritual healing practices

Today, some scholars believe mesmerism to share a concept of life force or energy with such Asian practices as reiki and qigong. However, the practical and theoretical positions of such practices are on whole substantially different from those of mesmerism.

During the Romantic period, mesmerism produced enthusiasm and inspired horror in the spiritual and religious context. Though discredited as a credible medical practice by many, mesmerism created a venue for spiritual healing. Some animal magnetists advertised their practices by stressing the "spiritual rather than physical benefits to be gained from animal magnetism" and were able to gather a good clientele from among the spiritually inspired population.[31]

Some researchers, including Johann Peter Lange[32][33] and Allan Kardec,[34][35] suggested that Jesus was the greatest of all magnetizers, and that the source of his miracles was animal magnetism. Other writers, such as John Campbell Colquhoun[36] and Mary Baker Eddy,[37] denounced the comparison. Mary Baker Eddy went so far as to claim animal magnetism "lead to moral and to physical death."

Contemporary development

Sporadic research into animal magnetism was conducted in the 20th century, and the results published; for example, Bernard Grad wrote a number of papers related to his observations of "a single, reputed healer, [Hungarian] Oskar Estebany" on the subject.[38]

Professional magnetizers

In the Classical era of animal magnetism, the late 17th century to the mid-19th century, there were professional magnetizers,[39] whose techniques were described by authors of the time as particularly effective. Their method was to spend prolonged periods "magnetizing" their customers directly or through "mesmeric magnets". It was observed that in some conditions, certain mesmerizers were more likely to achieve the result than others, regardless of their degree of knowledge.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Wolfart, Karl Christian; Friedrich Anton Mesmer. Mesmerismus: Oder, System der Wechselwirkungen, Theorie und Anwendung des thierischen Magnetismus als die allgemeine Heilkunde zur Erhaltung des Menschen (in German, facsimile of the 1811 edition). Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN 9781108072694. Foreword.
  2. ^ Adam Crabtree Animal Magnetism, Early Hypnotism, and Psychical Research, 1766–1925 – An Annotated Bibliography ISBN 0-527-20006-9
  3. ^ a b Dictionnaire Notre Famille, (1987), Magnetiseur, Accessed 19 August 2015
  4. ^ a b c Hector Durville, Theory and Animal Magnetism procedures, Rio de Jan ed. Léon Denis, 2012 ISBN 978-85-7297-510-0.
  5. ^ Thouvenel, Pierre, Mémoire et medical physique Paris Ed. Didot Chez le jeune, Quai des Auguftins. (1781) p. 300
  6. ^ Baron du Potet, Student Handbook Magnetizer , ed. Life – 3rd Edition, 2013
  7. ^ Franz Anton Mesmer, Memoire sur la découverte du animals magnétisme , 1779, Wikisource-logo.svg Édition numérique disponible sur Wikisource. Il ya aussi une édition papier chez Allia, 2006 ISBN 2844852262
  8. ^ Gorsas, Antoine-Joseph, L'Ane promeneur, 1784, p. 41 and p. 342
  9. ^ Connor C. (2005). A People's History of Science, Nation Books, pp. 404–5
  10. ^ a b Léger, 1846, p.14.
  11. ^ COLQUHOUN, John Campbell, Isis Revelata, Volume 2, p. 199
  12. ^ COLQUHOUN, John Campbell, Isis Revelata, Volume 2, pp. 283-293
  13. ^ See Carrer (2004), passim.
  14. ^ Hull, Clark L. "Hypnotism in Scientific Perspective", The Scientific Monthly 29.2 (1929): p. 156.
  15. ^ Yeates, (2013), passim.
  16. ^ Gilles de la Tourette. "The Wonders of Animal Magnetism", The North American Review 146.375 (1888): p.131-132.
  17. ^ Braid (1850), p.6.
  18. ^ Wonders and mysteries of animal magnetism displayed; or the history, art, practice, and progress of that useful science, from its first rise in the city of Paris, to the present time. With several Curious Cases and new Anecdotes of the Principal Professors. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. London (1791): pp.11–12
  19. ^ Pearson (1790), p.12.
  20. ^ Pearson (1790), pp. 13–15.
  21. ^ Pearson (1790), p.15.
  22. ^ Lecture given at the III World Meeting of Magnetizers
  23. ^ Bell, John, Professor of Animal Magnetism. “The general and particular principles of animal electricity and magnetism, &c. in which are found Dr. Bell's secrets and practice, AS Delivered To His Pupils in Paris, London, Dublin, Bristol, Glocester, Worcester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, &c. &c. Shewing how to Magnetise and Cure different Diseases; to produce Crises, as well as Somnambulism, or Sleep-Walking; and in that State of Sleep to make a Person eat, drink, walk, sing and play upon any Instruments they are used to, &c. to make Apparatus and other Accessaries to produce Magnetical Facts; also to Magnetise Rivers, Rooms, Trees, and other Bodies, animate and inanimate; to raise the Arms, Legs of a Person awake, and to make him rise from his Chair; to raise the Arm of a Person absent from one Room to another; also to treat him at a Distance. All the New Experiments and Phenomena are explained by Monsieur le Docteur Bell, Professor of that Science, And Member of the Philosophical Harmonic Society at Paris, Fellow Correspondent of M. Le Court de Geblin's Museum; and the only Person authorised by Patent from the First Noblemen in France, to teach and practise that Science in England, Ireland, &c.” Price Five Shillings. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. [London](1792): p.2
  24. ^ Pearson, John (1790). A plain account, p. 6
  25. ^ “Wonders and mysteries of animal magnetism displayed; or the history, art, practice, and progress of that useful science, from its first rise in the city of Paris, to the present time. With several Curious Cases and new Anecdotes of the Principal Professors.” Eighteenth Century Collections Online. London (1791): p.16
  26. ^ Pearson, John (1790). A plain account, p. 37
  27. ^ Inchbald, Elizabeth. Animal Magnetism. p. 9
  28. ^ Wonders and mysteries of animal magnetism displayed; or the history, art, practice, and progress of that useful science, from its first rise in the city of Paris, to the present time. With several Curious Cases and new Anecdotes of the Principal Professors. Eighteenth Century Collections Online. London (1791): p.7
  29. ^ Requoted from: Fulford, Tim. "Conducting and Vital Fluid: The Politics and Poetics of Mesmerism in the 1790s", Studies in Romanticism 43.1 (2004): pg.1
  30. ^ Porter, Roy. "UNDER THE INFLUENCE: MESMERISM IN ENGLAND," History Today 35.9 (1985): pg.28
  31. ^ Fara. "An attractive therapy: animal magnetism in eighteenth-century England", History of science 33 (1995): pg:142
  32. ^ LANGE, Johann Peter, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Kings, Ed. C. Scribner & Company, 1872.
  33. ^ LANGE, Johann Peter, The Life of The Lord Jesus Christ: A Complete Critical Examination of the Origin, Contents and Connection of the Gospels, Volume 1, Ed. Smith, English and Company, 1872
  34. ^ KARDEC, Allan, Genesis – FEB 53 rd Ed. – Cap.XV – Item 1 – p. 273
  35. ^ KARDEC, Allan, Genesis – FEB 53rd Ed – Cap.XV – Item 2 – pag.274
  36. ^ COLQUHOUN, John Campbell, An History of Magic, Witchcraft, and Animal Magnetism, Volume 1, Ed. Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1851.
  37. ^ Eddy, Mary Baker, "Animal Magnetism Unmasked," Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Trustees Under the Will of Maker Baker G. Eddy, Boston, 1934. pp.101
  38. ^ Gauld, (1992), pp.254-255, 647.
  39. ^ Franklin Rausky, Mesmer ou la révolution thérapeutique ("Mesmer, or the therapeutic revolution"), Paris, 1977
  40. ^ The Zoist, Facts and Observations on the Mesmeric and Magnetic Fluids. Offprint from The Zoist: A Journal of Cerebral Physiology and Mesmerism, April 1846


Further reading

Alphonse Teste

Joseph-Alphonse Teste, J.-Alphonse Teste or Alphonse Teste (France, 1814–1888) was a homeopath, mesmerizer and doctor in France. He wrote several titles related to homeopathy and mesmerism.

Amand-Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis of Puységur

Although Amand-Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis de Puységur (1751–1825) was a French magnetizer aristocrat from one of the most illustrious families of the French nobility, he is now remembered as one of the pre-scientific founders of hypnotism (a branch of animal magnetism, or Mesmerism).The Marquis de Puységur learned about Mesmerism from his brother Antoine-Hyacinthe, the Count of Chastenet. One of his first and most important patients was Victor Race, a 23-year-old peasant in the employ of the Puységur family. Race was easily "magnetized" by Puységur, but displayed a strange form of sleeping trance not before seen in the early history of Mesmerism.

Puységur noted the similarity between this sleeping trance and natural sleep-walking or somnambulism, and he named it "artificial somnambulism". Today we know similar states by the name "hypnosis", although that term was invented much later by James Braid in 1842. Some characteristics of Puysegur's artificial somnambulism were in any case specific of his method.

Puységur rapidly became a highly successful magnetist, to whom people came from all over France. In 1785, Puységur taught a course in animal magnetism to the local Masonic society, which he concluded with these words:

I believe in the existence within myself of a power.From this belief derives my will to exert it.

The entire doctrine of Animal Magnetism is contained in the two words: Believe and Want.

I believe that I have the power to set into action the vital principle of my fellow-men;

I want to make use of it; this is all my science and all my means.

Believe and want, Sirs, and you will do as much as I.

Puységur's institute for training in animal magnetism, Société Harmonique des Amis Réunis, grew rapidly until the Revolution in 1789. During the revolutionary era the institute was disbanded and Puységur spent two years in prison. After the Napoleons' overthrow, the new generation of practitioners of mesmerists (and later of hypnotists) looked to Puységur as their patriarch, and came to accept his method of inducing a sleeping trance in preference to the original methods of Mesmer. Puységur, however, always portrayed himself as a faithful disciple of Mesmer, and never took credit for having invented the procedure that is now known as hypnotic induction. His contributions were gradually forgotten, until Nobel prize-winner Charles Richet rediscovered his writings in 1884, and showed that most of what other people had claimed as their discoveries in the field of magnetism and hypnotherapy were originally due to the Marquis de Puységur.Henri Ellenberger, the great historian of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, wrote that Puységur was "one of the great forgotten contributors to the history of the psychological sciences." The details of the life and work of Puységur may be found in Ellenberger's book, The Discovery of the Unconscious, pp. 70–74. Ellenberger's view of Puységur was supported and amplified in Peter Sloterdijk's book Critique of Cynical Reason. In this work, Sloterdijk emphasized Puységur's contributions in his refutation of the common idea that intellectuals of the Enlightenment were not interested in the subconscious mind.

Animal Magnetism (Merzbow album)

Animal Magnetism is an album by the Japanese noise musician Merzbow. The cover depicts Masami Akita's pet silkie chickens. Pier 39 is a pier in San Francisco taken over by sea lions.

Animal Magnetism (Scorpions album)

Animal Magnetism is the seventh studio album by German rock band Scorpions, released in 1980. The RIAA certified the record as Gold on 8 March 1984, and Platinum on 28 October 1991.In the 2001 remaster edition by EMI, an extra track "Hey You" (rare single), sung by Rudolf Schenker is included (although Klaus Meine can still be heard doing backing vocals on the track). The song was originally recorded during the Lovedrive sessions in 1978 and released two years later as side-A (together with "The Zoo" as side-B). A shorter remix from 1989 was used on the 2001 and 2015 reissues instead of the longer original single version."Lady Starlight" is the only song in the entire Scorpions discography so far (as of 2018) to include an arrangement for strings and orchestral winds.

Animal magnetism (disambiguation)

Animal magnetism is the name given by Franz Mesmer in the 18th century to what he believed to be an invisible natural force exerted by animals.

Animal magnetism or Animal Magnetism may refer to:

Magnetoreception, the animal sense which detects magnetic fields to perceive direction, altitude or location

Colloquially, a person's sexual attractiveness or charisma

Animal Magnetism (Scorpions album)

Animal Magnetism (Merzbow album)

Baron du Potet

Jules Denis, Baron du Potet or Dupotet de Sennevoy (12 April 1796 – 1 July 1881) was a French esotericist. He practiced homeopathy in London during part of his life, and became a renowned practitioner of mesmerism—the theories first developed by Franz Mesmer involving animal magnetism.


Biomagnetism is the phenomenon of magnetic fields produced by living organisms; it is a subset of bioelectromagnetism. In contrast, organisms' use of magnetism in navigation is magnetoception and the study of the magnetic fields' effects on organisms is magnetobiology. (The word biomagnetism has also been used loosely to include magnetobiology, further encompassing almost any combination of the words magnetism, cosmology, and biology, such as "magnetoastrobiology".)

The origin of the word biomagnetism is unclear, but seems to have appeared several hundred years ago, linked to the expression "animal magnetism". The present scientific definition took form in the 1970s, when an increasing number of researchers began to measure the magnetic fields produced by the human body. The first valid measurement was actually made in 1963, but the field of research began to expand only after a low-noise technique was developed in 1970. Today the community of biomagnetic researchers does not have a formal organization, but international conferences are held every two years, with about 600 attendees. Most conference activity centers on the MEG (magnetoencephalogram), the measurement of the magnetic field of the brain.

Carolyn Hennesy

Carolyn Lee Hennesy (born June 10, 1962) is an American soap opera actress, author, and animal advocate. She is known for her role as Diane Miller on the daytime television series General Hospital, for which she earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. Hennesy's 2011 novel The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli, featuring characters from General Hospital, reached #16 on the New York Times Best Seller list. She is also known for her work promoting AZA zoos and aquariums, and accredited marine parks like SeaWorld.

Charles Lafontaine

Charles Léonard Lafontaine (27 March 1803 – 13 August 1892) was a celebrated French "public magnetic demonstrator", who also "had an interest in animal magnetism as an agent for curing or alleviating illnesses".

Christian Science

Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. The book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, and by 2001 had sold over nine million copies.Eddy and 26 followers were granted a charter in 1879 to found the Church of Christ, Scientist, and in 1894 the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States, with nearly 270,000 members by 1936, a figure that had declined by 1990 to just over 100,000. The church is known for its newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, which won seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002, and for its public Reading Rooms around the world.Eddy described Christian Science as a return to "primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing". There are key differences between Christian Science theology and that of other branches of Christianity. In particular, adherents subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that reality is purely spiritual and the material world an illusion. This includes the view that disease is a mental error rather than physical disorder, and that the sick should be treated not by medicine, but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health.The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medical care—adherents use dentists, optometrists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, and vaccination when required by law—but maintains that Christian-Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medicine. Between the 1880s and 1990s, the avoidance of medical treatment led to the deaths of several adherents and their children. Parents and others were prosecuted for, and in a few cases convicted of, manslaughter or neglect.

David Ferdinand Koreff

David Ferdinand Koreff (1 February 1783 – 15 May 1851) was a German physician who was a personal doctor of Staatskanzler Karl August von Hardenberg and occupied one of the two chairs for animal magnetism created in 1817 at the University of Berlin. A personal friend of E.T.A. Hoffmann and a member of his literary club The Serapion Brethren (Serapionsbrüder), Koreff authored a treatise “Über die Erscheinungen des Lebens und über die Gesetze, nach denen es im menschlichen Organismus sich offenbart” and a volume of lyric poetry "Lyrische Gedichte" (published in Paris in 1815).

A year after Hoffmann’s death in 1822, Koreff moved to Paris to become the most celebrated authority on animal magnetism for the French literary world. His connections included Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, père, Musset, Mérimée, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Stendhal, Benjamin Constant and Heinrich Heine.

Franz Mesmer

Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer (; German: [ˈmɛsmɐ]; 23 May 1734 – 5 March 1815) was a German doctor with an interest in astronomy who theorised that there was a natural energy transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called animal magnetism, sometimes later referred to as mesmerism. A similar idea has been revived by New Age spiritualists in modern times. Mesmer's theory attracted a wide following between about 1780 and 1850, and continued to have some influence until the end of the century. In 1843 the Scottish doctor James Braid proposed the term hypnosis for a technique derived from animal magnetism; today this is the usual meaning of mesmerism.

Houjoue (album)

Houjoue (放生会) is a box set album by Japanese noise musician Merzbow. It was recorded while Masami Akita was writing Cruelty Free Life, a book about vegetarianism and animal rights. The title itself come from the hōjōe ceremony, where captive animal are released back into the wild.CDs 1–3 were recorded at the same time as Merzbuta and Senmaida. CDs 4–5 are studio recordings of Merzbow's live material of the period. CD 4 features variations of material from Frog and Animal Magnetism. CD 5 was originally made for "Acousmatic Live", February 2005 in Tokyo. CD 6 is a live recording from Sweden, a studio recreation appears as "Untitled for Vasteras" on Sphere.It comes packaged in a thick keep case, and is limited to 1,000 copies.

John Elliotson

John Elliotson (29 October 1791 – 29 July 1868), M.D. (Edinburgh, 1810), M.D.(Oxford, 1821), F.R.C.P.(London, 1822), F.R.S. (1829), professor of the principles and practice of medicine at University College London (1832), senior physician to University College Hospital (1834) — and, in concert with William Collins Engledue M.D., the co-editor of The Zoist.

Elliotson was a prolific and influential author, a respected teacher, and renowned for his diagnostic skills as a clinician and, especially, his extremely strong prescriptions: "his students said that one should let him diagnose but not treat the patient".He was always at the ‘leading edge’ of his profession: he was one of the first in Britain to use and promote the stethoscope, and one of the first to use acupuncture.


In contemporary usage, Mesmerize, mezmerize or mesmerise refers to the act of hypnosis

Mesmerize may also refer to:

Animal magnetism, also known as mesmerism

"Mesmerize" (song), a 2003 single by rapper Ja Rule

Mezmerize (album), a 2005 album by System of a Down

Mesmerize (video game), a 2007 Interactive art game for the PlayStation 3

Salpêtrière School of Hypnosis

The Salpêtriére School, also known as the School of Paris, is, with the Nancy School, one of the schools that contributed to the age of hypnosis in France from 1882 to 1892. The leader of this school, the neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, contributed to the rehabilitation of hypnosis as a scientific subject presenting it as a somatic expression of hysteria. Charcot also used hypnosis as an investigative method and that by putting his hysterical patients into an "experimental state" it would permit him to reproduce their symptoms and interpret them.

Charcot did not consider people suffering from hysteria as pretenders and discovered that hysteria was not just a state reserved for women. Finally, Charcot associated hysteria to post-traumatic paralysis, establishing the basis for the theory of psychic trauma.

Charcot’s collaborators included Joseph Babinski, Paul Richer, Alfred Binet, Charles Féré, Pierre Janet, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, Alexandre-Achille Souques, Jules Cotard, Pierre Marie, Gilbert Ballet, Paul Regnard, Désiré-Magloire Bourneville, Paul Brémaud and Victor Dumontpallier.Ultimately, Charcot was accused of operating as a carnival showman, training his patients in theatrical behaviour, which he would attribute to hypnosis. After his death in 1893, the practice of hypnotism declined in medical circles.

Scorpions (band)

Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal. The lineup from 1978–1992 was the most successful incarnation of the group, and included Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass guitar), and Herman Rarebell (drums). The band's only constant member has been Schenker, although Meine has been the lead singer for all of Scorpions' studio albums, while Jabs has been a consistent member since 1979, and bassist Paweł Mąciwoda and drummer Mikkey Dee have been in the band since 2003 and 2016 respectively.During the mid-1970s, with guitarist Uli Jon Roth part of the line-up, the music of the Scorpions was defined as hard rock. After the departure of Roth in 1978, Matthias Jabs joined and, following the guidance of producer Dieter Dierks, the Scorpions changed their sound towards hard rock/heavy metal, mixed with rock power ballads. Throughout the 1980s the group received positive reviews and critical acclaim from music critics, and experienced commercial success with the albums Animal Magnetism (1980), Blackout (1982), Love at First Sting (1984), the live recording World Wide Live (1985), Savage Amusement (1988) and Best of Rockers 'n' Ballads (1989), which is their best-selling compilation album.Scorpions' eleventh studio album Crazy World (1990) was also well-received, and included the song "Wind of Change", a symbolic anthem of the political changes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is one of the best-selling singles in the world with over fourteen million copies sold. Scorpions have sold over 110 million records in total. They have released 18 studio albums, 27 compilation albums and 74 singles. Six of their singles have reached number one on the charts in different countries. Their albums, singles, compilations and video releases have reached gold, platinum and multi-platinum status 200 times in different countries.Rolling Stone described the Scorpions as "the heroes of heavy metal", and MTV called them "Ambassadors of Rock". The band was ranked number 46 on VH1's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme, with "Rock You Like a Hurricane" at number 18 on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. "Still Loving You" ranked 22nd place among the greatest ballads. The Scorpions have received prestigious awards such as three World Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Rock wall, and a presence in the permanent exhibition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2015 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Turmeric (album)

Turmeric is a box set album by the Japanese noise musician Merzbow. It marks Merzbow's return to using metals and feedback since switching to computers. The album art depicts Masami Akita's pet Silkie chickens, which have black skin and bones. They are also referred to on Animal Magnetism and Higanbana.

Some of the sounds are made by a chicken pecking at objects. "Deaf Composition" was made by randomly operating Reaktor patches without monitoring.In addition to the standard release, there was a special edition in a metal lunch box. It includes: the standard edition, a mini-CD titled Black Bone, Part 5, a T-shirt, four postcards, and two vinyl stickers. A limited number of the mini-CDs were available separately.

Étienne Félix d'Henin de Cuvillers

Étienne Félix d'Henin de Cuvillers (1755–1841) was a French magnetizer who was an early practitioner of mesmerism as a scientific discipline.Hénin de Cuvillers was a follower of Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815). However, unlike Mesmer he did not believe in the existence of a "magnetic fluid" in animal magnetism, and instead emphasized the role of mental processes in mesmerism. In his book Le magnétisme éclairé (The Enlightened Magnetism), he describes accounts of mesmeric effects in terms of belief and suggestibility.He is credited for popularizing a system of scientific nomenclature by using the prefix "hypn" in words such as hypnotique (hypnotic), hypnotisme (hypnotism) and hypnotiste (hypnotist). He used these terms as early as 1820, and is believed by many to have coined these names. In 1820 he became editor of the Archives du Magnetisme Animal (Archives of Animal Magnetism).

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