Science and Health
with Key to The Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy
Chapter V - Animal Magnetism Unmasked


fluid; that the violent effects, which are observed in
the public practice of magnetism, are due to manipula-
tions, 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."
Clairvoyance, magnetism
In 1837, a committee of nine persons was appointed,
among whom were Roux, Bouillaud, and Clo-
quet, 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.
Personal conclusions
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 dis-
ease, 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.
Mere negation
Animal magnetism has no scientific foundation, for
God governs all that is real, harmonious, and eternal, and
His power is neither animal nor human. Its
basis being a belief and this belief animal, in
Science animal magnetism, mesmerism, or hypnotism is
a mere negation, possessing neither intelligence, power,
nor reality, and in sense it is an unreal concept of the so‑
called mortal mind.
There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The
pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all‑
embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind.
The planets have no more power over man than over
his Maker, since God governs the universe; but man,
reflecting God's power, has dominion over all the earth
and its hosts.
Hidden agents
The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappear-
ing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front.
The looms of crime, hidden in the dark re-
cesses of mortal thought, are every hour weav-
ing webs more complicated and subtle. So secret are the
present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare
the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on
the subject which the criminal desires. The following
is an extract from the Boston Herald:
"Mesmerism is a problem not lending itself to an easy
explanation and development. It implies the exercise
of despotic control, and is much more likely to be abused
by its possessor, than otherwise employed, for the in-
dividual or society."
Mental despotism
Mankind must learn that evil is not power. Its so‑
called despotism is but a phase of nothingness. Christian
Science despoils the kingdom of evil, and pre-eminently
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