Page:Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.djvu/224

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

commissioners. They reported to the government as follows: —

In regard to the existence and utility of Animal Magnetism, we have come to the unanimous conclusions that there is no proof of the existence of the animal magnetic fluid; that the violent effects, which are observed in the public practice of magnetism, are due to manipulations, 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.

In 1837 a committee of nine was appointed, among whom were Roux, Bouillaud, and Cloquet, who tested, in several sessions, the phenomena exhibited by a reputed clairvoyant. Their report expressed 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.

My own observations of the workings of animal magnetism, during the past sixteen years, not only convince me that it is not a remedial agent, but that its pernicious effects upon the human mind and system exceed those of all other dangerous agents. It is a fundamental error.

If it seems to alleviate or cure disease, this appearance is deceptive, since error cannot remove the effects