Biography of Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815)

German physician, born May 23, 1734 in Radolfzell (Iznang, Swabia) and died in Meersburg. He/She was the son of a forester of the Bishop of Constance. He/She studied theology, philosophy, law and, finally, got the title of doctor of medicine in Vienna, in 1764, with a thesis on the influence of the planets on the human body, which should qualify more as an occult compilation as a study physician.

Married mature and rich widow of van Bosch, who had, in the outskirts of Vienna, a luxurious Palace that would be the scene of his life and work, and whose fortune allowed him to live the rest of their lives without financial worries.

In the summer of 1774 he/she learned that an English lady wearing always a magnet which is alleviated completely from violent cramps he/she suffered in the stomach. Mesmer had built a like magnet, which applied to several patients with identical results. On the basis of this, he/she wrote and introduced a system of curing the diseases, based on methods which he/she called "magnetic", and that, in fact, were suggestive. He/She developed his doctrine of animal magnetism, based on the assumption that each body had a magnetic fluid that could be transmitted to others.

For some years, his miraculous healing by magnetism procedure did patients, anxiously healing, to flocked around his mansion until, commissioned by the Empress María Eugenia, he/she tried to cure blindness at a young music blind, much loved in the entire city, and protected from the own Empress. The young woman, named María Teresa Paradies, moved, by desire of Mesmer, to live in his residence; There, and after long months of stay, Mesmer did publish in newspapers that the young woman was recovering vision significantly. When it was demonstrated that the news was a fraud, Mesmer fell into disrepute, sold his possessions and returned to Swabia.

Rejected by Austrian doctors, he/she went to Paris, where he/she obtained such extraordinary success that the nobles were fighting for their favors, and gave large sums of money.

The attempt of Mesmer that magnetism is recognized as a medical discipline made to Luis XVIII ordered an official investigation into their discoveries to the College of physicians of Paris. The Commission, as relevant figures for science as the chemist Lavoisier and the American physicist attended Benjamín Franklin, failed in its conclusions that magnetism sessions did not have any useful effect, and which frequently produced situations of great sexual promiscuity. With these conclusions magnetism fell into disrepute, and supporters began to leave the magnetic clinic

An unexpected concert of his former patient, María Teresa Paradies was epitaph to his magnetic clinical rentabilisima, located in the wealthy suburb of Monmatre, in which there were more orgies of mystification that healings of the sick.

In Paris, the Marquis de Puységur, one of the nobles attending the chilling session of Mesmer, trying to play on their own sessions of Mesmer, encountered an unusual fact: hypnotism, stuff that would later develop in depth.

Forgotten by the Parisian nobles, remained in the city until he/she was afraid for his life, in the midst of the French Revolution. Mesmer sold his possessions and moved to Switzerland, and tried in vain to open a clinic in the next Vienna, where it was still banned by police who expelled him from the country.

Although in France the revolution made to forget the fever by Mesmerism, did not take place in Germany, where it appeared a Pleiad of magnetizers and visionaries, among those who should have the own Goethe, who, while working on the wording of the first part of Faust, experimented with telepathy and hypnosis. In Prussia of Federico Guillermo II, mesmeriano magnetism is fused with a range of occult practices, including spiritualism and invocations to the dead, especially in the "harmony circles". Own Chancellor of Prussia Hardember and academics of the University of Berlin surrendered to fashion, and came even to invite Mesmer to direct investigations seeking to establish the University on magnetism.

While the growing fashion and the enthusiasm, also numerous voices rating nonsense rose and deceit all occult phenomena in which many times were hiding real sexual orgies.

Federico Guillermo III, who felt dread magnetic circles, against his predecessor ordered police forces against them, and in a few months the Prussian society regained consciousness.

Soon after, in 1815, Mesmer died in his retirement from Messburg (Swabian), where it had spent his last years, away from the fame while serving as rural doctor.