Franz Anton Mesmer was a German doctor who was born on May 23, 1734 in Radolfzell (Iznang, Germany) and died on 5th March, 1815 in Meersburg, Germany. He was the son of a bishop of Constance Ranger. He studied theology, philosophy, law and finally obtained the title of Doctor of Medicine in Vienna, in 1764, with a thesis on the influence of the planets on the human body.
Franz Anton Mesmer married the rich mature widow of van Bosch, who lived had on the outskirts of Vienna in a luxurious palace which was the scene of his life and work, his marriage to Anna Maria von Posch led him to use her wealth which allowed him to live the rest of his life without financial worries and fund his research activities.
In the summer of 1774 he learned that an English lady always carried a magnet which completely alleviated the suffering of violent cramps in the stomach. Mesmer had built a magnet which was as same that was carried by the English lady which was applied to several patients with identical problems or sufferings. Based on this he wrote and introduced a proprietary system of healing diseases based on methods he called “magnetic” and they were actually suggestive. Franz Anton Mesmer developed his doctrine of animal magnetism, based on the assumption that each agency had a magnetic fluid that could be transmitted to others.
For some years his miraculous cure of the sick people by magnetism procedure led to long queues of people around his mansion. By the order of Empress Maria Eugenia he tried to cure blindness of a blind young artist who was very much loved by the whole city and protected by the Empress. The girl named Maria Theresa Paradies moved by Mesmer desire to heal her and decided to live in his residence there, and after months of stay, Mesmer had published an article in the newspapers claiming that she was recovering remarkably and would soon get back her vision. When it was learnt that the news was a fraud, Franz Anton Mesmer was discredited which led him to sell their possessions and returned to Swabia, Germany.
Franz Anton Mesmer Hypnosis and magnetism therapy was rejected by Austrian doctors, which led him to move to Paris, where he obtained an extraordinary success that nobles fought his favors and gave him large sums of money.
His attempt for getting recognition of medical discipline for magnetism healing led Louis XVIII to commission a formal investigation into his findings to a medical school in Paris. The committee consisted of prominent figures such as chemist Lavoisier and the American physicist Benjamin Franklin. The investigations ruled out that magnetism sessions lacked any practical effect and frequently produced great sexual promiscuity situations. With these findings magnetism fell into disrepute and followers began to leave the magnetic clinic.
In Paris, the Marquis de Puysegur who was one of the nobles who attended the sessions of Mesmer when trying to play on their own sessions, He encountered an unusual fact: hypnotism stuff then develop in depth which was later known as Franz Anton Mesmer hypnosis. Forgotten by the Parisian nobles he remained in this city until he feared for his life in French Revolution. He sold his properties and moved to Switzerland, and again tried to open another clinic in Vienna, where he was banned by police who expelled him from the country.
While in France the Revolution was over but the people did not forget mesmerism fever, not the case in Germany, where it appeared a host of magnetizing and visionaries, including himself had counted Goethe, who while working on the wording of the first part of Fausto, experimented with telepathy and hypnotism. In the Prussia of Frederick William II, mesmeric magnetism merged with a number of occult practices, including spiritism and invocations to the dead, especially in the “Circle of Harmony”. Chancellor of Prussia himself Hardember and academics from the University of Berlin surrendered to fashion and they even invite Mesmer to direct research on magnetism.
With Growing fashion and enthusiasm too many voices rose to absurd qualified and deception all in occult phenomena that often hid true sexual orgies. Frederick William III, who against his predecessor felt the dreadfulness of the magnetic circles, sent police against them for crack down and within months Prussian society regained consciousness. Soon after that in 1815, Franz Anton Mesmer died in his retirement at Meersburg (Swabia), where he had spent his last years away from fame while serving as a rural doctor.