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Mesmerism and Christian Science: A Short History of Mental Healing

by Frank Podmore

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Frank Podmore was born on February 5, 1856 and died by drowning on August 14, 1910. During his life, he focused on two major projects. One was advancing socialism in Britain, and to support his belief in incremental changes to bring about socialism, rather than a revolution, he founded the Fabian Society in 1884. The other project Podmore was passionate about was the paranormal. He wrote a great deal to debunk or otherwise offer scientific explanations to paranormal activity. In this work, which was well received by the The British Journal of Psychiatry, then referred to as the Journal of Mental Science, Podmore investigates claims of mesmerism, and argues that it may have some impact on treating gout, among other things. Podmore also gives a bit of background on leading figures practicing other forms of faith healing, such as Kenelm Digby and Paracelsus.