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Franz Anton Mesmer C.jpg

Franz Mesmer

Born: May 23rd, 1734 - Swabia, Germany

Died: March 5th, 1815 - Meersburg, Germany

Franz was a German physician that is responsible for the term "mesmerism". He had an interest in astronomy, and theorized that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called "animal magnetism". The theory attracted a wide following between about 1780 and 1850, and continued to have some influence until the end of the century. He studied medicine in Vienna, Austria and made experiments on the supposed curative power of the magnet. He then went to Paris in 1778 where he devoted himself to curing diseases.

It was while in France that he became a Freemason, joining Philadelphia Lodge in Norbonne and met fellow Freemason, Count Alessandro di Cagliostro; who joined in 1776 at Esperance Lodge in Soho, London.

Franz established a society in France which he called the "Order of Universal Harmony", which was based on his beliefs. French writers have called his society "Mesmeric Freemasonry". A commission of physicians and scientists appointed by the French government investigated him and denounced his work calling him a fraud. After this critical blow to his life's work, he died in obscurity.

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