Franz Anton Mesmer
Franz Anton Mesmer (May 23, 1734 – March 5, 1815), sometimes referred to as Friedrich Anton Mesmer, was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called "animal magnetism". His methods were of considerable interest to Theosophists.
H. P. Blavatsky wrote:
Mesmer, Friedrich Anton. The famous physician who rediscovered and applied practically that magnetic fluid in man which was called animal magnetism and since then Mesmerism. He was born in Schwaben, in 1734 and died in 1815. He was an initiated member of the Brotherhoods of the Fratres Lucis and of Lukshoor (or Luxor), or the Egyptian Branch of the latter. It was the Council of “Luxor” which selected him — according to the orders of the “Great Brotherhood” — to act in the XVIIIth century as their usual pioneer, sent in the last quarter of every century to enlighten a small portion of the Western nations in occult lore. It was St. Germain who supervised the development of events in this case; and later Cagliostro was commissioned to help, but having made a series of mistakes, more or less fatal, he was recalled. Of these three men who were at first regarded as quacks, Mesmer is already vindicated. The justification of the two others will follow in the next century. Mesmer founded the “Order of Universal Harmony” in 1783, in which presumably only animal magnetism was taught, but which in reality expounded the tenets of Hippocrates, the methods of the ancient Asclepieia, the Temples of Healing, and many other occult sciences.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 213-214.
- Anton Mesmer at WisdomWorld.org