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December 28, 1940

Three Famous Occultists

JAMA. 1940;115(26):2306. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810520068035

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In the sixteenth century John Dee practiced as an astrologer. In those days the drawing of horoscopes was considered a science. Dee actually drew horoscopes for Queen Mary and for her sister Princess Elizabeth. Among other contributions he wrote a work on naval defense. Early in his career he became interested in psychic manifestations, recording his dreams and other phenomena. He also is credited with having practiced crystal gazing and the original crystal is still available in the British Museum.

Franz Anton Mesmer has been the subject of many biographies. He was the originator of magnetic healing, constantly in debate with the medical faculty of his time. In 1784 a commission was appointed to investigate the claims of animal magnetism and published a report which refuted his claims. At that time the scientific study of suggestion was not yet known. A description of his technic indicates that the results were

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