From Pat Deveney's database:
This was the exponent of l'Ordre Eudiaque (Eudiac Order) of Henri Durville (1887-1963). Its stated goal was to "spread word of l'initiation eudiaque, which has as its program the study of the grand problems which have at all times preoccupied humans: the knowledge of oneself and how to make the self perfect, uncovering the laws of causality, evolution and, finally, the mystery of God." The journal was largely written by Henri Durville but had regular contributions by Philippe Deleuil, Anne Osmont and Irene Mamie and at least one by F. Jollivet-Castelot. Occasional horoscopes were written by Paul C. Jagot. The journal was divided into sections on "exoteric psychism" and "esoteric psychism" and material proper to Eudiasm (the "science secrete, vaste panorama des grand Initiations," and included articles on curses and psychic protections, rhythms, the soul of religions, symbolic animals, cosmic life, the laws of analogy, etc.
(Marie-François) Hector Durville (1849-1923) was the father of Henri (1887-1963), Gaston (1887-1971), and Andre (1896-1979). All were indefatigable and all played significant roles in the world of magnetisme and psychisme in France before World War II. In 1878 Hector began the Revue Magnetique with the goal of bring life and unity to the flagging study of Mesmerism and the next year changed the name to Journal du Magnetism, a title borrowed from Baron Dupotet's journal that had expired in 1861, calling the journal a "second series," and announced: "Founded in 1845 by Baron Du Potet," although Dupotet had no formal connection with Durville's venture – he had died in 1881. The relationship between the work of the two men was real, however, because Durville's magnetisme owed far more to Dupotet's magical magnetisme than it did to the more "scientific" variety that had been published in The Zoist 30 years before. Durville's dominant interest was in "psychisme" or "psychisme experimental," the practical exploration of the deep inner workings of humans that were revealed by magnetism: telepathy, clairvoyance, telepsychie, auras, photographing the "vital radiations" given off by humans, suggestion, auto-suggestion, and especially "dedoublement du corps humain" – astral travel, which Hector notably explored with Colonel de Rochas.
Durville, like many of his contemporaries in the occult world, was above all an organizer and synthesizer. He founded an Institut du Magnetisme et du Psychisme experimental (1878), the Societe Magnetique de France (1887), and an ecole Pratique de Magnetisme et de Massage (1893), which a branch in Lyon was directed by Maître Philippe, the healer who enthralled so many occultists of the Belle Epoque. All of these were to be consolidated under a Universite des Hautes etudes, with separate faculties of magnetic sciences, Hermetic sciences and spiritualist sciences. In 1897 he formed an international syndicate of spiritualist, occult and magnetic journals with Gabriel Delanne and Paul Sedir "to obtain some protection for magnetizers, mediums and the like" – a mediums' protective association, in other words, like those started in America by James A. Bliss and others. Durville was active in all the spiritist and occult groups of the Belle epoque – Papus was a director of the ecole Pratique – and wrote for many of its journals and took part in all the magnetic and spiritualist congresses of the end of the nineteenth century and was a prominent organizer of the famous Convent Maçonnique Spiritualiste of June 1908 that featured Theodor Reuss, Papus, Rene Guenon and many others of the period. All of Durville's educational services offered appropriate certificates and diplomas, suitable for framing, and his press (H. Durville, Paris) offered an endless stream of books like his Telepathie, telepsychie: actions a distance: cours superieur d'influence personnelle (1919) and Le Fantôme des Vivants (1909) that provided the teaching material for his schools. In addition, Durville, through his various institutions, offered a full line of devices and medicines: magnetic breast plates (10 to 20 fr.), magnetic bracelets (10 fr.), magnetic hypogastric belts (30-40 fr.), a sensitivometer to determine a person's sensitivity to hypnotism (10 fr.), a magnetometer (10 fr. which seems to have done the same thing as the sensitivometer), sensitized magnets (10 fr.), and a lending library for the material in his Bibliotheque du Magnetisme (15 fr. a year). His Almanach (1893) taught the means of curing cholera in a few hours
The step from all this to the magical New Thought that was becoming dominant in America at the end of the century was a small one. Hector's Magnetisme personnel (1905) focused on Prentice Mulford (with a portrait of Mulford) and William Walker Atkinson, and Sydney B. Flower's Psychic Research Company in Chicago translated and sold his Theory and Practice of Human Magnetism (1900). His son Andre (1896-1979) wrote his medical dissertation on the very New Thought subject of "The Action of Thought on the Phenomena of Cellular Nutrition" and translated Le Kybalion (1917) and Mulford's Your Forces and How to Use Them for the family's publishing house.
Hector's son Henri (1887-1963) was the most prominent in this transformation. After publishing the short-lived journal Psychisme experimental with his brother Gaston (1887-1971), in 1923 he published La Science Secrete in 1923, a sort of occultism-through-the-ages survey, and with this as a basis in 1928 started L'Ordre Eudiaque to provide practical, methodical, graduated esoteric initiations of Egyptian inspiration suitable for the Western world. It is often said that this group was founded by Hector in 1892 but the claim has no basis other than repetition. The Order had two journals: this journal (Eudia) and Les Forces Spirituelles, and organized its members in seven degrees: Docetiste (a novice), Somatiste, Dianoïste, Pneumatiste, Prothyme, Grammate, and Logiste. The ruling Synedre was chosen from the Logistes. Advancement was by examination, with each degree having its fee schedule, talisman, and appropriate books or lessons (some for members only), published by Durville.
L'Ordre eudiaque was a decidedly French endeavor and had no influence outside that country. The Occult Review dryly noted Durville's order and its pretenstions: "It must be said, however, that his latest schemes seem regrettable even for a professional French adept…. Parisian occult temperaments are presumably other than our own, and it is difficult to read seriously much less to think seriously about the Durville scheme or Degrees of the Eudianum Medal to be worn as a sign of membership by members of the new Church, while in England it would be impossible to introduce anything but a comedy review with such an Appeal as the editor prefixes to Eudia . It would seem to us little better than hysterical raving or the voice of Sâr Peladan without his literary flair." Within France Henri Durville and the order had a marked success: some of his books were said to have sold more than 400,000 copies and Eudia listed every month by name of the donor and amount given amounts contributed to build the Eudianum in Paris as a venue for initiations – a fund that by 1933 had risen to 270,000 francs.
Henri's L'Ordre eudiaque seems to have expired with World War II, along with Eudia and Forces Spirituelles. His brothers Gaston and Andre in the mean time turned to "naturism" or "psycho-naturism," and started Le Naturisme. Naturism was the supposed therapeutic methods based on mental suggestion, hypnotism, magnetism, nudism, sports, tourism, camping, Esperanto, diet, exercise, massage, sun-bathing, vegetarianism, deep breathing, etc., etc. They founded several utopian resorts for devotees of such things: Physiopolis (on an island in the Seine near Paris) and Heliopolis (on the l'Île du Levant in the Mediterranean).
Journals in which the Durvilles had a part: Revue Magnetique (Paris, 1878); Journal du Magnetisme (1879-1934); Almanach Spirite et Magnetique Illustre pour ; Revue du Psychisme Experimentale (1910-1911); Psychic Magazine (1914-1928); Eudia (1928-1940); Les Forces Spirituelles (1930-1939); Le Naturisme (1930-1939). BNF.
|Issues:||Eudia V12 N67 Jul 1933|
|Eudia V12 N68 Aug 1933|
|Eudia V12 N69 Aug 1933|
|Eudia V12 N70 Oct 1933|
|Eudia V12 N71 Nov 1933|
|Eudia V12 N72 Dec 1933 Toc And Covers|