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Periodical: The Lifted Vail

Summary  From Pat Deveney's database:

Lifted Vail, The.
Very Important Facts about Mesmerism and Mental Communication by one who has seen and heard of what he writes.
Without Knowledge There Is No True Liberty
1870 Monthly
Manchester, NH. Publisher: Wm. H. Fisk, Printer. Editor: J.H. Boardman.
1/1, August 1870. "First Edition," 10 cents. 4 pp.

Boardman, who may have been the prominent physician of that name, of Portsmouth, who was committed to a mental asylum in 1872, had as his goal for the periodical the enacting of legislation "to make it a crime, punishable in the State prison for three years, to mesmerize any person, against the will of such person, and making it necessary for the mesmerizer to prove such consent; and to offer a standing reward of one hundred dollars to any one making known unlawful mesmerizing." This crusade was premised on Boardman’s claimed personal experience of mesmerism: he was "one who has seen and heard of what he writes" and disapproved of it despite the threat of death at the hands of a secret cabal of mesmerists. "There is, what I call, a very wicked, secret society, that does know of the facts given, and that foolishly, and wickedly, refuses to make them known, even threatening with death any who make them known; but I believe it to be my duty, and the duty of all who know such facts, to make them known. I consider them to be merely scientific facts, and that no person or society has any right to attempt to suppress them. I do not belong to the society refered [sic] to, nor do I intend to, but I know of what I write by experience." Boardman first lists a variety of what he thought were undisputed facts about mesmerism: Every person may be mesmerized; a person may be mesmerized in an instant; the mesmerized person’s senses could be deceived and that person retain no memory of what occurred while he was in that state, etc. To this he adds his own, somewhat paranoid conclusions: "I have but little doubt that many persons, who are found dead in their beds, are actually murdered by some scoundrel mesmerizer." The mesmerizers were, he opined, widespread and in high places: "I have been told that quite a large number of supposed highly respectable families, throughout New York and New England, as well as elsewhere, are actually engaged in mesmeric prostitution. It is a wonderful thing, is it not, to do what you please with any young man, or woman, who will know nothing about it, until raised up in mesmerism?" Despite the Gothic hints of conspiracy and venery, the journal seems not to have attracted an audience and apparently only one issue appeared. National Institutes of Medicine.

Issues:The Lifted Vail V1 N1 Aug 1870

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