March, 2010

Historical Newspaper Article

[ For the (Portland) Advertiser.]

   Mr. Editor; ―As you have given me the privilege of answering an article in your paper of the 11th inst., where you classed me with spiritualists, mesmerizers, clairvoyants, &c., I take this occasion to state where I differ from all classes of doctors, from the Allopathic physician to the healing medium.  All these admit disease as an independent enemy of mankind; but the mode of getting rid of it divides them in their practice. ―The old school admit that medicines contain certain curative properties, and that certain medicines will produce certain effects.  This is their honest belief.  The Homoeopathic physicians believe their infinitessimals [sic] produce certain effects.  This is also honest.  But I believe all their medicine is of infinitely less importance than the opinions that accompany it.  I never make war with medicine, but with opinions.  I never try to convince a patient that trouble arises from calomel or any other poison.  But the poison of the doctors' opinion in admitting a locating disease.  But another class under cover of spiritualism and mesmerism, claim power from another world, and to these my remarks are addressed.  I was one of the first mesmerizers in the State who gave public experiments, and had a subject who was considered the best then known,  He examined and prescribed for diseases just as this class do now, and I know how much reliance can be placed on a medium, for when in the state they are governed by the superstitution [sic] and beliefs of the person they are in communication with, and read all their thoughts and feelings in regard to their disease, whether the patient is aware of them or not.

   The capacity of thought-reading is the common extent of mesmerism.  Clairvoyance is very rare and can be easily tested by blind-folding the subject and giving him a book to read.  If he can read without seeing, that is conclusive evidence that he has independent sight.  This was my test during my experiments.  This state is of very short duration.  They then come into that state where they are governed by surrounding minds.  All the mediums of this day reason about medicine as much as the regular physicians. ―They both believe in disease, and both recommend medicine.  When I mesmerize my subject, he would prescribe some little simple herb that would do no harm or good of itself.  In some cases this would cure the patient.  I also found that any medicine would cure certain cases, if he ordered it.  This led me to investigate the matter and arrive at the stand I now take; that the cure is not in the medicine, but in the confidence of the doctor or medium.  A clairvoyant never reasons nor alters his opinion; but if in the first state of thought-reading, he prescribes medicine, he must be posted by some mind interested in it, and also must derive his knowledge from the same source as the doctors do.  The subject I had, left me and was employed by John B. Dodds [Dods], who employed him in examining diseases in the mesmeric sleep, and taught him to recommend such medicines as he got up himself in Latin, and as the boy did not know Latin, it looked very mysterious.  Soon afterwards he was at home again, and I put him asleep to examine a lady, expecting that he would go on in his old way, but instead of that he wrote a long prescription in Latin.  I awoke him that he might read it, but he could not; so I took it to the Apothecary's, who said he had not the articles, and that they would cost twenty dollars. ―This was impossible for the lady to pay, so I returned and put him asleep again, and he gave his usual prescription of some little herb, and she got well.  This, with the fact that all these mediums admit disease, and derive their knowledge from the common allopathic belief, convinces me that if it were not for the superstition of the people, believing that these subjects, merely because they have their eyes shut, know more than the apothecaries; they could make few cures.  Let any medium open his eyes, and let the patient describe his disease, then the medicine would do about as much good as brown bread pills.  But let the eyes be shut and then comes the mystery.  It is true that they will tell the feelings, but that is all the difference.

   Now I deny disease as a truth, but admit it is a deception, stated like all other stories, without any foundation, and handed down from generation to generation, till the people believe it, and it has become a part of their lives, so they live a lie, and their senses are in it.  To illustrate this, suppose I tell a person he has the diptheria [sic], and he is perfectly ignorant of what I mean,  So I describe the feelings and tell the danger of the disease, and how fatal it is in may places.  This makes the person nervous, and I finally convince him of the disease.  I have now made one, and he attaches himself to it, and really understands it, and he is in it soul and body.  Now he goes to work to make it, and in a short time it makes its appearance.  My way of curing convinces him that he has been deceived, and if I succeed the patient is cured.  As it is necessary that he should feel that I know more than he does.  I tell his feelings.  This he cannot do to me, for I have no fears of diptheria.  My mode is entirely original.  I know what I say and they do not, if their word is to be taken.  Just so long as this humbug of inventing diseases continues, just so long the people will be sick and be deceived by the above named crafts.

   Feb. 14, 1862                                           P. P. Quimby

Source: Library of Congress microfilm collection of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby materials at designation LC 3:1457.  This is one of the very few pieces of Quimby's writings that was published during his lifetime.  In this published version of this article, Quimby is consistent in misspelling the name "Dods" as "Dodds," and that is something he did throughout his earlier writings identified as his Lecture Notes.  In the handwritten versions of this article located in the copybooks, Dods' name is omitted entirely.  One such version of this article is included in Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, on page 110. ―editor.

What Is God? Part II Concerning Human Standards

    by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Every science has its standard based on knowledge, not on opinion. I say nothing about such, for they prove their wisdom by their works. But it is of false standards with no evidence of truth except the misery they produce that I shall speak of. The two most dangerous to the happiness of man are those of the medical science and the priests. These two classes are the foundation of more misery than all other evils, for they have a strong hold on the minds of the people by deception and cant. They claim all the virtue and wisdom of the nation and have so deceived the people that their claims are acknowledged in war and peace. Let us analyze the beliefs of these guides. Take the medical man, what is his science except that of killing human beings? Is the world wiser by his opinions? Do not the very medical men themselves recommend to the people not to read medical works? Does the mathematician warn the people to keep clear of mathematical books? Is not the world wiser, better and more enlightened by them? Is the world made wiser or better by quack medicine or opinions of the faculty? Are not these opinions like the locusts of Egypt in everything you eat and drink? Science and progression have had to fight both theories ever since the world began to think and act.

It is a common saying that the religious or Christian souls are the foundation of God's moral government, but let us see if it is not the reverse. Take the North and South of this American Republic as specimens of mankind. According to religious statistics, the South is more religious than the North, for all religion is confined to sectarian creeds. For instance, how long is it since the Unitarians were admitted as Christians? And even the Universalists are scarcely admitted within the pale of Christianity. The religion of which I speak, and with which science and revelation have had to contend includes more of the liberal classes. Show me where the people are called the most intelligent. It is in New England. This mixing up of religion and science is like establishing honor among thieves. Religion and politics always went together, but science, progress and good order never had anything to do with either.

Religion is what crucified Christ. Pilate's wisdom found no fault with him, but the religion of the priests said, “Crucify him.” Paul had this idea of religion when he said to the Athenians, “I perceive you are altogether too religious or superstitious.” Then he goes on to show them how their religion led them to worship this same something of which I am talking, so he said, “This something that you ignorantly worship, I declare unto you.” Here you see that Paul was not a religious man, but was converted from a man of religious and superstitious opinions to a man of science and progression and he showed that this something was not far off, but the religious world did not know it. This always has been and always will be the case till wisdom separates religion and politics from the scientific world. All science is spiritual and is not known by the priests and demagogues or doctors. The theories of these three classes are not based on wisdom but on opinions. Wisdom is the solid or substance. Matter or mind is the shadow of the spiritual wisdom. Now put man in possession of this wisdom so that he can make an application of it for the benefit of the suffering community, then this wisdom will soon separate the chaff from the wheat.

Aug. 9, 1861

Source: Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, beginning on page 607.  This is the second installment of a six-part series written by P. P. Quimby entitled, What is God?editor.

Book Review: INTA New Thought magazine

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond, Including the Missing Works of P. P. Quimby

Ronald A. Hughes, Editor―Reviewed by Alan Anderson

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and BeyondThis publishing landmark is the only truly complete and accurate collection of Quimby writings. I long had admired and used the 1921 Horatio W. Dresser collection of Quimby writings, and I contributed to the discovery and classification of all handwritten copies of Quimby material in preparation for the 1989 publication of the Ervin Seale’s edition, Complete Writings.

Although those of us who worked on that great project did our best to see that it was complete, Editor Ron Hughes has discovered a few missing documents and unauthorized changes, which he has remedied for his new edition. I have entrusted to Ron all of my own materials used in connection with preparing the Seale edition, now out of print.

The book includes a preface detailing the history of the various editions of Quimby’s writings and Ron’s experiences in discovering and repairing discrepancies.

Those who have looked at Ron’s website,, must feel enormously indebted to him. Anyone with web access anywhere can read all that Quimby wrote and much about him at no cost whatever.

Serious students of Quimby’s work will want to own their own copies of this new and complete one-volume, 654-page, 8 ½" x 11" softcover edition, faithful to the original work. It will be one of the best investments that you ever have made, richly benefitting not only you, but all of New Thought and thinking people who may never have heard of New Thought. Order through Ron’s web site, cost $47.95 plus shipping.

[Book Review: INTA New Thought, Winter 2010 Vol. 93, No. 4, page 33.]

Editor's Corner

Early comments and reviews of our publication of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond have been most favorable and personally gratifying.  I would like to thank everyone that has taken the time to contact the Resource Center. 

In Wisdom, Love and Light,
Ron Hughes