The Franklin Commission Report, in light of
past and present understandings of hypnosis

Perry C, McConkey KM.
Department of Psychology,
Concordia University,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2002 Oct;50(4):387-96


Hypnosis has a formal history of more than 2 centuries, and over this period various metaphors have been coined to point to what investigators perceived as its most essential characteristic. The Franklin Commission Report on Animal Magnetism rejected Mesmer's procedures despite his successes. The Commission argued, on the basis of a number of experiments, that these improvements could be accounted for in terms of imagination, imitation, and touch. In current theorizing, the role of imagination in hypnotic outcomes is still widely recognized, but following the theorizing of J. R. Hilgard, Sarbin and Coe, and Sutcliffe, absorbed imagination looks to be the more appropriate conceptualization. The only blemish on the Commission's report is its conclusion that because Animal Magnetism did not exist, then the techniques associated with it could not have therapeutic effects.
Anton Mesmer
Obstetric anaesthesia
Anton Mesmer and Mesmerism
Anaesthesia: rivalries and discoveries
Modern medicine and Mesmerism minus the magic

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World