Franklin, Benjamin (1706–1790)
A versatile statesman, printer, inventor, scientist, and diplomat,
Franklin was also associated with the occult doctrine of his
time, although his attitude was largely skeptical. He was familiar
with astrology, and while at college he calculated the horoscope
of another student named Titus Leads, allegedly predicting
the exact time of his death.
In 1784 Franklin was a member of the committee of the Academie
des Sciences in Paris, which reported on the phenomena
of Franz Anton Mesmer during the furor created by animal
magnetism. Although certain aspects of animal magnetism
were acknowledged by the committee, the report attributed
these to other causes. Franklin associated with Rosicrucians
and became a Freemason in February 1730, a member of the
Lodge of the Nine Muses, which was said to have influenced the
French Revolution.

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