Societies of Harmony
Associations formed for the practice of animal magnetism
by the pupils of Franz Anton Mesmer. The first Société de Harmonie
was formed in Paris, and its members seem to have acted
in a manner that was anything but ‘‘harmonious.’’ After some
quarreling among themselves, they broke their contract with
Mesmer, whereby they had promised before being admitted to
his lectures that they would not practice on their own account
or give away the secret of his methods without his consent.
Other Societies of Harmony soon sprang up, the most important
being that of Strasbourg, founded in 1785 by the Marquis
Chastenet de Puységur.