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An abstract of a poster presentation at the 62nd Annual Convention of Parapsychological Association in Paris on 4-6th July, 2019.


Bradley York Bartholomew

Independent Researcher, France


In his lifetime Franz Anton Mesmer was branded a charlatan by the scientific community on account of his claim of being able to cure many maladies and medical problems through animal magnetism. Notwithstanding this, although his specific claim to possess the power of animal magnetism has been discounted, his methods have had a vast influence in every branch of mental healing and spiritual healing and healing through hypnotism, as well as  New Age techniques that involve not only “the power of suggestion” but also the physical “laying on of hands.” The list of actual movements that have adopted Mesmer’s techniques include eclecticism, phrenology, Spiritualism, mind cure, Christian Science, homeopathy, transcendentalism, New Thought, Theosophy, psychoanalysis, osteopathy, chiropractic, anthroposophy, holistic health, positive thinking, New Age healing, hypnotism, biophysics, biomagnetism, magnetobiology and psychiatry. This article reviews Mesmer’s techniques, and gives a broad overview of all the other branches of mental and spiritual healing where his methods are still used in one way or another, and presents recent scientific research that completely vindicates Mesmer’s original claim to possess the power of being able to manipulate the “magnetic fluid” in the living organism. In a research article in Nature Genetics entitled Remote Regulation of Glucose Homeostasis Using Genetically Encoded Nanoparticles (2014) it has been found using techniques in radiogenetics that the ferritin in our bodies  (a paramagnetic material) can be manipulated not only by low-frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) but also by magnetic fields. Brain waves are also low-frequency electromagnetic waves, and as it is well known that the brain waves of a healer/hypnotist become synchronized with that of the patient, it is proposed that brain waves play a part in what Mesmer originally called animal magnetism.


A handout at the convention:

Latest Research in Radiogenetics

In 2014, a research paper was published in Nature Genetics which launched a new direction in optogenetics which is known as radiogenetics (Stanley, Sauer, Kane, Dordick & Friedman, 2014). Radiogenetics will make it possible to remotely control biological targets in living animals without wires, implants, or drugs. A research team at Rockefeller University used electromagnetic waves to turn on insulin production to lower blood sugar in diabetic mice. A naturally occurring iron storage particle in the body, ferritin, when exposed to a radiowave or a magnetic field can activate an ion channel called TRPVI which in turn leads to the activation of an insulin producing gene. These two proteins, ferritin, and TRPVI acting together as a nano-machine can be used to trigger gene expression in vivo. And it is all done by radiowaves.

“The method allows one to wirelessly control the expression of genes in a living animal and could potentially be used for conditions like hemophilia to control the production of a missing protein. Two key attributes are that the system is genetically encoded and can activate cells remotely and quickly,” says Jeffrey Friedman, Marilyn M. Simpson Professor head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University. “We are now exploring whether the method can also be used to control neural activity as a means for noninvasively modulating the activity of neural circuits (“Radio genetics seeks to remotely control cells and genes,” 2014).

Radiogenetics is being heralded as being more effective than other systems in optogenetics that simply use light as the on/off switch which tend to be only effective near the skin and require permanent implants. Originally the researchers used low-frequency radio waves which heat or move the ferritin particles and the TRPVI which is situated in the membrane surrounding the cell opens up a channel allowing calcium ions to flow through and activate a piece of synthetic DNA implanted upstream to the gene they want to turn on. In this case, it was the gene that synthesizes the protein insulin, but it seems that in this way they can activate any gene of interest (“Radio genetics seeks to remotely control cells and genes,” 2014).

Interestingly the researchers were able to achieve the same result by manipulating the ferritin with a magnetic field, which obviously recalls the theories of Franz Mesmer in the 18th century about animal magnetism and the magnetic cure. It could well be the case that a hypnotist is able to channel his/her brain waves which are ELF radio waves to manipulate the ferritin in the cells and genes of his/her subjects. Mesmer himself stated that the magnets were immaterial to his treatment and what was essential was his state of mind towards the patient. He was willing the patient to be healed and there is a reasonable amount of authority for the proposition that the brainwaves (ELF radiowaves) of healer and patient become synchronized (Fahrion, et al., 1992)(Cade & Coxhead, 1996). Indeed one-on-one interlocution or close contact in general seems to have a mutual effect on the brain waves of the participants (Pérez et al., 2017)(Diego et al.,2004)(Mohr et al., 2017)(Rozenkrantz et al., 2017). I stress that this new research used low-frequency radio waves and that is precisely what brainwaves are, and that they apparently act in exactly the same way as a magnetic field.

“The use of a radiofrequency-driven magnetic field is a big advance in remote gene expression because it is non-invasive and easily adaptable,” says Johnathan Dordick, who is Howard P. Isermann, professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and vice president of research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

You don’t have to insert anything—no wires, no light systems—the genes are introduced through gene therapy. You could have a wearable device that provides a magnetic field to certain parts of the body and it might be used therapeutically for many diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases. It’s limitless at this point (“Radio genetics seeks to remotely control cells and genes,” 2014).

“In this current study, we’ve shown that by opening the TRPV1 channel to allow calcium ions to enter the cell, we can turn on a gene. Since neurons can be depolarized by calcium and other positively charged ions, such as those the TRPV1 channel controls, we hope that this system may be effective at regulating neural activity,” says co-first author Sarah Stanley, a senior research associate in Friedman’s lab (“Radio genetics seeks to remotely control cells and genes,” 2014).

It is well settled that the ferritin protein is widely expressed in the brain (Han, Day, Connor & Beard, 2002). And a whole new area of genetic engineering is being developed called 'magnetogenetics' specifically concerned with targeting ferritin in the dopamine pathway of the brain in order to remotely control and influence specific behavioral patterns (Wheeler, Smith, Ottolini, Barker, Purohit, Grippo, Gaykema, Spano, Beenhakker, Kucenas, Patel, Deppmann, & Güler, 2016). In an unrelated area of research it has been found that low frequency (RF) radio waves affect the expression of the c-Fos protooncogene in the brain (Jorge-Mora, Misa-Agustiño, Rodríguez-González, Jorge-Barreiro, Ares-Pena & López-Martín, 2011).

Suggested Experiments

Bearing in mind that we are here dealing with supranormal phenomena so any effects, if they are found at all, will be extremely subtle, it should be possible to monitor the brain waves of persons exposed to magnets and low frequency radio waves and compare them with the brain waves of hypnotized people in the presence of their therapist, and ‘brainwashed’ followers in the presence of their cult leader or spiritual leader.  Also Penrose-Hameroff Orch-OR theory states ‘Microtubule quantum vibrations (e.g. in megahertz) appear to interfere and produce much slower EEG "beat frequencies”.’ Microtubules are actually nanotubes and they have a positive and negative end which means there is a potential difference and the highly ionized water in the core of the microtubule will conduct electricity, and will display nanotechnology quantum effects (resonance). A nanotube conducting electricity will transmit and receive radio waves (EEG rhythm). Essentially this means that the brain is a sophisticated electronic device, and consciousness is generated by electronics and is essentially the same as what happens when the screen lights up on your mobile phone. This explains how the brain waves of healer/hypnotist and patient become synchronized. Essentially the brains of all living creatures are connected at the cellular and genetic level via brain waves (ELF radiowaves) just like all wirelessly connected electronic devices. Mesmer's animal magnetism is no different than from what happens when you wave your credit card over a wireless payment device.


Cade, M. & Coxhead, N. (1996). The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness. London: Element Books.

Diego, M.A., Field, T., Sanders, C. & Hernandez-Reif, M. (2004) Massage Therapy of Moderate and Light Pressure and Vibrator Effects on EEG and Heart Rate. International Journal of Neuroscience, 114, 31-45.

Fahrion, S., Wirkus, M. & Pooley, P. (1992). EEG Amplitude, Brain Mapping, & Synchrony in & between a Bioenergy Practitioner & Client during Healing. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, 3(1). Retrieved from

Han, J., Day, J.R., Connor, J.R. & Beard. J.L. (2002). H and L ferritin subunit mRNA expression differs in brains of control and iron-deficient rats. Journal of Nutrition,132, 2769-74.

Jorge-Mora, T., Misa-Agustiño, M.J., Rodríguez-González, J.A., Jorge-Barreiro, F.J., Ares-Pena, F.J., López-Martín, E. (2011). The effects of single and repeated exposure to 2.45 GHz radiofrequency fields on c-Fos protein expression in the paraventricular nucleus of rat hypothalamus. Neurochemical Research, 36, 2322-32.

Mohr, M.V, Kirsch, L.P. & Fotopoulou, A. (2017). The soothing function of touch: affective touch reduces feelings of social exclusion, Scientific Reports, 7, 13516.

Pérez, A., Carreiras, M. & Duñabeitia, J.A. (2017) Brain-to-brain entrainment: EEG interbrain synchronization while speaking and listening. Scientific Reports, 7(1).

Radio genetics seeks to remotely control cells and genes. (2014, December 15). News Wire. Retrieved from

Rozenkrantz, L., Mayo, A.E., Ilan, T., Hart, Y., Noy, L., &  Alon, U. (2017). Placebo can enhance creativity. PLoS ONE, 12(9), e0182466.

Stanley, S. A., Sauer, J., Kane, R. S., Dordick, J. S. &  Friedman, J. M. (2014). Remote Regulation of Glucose Homeostasis Using Genetically Encoded Nanoparticles. Nature Medicine, 21, 92-98.

Wheeler, M.A., Smith, C.J., Ottolini, M., Barker, B.S., Purohit, A.M., Grippo, R.M., Gaykema, R.P., Spano, J., Beenhakker, M.P., Kucenas, S., Patel, M.K., Deppmann, C.D. & Güler, A.D. (2016). Genetically targeted magnetic control of the nervous system. Nature Neuroscience, 19. 756–761.

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