Johann Joseph Gassner

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Johann Joseph Gassner

Johann Joseph Gassner (22 August 1727 in Braz, near Bludenz, Vorarlberg – 1779 Pondorf, now part of Winklarn, Bavaria) was a noted exorcist.

While a Catholic priest at Klösterle he gained a wide celebrity by professing to "cast out devils" and to work cures on the sick by means simply of prayer; he was attacked as an impostor, but the bishop of Regensburg, who believed in his honesty, bestowed upon him the cure of Pondorf.

Gassner's methods have been linked to a special form of hypnotic training. He has been described as a predecessor of modern hypnosis.[1] Henri Ellenberger, in his "Discovery of the Unconscious", placed the dispute between Gassner and Franz Anton Mesmer at the center of modern psychotherapy.[2]


  1. ^ Burkhard., Peter. (2005). Gassner's Exorcism—Not Mesmer's Magnetism—Is the Real Predecessor of Modern Hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 53: 1-12.
  2. ^ Ellenberger Henri, "Discovery of the Unconscious". New York: Basic Books, 1970.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.