Johann Joseph Gassner
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. Henri Ellenberger, in his "Discovery of the Unconscious", placed the dispute between Gassner and Franz Anton Mesmer at the center of modern psychotherapy.
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- 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.
- Ellenberger Henri, "Discovery of the Unconscious". New York: Basic Books, 1970.
- Midelfort, H. C. Erik. Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the demons of eighteenth-century Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). ISBN 0-300-10669-6.
- Gassner at the Catholic Encyclopedia
- Gassner biography (German)
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