Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (February 16, 1802 – January 16, 1866) was an American clockmaker, mentalist, and mesmerist. He is widely recognized as the founder of the New Thought movement, a religio-metaphysical healing cult.

Quimby was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire and was one of seven children. He received little formal education and later wrote that he suffered from tuberculosis in his youth. Quimby employed hypnosis as a means of healing but discovered that he could also heal by suggestion. He held that all illness is basically a matter of the mind and that it results from the patient’s mistaken beliefs. Hence, cure lies in discovering the truth.

Although not religious in the orthodox sense, he believed he had rediscovered the healing methods of Jesus. He became a controversial figure when Mary Baker Eddy, who had sought him out for treatment and had been for a time a disciple, denied that her discovery of Christian Science was influenced by him.

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