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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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To The Sick—[A Printed Circular]

DR. P. P. QUIMBY would respectfully announce to the citizens of ___________ and vicinity that he will be at the __________where he will attend to those wishing to consult him in regard to their health, and, as his practice is unlike all other medical practice, it is necessary to say that he gives no medicines and makes no outward applications but simply sits down by the patients, tells them their feelings and what they think is their disease. If the patients admit that he tells them their feelings, etc., then his explanation is the cure; and if he succeeds in correcting their error, he changes the fluids of the system and establishes the truth or health. The Truth is the Cure.

            This mode of practice applies to all cases. If no explanation is given, no charge is made, for no effect is produced. His opinion without an explanation is useless, for it contains no knowledge and would be like other medical opinions, worse than none. This error gives rise to all kinds of quackery, not only among regular physicians but those whose aim is to deceive people by pretending to cure all diseases. The sick are anxious to get well, and they apply to these persons supposing them to be honest and friendly; whereas they are made to believe they are very sick and something must be done ere it is too late. Five or ten dollars is then paid for the cure of some disease they never had nor ever would have had but for the wrong impressions received from these quacks or robbers (as they might be called), for it is the worst kind of robbery, tho' sanctioned by law. Now, if they will only look at the true secret of this description, they will find it is for their own selfish objects—to sell their medicines. Herein consists their shrewdness, to impress patients with a wrong idea, namely, that they have some disease. This makes them nervous and creates in their minds a disease that otherwise would never have been thought of. Wherefore he says to such, never consult a quack. You not only lose your money but your health.

He gives no opinion; therefore you lose nothing. If patients feel pain they know it, and if he describes their pain he feels it, and in his explanation lies the cure. Patients, of course, have some opinion as to what causes pain. He has none; therefore the disagreement lies not in the pain but in the cause of the pain. He has the advantage of patients, for it is very easy to convince them that he had no pain before he sat down by them. After this it becomes his duty to prove to them the cause of their trouble. This can only be explained to patients, for which explanation his charge is_______ dollars. If necessary to see them more than once, ________ dollars. This has been his mode of practice for the last seventeen years.

There are many who pretend to practice as he does, but when a person while in “a trance” claims any power from the spirits of the departed and recommends any kind of medicine to be taken internally or applied externally, beware! Believe them not. “For by their fruits ye shall know them.”

[1860-1865]

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