Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
The wisdom of this world experimenting, acts in this way: It puts its own construction on all sensations produced on the mind - and establishes its knowledge after the effect is produced.
For instance, a child feels a pain in its head. The child has no idea what it is - and if the mother is as ignorant of its origin as the child - no effect of any amount is produced.
But the wisdom of this world arrives in the form of a lady. She hears the account of the pain from the mother, and assuming a wise look gives her opinion in regard to the trouble - and says the child is threatened with "dropsy of the brain" because she shows the same symptoms of another child who died of that disease.
This account excites the mother, whose mind acts upon the child. The explanation of the wise lady gives direction to the mind - and presently the work commences to show that she is right.
A doctor is called who is as wise as the lady, and not being willing to be outdone by her, he puts in a few extras like "congestion of the brain," etc. - and says the lady was right - but did not get the whole of the matter.
So he has two chances - after the child is killed - to prove his superior skill over the lady!
It sometimes happens that a controversy arises between the two parties - each trying to establish their own opinion - so as to have the disease turn their way. In the meantime the patient is left to her own self - and gets well.
This is all the good result I ever saw from such a controversy. The patient is a mere tool in the hands of these blind guides who attempt to cure her.
While this controversy is going on - seeing that all each party wants is to establish their own way - the patient sends for me in her dilemma. I arrive, and a fire-brand is thrown in between the combatants.
I contend that the child has no dropsy of the brain but only some slight shock upon its mind - and quieting the child is all that is necessary for a cure. Here the controversy ends.
If the mother employs me - I prove my theory, and the child gets well. If they prove theirs - they kill the child, and an examination is made which establishes their theory... and I am a "humbug" (or quack).
If I take the case and the child gets well - then the child was not sick - only a little nervous.