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|SIDNEY A. WELTMER
Founder of The Weltmer Institute
of Suggestive Therapeutics
The Weltmer Institute was located at
the southwest corner of Austin and Ash Streets (later home of Milster
Funeral Home but razed in 2005) in Nevada. It was founded by Sidney A.
Weltmer who was described as a professor, hypnotist, healer, and
mystic. The seal for the Weltmer Institute indicates that it must have
been founded in 1887. Old postcards and ads refer to it by different
names: "The Weltmer School of Magnetic Healing", "The Weltmer Institute
of Suggestive Therapeutics", "The Weltmer School of Healing", but
usually just "The Weltmer Institute". The motto of the Institute was,
every known disease is cured without medicine or surgery".
Short Sketch of the Founder's
PROFESSOR SIDNEY A. WELTMER, began the study which developed into his
lifetime work, from borrowed medical books, which he read, laying open
upon his knees as he jogged along country roads on a farm wagon—at
night by the flickering light of a tallow wick and at every other
available moment he could spare from his duties as the oldest son of a
family trying to dig a living out of the gully-etched, red clay
hillsides of an eighty acre farm in Central Missouri.
At the age of nineteen he was almost qualified to practice medicine but
was advised by the kindly country physician—lender of the precious
medical books—to give up his ambition to become a Doctor and devote
his energies to checking the rapid course of the disease from which he
was suffering. The advice was sound and practical, but was given
without a ray of hope, for according to the highest medical knowledge
of that day his ailment would undoubtedly prove fatal.
He had been a weakling since childhood, and on the
approach to his majority decided, for the benefit of his own health, to
complete the study of Medicine which he had taken up with enthusiasm
five years before. At this same time theology claimed much of his
energy, and after two years of studying Medicine, and attending to the
minor duties of the Baptist Pastorate, to which he had been called, he
was told by the Doctor from whom he was learning, that he was rapidly
developing consumption. The good old Doctor hoping for the best, but
resigned to the worst, encouraged his young friend all he could, but
knowing the futility of medical treatment, simply threw his student on
his own resources.
This young man would not believe that life with its day dreams should
be snuffed out, notwithstanding the verdict of his teacher and other
skillful physicians - "Lingering death for a few months and then the
Realization of his own physical condition had been gradually taking
definite form in his mind and even youth and ambition could not blind
his reason to the ultimate result. He felt that his ambition to
minister to the needs of humanity could not find expression in the way
he desired, but like many who suffer from a so-called incurable malady,
his greatest desire was to relieve the suffering of others.
However, he was discouraged and in his discouragement studied the
Being of a religious temperament and seeing an outlet for his ambition
to serve, he naturally turned to this study of the Bible. In the
teaching of Jesus of Nazareth he received the inspiration and
instruction which restored his health.
He studied more closely than ever before. In Christ's last injunction
to the followers he received the first word of hope. The clouds were
lower than usual - he had been exhausted by the continual coughing and
the hemorrhage which followed - the thread of hope was near breaking -
traditions of the past forgotten - that day a crisis was reached. He
seemed all quiet and alone as he sat and read.
"And he said unto them go ye into all the world and preach
the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall
be saved; but he that believeth noth shall be damned. And these signs
shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils;
they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents and if
they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; but they shall lay
hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Here was a promise to all that believe - and did he not believe? The
clouds rolled away - the world was beautiful - he was again a part of
it. His path to recovery seemed so clear that he wondered why he had
ever been ill.
From that time forward he sought in every direction for that which
would define and explain the principles underlying the scriptural
healing, as done by Jesus and the Disciples, to the understanding of
the modern man.
His search led him into many strange paths of study. He read everything
that seemed to have even the slightest bearing upon the subject.
Mesmerism, the theories of Davies, Buchanan and the works on spiritism,
Indian Philosophy, Christian Theology and Modern Science but none of
these seemed to hold the truth he sought. He continued to search and
pray but he never doubted. There was a Divine Principle that had saved
him, but how to grasp—hold—make it his own and impart its blessings to
humanity; that was his problem.
The trouble was that he was not yet ready to receive the teaching which
would enable him to translate the inspiration, he had found in the
works of Jesus and the Disciples, into terms of present usage.
It was only after he had enriched his life with a deeper understanding
of his fellow beings, in sharing their joys and sorrows, in lending his
aid in their need, through his contact with them in all classes and
conditions, that he was fitted to interpret the truth when he found it.
He studied mankind from the master's desk of country schools, from the
pulpit of Baptist Churches, from the editors' desk and type case of a
country newspaper. He wrote County Histories, installed and cared for
public libraries, sold test books to rural school boards, canvassed for
and taught in Colleges. His were nearly all the experiences of an
earnest young man trying to make his way in the world.
DISCOVERING THE TRUTH
His work never smothered his unsatisfied desire. His mind was ever on
the alert for a grain of truth that might lead to the solution of the
one great problem of his life, and when the first ray of light came to
him, in the answer to a question he had asked of a boy, less than 13
years old, with whom he was experimenting in the deep stages of
hypnosis, he found himself unable to realize that his search had ended
and that, without mystery, magic or supernatural revelations.
"How can I heal the sick as Jesus did?" was the question, and the
answer came without hesitation.
"Lay your hands on the sick and try it as Jesus did."
Was this the true answer to the problem he had so long struggled to
solve?: "Lay your hands on the sick and try it as Jesus did." No
scientific jargon—or complex formula—only a simple statement—a
Surely this simple answer could not contain the principle of the great
truth he had sought.
Yet was it so extremely simple ?
The answer had been, "Lay your hands on the sick and try it as Jesus
did,"—"as Jesus did." And there was the great principle. He knew, that
the healing performed by Jesus and the Disciples was not accomplished
by the mere physical contact of the hand with the sufferer's body, for
there were healings recorded in which there could have been no possible
physical contact. He remembered the incident of Jesus and the Centurion
as recorded in Matt., 8-8:13. And again the record of the woman of
Canaan, in Matt., 15-22:28, and even another instance of the Greek
woman of Syrophoenicia, told in Mark, 7-26:30.
FAITH THE VITAL PRINCIPLE
Faith had been the one thing exacted in all these cases and in all the
other healing works of Jesus and the Disciples. Their success seemed to
depend upon the amount of faith exercised by the healer and his
patients. The record seems to emphasize this one point above all
others. In Matt., 13-58, and Matt., 17:14 he found records of failures
due to unbelief. His own restoration had been the result of his
unquestioning belief and faith.
He reviewed his Bible studies in the light of this new understanding
and everywhere he found faith emphasized as the active principle in the
healing works of Jesus and his followers. This element lacking, and
their efforts brought no results.
HEALING THE SICK
He sought out his friends and treated them with such gratifying results
that he neglected his other work and devoted his time almost entirely
It was his ambition to have every physician include his methods in his
medical education and practice; but like every other innovator his
methods were not seriously considered and in many instances were
entirely discredited by the physicians to whom he felt the application
of his discoveries should be entrusted.
He endeavored to interest the physicians in the practice of his methods
so that he could devote his time to the formulation of a complete
system of Text Books, that all mankind might have the benefits.
He was so anxious to give relief to the afflicted and to establish his
methods, that he gave his service, night and day, without thought of
remuneration, until his financial condition had reached a crisis.
He found that he was indebted to various people for a total of about
$3,000 and that there was due him from those whom he had treated, a
total sum of about $1,500. His creditors began to crowd him for a
settlement of their claims. He made an appeal to those whom he had
served in their distress and of the $1,500 due him he received only
$3.50 which was paid by a poor old woman who made her own support by
taking in washing.
He had given freely and the fact that those whom he relieved of pain
and suffering did not pay him the amounts due, was a crushing blow to
his enthusiasm. However, after waiting and receiving no further
payments, he returned the $3.50 paid by the old woman and sent receipts
to all the others.
THE CALL OF DUTY
He had reached the conclusion that it was his duty to devote his life
to the advancement and extension of the methods which it had been his
privilege to demonstrate in the many remarkable results he had obtained.
He notified his creditors that he would pay them as soon as possible,
resigned from the faculty of the College in which he had been teaching
and with a family of seven, dependent upon him, he entered upon his
life work, with the firm conviction that it was his duty to serve the
sick and leave a record of his work for all who should come after.
His determination reached and bridges burned, he started into his work,
under a strict financial, and sound scientific policy.
He endeavored to heal all who applied for treatment and kept a true
record of all the cases he treated.
Soon he discovered that something was lacking in those with whom he
failed. No response rewarded his efforts to relieve them and be was
led, naturally, to compare his successes with his failures. This
analysis brought out, with unmistakable clearness, the necessity of
teaching the Philosophy as well as practicing the art of healing.
As his work increased the problem of arousing the faith of his patients
in the Power that Heals became more and more complex. He had little
difficulty with those who shared his unquestionable trust in the
promises of Jesus and those who were amenable to suggestion, but he
discovered that these were exceedingly few, compared with those who
needed his help and whose education and training would not cause them
to believe that their physical ailments could be overcome without ill
tasting doses, or painful surgical treatment. This condition caused him
great concern, for his ambition was to "heal them all" and to do this
he must make his methods effect all sufferers.
His researches led him far into the fields
of Biology, Physiology and Human Psychology. In these branches of
learning he found that thought is basic in all physical expression of
any kind whatever; that the healing power is intelligent; is within the
patient; and must be the final dependence, no matter ivhat the remedy.
All his experiences had pointed this way, and here was positive
substantiation of all his conclusions.
Psychology seemed to hold the immediate solution to his problem. To
know the processes of Mind and utilize them to procure the ready
responses of every sufferer became the end for which he sought. This
involved continuous study, experiment and careful observation in every
case that came to him for treatment. Gradually out of this experience
he gained a clearer knowledge of the whole system of natural laws which
govern human life, and he discovered many distinct mental attitudes
which contribute to the health or distress of mankind. He gradually
evolved an effective and practical Psychology of which he formulated a
statement reducing the hitherto complexities of mental states and
activities to the simplest terms, rendering it comprehensible to the
average mind. This reduction of Psychology to mathematical accuracy
solved the problem he set out to
master, i. e., to formulate a system that would reach the mind of the
sufferer, regardless of his education or religious bent, and elicit the
response necessary to a cure.
Under intelligent conscious direction, he learned to make his hands
wonderfully effective in conveying direct and reflex suggestions for
He discovered that the mental element is the important factor in all
human affairs and that it requires expression of the same qualities of
mind on the part of the patient to make a successful business of
getting well, that it does to succeed in any other form of endeavor. He
learned that faith is the fountain of hope and that to inspire a
sufferer with faith and courage is to arouse the hope and ambition, for
that perfection, which every being desires and is inherently capable of
The struggles he passed through were not altogether in learning the
processes of his patients' mind, for he found much to study and master
in his own mental processes and the overcoming of all the difficulties
he encountered in himself und ulsowhuru constituted the expuriuncusi
which supplied the knowledge upon which Suggestive Therapeutics and
Applied Psychology is
HIS FIRST CASES
Notably among his first cases was Mr. D. Blair, the son of a well-known
clothing merchant of Sedalia, Missouri, who was healed of locomotor
ataxia in the remarkable short period of seventeen days; and another
equally astounding case was that of Lucile Brickie, then nine years
old, afflicted with infantile paralysis, whose restoration was
accomplished in less than six weeks.
Numerous cures of sciatica, chronic stomach and bowel troubles, and all
manner of nervous disorders yielded as readily to his treatment and
attracted such widespread attention that a business organization was
formed and what is now known as the Weltmer Institute of Suggestive
Therapeutics of Nevada, Missouri, was founded.
FOUNDING HIS INSTITUTION
In establishing an Institution of this character the founders had no
precedent to guide them, for this was the first institution of its
kind ever established and there were no plans charted for its
successful and safe conduct.
THE CRUCIAL TEST
In 1900 a concerted attack was made to destroy the Weltmer Method of
Healing. Persecutions and prosecutions followed one another in rapid
succession until November 17, 1902, when the litigation had finally
reached the United States Supreme Court, which sustained Professor
Weltmer's work, and among other things declared his methods and
practice to be "sound and practical" "legitimate and lawful and in no
conflict with the laws of Congress.
This settled, for all time, the legal status of the Weltmer Method of
THE ORIGINAL MAIL COURSE
In 1899 Professor Weltmer wrote a Mail Course in Magnetic Healing, of
which some forty-five thousand courses were distributed among the
English speaking inhabitants of all parts of the world. This course was
little more than a statement of principles, with instructions for the
demonstration of the principles stated.
It was made as comprehensive as possible but was very brief. Its great
charm and popularity were due to the fact that every statement was a
deduction from the actual experiences of the author, every principle
laid down was capable of positive and practical demonstration by any
person of average intelligence and the whole proposition was presented
so that any one would know just how to prove, by trial, the assertions
made in the lessons.
The benefits to humanity, resulting from the plain statement of these
principles and experiences, can never be definitely estimated. The
teaching of this Original Course has enabled thousands to overcome
diseases of mind and body, and to cure and prevent sickness in
themselves and within their homes. As the result of this work there
are, today, Suggestotherapists in every state, as well as in all parts
of the world, who are healing the sick and afflicted, thus bringing
peace and happiness to humanity.
THE REWARD FOR HIS EFFORTS.
At this point let us see the cumulative effect of this great movement
toward freedom from disease and personal limitations.
When he first came to Nevada, on February 19, 1897, and established his
School of Healing, Professor Weltmer's success was assured because of
his many remarkable successes in healing those who were considered
hopeless invalids. His fame spread in all directions. Naturally he
revolted against the idea that he had any miraculous power and he
quoted many sayings of Jesus to explain that mental, physical, and
spiritual healing are accomplished by the Power of the Infinite, and
not by man or by any of his material means or contrivances.
From the very beginning, when he was asked by his students if they
could manifest this same healing power, his answer was:
"You can do what I do, when you know what I know. And I can teach you
what I know."
In 25 years, this Sanitarium and School, starting with nothing except a
method that would heal, had extended his influence and service to all
parts of the world. By means of his personal service, courses and
publications, he directly served and benefited more than five
hundred thousand people. And each one of these, in turn, in their
personal contact with relatives, friends, acquaintances and audiences,
extended the benefits of the Weltmer Method, Suggestotherapy to a
large number of persons.
By means of its teachings and actual practice, this Institution had
developed the Science of Suggestotherapy, which is the twentieth
century meant for the healing of the sick, the unhappy, and the poor.
Thus it was abreast of the twentieth century developments in other
lines of human endeavor.
The Weltmer Method—Suggestotherapy—stood several severe
investigations, the most severe of which resulted in the report that:
67 percent of its patients
had been cured or permanently benefited.
30 per cent additional were well pleased, and only
3 percent were displeased.
So this work has been two fold, healing and teaching. Professor
Weltmer, not only established a Sanitarium so those who came to Nevada
could have the very best of attention while there, he also continually
improved this part of his work, at the cost of thousands of dollars, so
that the Weltmer Sanitarium gave service equal to the best in
The same ws true of his resident course of instruction, for which he
has added, from time to time, all the laboratory equipment necessary to
give the student the most scientific training.
The correspondence courses were improved, revised, added to, and
in every way made to correspond to the new discoveries, methods and
improvements that have come to light.
The Home Method of Healing, in which Professor Weltmer took the
greatest interest because of the many and remarkable life-giving
results brought about in his patients, was also improved in many
ways. For a period of twelve years, extensive experiments in telepathy
were carried on, and these gave him valuable information
which greatly helped him in his Home Treatment Service.
The Institute was so successful that
extra trains to Nevada were added. At one time, the Institute did an
amazing number of treatments by mail. In fact, so many requests were
being made that Nevada had to build a larger post office. During the 1920's, there were lawsuits over the
Weltmer "treatments". The
Institute ceased to operate in 1933.
Since that time, by sheer force of Merit, Suggestive
Therapeutics has overcome prejudice, unbelief and disease.
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