Priest, hypnotist, revolutionary....



Shri. Dayanidhi Maran

Minister of Communications and Information Technology

New Delhi, India
Dr. Shakeel Ahmed

Minister of State for Communications and

     Information Technology
New Delhi, India

Shri. R. Ganesan

Secretary (Posts) to Govt. Of India and Director

General, Dept of Posts and  the Chairman of the Postal Services Board
New Delhi, India

         We, the undersigned, kindly request you to issue an Indian postal stamp on May 31, 2006, to commemorate the 250th Birth Anniversary of Abbe Faria, a Goan hypnotist, priest and revolutionary. 

        Jose Custodio de Faria -- world renowned as 'Abbe Faria' -- was born on May 31, 1756, in the village of Candolim, Goa, India.

         In 1771, Abbe Faria left for Portugal where he began studying for the priesthood.  He was ordained in Rome and at age 24, earned a doctorate in theology.  He practiced hypnotism in Portugal and France, and was one of the  pioneers of the scientific study of hypnotism.  Unlike Franz Anton Mesmer -- who claimed that hypnosis was mediated by "animal magnetism" -- Faria understood that it worked purely by the power of suggestion.

        In 1789, Abbe Faria participated in the French Revolution.  He was arrested for instigating public unrest and sentenced to solitary confinement in the infamous prison at Chateau d'If.  His years in solitary confinement, however, served well to foment the fundamentals for his later scientific work, "The Lucid Cause of Sleep", which was published in 1819 and remains one of the leading reference books for researchers and academicians.

      Abbe Faria died in France on September 30, 1819.  His life of percipient wisdom and heroics in the face of compounding adversities, inspired Alexander Dumas to immortalize him in his epic work, "The Count of Monte Cristo".

       Over the years, lesser mortals have made their way to public pedestals and into the philatelic galaxy.  And while Europe has acknowledged Abbe Faria's distinct contribution to science with the accolade, 'The Father of Hypnotism', India has yet to host him in her cosmos of luminaries.

      In the compelling light of this glaring omission of homage to one of India's truly illustrious son, Abbe Faria, we request and kindly urge you to approve the issuance of an Indian postal stamp to commemorate his 250th Birth Anniversary on May 31, 2006.

The Undersigned
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