It seems that Mesmer believed his own theories, in spite of himself. Mesmer believed in the need for magnets, until he tried curing people without magnets and found it worked. So he theorized that it was him who was the magnet (rather than think about the placebo effect). He soon noticed that all that was needed were dramatic movements and unmagnetized props for the cure to work. Therefore, he was a magnet of incredible proportions... poor guy never realized the power of blind faith.