AbstractAlbert von Schrenck-Notzing, M.D., is one of the most controversial figures in the history of medicine and science. A pioneer of hypnotism and sexology in late 19th century Germany, he was to become the doyen of early 20th century German psychical research. Supported by the philosophers Hans Driesch and Traugott Konstantin Oesterreich and the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, his work was attacked by psychologist Max Dessoir and, most fi ercely, psychiatrist Mathilde von Kemnitz (later Ludendorff) and sexologist Albert Moll. This essay traces the career of this unusual character from his early work in hypnotism and sexology to his study of even more contested areas, such as “poltergeist” cases and the experimental study of alleged materialisations and telekinesis. Finally, it analyses the rhetorical structure of charges of fraud, gullibility, and scientifi c incompetence, which Schrenck-Notzing’s name is still associated with.
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