Alessandro Cagliostro, alias Giuseppe Balsamo

Overview: A contemporary of Frans Mesmer, Alessandro Cagliostro was an Italian wealthy man who went around the world imposing the energy from his hands in treating hundreds of patients, leading them back to good health. He only had one request for them, and that was that they believe in him. Cagliostro, after giving the best of himself to healing, died as a victim of the Spanish Inquisition. A great mind who pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy and scrying.

Count Cagliostro (pronounced “kally-o-stro”) was an 18th century occult mystic/conman/faith healer who ranged throughout Europe, claiming a noble, exotic, and mysterious origin. A political loose cannon in an age of revolution, he was implicated in the famous French “Affair of the Diamond Necklace”, and was ultimately condemned to death by the Roman Inquisition for practising freemasonry.

People (including prosecutors and particularly jail guards) wanted to know if Cagliostro was a real sorcerer. They also wondered if he really could extend life, and if he was really the head of an Egyptian Masonic cult. Some speculated that he was really a Jesuit spy, others suspected that he was really an agent for an international revolutionary conspiracy. They were curious to know where he came from, and especially, what he was capable of. It is a question that has intrigued researchers for centuries.

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