Élizabeth Teissier, née Germaine Élizabeth Hanselmann (born 6 January 1938) is a French astrologer and former model and actress. Between 1975 and 1976, she created a daily horoscope on French television channel Antenne 2, and in 1981, she launched the Astro Show television programme in Germany. Her personal clients included former President of France François Mitterrand, and she has published several books on astrology. A test that compared her predictions against common sense and chance failed to show any evidence of her having any special powers.
Germaine Élizabeth Hanselmann
6 January 1938
She has been involved in several controversies, including the award of a Doctorate in Sociology for her thesis which argued that astrology was being oppressed by science. Her work was contested by the scientific community; criticisms included the alleged failure to work within the field of sociology and also lacking the necessary scientific rigour for a doctoral thesis in any scientific field. The university and jury who awarded the degree were harshly criticised, though both they and Teissier had supporters and defenders.
Born to a Swiss father and a French mother, she married André Teissier du Cros in 1960. She gained a Masters in Modern Literature in 1963 and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature in 1992.
Between 1965 and 1975, she acted in a dozen films, including mainly soft erotic films, but also ones directed by Sydney Pollack (Castle Keep, 1969), Marcel Carné, Philippe de Broca and Yves Robert. She has also worked as a model, notably for Coco Chanel.
In 1968 she became a student of the astrologer Henri Joseph Gouchon on the advice of Federico Fellini. Afterwards, from 1975 to 2009, she had several astrological columns, presented astrology on television, and published pleas for astrology's recognition.
From 1989, she advised the French President, François Mitterrand, who consulted her regularly at the Élysée Palace. Her advice covered both personal matters, such as his health, and matters of state such as the Gulf War and the timing of the Maastricht Treaty referendum. She released transcripts of their recorded conversations four years after his death. For example, he said, "You once told me there were days when it was better to talk, and days when it was better not to talk. When is the next best day for me to speak? Could you check for me?"
- 1966 (uncredited): Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo ?, directed by William Klein
- 1966 (uncredited): Tendre Voyou, directed by Jean Becker
- 1968: Young Wolves (Les Jeunes Loups), directed by Marcel Carné
- 1968: Faites donc plaisir aux amis directed by Francis Rigaud
- 1969: Castle Keep, directed by Sydney Pollack
- 1969: The Blood Rose (La Rose écorchée), directed by Claude Mulot
- 1971: Frustration, ou Les Dérèglements d'une jeune provinciale, directed by José Bénazéraf
- 1972: Le rempart des Béguines, directed by Guy Casaril
- 1972: Rolande met de bles, directed by Roland Verhavert
- 1973: A Slightly Pregnant Man (L'Événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la Lune), directed by Jacques Demy
- 1973: Salut l'artiste, directed by Yves Robert
- 1975: L'Incorrigible, directed by Philippe de Broca
Television astrology shows
From 1975 to 1983, she hosted a series of television shows making astrological predictions:
The Circle Zététique of Languedoc-Roussillon, via a test conducted at the University of Nice from April 2000 to January 2001, argued that her predictions and random predictions by a computer yielded identical results.
A team compared twenty-two forecasts made by Élizabeth Teissier for 2000 to twenty-two forecasts by a group using a common sense reasoning, and twenty-two forecasts made by using a computer to choose random dates. The target was a minimum of 16 successes for Teissier (73%).
- Random choice: 8 successes
- Teissier: 7 successes
- Common sense: 7 successes.
Cancer prediction claims
Teissier sparked controversy and denunciation in September 2007 when she said, in an interview with the Swiss daily newspaper Le Matin, that "in an astrological chart, you can see if you have a predisposition to cancer, and the type of cancer in question" and that "astrology has never killed anyone, unlike medicine".
On 7 April 2001, Elizabeth Teissier defended her thesis entitled Situation épistémologique de l'astrologie à travers l'ambivalence fascination-rejet dans les sociétés postmodernes ("The Epistemological Situation of Astrology in Relation to the Ambivalent Fascination/Rejection of Postmodern Societies"). Her studies at the University of Paris Descartes (a member of the Sorbonne University alliance), were under the supervision of Michel Maffesoli, an Emeritus Professor of Sociology. The central idea of the thesis was described by The New York Times as being that astrology is being oppressed by science, which Teissier called "official science" and "monolithic thought". Teissier argued, however, that her work is devoid of bias and had "focused only on the misunderstanding that astrology as a multimillennial knowledge vehicle" provokes. Her prepared statement was enthusiastically received by her supporters, but there was also a declaration from the editor-in-chief of Science et Vie Junior that what was occurring was a "farce." At end of the defense, the jury deliberated only briefly before Serge Moscovici admitted Teissier to her doctoral degree with the "very honourable" distinction.
The decision to award Teissier's doctorate was controversial, and several sociologists also publicly challenged its legitimacy. The university was criticised for granting the degree, as was the jury, along with Teissier's statements in support of astrology as a science.
A petition signed by over 370 sociologists was sent to Professor Pierre Daumard, the President of the university; he responded that Teissier had complied with all university requirements and it is not his place to question the "guarantees of the scientific validity of the thesis" from the independent jury. Daumard also defended that astrology is a legitimate subject for sociological study for its impact on society, However, a group organised by the Association Française pour l'Information Scientifique (AFIS) described it as "not a thesis in sociology but actually pro-astrological advocacy." They concluded that the Teissier's work did not meet the requirements of scientific rigor of doctoral research, regardless of the discipline in question.
Lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation
In July 2015, Teissier sued the Wikimedia Foundation, saying the article about her on the French Wikipedia damaged her reputation, and required her to have the right of response. She lost the original trial and appeal. In June 2016, The Court of Appeal in Paris dismissed the case, stating that the Wikimedia Foundation had a technical role of hosting provider, and was thus not involved in the content, and that the remarks about Teissier fell within the limits of free criticism.
- Ne brûlez pas la sorcière, Pauvert, 1970. OCLC 3274316
- Astralement vôtre : le triomphe d'une vocation, Laffont, 1980. ISBN 9782221005477
- Astrologie, passion, Hachette, 1992. ISBN 9782010190599
- with Henri Laborit Étoiles et molécules, Grasset, 1992. ISBN 9782246463412
- Les Douze Signes du zodiaque, Edition⁰1, 1993. OCLC 492058661
- Vos étoiles jusqu'en l'an 2001 : la conjoncture mondiale et votre horoscope année par année, Edition⁰1, 1993. ISBN 9782863915417
- Les étoiles de l'Elysée : astro-portraits, Edition⁰1, 1995. ISBN 9782863916629
- Sous le signe de Mitterrand, Edition⁰1, 1997. ISBN 9782863918005
- Le passage de tous les dangers : 1999–2004: à l'aube du troisième millénaire, un survol des influx cosmiques pour vous et pour le monde, Laffont, 1999. ISBN 9782221089262
- L'homme d'aujourd'hui et les astres : fascination et rejet, Plon, 2001. ISBN 9782259196185
- Votre horoscope 2009, XO, 2008. ISBN 9782845633872
- with Gerhard Hynek 2012–2016 : cinq années qui vont changer le monde, XO, 2011. ISBN 9782845635340
- Est-il votre Mars ? Est-elle votre Vénus ? : petit traité ludique de l'amour et de l'amitié, XO, 2013. ISBN 9782845636040
- Biography of André Teissier Du Cros, at Éditions Harmattan.fr.
- Thierry Ardisson, interview with Élizabeth Teissier, from Tout le monde en parle on France 2, at 10 November 2001.
- Hoogcarspel, Eric; Nienhuys, Jan W. (June 2001). "ET in the Sorbonne: The creation of a doctor in astrology". Skepter.
- ET in the Sorbonne: The creation of a doctor in astrology on Skepsis.nl, by Eric Hoogcarspel and Jan Willem Nienhuys
- From 16 July 1975 to 15 February 1976: Astralement vôtre or Interlude astral, daily broadcast on Antenne 2 (now France 2).
- April 1976: publication of Ne brûlez pas la sorcière (une défense de l’astrologie) (Do Not Burn the Witch (A Defense of Astrology)), published by J.-J. Pauvert
- 1977–2003: Astrology section in the magazine Télé 7 jours
- 1978–1979: Au Bonheur des astres, weekly show on Antenne 2
- 1979–1980: La Légende des Ciels, weekly show on Antenne 2
- 1980–1983: Astro Show: on ARD, ORF and SF in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
- In 1 February 2003, she began publishing in the weekly TV Mag, published by Figaro group.
- Hazareesingh, Sudhir (2015), "Darkness and Light", How the French Think, Penguin, pp. 62–63, ISBN 9780141974804
- Henley, Jon (25 June 2000), "How Mitterrand sought advice from astrologer", The Observer
- Filmweb.pl – Kim jesteś, Polly Maggoo? (in Polish)
- Notre Cinema article on Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo ?
- Filmweb.pl – Cast page for Kochany łobuz (a.k.a. Tendre Voyou)
- Filmweb.pl – Main page for Kochany łobuz (a.k.a. Tendre Voyou)
- Hollywood.com credits list for The Young Wolves
- Swedish Film Database page on alternate titles for Young Wolves, by the Swedish Film Institute
- cinema.encyclopedie.films.bifi.fr page on Faites donc plaisir aux amis (click on the "Générique artistique" tab to see her listed)
- British Film Institute page on Castle Keep
- British Film Institute page on The Blood Rose
- Sueurs Froides.fr review of Frustration by Philippe Chouvel
- Cinema-francais.fr page on Le rempart des Béguines
- British Film Institute page on Roland met de bles
- British Film Institute page on L'Événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la Lune
- Allocine.fr page on Salut l'artiste
- Programme-tv.net: L'Incorrigible cast list
- Allocine.fr page on L'Incorrigible
- Eteissier.com – biographie.
- Cercle Zététique du Languedoc-Roussillon, Résultats du Match Teissier/CZLR sur l'année 2000, 2001.
- Eakin, Emily (2 June 2001). "Star Wars: Is Astrology Sociology?". New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- Mariella Madonna: «Elle raconte n'importe quoi» (Mariella Madonna: "She says anything") by Fabiano Citroni in Le Matin 14 September 2007; (copy).
- Le Matin, 2 September 2007
- "Procédure de Soutenance". Université Paris Decartes: école doctorale – sciences humaines et sociales – cultures, individus, sociétés (in French). Université Paris Decartes. pp. 15–18.
- Teissier, Élizabeth (2001). Situation épistémiologique de l'astrologie à travers l'ambivalence fascination/rejet dans les sociétés postmodernes (Ph.D.). Paris Descartes University.
- Jean-Paul Krivine, « Einstein et l’astrologie : une citation fausse qui a la vie dure », pseudo-sciences.org, December 2001.
- Gourdin, Caroline (18 August 2001). "Qui prédira la fin de l'affaire Teissier?". Le Soir (in French). p. 9. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Rotmann, Charlotte (9 April 2001). "Elizabeth Teissier docteur des astres – Polémique universitaire autour de sa thèse de sociologie". Libération (in French). Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Lahire, Bernard; Cibois, Philippe; Desjeux, Dominique (2001). "La non thèse de sociologie d'Élizabeth Teissier". Le magazine de l'homme moderne (in French). Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Watson, Rod (2004). "Case Study: Examining a French PhD Thesis in Sociology and Related Disciplines". In Tinkler, Penny; Jackson, Carolyn (eds.). The Doctoral Examination Process: A Handbook For Students, Examiners And Supervisors. McGraw-Hill Education. pp. 72–73. ISBN 9780335213054.
- Martin, Olivier (7 August 2006). "Rappels et Conseils pour la Constitution des Jurys de Thèses et l'Organisation des Soutenances" (in French). Université Paris Decartes. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Cf. Christian Baudelot, Roger Establet, La sociologie sous une mauvaise étoile, Le Monde, 18 April 2001; a copy is available from homme-moderne.org.
- C.f., for example Alain Bourdin, La sociologie, l'antithèse de Teissier, Libération, 19 April 2001, and the articles published in the press review by the AFIS: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.
- Serge Paugam, La Pratique de la sociologie, Paris, PUF, 2008, p. 117 ; cf. également Gérald Houdeville, Le Métier de sociologue en France depuis 1945.
- Filâtre, Daniel (30 December 2001). "Affaire Teissier: historique – Présentation par Daniel Filâtre, président de l'Ases (extrait de la Lettre de l'ASES 30 de décembre 2001)" (in French). ASES archives maintained by Philippe Cibois, former President. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Daumard, Pierre (2001). ""René-Descartes" and Élizabeth Teissier" (in French). ASES archives maintained by Philippe Cibois, former President. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- Association Française pour l'Information Scientifique (25 April 2001). "COMMUNIQUÉ À LA PRESSE". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- Bernard Lahire, Philippe Cibois, Dominique Desjeux, Jean Audouze, Henri Broch, Jean-Paul Krivine, Jean-Claude Pecker et Jacques Bouveresse (6 August 2001). "Analyse de la thèse de Madame Elizabeth Teissier". Retrieved 6 January 2008.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- « L’astrologue Elizabeth Teissier perd son procès pour modifier Wikipédia », Thierry Noisette, Rue89.com, 21 June 2016.
- Alexis Orsini (21 June 2016). "L'astrologue Elizabeth Teissier déboutée de sa plainte contre la fondation Wikimedia". Le Monde.fr. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- « Wikipédia : Elizabeth Tessier déboutée de sa plainte », Jérôme Ivanichtenko, Europe 1.fr, 22 June 2016.