OT 1948: Aberrations

Reference: DIANETICS: The Original Thesis

This paper presents Chapter 6 from the book DIANETICS: THE ORIGINAL THESIS by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Hubbard Dianetic Foundation, Inc. (1948).

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.



All aberrations of any kind are of precisely the same nature (as covered in the last chapter). It is the content of the engram which causes the aberration and forms its nature. Complexity amongst engramic contents may demonstrate a most complex aberration.

All aberrations are caused by the same mechanism of formation of the engramic node.

The various commands contained in the engrams, reactivating and modifying the basic dynamic command of the mind, produce abnormal characteristics in the behavior of the analytical mind, which are chronic or sporadic as the engrams occasioning them are restimulated. An entire concept of existence may be built from engramic content. Conflicts in the commands contained in engrams and conflicts between the basic drive and the engramic contents combine into behavior patterns.

The words contained in the painful experience act like hypnotic commands.

When the organism has become so impeded that it can no longer influence or command its environment, it can be considered to be insane in that environment. Change of environment may relieve the condition or, more certainly, the exhaustion of the content of the reactive mind will restore the ability of the analytical mind to solve the problems with which it is confronted.

Insanity comes about when the mental matrix is seriously compromised by these commands.

Whatever the engramic content of the reactive mind and its potential influence upon the behavior of the individual, it does not necessarily follow that the reactive mind need be chronically restimulated. However, when the reactive mind has been restimulated consistently, the analytical mind, called upon to solve the problems around and through antagonistic and incorrect data, may be unable to perform its task. In the absence of disease or injury, any mind not in a physiological amnesia state may be restored to normal function by the removal of the reactive mind. It should be noted however that this is modified by the fact that people who have received insulin shocks, prefrontal lobotomies, electric shocks and other treatments are regarded as equivocal and are temporarily classed with disease cases for lack of adequate observation in this stage of the experimental research.

Aberration may be reduced by minimizing the triggers in the environment. Aberration may be eliminated by assimilating the contents of the engramic node into the mental matrix.

People can be regarded as rational or irrational only insofar as they react in their customary environment. But any person in possession of a reactive mind is an unknown quantity until that reactive mind has been examined.

There are several factors contained in the engrams in the reactive mind which most certainly tend toward aberration. These include engramic commands which derange the time sense of the individual and thus apparently destroy his time track and engrams which contain restimulators of such timelessness and such perceptic content remain thereafter continually with the individual and seem to arrest him or regress him in time. Engrams containing commands which make the individual chronically unable to conceive differences are especially harmful since these tend to compare everything to engramic value and thus cause the individual to arrive at a chronic state of engramic thinking.

The space and time sense of the individual is affected by the engramic node.

The mind resolves problems related to survival, utilizing its ability to conceive similarities and observe differences.

Engrams which destroy or tend to hold in suspension the analytical mind’s ability to conceive associations most influence the apparent intelligence of the mind. But engrams which tend, by their command content, to destroy the mind’s ability to conceive differences may produce severe aberration.

The drive and intelligence of the individual is also affected by the engramic node.

EXAMPLE: “All men are alike,” received as powerful engramic content would tend to compare and associate every man with those men contained in the reactive mind as painful and dangerous.

An aberration may attain any form of complexion. As a rough analogy: a compulsion may be conceived to be an engramic command that the organism must do something; a repression is a command that the organism must not do something; a neurosis is an emotional state containing conflicts and emotional data inhibiting the abilities or welfare of the individual; and a psychosis is a conflict of commands which seriously reduce the individual’s ability to solve his problems in his environment to a point where he cannot adjust some vital phase of his environmental needs.

These aberrations may be classified as compulsions, repressions, neuroses, and psychoses, but the underlying mechanism is the same.

All this variety of manifestation of aberration is occasioned by the pain-enforced commands or contents of engrams.

Physical aberrations are occasioned by engrams when they are not the result of injury or disease; even then, the aspect may be improved by the exhaustion of the reactive mind of the sick individual. The engram cannot manifest itself as a mental aberration without also manifesting itself to some degree as somatic aberration. Removal of the somatic content of engrams which is also necessary to obtain any other relief, can and does occasion glandular readjustment, cellular inhibition and other physiological corrections.

Both mental and physical aberrations have the same source.



Psychology is trying to classify aberrations; but if all aberrations are caused by the same mechanism, then we simply have to understand that mechanism and resolve it.

All aberrations are caused by the formation of engramic nodes that are the result of painful experiences. At the core of each experience is a “shock”. Handling starts with discovering this shock and bringing it fully into awareness.

Next would be bringing into awareness the whole painful experience, which caused the shock. This may be aided by observing the aberration, guessing the content of the painful experience and using it to jog the person’s recall of the actual experience.

The work is harder when very little awareness exists in the person. Here the existing environment could be activating the aberration to an intense degree. A change in environment may definitely help. A calm, natural and uplifting environment may bring a person to a condition where he can recall the shock and painful experience.

The engramic node may be fully discharged by getting more details about other similar experiences, and finding and discussing inconsistencies due to aberrations until they are resolved.


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