OT 1948: Case Histories

Reference: DIANETICS: The Original Thesis

This paper presents Chapter 17 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.


Case Histories

The following case histories have been selected at random. Due to lack of time, these case histories are Releases, not Clears. The Releases have been fully diagnosed and researched.




A forty-three year old ex-Army officer and author; inclined to petty tyrannies; twice divorced; no children. Processed by army as psycho-neurotic.

Birth was discovered immediately but would not satisfactorily release. The preclear experienced great difficulty in visualizing and his aberrations intensified during auditing.

By use of dreams and restimulation of somatics the preclear was able to reach the beginning of the engramic chain as counted backwards from birth. Fifteen prenatal experiences were unstacked. They were found lying in two loops. The loops were corrected and the basic engram of the basic chain was reached. (A loop is a redoubling of the time track back on itself. In this case incidents are not in their correct place on the time track. )

The basic consisted of a severe quarrel between his mother and father with several abdominal blows being received by the mother. The mother was protesting that it would make her sick all of her life. At the same time the mother was coughing from a throat blow. The father was insisting that he was master in his own home and that people had to do what he told them. This quarrel occurred at about four and a half months after conception and resulted in the temporary paralysis of the preclear’s right side. The remainder of the chain consisted of similar incidents, evidently dramatizations on the part of the father of his own engrams, as the words used were almost identical, one engram to the next. This chain accounted for and relieved the subject’s fear that he would be ill and his desire to tyrannize others.

Birth was then found to consist of near suffocation and considerable antagonism between the doctor and the nurse. This was registered as commands to himself to the effect that he was blind and could not see. Birth was in the home and dust, camphor, the smell of clean sheets and greased metal were the restimulators for this severe lung irritation. This birth was not restimulated until the age of five and the prenatals were not restimulated until entrance into the service when the need for authority manifested itself.

No locks were found to need attention and only one half hour of his war experience failed to release, that being a new basic.

Number of hours on case: fifty-five.




An eighteen-year-old girl in a condition of apathy bordering upon a break and worsening. She had been recently married. Afraid of her husband. She had done very badly in school, sporadically engaged in sexual escapades, relapsing afterwards into an illness which was variously diagnosed.

Case was entered with ease. Birth was reached and would not exhaust. A search for prenatals was for ten hours fruitless, until certain somatics were artificially restimulated and intensified to the point that the preclear had to recall the incident to find relief. Eight prenatals were then unstacked and only two incidents were discovered in confusion with each other, held together with a head somatic.

The basic proved to be a mutual abortion attempt by the mother and father. The mother said she would die if anyone found out but that she would probably die anyway. The father said that the baby was probably like her and that he didn’t want it. Eighteen penetrations of the head, throat and shoulders with a long orange-wood stick—probably in the third month. Several similar incidents completed this chain. Coitus followed each attempt at abortion. Another incident proved to be a basic without a chain and with innumerable locks: an attempted abortion by a professional abortionist who used some form of needle and scraper. Birth was found to be a mild experience. Three infant engrams with their own basic were discovered. They consisted of the mother’s fear over the injury and the fear that the baby would die.

Contagion of attempted abortion engrams was particularly manifest in the mother’s neurotic dwelling on fear of death, which was obviously a dramatization.

All neurotic and psychotic symptoms were relieved with a marked improvement in the health of the preclear and an increase of twenty-seven points on the Army Alpha test. Time of work: 65 hours.




A thirty-year-old male negro, six feet four inches in height, about two hundred and fifty pounds—swamp worker. He was in continual trouble with police and had a considerable jail record. He continually dramatized a hatred of women. He also dramatized a continuous suspicion that he was about to be murdered. His I.Q. was about eighty-five.

Uniquely enough this case offered no difficulties in entrance. The subject was extremely cooperative with the dianeticist. Birth was found and exhausted without improvement in the case. A number of infant and childhood engrams were discovered and tested. Continual address of the preclear’s attention to prenatal life finally brought about a convulsion in which terror and rage alternated. The dianeticist was able to induce the preclear to listen to the voices he was hearing and to go through with the experience.

The convulsion proved to be twenty engrams nearer birth than the basic, which lay on another chain and which was discovered by dream technique. The convulsion was caused by the dramatization of an engram involving the injection of turpentine into the uterus by the mother in an attempted abortion. The main engramic chain consisted of the mother’s efforts to abort herself. From engramic content it was gathered that the mother was a prostitute, for as many as twenty experiences of coitus succeeded two of these abortion attempts. They were too numerous to be evaluated.

The basic chain contained many quarrels about money between the mother and her customers. The somatics of this chain were largely bruises and concussions caused by the mother ramming herself into pointed objects, or beating her stomach and abdomen. There were many loops in the basic chain caused by the similarity of incident and the confusion of coitus with abortion attempts. The basic incident was at last discovered and exhausted. It was found to lie about twenty days after conception, when the mother first discovered her pregnancy.

All engrams were exhausted in the basic chain. The convulsion was fully cleared and birth was suddenly found to have been a very painful experience, particularly because the child was taken by others immediately after birth. Only one engram chain (unconsciousness resulting from fist fights) was found in childhood.



These hypnotism-oriented techniques of Dianetics require skill that is beyond the reach of general populace. There should be an easier alternative.

It is important to reach the engramic node and assimilate it into the mental matrix. After that the aberrated circuits can be straightened out quite easily. But the effort to reach the engramic node may require unburdening of some other aberrated nodes as a gradient.


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