A History of Man: Chapter Five

Reference: A History of Man

This paper presents CHAPTER FIVE from the book SCIENTOLOGY: A HISTORY OF MAN by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book in 1952.

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.



THE CAPABILITIES OF THE THETA BEING cannot at this time be set down in a full sweep of data. In the first place, it would be unfair to tomorrow to detail in writing the exact constitution of a theta being, for by just that much could he be predicted and brought again into a low state. The auditor does not have to know too much of these full capabilities. The preclear will discover them for himself in processing.

The following is my understanding of a theta being (thetan):
“Thetan is the individuality associated with a body-mind system that has a position on the Know-to-Mystery scale. It may be considered a unit of theta that manifests in the viewpoint and activities of the person.”

But there are a few data necessary to auditing and these are set forth:

A theta being is capable of emitting a considerable electronic flow. This is not done by using facsimiles but is actually a creation of motion which we now know as “electricity”. A theta being produces considerable voltage and amperage, enough to give somebody a very bad shock, to put out his eyes or cut him in half.

This appears to be something Hubbard measured on an E-meter. Such an E-meter is always connected to a body. So, it is the body-mind system which is creating this electronic flow. Unfortunately, Hubbard doesn’t provide any details on this.

The theta being, on his own, can instill anything on the emotional range into another being for each emotion is a wavelength and wave characteristic.

This appears to be a person emotionally reacting to another person, and that reaction is measured on the E-meter.

A theta being does not use facsimiles to think or act. He does “mockups” of the situation and by examining the “mock-up” knows how something works or what should be done with a situation. His memory is by pervasion—which is to say by pervading again the area of the data or by approximation. He is not stimulus response.

By itself a theta being is just a potential; so, this has to be a “theta being manifested in a body;” meaning a normal person whose mental matrix is well assimilated.

Facsimiles are accumulated by a theta being at will, discarded at will much as a man collects stamps.

Theta beings can rip chains of facsimiles away from other theta beings. This is not done as a therapy but as an outright prankish theft.

The identity of a theta being is not based on his memory of events but on an actual knowledge of identity.

A theta being can be rendered unconscious by wave action; he can be hypnotized; he can be made to sleep; he can be made to possess facsimiles and use them. He can be aberrated in such fashion so as to forget his identity. He is subject to all the laws and rules of thought emotion and effort as described in Dianetics and Scientology—with the difference that, fairly clear, he has enormous choice in their use.

A theta being can be de-aberrated by ridding him of his chains of facsimiles and restoring to him his knowledge of identity.

A theta being can enjoy existence and emotional impact, he can plan and act. His activities lie about 8.0 on the tone-scale. He is very high aesthetically and devotes most of his time to aesthetics.

Theta beings associate socially with theta beings and have a high sense of justice.

A theta being can be made visible by certain electronic flows; he can be pinned down by certain flows. The wave lengths of these flows are not known to Homo Sapiens at this time and methods of emission of them have not been invented on Earth.

Hubbard’s is, essentially, saying here that a theta being is more than just a potential. It can exist by itself without a body. It can think and act without a body. It can be made visible by certain electronic flows, etc. This is incredible stuff. Hubbard discovered all this only with the help of an E-meter. There is no data to back up any of these assertions. It contradicts even his own definition of theta. Frankly, this is too much for me to swallow.

MEST beings of the class of Homo Sapiens are composite beings motivated by a theta being, entities, the GE and the environment. MEST beings, fallen away from being theta beings, incapable of regaining a theta state in the absence of Dianetics, dislike theta beings (whom we will call THETANS from here on, meaning a theta being who has not been forced to have a MEST body). MEST beings, trying to inhabit an area of THETANS are commonly balked and fought by the thetans and the MEST beings then begin to trap and harass the thetans and will use them to motivate new bodies when the thetans have been reduced to little or nothing in power. The THEY which you will discover in incidents are MEST beings. The current Homo Sapiens is a THEY. Theta beings (amnesia and a MEST body) attack thetans who menace him. Thetans can kill MEST bodies by throwing a charge at them. Thus, a war develops between thetans and MEST beings. Given electronics and hitherto unconquered thetans, MEST beings can and have won.

From here on, I shall be ignoring the fantastic stuff, and commenting only on data that I find real and useful.

Thetans communicate by telepathy. They can move material objects by throwing an energy flow at them. They can travel at very high speeds. They are not bound by atmospheres or temperatures.

These ideas seem to be subjective. They are real only to the person holding them—he may even perceive these things.  But others around him cannot see them. This means that the person is under his own illusions.

Thetans quarrel with each other by showing each other facsimiles or throwing energy flows at each other, but they are not very quarrelsome.

Thetans do not die. They grow in that there are young and old thetans. Decaying, they obtain MEST bodies and eventually pass out in the form of a solid, apathetic slumber.

A thetan can feel pain. He can be crippled and dismembered, but this requires force which would blow half a town off the map.

Thetans live on some planets. They consider these to be “outside the MEST universe” by which they mean outside areas inhabited by the composite beings, the “races” which use electronics and need bodies.

A thetan, brought low enough to have a MEST body, may consider that he has been trapped by “time warps” or that his universe is another dimension or some such thing. This is not the case. Thetans live in the same time stream with the difference that they can alter concepts of time and get future or past at will—it is THE THETAN who is altering his concept, not the time that is changing. So don’t go off on wild chases after fourth and fifth dimensions, time warps and other time-space universes: teleportation makes it look like these exist for the thetan. There is more to this but you don’t really need it in processing.

There are two states of “theta clear.” One of these is a CLEARED THETAN, from whom all incidents would be removed; the other is the THETAN cleared of a necessity to have a MEST body. When we say “theta clear” we mean the latter.

A THETAN is somewhat bound-in here on Earth because of the existence of other system forces. Probably, with a few THETANS active, this planet will be much less calm and orderly. Probably Homo Sapiens will use electronics some day to re-trap thetans who are bothering him but if Homo Sapiens has the techniques for getting free himself, some miracle might avert this. Possibly a handful of thetans will someday become alarmed at the worries and efforts of Homo Sapiens and try to throw the remaining race into a super-controlled slavery. All that is speculation but it is not a speculation that life will become much more interesting on this planet. It is doubtful if the thetans will pull off the ultimate trick—simply knocking out the atmosphere of the planet— that “clears” everybody after a fashion. There is nothing as wild in the books of Man as will probably happen here on Earth. And it will happen and be allowed to happen simply because all this is so incredible that nobody will even think of stopping it until it is far, far too late. Its incredibility is its best safeguard, so you needn’t bother to convince anybody who doesn’t want to believe it. It took the medical profession two and a half years to catch on to prenatals. People getting cleared of bodies don’t need any such time lag. And so, may I make this simple request—don’t get spectacular until a few of the boys make it. You don’t want to be lonesome—and you’ll need reinforcements if a war gets declared on thetans here. The preclear may think he can do it alone if he gets cleared of a body—he’ll need more help and company than he thinks. So, again, as a final note on this chapter, let’s not go upsetting governments and putting on a show to “prove” anything to Homo Sapiens for a while- it’s a horrible temptation to knock off hats at fifty yards and read books a couple of countries away and get into the rotogravure section and the Hearst Weeklies—but you’ll just make it tough on somebody else who is trying to get across this bridge. Let sleeping Sapiens snore in the bulk for yet awhile. Then meet some place and decide what to do about him and his two penny wars, his insane and his prisons. Tell people who want to invalidate all this, “Your criticism is very just. It’s only fantasy.” Cure up the lame and halt and the incompetent with whatever display of technique you need. Protect theta clearing until there are a few.

I admit that this stuff is too incredible for me to swallow. It has been 70 years since this book was written. There still has been nothing to back any of these assertions. I will put this belief of thetan under the category of “people living under their own illusions.”


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