Category Archives: Dianetics

Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health

BY L. RON HUBBARD
Published in 1950

I hold a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from M.I.T. I am also conversant with Buddhism. I spent 12 years in Sea Org of Scientology from 1971 to 1983. I believe I am qualified to critique DIANETICS.

I am writing my critique one chapter at a time. Please follow the links to see the comments.

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CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS 

INTRODUCTION

HOW TO READ THIS BOOK

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Book One THE GOAL OF MAN

CHAPTER I The Scope of Dianetics

CHAPTER II The Clear

CHAPTER III The Goal of Man

CHAPTER IV The Four Dynamics

CHAPTER V Summary

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Book Two THE SOURCE OF ALL MENTAL AND PSYCHO-SOMATIC ILLS

CHAPTER I The Analytical Mind and the Standard Memory Banks

CHAPTER II The Reactive Mind

CHAPTER III The Cell and the Organism

CHAPTER IV The “Demons”

CHAPTER V Psycho-somatic Illness

CHAPTER VI Emotion and the Dynamics

CHAPTER VII Prenatal Experience and Birth

CHAPTER VIII Contagion of Aberration

CHAPTER IX Keying-in the Engram

CHAPTER X Preventive Dianetics

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Book Three THERAPY

CHAPTER I The Mind’s Protection

CHAPTER II Release or Clear

CHAPTER III The Auditor’s Role

CHAPTER IV Diagnosis

CHAPTER V Returning, the File Clerk, and the Time Track

CHAPTER VI The Laws of Returning

CHAPTER VII Emotion and the Life Force

CHAPTER VIII Some Types of Engrams

CHAPTER IX PART ONE Mechanisms and Aspects of Therapy

CHAPTER IX PART TWO Mechanisms and Aspects of Therapy

CHAPTER X Dianetics — Past and Future

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APPENDIX I The Philosophic Method

APPENDIX II The Scientific Method

APPENDIX III (A) Mind Schematic

APPENDIX III (B) Analyzer Schematic

APPENDIX IV Advice to the Pre-clear 

Glossary

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DIANETICS: Introduction

Reference: Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

These are some comments based on the Introduction of Dianetics from the book, DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.

NOTE: Winter wrote the introduction to the first edition of the DIANETICS book. A year later, he critiqued only minor assumptions and outrageous claims of Hubbard. After about 70 years, we are now in a position to navigating the hype really strengthening the actual discovery of Dianetics that there are impressions in the mind that underlie consciousness and influence human behavior.

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Comments on
Introduction

This introduction by physician J. A. Winter says, “In the creation of any New Idea, there is one step which is highly important. It is so obvious as to be frequently overlooked. This step, the sine qua non of any idea, consists in examining the basic assumptions of the subject and determining whether or not they need to be revised. The creator of a New Idea asks, ‘What would happen if I assume that this belief which everyone has had for centuries isn’t necessarily so?’”

What makes Dianetics so revolutionary, and at the same time evolutionary, is that it examines the basic assumptions underlying the subject of life and the functioning of the mind. Dianetics exposes some of these assumptions. One of the assumptions has been that the mind cannot record what is happening in the environment when the person is unconscious.

In Dianetics therapy, impressions  from the periods of unconsciousness were found to exist. This led to the discovery of impressions from prenatal existence of the fetus. 

It is interesting to note that, in Buddhism, the mind is considered to be an organ of perception. The mind is capable of perceiving directly. We, therefore, have six organs of perception—touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste and the mental sense.

They key discovery of Dianetics is that the mind is capable of recording details of events, such as, severe injury, delirium, or surgical anesthesia that remain below the level of consciousness.

Such recordings, called ENGRAMS, are susceptible to reactivation during future periods of mental anguish. The engram, hidden beneath unexplored layers of “unconsciousness,” possesses a power of command not unlike that of a post-hypnotic suggestion, in a far more insidious and tragic effect. This fact has been found to be a single, direct source of aberrated behavior in Man. 

Winter says, “We should feel free to examine the basic assumptions of any body of knowledge we wish, without fear of committing lese majeste. If any system of thought is going to wither in the light of investigation, it does not deserve the title of Authority.”

Soon after a very successful publication of Dianetics in May 1950, Hubbard, the originator of Dianetics, started to act as an Authority. Dr. Winter, who served as as the medical director of the Hubbard’s Dianetics Research Foundation, resigned in October 1950, stating “there was a difference between the ideals inherent within the dianetics hypothesis and the actions of the Foundation.” He published A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics in 1951 (see the image above), that was critical of Hubbard’s Authority. Some detail’s of Winter’s book may be found at Early Scientology / Dianetics – 1950.

It is important to look beyond the Authority of Hubbard at the actual scientific facts that support or deny the claims made in the subject of Dianetics.

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DIANETICS: Synopsis

Reference: Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

These are some comments based on the Synopsis of Dianetics from the book, DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.

NOTE: By evolution, I do not mean Charles Darwin’s theory. We have had evolution of the universe since the so-called Big Bang. Evolution means improvement of form, and that means death of the existing form and birth of a better form. Fixation on survival has led to the desire to live eternally. This means a desire for the permanence of the existing form. This goes against the very fact of evolution. By no means, the individuality (viewpoint) of Man has evolved to its full potential. There is more ahead that we have little inkling of.

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Comments on
Synopsis

Dianetics was more or less theoretical at the time this book was published, and lots of kinks remained to be smoothed out of its procedure. Dianetics was designed mainly to handle the psychosomatic causes of illnesses. Shocks and pains were the starting points for looking for the cause that contributed to all illnesses. This was identified as engram (cellular impression). Resolution of illnesses occurred when these engrams were located and desensitized through repeated recounting. Finding the engram took a lot of clever guessing and questioning on the part of the auditor since the preclear (the patient) was under reverie and passively obeying auditor’s commands. This yielded at least one engram per case. The running of the engram was usually quite dramatic and affected the case positively.

These few engrams were the low hanging fruits that definitely yielded results.

However, the rest of the case was not that easy to resolve. Other anomalies that made up the majority of the case were mostly out of reach of Dianetics. Thus, Dianetics results have been quite dramatic but limited in terms of resolving the whole case of a person.

The assertion of Dianetics that “the problems of thought and mental function can be resolved within the bounds of the finite universe” is quite logical. It was also applied by Buddha 2600 years ago and it made Buddhism independent of mysticism and metaphysics.

According to Hubbard, the dynamics of humans embrace four major activities that need to be in balance. Such a categorization is quite useful. 

“DYNAMIC ONE: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of self and his immediate symbiotes. 

“DYNAMIC TWO: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of sex, the act and the creation of children and their rearing. 

“DYNAMIC THREE: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of the group, whether civil, political, or racial, and the symbiotes of that group. 

“DYNAMIC FOUR: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of Mankind and the symbiotes of Mankind.”

Hubbard’s states, “THE DYNAMIC PRINCIPLE OF EXISTENCE IS: SURVIVE!” It is true that those who are sick and not surviving well, have their attention fixed upon surviving better, but the purpose of life is to EVOLVE. Hubbard’s principle, however, fixes his whole philosophy on survival such that human evolution is ignored.

The stated goal of Dianetics therapy is to clear the individual of all his mental and physical aberrations. This means freeing the person’s attention from all fixations so he can operate freely. But freeing of attention includes freeing it from fixation on personal survival.

Humanity has been fixated on personal survival to such a degree that it has been dreaming of immortal souls going to heaven. This is in spite of the fact that no form can survive permanently in this universe.

This is the current situation in all civilized societies around the world. Individuals are focused on their own personal welfare. This fixation is the entirety of ego. Such individuals are unable to evolve beyond living on the first dynamic. Evolution requires willingness to live as well as to die. An individual fixated on living will crave for immortality. He will resist death at all costs. He cannot sacrifice himself willingly when circumstances ask for it. 

When an aspect of the mental impression is shared by all of humanity it becomes a fourth dynamic engram. This particular fourth dynamic engram is FIXATION ON FIRST DYNAMIC SURVIVAL.  Dianetics, which focuses on the individual, is incapable of handling this fourth dynamic engram. 

The individuality is the body-mind system. The “spirit” is simply the juice, like electricity, that makes this system run.

There is no individual decision making beyond the “body-mind” system. There is no individuality in the realm of spirit. Yet, Dianetics seems to postulate individuality just like the idea of soul. This is spelled out later in Scientology as “Thetan.” Buddhism has no such concept of soul, Thetan or Atman.

There are a lot of good ideas in Dianetics, and there is no intention here to minimize the effectiveness of Dianetics in making the sick well. But handling the whole case of the person requires the handling of the fourth dynamic engram. Dianetics is not designed to handle that. Buddhism, on the other hand, is designed to handle the fourth dynamic engram.

Dianetic engrams are just a few low hanging fruits that do bring significant relief on the first dynamic of a person. But the Dianetic therapy does not bring about the evolution of the individual in expanding his viewpoint to other dynamics.

It may be possible to greatly enhance the value of Dianetics by aligning its fundamental postulates with those of Buddhism.

OT 1948: Glossary

Reference: DIANETICS: The Original Thesis

This paper presents Chapter 18 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.

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Glossary

A.A.—An attempted abortion case.

ABERREE — An aberrated individual, sane or insane, containing unrelieved engrams.

ANALYTICAL MIND — The residence of consciousness in the individual and the seat of his basic personality. This is an analogical term. The analytical mind can be sub-divided.

Alternatively, the analytical mind is the assimilated part of the mental matrix.

ASSOCIATIVE RESTIMULATOR— A perceptic in the environment which is confused with an actual restimulator.

BREAK ENGRAM — The secondary engram after the receipt of which the individual experienced a lowering of general tone to 2.5 or below and became therefore unable to cope with his environment.

CLEAR—(1) Dianetic Clear: An individual who has been cleared of all engrams and chains and who has achieved a general tone four; a Dianetic Case Completion; one who through Dianetic processing has become free of those things which make a person susceptible to, and “hold in place,” psychosomatic ills, and is a healthy, happy human being. In this book Clear means Dianetic Clear. (2) Scientology Clear: A person who, having received all the processing gains from Dianetics to Grade VI (highest Scientology Release Grade), has then completed the Clearing Course at an Advanced Organization. A Scientology Clear has by definition the ability to be cause over mental matter, energy, space and time as regards the First Dynamic (ref. chapter The Dynamics, in this book).

Alternatively, when the mental matrix is cleared of all aberrated and engramic nodes, it is fully assimilated. Such is the matrix of a person designated Clear.

CONFUSION — The condition of an area of an engram or the condition of a chain. Instants of existence which are not properly aligned on the time track.

CROSS ENGRAM — The severe engramic experience wherein two chains have met causing a marked change in the life of the individual. This is an engram which is on the time track of each of two or more chains.

DIANETICIST— A skilled user of dianetic therapy.

DIANETICS — Means “through the soul” (from Greek dia. through, and noes, soul). It is the first fully precise science of the mind. The world before Dianetics had never known a precision mental science.

DISPERSAL— The action of a dynamic or purpose meeting an engram. It is describable by an analogy of an electron stream striking impedance and showering around it, much weakened.

DYNAMIC — The dynamic thrust into time and space of an individual, a species, or a unit of matter or energy. Especially defined for the purpose of Dianetics as “Survive.”

DYNAMIC DIANETICS—The science of the basic drives of the individual and his basic personality. At this writing the branch of Dianetics most intensely under observation and research is this one. (See Science of Survival by L. Ron Hubbard.)

ENGRAM — A period of physical pain including unconsciousness and antagonism experienced by an individual, group or society and residing thereafter as irrational and restimulatable dramatizations.

Alternatively, this is a painful experience, which could not be assimilated in the mental matrix, and which remains connected as an unassimilated node.

ENGRAM CHAIN— A series of similar engrams on one or more dynamics which impede the dynamics of the individual.

Alternatively, this is a network of engrams.

LOCK— A period of mental anguish depending for its force upon an engram. It may or may not be available to the analytical mind but it does not contain actual unconsciousness.

Alternatively, these are tentacles of the engram reaching into the mental matrix.

PRECLEAR — Any individual receiving dianetic auditing for the purpose of being cleared; anyone not yet Clear.

Alternatively, this is the auditee, the person who is being audited.

PURPOSE—The survival route chosen by an individual, a species, or a unit of matter or energy in the accomplishment of its goal. (NOTE: The purpose is specific and may be closely defined being a subdivision of one of the sub-dynamics. It has been tentatively established by investigation that an individual human being has established his purpose for life at the age of two years and that the actual purpose is not derived in any degree from engrams but is only warped by them.)

REACTIVE MIND — That portion of the nervous system which contains reflexive or reactive data which does not clear through the analytical mind but is subject to dramatization or aberrations. It uses as a thought process the conception of identities. A equals A equals A. This is essentially the animal thinking mechanism.

This is simply the unassimilated portion of the mental matrix. In animals, the mental matrix is simply very coarse and not necessarily unassimilated.

RELEASE — ( 1 ) Dianetic Release: A preclear in whom the majority of emotional stress has been deleted from the reactive mind. Has had large gains from Dianetics, is not yet a Dianetic Case Completion. (2) Scientology Release: A series of major levels of gain wherein Scientology processing frees the person from the principal life difficulties or personal “blocks” stemming from the mind. Called Release Grades, each of these levels must be completed for one to be ready to undertake Scientology Clearing. Note: Release, in this book, refers to Dianetic Release.

RESTIMULATOR — The environmental perceptic which approximates a precise part of the engramic perceptics in the reactive mind.

SCIENTOLOGY — The study of knowledge in its fullest sense, and applied religious philosophy that covers man’s relationship to the universe. Dianetics is the forerunner of Scientology. Dianetics was the ultimate development of the mind of human beings. Scientology is the road from there to total freedom.

SOMATIC—The physiological counterpart of mental aberration. A somatic attends every aberration. This term is used in lieu of “physical pain” in auditing due to the high engramic value of the word pain and its failure to include in its meaning all painful perceptics.

TIME TRACK—The memory record of an individual, motor or sensory, precisely aligned in moments of time. In a Clear all such moments are available to the analytical mind. In an aberree areas of the time track are obscured, but the time track is considered to be in perfect condition, if partially and temporarily obscured. The existence of two time tracks is suspected— one sensory and one motor, the latter being more available to the dianeticist in the form of somatics. The time track is precise but as the analytical mind addresses it in the aberree, it is apparently obliterated in part, or tangled.

Alternatively, there are networked relationships, which, in a broader form, may appear to be sequentially connected.

TONE—The emotional condition of an engram or the general condition of an individual.

TRAUMA — A term from a school of psychology implying an experience which would create a psychic scar. It is unused in Dianetics as being liable to misunderstanding of the nature of severe experiences. Scars cannot be removed; psychosomatic experiences can be.

UNCONSCIOUSNESS — A condition wherein the organism is discoordinated only in its analytical process and motor control direction. In the physio-animal section of the brain, a complete time track and a complete memory record of all perceptions for all moments of the organism’s existence is available.

Alternatively, this is a circuit, when activated, bypasses the assimilated matrix, which represents the consciousness of the individual.

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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.

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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.

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CASE NO. 1

HYPERTENSION, COMBAT FATIGUE
TUBERCULOSIS, ARRESTED
MYOPIC ASTIGMATISM

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.

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CASE NO. 2

APATHY, PRECLEAR HAD BEEN UNDER PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT FOR TWO YEARS PRIOR TO DIANETIC AUDITING. SHE HAD EXPERIENCED NO RELIEF. MALNUTRITION.

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.

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CASE NO. 3

PSYCHOTIC MURDEROUS RAGES.
CHRONIC SKIN RASH.

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.

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FINAL COMMENTS

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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