The Hubbard Is Bare, by Jeff Jacobsen, copyright © 1992
In June of 1989 I was in Chicago at a large used book sale, one of the largest in the country. I stumbled upon Physical Control of the Mind, by Jose Delgado. Delgado had experimented with various animals by placing electrodes in certain parts of the brain, then passing an electrical signal to those electrodes. By this process he could induce behavior in the animal. Delgado became a notorious figure to me when I had read some of his experiments while researching mind control for a college paper.
In discussing the brain's development, Delgado made the following statement about the writings of psychoanalyst Robert Sadger;
Sadger reported that when he could not relate some patients' neuroses to their embryonic periods, he induced them to recall what happened to their original spermatazoa and ova, or even to remember possible parental attitudes which could have produced a trauma in their delicate germinal cells before conception. Sadger maintained that these cells have a psychic life of their own with the capacity to learn and to remember. (1)
This sounded strikingly like some theories I had read in Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health, by L. Ron Hubbard. I had been reading and studying Hubbard's works, and had even written a tract critical of his Church of Scientology after studying the church's doctrine and history. Dianetics seemed to be full of new and unique theories and ideas, but Delgado's statement caused me to wonder whether perhaps Hubbard had not actually ripped off some of his ideas instead of discovering them. Sure enough, the reference date on Sadger's article was 1941 - eight years before Dianetics was published!
That was the beginning of the booklet you are about to read. I had studied Hubbard's works since 1986, and had taken an introductory course in about 1983 (which included some "Book one" auditing). By the time of the Chicago book sale, Hubbard's writing style, wacky theories and smugness were wearing on me, and I hoped to begin a study on electrical brain stimulation - hence the interest in Delgado. But since the revelation hit that Hubbard borrowed rather than invented his theories, it seemed to be a ripe and exciting subject to pursue.
The reason I thought this was an exciting topic was Hubbard's insistence that he came up with his ideas by himself and that they were as monumental a breakthrough from what came before as was the discovery of fire to the cavemen. If it could be shown that dianetics was simply a synthesis of previous ideas, then Hubbard would be exposed as a huckster and fraud. And I don't like hucksters and frauds.
Generally speaking, it is my contention that Hubbard did no credible research of his own. Instead he distilled ideas from books he had read, the few college courses he took, his own experiences, and his very fertile and disturbed mind, and came up with a mish-mash of bizarre theories which he wrote down in scientific-sounding phrases and words.
The ideas Hubbard borrowed were generally bizarre ideas to begin with, and his fertile, twisted mind altered and embelished them to produce an even worse hodge-podge.
It is a mammoth task to try to piece where Hubbard took ideas, since there is no definitive list of works he had read. He did in the early years of dianetics credit some people such as Korzybski, Freud, and some others, but Sadger, for example, never shows up in any credit by Hubbard. Thus, one has to pick an idea (from dianetics or some writing) and practice a little detective work to see whether the idea originated elsewhere. Of course, this bares me to criticism that I am simply reading dianetics back into some work that just happens to sound like dianetics, but in fact what I am trying to show is that almost none of the ideas in Dianetics is new or unique, as Hubbard claims. My goal is not so much to trace back to the definite source where Hubbard took ideas, but to demonstrate that his "new" and "unique" ideas are neither. But I think it is possible to show that Hubbard absolutely stole ideas from some definite sources, such as Sadger and some others without ever crediting their works. The examples I have been able to uncover I am convinced are just the tip of the iceberg. There are ideas, for example, from William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which coincidentally was first published in 1950) that I find markedly reflected in the organization of Scientology. Were it possible to get a list of what Hubbard read, I am certain that a very large volume could be written comparing what he read to what he wrote. It is most certainly clear that Hubbard was first and foremost a synthesizer of ideas, not a creator.
Some of the sections in this booklet are the culmination and conclusion of about 5 years' part-time research into Hubbard's teachings. I wanted to put down what I had learned in order to move on to other topics.
Actually, there should be no need to write about Hubbard's ideas at all, since most of them are so absurd and indefensible. Hubbard's writing style is grandiose, difficult, exasperating, and just plain wacky. But despite all this, there are still around 70,000 Scientologists today who consider Hubbard a genius and live their lives according to his dictates. Scientology still actively advertises and recruits the unwary, and so long as this is happening, those of us who know better must speak out and expose the lies and deceits. The way scoundrels win is by having no opposition. One of Hitler's first official acts when he became chancellor was to silence his critics. If we as critics remain silent, Scientology can go a long way, and Hubbard knew this - hence the constant attacks by Scientology on its perceived enemies.
Jose M.R. Delgado, M.D. PHYSICAL CONTROL OF THE MIND (Harper Colophon Books, New York, 1969) P.47-8.
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge---Jeff Jacobsen, part 2
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 02:45:10 GMT
The Hubbard Is Bare, part 2
First I must tell you that there is no scientific evidence for most of Hubbard's theories, despite his claim that they are "scientific facts". Secondly, Hubbard had no academic background to come up with theories of the mind, despite his false grandiose claims of world travel and incredible education. Finally, the actual scientific community and in fact the real world all dispute with credible evidence almost all of Hubbard's theories. Despite this, Hubbard still has a following. And since he and the Church of Scientology have placed his teachings into the marketplace of ideas, it is useful to all interested parties to have these ideas critiqued. But first, a brief overview of those ideas.
If you already understand dianetics and Scientology doctrine, you may wish to skip this chapter as it is a general overview of these. Most of this booklet deals with the teachings from the book Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health and the basic ideas that sprang from this work. If you are not clear on dianetics, you should read this section in order to follow large portions of this booklet. I will be brief yet concise enough for the reader to follow the deeper discussions. Words underlined are Hubbard's terms that you should familiarize yourself with. It is of course helpful to read the book Dianetics before continuing.
L. Ron Hubbard, author of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and founder of the Church of Scientology, was a science-fiction writer before penning the book that would launch his fame. Dianetics is a self-help book published in 1950 which claimed to include new and unique theories on how the mind works. Hubbard claimed that this work was totally unprecedented; "...Dianetics was the bolt from the blue." (1) Mankind was destroying himself by various means "without any idea of what caused Man to behave as he did or what made him sick or well. THE answer was, and still is, Dianetics." (2)
So there would be no doubt as to the originality of his ideas, Hubbard wrote that "dianetics borrowed nothing but was first discovered and organized; only after the organization was completed and a technique evolved was it compared to existing information." (3) According to Hubbard, some philosophers of the past helped provide the foundation of dianetics, but the remaining research had been done "what the navigator calls, 'off the chart'." (4)
Dianetics became a New York Times Best seller in 1950, and has since sold many millions of copies.
Dianetics is a "science of mental health" as the full title of Hubbard's 1950 book declares. The main theory of dianetics is that the human has two minds, the Analytical mind and the Reactive mind. The Analytical mind is a perfectly working device, and life would be wonderful were it not for the Reactive mind lousing up the workings of the Analytical mind. The Reactive mind stores memories of events in our life when we were unconscious and in pain. These memories are perfect recordings of the events, but the problem occurs because they are not stored in the Analytical mind. These memories can be triggered or restimulated by events in our environment that the Reactive mind interprets as similar to one of its memories. When the Reactive mind spots such a similarity, it attempts to take over from the Analytical mind. This is a problem because the Reactive mind is "moronic" and screws things up horribly and disrupts the proper activities of the Analytical mind.
The goal of dianetics is to re-file these memories, called Engrams, into the Analytical mind, where they can be properly indexed and utilized. The Reactive mind is an evolutionary throwback to how animals think, and is therefore a weaker area of the mind in the human.
An example of an Engram in the book Dianetics is of a child whose father beat his mother while the child was still in the womb (Engrams can be recorded from conception on in dianetics). The child was knocked unconscious from the beating and was in pain when the father yelled "Take that! Take it, I tell you! You've got to take it!" (5) When the child grew up and something (perhaps the sound of the father yelling) occurred within the child's surroundings that was similar to the recordings in the Engram, this keyed in or triggered the Engram, and the Reactive mind would take over, effectively shutting down the Analytical mind to a degree and controlling actions based instead on the moronic interpretation of statements made in the Engram. Thus this child, because of the "Take it!" statements in the Engram, becomes a kleptomaniac.
The goal of dianetics is to remove all Engrams from the Reactive mind and clear them out, transferring these memories into the Analytical mind where they can be properly utilized and processed. When the Reactive mind is emptied, or cleared, of all Engrams, the person is declared a CLEAR, and from then on the person is able to utilize his or her mind to the utmost, operating on a heretofore unknown level of abilities.
Engrams are found through auditing, where one person asks another questions about his past until an event with potential for an Engram is encountered. If an Engram seems to exist, the event is then gone over several times until the auditor is satisfied that the Engram memory has now left the Reactive mind and has been filed in the Analytical mind (see the section on Clear for more details).
Auditors are the practitioners that take you throught the dianetics process. They search your past by asking you questions, looking for engrams to eradicate. Auditors do not have to be trained much at all, according to the book Dianetics. (6) So long as a person is reasonably intelligent and communicative, he can audit after reading Dianetics.
After Dianetics was written, Volney Mattheison introduced Hubbard to a galvanic skin response meter. Hubbard decided to use this device as a tool to find Engrams. This device, which appeared in 1941 as a "new fun-provoking stunt for parties," (7) simply registers the differing conduction of a weak electrical flow through the body which can differ by how hard a person squeezes the cans held in each hand or how much the person is sweating. Hubbard called this device an E-meter. In any event, the goal was still to re-file all memories in the Reactive mind to the Analytical mind.
The goal of dianetics is to Clear the Planet, i.e. to process everyone on earth to the state of Clear.
This, however, is not the end of it. While your mind may now be running at an optimal level, your soul, known in Scientology as a Thetan, is still troubled. Dianetics has supposedly fixed the problems of our mind, but now the religion of Scientology must enter to cure the problems of our soul. Every person is not just a person with a mental problem, but is also a reincarnated spiritual being who has lived at least millions of years. Each of us has experienced an identical horrible event whereby other Thetans were fused on to our own Thetan, and these interfere with the optimum activities of the main Thetan (our own soul). Scientology processing teaches the Thetan how to rid itself of these Body Thetans that are attached to us somewhat like leeches, and also how to operate on a more efficient level.
L. Ron Hubbard claims to have been the first person to discover the truths of both dianetics and Scientology. Without his Tech, or methods to eradicate these hitherto undiscovered impediments to life, there is no hope for mankind. All the above has been deciphered from about 16 books by Hubbard, over 45 hours of taped lectures, countless articles on and by the Church of Scientology, and discussions with several current and ex-members. Hubbard is often times repetitive and undecipherable, so understanding some of his ideas is difficult. Take this sample of his writing:
In other words, Life, faced with a non-understanding thing, would feel itself balked, for Life, being Understanding, could not then become non-understanding without assuming the role of being incomprehensible. Thus it is that the seeker after secrets is trapped into being a secret himself. (8)
It is this sort of stuff that makes Hubbard exasperating to try to follow.
The above is a brief review of a complex subject. There are many more points to this teaching, but I will attempt to point out the intricacies when needed for the reader to follow my arguments.
L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: the original thesis (Los Angeles; Church of Scientology of California Publications Organization, 1951) outside back jacket
L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics, the modern science of mental health (Los Angeles; Bridge Publications, 1987) p. 340
Dianetics, p. 400
Dianteics, p. 281
Dianetics, p. 225
Giant Home Workshop Manual, 1941. See The Survivor, volume 8, p.1 P.O. Box 95, Alpena, AR 72611
L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetcs 55! (Los Angeles; Bridge Publications, Inc., 1955) p.41
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From: email@example.com (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge---Jeff Jacobsen, part 3
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 03:14:49 GMT
The Hubbard Is Bare, part 3
It would seem that the first person to reach the state of Clear should stick out in history like a sore thumb. After all, a Clear -
never has colds or accidents,
has a soaring IQ,
total recall of his entire life from conception on,
has cancer (possibly) and other physical deficiencies repaired, (1)
can compute in seconds what the average person needs 30 or more minutes for , (2) and
is the first case of a truly rational person. (3)
As Hubbard states, "We are dealing here with an entirely new and hitherto nonexistent object of inspection, the Clear.". (4)
A Clear would be an immense boost to many social areas, such as law enforcement, where a Clear could recall events when he was a fetus or unconscious and thus help solve crimes he may have "witnessed" while in an unconscious state. Biology would make giant leaps if you could really recall what you were thinking when you were a sperm or ovum (Planned Parenthood might be helped by having a person recall their life as an ovum; "could you have stopped the sperm from impregnating you?"). Clears would be the most sought after people in many sciences, in law enforcement, medicine, and other fields. Clears, being the most rational and intelligent of society, should naturally rise to positions of power and authority in academics and politics, making the world a better place to live.
This allegedly superhuman condition is the end result of dianetics and the launching point toward the upper levels of Scientology training. Any person not yet Clear is an aberrated person and not capable of full human potential.
It should be obvious to all, considering the incredible abilities and states of being involved, who the first Clear was. Just as we know who was the first man to walk on the moon, we should all be taught who the first person in history to reach the state of Clear was. L. Ron Hubbard himself should surely have known who this person was, since he claimed discovery of the condition.
Or was it Hubbard himself? Imagine, says Hubbard, an engineer who builds a bridge up to a high plateau that had never been visited by man. After finishing the bridge, "He himself crosses and he inspects the plateau carefully." (5) Others cross after the engineer. This analogy is obvious. The engineer is Hubbard, and the plateau is the state of Clear. So Hubbard was the first Clear, and to support this further is the "Scientology Catechism", which asks if Hubbard was Clear, and answers "Yes- in order to map the route for others he had to make it himself." (6)
Yet, in a speech in 1958, Hubbard said that the first Clears were people he was treating in Los Angeles while he was disguised as a swami. (7) The first of these became Clear "by 1947"; "these were the first Clears." (8) "There were people who were run on the old techniques who were Cleared years ago," Hubbard stated on June 12, 1950. (9)
On August 10, 1950, Hubbard gave a talk at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles where he introduced Sonya Bianca (aka Ann Singer) as the world's first Clear. (10) After she miserably failed recall tests on stage, she was never again referred to as the first Clear. This declaration, however, seems to contradict the notion that Hubbard was the first, or even that the "swami's" patients were.
Hubbard declared Sara, his first wife, as the first Clear until she divorced him. (11) "He stood up on stage in Los Angeles and announced that I was the first 'Clear.' I was so embarrassed..." (12)
Within Dianetics itself several Clears are mentioned, who would thus have to have been Clear before 1950. A woman with twelve difficult prenatal engrams finally "progressed to Clear." (13) A husband and wife team Cleared each other. (14) A pianist who was halted by his engrams became "one of the best-paid concert pianists in Hollywood". (15) Others are indirectly mentioned. (16) These pre-Dianetics Clears seem logically to be necessary, otherwise how would Hubbard have been able to describe what a Clear was like?
For example, how did Hubbard know that a Clear has "an increase in longevity which is at least a hundred to one for every hour of therapy"? (17) Wouldn't at least one Cleared person have had to have lived for quite some time before Hubbard, with his reported penchant for scientific accuracy, could write this? Also, how did he know that about 500 hours of auditing is the average amount needed to produce a Clear, (18) and that it otherwise takes from 30 to 1200 hours? (19) This indicates that there must have been several Clears at the time Hubbard wrote Dianetics.
And last but not least, John McMaster was checked and double checked, and the Church of Scientology officially declared him the first Clear on March 9, 1966. (20)
Will the real first Clear please stand up?
Since it seems impossible to understand the state of Clear by observing the first example, let us come at it from what Hubbard wrote from his observations of Clears in Dianetics. "If this person now feels he can solve all the problems of life, lick the world with one hand tied behind him and feel a friend to all men, you have a Clear." (21) Hubbard is helpful here, although it could be argued that he is also describing a drunk.
Of course, Hubbard has more scientific sounding definitions: "the Clear is an unaberrated person... [who] has no engrams which can be restimulated..." (22) This sounds more helpful, but how can you tell when there are no more engrams?
Engrams, those memories stored in the reactive mind, have to be found, and gone over and over until the auditor perceives that the pre-Clear has come up through apathy, anger, boredom, and finally laughter. (23) Once the pre-Clear is having a good time reliving his father's attack on his mother or his mother attempting to abort him (to use Hubbard's examples), then the engram is said to have moved out of the reactive mind and into the analytical mind, and the auditor moves on to search for another engram. Simply put, then, an auditor has a pre-Clear relive an experience (which has pain and unconsciousness in the experience) stored in the reactive mind over and over until the auditor is satisfied that the engram no longer affects the pre-Clear. At this point the engram is considered erased [note: there seems to be a contradiction here in that the auditor is not to evaluate for the pre-clear, although here the auditor decides when an engram is gone].
Although Hubbard declared that anyone can audit (Dianetics is, after all, a how-to-audit manual) there are many pitfalls an auditor must watch out for while searching for engrams. He may encounter a "lie factory" engram that makes the pre-Clear "remember" things that never really occurred. Hubbard offers no help in differentiating between actual engrams and "lie factory" memories, and in fact says you will wind up in a "tangled hash." (24)
The "denyer" engram may hide itself by denying its own existence. Phrases in an engram like "I'm not here" and "forget about it" will hide its existence from the auditor because the pre-Clear, in his aberrated state, takes language phrases in an engram literally. The method used to find these is to GUESS at a phrase that may be in the engram. In one example, Hubbard tells of an auditor who tried 200 phrases before he got one that seemed to fit the bill. (25) This would seem by the auditing methods used then to probably have taken days of the auditor telling the pre-Clear to "Repeat this phrase, 'you won't find me' (pre-Clear repeats many times. No apparent evidence of an engram, so...) Now repeat 'I can't be found'..." Doesn't this seem to be a way to drive someone insane rather than therapy? And Hubbard says there are thousands of denyer phrases!!! (26)
The "bouncer" engram is another deceptive type, with phrases like "get out," which kicks the pre-Clear out of the engram. (27) Again, the solution is to GUESS at a phrase since this is the best way to find engrams. (28) Consequently a lot of guessing goes on in this precise "scientific" process of auditing.
The "holder", "misdirector", "grouper", and "derailer" all offer similar problems to the auditor. And all the above are simply blocks to FINDING an engram. There are also problems in eradicating the engram. You may think an engram has been erased, yet you may only have reduced its effect on the pre-Clear.
There is even the possibility that the pre-Clear has engrams in another language that he doesn't know about! (29) How these can be declared eradicated when there is no proof of their existence in the first place strains the imagination to the utmost.
The above (incomplete) examples of problems in auditing are brought up to show that finding someone who has no engrams is a difficult task, since engrams according to Hubbard's own words are often hard to detect. And if just one engram escapes detection, you do not have a Clear.
Let us consider a theoretical example of a person who knows Dianetics but is not a Clear. This person, during auditing, kicks in a "lie factory" engram, and since this person understands the auditing process he is skillfully able to create fake engrams, and even can fake its eradication. His mother lived with her Greek parents until the fifth month of pregnancy, and engrams in the Greek language were instilled in the fetus. The auditor found prenatals in auditing (after the fifth month), and it was assumed that all were eradicated, since the person became much more assertive, happier, and the like after many hours of auditing. This person could be declared Clear because the "lie factory" engrams were skilled at hiding by understanding the auditing game, and the foreign language engrams were never restimulated or found because auditing was done in English. This is a perfectly conceivable case under Hubbard's theories. But a worse case might be when an auditor continually searches for weeks trying to find engrams that don't even exist, in other words, auditing a Clear.
It should be obvious from the above that the entire process of auditing is subjective. An engram is declared gone because the auditor perceives that the person has gotten better. A Clear is declared because the auditor decides he is now free of "aberration" and "psychosomatic illness." (30) Hubbard even states that "The subjective reality, not the objective reality, is the important question to the auditor." (31) This massive amount of subjectivity puts a strain on Hubbard's claims of scientific accuracy.
The auditor is continually required to make subjective decisions and yet is taught that the entire process is a mechanistic, scientifically precise exercise. The auditor is never allowed to consider that a hindrance to auditing is from anything other than engrams. If a person is skeptical of engrams, the auditor is assured that an engram is causing the skepticism32 and certainly not a healthy amount of research on the part of the skeptic. When someone "resists" auditing, that is caused by an engram rather than the person's conclusion that dianetics is stupid. (33) Boredom is never from genuine boredom, according to Hubbard, but from an engram. Consequently, anything other than full acceptance and submission to dianetics auditing must be caused by engrams.
This entire process of finding and eradicating engrams is totally subjective. Although Hubbard tries valiantly to make auditing seem a mere mechanical process (34) with his engineering and scientific talk, the mind is not a mechanical object. It is the most complex device nature ever made, and has to this day baffled those who have tried to figure out how it works. Personality, culture, upbringing, and more, influence individual actions, not just a finite set of past events incorrectly stored in the reactive mind.
In the real world, the state of Clear is basically a rank within the Church of Scientology. In the real world, the superhuman qualities of Clear have not been perceived by independent investigators, nor have these superhumans been able to take over or at least greatly effect society in any fashion. In other words, although thousands of people have obtained the rank of Clear, there is no proof that any of them fit Hubbard's grandiose claims for them in Dianetics. Nor have they been able to accomplish what Hubbard claimed they could.
1 Dianetics, p. 24
2 Dianetics, p. 228
3 Dianetics, p. 24
4 Dianetics, p. 18
5 Dianetics, p. 543
6 L. Ron Hubbard and staff, What is scientology? (Los Angeles; Church of Scientology of California, 1978), p. 202
7 L. Ron Hubbard, "The Story of Dianetics and Scientology", cassette tape, 1958. tape #581OC18
9 L. Ron Hubbard, Research and discovery series (Copenhagen, Denmark; Scientology Publications Organization ApS, 1980) vol. 1, p. 84
10 Russell Miller, Bare Faced Messiah (New York; Henry Holt and Co., 1987), p.165
11 Stewart Lamont, Religion, Inc. (London; Harrap, Ltd., 1986) p. 24
12 Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? (Secaucus, NJ; Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1987) p. 288
13 Dianetics, p. 365
14 Dianetics, p. 502-3
15 Dianetics, p. 316
16 Dianetics, pp. 211, 228, 311, 552
17 Dianetics, 1975 edition, p. 417. This is not in the newer version.
18 Dianetics, p. 258
19 Dianetics, p. 519
20 Religion, Inc., pp. 53-4
21 Dianetics, p. 414
22 Dianetics, p. 565
23 Dianetics, p. 429
24 Dianetics, p. 256
25 Dianetics, p. 295
26 Dianetics, p. 440
27 Dianetics, p. 282-3
28 Dianetics, p. 369
29 Dianetics, pp. 418-419
30 Dianetics, p. 227
31 Dianetics, p. 522
32 Dianetics, p. 246-7
33 Dianetics, p. 479
34 Dianetics, p. 522
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge--- Jeff Jacobsen part 4
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 02:51:48 GMT
The Hubbard Is Bare part 4
Conditioning is an alternative explanation of people's behavior to Hubbard's engram theory. I wondered why Hubbard argued that there was no such thing as conditioning (1) until I realized that if conditioning exists, then many activities attributed to engrams could more rationally be attributed to conditioning, and thus, people could receive help elsewhere than from dianetics.
Hubbard even unwittingly provides a good example of conditioning himself. A small fish in shallow, stale waters is bumped and hurt by a larger fish trying to eat him. The small fish got an engram from this occurrence (pain and momentary unconsciousness being present). The small fish is attacked again later in a quite similar manner, and the first engram is "keyed in", thus reinforcing the first engram. From then on, whenever the fish enters stale, shallow waters, he panics and heads elsewhere, even when there is no danger present. (2) This is very similar to Pavlov's experiments with dogs who drooled at the sound of a bell that normally rang only when food was provided. Yet Hubbard claims that Pavlov's dogs "might be trained to do this or that. But it was not conditioning. The dogs went mad because they were given engrams." (3)
From Hubbard's own example of the fish, we can see that some things described as engrams can in fact be better attributed to conditioning. The fish story could work just as well without pain and unconsciousness even being present, thus negating engrams. Were we to continue following the fish around, he may at a later time figure out that stale, shallow waters do not always include dangers, and thus may return to those areas to feed. Conditioning can thus be unlearned, whereas engrams remain until audited out.
This is much more than a game of semantics. Conditioning is a learned pattern of responsive behavior acquired from repetitive stimulation of a certain type. Pavlov's dogs learned that whenever they heard a bell that food became accessible to them. They became accustomed to anticipating food at the sound of the bell, so naturally they salivated at the sound of the bell after a time, even when food did not always thereafter accompany the sound (this works with humans, also). Hubbard's engram theory applied to this case cannot account for such behavior, since there was no pain or unconsciousness present during these experiences, and thus no engrams were created. Conditioning is a danger to Hubbard's engram theory because it is an alternative explanation for certain behaviors. The fish in Hubbard's above example need not have been knocked unconscious or even been in pain to learn to avoid certain areas where it regularly came in contact with an enemy. Pavlov's dogs did not have engrams that made them salivate. Where engrams don't exist, there is no need for dianetics.
Habits are also caused by engrams, according to Hubbard. Habits "can only be changed by those things which change engrams." (4) Habits may be considered a simple form of conditioning where a person unconsciously trains him or herself to perform a certain activity at certain times. A girl, for example, may twirl her hair when she gets nervous. A grownup might bite his nails when he is under stress. If habits are engramic, as Hubbard states, then the only way to stop a habit would be through dianetic auditing. But certainly common sense and life experience teach that this is not the case at all. The girl generally outgrows her hair twirling, and the man can train himself not to bite his nails. There is no need for the engram theory to explain habits, and in fact the engram theory is weakened by the constant experience of people stopping habits without dianetic auditing.
2. The intelligent moron
The reactive mind, says Hubbard, is moronic. It considers everything in an engram to be identical to everything else in the engram. "Recall that the reactive mind can think only on this equation - A=A=A, where the three A's may be respectively a horse, a swear word, and the verb to spit. Spitting is the same as horses is the same as God." (5) Remember this example, where the reactive mind cannot differentiate between a verb, an animal, the deity, and an expletive.
Remember also that the reason engrams cause problems is that they replay past memories where someone is stating something, and then the reactive mind literally interprets the statement and causes the person to act on that statement. I have previously mentioned the example of a child whose engram stated "You've got to take it." This child grew up to be a kleptomaniac because the reactive mind literally interpreted this statement in the engram, although it was actually the father yelling at the mother while raping her.
But there is a contradiction here. On the one hand, Hubbard states that the reactive mind thinks in identities, A=A=A. On the other hand, the reactive mind understands a most complex concept unique to man, language. In order to understand language, you must be able to differentiate between sounds, such as "ch" and "th". You must be able to differentiate between verbs and nouns. As anyone who has learned a second language can attest, understanding a language is an enormous analytical challenge, yet this is what is required of the moronic reactive mind in Hubbard's theory.
Hubbard does not grasp this contradiction at all. He skirts the issue to some degree, stating for example that you should never name your son a junior (George, Jr. etc.) since any engrams with "George" in them will be interpreted by the reactive mind to apply to the junior when he grows up (although, surprisingly, Hubbard named his son L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.). "I hate George", for example, is incorrectly interpreted and applied to the junior, "though Mother meant Father". (6) But one can see in this case that the reactive mind could not tell one George from another, although it could differentiate between the "I" sound and the "G" sound, and also understood which sound was the noun, which the verb, and which the pronoun. It could not only differentiate the sounds into the three words, it could comprehend that "I" meant the mother, "hate" meant dislike intensely, and "George" meant the junior.
Now, let us remember the previous statement of Hubbard where a horse equals a swear word equals a deity. Consider also this other example, where "The reactive mind says 'NO!' Arthritis is a baby is a pig grunt is a prayer to God." (7) In this case a pig grunt cannot be differentiated between a prayer, nor an animate object, for that matter.
According to Hubbard's theories there is a great gulf between the analytical mind and the reactive mind. They are in fact in different areas of the body, where the analytical mind is in the brain and the reactive mind is "cellular". The analytical mind is said to be a perfect computer, making no mistakes and able to compute difficult items in split seconds. The reactive mind is moronic and thinks that everything equals everything else. If it could be shown that there was really little difference between the two or that they were so thoroughly connected that there was essentially no differentiation between the two, then dianetics theory collapses because its two major competitive components are revealed as in fact one. And this in fact is the case:
As has been shown already, the reactive mind understands language, which is perhaps the shining triumph of analytical thinking. The reactive mind also makes decisions. It must decide one of five types of reaction to an engram that it will command the body to perform. (8)
It distinguishes in an engram between the ally and the enemy, if there are two or more people present. (9)
It chooses which valence, or which role, to dramatize from the engram. (10)
It decides which engram to restimulate if there is more than one engram with the same sensual recording being restimulated. For Hubbard to call the reactive mind moronic, and yet declare that it can perform all these functions, seems to be contradictory. Since Hubbard did not seem to perceive this contradiction, he of course offered no explanation, so I offer two possible ones that could be presented to try to save the theory:
1 The reactive mind connects with the analytical mind and utilizes some of its abilities.
2 The reactive mind is actually a part of the analytical mind.
Either of these solutions is, however, actually a death blow to dianetics. The whole point of dianetics is that these two minds cannot communicate and are completely separate. Dianetic auditing, where one spends hundreds of hours searching out memories in the reactive mind, is touted as the only way that memories in the reactive mind can be transferred to the analytical mind and erased from the reactive mind. If #1 or #2 above were true, then this roundabout trip into the reactive mind would not be necessary, since the two minds are already on speaking terms. I understand that this point is perhaps hard to follow, but I have elaborated on it because I believe that if I am right, then the dianetic theory collapses right at the beginning of its explanation of how the mind works. If there is no gulf between the reactive and analytical mind (if this dichotomy even exists in reality), as dianetics posits, then there is no reason for dianetics to exist, as there would be no need for auditing.
1 Dianetics, p.193
2 Dianetics, pp. 88-9
3 Dianetics, p.193
4 Dianetics, p.56
5 Dianetics, p.243
6 Dianetics, p.405
7 Dianetics, p.323
8 Dianetics, p.197-200
9 Dianetics, p.463
10 Dianetics, p.155
Reprinted with permission from The Hubbard is Bare by Jeff Jacobsen. Copyright © 1992 by Jeff Jacobsen, P.O. Box 3541, Scottsdale, AZ 85271.
* * * * http://www.primenet.com/~cultxpt/cos.htm
From: email@example.com (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge---Jeff Jacobsen, part 5
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 02:57:37 GMT
L. Ron Hubbard constantly makes the claim that dianetics is a "scientific fact." In fact, he makes that claim 35 times in Dianetics. For example, "All our facts are functional and these facts are scientific facts, supported wholly and completely by laboratory evidence" (p. 96). Hubbard shows that he highly regards correct scientific experimentation by carefully hedging his approval of another scientific experiment done by someone else. This test was conducted in a hospital to see whether unattended children became sick more often than attended children. "The test... seems to have been conducted with proper controls" (p. 143), he cautiously states, not having apparently seen the entire written report.
In The Phoenix Lectures, Hubbard is also critical of the early psychiatric work of Wundt in the latter 1800s: "Scientific methodology was actually not, there and then, immediately classified... what they did was unregulated, uncontrolled, wildcat experiments, fuddling around collecting enormous quantities of data..." (1)
I am similarly cautious about Hubbard's experiments, especially since there seems to be no record of how they were done, what exactly the results were, what kind of control group was used, whether the experiments were double blind, how many subjects there were in each experiment, and other pertinent data. I have asked ranking Scientologists for this data, and have fervently searched for it myself, and have yet to see it. This brings up the question of whether Hubbard can call his original research science.
And, in keeping with the need to understand each word we use, it brings up the question of just what science is. What does it take for someone to legitimately make the claim that his ideas are scientifically proven? When can something be called a scientific fact?
As with many subjects in life, the deeper one looks into science, the murkier it gets. There is not even one single agreed-upon definition for science in the scientific community. Those people who seek to establish a unifying definition are dealing in what is called the philosophy of science. One of the most respected and most influential of these is Karl Popper. Popper claims that no theory can be called scientific unless it is falsifiable, that is, unless it can be demonstrated that deliberate attempts to prove a theory wrong are unsuccessful. Thus, a theory must open itself up to criticism from the scientific community to see whether it can withstand critical scrutiny.
Popper's formulation for scientific validation is:
1 It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory--if we look for confirmations.
2 Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory--an event which would have refuted the theory.
3 Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
4 A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
5 Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
6 Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of "corroborating evidence.")
7 Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers--for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by re-interpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. (2)
The falsifiability approach is a good one, because no theory can be proven as a fact unless every case possible is individually example to see that it applies to every possible case. For example, a popular example of a "fact" in science classrooms of the 19th century was that "all swans are white." This was, however, shown to be untrue when a variety of swan in South America was discovered to be black. This "fact" was proven wrong by a previously unknown exception to the rule, and this example points out that it is never entirely possible to prove a theory in the positive without examining every possible case of that theory. (It is, of course, not possible to completely falsify many theories also, but for the sake of brevity I would refer the reader to Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery for further arguments on this subject.) (3)
Let us go now momentarily to one of Hubbard's scientific claims:
Its [the reactive mind's] identity can now be certified by any technician in any clinic or in any group of men. Two hundred and seventy-three individuals have been examined and treated, representing all the various types of inorganic mental illness and the many varieties of psychosomatic ills. In each one this reactive mind was found operating, its principles unvaried. (4)
After the brief discussion previously of science, we can begin to question Hubbard's claim to scientific validity. Exactly who were these 273 people? Were they believers in Hubbard's theories or a representative sample of the public at large? Exactly how was the experiment conducted that proved the existence of the reactive mind? This needs to be known so others can try it to test for variables that Hubbard may have overlooked, to see if his experiment produced a statistical fluke, and to help in conducting experiments to try to disprove the theory. The more times an experiment is conducted, the more likely it is shown to be true, keeping in mind of course that no matter how many times an expedition went looking for white swans, it would find them, so long as they didn't go to South America.
Was Hubbard seeking confirmation in his experiments or was he attempting to refute his theory, as Popper suggests a true man of science would do? Designing a test that will provide confirmation of a thesis is not difficult.
A Real Experiment Comes Up Dry
Hubbard does mention an experiment to perform that can prove the existence of engrams:
If you care to make the experiment, you can take a man, render him "unconscious," hurt him and give him information. By Dianetic technique, no matter what information you gave him, it can be recovered. This experiment should not be carelessly conducted because you might render him insane. (5) (emphasis in original) Three researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided in 1950 to give this experiment a try. (6)
If an individual should be placed, by some means of [sic] other, into an unconscious state, then, according to traditional psychology, no retention of the events occurring about him should take place and consequently, no reports of such events can be elicited from the individual, no matter what methods of elicitation are employed (hypothesis I). According to dianetics, retention should take place with high fidelity and, therefore an account of the events can be elicited by means of dianetic auditing (hypothesis II). (7)
The Dianetic Research Foundation of Los Angeles cooperated with the experimenters by providing a subject and several qualified auditors. The subject was a 30-year-old male who worked for the foundation and was considered a good candidate for the experiment by the foundation since he had "sonic" recall and had been audited. The experiment was carefully laid out according to dianetic theory and was at all times done under the cooperation and suggestions of the Foundation.
The subject was knocked unconscious with .75 grams of sodium pentathol by Dr. A. Davis, M.D., who is one of the authors of the experiment. When the subject was found to be unconscious, Mr. Lebovits was left alone with the subject while two recording devices recorded the session. Mr. Lebovits read a 35-word section of a physics book to the subject, administering pain during the reading of the last 18 words. He then left the room, and the patient was allowed to rest for another hour, at which time he was awakened.
Two days later, the professional auditors from the Dianetic Research Foundation began to audit the subject, trying to elicit the engram, or recording of the experiment that according to dianetic theory resided in the subject's reactive mind.
The auditors did elicit several possible passages from the subject and supplied these to the experimenters. The results were that "Comparison with the selected passage shows that none of the above-quoted phrases, nor any other phrases quoted in the report, bear any relationship at all to the selected passage. Since the reception of the first interim report, in November 1950, the experimenter tried frequently and repeatedly to obtain further reports, but so far without success." (8)
The experimenters concluded by stating that while their test case was only one subject, they felt that the experiment was well done and strongly suggested that the engram hypothesis was not validated. I know of no other scientifically valid experiment besides this one by non-dianeticists which attempted to prove Hubbard's engram theory.
There is one point I consider the most damning to Hubbard's attempt to cloak dianetics in scientific validity. While he seems to be inviting others to conduct their own investigations (and thus seems to be open to attempts to refute his claims), he never explains his own experimental methods, thus closing the door to the scientific community's ability to verify his claims. In order to evaluate Hubbard's claims, the scientific community would seek to replicate his experiments to see if the same results were obtained and to check for possible influences on the experiment Hubbard may have overlooked. They would also, as Popper suggests, try to shoot holes in the theory, either on a logical basis or by conducting refutational experiments.
If Hubbard really respected science, he would welcome and help the scientific community in its attempts to both support and refute his theories. But he and his successors in Dianetics and Scientology refuse to join in scientific debate over the merits of his ideas, maintaining a dogmatic rather than scientific stance. My attempts to get the experiments from the Church of Scientology have been in vain. I have never heard of anyone who has seen them, nor even anyone who claimed to know how they were conducted. It is mainly for this reason, I believe, that dianetics cannot claim scientific validity. Until Hubbard's supposed original experiments are released to the public, dianetics can only be called science fiction.
As a footnote, the only reference I found to Hubbard's actual notes on any original experiments was on a taped lecture by Hubbard in 1950. He stated at that time that "my records are in little notebooks, scribbles, in pencil most of them. Names and addresses are lost... there was a chaotic picture..." A certain Ms. Benton asked Hubbard for his notes to validate his research, but when she saw them, "she finally threw up her hands in horror and started in on the project [validation] clean."9 If this is the type of material Hubbard was basing his "scientific facts" on, then there is probably no need to even see them to be able to reject them with good conscience.
1 L. Ron Hubbard, The Phoenix Lectures (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1982), p. 203.
2 Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (N.Y.: Harper Torch Books, 1963), pp. 36-37.
3 Editor's Footnote: There have been many books and articles relevant to this issue published in the philosophy of science in the decades since Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery was first published (1934 in German; 1959 in English), and it is the opinion of many philosophers (Larry Laudan being one notable example) that there is no principled way of distinguishing science from pseudoscience, or even from nonscience. A recent overview of some different "theories of science" may be found in chapter 2 of Ronald N. Giere's Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988). Popper's "falsifiability" criterion probably is the most popular criterion for distinguishing between science and pseudoscience used by scientists themselves, the problem is that it appears to rule out some scientific theories and include some nonscientific ones (see, e.g., Laudan's articles in Michael Ruse's But Is It Science (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1988), reviewed in AS, February/March 1990 and July 1990).
4 L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1987), pp. 70-71.
5 Ibid, p. 76.
6 Jack Fox, Alvin E. Davis, and B. Lebovits, "An Experimental Investigation of Hubbard's Engram Hypothesis (Dianetics)," 6 Psychological Newsletter 10(1959):131-134.
7 Ibid, p. 132.
8 Ibid, p. 133.
9 "What Dianetics Can Do," Lecture Series 2, 1950.
* * * * http://www.primenet.com/~cultxpt/cos.htm
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge---Jeff Jacobsen, part 6
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 03:02:02 GMT
The Hubbard Is Bare part 6
Advance comes from asking free-minded questions of nature, not from quoting the works and thinking the thoughts of by-gone years. (1)
There is certainly no book in existence quite like Dianetics, with its wild scientific claims and unsubstantiated arguments. The claim is that dianetics was a totally unique theory of the mind wrought from Hubbard's "many years of exact research and careful testing." (2) But was it rather a loose composite of already existing theories mixed with novel, unproven ideas? Despite Hubbard's claims of originality, many of the ideas in dianetics were already existing and even in vogue before dianetics appeared. Either Hubbard really studied other (uncredited) works before he wrote Dianetics, or he wasted years of his time re-inventing the wheel.
Although there are no reference notes in Dianetics to see what are Hubbard's ideas and what are borrowed, we can quickly eliminate the idea that dianetics appeared "from the blue" by Hubbard's own statements. In Dianetics itself is the statement that "many schools of mental healing from the Aesculapian to the modern hypnotist were studied after the basic philosophy of dianetics had been postulated". (3) Alfred Korzybski, Emil Kraepelin, Franz Mesmer, Ivan Pavlov, Herbert Spencer, and others are mentioned as resources in Dianetics, so we must assume Hubbard was crediting these people to some degree. He must certainly have known, then, of at least some of the research from his time which will be mentioned in this article. Hubbard in other settings acknowledged Sigmund Freud (especially through Commander "Snake" Thompson), (4) Count Alfred Korzybski, (5) and Aleister Crowley, (6) as contributors to his ideas on the human mind. In a speech in 1958, Hubbard stated that he had spent much time in the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital medical library in 1945 during a stay for ulcers, where "I was able to get in a year's study." (7)
In fact, many of the theories and ideas in Dianetics can be found in scientific and philosophical literature previous to the first publishing of Hubbard's theories. Parts of Dianetics, for example, have striking resemblance to two articles found in Volume 28 (1941) of the Psychoanalytic Review.
Dianetics theory posits the existence of engrams. These are memories of events that occur around us when our analytical mind is unconscious, and they are recorded in a separate area of the mind called the reactive mind. A seemingly unique theory in Dianetics is that these memories begin being stored "in the cells of the zygote - which is to say, with conception." (8) These engrams can cause problems for the person throughout life unless handled through dianetics auditing.
Dr. J. Sadger, nine years before the introduction of Dianetics in 1950, wrote that several of his patients were not cured of their psychological problems until he had taken them back to their existence as sperm or ovum. He declared that "there exists certainly a memory, although an unconscious one, of embryonic days, which persists throughout life and may continuously determine an action." (9) Sadger spends much time explaining how his patients' memories of the time when they were zygotes or even sperm or ovum had affected their adult behaviors, noting that "an unconscious lasting memory must have remained from these embryonic days." (10) There were "unmistakable dreams" of being a sperm in the father's testicle.
Engrams, those unconscious memories in dianetics, are said by Hubbard to be stored in the cells of the body and passed on to their clone cells and finally on to the adult being. Hubbard claimed to discover that "patients sometimes have a feeling that they are sperms or ovums... this is called the sperm dream." (11) It was impossible, he claimed, to deny to a pre-clear that he could remember being a sperm. But Sadger wrote about this first, and Hubbard could well have read this in his "year's study" at Oak Knoll Hospital.
Another coincidental "discovery" of Hubbard and Sadger was that mothers often attempt to abort their child. Sadger states that "so many a fall or other accident of a pregnant woman is nothing else than an attempt at abortion on the part of the unconscious, not to mention those cases where the mother seeks to free herself more or less forcibly from the unwanted child." (12) Hubbard concurs; "Attempted abortion is very common," (13) and in fact "twenty or thirty abortion attempts are not uncommon in the aberee". (14) Again, not an idea "from the blue."
Life in the womb was not very kind, according to one of Sadger's patients; "Perhaps when father performed coitus with mother in her pregnancy I was much shaken and rocked. Shall that have been one reason that I so easily became dizzy and that all my life I have had an aversion even as a child from swings and carousels?" (15) Hubbard, in a similar vein, insists that the mother "should not have coitus forced upon her. For every coital experience is an engram in the child during pregnancy." (16) "Papa becomes passionate and baby has the sensation of being put into a running washing machine." (17)
There are at least three other similarities like the "sperm dreams", commonality of abortion attempts, and fetus discomfort during parental sex. This seems quite a coincidence, but it is not known whether Hubbard read Sadger's article. Suffice it to say that these are major ideas in dianetics, but they are not new ideas.
The second article under discussion from Psychoanalytic Review deals with the unbearable conditions during birth and the affects of these in later life. Grace W. Pailthorpe, M.D., argued in this 1941 article that patients should be psychoanalyzed more deeply into the period of infancy, or at least to the 'trauma of birth'. Otherwise no lasting therapeutic effect could be expected. Birth has traumatized all of us, she declares, and these unconscious memories drive us in our adulthood. "It is only when deep analysis has finally exposed the unconscious deviations of our vital force" (18) that we can recover and enjoy life.
"It was no obscure theory," wrote Hubbard, "which brought about the discovery of the exact role prenatal experience and birth play in aberration and psychosomatic ills." He coincidentally concurs with Pailthorpe's obscure theory, however.
With Pailthorpe's article, for example, we can also note the dramatic similarities of dianetics with simple Freudian psychoanalysis. There is in both the return to past times in the patient's life to search for the source of his or her current problems. Once these problematic memories are discovered and treated the problems vanish. In Pailthorpe's article we have a man who was hopelessly traumatized by the events at his birth. He was cruelly kicked out of his "home" in the womb, and his resistance to this was assumed to be the cause of the immediate traumas of the nurse's and mother's attentions (which were "painful to the child's sensitive body" (19)). These traumas caused headaches and social disorders in adult life. Psychoanalysis discovered the causes (birth trauma) and when these were brought to the conscious level with their meaning explained, the headaches and social dysfunctions were alleviated.
Dianetics follows this line of reasoning to a great degree. According to Hubbard, engrams (past traumas) are discovered in the pre-clear's past, and bringing these engrams into consciousness (from the reactive to the analytic mind) alleviates the disorder. Hubbard claims that after auditing people (he had the pre-clear lie on a couch in Freudian imitation), "psycho-somatic illness...by dianetic technique...has been eradicated entirely in every case." (20)
In Dianetics, the reader is left with the impression that the ideas of birth and pre-birth memories and traumas, multiple abortion attempts, and fetal discomfort in the womb are new discoveries. As can be seen, this is not the case. And there are many impressions of "new" and "unique" that are incorrect as well.
Another important "discovery" of Hubbard's is that "Man, as a life form, can be demonstrated to obey in all his actions and purposes the one command: 'Survive!'." (21) Hubbard's four "dynamics" of self, sex (meaning procreation), group, and mankind, all deal with survival of man. Although Hubbard makes grandiose claims that he discovered that man's ultimate goal is survival, one can trace this idea back to Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher who wrote in the 1600's. In his famous work, Leviathan, Hobbes wrote; "The Right of Nature... is the Liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himselfe, for the preservation of his own Nature; that is to say, of his own Life; and consequently, of doing any thing, which in his own Judgement, and Reason, hee shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto." (22)
This, in Hubbard's terms, is the first dynamic, or personal survival. Leviathan is divided into three parts, on Man, Commonwealth, and Darkness. The first, in Hubbard's terms, could be said to deal with the first dynamic (self-survival), and the second with the third dynamic (group survival). "The finall Cause, End, or Designe of men... in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves (in which wee see them live in Common-wealths), is the foresight of their own preservation." (23) Again we have an idea which Hubbard claims to have discovered, found in another's writings years earlier.
Coincidentally (?), Hobbes has some other ideas in common with Hubbard. At the beginning of every dianetics and Scientology book is this note: "In reading this book, be very certain you do not go past a word you do not understand." (24) Throughout both dianetics and Scientology training is the notion that words must be clearly understood before course study can continue. This is a useful suggestion, and many Scientologists may believe Hubbard "discovered" this idea, but Hobbes stressed it over 300 years before Hubbard did. In Leviathan, Hobbes derided others whose ideas he was critical of thusly; "The first cause of Absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of Method; in that they begin not their Ratiocination [argument] from Definitions; that is, from settled significations of their words." (25) Hobbes covers this idea several times, stressing that "in the right Definition of Names, lyes the first use of Speech; which is the Acquisition of Science: and in wrong, or no Definitions, lyes the first abuse; from which proceed all false and senselesse Tenets." (26)
I will leave it to the reader to investigate the other similar ideas between Hobbes and Hubbard, and will leave the question open whether Hubbard borrowed rather than discovered these ideas, since again there is no complete list of what books Hubbard had read.
1 Dianetics, p. 173
2 Dianetics, p. ix of 1975 edition.
3 Dianetics, p. 165.
4 Bare-faced Messiah, pp. 230-1
5 L. Ron Hubbard, cassette tape, "Introduction to Dianetics", Dianetics Lecture Series 1. 1950. Bridge Publications, Inc.
6 L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course series, cassette #18
7 L. Ron Hubbard,"The Story of Dianetics and Scientology" , 1958, cassette tape #581OC18
8 Dianetics, p. 176.
9 Dr. J. Sadger, "Preliminary Study of the Psychic Life of the Fetus and the Primary Germ." Psychoanalytic Review July 1941 28:3. p. 333
10 Sadger, p. 343-4.
11 Dianetics, p. 391.
12 Sadger, p. 336.
13 Dianetics, p. 211.
14 Dianetics, p. 214.
15 Sadger, p. 352.
16 Dianetics, p. 214.
17 Dianetics, p. 176.
18 Grace W. Pailthorpe, M.D., "Deflection of Energy, As a Result of Birth Trauma, and its Bearing Upon Character Formation", (The Psychoanalytic Review, vol. 27, pp. 305-326) p. 326
19 Pailthorpe, p. 307.
20 Dianetics, p. 123.
21 Dianetics, p. 29
22 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (London; Penquin Books, 1968) p. 189
23 Leviathan, p. 223
24 Dianetics, p. vii
25 Leviathan, p. 114
26 Leviathan, p. 106
* * * * http://www.primenet.com/~cultxpt/cos.htm
From: email@example.com (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge---Jeff Jacobsen, part 7
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 03:06:25 GMT
The Hubbard Is Bare, part 7
Hubbard had clear connections to the occult. Even in the first publication of dianetics in "Astounding Science Fiction", Hubbard in explaining how he did his "research" into what the mind was doing, says he used "automatic writing, speaking and clairvoyance" (1) to discover what the mind's memory banks were doing. Automatic writing is an occult method of communicating with the spirit world, although psychologists consider its products to arise from subconscious thoughts of the writer. Whichever is correct, it is hardly a method used by competent scientific researchers.
Hubbard's connection to the occultist Aleister Crowley is quite clear and noteworthy. Crowley called himself the Anti-Christ, the Beast of Revelations, and 666. Russell Miller has adequately chronicled Hubbard's connection in 1945 to John W. Parsons, who headed Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis chapter in Los Angeles. (2) Hubbard was an active member in this group for several months, and first met his second wife there. The Church of Scientology claims that Hubbard was actually infiltrating this group in order to break it up, but the following should suffice to dismiss this claim.
In the Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures taped in 1952, Hubbard discusses occult magic of the middle ages, and recommends a current book - "it's fascinating work in itself, and that's work written by Aleister Crowley, the late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend." (3) The book recommended was The Master Therion, (published in London in 1929) later re-released as Magick in Theory and Practise. L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. asserts that during the time when the Philadelphia course was given his father would read Crowley's works "in preparation for the next day's lecture..." (4)
There are interesting similarities between Crowley's writings and the teachings of Hubbard. Dianetics' Time Track, in which every incident in a person's life is chronologically recorded in full in the mind, is quite similar to Crowley's Magical Memory. The Magical Memory is developed over time until "memories of childhood reawaken" (5) which were previously forgotten, and memories of previous incarnations are recalled as well. Hubbard gives examples in the Philadelphia Doctorate Course of several people remembering lives earlier on earth, some up to a million years ago. The similarity between the Magical Memory and Time Track, then, is that they both can recall every past incident in a person's life, they both can recall incidents from past lives, and they both must be developed by certain techniques in order to make use of them.
Both Hubbard and Crowley consider it important to have the person recall his or her birth. "Having allowed the mind to return for some hundred times to the hour of birth, it should be encouraged to endeavour to penetrate beyond that period" (6) (Crowley). "After twenty runs through birth, the patient experienced a recession of all somatics and 'unconsciousness' and aberrative content." "Thus there was no inhibition about looking earlier than birth for what Dianetics had begun to call basic-basic" (7) (Hubbard).
Both Hubbard and Crowley are avowedly anti-psychiatry. "Official psychoanalysis is therefore committed to upholding a fraud... psychoanalysts have misinterpreted life, and announced the absurdity that every human being is essentially an anti-social, criminal, and insane animal" (8) (Crowley). Hubbard considered that psychiatry controlled most of society and was struggling to create their own 1984 world. (9)
Hubbard (10) and Crowley both posit the ability of the person to leave his or her body at times. Crowley states that the way to learn to leave your body is to mock up a body like your own in front of your physical body. Eventually you will learn to leave your physical body with your "astral body" and travel and view at will without physical restrictions. (11) Hubbard teaches the same, and his method of "exteriorization" is to tell the person to "have preclear mock up own body" (12), which will send the person outside his body.
Both Crowley (13) and Hubbard (14) use an equilateral triangle pointing up in a circle as one of their group's symbols. Both use Volume 0 instead of Volume 1 to begin enumerating their works. One could go on for quite some time listing the similarities between Crowley's and Hubbard's theories and writings, but for more the reader is encouraged to look for him or herself.
In Crowley's Organization are several grade levels. To reach the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus "The Adept must prepare and publish a thesis setting forth His knowledge of the Universe, and his proposals for its welfare and progress. He will thus be known as the leader of a school of thought." (15) It is apparent that Hubbard has fulfilled this requirement.
First, an explanation of what gnosticism is. It is an old religious philosophy with Platonic roots. Basically, gnostics believe that we as humans are "outsiders" to this material universe. Our immortal godlike souls were trapped here in a body by evil forces, and we are reincarnated continually, while our true spiritual identities are clouded from our memory. It is our task to discover the hidden knowledge, or gnosis, that will allow us to escape this evil material world of illusion and return to our rightful place. We keep reincarnating until we learn how to escape.
The world seems to be 'the epitome of evil'. Because it is alien to their true nature, human beings must renounce it and flee from it in order to be able to return to their heavenly home. To achieve this aim they must possess Gnosis, be reborn in their true nature, and be baptized in the cup of knowledge into which the divine intellect has been poured. (16)
Salvation begins with a messenger from beyond bringing the necessary knowledge to mankind, but this knowledge is given only to those deemed worthy, and even then one must follow certain steps in order to arrive at the ultimate Truths. The individual must struggle to earn and then incorporate the secret knowledge needed to return to his rightful place.
There is a need for someone to bring this gnosis or knowledge to mankind:
It follows that this divine reality cannot be known through the ordinary faculties of the mind. Illumination, revelation, the intervention of a celestial mediator is required. He descends from above to call the Gnostic, to rouse him from earthly sleep and drunkenness, to take him back to his divine homeland. (17)
While on this earth, man is plagued by many difficulties which lessen his real abilities and being. One problem to us all is that within each of our bodies is a plethora of spirits or souls, causing us harm:
A hierarchy of demons, servile and ready, is continually at work in everyone's body, transformed into a remorseless inferno in miniature. (18)
Mankind is also cursed with forgetfulness of his true home and true composition, being blinded by this material world.
As with Christianity today, there were many sects of gnosticism. The most famous gnostics were those that took the basic ideas of Christianity and mixed them into their own otherworldly theories. One of the most dangerous enemies of the early church were the Christian gnostic movement, for it greatly distorted the essential message of Christ and his followers while using similar terminology. The early church fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian, spent much of their time speaking out against gnosticism.
Scientology, however, embraces gnosticism. Its doctrines are gnostic, and it uses gnostic writings to support its own ideas. For example, "Advance!" issue 93 has an article entitled "The Surprising Christian Tradition of Reincarnation", which relies heavily on gnostic writings such as the Pistis Sophia (the best known of the surviving gnostic writings) to support its viewpoint. Scientology is clearly gnostic, by its own admission and by the similarities to its own and gnostic teachings. Once again, ideas Hubbard declares to be new and discovered by him, are shown to be derived from old and widespread teachings in existence long before he came along.
Hubbard claimed to be the sole source of the hidden knowledge needed to escape these earthly bonds. "The mystery of this universe... has been, as far as its track is concerned, completely occluded. No one has ever been able to make any breakthrough and come off with it and know what happened... I finally was able to make a breakthrough which brought people through the zone safely." (19)
When Hubbard died in 1986, it was announced that he had left this "MEST" (the acronym of Matter, Space, Time, and Energy) universe to continue his work and research. In other words, he had obtained the gnosis needed to break the bonds to this material illusory plane and travel to other worlds or dimensions at will. (20)
Hubbard was the sole source for the technology Scientologists need to break free from this MEST universe. "Nobody else - NOBODY - ever discovered it." (21) He is thus the gnostic "celestial mediator" empowered to bring mankind the knowledge needed to bring us back home.
Another obvious connection to gnosticism is in the upper level of training known as Operating Thetan III, or "The Wall of Fire." It is at this level that the Scientologist first is taught that many of his problems are caused by other souls attached to his soul. These souls are detached and sent on their way through the course training. The goal of OTIII is to rid the individual of hundreds of "Body Thetans", or other souls attached to the main dominant individual. No one is even allowed to see OTIII material until he has completed the previous courses leading up to OTIII. (21) This material is carefully guarded and treated as a great important mystery to be imparted only to those proven worthy.
These great "discoveries" of Hubbard actually were taught as far back as 300 AD:
"For many spirits dwell in it [the body] and do not permit it to be pure; each of them brings to fruition its own works, and they treat it abusively by means of unseemly desires. To me it seems that the heart suffers in much the same way as an inn: for it has holes and trenches dug in it and is often filled with filth by men who live there licentiously and have no regard for the place because it belongs to another." (22)
Although this sounds almost identical to ideas in OTIII, it is in fact a quote from Valentinus, one of the most famous early Christian gnostics, writing around 300 AD. Valentinus taught that there was more than one spirit within an individual, causing difficulties for the "host" or main soul of the individual. The gnostic Basilides also taught in a similar vein that man "preserves the appearance of a wooden horse, according to the poetic myth, embracing as he does in one body a host of such different spirits." (23)
The above is similar to the New Testament idea of demons in that demons are "outsiders" from the main inhabitant of the body and are problematic to the host. Gnostics, however, seem to feel that it is the normal human condition to have these other souls, whereas Christianity considers this a rare aberration.
Another gnostic idea, that this is a world of illusion, is in Scientology doctrine as well. Scientology teaches that this universe we live in is the MEST (matter, energy, space, time) universe that exists solely because the non-MEST beings known as thetans decided to agree to bind themselves to the rules and laws that we see operating here, such as gravity and the speed of light: "a Thetan may postulate a material or mental condition and subsequently consider that he cannot escape that condition, and succumb to the resulting illusion of entrapment within it." (24) Theta beings (Hubbard's name for the soul) lived here on earth by dwelling in a human body. Humans, that is, the living body, existed without the theta being before the thetans were trapped in this material universe. Theta beings are "trapped" into human bodies by trickery and forget their true nature:
Your preclear was basically good, happy, ethical and aesthetic before the contagion of the MEST universe got him. Then, still a thetan, he wasn't very good but he was still trusting and ethical. Finally, when he had a body - well, look around. (25)
Scientology then shares the gnostic idea that mankind is separate from the physical universe and is trapped against his will here.
As gnosticism is a secret knowledge, Scientology hides its upper level or OT level teachings under a strict veil of secrecy. When I visited the Los Angeles "Big Blue Building" of Scientology, I was invited to listen to some OT VIII's speak via satellite from the "Free Winds" ship where OT VIII is exclusively taught. An OT VII on board said that the OT VIII material is in a locked case, and the only way to open the case is to enter a certain locked room and pass the case under a laser beam there. Scientologists are taught that if they hear the teachings of OT III before they have taken the necessary previous courses, they will catch pneumonia and die.
Early gnostics also used various methods to hide their teachings. The initiations were so secret that today we can only piece parts of them together. The writings of many gnostics were purposely vague and incomprehensible, so only the initiated could understand them.
The goal of dianetics and Scientology is to return the Theta being to its inherent abilities (i.e. freeing it from the laws of this universe) and remove it from its need to have a body. The sole source for accomplishing this is the technology of L. Ron Hubbard, celestial mediator of the gnostic Church of Scientology.
Parenthetically, one can clearly see from above that these teachings clash with Christian thinking today. While Scientologists claim that "in Scientology there is no attempt to change another's beliefs or to persuade the person away from his own religious practice," (26) in reality there is an incongruity of beliefs that must fall either to the side of Scientology or Christianity. They are not compatible. Scientology is gnostic, which has been seen from almost the beginning of Christianity to be a great threat to correct Christian dogma (see the Ante-Nicene Fathers writings, for example), and it requires the belief in reincarnation, which is foreign to Christian thought. Elsewhere I write about Hubbard's connection to Aleister Crowley, "my very good friend," who called himself the anti-christ and taught accordingly. Hubbard generously borrowed ideas from and admired the writings of Crowley. Obviously, Scientology's claim that their ideas will not interfere with a person's Christian beliefs is absurd.
1 L. Ron Hubbard, "Dianetics: Evolution of a Science", Astounding 1 Science Fiction, May 1950 p. 66
2 Bare-faced Messiah, pp.112-130
3 L. Ron Hubbard, "Conditions of Space/Time/Energy" Philadelphia 3 Doctorate Course cassette tape #18 5212C05
4 L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? p. 305
5 Aleister Crowley, Magick In Theory And Practice (NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1976) p.51 (originally published 1929, London)
6 Magick, p. 419.
7 Dianetics, p. 171 and 172.
8 Magick, p. xxiv
9 L. Ron Hubbard, "What Your Donations Buy", church pamphlet
10 Dianetics pp. 340f.
11 Magick pp. 146-7
12 L. Ron Hubbard, The Creation Of Human Ability, (Sussex, England: The Department of Publications Worldwide, 1954) p. 226f
13 Francis X. King, Mind and Magic (London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 1991) p.100. see photograph.
14 See for example the bookends of Hubbard's Research and Discovery series.
15 Magick p.236
16 Giovanni Filoramo, Gnosticism, (Cambridge, MASS: Basil Blackwell, 1990) p. 9
17Gnosticism, p. 40
18 Gnosticism, p. 92
19 "Advance!" issue 93, p. 16
20 International Scientology News, issue 8, p. 3.
21 International Scientology News, issue 8, p. 7
22 The material has been released publicly in court cases. Scientologists refuse to read it, however, until they reach the proper level of training. They believe they will die if reading it unprepared.
23 Gnosticism, p.98
24 The Ante-Nicene Fathers (WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids MI) reprinted February 1983. Volume 2, p. 372.
25 L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: A World Religion Emerges in the Space Age, (Church of Scientology Information Service, Department of Archives, date and location not listed) p. 23
26 L. Ron Hubbard, A History Of Man (Sussex, England; Department of Publications Worldwide, 1961), p. 55
27 Staff of Church of Scientology, What Is Scientology? (Kingsport Press, Inc., 1978) p.199
* * * * http://www.primenet.com/~cultxpt/cos.htm
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge---Jeff Jacobsen, part 8
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 03:09:24 GMT
The Hubbard Is Bare, part 8
...if anyone wants a monopoly on Dianetics, be assured that he wants it for reasons which have to do not with Dianetics but with profit. (1)
Hubbard's goal from the beginning was to "clear the planet", in other words, to see that everyone on earth became a clear. Up until the time that this happened, he envisioned a sharp demarcation in status between clears (real people) and pre-clears (deficient people). Only clears, for example, could marry and bear children. (2) And if pre-clears did have children, they would most likely be taken away to avoid the "restimulative" affects that parents would have on the child. (3)
"Perhaps at some distant date only the unaberrated person will be granted civil rights before law. Perhaps the goal will be reached at some future time when only the unaberrated person can attain to and benefit from citizenship. These are desirable goals." (4) Would pre-clears have any rights whatsoever? And what indeed would be the fate of those unfortunates who rejected Hubbard's ideas, or even spoke out against him?
These questions can be answered to some degree by looking at the organizations that Hubbard built, and the status of people within and without these organizations. Non-Scientologists are referred to by Scientologists normally as "wogs" (5) or "raw meat," (6) depending on whether they were being considered generic outsiders or potential members. The judicial system in outside society was referred to as the derogatory "wog law". Outside society was an evil place surreptitiously controlled by psychiatrists, who ran the media and governments. Psychiatry had been attacking dianetics from its inception, claimed Hubbard, "because they feared that as our power increased they would lose their easy appropriations and fail in their plan for a 1984 World." (7) It was to be a fight to the finish between the evil outside world and the valiant crew of Hubbardites.
The goal of a Clear Planet was always the important thing. If someone got in the way, they could be smashed. Hubbard wrote the famous "Fair Game Policy" in 1967 in which he declared that anyone caught disturbing Scientology's mission could be "tricked, sued, or lied to, or destroyed." (8) Another process called R2-45 involved making a person "go exterior" (i.e. leave his body) by shooting the person in the head with a .45 pistol. Hubbard did not say to use this process, however, because "its use is frowned upon by society at this time," (9) but there have been some disturbing incidents relating to R2-45.
Hubbard created a Guardian's Office, whose members were responsible for bulldozing anything or anyone that may stand in the way of Scientology. After the G.O. was disbanded when Mary Sue Hubbard and other G.O. officers were sent to prison for infiltrating federal offices, the Office of Special Affairs took over the G.O.'s duties.
Within the organization, ethics took on strange meaning. The purpose of ethics was "TO REMOVE COUNTER INTENTIONS FROM THE ENVIRONMENT," (10) which could be interpreted to mean to remove those obstructions to the church's accomplishing its goals. A member stayed in good standing, not by being a good and moral person, but by making sure he was producing for the church - "a staff member can get away with murder so long as his statistic [i.e. work record] is up and can't sneeze without a chop if it's down."(11) If the goal of a cleared planet was getting closer, and all nay-sayers and critics were silenced, then all was well in Hubbard's world, regardless of how these were accomplished.
Hubbard ruled the organization of the church like a dictator with an eye for detail. Every structure and action of every Scientologist was covered by some policy order or writing by Hubbard. These had to be strictly followed. If someone was not producing as much as was expected, he may be sent for a security check on the E-meter (a crude lie-detector) to see if he may be a subversive or suppressive person. If a member seemed to be hindered by critical parents or a spouse, he would be ordered to "disconnect," or cut off communication with, those people seen to be impeding the work of the church. Most outside interests and activities were given up to devote all possible time and energy to the church's goals. In fact, members of the Sea Org, the innermost unit of the church hierarchy, sign a form pledging to devote themselves to Scientology for the next billion years.
The church has its own penal system known as the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). Those who have gone through the RPF describe a system similar to conditions in a gulag, where there are scraps for food, little sleep, constant physical labor, and intense degradation. (12)
In short, what Hubbard created was one of the closest replicas of George Orwell's 1984 world in existence.
1 DIANETICS, p.226
2 DIANETICS, p.411
3 DIANETICS, p.209
4 DIANETICS, p.534
5 DIANETICS AND SCIENTOLOGY TECHNICAL DICTIONARY, p.471
6 ibid. p.335
7 "What Your Donations Buy" church of Scientology handout, p.3
8 HCO Policy Letter October 16, 1967
9 L. Ron Hubbard, THE CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY (Sussex, England; Department of Publications Worldwide, 1954) p. 120
10 HCO Policy letter of 18 June 1968
11 HCO Policy letter of 1 September AD15 (i.e. 1965)
12 A PIECE OF BLUE SKY, p. 206
Toward the end of my research on this booklet, I was contemplating whether I really needed to read Korzybski's Science and Sanity, the gnostic Pistis Sophia, and to listen to about 40 more hours of Hubbard's taped lectures I had access to before I could call my research done. I decided that this was a case similar to the nuclear arms race; you don't really need 30,000 atomic bombs if you already have 300. In other words, there is a point of diminishing returns in gathering the lies, distortions, errors, and wacky ideas Hubbard promulgated. After you have so many, there's really no reason to keep gathering. Fortunately for both of us, I decided that I had compiled enough evidence already for my purpose, which was mainly to show Hubbard a fraud for claiming that his ideas were his invention and the only hope for mankind.
I understand, however, that there are people who say "so what if he was a fraud, the tech. works!" To this I respond, what do you mean by "works"? Do you mean that you feel better after auditing? Do you mean that you can actually leave your body? That you can alter the physical universe? That your IQ was increased tremendously, that you never have colds, that you are now more confident? Just what do you mean? I think what these people mean is it makes them feel better. To that I would agree. But I also hasten to add that just feeling better is not all there is to life. In that case a lobotomized drunk might have the ideal life, since he is not burdened by any worries and always has that alcoholic high.
I would submit that our goal should be not just feeling good but also learning about and learning how to live in the Real World. There is a Real World that we all share (except, perhaps, for lobotomized drunks). In this world, both of us will die if hit by a bus doing about 60 mph, even if one of us thinks that by positing a world where he survives such an encounter that he thereby will survive. In this world, neither of us can control street lights just by our will so they will turn green before we get to the intersection. And in this world, Scientology takes you away from the common sense and actuality of the Real World by taking you to a Fake World where you sacrifice reality for a sense of belonging and well-being.
So, yes, Scientology works, so long as you wish to live in the Scientology World. But if you want to live in the Real World, it doesn't. I was in a cult myself for 6 years in my own Fake World. From that experience I can say that I prefer the Real World with its uncertainties and problems to my Fake World where I knew all the answers and felt the bliss of my mystical experiences. The Fake World is an easier world to live in, but what's the point? What is gained by living like some kids today so deeply involved in Dungeons and Dragons fantasy that they loose sight of food, sleep, jobs, family, friends? The Emperor in his new fake clothes was quite happy amongst people who also "saw" his wonderful robes, but when confronted by a child from the Real World, his Fake World disintigrated. Is living in a Fake World really worth anything? I think not.
There is much more evidence that has been presented by others on the history of Scientology, the biographical data on L. Ron Hubbard, and the horrible experiences that many Scientologists have had. It was not my goal to even touch any of the above, and it was not even my goal to comprehensively cover my selective topic. It seemed to me that there was little written on the ideas of dianetics and Scientology and their evolution. This is what I attempted to uncover. My hope is that this will be useful for those who have left the church so they can better understand the illusion that caught them, for those who are investigating the church with thoughts of joining, and for those with a curiosity about one of the most dangerous organizations on earth today. I also hope that this may be useful by suggesting an approach to the study of other cults and movements in the religious marketplace today.