Review of Hubbard's theories
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
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
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
- 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
Reprinted with permission from The Hubbard is Bare by Jeff
Jacobsen. Copyright © 1992 by Jeff Jacobsen, P.O. Box 3541,
Scottsdale, AZ 85271.