The Hubbard is Bare (introduction)
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 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.
Towards the completion of this work, I was reading the
Australian "Report of the Board of Inquiry Into Scientology" from
1965, and was amazed to see that some of my research was a
repetition of that work. The advantages to the Australian report
are that they were able to call many actual experts to give their
opinion of Hubbard's theories. They also had representatives of
Scientology at hand who were allowed to present evidence as well,
although they apparently did not produce anything that negates
anything in my writings. This is a wonderful document despite
its age, and I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to delve
deeper into the subjects I have written about in this work.
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
- Jose M.R. Delgado, M.D. PHYSICAL CONTROL OF THE MIND (Harper
Colophon Books, New York, 1969) P.47-8.
Reprinted with permission from The Hubbard is Bare by Jeff
Jacobsen. Copyright © 1992 by Jeff Jacobsen, P.O. Box 3541,
Scottsdale, AZ 85271.