Lies Debunked: What is Dianetics?


Scientology's doublecross

Scientology's® Claims

Subject: What is Dianetics?
Date: 2000/03/06


Dianetics is a methodology which can help alleviate such ailments as unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses (illness caused or aggravated by mental stress).

The word Dianetics comes from the Greek words dia, meaning through and nous, soul. The full and proper definition of Dianetics is what the soul is doing to the body through the mind.

Before L. Ron Hubbard published the fundamentals of Dianetics in 1950, prevailing scientific thought held that man's mind was his brain, nothing more than a collection of cells and neurons. IQ was considered unimprovable and personality fixed. Dianetics changed all that. Its effectiveness, astonishing in many cases, has been documented in a multitude of case histories over nearly half a century of application. Dianetics rests on basic principles, easily learned, applied and experienced.


And now for the truth

On BeliefNet.COM there's been discussions about Scientology's bizarre "Dianetics" quack therapy book. I liked the discussion enough to think that it would be a good way to debunk Scientology's equally freakishly bizarre claims.

From Beliefnet.COM: specter of nihilism
Fri, 08 Mar 2002

Messages: 1 - 4 (12 total)


2/13/02 12:14 AM 1 out of 12

Frederick Nietzsche, a shrewd observer of cultural trends feared that the specter of nihilism constituted the gravest danger ushered in by the advent of the modern era. It arises with the collapse of traditional beliefs. In earlier times these provided stability, consolation and hope in the face of adversity. With the loss of hitherto stable meanings and ethical bearings, a person might come to believe anything in order to forestall anxiety and hopelessness.

The ongoing presence of SCIENTOLOGY highlights the extent of our current spiritual malaise. Its public pitches, visible on late night television, features a thunderous lava spewing volcano with a portentous voice-over extolling the miracle of DIANETICS, a quack mental health therapy hurriedly concocted by the late L Ron Hubbard. The advertisement has the subtlety of a snarling carnival barker evoking Hubbard's (he died in 1986 under mysterious circumstances) uninhibited flair for the melodramatic. The pseudo-science of DIANETICS first appeared as a cultural artifact in 1950. Hubbard toured the country following the publication of his seminal best-seller "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," glibly peddling it as an easy self-help method redressing the entire spectrum of psychic and psychosomatic complaints suffered by a post-war America. DIANETICS assures its practitioners of improved human communications, better health ("freedom from the common cold"), enhancement of perception, improved memory, higher IQ, and increased personal empowerment. But its failure to deliver its therapeutic promises, internal financial mismanagement, boredom with the new fad, and increased scrutiny by the medical establishment led to its rapid fall from public grace.


2/13/02 12:17 AM 2 out of 12

Yet L Ron Hubbard was not your run of the mill flimflam artiste. He disclosed a doggedness and resiliency astonishing legions of detractors. Hubbard clandestinely resurrected DIANETICS by incorporating it into his 1953 unveiling of SCIENTOLOGY. Even prior to the birth of DIANETICS, however, Hubbard had intimated his destiny, to start a religion with himself wielding papal authority. The collapse of his short-lived DIANETICS empire prompted Hubbard to redouble his efforts. He transposed central elements ("auditing," a form of confessional counseling) into a foundation for an entire religious system. In this fashion he might with impunity generate millions of dollars while keeping criticism and possible interference from organized medicine and IRS at arms length.

While consummating his vision and formulating his "scriptures" Hubbard highlighted an unrepentant zest for plagiarism. He collaged a pastiche of carelessly stricken thought from the sober writings of philosophers ranging from Plato and Descartes to William James and Sigmund Freud. For good measure he then liberally spiced his pedantic understanding of these luminaries with his own fondness for the science-fiction space opera. The creator of SCIENTOLOGY then insisted that these ideas originated in his own meditations upon "the meaning of life." Unknown to most, Hubbard often fueled his feverish ruminations with an exotic combination of alcohol, cocaine and amphetamines. His drug induced reveries are unequivocally accepted as absolute truth by thousands of followers, while Hubbard remains referred to in hushed tones as "Source."

Hubbard forged SCIENTOLOGY into an "applied religious technology." It consists of a self-enclosed system of "absolute truths" inscribed not upon pillars of stone, but in a turgid typewritten legacy spanning several decades. One learns its core beliefs through a prolonged, esoteric (teachings with many hidden levels of indoctrination) series of courses lasting many years and costing the adept hundreds of thousands of dollars. The dedicated SCIENTOLOGIST discovers the necessity for total recall of his or her "past lives." After a protracted spell of preparation one discovers that Hubbard's "Bridge to Total Freedom" eventually entails exorcising countless numbers of "body thetans." These entities consist of the purportedly orphaned spirits of deceased space aliens, which in the wake of an eons ago galactic cataclysm obstreperously attached themselves in desperation to our primal human ancestors. One also learns of Xenu, a ruthless intergalactic dictator responsible for this catastrophe. The persistence of these parasites cause all our human woes and prevent one's full self-determination. Exorcising them via Scientology "processes" enables one to reclaim the native and unlimited superhuman spiritual powers of the "operating thetan" (OT) residing at the core of our being. This cosmological episode remains the central, but publicly undisclosed incident in the extant "Scriptures" of SCIENTOLOGY founder Hubbard.


2/13/02 12:18 AM 3 out of 12

In his youth "Ron" showcased his talents as a mediocre and struggling author of pulp fiction. As a college dropout who was later relieved of his naval post (for his inability to follow orders) in WW2, he often took solace fictionalizing his own life as well. By the late 1940's his career as a writer faltered. Looking for guidance he came across the writings of satanist Aleister ("Do What Thou Wilt") Crowley. Hubbard became an accolyte and began to enthusiastically practice the black arts. Crowley's dark affirmations remained an enduring but unpublicized source of inspiration for him during frequent and lifelong bouts with depression.

The self-enclosed SCIENTOLOGY belief system and its defensive organizational structure testify to the paranoia, cynicism, megalomania and opportunism of its author. It also discloses the boundless and tragic gullibility of those craving relief from life's vicissitudes. For in the end SCIENTOLOGY delivers nothing other than mind bending mystification and harsh internal social controls to keep blinders over the eyes of its brain-washed adherents. Rather than empower its membership, it disempowers them to the point of abject slavery. Quickly after entering the SCIENTOLOGY ediface a person with sufficient wherewithall discovers himself enclosed in a sinister hall of mirrors with no discernible exit. The "spiritual growth" so vociferously testified to by members is flagrantly hollow to the eyes of a casual outsider. It has credence only within the limited social milieu of the organization itself. Peering through the windows of any SCIENTOLOGY establishment one glimpses only the vacuous camaraderie of a precarious internal confidence game.

SCIENTOLOGY in fact discourages a members efforts on his or her own behalf towards greater self-awareness. For an excess of awareness might prompt one to leave. Nor has it any interest of the welfare of its individual membership. Rather, only organizational goals matter in stark contrast to its public dissemination. SCIENTOLOGY's method of attracting newcomers entails a classic "bait and switch" scenario. It promises prospective members freedom and expansion. Once inside they discover constriction and slavery. One experiences a harshly conditioning atmosphere comprised of coercion, extortion and exploitation. And this treatment is "for your own good." Those offering positive testimonial to the virtues of its confessional counseling methods ("auditing") and administrative procedures do so under command and severe duress. SCIENTOLOGY maintains a rigorous system of administrative controls ("ethics"). In addition to peer pressures to conform, an omnipresent "ethics" scrutinizes the behavior of its membership very closely and ruthlessly deals with instances of complaining, nonconformity or poor production ("statistics").

Within the confines of Scientology one notices discovers an alarming absence of warmth among the membership. Rather they come across as robots programmed solely for efficiency. A tenuous institutionalized sense of cooperation and solidarity is evinced amongst those situated in the lower rungs of the organizational apparatus interfacing with the public. These are the newer recruits. Yet once one pierces this veneer the coercive atmosphere that keeps the organization intact and its recruitment and monetary goals on target become readily apparent.

SCIENTOLOGY is a cult, paradigmatically so. Cult Expert Stephan Hassan of the American Family Foundation and author of "Releasing the Bonds" cites these characteristics endemic to cult behavior:


2/13/02 12:19 AM 4 out of 12

1. Forming an elitist totalitarian society

2. Isolating members from society at large in a physical and/or psychological manner, forcing them to cut ties with family and friends who are not part of the group

3. Using deception in recruiting and/or fundraising

4. Control by a messianic or charismatic self-appointed leader not accountable to the membership

5. Instilling a fear in leaving the group

6. Controlling information that members are allowed to receive

7. Using thought control regimens such as debilitating labor regimens, denunciating sessions, hypnotic routines, etc. to block normal thinking criteria

8. Promoting exclusive dependence on other members of the group

9. Punishing dissent, doubt and disobedience

10. Inducing members to commit unethical and criminal behavior because "the ends justify the means"

11. Forces members to undergo frequent self-criticism and humiliation as a part of indoctrination

L. Ron Hubbard was an infantile, narcissistic and megalomaniacal charlatan, the consummate sado-masochistic death worshipper. Incapable of exercising discipline over his own morbid inclinations he vented his next option, to eat, digest and subsume those he could lure into his schizoid domain. Judge Paul Breckinridge of the Los Angeles Superior Court noted in 1984 while ruling in a lawsuit against Scientology: "[The court record is] replete with evidence [that Scientology] is nothing in reality but a vast enterprise to extract the maximum amount of money from its adepts by pseudo scientific theories... and to exercise a kind of blackmail against persons who do not wish to continue with their sect.... The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard." Hubbard's goal purportedly was to "clear the planet," to wit, forcing the world to accept his version of "enlightenment" and "eliminate without sorrow" (in Hubbard's own words) those resisting his sinister world view.

Hubbard's penchant for objectification and dehumanization may be unprecedented in any system of thought skulking behind the moniker of religion. The founder of SCIENTOLOGY derisively uses the term "raw meat" as reference to potential initiates into his system. More generally, Hubbard vulgarizes language by transforming living and transitive verbs into reified "things" ("is-ness," "having-ness" represent typical examples of Scientology neologisms...the tendency is to attach "ness" to verbs in a cadaverous conversion to nouns). His proclivity was to deaden and subsume language in a similar fashion as his system does to its followers. Within his writings Hubbard reflexively employs the term "planet" in reference to the world in which we live. Though the objectification of our life-world has a purpose within the discursive context of astronomy or cosmology, we as human beings do not live "on a planet." Rather, we live in a world. This world is essentially a biologically and socially founded one upon which Hubbard turned his back.

Hubbard's legacy of renouncing the larger social world other than as a fresh market for "raw meat" continues in the baleful and defensive glower of Scientology's most ardent practitioners strolling the streets of downtown Clearwater, Florida. Here march the somnolescent paramilitary vanguard of the cult, the uniformed "SEA ORG," robotically advancing into the darkest of spiritual cul de sacs, bound to their masochistic rapture and "billion year" contracts. These are the humorless, brain-washed, passive and glazed-eyed consumers of L Ron Hubbards impoverished semantic universe, torturous and self-nullifying "religious technology" and paranoid delusions of grandeur.


2/13/02 12:21 AM 5 out of 12

The most flagrant abuses that Scientology exacts upon its practitioners and outsiders daring to criticize it include a patterned history of the following:

o Usurious and relentless mandatory "tithing" requirements in exchange for its confessional counseling techniques, typically costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars

o The use of materials culled during confessionals for purposes of blackmail in the event a member decides to leave or publicly cast aspersions upon Scientology

o A paramilitary police force ("SEA ORG") acting upon the whims of top SCIENTOLOGY management aimed primarily at quashing internal dissent and lack of discipline, but also employed as a tacit threat to public critics

o A gulag-like system of labor camps within which it places recalcitrant SEA ORG members. This system is known as the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF).

o Harassment and threats against former members or public critics who dare speak out against the organization or attempt to publicly disclose its abuses. These typically take the form of gathering information about the critic through shady private detectives and/or abusing the judicial system by litigating frivolous lawsuits against those who dare to speak out. This represents a concerted effort to leave critics financially destitute due to the costs of defending oneself through prolonged litigation.

o Compilation of an "enemies list" by the security apparatus of Scientology known as the Office of Special Affairs International ("OSAI")

o The alleged OSAI blackmailing of several top members of the IRS, including former commissioner Fred Goldberg that led to the IRS decision to recognize Scientology as a bona fide church and grant it tax exempt status in 1993.

o An attempt by Scientology operatives to shut down discussion groups and postings on the Internet that attempt to bring public attention to the criminal activities of the cult.

SCIENTOLOGY bears an uncanny resemblance to the vampire bat. It parasitically consumes whatever resource a person has in his or her capacity that the organization finds useful. In return the cult offers unfettered advancement upon Hubbard's "bridge" to "total freedom," a "bridge" that grounds its appeal upon one's most shallow aspiration, the craving for power and control over others. It results in financial destitution, madness and death. When one runs out of money after selling the house and maxing out the credit cards then one contributes labor in return for its counseling services. SCIENTOLOGY receives tacit support through residency in a postmodern culture where little seems real anymore, a world pervasive with relentless and seductive imagery in which we suffer a dearth of genuine presence. Dostoyevsky observed, "When God is dead, everything is permitted." The cult avidly exploits social confusion and our current inability to discern between the probable, the possible and the utterly fantastical.

A few years ago SCIENTOLOGY became sensitive to its public image and hired main-line consultants to redress a tarnished reputation. The cult began a series of public relations efforts ostensibly in the name of community outreach. These included education, drug rehabilitation, and various "charities." This is a flimsy canard designed to prettify the organization's image rather than deal substantially with social concerns having real weight. Its Narconon drug rehab program serves primarily as a conduit to lead patients directly after treatment into Scientology. Such efforts provide a shabby cloaking device for its motives. These are levers to influence the most naive public opinion and corruptible politicians. The cult's primary agenda remains luring the unwary into the shabby nightmare of L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction soap opera to enlarge the scope of its current social influence.


2/13/02 12:47 AM 6 out of 12

To get more information about the cult of Scientology please log onto these websites:


"Hubbard reveals a deep-seated hatred of women....When Hubbard's Mama's are not getting kicked in the stomach by their husbands or having affairs with lovers, they are preoccupied with AA [attempted abortion]--usually by means of knitting needles." (Gardner, 267)

In 1950, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. [Published by The American Saint Hill Organization, Los Angeles. All page references are to this hard back edition.] The book is the "bible" for Scientology, which calls itself a science, a Church and a religion. Hubbard tells the reader that dianetics "...contains a therapeutic technique with which can be treated all inorganic mental ills and all organic psycho-somatic ills, with assurance of complete cure...." He claims that he has discovered the "single source of mental derangement" (Hubbard, 6). However, in a disclaimer on the frontispiece of the book, we are told that "Scientology and its sub-study, Dianetics, as practiced by the Church...does not wish to accept individuals who desire treatment of physical illness or insanity but refers these to qualified specialists of other organizations who deal in these matters." The disclaimer seems clearly to have been a protective mechanism against lawsuits for practicing medicine without a license; for, the author repeatedly insists that dianetics can cure just about anything which ails you. He also repeatedly insists that dianetics is a science. Yet, just about anyone familiar with scientific texts will be able to tell from the first few pages of Dianetics that the text is no scientific work and the author no scientist. Dianetics is a classic example of a pseudoscience.

On page 5 of Dianetics, Hubbard asserts that a science of mind must find "a single source of all insanities, psychoses, neuroses, compulsions, repressions and social derangements." Such a science, he claims, must provide "Invariant scientific evidence as to the basic nature and functional background of the human mind." And, this science, he says, must understand the "cause and cure of all psycho-somatic ills...." Yet, he also claims that it would be unreasonable to expect a science of mind to be able to find a single source of all insanities, since some are caused by "malformed, deleted or pathologically injured brains or nervous systems" and some are caused by doctors. Undaunted by this apparent contradiction, he goes on to say that this science of mind "would have to rank, in experimental precision, with physics and chemistry." He then tells us that dianetics is " organized science of thought built on definite axioms: statements of natural laws on the order of those of the physical sciences" (Hubbard, 6).

There are broad hints that this so-called science of the mind isn't a science at all in the claim that dianetics is built on "definite axioms" and in his a priori notion that a science of mind must find a single source of mental and psychosomatic ills. Sciences aren't built on axioms and they don't claim a priori knowledge of the number of causal mechanisms which must exist for any phenomena. A real science is built on tentative proposals to account for observed phenomena. Scientific knowledge of causes, including how many kinds there are, is a matter of discovery not stipulation. Also, scientists generally respect logic and would have difficulty saying with a straight face that this new science must show that there is a single source of all insanities except for those insanities that are caused by other sources.

There is other evidence that dianetics is not a science. For example, his theory of mind shares little in common with modern neurophysiology and what is known about the brain and how it works. According to Hubbard, the mind has three parts. "The analytical mind is that portion of the mind which perceives and retains experience data to compose and resolve problems and direct the organism along the four dynamics. It thinks in differences and similarities. The reactive mind is that portion of the mind which files and retains physical pain and painful emotion and seeks to direct the organism solely on a stimulus- response basis. It thinks only in identities. The somatic mind is that mind, which, directed by the analytical or reactive mind, places solutions into effect on the physical level" (Hubbard, 39).

According to Hubbard, the single source of insanity and psychosomatic ills is the engram. Engrams are to be found in one's "engram bank," i.e., in the reactive mind." The "reactive mind," he says, "can give a man arthritis, bursitis, asthma, allergies, sinusitis, coronary trouble, high blood pressure, and so on down the whole catalogue of psycho- somatic ills, adding a few more which were never specifically classified as psycho-somatic, such as the common cold" (Hubbard, 51). One searches in vain for evidence of these claims. We are simply told: "These are scientific facts. They compare invariably with observed experience" (Hubbard, 52).

An engram is defined as "a definite and permanent trace left by a stimulus on the protoplasm of a tissue. It is considered as a unit group of stimuli impinged solely on the cellular being" (Hubbard, 60 note). We are told that engrams are only recorded during periods of physical or emotional suffering. During those periods the "analytical mind" shuts off and the reactive mind is turned on. The analytical mind has all kinds of wonderful features, including being incapable of error. It has, we are told, standard memory banks, in contrast to the reactive bank. These standard memory banks are recording all possible perceptions and, he says, they are perfect, recording exactly what is seen or heard, etc.

What is the evidence that engrams exist and that they are "hard-wired" into cells during physically or emotionally painful experiences? Hubbard doesn't say that he's done any laboratory studies, but he says that:

"in dianetics, on the level of laboratory observation, we discover much to our astonishment that cells are evidently sentient in some currently inexplicable way. Unless we postulate a human soul entering the sperm and ovum at conception, there are things which no other postulate will embrace than that these cells are in some way sentient" (Hubbard, 71).

This explanation is not on the "level of laboratory observation" but is a false dilemma and begs the question. Furthermore, the theory of souls entering zygotes has at least one advantage over Hubbard's own theory: it is not deceptive and is clearly metaphysical. Hubbard tries to clothe his metaphysical claims in scientific garb:

"The cells as thought units evidently have an influence, as cells, upon the body as a thought unit and an organism. We do not have to untangle this structural problem to resolve our functional postulates. The cells evidently retain engrams of painful events. After all, they are the things which get injured...."

"The reactive mind may very well be the combined cellular intelligence. One need not assume that it is, but it is a handy structural theory in the lack of any real work done in this field of structure. The reactive engram bank may be material stored in the cells themselves. It does not matter whether this is credible or incredible just now...."

"The scientific fact, observed and tested, is that the organism, in the presence of physical pain, lets the analyzer get knocked out of circuit so that there is a limited quantity or no quantity at all of personal awareness as a unit organism" (Hubbard, 71).

Hubbard asserts that these are scientific facts based on observations and tests, but the fact is there hasn't been any real work done in this field. The following illustration is typical of the kind of "evidence" provided by Hubbard for his theory of engrams.

"A woman is knocked down by a blow. She is rendered 'unconscious.' She is kicked and told she is a faker, that she is no good, that she is always changing her mind. A chair is overturned in the process. A faucet is running in the kitchen. A car is passing in the street outside. The engram contains a running record of all these perceptions: sight, sound, tactile, taste, smell, organic sensation, kinetic sense, joint position, thirst record, etc. The engram would consist of the whole statement made to her when she was 'unconscious': the voice tones and emotion in the voice, the sound and feel of the original and later blows, the tactile of the floor, the feel and sound of the chair overturning, the organic sensation of the blow, perhaps the taste of blood in her mouth or any other taste present there, the smell of the person attacking her and the smells in the room, the sound of the passing car's motor and tires, etc" (Hubbard, 60).

How this example relates to insanity or psycho-somatic ills is explained by Hubbard this way:

"The engram this woman has received contains a neurotic positive suggestion....She has been told that she is a faker, that she is no good, and that she is always changing her mind. When the engram is restimulated in one of the great many ways possible [such as hearing a car passing by while the faucet is running and a chair falls over], she has a feeling' that she is no good, a faker, and she will change her mind" (Hubbard, 66).

There is no possible way to empirically test such claims. A "science" that consists of nothing but such claims is not a science, but a pseudoscience.

Hubbard claims that enormous data has been collected and not a single exception to his theory has been found (Hubbard, 68). We are to take his word on this, apparently, for all the "data" he presents are in the form of anecdotes or made-up examples like the one presented above.

Another indication that dianetics is not a science, and that its founder hasn't a clue as to how science functions, is given in claims such as the following: "Several theories could be postulated as to why the human mind evolved as it did, but these are theories, and dianetics is not concerned with structure" (Hubbard, 69). This is his way of saying that it doesn't concern him that engrams can't be observed, that even though they are defined as permanent changes in cells, they can't be detected as physical structures. It also doesn't bother him that the cure of all illnesses requires that these "permanent" engrams be "erased" from the reactive bank. He claims that they aren't really erased but simply transferred to the standard bank. How this physically or structurally occurs is apparently irrelevant. He simply asserts that it happens this way, without argument and without proof. He simply repeats that this is a scientific fact, as if saying it makes it so.

Another "scientific fact," according to Hubbard, is that the most harmful engrams occur in the womb. The womb turns out to be a terrible place. It is "wet, uncomfortable and unprotected" (Hubbard, 130).

"Mama sneezes, baby gets knocked "unconscious." Mama runs lightly and blithely into a table and baby gets its head stoved in. Mama has constipation and baby, in the anxious effort, gets squashed. Papa becomes passionate and baby has the sensation of being put into a running washing machine. Mama gets hysterical, baby gets an engram. Papa hits Mama, baby gets an engram. Junior bounces on Mama's lap, baby gets an engram. And so it goes" (Hubbard, 130).

We are told that people can have "more than two hundred" prenatal engrams and that engrams "received as a zygote are potentially the most aberrative, being wholly reactive. Those received as an embryo are intensely aberrative. Those received as the foetus are enough to send people to institutions all by themselves" (Hubbard, 130-131). What is the evidence for these claims? How could one test a zygote to see if it records engrams? "All these things are scientific facts, tested and rechecked and tested again," he says (Hubbard, 133). But you must take L. Ron Hubbard's word for it. Scientists generally do not expect others to take their word for such dramatic claims.

Furthermore, to get cured of an illness you need a dianetic therapist, called an auditor. Who is qualified to be an auditor? "Any person who is intelligent and possessed of average persistency and who is willing to read this book [Dianetics] thoroughly should be able to become a dianetic auditor" (Hubbard, 173). The auditor must use "dianetic reverie" to effect a cure. The goal of dianetic therapy is to bring about a "release" or a "clear." The former has had major stress and anxiety removed by dianetics; the latter has neither active nor potential psycho-somatic illness or aberration (Hubbard, 170). The "purpose of therapy and its sole target is the removal of the content of the reactive engram bank. In a release, the majority of emotional stress is deleted from this bank. In a clear, the entire content is removed" (Hubbard, 174). The 'reverie' used to achieve these wonders is described as an intensified use of some special faculty of the brain which everyone possesses but which "by some strange oversight, Man has never before discovered" (Hubbard, 167). Hubbard has discovered what none before him has seen and yet his description of this 'reverie' is of a man sitting down and telling another man his troubles (Hubbard, 168). In a glorious non sequitur, he announces that auditing "falls utterly outside all existing legislation," unlike psychoanalysis, psychology and hypnotism which "may in some way injure individuals or society" (Hubbard, 168-169). It is not clear, however, why telling others one's troubles is a monumental discovery. Nor it is clear why auditors couldn't injure individuals or society, especially since Hubbard advises them: "Don't evaluate data....don't question the validity of data. Keep your reservations to yourself" (Hubbard, 300). This does not sound like a scientist giving sound advice to his followers. This sounds like a guru giving advice to his disciples.

What Hubbard touts as a science of mind lacks one key element that is expected of a science: empirical testing of claims. The key elements of Hubbard's so-called science don't seem testable, yet he repeatedly claims that he is asserting only scientific facts and data from many experiments. It isn't even clear what such "data" would look like. Most of his data is in the form of anecdotes and speculations such as the one about a patient who believes she was raped by her father at age nine. "Large numbers of insane patients claim this," says Hubbard, who goes on to claim that the patient was actually 'raped' when she was "nine days beyond conception....The pressure and upset of coitus is very uncomfortable to the child and normally can be expected to give the child an engram which will have as its contents the sexual act and everything that was said" (Hubbard, 144). Such speculation is appropriate in fiction, but not in science.


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