Predecessor Components of Scientology
in the German-speaking pre-WWII Era
Research staff
May 1, 2006


Although Lafayette Ronald Hubbard founded Scientology in the United States in the 1950s and formulated the tenets for Scientology's forerunner, Dianetics, in the 1940s, components of Hubbard's ideology existed in the rough in the German-speaking world prior to the Second World War. Hubbard had access to these components, and, as a professional writer and independent publicity agent, packaged and marketed them using a set of standards different from those used by mental health professionals.


The primary purpose of this research is to test the validity of the concept that certain components of Scientology existed in the rough in the German-speaking world prior to World War II. The secondary purpose is to establish a baseline by which Hubbard's teachings on mental health may be evaluated.


Links between the texts of Scientology founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard and of at least three native German speakers of pre-war Europe have previously been noted. Relevance and validity of these links are examined in this paper.

A Freud-Hubbard link was noted by Hubbard himself soon after he wrote the book from which Scientology evolved, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." [1] Unofficial Hubbard biographer Jon Atack also observed this connection. [2]

A Nordenholz-Hubbard link was noted by Friedrich-Wilhelm Haack. Haack (deceased) published his examination of a potential link between Hubbard's "Scientology" and Anastasius Nordenholz' "Scientologie" in 1982. [3] Haack concluded the connection was relevant on its face and that Nordenholz could have provided Hubbard with intellectual building blocks. While there is little doubt as to the relevance of Haack's conclusion, its validity is questioned in the light of more current data.

Finally, Jon Atack suggested Dr. Otto Rank's "Trauma of Birth" as a possible source of Hubbard's Dianetics in "Hubbard and the Occult." [4] This suggestion is acted upon further in this paper. Unlike "Scientologie"-creator Nordenholz, "The Trauma of Birth" author Otto Rank lectured in the northeastern United States, had his books published in English in the United states and lived in the US in the same or previous time frame in which L. Ron Hubbard was collecting material for Dianetics and Scientology. William A. White is identified as a common link between Hubbard and Rank. Nandor Fodor and Arthur Ceppos are cited jointly as a secondary link between Hubbard and Rank. Besides a personal link and physical proximity, specific similarities and contrasts in subject matter, as well as related findings, lend credence to a Rank-Hubbard connection.

Freud-Hubbard link

During Scientology's formative years, founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) gave more credit to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) than he did to anyone else except himself. Identification of Freud in this respect is based on an examination of Hubbard's "technical bulletins" and other selected texts from 1950-1968. In these texts, the frequency and the relevance to Scientology or to its predecessor, Dianetics, with which Hubbard used Freud's name is many times greater than that with which he used the name of any person besides himself.

Hubbard's Comments on Freud

A few of Hubbard's references to Freud are given here with comment to illustrate the light with which Hubbard would have his readers contemplate Freud. Generally speaking, Hubbard portrayed Freud as someone who had sought and partially succeeded in accomplishing the work which Hubbard claimed he himself had perfected. In other words, Hubbard tended to portray his own writings as the culmination of Freud's efforts. In doing this, Hubbard give overly simplified accounts of Freud's work. In the above respects, outside of number of references to Freud, Hubbard did not treat Freud much differently than he did other sources, who were as far-flung as Socrates, James Clerk Maxwell and Will Durant.

In the following, Hubbard gave an over-simplification of Freudian analysis.

Where Freud achieved any result -- let's be generous, let's say he did achieve some results -- let's find out how long it took him to achieve them. An old lady came in from Bavaria and talked to him for a few minutes and just ranted on and on, and all of a sudden said that she felt better and got up and left. [5]

Apparently, the result Hubbard considered to be worthwhile was making the customer "feel better."

The next example is typical of Hubbard's later references to outside sources in two ways. First, it is of a trivial nature.

Freud mentioned that people who couldn't understand something sometimes giggled in an embarrassed kind of way. I rarely take any data from him but in this case, he was right. It was a good observation. [6]

Second, Hubbard played down his initial enthusiasm for acknowledging sources outside of himself.

During Scientology's formative years, Hubbard had habitually dropped names of celebrities so that his own teachings would seem a continuation of what these famous personalities had been trying to achieve for years. In the following Hubbard adapted a narrative about Freud to persuade an audience to accept the idea of past existences (past lives):

Freud, with no method of direct observation, spoke of pre-natals, birth trauma, and verbally, if not in writing, of past existences [emphasis added] and of the continuing immortality of the individual. [7]

Hubbard stated more than once that his Scientology processes were superior to and more reliable than Freudian psychoanalysis. The following illustrates this sort of assertion being used to public relations advantage.

In that Freud, as a pioneer, introduced the basic idea that illness can stem from mental causes, and in that his work is well known, it is not unseemly to carry out his aims and goals. As he prescribed no exact process and as Scientology on its lowest rung solves Freudian problems never before solved, Scientology is of course desirable in this field. [8]

Paradoxically, in the founding work "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," first published in 1950, Hubbard avoided Freud altogether, but dropped many famous names in passing, such as Plato, Socrates, Schopenhauer, Aesculapius, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, William Harvey, Benjamin Franklin, James Clerk Maxwell, Genghis Khan, Anton Mesmer, Hippocrates and Will Durant.

Jon Atack's Comparisons and Contrasts of substance

Jon Atack was more specific than Hubbard in comparing and contrasting the substance of Hubbard's theories to Freud's. Atack wrote:

Freud had speculated that traumas with similar content join together in "chains," embedded in the "unconscious" mind, causing irrational responses in the individual. According to Freud a "chain" would be relieved by inducing the patient to remember the earliest trauma, "with an accompanying expression of emotion." Earlier traumas would only become available as later traumas were remembered and abreacted. [9]

Atack found a method used by Freud to apply the above theory to the patient "uncannily similar" to Hubbard's "repeater technique."

Freud would repeat one of the patient's common phrases to him. This would often induce a buried memory to surface. In Dianetics, the therapist asked the patient to repeat the phrases. Hubbard called this "repeater technique" and, in early Dianetics, it was the principal method for discovering traumatic incidents. [10]

In describing differences between Hubbard and Freud, Atack wrote that Hubbard approached "the general public directly, rather than through the psychiatric or psychological professions." He also noted that Dianetics "completely avoided the libido theory, the interpretation of dreams, transference and complex Freudian evaluations." [11]

Nordenholz-Hubbard link

One of the most obvious yet unprovable links between Hubbard's 20th century American religion and pre-war German philosophy involves a homonym of the word "Scientology" -- Scientologie. The material in this section contains a summary and reexamination of a review first published in 1982 by German Evangelical Lutheran Minister Friedrich-Wilhelm Haack. [12]

Haack wrote that Anastasius Nordenholz, a German Argentine, signed a contract with the Ernst Reinhardt publishing house of Munich, Germany on August 17, 1934 to publish Nordenholz' book, "Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und Tauglichkeit des Wissens" ("Scientology, Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge"). This contract was initiated by the author, not the publisher, for 600 copies of the book, a relatively modest number. Of the 600 copies, the author was to receive 50 free copies and the publisher could sell the first 50 copies without paying royalties. Royalties of 40% would be paid on books sold in excess of 50. More succinctly, this was a small, private publishing paid for by the author.

Haack expressed the opinion that a Nordenholz-Hubbard link existed. Besides the fact that "Scientology" and "Scientologie" are homonyms, Scientologie is also a German spelling of Scientology, in the same sense that Biologie and Anatomie are the German spellings of Biology and Anatomy. (The English "y" suffix is replaced by the German "ie". Today, according to the Free Zone Association of Germany [13], who acquired the rights to the word "Scientologie" in Germany in 1995, Religious Training Center possesses the copyrights to the words "Scientology" and "Scientologie," except for the latter in Germany, because of Nordenholz' book.)

Besides the similarity between the two words, Haack also observed a relationship between the subject matter of Hubbard's Scientology and Nordenholz' Scientologie. Hubbard and Nordenholz, according to Haack, had similar views in that they both viewed reality less as an independent objective entity and more as a composite made up of the many realities of the world's population. Putting it a different way, the world Man lives in is a world created by Man. Continuing this train of thought, Haack wrote that both Hubbard and Nordenholz subsequently contrasted the ideal notion of a world created by Man with the less than ideal notion of Man as an effect of the universe he created himself.

One objection to a Nordenholz-Hubbard connection Haack anticipated was that Hubbard could not have read Nordenholz' book because it was written in German. Haack met this objection by asserting that Hubbard, because he had taken German in college, was literate enough in the language to glean basic concepts from Nordenholz' book. In coming to this conclusion, however, Haack relied on secondary information that lacked accuracy. The source Haack cited (note 174 of Haack's book) for Hubbard's studies was Stuttgart's "Aktion Bildungsinformation" bulletin ABI 12-80-213:

"... that Hubbard matriculated in 1930, did not pass his mathematics course and then began to study German; he received a grade of "D" and with that ended his first year of study."

According to the "official transcript of the record of LaFayette Ronald Hubbard" from the office of the registrar at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. [14], however, Hubbard took one semester of first-year German not in his second semester at the university, but in the first. In addition, the three subjects in which Hubbard received an "F" for the one full year he attended college before being placed on academic probation included German, Calculus and Physics.

Taking the official transcript record into account, it is not probable that Hubbard, having failed his one and only semester of first-year German, could have gained even a superficial understanding of Nordenholz' book, even if he had access to the relatively few existing copies. This is even less likely taking into consideration Nordenholz' awkward use of the written word. Haack conceded this further complication in making a separate point, namely, that although Nordenholz appeared to have sympathized with the Nazis on racial hygiene theories, Haack doubted that the National Socialist regime could have made use of Nordenholz' writings because they were so convoluted.

In continuing his case that Hubbard could have had access to Nordenholz' book, Haack mentioned a 1976 "Aktion Bildungsinformation" letter containing information that Nordenholz' book had been translated into English. Although this is evidence that Nordenholz' book was available in English, and even that it was available in the United States, the cited 1968 translation "by Mister McPheeters" (Cansation Press, Lucerne Valley, California) is almost 20 years too late to have inspired the name for Hubbard's brand of psychotherapy.

As contrasts between Hubbard and Nordenholz, Haack mentioned several counterpoints in his 1982 analysis. For instance, in contrast to Hubbard's flamboyance and pretentiousness, Nordenholz employed reticent and cumbersome language. Besides writing styles, Hubbard and Nordenholz were also far removed from each other in geography. Although Hubbard traveled briefly outside the United States, his travels did not take him to Argentina, where Nordenholz moved to live "in seclusion" before the Second World War, as Nordenholz' grandchild is cited as writing. Specifically, Nordenholz' grandchild wrote that his grandfather had never, to his knowledge, had contact, written or otherwise, with L. Ron Hubbard. Finally Haack noted that Scientology Germany had completely disowned any connection with Nordenholz' Scientologie.

Although general philosophical similarities exist between Nordenholz' Scientologie and Hubbard's Scientology, in light of the data currently available, no valid substantive link is evident, in particular not in the field of mental health.

Rank-Hubbard link

Otto Rank was a student of Sigmund Freud for twenty years. Rank's book, "The Trauma of of Birth," heralded a breaking point between the two men.

Common personal connection: William A. White

No evidence was found that Otto Rank and LaFayette Ronald Hubbard were personally acquainted. The closest personal association that would have existed is through a third party, William A. White. In his book "Science of Survival," [15] Hubbard prominently credited 23 men, most of them known worldwide for their contributions to the world of science, as sources for Hubbard's theories. Although the substance of many of the credits is questionable, between the names of Sigmund Freud and Cmdr. Thompson (whom Hubbard credited with teaching him Freudian technique) is that of William A. White.

Compared with the other sources Hubbard cited in his acknowledgment -- of which Anaxagoras, Aristotle, Socrates, Descartes and Plato were also mentioned in Rank's "The Trauma of Birth" -- the name of William A. White is not uniquely identifying. Given that the other men are all more well-known than Hubbard was, however, Hubbard's William A. White would have been one of two celebrities of early 20th century America, either a Kansas newspaper man or an East coast psychotherapist. Since the latter was one of Dr. Otto Rank's promoters and publishers, which one of these two Whites Hubbard meant is an area of inquiry relevant to a Rank-Hubbard link.

Sources both within Hubbard's book and external to it provide a basis for deciding which William A. White Hubbard publicly recognized. The only circumstance found that indicated Hubbard could have been referring to William Allen White, nationally known editor of the "Emporia Gazette," is the fact that the first edition of Hubbard's book was printed in Wichita, Kansas, a city not far from Emporia [16]. This, as mentioned, is the exception.

In the text of "Science of Survival" there are two sections that are of more assistance. One section, under the U.S. Library of Congress number, says that the book is to be classified "under Medicine," "Psychotherapy" and "Dianetics." This supports the conclusion that Hubbard was acknowledging White, the psychotherapist, as do the numerous references in the book to psychotherapy. In contrast are the three mentions of the word "newspaper" in the book's text. Two of these three are superficial in nature and the one remaining exemplifies American newspapers as insincere and careless of facts. This does not support a conclusion that Hubbard was paying tribute to a newspaper editor in his acknowledgment of sources.

Outside of Hubbard's book, a William Alan White is mentioned in Russell Miller's unofficial biography of Hubbard. [17] In his book Miller refers to a June 1954 letter that contained biographical information about Hubbard. Although the Scientologist author of the letter skewed his information in favor of Hubbard, he did specify that Hubbard had studied under "Dr William Alan White." Besides giving White the title of "doctor," the letter's author also stated that White was a superintendent of a hospital in Washington, D.C., today known as St. Elizabeth's.

The reference to William A. White in a book classified as "psychotherapy" and the subsequent specification of which William A. White Hubbard was acquainted with indicates that Hubbard acknowledged William Alanson White, a superintendent of St. Elizabeth's, who co-founded the Psychoanalytic Review in 1913. [18] There are several dozen references given in the Psychoanalytic Review for Dr. Otto Rank from 1913 through 1929. Therefore a connection can tentatively be drawn between Otto Rank and LaFayette Ronald Hubbard in the person of William Alanson White.

Indirect personal connection: Arthur Ceppos and Nandor Fodor

According to Jon Atack [19], the year before publishing Hubbard's "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," Hermitage House published "The Search for the Beloved," which was subtitled "A clinical investigation into the trauma of birth and prenatal conditioning" by Dr. Nandor Fodor. The head of Hermitage House, Arthur Ceppos, was also a director of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. Atack concluded that it was "highly unlikely Hubbard did not know about Fodor." In his book, Dr. Fodor credited Otto Rank.

Subject matter connection: "The Trauma of Birth"

1. Introduction

This is a comparative analysis of Otto Rank's "The Trauma of Birth" with Dianetics, as described in "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" by American Scientology founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. This comparison was performed by a journalist, not a psychoanalyst. This would not inherently disqualify the comparison in that Hubbard was also a journalist, not a psychoanalyst. The analysis consists of 40 comparisons and 5 contrasts on 77 pages between pages 1 and 166, and on 4 more pages between pages 203 and 314 of "The Trauma of Birth." Thus the highest frequency of similarity occurs within the first 166 pages of the book.

According to an account published in 1977 by the Church of Scientology of California, L. Ron Hubbard formulated the basic tenets of Dianetics and Scientology in the 1940s. [20] Other official biographical sources indicate Hubbard was performing preliminary research in the 1930s and before.

During the time that LaFayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986) was formulating the basic tenets of Dianetics and Scientology, the works of Austrian psychoanalyst Dr. Otto Rank (1884-1939) were appearing in the English language. Abstracts of Rank's works appeared in the English language as early as 1913, in the first volume of "The Psychoanalytic Review." Rank subsequently co-authored an article printed in the 1916 volume of that journal. All in all there are several dozen references given in the index of "The Psychoanalytic Review" for Rank for the period 1913 - 1929. For instance, a precursor to Otto Rank's book "The Trauma of Birth" was "The Trauma of Birth in its Importance for Psychoanalytic Therapy." This was a paper read before the American Psychoanalytic Association on June 3, 1924, in Atlantic City, New Jersey and published in "The Psychoanalytic Review" the following month.

In 1924, Rank's "The Trauma of Birth" was published in German, with the English translation published in 1929 by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., London. "The Psychoanalytic Review" published a book review of Rank's book in volume XVIII (381), which corresponds to the year 1931. It was in September 1931 that Hubbard was placed on probation at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "for deficiency in scholarship." Printing and distribution of Rank's books in English continued through the 1930s and into the 1940s, with the last one "Beyond Psychology" printed posthumously in 1941. Distribution of Rank's books apparently continued through the 1940's. [21]

Even though "Dianetics" prominently featured the reexperiencing of prenatal existence and the act of birth, and Hubbard even mentioned the words "birth trauma" at a subsequent point, Otto Rank was not one of the 23 great men acknowledged in "Science of Survival", nor, to all appearances, did Hubbard ever publicly credit Dr. Otto Rank at all. Instead Hubbard claimed ownership of a method of eliminating the ill effects of birth trauma, and credited Sigmund Freud, Rank's mentor, with having thought that birth trauma "might exist." [22]

2. Concept Comparisons

Although there is not a strict one-to-one correspondence between the books "The Trauma of Birth" and "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," both books contain similar concepts, functions and structures. To begin with, Rankian "therapy" generally corresponds to Hubbardist "processing."

Other basic functional similarities are quickly illustrated with a brief description of the therapy/processing.

Rank advocated breaking down the patient's artificial mental superstructure by releasing anxiety and freeing libido.

Hubbard advocated breaking down the preclear's reactive mind by releasing charge and freeing attention.

More specifically, both Rank and Hubbard envisioned the client traveling back through the time track of the Unconscious, occasionally running into obstacles containing anxiety or charge in the form of incidents which the client had unconsciously repressed. This unconscious repression was accomplished by means of a short circuit, or a by-pass circuit in conscious memory, which deprived the client of both memory and vital energy. The mental obstacles on the time track of the Unconscious, relatively innocuous by themselves, were reinforced in strength by previous similar traumatic incidents. Obstacles connected together this way had a cumulative effect and could be viewed as "pathogenic series," or as "engram chains."

It becomes more obvious that the connection between Rank and Hubbard lies not only in the similar reexperiencing of prenatal experiences and of the act of birth. The reasoning and method by which each had their clients regress back to birth was similar.

In explaining their respective therapies, both Rank and Hubbard made it clear that their methods were being presented by someone with the enhanced mental capacity produced as a result of their own methods. There is a small contrast in this comparison in that Rank stated this point explicitly, while Hubbard made it only implicitly, but clearly nonetheless. As an additional selling point, both Hubbard and Rank pointed out that their methods of treatment shortened traditional therapy or processing time.

At the core of both Rankian and Hubbardist theory is a basic trauma. This trauma sought to repeat itself endlessly in the client's daily routine, creating subsequent incidents that were symbolic in some way to the patient of the basic problem. The basic problem lay in a prenatal condition. Not only mental upsets, but physical illnesses and ailments could be traced back to this basic trauma.

Anything symbolic of one of the traumata in a chain could spur a relapse of symptoms of one or more of the prior similar incidents. It was in this sense that the earlier traumata would reproduce themselves in the patient's conscious reality. These dramatic reproductions occurred not only on the physical and mental levels, but were closely tied into the person's emotional plane as well. Each dramatization of trauma led to a draining of mental energy from the client's conscious control into the Unconscious.

Both Rank and Hubbard advocated that the repression of these painfully connected incidents be overcome, and that the surmounting of an obstacle as great as this could not be accomplished by the client alone. Transferring the energy trapped within these incidents from the parasitic influence of the Unconscious back to the usefulness of conscious control could come about only with outside help. To this end, a therapist or auditor would help the client go into a dreamy state of fantasy. This mental state would be a condition other than hypnosis, such as hypermnesia, or dianetic reverie.

In this dream state, the client would recount the painful incident repeatedly to abreact it. An unwillingness of the client to do this was interpreted by the therapist or auditor as a reenactment of the trauma. For instance, if the trauma contained the words "I can't go on," the client might parrot those words to the therapist in an apparent effort to stop therapy. The trauma itself was locked up in a memory separate from the Conscious. The basic trauma, in turn, was buried beneath a number of "cover-memories".

The relief of trauma in therapy or processing corresponded to an exact reproduction of the original trauma. Good indicators which accompanied the release of charge from the basic trauma included: feeling reborn, "sexual excitement over the whole surface of the body," smiles and laughter.

Both Rank and Hubbard envisioned the widest application of their methods not only for individual psychology, but for science, medicine, psychiatry, society, education and government as well, in short, for the totality of mankind. Specifically, repressed traumata or engrams were an insidious influence in everyone's daily thoughts and actions. This condition contributed significantly to war, crime and insanity. Thus therapy and processing were a potential cure-all, or at least help-all, for neurotic anxiety, psychosomatic illness, various diseases and ailments, and for many socially undesirable acts as well. Elimination of painful anxieties could alleviate stammering, asthma and claustrophobia, for instance. Elimination of painful anxiety could be thought of as an integral part of anyone's healing process. A beneficial side effect would be an increased memory capacity. In this respect both Rank and Hubbard observed ill effects with regard to the use of anesthesia.

Although Hubbard did not mention Sigmund Freud in "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," he often referred to Freud in subsequent texts, before he eventually disowned everyone except for himself as major contributors to Scientology. [23] In "The Trauma of Birth," Rank acknowledged Freud repeatedly.

Several analogies can be made between Hubbard and Freud from Rank's book that are consistent with Hubbard's earlier acknowledgments of Freud as a material source.

The "Talking cure" of Anna O., a young girl at the time, is analogous with "auditing." Her joking reference to it as "chimney sweeping" is analogous with "clearing" [24] According to Rank, Freud taught him that the patient was nearly always right, while one of Hubbard's basic tenets was "Man is basically good." Finally, both Rank and Hubbard eventually proceeded beyond the realm of science of the mind to their respective sciences of the "soul."

3. Concept Contrasts

As stated in the introduction, there is not a one-to-one correspondence between Rankian and Hubbardist theory. Therefore a contrast section is included.


In focusing attention analytically on these facts one noticed that people, theoretically and therapeutically entirely uninfluenced, showed from the very beginning of their treatment the same tendency to identify the analytic situation with the intrauterine state. [25]

Hubbard stated that his clients needed training, which his organizations would provide, to know the theory on which his processing was based. Hubbard also took a different view of the client identifying therapy with the womb. Rather than prepare the client for a certain end to the womb-like state of therapy, Hubbard created a never-ending list of courses and therapies from which the customer had to choose. The official alternative to continuing training and/or therapy came to be synonymous with leaving the "church," which corresponds to Rank's symbolic womb, and giving up forever the possibility of further therapy or spiritual counseling.


Naturally the patient constantly shows the tendency behind all his resistances to prolong indefinitely the analytic situation which yields him such considerable satisfaction. [26]

Hubbard eventually exploited this tendency by requiring life-long, or virtually eternal membership.


Rank saw children's games as a system of structured neurotic symptoms that were positively reinforced by pleasure signs, whereas Hubbard viewed auditing and even life as a game.


Rank portrayed intrauterine experience as the primal pleasure, while Hubbard chose to associate pleasure with immortality. Put in other terms, Rank saw the client looking upon unreality with pleasure, whereas Hubbard saw his client looking upon immortality as the ultimate pleasure. If unreality and immortality are viewed as similar concepts, this is a similarity, not a contrast.


Rank repeatedly stated that the belief of the Unconscious in immortality led to the religious superstition of reincarnation. Specifically, Rank wrote that the Unconscious had an "undestructible wish character". With Hubbard, having the client relive birth and prenatal experience was only a stepping-stone on the path of regression back to past lives. [27]

Note: Although Rank apparently did not believe in reincarnation, he indirectly justified nonetheless it by citing a source that said "transmigration of souls" has therapeutic character.

Related Findings - Official Statement of Competency a Fabrication

Hubbard's own account of his competency is hereby taken into consideration in looking at possible sources for his material. Was Hubbard academically or professionally qualified to have independently formulated tenets equivalent to Rank's, in parallel with Rank?

Well-documented unofficial biographies of Hubbard [28] make no mention of such qualifications on Hubbard's part, and in fact disprove a previous official account, distributed under Hubbard's name, of Hubbard's ability in the field of mental healing. According to this now defunct account, Hubbard used his understanding of his mental science to cure his own blindness and lameness suffered as a result of injuries acquired during combat in the Second World War. As revealed by Hubbard's unofficial biographers, however, Hubbard's military records, which became publicly available after his death, showed that he was neither blind nor crippled, but that he had mild conjunctivitis and a duodenal ulcer. Besides not being wounded, blinded or crippled, Hubbard never engaged an enemy in combat, but in fact was disciplined for careless discharge of weaponry on non-hostile territory.

The story about Hubbard's alleged ability to heal himself has a public relations nature -- to fill in the informational void of a missing reality. The fact that Hubbard was qualified neither academically nor professionally to write about psychotherapy was effectively neutralized by the assertion that Hubbard had used his own brand of psychotherapy to cure himself of wartime ailments. The proof presented to the audience of his own cure was his own good health.

In all likelihood Hubbard invented and wrote this script himself as a publicity stunt. This fabrication is relevant not in the field of mental health, but in journalism, where this sort of exaggeration can be called a "myth," and in intelligence, where it can be part of a "cover," which is the identity and occupation used by an actor to conceal his espionage or clandestine operational activities. [29] With regard to the latter, Hubbard qualified as an intelligence officer during his service in the Second World War.

The creation of the myth of his own wartime experiences and assertions of self-healing are evidence that Hubbard was indeed proficient but not ethical, not in the field of mental health, but in the area of marketing and public relations. This is consistent with Hubbard's frequent portrayal of himself primarily as a writer and an artist.


Although Nordenholz' Scientologie existed prior to Hubbard's Scientology, no valid link between the two with regard to mental health is evident.

On the other hand, there does seem to be at least an indirect connection between Hubbard and Freud in the person of Otto Rank, a native German-speaker whose writings originated prior to the Second World War. Rank, a long-term student of Freud's and a professional Austrian psychoanalyst qualified to do so, formulated terms, functions and structures similar to those Scientology founder LaFayette Ronald Hubbard was to later use in his practice of Dianetics, as described in "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" and elsewhere. Rank's work was available to Hubbard in the English language during the time Hubbard was said to have been doing his research on Dianetics and prior to the time Hubbard wrote and distributed dianetic theory. Although Hubbard never gave Rank credit for his work, Hubbard knew of one of Rank's publishers, William A. White, and there is evidence Hubbard was personally acquainted with White. In addition, Hubbard's own publisher had published a book acknowledging Rankian theory a year before Hubbard's first "mental science" book was released.

The existence of elementary basics of Hubbard's dianetic theories prior to the time Hubbard published them theoretically qualifies these basics as predecessor components of Hubbard's works. The availability to Hubbard in English of these elementary basics and his personal acquaintance with the publishers indicate a channel by which Hubbard had access to these theoretical predecessor components.

The existence of the theoretical components and a channel by which Hubbard had access to them is significant in at least two respects. One is that there is no evidence Hubbard was academically or professionally qualified to have independently formulated tenets equivalent to Rank's in parallel with Rank. Another is that Hubbard employed significant subterfuge in packaging and publicizing, under his own name, work similar to Rank's.

This conclusion can be used to form a working theory, or a baseline against which Hubbard's works may be evaluated, as follows: Hubbard used the work of Rank and/or other qualified professionals without proper acknowledgment. This was done in at least two ways. Using the similarities between Hubbard's and Rank's tenets as a baseline, Hubbard created a bridge to cultivate a belief in reincarnation. Just as telling are the above cited concept contrasts. Using these as a baseline, Hubbard altered existing psychotherapeutic theory to foster psychological dependence upon his own brand of psychotherapy.


1. Hubbard, L. Ron, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," 1950, The Church of Scientology of California, 1978 edition

2. Atack, Jon, "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed," 1990, Carol Publishing Group, pages noted below.

3. Haack, Friedrich-W., "Scientology - Magie des 20. Jahrhunderts" ("Scientology - Magic of the 20th Century,") Claudius Verlag Munich, 1982, 3rd edition 1995, pg. 65-69

4. Available from

5. Professional Auditor's Bulletin No. 123, "The Reality Scale," 1 November 1957 by L. Ron Hubbard

6. HCO Bulletin of 20 September 1968, "Glee" by L. Ron Hubbard

7. "The Creation of Human Ability", 1954, by L. Ron Hubbard, 1968 edition

8. Hubbard Association of Scientologists letter to associates, March 10, 1954, L. Ron Hubbard

9. Atack, Jon, "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed," 1990, Carol Publishing Group, p. 108.

10. "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed," pp. 108-9.

11. "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed," p. 110

12. Haack, cited above.


14. Scanned copy available from

15. Hubbard, L. Ron, "Science of Survival, Prediction of Human Behavior," (c) 1951, 1975 edition

16. "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed," p. 122

17. Miller, Russell, "Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard," 1987, Henry Holt and Company, p. 217

18. Ozarin, M.D., Lucy D., "History Notes: William A. White, M.D.: A distinguished Achiever," available from

19. "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed," pp. 109-110.

20. Hubbard, L. Ron, "Have You Lived Before This Life?" 1950, Church of Scientology of California, 1977 edition.

21. Example: this writer found a library date stamp of September 16, 1944 in a copy "Truth and Reality" by D. Otto Rank, 1936 by Alfred A. Knopf.

22. Professional Auditor's Bulletin No. 92, "A Critique of Psychoanalysis," 10 July 1956 by L. Ron Hubbard.

23. "Keeping Scientology Working," HCO Policy Letter of 7 February 1965 by L. Ron Hubbard

24. from the 1881 case of Anna O. published in 1895 in the Studien über Hysterie, cited from "The Trauma of Birth"

25. Rank, Otto, "The Trauma of Birth," 1993, Dover Publications, Inc., p 6.

26. "The Trauma of Birth," pp. 9-10.

27. Hubbard, L. Ron, "Have You Lived Before This Life?", cited above.

28. Miller, Russell and Atack, Jon cited above.

29. Carl, Leo D., "The CIA Insider's Dictionary of U.S. and Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Tradecraft" (Washington, D.C.: NIBC Press, 1996), p. 127, cited from "A Spy's Journey: A CIA Memoir," by Floyd L. Paseman, 2004, Zenith Press, p. 20.