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LIBERTY Magazine 1952 - Review of Dianetics

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I have concluded that Hubbard wrote Dianetics with a copy of William Sargant's book "Battle for the Mind" in his right hand says Arnie Lerma see article Scientology and Communism

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March 1951
by Frederick R Stearns

DIANETICS: If the present signs are not deceiving we are up against a new system of quackery of apparently considerable dimensions. L. Ron Hubbard has published a book: "Dianetics," The Modern Science of Mental Health (New York, Hermitage House, 1950) the release of which he has accompanied by an article in the "Astounding Science Fiction" magazine. Hubbard, indeed, claims to have found a panacea far all mental illness. On the first page of his book he states with the usual modesty of all pretenders of final medical wisdom that "the hidden source of all psychosomatic ills and human aberration has been discovered and skills have been developed for their invariable cure." It is in keeping with this assertion that Hubbard describes dianetics as an exact science. He differentiates between an analytical mind, a merely mechanical device, which cannot err if supplied with the correct data, and a reactive mind which is the source of deviating forces and which puts the mechanical mind out of order so that it produces morbid responses. Hubbard ceates the concept of the "Engram Bank" which means memory traces imprinted into the cell structure. These engrams are essentially the cause of all mental disturbances as they are characteristic of the reactive mind and as they are responsible for the wrong data fed to the analytical mind. The therapeutical method of dianetics consists of tracing the devilish circuits of the engrams and of invali- dating them by reproduction and ventilation. This technique, within a relatively short time and with absolute certainty, accomplishes the "clearing" of the mind, and the mental patient is cured.

Any reader will see that Hubbard's "Dianetics" is nothing but a rumination of old psychological concepts, popularized and oversimplified, therefore, misunderstood and misinterpreted and at the same time adorned with the halo of the phi- losopher's stone and of an universal remedy. . No wonder that "the mathema- tician and theoretical philosopher" Hubbard has gathered around him already a. multitude of active and passive followers. His averment that the technique of dianetic therapy is simple and can be applied to each other by any two reasonably intelligent people after a brief study of his book, has of course yielded a big crop of dianetic healers, credulous or otherwise, and the harvest in monetary and sectarian returns is already in proportion with the amount of unimproved assertions and uncritical pledges, as brought forth in this "Modern Science of Menial Health." The danger of these pseudo-scientific movements and their unchecked promotion of "treatment" of sick people is obvious. Some so-called testimonials, as they are presented by dianetic healers, are obtained by all "healers," as a temporary improvement of symptoms by sugges- tion; this is as old as Methuselah. It always has been the trick of all omniscient medical outsiders to minimize the steady labor of scientific, particularly medical, research and to come to the fore with solutions of Aladdin's magic lamp. They are fairy tales, of course, but perilous ones as they gamble with human health. The patient pays the price.