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Hubbard conducting Dianetics seminar in Los Angeles in 1950

Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices regarding the metaphysical relationship between the mind and body which was created by L. Ron Hubbard and is practiced by followers of Scientology and separate independent Dianeticist groups. Hubbard coined Dianetics from the Greek stems dia, meaning "through," and nous, meaning "mind". Dianetics has achieved no acceptance as a scientific theory, and is an example of a pseudoscience.[1][2]

Dianetics divides the mind into three parts: the conscious "analytical mind," the subconscious "reactive mind," and the somatic mind.[3] The goal of Dianetics is to remove the "reactive mind," which Scientologists believe prevents people from becoming more ethical, more aware, happier and saner. The Dianetics procedure to achieve this is called "auditing".[4] Auditing is a process whereby a series of questions are asked by the Scientology auditor, in an attempt to rid the audited person of the painful experiences of the past, which Scientologists believe to be the cause of the "reactive mind".

Scientologists believe that "the basic principle of existence is to survive," and that the motivation to survive is inhibited by aberrations "ranging from simple neuroses to different psychotic states to various kinds of sociopathic behavior patterns". Hubbard developed Dianetics, claiming that it could eradicate these aberrations.[5]

When Hubbard formulated Dianetics, he described it as "a mix of Western technology and Oriental philosophy".[6] He said that Dianetics "forms a bridge between" [13]

Dianetics predates Hubbard's classification of Scientology as "applied religious philosophy". Early in 1951, he expanded his writings to include teachings related to the soul, or "thetan". Dianetics is practiced by several independent Dianetics-only groups not connected with Scientology, and also Free Zone or Independent Scientologists. The Church of Scientology disapproves of independent Scientology activities and has prosecuted them in court for misappropriation of Scientology and Dianetics copyrights and trademarks.[14]


  • History 1
  • Basic concepts 2
  • Scientific evaluation and criticisms 3
  • Procedure in practice 4
  • Autocontrol 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


Hubbard always claimed that his ideas of Dianetics originated in the 1920s and 1930s. By his own account,[15] he spent a great deal of time in the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital's library, where he would have encountered the work of Freud and other psychoanalysts. In April 1950, Hubbard and several others established the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey to coordinate work related for the forthcoming publication. Hubbard first introduced Dianetics to the public in the article Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science published in the May 1950 issue of the magazine Astounding Science Fiction.[16] Hubbard wrote Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health at that time, allegedly completing the 180,000-word book in six weeks.[17]

The success of selling Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health brought in a flood of money, which Hubbard used to establish Dianetics foundations in six major American cities. The scientific and medical communities were far less enthusiastic about Dianetics, viewing it with bemusement, concern, or outright derision. Complaints were made against local Dianetics practitioners for allegedly practicing medicine without a license. This eventually prompted Dianetics advocates to disclaim any medicinal benefits in order to avoid regulation.

Hubbard explained the backlash as a response from various entities trying to co-opt Dianetics for their own use. Hubbard blamed the hostile press coverage in particular on a plot by the American Communist Party. In later years, Hubbard decided that the psychiatric profession was the origin of all of the criticism of Dianetics, as he believed it secretly controlled most of the world's governments.[18]

By the autumn of 1950, financial problems had developed, and by November 1950, the six foundations had spent around one million dollars and were more than $200,000 in debt.[19] Disagreements emerged over the direction of the Dianetic Foundation's work, and relations between the board members became strained, with several leaving, even to support causes critical of Dianetics. One example was Harvey Jackins, founder of Re-evaluation Counselling, originally a sort of discrete reworking of Dianetics, which L Ron Hubbard later declared suppressive to Scientology.

In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners instituted proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth for teaching medicine without a licence.[20] The Foundation closed its doors, causing the proceedings to be vacated, but its creditors began to demand settlement of its outstanding debts. Don Purcell, a millionaire Dianeticist from Wichita, Kansas, offered a brief respite from bankruptcy, but the Foundation's finances failed again in 1952.[21]

Because of a sale of assets resulting from the bankruptcy, Hubbard no longer owned the rights to the name "Dianetics",[21] but its philosophical framework still provided the seed for Scientology to grow. Scientologists refer to the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health as "Book One." In 1952, Hubbard published a new set of teachings as "Scientology, a religious philosophy." Scientology did not replace Dianetics but extended it to cover new areas: Where the goal of Dianetics is to rid the individual of his reactive mind engrams, the stated goal of Scientology is to rehabilitate the individual's spiritual nature so that he may reach his full potential.

In 1978, Hubbard released New Era Dianetics (NED), a revised version supposed to produce better results in a shorter period of time. The course consists of 11 rundowns and requires a specifically trained auditor.[22] It is run (processed) exactly like Standard Dianetics, widely practiced before the advent of NED, except the pre-clear (parishioner) is encouraged to find the "postulate" he made as a result of the incident.[23] ("Postulate" in Dianetics and Scientology has the meaning of "a conclusion, decision or resolution made by the individual himself; to conclude, decide or resolve a problem or to set a pattern for the future or to nullify a pattern of the past"[24] in contrast to its conventional meanings.)

In the Church of Scientology, OTs study several levels of New Era Dianetics for OTs before reaching the highest level.

Basic concepts

In the book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard describes techniques that he suggests can rid individuals of fears and psychosomatic illnesses. A basic idea in Dianetics is that the mind consists of two parts: the "analytical mind" and the "reactive mind." The "reactive mind", the mind which operates when a person is physically unconscious, acts as a record of shock, trauma, pain, and otherwise harmful memories. Experiences such as these, stored in the "reactive mind" are dubbed "engrams". Dianetics is a proposed method to erase these "engrams" in the "reactive mind" to achieve what is referred to in Scientology as a state of "Clear". A "Clear" is one who is thought to no longer possess his reactive mind.[6]

By his own admission, Hubbard made what he considered was one of the greatest mistakes of his life when he used the biological definition of engram as a "trace on a cell", which was not in line with the proper biological definition.[25]

Hubbard described Dianetics as "an organized science of thought built on definite axioms: statements of natural laws on the order of those of the physical sciences".[26] These Dianetic "axioms" can be found in Hubbard books such as Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics and Advanced Procedure and Axioms. Unlike conventional therapies, Hubbard said, Dianetics would work every time if applied properly and "will invariably cure all psychosomatic ills and human aberrations." In April 1950, before the public release of Dianetics, he wrote: "To date, over two hundred patients have been treated; of those two hundred, two hundred cures have been obtained."[27]

In Dianetics, the unconscious or reactive mind is described as a collection of "mental image pictures," which contain the recorded experience of past moments of unconsciousness, including all sensory perceptions and feelings involved, ranging from pre-natal experiences, infancy and childhood, even the traumatic feelings associated events from past lives and alien cultures. The type of mental image picture created during a period of unconsciousness involves the exact recording of a painful experience. Hubbard called this phenomenon an engram, and defined it as "a complete recording of a moment of unconsciousness containing physical pain or painful emotion and all perceptions."[28]

Hubbard proposed that, via pain, physical or mental traumas caused "aberrations" (deviations from rational thinking) in the mind, which produced adverse physical and emotional effects. The conscious or analytical mind, out of a desire for survival, would instinctively shut down during moments of stress. The memories recorded during this period would be stored as engrams in the unconscious or reactive mind. (In Hubbard's earliest publications on the subject, engrams were variously referred to as "Norns",[16] "Impediments," and "comanomes" before "engram" was adapted from its existing usage at the suggestion of Joseph Winter.)[29] Some commentators noted Dianetics' blend of science fiction and occult orientations at the time.[16]

Dianetics claims that these engrams are the cause of almost all psychological and physical problems. In addition to containing the experience of physical pain, engrams can also include words or phrases overheard by the patient while he was unconscious. For instance, Winter cites the example of a patient with a persistent headache supposedly tracing the problem to a doctor saying "Take him now" during the preclear's birth. (wordy/unclear) [30] Hubbard similarly claims that the cause of leukemia is traceable to "an engram containing the phrase 'It turns my blood to water.'"[31] While it is sometimes claimed that the Church of Scientology no longer stands by Hubbard's claims that Dianetics can treat physical conditions, it still publishes them: "... when the knee injuries of the past are located and discharged, the arthritis ceases, no other injury takes its place and the person is finished with arthritis of the knee."[32] "[The reactive mind] can give a man arthritis, bursitis, asthma, allergies, sinusitis, coronary trouble, high blood pressure ... And it is the only thing in the human being which can produce these effects ... Discharge the content of [the reactive mind] and the arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalog of ills goes away and stays away."[33]

Some of the psychometric ideas in Dianetics can be traced to Sigmund Freud, whom Hubbard credited as an inspiration and was said to have used as a source.[34] Freud had speculated 40 years previously that traumas with similar content join together in "chains," embedded in the unconscious mind, to cause irrational responses in the individual. Such a chain would be relieved by inducing the patient to remember the earliest trauma, "with an accompanying expression of emotion."[35][36]

According to Bent Corydon, Hubbard created the illusion that Dianetics was the first psychotherapy to address traumatic experiences in their own time, but others had done so as standard procedure.

One treatment method Hubbard drew from in developing Dianetics was experience, but also their reliving with appropriate emotional display and discharge of effect. This process is usually facilitated by the patient's gaining awareness of the causal relationship between the previously undischarged emotion and his symptoms."[37]

According to Hubbard, before Dianetics psychotherapists may have been able to deal with very light and superficial incidents (e.g. an incident that reminds you of a moment of loss), but with Dianetic therapy, the patient can actually erase moments of pain and unconsciousness. He emphasizes: "The discovery of the engram is entirely the property of Dianetics. Methods of its erasure are also owned entirely by Dianetics..."[38]

Whilst 1950’s style Dianetics could in some respects be considered similar to older therapies, after the release of New Era Dianetics in 1978 such claims become untenable. New Era Dianetics is only done using an E-Meter and is a rote procedure[39] for running chains of related traumatic incidents.[40]

Dianetics clarifies the understanding of psychosomatic illness in terms of predisposition, precipitation, and prolongation.

With the use of Dianetics techniques, Hubbard claimed, the reactive mind could be processed and all stored engrams could be refiled as experience. The central technique was "auditing," a two-person question-and-answer therapy designed to isolate and dissipate engrams (or "mental masses"). An auditor addresses questions to a subject, observes and records the subject's responses, and returns repeatedly to experiences or areas under discussion that appear painful until the troubling experience has been identified and confronted. Through repeated applications of this method, the reactive mind could be "cleared" of its content having outlived its usefulness in the process of evolution; a person who has completed this process would be "Clear".

The benefits of going Clear, according to Hubbard, were dramatic. A Clear would have no compulsions, repressions, psychoses or neuroses, and would enjoy a near-perfect memory as well as a rise in IQ of as much as 50 points. He also claimed that "the atheist is activated by engrams as thoroughly as the zealot".[41] He further claimed that widespread application of Dianetics would result in "A world without insanity, without criminals and without war."[42]

According to the Scientology journal The Auditor, the total number of "Clears" as of May 2006 stands at 50,311.[43]

Scientific evaluation and criticisms

Hubbard's original book on Dianetics attracted highly critical reviews from science and medical writers and organizations. The American Psychological Association passed a resolution in 1950 calling "attention to the fact that these claims are not supported by empirical evidence of the sort required for the establishment of scientific generalizations."[44][45] Subsequently, Dianetics has achieved no acceptance as a scientific theory and scientists cite Dianetics as an example of a pseudoscience.[1][2]

Few scientific investigations into the effectiveness of Dianetics have been published. Professor John A. Lee states in his 1970 evaluation of Dianetics:

Objective experimental verification of Hubbard's physiological and psychological doctrines is lacking. To date, no regular scientific agency has established the validity of his theories of prenatal perception and engrams, or cellular memory, or Dianetic reverie, or the effects of Scientology auditing routines. Existing knowledge contradicts Hubbard's theory of recording of perceptions during periods of unconsciousness.[46]

The MEDLINE database records two independent scientific studies on Dianetics, both conducted in the 1950s under the auspices of New York University. Harvey Jay Fischer tested Dianetics therapy against three claims made by proponents and found it does not effect any significant changes in intellectual functioning, mathematical ability, or the degree of personality conflicts;[47] Jack Fox tested Hubbard's thesis regarding recall of engrams, with the assistance of the Dianetic Research Foundation, and could not substantiate it.[48]

Hubbard claimed, in an interview with the

  • Official website of Dianetics

External links

  • Atack, Jon: A Piece of Blue Sky, Lyle Stuart, London, 1988
  • Benton, P; Ibanex, D.; Southon, G; Southon, P. Dianetic Processing: A Brief Survey of Research Projects and Preliminary Results, Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, 1951
  • Behard, Richard: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, [1]
  • Breuer J, Freud S, "Studies in Hysteria", Vol II of the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (Hogarth Press, London, 1955).
  • Carroll, Robert T: 'Dianetics', Skepdics Dictionary [2]
  • Fischer, Harvey Jay: "Dianetic therapy: an experimental evaluation. A statistical analysis of the effect of dianetic therapy as measured by group tests of intelligence, mathematics and personality. " Abstract of Ph.D. thesis, 1953, New York University
  • Fox, Jack et al.: An Experimental Investigation of Hubbard's Engram Hypothesis (Dianetics) in Psychological Newsletter, 1959, 10 131-134 [3]
  • Freeman, Lucy: "Psychologists act against Dianetics", New York Times, 9 September 1950
  • Gardner, Martin: Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, 1957, Chapter 22, "Dianetics"
  • Hayakawa, S. I.: "From Science-Fiction to Fiction-Science," in ETC: A Review of General Semantics, Vol. VIII, No. 4. Summer, 1951 [4]
  • Lee, John A.: Sectarian Healers and Hypnotherapy, 1970, Ontario
  • Miller, Russell: Bare-Faced Messiah, 1987
  • Miscavige, David: Speech to the International Association of Scientologists, 8 October 1993
  • O'Brien, Helen: Dianetics in Limbo. Whitmore, Philadelphia, 1966
  • Streissguth, Thomas: Charismatic Cult Leaders. The Oliver Press, Inc, 1995
  • van Vogt, A.E.: Dianetics and the Professions, 1953
  • Williamson, Jack: Wonder's Child: my life in science fiction. Bluejay Books, New York, 1984
  • Winter, J.A.: A Doctors Report on DIANETICS Theory and Therapy, 1951

Further reading

  1. ^ a b See e.g. Gardner, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science; Bauer, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method and Science Or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies; Corsini et al., The Dictionary of Psychology.
  2. ^ a b Ari Ben-Menahem (2009). "Demise of the Dogmatic Universe". Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 4301–4302.  
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Religious Freedom, Catharine Cookson, Taylor & Francis, 2003, ISBN 0-415-94181-4.(page 430/431)
  4. ^ Philosophers and Religious Leaders: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World, Christian D. Von Dehsen & Scott L. Harris, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999, ISBN 1-57356-152-5. (page 90).
  5. ^  
  6. ^ a b Lewis, James R. (1997). "Clearing the Planet: Utopian Idealism and the Church of Scientology". Syzygy, Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture 6 (1–2): 287.  
  7. ^ Hubbard, "Terra Incognita: The Mind," The Explorers Journal, winter 1949 / spring 1950 (on the bridge between cybernetics and general semantics)
  8. ^ M. Kendig, editor Alfred Korzybski: Collected Writings, 1920-1950, ch. 12, Institute of General Semantics, 1990 ISBN 0-910780-08-0. (Presented at the First American Congress for General Semantics, May 1935)
  9. ^ Klingbeil, José. "General Semantics vs. Scientology". Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Hayakawa, S. I. (1951). "Dianetics : From Science-fiction to Fiction-science". ETC: A Review of General Semantics 8:4: 280–293. 
  11. ^ "Of Two Minds".  
  12. ^ Sappell, Joel; Robert W. Welkos (1990-06-28). "Costly Strategy Continues to Turn Out Bestsellers Series: The Scientology story. Today: The Making of a Best-Selling Author. Fifth in a six-part series.". Los Angeles Times. 
  13. ^ "Psychiatry and Psychology in the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard". Journal of Religion and Health 46 (3): 437–44. Sep 2007.  
  14. ^ Kapalko, Jamie. "Copyright - or wrong?,, July 22, 1999". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  15. ^ Urban, Hugh B. "Fair Game: Secrecy, Security, and the Church of Scientology in Cold War America." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 74:2 (2006)
  16. ^ a b c "The Creation of 'Religious' Scientology". Religious Studies and Theology. Retrieved 2006-05-08.  Originally published by Stephen A. Kent in December, 1999.
  17. ^ "L.R.H. Biography," Sea Org Flag Information Letter 67, 31 October 1977
  18. ^ Hubbard, "Ron's Journal 67," taped message of 20 September 1969
  19. ^ Dianetics and the Professions, A.E. van Vogt, 1953
  20. ^ Bulletin of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, Elizabeth, NJ. January 1951
  21. ^ a b  
  22. ^ "New Era Dianetics Auditing". Retrieved 2006-10-05. 
  23. ^ L. Ron Hubbard New Era Dianetics Series 7RA, HCOB 28 June 1978RA revised 15 September 1978, Hubbard Communications Office (HCO).
  24. ^ "The Official Scientology and Dianetics Glossary". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  25. ^ Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin The Ways and Power of Love, pp. 186-187, Templeton Foundation Press, 2002 ISBN 978-1-890151-86-7; first edition 1954: Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism
  26. ^ Winter, J.A. Dianetics: A Doctor's Report, p. 18 (Julian Press, 1987 reprint)
  27. ^ Hubbard, "Dianetics". Astounding Science Fiction, May 1950.
  28. ^ Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health page 79 and Glossary
  29. ^  
  30. ^ Winter, Dianetics: A Doctor's Report, p. 165
  31. ^ Hubbard, A History of Man, p.20. American Saint Hill Organization, 1968
  32. ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. "The Discoveries of Dianetics". Retrieved 22 April 2006.
  33. ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. "What is the Reactive Mind?". Retrieved 28 April 2006.
  34. ^ Letter from John W. Campbell, cited in Winter, p. 3 - "His approach is, actually, based on some very early work of Freud"
  35. ^ Joseph Breuer and Sigmund Freud, "Studies in Hysteria", Vol II of the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Hogarth Press, London (1955).
  36. ^ L. Ron Hubbard A Critique of Psychoanalysis, PAB 92, 10 July 1956.
  37. ^ Bent Corydon L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman?, pp. 283-4, Barricade Books Inc., 1992 ISBN 0-942637-57-7
  38. ^ A Critique of Psychoanalysis, ibid. Pab 92
  39. ^ Hubbard, L Ron. "R3RA Commands". HCO Bulletin 28 June 1978RA. New Era Dianetics Series 7RA. 
  40. ^ Hubbard, L Ron. "Routine 3RA Engram Running by Chains". HCO Bulletin 26 June 1978RA Iss II. New Era Dianetics series 6RA. 
  41. ^ Hubbard, "Dianetics and Religion," Dianetic Auditor's Bulletin vol. 1 no. 4, October 1950
  42. ^ Hubbard, Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior p. 1, Bridge Publications, 1990 (reissue).
  43. ^ "The Auditor," The Monthly Journal of Scientology, published by the American Saint Hill Organization, 1413 L. Ron Hubbard Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027, Issue 330, May 2006, page 7.
  44. ^ "Psychologists Act Against Dianetics", New York Times, 9 September 1950
  45. ^ "Tests & Poison".  
  46. ^ Lee, John A. Sectarian Healers and Hypnotherapy, 1970, Ontario
  47. ^ Fischer, Harvey Jay. "Dianetic therapy: an experimental evaluation. A statistical analysis of the effect of dianetic therapy as measured by group tests of intelligence, mathematics and personality." Abstract of Ph.D. thesis, 1953, New York University (Excerpt)
  48. ^ Fox, J.; Davis, A.E.; Lebovits, B. "An experimental investigation of Hubbard's engram hypothesis (dianetics)". Psychological Newsletter, New York University. 10 1959, 131-134
  49. ^ "Psychologists Act Against Dianetics", New York Times, 9 September 1950
  50. ^ Benton, Peggy; Ibanex, Dalmyra.; Southon, Gordon; Southon, Peggy. Dianetic Processing: A Brief Survey of Research Projects and Preliminary Results, Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, 1951
  51. ^ a b "Departure in Dianetics".  
  52. ^ Winter, Dianetics: A Doctor's Report, p. 40
  53. ^ L. Ron Hubbard Dianetics: the Modernd Science of Mental Health, p. 204, Bridge Publications Inc., 2007 ISBN 978-1-4031-4484-3; 1st ed. 1950
  54. ^ Carroll, Robert T. "Dianetics", The Skeptic's Dictionary
  55. ^ Davis, W. Sumner. Just Smoke and Mirrors: Religion, Fear and Superstition in Our Modern World, Writers Club Press, 2001 (ISBN 0-595-26523-5)
  56. ^ This description is based on "The Dianetics Procedure - 10 Simple Steps"
  57. ^ Gardner, Martin. Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Dover, 1957
  58. ^ "Never believe a hypnotist - An investigation of L. Ron Hubbard's statements about hypnosis and its relationship to his Dianetics.", Jon Atack
  59. ^ "Psychologist says church appeared to use hypnosis", Irish Times, 13 March 2003
  60. ^ "The 'Scientology Organization' (SO) as of July 2003", chapter 2, Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz Baden-Wuerttemberg, 2003
  61. ^ "What is auditing?", Church of Scientology International
  62. ^ "Science of Survival", L. Ron Hubbard, p. 461 (2007 edition).
  63. ^ "A Very Brief Overview of Scientology", Richard E. Ofshe, Ph.D.
  64. ^ Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, ibid. p. 147
  65. ^ Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health -5oth anniversary edition- pp. 443-4.


See also

According to Hubbard, the majority of the people interested in the subject believed they could accomplish therapy alone. "It cannot be done" and he adds: "If a patient places himself in autohypnosis and regresses himself in an effort to reach illness or birth or prenatals, the only thing he will get is ill".[65]


Other critics and medical experts have suggested that Dianetic auditing is a form of hypnosis,[58][59][60] although the Church of Scientology has strongly denied that hypnosis forms any part of Dianetics.[61] To the contrary, L. Ron Hubbard expressly warns not to use any hypnosis or hypnosis-like methods, because a person under hypnosis would be receptive to suggestions. This would decrease his self-determinism instead of increasing it, which is one of the prime goals of Dianetics.[62] Winter [1950] comments that the leading nature of the questions asked of a pre-Clear "encourage fantasy", a common issue also encountered with hypnosis, which can be used to form false memories. The auditor is instructed not to make any assessment of a recalled memory's reality or accuracy, but instead to treat it as if it were objectively real. Professor Richard J. Ofshe, a leading expert on false memories, suggests that the feeling of well-being reported by pre-Clear at the end of an auditing session may be induced by post-hypnotic suggestion.[63] According to Hubbard: "Laughter is definitely the relief of painful emotion."[64]

The validity and practice of auditing have been questioned by a variety of non-Scientologist commentators. Commenting on the example cited by Winter, the science writer Martin Gardner asserts that "nothing could be clearer from the above dialogue than the fact that the dianetic explanation for the headache existed only in the mind of the therapist, and that it was with considerable difficulty that the patient was maneuvered into accepting it."[57]

According to Hubbard, auditing enables the pre-Clear to "contact" and "release" engrams stored in the reactive mind, relieving him of the physical and mental aberrations connected with them. The pre-Clear is asked to inspect and familiarize himself with the exact details of his own experience; the auditor may not tell him anything about his case or evaluate any of the information the pre-Clear finds.

Auditing sessions are kept confidential. This has come into question, though, that confidential information has been used to blackmail possible defectors (see Fair Game). A few transcripts of auditing sessions with confidential information removed have been published as demonstration examples. Some extracts can be found in Dr. J.A. Winter's book Dianetics: A Doctor's Report. Other, more comprehensive, transcripts of auditing sessions carried out by Hubbard himself can be found in volume 1 of the Research & Discovery Series (Bridge Publications, 1980). Examples of public group processing sessions can be found throughout the Congresses lecture series.

10. The auditor tells the pre-Clear to feel alert and return to full awareness of his surroundings: "When I count from five to one and snap my fingers you will feel alert. Five, four, three, two, one." (snaps fingers)
9. The auditor gives the pre-Clear the canceller word: "Very good. Cancelled."
8. The auditor checks to make sure that the pre-Clear feels himself to be in "present time", i.e., not still recalling a past incident.
7. The pre-Clear is then instructed to "return to present time".
6b. When the pre-Clear is cheerful about an incident, the auditor instructs the pre-Clear to locate another incident: "Let's find another incident that you feel you can comfortably face." The process outlined at steps 5 and 6a then repeats until the auditing session's time limit (usually two hours or so) is reached.
6a. The auditor instructs the pre-Clear to recall as much as possible of the incident, going over it several times "until the pre-Clear is cheerful about it".
5. The pre-Clear is invited by the auditor to "Go through the incident and say what is happening as you go along."
4. The auditor then asks the pre-Clear to locate an exact record of something that happened to the pre-Clear in his past: "Locate an incident that you feel you can comfortably face."
3. The auditor installs a "canceller", an instruction intended to absolutely cancel any form of positive suggestion that could accidentally occur. This is done by saying "In the future, when I utter the word 'cancelled,' everything I have said to you while you are in a therapy session will be cancelled and will have no force with you. Any suggestion I may have made to you will be without force when I say the word 'cancelled.' Do you understand?"
2. The pre-Clear is instructed to close his eyes for the session, entering a state of "dianetic reverie", signified by "a tremble of the lashes". During the session, the preclear remains in full possession of his will and retains full recall thereafter.
1. The auditor assures the pre-Clear that he will be fully aware of everything that happens during the session.

The auditor and pre-Clear sit down in chairs facing each other. The process then follows in eleven distinct steps:[56]

The procedure of Dianetics therapy (known as auditing) is a two-person activity. One person, the "auditor", guides the other person, the "pre-clear". The pre-Clear's job is to look at the mind and talk to the auditor. The auditor acknowledges what the pre-Clear says and controls the process so the pre-Clear may put his full attention on his work.

Scientologists promoting Dianetics at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Procedure in practice

Dianetics is nothing more than an example of pseudoscience trying to legitimize itself ... Hubbard, had he indeed been a scientist, would have known that truth is not built on axioms, and facts cannot be found from some a-priori knowledge. A true science is constructed on hypotheses, which are arrived at by the virtue of observed phenomena. Scientific knowledge is gained by observation and testing, not believing from some subconscious stipulation, as Hubbard would have us believe.[55]

W. Sumner Davis similarly comments that

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 speculation is appropriate in fiction, but not in science.[54]

Commentators from a variety of backgrounds have described Dianetics as an example of pseudoscience—that is, information presented as scientific that fails to meet the criteria for science. For example, philosophy professor Robert Carroll points to Dianetics' lack of empirical evidence:

The authors provide no qualifications, although they are described in Hubbard's book Science of Survival (where some results of the same study were reprinted) as psychotherapists. Critics of Dianetics are skeptical of this study, both because of the bias of the source and because the researchers appear to ascribe all physical benefits to Dianetics without considering possible outside factors; in other words, the report lacks any scientific controls. J.A. Winter, M.D., originally an associate of Hubbard and an early adopter of Dianetics, had by the end of 1950 cut his ties with Hubbard and written an account of his personal experiences with Dianetics. He described Hubbard as "absolutistic and authoritarian",[51] and criticized the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for failing to undertake "precise scientific research into the functioning of the mind".[52] He also recommended that auditing be done by experts only and that it was dangerous for laymen to audit each other.[51] Hubbard writes: "Again, Dianetics is not being released to a profession, for no profession could encompass it."[53]

[50] and "overt homosexuality," and that after Dianetic processing, test subjects experienced significantly increased scores on a standardized IQ test. The report's subjects are not identified by name, but one of them is clearly Hubbard himself ("Case 1080A, R. L.").colitis, arthritis, asthma, manic depression plates to support claims that Dianetics had cured "aberrations" including X-ray, a booklet providing the results of psychometric tests conducted on 88 people undergoing Dianetics therapy. It presents case histories and a number of Dianetic Processing: A Brief Survey of Research Projects and Preliminary Results published Elizabeth, NJ In January 1951, the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation of [49]

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