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TUCoPS :: Wetware Hacking :: Others :: dian.txt

Dianetics - foreplay to the Scientology mind-fuck




From lancer@no-spam.com Wed Feb 27 10:04:22 2002
Newsgroups: alt.support.depression,alt.support.depression.medication,alt.religion.scientology
Subject: DIANETICS - foreplay to Scientology mind-fuck
From: Lancer <lancer@no-spam.com>
Date: 27 Feb 2002 18:04:22 -0000

Dianetics
http://skepdic.com/dianetic.html

"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 "...an 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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