Dianetics

From Academic Kids

In Scientology, Dianetics is put forward as a methodology to alleviate unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses. It was developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, in the late 1940s.

After initially promoting the techniques as a system for curing some forms of mental and psychosomatic illness, Dianetics advocates later disclaimed any therapeutic benefits in order to avoid regulation.

According to Hubbard, the word Dianetics comes from the Greek dia, meaning "through" and nous, meaning "soul", and was defined by him as "what the soul is doing to the body."

Dianetics is controversial and generally accepted only by Scientologists, who for the most part consider Dianetic techniques to be obsolete.

Contents

Dianetics as a science

Dianetics presents itself as a systemic method of identifying the causes of and relieving many of an individual's mental, emotional or (psychosomatically) physical problems. Fundamental to the system is the concept of the engram, which is defined in Dianetics as "a moment of 'unconsciousness' containing physical pain or painful emotion and all perceptions." Engrams contain all of the experience of being unconscious but are not usually available to the conscious mind.

Some regard Dianetics as a pseudoscience, as it presents itself as a "scientific" system of knowledge, yet in their eyes fails to meet the requirements of the scientific method. All published scientific studies of specific assertions of Dianetics have shown them not to hold.

Hubbard in Dianetics states: "[Dianetics is] ... an organized science of thought built on definite axioms: statements of natural laws on the order of those of the physical sciences". Critics argue that the phrase 'definite axiom' expresses an oxymoron, and regardless, a science cannot depend on axioms, only on hypotheses based on experimental evidence.

Others have attempted to build a working therapeutic foundation on Dianetics. One example is Frank Gerbode's Traumatic Incident Reduction, which is a minor but accepted psychotherapy.

History

The Church of Scientology claims Hubbard's first manuscript on his study of the mind, Excalibur, was written in 1938, but never published.

He first mentioned the subject of the mind, referred to as "Terra Incognita" in a series of articles in Astounding Science Fiction magazine during the 1940s.

In 1948 Hubbard wrote a thesis later published as The Dynamics of Life that summarized his research and delineated the principles he discovered. He continued to further develop and test a new technology of the mind, which he called "Dianetics."

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health

Missing image
LRonHubbard-Dianetics-ISBN1403105464-cover.jpg
Current paperback cover of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The volcano on post-1968 editions of Dianetics is commonly conjectured to be a reference to the Xenu story.

Dianetics appeared as a complete system of published self-improvement techniques in the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (DMSMH ISBN 1403105464), a comprehensive work detailing Hubbard's discoveries and techniques. The book was officially published May 9, 1950 and became a nationwide best-seller. Due to the interest generated, a multitude of "Dianetics clubs" and similar organizations were formed for the purpose of applying Dianetics techniques to one another, a number of these original groups and organizations still exist today.

In the book, Hubbard covers his isolation of the dynamic principle of existence and provides his description of the human mind. He states the source of all human aberration is the reactive mind and its engrams. He then developed counseling (auditing) techniques for getting rid of engrams. This is still the technique used by Scientology-trained Dianetics counselors today.

L. Ron Hubbard stated:

Acknowledgment is made to fifty thousand years of thinking men without whose speculations and observations the creation and construction of Dianetics would not have been possible. Credit in particular is due to:
Anaxagoras, Thomas Paine, Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Ren Descartes, Plato, James Clerk Maxwell, Euclid, Charcot, Lucretius, Herbert Spencer, Roger Bacon, William James, Francis Bacon, Sigmund Freud, Isaac Newton, van Leeuwenhoek, Cmdr. Joseph Thompson (MC) USN, William A. White, Voltaire, Will Durant, Count Alfred Korzybski, and my instructors in atomic and molecular phenomena, mathematics and the humanities at George Washington University and at Princeton.

The volcano on post-1968 editions of Dianetics is commonly conjectured to be a reference to the Xenu story. According to Hubbard, "Man responds to an exploding volcano." ("Assists", lecture of 3 October 1968)

Reactions to DMSMH

Hubbard started to encounter criticism as well as legal action from the established mental health community, whom he had publicly attacked in his book. Coincident to this controversy followed and the validity of Dianetics was challenged.

The beginnings of Scientology

In 1951 other books by Hubbard followed, addressing the subject of Dianetics: Self Analysis, Science of Survival, Notes on the Lectures of L. Ron Hubbard, Advanced Procedure and Axioms and Child Dianetics, then in 1954, Dianetics 55! and in 1955 Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science was published.

Dianetics provided the seed from which the philosophical framework of Scientology grew. Scientologists refer to the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health as "Book One."

In 1952, based on past-life experiences that had come up in Dianetics auditing, Hubbard published a new set of teachings as "Scientology, a religious philosophy". The stated goal of Scientology is to fully rehabilitate the spiritual nature of an individual, including rehabilitating all abilities and realizing one's full potential, whereas, the goal of Dianetics is to rid the individual of his reactive mind and become "Clear".

("Clear" is defined by L. Ron Hubbard as a state wherein a person no longer has his own reactive mind and therefore suffers none of the ill effects the reactive mind can cause. It is also maintained that becoming Clear strengthens a person's native individuality and creativity and that a "Clear" [1] (http://www.neweradianetics.org.uk/page05.htm) is free with his emotions.)

Most Scientologists today regard the original Dianetics techniques as valid, and view Dianetics as an introduction to Scientology. As of 2001, the Church of Scientology continued to run television advertisements promoting Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Time Magazine, in 1991, reported that the Church asked its members to purchase large quantities of the DMSMH book with their own money, or with money supplied by the Church, for the sole purpose of keeping the book on the New York Times bestseller list.

External links

Official sources

Critical analysis

sv:Dianetik zh:通灵术

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