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I figured out all these various things, and I was sitting there in the chair and I said to myself, “I’d certainly like to be able—with the enthusiasm that I had when I was about sixteen—to go in and sit down to that typewriter and make that keyboard jump and the paper fly and have blood and sand and nostalgia and everything all over the place here in just no time. Boy, that would really be terrific. I sure got a bang out of it once.”
And then I thought of this terrific and awful task of going back and processing out all of these enforced communication lines. There were hundreds and hundreds of times when I had to write—didn’t want to and didn’t care to, but had to. And I thought, “Gee, that’s really tough. It’s certainly going to take me just hundreds of hours of processing to get all that stuff.”
Then I thought to myself, “Wait a minute! There’s something here that doesn’t meet the eye. Did you ever consent to this?”
“No, I’d never consent to anything like this.”
“Did you ever consent to be hagridden on the subject of writing?”
I suddenly remembered living on a farm. My first wife was a dear girl from Warrenton, Virginia.1 She was a socialite and she — loved horses. And we maintained a very nice farm with white horse-fences (and a debit in my bank account continually).
I would be working till about three o’clock in the morning just like a dog and I would come down about noon after working all night. (If I got up in the morning everybody would be yammering and quarreling.) And the farmer and hired hands, sitting down around the kitchen, would say, “Well, good afternoon.”
And I would sort of growl back.2
Another one would say, “You know, I’ve been up since five o’clock.”
One morning I was up at five o’clock and I looked out to see what these men did. The farmer was up at five o’clock all right but at five-thirty, after having had a cup of coffee, he was sitting out on the back fence chewing a straw—and he was still sitting there at nine. But he had sure been up early.
Nobody would believe that I was working. Nobody believed I worked hard. Another thing that they started to do to me was say, “Well, you don’t do much work. Why can’t you take a little run down to Poolsville, Bellsville, Warrenton, Richmond? There’s a nice cocktail party going over at the Hunt Club tonight. Don’t see why we can’t go over,” and that sort of thing.3
And I would say, “I have to work.” I didn’t want to do this.
Ten minutes later I ran this concatenation of the times I had consented to believe, by telling somebody else, how hard-worked I was on the subject of writing. I didn’t really, until afterwards, connect these two acts—I was too engrossed, ten minutes afterwards, in the fact that I had to get out “Black Dianetics.”2
I got up out of the chair and I went in the other room and threw the typewriter cover off and put some paper in, and I sat down and wrote four thousand words on the subject of Black Dianetics, tracing the use of phenomena for the enslavement of mankind forward from early Chaldea. I read this stuff and it was real drama. I haven’t written anything like it for years!
- Wikipedia: Margaret “Polly” Grubb. ↩
- From Hubbard’s Admissions: “The purpose of this experiment is to re-establish the ambition, willpower, desire to survive, the talent and confidence of myself. To accomplish the above the following fears must be removed
Fear that I have written myself out by writing junk. I built certain psychoses in myself while living with my former wife as a means to protect my writing. I affirmed that my writing was hard work and took much labor. This was a lie. I was always anxious about people’s opinion of me and was afraid I would bore them. This injected anxiety and careless speed into my work. I must be convinced that I can write skillfully and well, that I have no phobias about writing and no fears of it. People criticized my work bitterly at times. I must be convinced that such people were fools. I must be convinced that I can write far better than ever before, that a million people at leastwould be happy to see my stories. I must be convinced that I have succeeded in writing and with ease will regain my popularity, which actually was not small. I must also be convinced that I dictate stories to a dictaphone with ease. The Admissions.” ↩
- Given that this incident happened in Maryland or perhaps Virginia, Hubbard’s research into Black Dianetics predates the writing of Excalibur by several years. Hubbard and Polly arrived in Bremerton Washington in January 1936. Excalibur was written in 1938. (Ref. Barefaced Messiah). ↩