October 30, 1953
Re: L. Ron Hubbard
Dianetics or Scientology
This is an attempt in a factual way to bring you up to date on the subjects of our bulletins dated March 1, 1952 and its supplement dated May 280 1952, which were sent to all Bureaus. (We have a few extra copies of each.)
Use Pages, 2 and 3 of March 1, 1952 for background material, including description of dianetics taken from Hubbard.
The Original Hubbard Dianetics Foundation Inc., a Kansas corporation, of which Hubbard was a principal, is completely washed up through bankruptcy.
Its assets were acquired through the trustee by another corporation headed by Don Purcell, a Wichita business man of good repute as to business integrity. It now operates along lines described on pages 2 and 3 above, giving “treatments” and training “auditors”.
Public inquiry regarding dianetics in Wichita should he answered according to the above) keeping in mind the fact that Hubbard is not connected with this foundation, and that this is simply one of the numerous institutions of the kind (see below).
Hubbard College did not really get into operation before it was sold to a woman promoter who, for your information only has since been returned to a state institution for the insane.
Wichita Bureau has no information as to the whereabouts or activities of Hubbard. In December, 1952 he was reported in Philadelphia, Where newspapers carried a story as to how two deputy U. S. marshals in attempting to serve a summons on Hubbard in a bankruptcy case, presumably of the original Hubbard Dianetics Foundation in New York and New Jersey, were beaten up.
It should be kept in mind in dealing with this subject that although Hubbard was the founder of so-called dianetics and is usually given a build-up in any publicity, there are now a number of practitioners throughout the country who may once have had some connection with Hubbard or may stem from some of the other set-ups that have since sprung into existence. Whether or not such operators have the sanction of Hubbard does not seem to us to be important, for obvious reasons.
Names of practitioners given us some time ago include the following:
Doris Graffam, 2 West Oaks, South Drive, Houston, Texas.
Idella Stone, Hubbard Dianetic Service Center, 2663 E, Foothill Blvd., Pasadena 8, Calif.;
Hubbard Dianetic Center, A. E. Van Vogt, 7175 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.
Dianetics Center of Seattle, 202 Columbia Bldg., 1516 2nd St., Seattle.
House of Shebron, Inc., 111 S. 16th Ave., Nampa, Idaho.
Minneapolis Dianetics Inc:, 2449 Humboldt Ave. S. Minneapolis, Minn.
Dianetics Twin Cities Inc., 800 Washington Ave. S. E. Minneapolis 14, Minn.
We were also given the names of the following as being interested in or favorable to dianetics:
Dr. E. E. Rogers, M. D. 2381 W. 10th, Vancouver, B. C.
John W. Campbell, Ph.D., nuclear physicist, Orchard Rd. Mountain Side, N.J.
Page 2 — Better Business Bureau Inc., Wichita, Kansas 10-30-53
Mrs. Nan McCurdy, Ph D. (husband is M.D.) 122 Ninorca, Coral Gables; Fla.
Dr. Gordon Beckstead (M.D.?) Phys. & Surgeons Bldg., Phoenix, Ariz.
Dr. Paul Gleason, M.D., Chief of Staff, Salem General Hosp., Lectonia, Ohio
None of the above have been contacted or verified by this Bureau.
Spokane BBB identifies an “Institute of Scientology” or “College of Dianetics” in that city, and refers to similar outfit in Seattle, probably the one referred to above, and has been told that there are several in Portland.
Spokane’s informant referred to the use and sale of a device he called Mathison Quiz Meter, and also referred to it as an “Electropsychometer.” Time Magazine in December 1952, carried an article about Hubbard and his “new science of mental therapy called scientology” with a picture of Hubbard working on one of his “patients” with a device that he called “electropsychometer.” The picture is said to resemble a device he used in Wichita in pre-bankruptcy days when he called it an “electrodynameter.” It is supposed to locate disturbing incidents that occurred in a person!s past, which is the basis of his treatment as described in our bulletin of March 1, 1952.
Personally speaking: Returning to our office after an absence of about two months we are “moved” to get out this bulletin instead of devoting the time to trying to clear up our desk, by receipt of copies of some inter-Bureau correspondence on the subject, reminding us that quite some time ago we had covenanted with ourself that we would try to bring this thing up to date on as nearly a factual basis as possible for us to do.
Particularly “moving” are the statements made to the Spokane Bureau by the secretary-treasurer of the Spokane Institute of Scientology, especially about Hubbard, which we feel have very little foundation in fact.
However, in our opinion dianetics or scientology or whatever they may call it next, is a subject that Bureaus will be asked about in increasing volume, probably far exceeding that regarding the now deceased “Archbishop of Moscow”, and there will be, according to our experience already, this difference in the quality of the inquirers:
The folks who ask you about dianetics will be mostly in a higher bracket mentally — college or partially college-trained, business and professional people who are frustrated and confused — as who isn’t! It is quite probable that it will be played up extensively as a treatment for alcoholism, and of course there is always the possibility that it will get a big play in connection with all sorts of mental diseases, including insanity. We call your particular attention to the statement of Hubbard (in our first bulletin) that “we (dianetics) are out to replace medicine in three years.” Hubbard’s misadventures financially have doubtless slowed his progress personally, but the idea seems to be gaining.
In view of these possible developments it seems important that Bureaus be in a position to deal with the subject factually, and we hope that the three bulletins we have issued, with those from other Bureaus, will provide a start in that direction. As of now, our policy in handling public inquiries on the subject sums up about like this:
(a) We are not in a position, and do not conceive it to be our proper function as a Better Business Bureau to attempt to evaluate the claims made by and for dianetics; (b) in an age when the Buck Rogers of today is the Thomas A. Edison of tomorrow, we wouldn’t want to close our mind on any possibility; and (c) give the inquirer the facts as nearly as they can be established and let that be the limit of our activity on the subject.
View online: archive.org
View online: archive.org