It is quite remarkable, the number of misconceptions which have existed concerning children – the child mind and child processing – and that is the first thing I’ll have to take up here. Those misconceptions are so considerable that they are woven into the woof and warp of everyone’s lives here in this nation. And they’re a pack of stinking lies! When you’re talking about children, you are not talking about everybody’s case. That is something psychoanalysis gave us. There is probably no slightest connection between your case and your childhood! It is just incidental that you were a child.
Now, that’s a sweeping statement, when you come to think about it, because the psychologist and the psychoanalysis people have, all of them, maintained that, “If you could just clear up childhood, you’d be all right.” Jerks! I say “the jerks” because they led ME astray and I don’t like people who fool me.
When I first started research and investigation into the field of the mind, my attitudes were a bit colored, I will inform you, by Freudian analysis which I knew very, very well. I had studied it, not suffered it. Also, I knew psychology, I knew what passed for child psychology. I used to sit over in the engineering school and some of my pals in the Columbian College would come over and they’d say, “Oh, my God, I can’t pass this examination or write this paper.” And I’d take their textbook on psychology and write the paper for them – they’d do my mathematics. Anyway, (laughter) children have less connection, and observation of children has less connection, with the field of the mind, if anything, than death. Death has a much more intimate connection than childhood, very much so. But more important than this… Oh, there’s only one thing that has even less connection, and that’s mice. Mice have practically NO connection with the field of the mind. I mean, you probably couldn’t get further from the point than to study mice. They got almost that far, though, by studying children. Now, here’s why the study of children has been such a booby trap to all of our thinkingnesses. This is, this is very important because it changes the whole basic concept, if you can see this, it changes, it will change your whole basic concept of values as to what behavior is. These characters, with a pince nez and a Van Dyke beard, back in the ’90s, who were adventuring to foist their opinions off in the guise of scientific fact, were actually basically working at what would turn out to be eventually the destruction of the people of Earth, because they insisted upon certain basic principles which were VERY very incorrect.
The first of these principles is this, and you can see what I’m talking about at once here, because here, here we have an idea that the CHILD is the primitive or native state of Man. You got that, now? You know, you’ve read that opinion around, haven’t you? In order to find out – I’ve even erred in this direction, just to show you how much you can color people’s opinions – in order to find out how an adult would act or how a primitive would act, or something or other, we compared it to childhood. Childhood was being used as the standard base for behavior. You see this now? We took a look at childhood and we said, “Now, that is a standard by which we can evaluate human behavior.” It’s just like taking an old piece of copper wire somebody found on a dump out here someplace, just at random, and saying, “This is a foot and everybody now will have to call this old wound up piece of wire one foot. That’s one foot, now.” Just a complete arbitrary run into the whole thing, because it isn’t even basically, it doesn’t even compare. There isn’t any such standard as “child behavior.” Child behavior is no more a standard than psychotic behavior is a standard for the basis of HUMAN behavior. Anybody who claims that child behavior progresses through a number of clear-cut stages, which are then comparable to every other child, DESERVES to be psychoanalyzed. (laughter)
This is quite peculiar, because it brings about this misconception in the social activities of Man. They say that a child is anti-social. He comes into the world aware only of himself, and progresses through various stages of awareness, until he gets to be a social character. And only the duress, and hammer and pound, punishment and so forth, makes this child a social character. Look! They’ve accepted “child behavior” as the standard as the middle, as the common denominator, as THE thing called human behavior, and it isn’t even vaguely resembling it. It doesn’t even resemble it, there’s no comparison. Don’t you see? They say that, “We have to take this person and lead him out into the world from this state of childhood, and if we didn’t do so-and-so with human beings, they would then act in their native state,” which is what? A child. Childhood is no more a native state for Man than mice. It is, in essence and actually, a very trying period of mental duress. And to tell everybody that this is the way everybody would be if they weren’t socially trained and so forth, is to tell everybody that they’re psychotic. And I wouldn’t say that this was the end goal of the people perpetuating this idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were, to tell everybody that their basic standard of conduct would be psychotic activity.1
- Hubbard, L. R. (1957, 7 July). Child Scientology. Freedom Congress, (FC-14). Lecture conducted from Washington, DC. ↩