I’ve been working on the first in a series of new books. The book I’m working on currently would seem at first glance to be well off the beaten track of Dianetics. I am writing a basic manual of civil defense.I happened to take a look at the federal government (there is a government, I want to assure you of that), and I saw the lack of an effective civil-defense program.
This new manual on civil defense is based on training which I had as a civil-affairs officer. There are probably about ten thousand civil-affairs officers in the United States who were trained to handle civilian populaces in war-torn areas. The military found out that it was uneconomical to neglect, overrun and butcher civilian populaces; they found out that it impeded military operations.
The thing to do, then, was to get a civilian populace into some kind of semblance of order so it would stay out of the road of the military. Furthermore, the government found out that every time they tried to do anything for a civilian populace via the military, such as sending a company of soldiers into a town to govern it, everything blew up, and then the military really had trouble.
So they trained up officers that they called civil-affairs officers. Anybody who had experience with Asia was welcome as the flowers of spring up at Princeton where they were being trained, so they pulled me out of the Pacific and I went to Princeton in the last few months of the war. 1 What they were teaching was a tremendous amount of disaster relief.
Now, the federal government has done a halfway job of putting together (let’s be charitable) a civil-defense program; it is a magnificent job of long paragraphs which mean absolutely nothing. There is a total lack of realism compared to what is actually known about disaster relief.
For instance, I was with the American Red Cross in 1934 after a Puerto Rican hurricane. If any one of the civil-defense organizations which the federal government now has planned went up against anything as mild as that Puerto Rican hurricane, they would flop. And here they are planning for the sudden onslaught of the majority of our cities lying waste in rubble with half our populace dead, or something like that, and they are planning for it something like a fireman’s outing.
I looked this over and I said, “Why haven’t they asked some of the old civil-defense boys about this–people who were accustomed to the idea of a populace being smashed flat and who go in and do what they can for it?” They need to get it off this basis of a bombed area in a little, tiny, precise point in the city, where the rest of the city is all well organized with people equipped with brassards and helmets who will go in and put the ruins back together again and make sure that the injured are helped. That is not what is going to happen to America.
For every person killed in the immediate impact of a disaster, 2.8 people die after the disaster from starvation, lack of water, disease and injury not caused by the impact of disaster. No provision has been made in civil defense for the United States for the 2.8; all the provision is being made really for those injured in the first impact. So I glanced around and talked to a few friends of mine in civil affairs, and I went around and talked to civil defense people, and all of a sudden I saw how we in Dianetics fit in rather well with all this.
The manual actually has to be nothing more than a boil-down of the Princeton University curriculum of how to handle disaster.2 That is about all it is, and it is aligned with and adapted to the statements which have been put out by the Civil Defense Planning Bureau in Washington. It is just a resynthesis of known techniques; it really does not have a thing to do with Dianetics. But the back page carries an absolute must in terms of a bibliography–the library which a civil-defense officer should have: a good home formulary, of course, and a good First-aid manual for handling the aches and pains of people, and naturally Dianetics in order to handle their mass hysteria3 and so forth.
That is the first book of the series. The next one is concerned with something everybody is worried about–bacteriological warfare. Bacteriological warfare isn’t very tough; that was in civil affairs too. So we just take the old civil-affairs textbooks and shuffle them like a deck of cards, put them back together again and issue a second little book that has to do with bacteriological warfare. Mind you, none of these books are being issued by the federal government; it is time somebody did something about it, so the Foundation had better do it.
Now, on bacteriological warfare, we come to the conclusion that the necessary step to take in order to combat a bacteriological war is to clean up all the bacteria and disease out of the country first–get the country all set and ready to go and in perfect physical condition. Then you have a good chance of fighting bacteriological warfare.
Actually, bacteriological warfare following in the wake of a battle consists of typhus, tetanus, smallpox, measles–all of these various things, really, are what are going to take the toll. It does not matter what kind of bug gets sent into America. If the sewer systems and the medical lines and transport lines get disrupted, that alone is going to be a very bad thing just from the standpoint of diseases with which we are very familiar. So, you just spark up the idea that the best thing to do is to clean up the country.
The third book is on the subject of security. What about the security of the country? All of a sudden you don’t have as many prisons as you had before and you don’t have the facilities with which to care for the insane and so on. A would-be dictator has to have criminals. He has to have them; they form up the rank and file of every intelligence organization. Criminals– people well below 2.0 chronically and nearly spun-in–are the tools of every subversive group.
Somebody had better do something about that before the atom bombs hit. You don’t want these people running all around loose through a disrupted society, so you have got to do something about them.
Now, it just so happens there is a technique of doing something about them. So we start curving very definitely in to the fourth book, called “An Introduction to Dianetics,” a very simple little book on the level of bluebirds and happiness4 that says “This is how you do it.” I am trying to develop a technique now which I want to test with some five- and ten-year-old kids to see whether they can use it. I am going to develop it gradually until I get a technique by which a person can be made to feel better without the person who is running it having to know much about Dianetics. Of course he wouldn’t be able to produce very much either, but he would get an effect.
If that technique can be put out as an introduction to Dianetics–a very mild little thing but still startling–we might get a very broad public response. The fifth book of the series is the hard cover book on Group Dianetics. The first four are all leading up to that. All of this is very much on the same subject. The whole thing is trying to alert mankind to an idea that he had better start attacking the things suppressing him. It doesn’t matter much what they are.You broaden the concept of civil defense from the idea of people getting busy as soon as Russia atom-bombs certain American cities to the idea that civil defense is an actual integral part of government and that its job is promoting the survival of the people. I think a ball can be started rolling in that direction.5
- See Hubbard’s memo: Subject: School Of Military Government – Request For Appointment To (September 9, 1944); Reply ↩
- See OCMB: Hubbard and Heinlein. ↩
- See also: All About Radiation re hysteria. ↩
- Cf. Hubbard’s The Way to Happiness booklet; The Happiness Angle. ↩
- Hubbard, L. R. (1951-06-27). Civil Defense. First Annual Conference of Dianetic Auditors, (5106C27A). Wichita, Kansas. ↩