There is one fellow who had the most remarkable ability to treat tuberculosis that anybody had ever heard of, and he was down there on the outskirts of Pasadena and he ran a hospital down there for many years. And he used to be harried and harassed by the medical profession to end all harassments, because he didn’t bother with X-rays and things like that. By laying his hands on a fellow’s chest, he could tell whether or not he had TB, and the American Medical Association had him up for charges for curing somebody or making somebody well and hurting their business, and so they brought something on the order of about a hundred and fifty TB, non-TB mixed onto a stage and just had him walk past this man, impossible clinical conditions you see, and just had him lay his hands on their chests and say whether they did or didn’t. And he called every one of them.
Nevertheless, he remained unpopular, but only with the medicos. People got well with, to treatment. Oh, he’d feed them things and he’d shoot air in their lungs and collapse their lungs and do things like this, he’d go through all the motions, but people got well because he expected them to. They simply got well for him, because he expected them to.
Now, that is an interesting actual, real life example of what I’m talking about of just one little ramification of this thing I’m talking about on positive postulates. It’s, his expectancies were positive. “There you are, yes, you came to see, yeah, you’re well, that’s it.” A most remarkable state of affairs. It upset all of the treatments and series and so forth of how you treat tuberculosis in all directions. But the funny part of it is, it didn’t work for everybody because I don’t think anybody understood the fact that somebody would do something simply because somebody expected him to.1; 2
- Hubbard, L. R. (1972, 3 March). Handling Personnel Part II. Establishment Officer Series (ESTO-6). Lecture conducted from TSMY Apollo. ↩
- The Heinlein archives contain correspondence between Dr. Pottenger and Robert Heinlein, including a mention of a discussion Heinlein and Hubbard had with Dr. Pottenger regarding a post-war proposition involving scientists. CORR220-2. Earlier, Dr. Pottenger had treated Heinlein for tuberculosis. He also treated Leslyn Heinlein. ↩