In this 1962 lecture, Hubbard mentions one of his archenemies, Sprague de Camp as an example of someone who develops a psychosomatic reaction to a “wrong item” concerning some aspect of his case. Apparently de Camp was allergic to cats, which Hubbard found amusing and found satisfaction in using against him.
All of a sudden I hit this level on the Prehav Scale1, Pull. It had absolutely nothing to do with the pc2, had nothing to do with the case. And the pc’s first reaction was that it had nothing to do with the case. I saw that it could have nothing to do with the case, so I just left it in to find out what the hell’s going to happen.
It stayed with us, man! I even let the pc get off of it a little bit. You know, get off a little bit about it. Still with us! We’d of-would have wound up a Prehav assessment with the level Pull, which had nothing to do with anything!
You see why? Because as I went back, the pc says, “You know, that hasn’t got,” to self, see, says, “that hasn’t got anything to do with anything! Nothing to do with anything in the session. This one is totally extraneous.” Makes a big comment on it, protests it. Auditor, by reading it the next time, asserts it. Pc protests it-we get a lovely read. Do you see that? And that, amongst other things, was why the tone arm now really started to go up to 6.0 and 7.0 and get dirty needles and everything else. See that? So it became very difficult. Everything became very difficult.
All right. That’s just one phenomena. That’s the wrong item in. There’s another phenomenon-much more gruesome. You’re going down this list and it’s “Tiger. Waterbuck. Catfish.” See?3 And you get “Tiger” and it’s in; “Waterbuck,” it’s in; “Catfish,” it’s in; “Wolverine,” it’s in; “Polar bear,” it’s in; “Deer,” it’s in; “Stag,” it’s in; “Mouse,” it’s in. You say, “Dog,” it’s in; “Cat” it’s in. Everything’s in.
Or we’re-go down the list-we go down the list-we know very well this pc is allergic to cats. Every time a eat walks in the room, pc gets a black eye. We happen to know this out of the case history, see.
That, by the way, is old L. Sprague de Camp-one of my archenemies as a writer. I always thought that was very amusing, always offering to give him kittens. Even occasionally take one to a party and give it to him. He’d get two black eyes, just like that-bang!-the second he saw a cat. Most satisfactory result, you know, I’ve seen. And the only reason I got any satisfaction out of it is he used to criticize my stories to my editors-mostly because they wouldn’t buy his.4 Yeah, he had a couple of weak points. That was one of them. Anyhow …5
- Hitting a level on a Prehav Scale: Discussing a type of auditing in which the auditor uses the E-Meter to test a series of cookie-cutter abstractions known as the Prehav or Prehavingness Scale. Hubbard published several Prehav Scales, see Scientology 0-8. ↩
- pc: Preclear. Person receiving auditing on the way to Clear on Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom.” ↩
- Hubbard’s “Tiger. Waterbuck. Catfish” is an imaginery list of abstractions being tested for emotional charge on the E-Meter. ↩
- According to Wikipedia, De Camp enjoyed debunking doubtful history and pseudoscientific claims of the supernatural. ↩
- Hubbard, L. R. (1962, 30 October). Prehav Scales and Lists. Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, (SHSBC233, 6210C30A). Lecture conducted from East Grinstead, Sussex. ↩