As far as engrams are concerned, for a very, very short space of time it was found out that you could run engrams out of almost any case. And then we suddenly found out you had to run the earliest engram, and you had to do a lot of other things if you were going to run perceptics out of engrams.
This engram was just a moment of unconsciousness. Its existence was learned from soldiers who had been treated by psychiatrists. And these soldiers would often go into a base hospital, would be given drugs, and under drugs would be returned back to the moment of battle when they were injured. And the psychiatrist would go through it like this: he would say, “Go to the moment when you’re just charging the enemy. Now what are you thinking about? All right.
Now — yeah, the bullet hit you there. Well, we’ll just skip this next passage now, and we’ll pick it up when you wake up. Now, where are you waking up from this wound?”
What happened when he did that? That, by the way, is just fabulous that they could keep doing this with narcosynthesis and never see this point. Here he is going into battle, there he goes unconscious and here he wakes up in the base hospital. And what the psychiatrist had him run was that assuming that all of this is just a blank period and it has nothing in it.
Now, the facts of the matter are that the mind never stops recording. And I was led into this by finding out that a good percentage of the soldiers treated for battle neurosis by narcosynthesis — a good percentage of those treated — went mad in a very short space of time. They were made much worse; awful things happened to them after they had been treated by narcosynthesis. Why? Was it the drug? I tested people.
I shot them full of sodium pentothal and I ran them through locks and nothing happened, which left this only variable: the area of unconsciousness. So I began to explore areas of unconsciousness. The reason they had never been recovered before is because late areas of unconsciousness are tied down by earlier areas. Here is this battle damage: Well, let’s come way back down the track and we find a moment when he fell off his bicycle when he was a little boy. And now we find him falling off his bicycle and he remembers — he feels, he sees, he hears — everything that happened to him during this period, but actually he was unconscious. The mind never stops recording until it is dead — and of course the mind never dies.
The point here is that here was phenomena and this war the first big, major pioneer phenomena of Dianetics — that moments of unconsciousness actually are on full record; anything that happens to an individual is on record. Psychologists have tried to validate this — you see, it is easily validated in many ways — but they try to validate it wrong. They keep giving people narcosynthesis and running them into deep unconsciousness and then saying the alphabet to them, or something, backwards, and then trying to run them through this area after they wake up to recover the alphabet.1
- Hubbard, L. R. (1952, 25 February). Review of Progress of Dianetics and Dianetics Business. Summary Course, (5202C25A). Wichita, Kansas. ↩