Dear Readers : I would like to express my deep appreciation for the magnificent response given to the article: “Dianetics: The Evolution Of A Science.”
Over two thousand letters arrived in the offices of this n1agazine and Hermitage House in New York, the publishers of the handbook. As the letters are still arriving, as this is written, at the rate of more than two hundred per day, I cannot say with accuracy what the total response will be. Less than fifteen of these letters were adversely critical and only three were thoroughly “agin” dianetics; in that one of the three was from a young gentleman who was on the verge of receiving his master’s degree in psychology, the bitterness of the letter is easy to understand and one is rather moved to feel sympathy with the writer. A score of two thousand in favor to three against rather tends to swallow up the opposition and to carry out a principle I have often noted, that the wild protests against dianetics forecast by some of its supporters fails to materialize as soon as an accurate knowledge of it is communicated.
The publication of the article seems to have saved several lives. And it has gained very considerable report for the new science. Over fifty medical doctors and psychiatrists wrote letters couched in terms of high approval. Not one single individual whose profession was intimately connected with mental work and who was experienced with it found fault with dianetics; indeed, it seems that those who best understand through professional work the problems of the mind are those who most readily grasp and accept dianetics. The role call of professionals intensely interested in dianetics now contains some of the most prominent authorities on the mind in the United States. The enthusiasm of response has been most gratifying. Dianetics seems to have taken off like several V -2 rockets in a bundle but, we hope, with a more constructive purpose.
It would be quite beyond me as a matter of sheer labor to answer the many queries on specific points which were contained in some of the letters. No point advanced in any of these letters is not covered in the handbook. The article was, of necessity, brief and sketchy in spots. In the 180,000 words of the handbook adequate coverage is given to all points. Of course some of the letters were answered because they had an emergency status. Example : I am contemplating suicide, can dianetics help me? Example: I have for some time considered the commission of a murder, what can dianetics do for me that will make it unnecessary? Example: my baby is about to be born, what can I do to make the birth easier? Dianetics can help in each case, certainly.
One reader commented that while the article changed things for him radically, buses still ran and Time had not mentioned it. Actually Time will shortly devote space to dianetics as has Pathfinder. This magazine, Astounding SCIENCE FICTION, got what the newspapermen call a “beat.” Few national publications, in the next few months, will not carry stories oil dianetics, space having been arranged for by them in the past two months. No national publicity beyond a science item in Pathfinder and the article in Astounding has been released as of this writing.
Several readers seemed to be interested in how dianetics stood in relationship to God and the Infinite Mind. Some assumed that it proved Man’s spirituality, some assumed that it disproved it. Dianetics is in the same position as physics in relation to God and the Infinite Mind. While it may make a clear view of this problem possible, it does not in any way pretend to either deny a man a soul or to endow him with one. Whatever my personal opinions are on this matter have no place in dianetics for dianetics does not depend upon opinion, neither mine nor the opinion of some authority on religion or mysticism. Dianetics is constructed to be used and to be used by anyone in any frame of reference. It should not become a bone of contention as to what it proves or disproves in fields which it is not trying to enter.
A general query contained both in the letters and conversations I have had lately with various readers of this magazine, has to do with how one overcomes opposition to dianetics on the part of one’s friends. Evidently many individuals have attempted to communicate dianetics to others who, knowing nothing about it, have simply refused to receive any knowledge of it, primarily on the grounds that the problem of the human mind is terribly complicated and cannot be solved and that, therefore, it is of no use to listen to any possible solution.
Apropos of this matter, let us take the case of a writer for this magazine who, ten months ago, elected himself a violent opponent of dianetics. No release of its tenets had been made and he knew nothing whatever about it. But he was opposed to it. Four months later he engaged in violent argument with a medical doctor who was supporting dianetics. Four months after that he was savage in his denouncement of dianetics, but in mid-flight the isolated datum came home to him that a ringing in the ears was a psycho-somatic condition. Immediately he stopped resistance long enough to ask what would cause the three-thousand cycle note. He was told that it was possibly a quinine abortion attempt with his mother saying “It just won’t stop. My ears go on ringing and ringing and ringing until I’m almost crazy.” A few hours after that he was on the phone begging for some data about dianetic therapy. In short, opposition generally comes from a complete ignorance of the subject and an unwillingness to inspect it.
Further, opposition to dianetics breaks down instantly when the opposer realizes that he himself, personally, has a stake in it. After that the opposition vanishes. Some of the auditors here have developed a method of “selling dianetics” which they term “showing yard goods.” They do not try to sell it at all but if a person is interested they will answer his questions. Dianetics actually doesn’t have to be sold. The psychology professor who was reported by one reader to have used his entire hour in scathing denunciation of that “trash” knew nothing about dianetics, had made no tests, had read no data or axioms and was generally uninformed about the subject. If that professor were to qualify as a scientist, he would have to lay aside such extreme emotionalism, for science is a matter of facts, not of opinions. The reader reporting it, evidently one of the students, was rendered extremely curious as to just what direction that professor’s aberrations were taking him. Nevertheless, if the man were to be given data on dianetics and persuaded into a cool survey of them, it is certain that his attitude would alter for dianetics shapes up in the form of laboratory tests as prettily as you please and is, indeed, the experimental system the psychologist needed in order to qualify himself as an exact scientist and to render him immune from the brick-bats which are continually being pitched at him by the physical scientist; dianetics places the psychologist in a very firm position for he can prove that what he is working upon has great value and as, additionally, precision in its results. Using dianetics, the psychologist is safe from such a bombast as he was given in the recent book, “Science Is A Sacred Cow.” Dianetics is on his side.
If he or anyone else wants to attack it, that’s a God-given right; if anyone wants to use it or needs it, he will see it. Almost all opposition to dianetics comes from ignorance of it and folds up-except when one is dealing with a truly moronic mind or a psychotic -the moment the details and evidences of the science are surveyed. It is to be remembered, too, that many individuals have a stake in past methods and theories relating to the mind and that such individuals see in dianetics an economic threat or a threat to personal prestige. One must be able to appreciate and understand this. Usually the size of the stake and the damage dianetics will do to somebody’s pay check are both fantasies. Personally I have met very few such people but when I have in a few days or a few months they have responded favorably. Remember that some minds are not as swift in grasping things as others, and that some minds are so engrossed in personal prestige and economics that they do not see benefit in anything which will not serve these fixations.
The very best method of convincing anyone about dianetics is to let him ease down his own time track and discover a few things. In other words, give him what we call a “short run” in therapy. It can’t hurt him. It usually predisposes him to a pleased wonder about this new horizon and even enthusiastic participation in dianetics. Above all, don’t worry about whether people accept dianetics or not. A majority opinion does not necessarily establish the truth of anything; for instance, the fact that the enlightened of Shakespeare’s time may have believed in ghosts did not prove that ghosts existed. Individual opinion is valid only after observation of something. If a man won’t observe, forget him.
A strange thing is happening and will continue to happen. There is a direct ratio between the brilliance of a mind and its ability to understand and work dianetics we have proven that continually; a person highly successful, for instance, in the field of psychoanalysis can be counted upon to grasp dianetics; quickly — the second rater, whose practice is unsuccessful, whose security is already small, may have difficulty in understanding dianetics and even be savage about it. Out of this comes whatever we do or might wish to do to prevent it, an aristocracy of the mind. People who are bright and have a high dynamic, understanding and undergoing “clearing,” will become brighter and will have a higher dynamic. There will be many of these. But they will have to carry, on their own energy, so to speak, those that they wish to benefit. Below this will be the persons whose insanity or criminality has made them a menace to society and who will be given a release in dianetics at state cost and those persons who have money enough to buy a release or a clear — expensive when not done in teams — as no good professional practitioner would work for less than $15.00 an hour and usually charge more. On a lower strata there will be those who, for various reasons, do not undertake clearing and for whom no clearing is done. A wide gulf is thereby established. On the adage that them as has gits, one sees with some sadness that more than three quarters of the world’s population will become subject to the remaining quarter as a natural consequence and about which we can do exactly nothing. The saving part of this is that the good will of the upper quarter will inhibit their exploitation of the less fortunate.
So if your friend or relative turns his back on dianetics and refuses to inspect it even after you have done your best to explain it, don’t be disheartened. That you see it and can use it has not injured him in any way. The loss is definitely his, not yours.
A further word. Many of you will have the book at the time you read this. I call your attention to the fact that so long as you use standard technique without diluting it with hypnosis or drugs or some preconception, you are utterly and entirely safe, your patient is safe and nothing whatever can happen that will injure anyone. A long, long series of experiments has demonstrated this. Any case is better opened than left closed, even when the author is entirely unskilled. So feel no apprehensions about what you might do or what is being done to you, just keep following the rules as closely as you can.
We are opening an institute for training professional auditors because so many psychiatrists and psychoanalysts and medical doctors have expressed a desire for special training. Probably institutes will be opened in various parts of the country as soon as we get around to it. A foundation has been formed for the control of such institutes and the proceeds of the handbook, by the way, have been given, in their entirety to the foundation-and it is only a question of time before one will be in your neighborhood if all goes well. However, this should not inhibit your practicing as per the handbook in any way nor even practicing professionally if you will.
Please accept my thanks, again, for your blazing reception of dianetics, for your compliments and congratulations. They amply reward a score of years of hard labor. — L . Ron Hubbard.1
- Letter published in Astounding Science Fiction (August 1950). Letter found http://dianetics.lronhubbard.org/page45.htm ↩