In his life, Ron Hubbard privately expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler more than once. Thus it is not surprising to see how many of Hitler’s tactics he adopted.
Other parallels also suggest themselves. The book Dianetics was Hubbard’s Mein Kampf. Like Hitler, Hubbard was scornful of established religions but made temporary connections with them for purposes of political advantage. Hitler’s alliances with religious leaders exploited common prejudices against Jews. Hubbard’s against psychiatrists. Hitler invoked fears of a common enemy. He called it communism. Hubbard, likewise, the IRS, and many respectable religions who are worried about their tax status. At the same time Hitler promoted fanaticism among his own followers and a mystique that owed more to Norse mythology than to Christianity. Just as Hubbard’s mystique owed more to science fiction cliches than to any established religion. In fact both men were athiests, and enemies of genuine religion.
Hubbard and Hitler were both intelligent, charismatic, energetic and equally capable of ruthlessness and charm. Both were intense, arrogant and profoundly narcissistic, capable of the boldness and decisiveness that often accompany great intensity of purpose and total lack of conscience. Their ability to exploit others was boundless.
For them the end always justified the means. And the end was self-aggrandizement and the intoxication of power. Both exhibited paranoid symptoms at times, but were not clinically psychotic most of the time. Far from it. And the clearcut diagnosis I believe in both cases was psychopathic personality.
Hubbard’s hostile obsession with psychs, that is psychologists and psychiatrists, matched Hitler’s hatred and persecution of the Jews. Like Hitler, Hubbard often accused his enemies of the very criminal practices and warlike preparations in which he himself was engaged.
Neither man could tolerate dissent or deviation from the party line. Both were past masters in the use of the big lie. And both had no compunction about inflicting suffering on others, with no mercy at all for deserters.1, 2, 3, 4
Kaye, who would later become a psychologist, said she made a clinical diagnosis of Hubbard during the weeks they spent together in Palm Springs.
‘There was no doubt in my mind he was a manic depressive with paranoid tendencies. Many manics are delightful, productive people with tremendous energy and self-confidence. He was like that in his manic stage – enormously creative, carried away by feelings of omnipotence and talking all the time of grandiose schemes.
‘But when I arrived he was in a deep depression. He had been totally unable to work on his book, which had been originally scheduled for publication that month. That’s why he had called me – he was hoping I could help him get through his writers’ block. He was very sad and lethargic, lying around feeling sorry for himself and drinking a great deal. Sometimes he would go to the piano and fiddle around, improvising weird melodies of his own composition. He thought that Sara had hypnotised him in his sleep and commanded him not to write. He told me that the people in Elizabeth had tried to “slip him a Mickey” in his glass of milk and another time they attempted to insert a fatal hypo into his eye and heart to try and stop him from ever writing again. Those were the engrams he was running.
‘I tried to help him by using a technique I had learned at college, breaking down the problem into small parts and presenting it a step at a time. I got a block of butcher’s paper and said to him, “Look, you don’t have to write. Just sit down at this table and look at the paper and when you don’t want to look at it any more, get up and leave.” He sat there for ten minutes on the first day and this went on for several days until one day he picked up a pencil and began to write. Next day he was back at work, very excited and enthused about what he was doing. He was singing and horsing around, talking, laughing and discussing ideas in the kitchen until three o’clock in the morning.’
One of Hubbard’s favourite topics of conversation was psychiatrists. One night over dinner at Mel Avenue, he told Barbara about an occasion when he had demonstrated auditing techniques to a group of psychiatrists and one of them had said to him,
‘If you claim to cure people by doing that, if you’re not careful we’ll lock you up.’
He laughed excessively, took a bite out of a chicken leg and spluttered,
‘They called me a paranoid, can you imagine it?’
That night Barbara wrote in her diary:
‘My blood ran cold as he was saying that. It was all I could do to keep from weeping.’1
- Miller, R. (1987) Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (Web) ↩
The paranoiac, like most psychotics, is infested with demon circuits1. He is under a heavy battery of controls. Large sections of his analyzer are sawed off by circuitry. Occasionally you are made to feel that you are talking to a person who is very convincing and who has a great deal to offer, but you sometimes feel there is something wrong. You don’t quite know what it is. He may not be a psychotic paranoiac, but he probably has psychotic tendencies. He causes a great deal of trouble but very often disguises it by trying to be a great deal of help. But the help he gives causes enormous trouble.
A very clever paranoiac was Hitler. He was going to help everybody out but he wound up with everybody dead. It just sort of happens that way. These are the hardest psychotics to detect, and they illustrate a special psychosis of criminality that is somewhat neglected. The police forces are left with this whole problem on their hands. Criminality is a definite psychosis2; it is contagious and thoroughly as dangerous as any other psychosis running around loose in society.
Dianetically, psychoses fall into two categories: inaccessibility because of irrationality, and inaccessibility because of uncooperativeness. The second breaks down into two classes: obviously uncooperative and covertly uncooperative. You substitute that for “covertly hostile” and you will have a clear understanding of that psychotic. The term “covertly hostile” has permeated psychiatry for a long time. They talk about covert hostility at the point where it comes into a psychotic classification, that is, where the person is no longer able to handle himself in the environment. That might well be the definition of psychotic, which is a terribly general term. You know them when you see them. The mind can measure these things sometimes when definitions can’t. The mind is very good at saying how red is a red bicycle, and in just such a way it can say how psychotic is a psychotic.
Rationality, of course, is one long spectrum, which at its bottom finds a person unable to solve at any time, ever, any problem relating to his own existence in his own environment. Just above that is the person who is occasionally completely unable to solve any problem of any kind in his environment. This is the acute psychotic, who is only occasionally that way; but he is just as psychotic as the chronic psychotic, the person who is that way all the time. Psychosis in its acute state, restimulated, is fully as dangerous as the chronic state, in fact, more so. Whereas we are warned about the chronic psychotic, the acute psychotic baffles us. A person goes into a screaming rage suddenly and does something, then the law calls it“crime passionel” or something of the sort.
Acute psychosis, a temporary break which will patch up afterwards, is most prevalent in the bracket of criminality. Criminals are normally acute psychotics. That is to say, they will occasionally break, and in the psychotic break they will do antisocial things.
There is another classification of psychotics: the one who is dramatizing one or more engrams, and the other who is computing. We could call these the dramatizing (or engram) psychotic and the analytical (or analytical demon) psychotic. The engram psychotic does nothing but run the engram. If you go into most institutions, you will find these are the commonest. You will be in for the little shock of seeing an engram, a beautiful engram, being run off over and over. There it is. The engram can be in the process of continual dramatization, or the psychotic can be in a continuous state of obedience to it. In other words, he either dramatizes it or obeys it. In either way he escapes its pain. This is how a psychotic gets locked down: were he to fail to obey or dramatize it, the pain would get him. He would have to take the full pain of the incident, so the reactive mind says, “Dramatize or obey.” 3