Probably the genus of Dianetics really lies in the late 1920s when I was a young kid in the Orient watching all sorts of oddities, such as little boys jumping up to the top of ropes that werent there and people worrying and wondering about what the soul and the mind were all about. The more they seemed to know, the more impoverished they seemed to be.
I decided they didnt know much about it and I thought, Well, the Western civilizations have it all taped. America knows everything!
So, while I was going to George Washington University I conducted a series of tests on poetry, of all things. I found out that poetry gives off the same wavelength in any language and I wondered, Whats this all about?
I went over to the Psychology Department, and a fellow there said, Where are you from? I said, Im from the engineering school. I just want to know some of the stuff you chaps have already figured out. Do all minds react the same to poetry? Is there a repetitive wavelength that goes through all minds and are all minds the same? And he said, Poetry belongs in the arts college.
Then I got right down to cases, and I said, Do you know anything about this or dont you?
And I made the horrifying discovery that nobody had the mind taped. It was a totally wide-open field. There was philosophy, but there was nothing that had anything to do with the mind. There were a bunch of suppositions back in the 1500s and 1600s. There was something called Faculty Psychology having to do with the examination of perception. And in 1870 a fellow by the name of Wundt had decided we were all animals and established the modern school known as psychology. But he didnt have any evidence!
Whats this all about? What is this thing called the mind?
We all depend on this thing called the mind. This is agreed upon throughout society. There is even a saying that Mans best weapon is his mind. And yet, as we look over mans best weapon we find people totally certain about how everybody else ought to use theirs, yet nobody knows how to use his own!
Here we have this avowedly wonderful and important thing, the human mind, and we go down to the library and we look under the stack cards for Human Mind. We find Libido Theory (not to be read by Catholics). We read over here, Prefrontal Lobotomies, but the number of fatalities is omitted from the data. We look over here, Why everybody has to be electric shocked although nobody ever got well from it. We have a book called The Human Mind. We read it over and find that its a bunch of detailed case histories of little girls who did something nasty. It says on the cover The Human Mind. Thats an insult. The whole book talks about insanity.
Going forward, in 1938 I found the common denominator of all livingness as survival. I had studied amongst very primitive cultures and I had evidence that survival was the common denominator of all these races.
All went along very well and we got into a war, the war that ended nothing, except some of our healths and finances. The research and investigation interrupted by the war, was resumed immediately after the war in the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital where I studied endocrinology - the endocrine system and glands and so forth.
We were getting people who had been starved, pilots who had been shot down and been afloat for weeks at sea and suffered tremendous and terrible privations. And under tremendous stress men very often lose their virility and, by the way, cannot eat or break down food if they are too short on this vital hormone, testosterone.
And they were trying to find out what made people eat and what didnt make them eat so they could put these pilots and others back into some shape again. We are indebted to that period of research just for this reason only: I learned whether it was function or structure that monitored human condition. Thats an interesting question because it hasnt been asked for I dont know how long.
Now most everybody said, Its structure: the reason this man is unhappy is he has a pain in his leg and it makes him unhappy. And his mental condition depends exclusively upon his physical condition, the balance of hormones in his system, his glandular fluids, his diet, his environment - and this determines his mental condition. That was the philosophy of healing of 1945.
Well, was it right? Much earlier in my life Id had the privilege of studying under someone taught by Sigmund Freud himself. And Freud had the idea that maybe the mind had something to do with it, but we couldnt be too sure. There were no scientific proofs certainly.
So, I studied to resolve this question: Is it structure that monitors the mind or the mind that monitors structure? And if we come up here with a decision either way, we will study that side of it.
Sitting around on benches in the park there at the hospital, alongside some of these chaps who were obviously starved half to death, I started to work on them with what little Freudian analysis I knew and as clumsily as I knew it. I talked to them about this and that and got them to change their minds about life or about sex.
And on a series of cases it worked. Nothing done to them physically was changing their minds, but we did something to them mentally and that changed the body structure so they then ate, got well and resumed the normal activities of men!
But lets look at the other side of this. By doing something to a mans leg, could we put him into a higher intelligence bracket? Could we make him more successful in handling his boss? Could we make it possible for him to ride a motorcycle better? No. There isnt a single thing that we could do to his leg that would alter these characteristics. And quite on the contrary, if a man is bound and determined that that leg wont heal, it wont heal!
This put us on a different vector than man had been on during these many last millennia.
All of this and more, and an enormous amount of work I did finally culminated in the writing of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science Mental Health.
Nothing like Dianetics has happened before. A body of knowledge has arisen, has been codified, tested, which does certain specific and spectacular things - you might say, ends track on the subject of psychotherapy.
When we see somebody who is sick, we know that we can do something about it because we can communicate to the man and he can communicate to the condition and vanquish it.
Men have suspected this before. But nobody had ever come up with an open-and-shut proof of the matter. Just a hammer-on-the-anvil proof. And that was what launched us into Dianetics. A proof, a continuous demonstration of these conditions.
Man might have suspected it, but man didnt know it. And we know now that we know it.
L. Ron Hubbard