IV - What Is "Dianetics" And "Scientology"?
Using the official literature of the Scientology organizations, one finds that the definition of what "Scientology" and "Dianetics" actually is and consists of, has changed over the years.
The current management states on its official website that the "Scientology® Applied Religious Philosophy" contains a "precise system of axioms, laws and techniques," that "provide the individual with the ability to improve conditions [Exh. No. 45]." About the "Dianetics® Spiritual Healing Technology" the reader learns that it is a "technology," which has been used by "millions of people to rid themselves of stress, fear, self-doubts, unwanted feelings" and "psychosomatic ills [Exh. No. 46]."
It becomes more nebulous, when one compares these new descriptions with those that were used to represent Scientology and Dianetics in the past.
The "Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary," copyrighted in 1975 and published by the former "mother church" "Church of Scientology of California," had been for a long time the official dictionary and was used at least until 1992 inside the Scientology organizations. Under the term "Scientology" it lists the following descriptions [Exh. No. 47, Excerpt]:
"... 3. an organized body of scientific research knowledge concerning life, ...
"... 4. a religious philosophy in its highest meaning ...
"... 7. the science of knowing how to know ...
"... 8. the study of the human spirit ...
"... 9. a science of life ...
"... 13. an applied philosophy ...
"... 14. an applied religious philosophy ... ."
Dianetics is defined as follows [Exh. No. 47, Excerpt]:
"2. ... Dianetics is used to knock out and erase illnesses, unwanted sensations, misemotions, somatics, pain, etc. ...
"5. a precision science ...
"6. a system of coordinated axioms which resolve problems concerning human behavior and psychosomatic illnesses ...
"7. ... It is a science of mind ... ."
In a 1968-interview with British television ["The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard"] Dianetics- and Scientology-founder L. Ron Hubbard portrayed "Scientology" as a "science, based on 55 workable axioms" and a "study of knowingness" that "increases one's knowingness."
Five years earlier, on November 30th, 1963 in a press release issued by the British Scientology headquarters in East Grinstead [Exh. No. 48, Excerpt], Hubbard referred to Scientology as
"the science of knowing how to know answers ... It is the Science of Human Affairs which treats the livingness and beingness of Man, ... ."
In May 1950 Hubbard published the book "Dianetics – The Modern Science Of Mental Health" (DMSMH) and introduced Dianetics to the world as follows [page 13, Edition 2000]:
"1. It is an organized science of thought built on definite axioms (... ).
"2. It contains a therapeutic technique which can be treated all inorganic mental ills and all organic psychosomatic ills, with assurance of complete cure in unselected cases."
That second definition probably describes best what Scientology and Dianetics in fact always were and still are – therapeutic techniques.
At its beginnings, in 1950, Hubbard introduced Dianetics as a new self-help therapy. In various parts of the book Hubbard's theories give their readers the impression that Dianetics is in fact a crude form of psychoanalysis.
According to Hubbard depressions mental and psychosomatic illnesses have its origins in the existence of "engrams." "Engrams" are recordings of moments of pain and unconsciousness, which are stored in the "reactive mind." The "reactive mind" represents some kind of storage facility of the unconscious whose contents could be triggered by exterior stimulants and create irrational behavior of the person.
In DMSMH Hubbard emphasized that a lot of engrams came into being in the pre-natal phase of the person, due to attempted abortions. He called them accordingly "pre-natal engrams."
As a solution for the unwanted existence of the engrams and the misery they apparently caused for mankind Hubbard offered to the world his self-developed therapy which had a similar set-up as a psychotherapy session: The therapist ("auditor") would lead the patient ("pre-clear") through a series of questions that would cover the past of the pre-clear's life until he would detect and area or incidents that the preclear would associate with loss or pain. The auditor would then let the pre-clear re-experience such incidents and by doing that he would erase their bad effects on the preclear. Following the theory that such losses are caused by earlier, similar incidents the preclear would be led "back in time" or down the "time-track" to find the "basic-basic engrams" that were at the end of the chain and erase them. Hubbard called this form of therapy "Auditing."
A person, freed or "cleared" from all engrams would become a "Clear," an almost superhuman being. As Hubbard stated, "a Clear is an individual who, as a result of Dianetics therapy, has neither active nor potential psychosomatic illness or aberration." He also claimed that Clears would have "all recall" upon their life, "optimum analytical ability," "greater resistance to actual disease" [page 247, Edition 2000] and an increased IQ [page 132].
After the initial success of the book and the creation of a movement along with several Dianetics Centers, the craze about Dianetics came to a halt in the years 1951/'52 due to the unproven promises about the workability of Dianetics. Hubbard consequently created a more spiritual set-up for his therapy, with a broader approach but at the same time legally less vulnerable: he created the "religion Scientology," founded his own churches and abolished the clinic-like form of the early Dianetics-Centers, as he explained in a letter to his secretary on April 10th, 1953 or 1954 [Exh. No. 49].
The above term "broader approach" refers to Hubbard's renewed theory that past lives exists and man's current problems were not only caused by engrams in "this lifetime" but mostly by those from past lives. Hubbard claimed to have discovered that during further "research" on the subject. A former aide, Jim Dincalci of Hubbard explained in an interview with British television for a documentary about Hubbard's life ["Secret Lives," 1997] how such "research" had been conducted:
"LRH gave his son Nibs [L. Ron Hubbard Jr.] some amphetamines, and Nibs started talking, he said, he started really talking fast with speed and he kept talking, and he kept talking. Dad kept giving him speed and all of a sudden he was talking about his history when he was clam and all these different situations in early earth."
Reincarnation was the new factor added to "Scientology," which embraced the basic methodology of Dianetics, but changed the responsive element from the "mind," as in Dianetics, to the "Thetan," which represented from then on the spiritual being inside the body of a person. Thetans would occupy a human body and leave it after its physical death to find a new body. Hubbard claimed to have found out that Thetans have lived for millions and millions of years, and that the current bad state of the average man was due to the accumulation of engrams in all those "earlier lifetimes."
Not short of ideas, Hubbard added another instrument to his new therapeutical set-up, the "E-Meter," a low-budget form of a lie detector. The E-meter was introduced as a new diagnostical tool that enabled the auditor to detect more "precisely" undesirable "incidents" in the pre-clear's past lives. In an auditing session the preclear holds two tin cans, connected through wires with an Ohmmeter. Through the cans a small electrical current flows, and while unrecognizable for the preclear, it makes the body of the preclear part of the electrical circuit. The auditor asks his questions, and while looking at the metering needle of the E-meter, detects areas in the pre-clear's life that are "electrically charged" with misemotions, pain, etc. [Exh. No. 50]. As in Dianetics the final purpose of Scientology-auditing is to "clear" those areas from all unwanted feelings and considerations.
During the fifties, using the above therapeutical set-up, Hubbard created a series of various "auditing-levels," marketing them to the public not only in order to sell the respective auditing but to sell the auditor training as well, accompanied by its books and E-meters through Dianetics or Scientology Centers.
In the mid-sixties, having developed an own system of auditing levels and courses, called "Gradation and Awareness Chart" still with "Clear" as the highest attainable grade, Hubbard moved forward for new research. Soon enough in 1967 he announced a new technical breakthrough. Not only had Hubbard discovered new levels of beingness that he soon would made available for selling them to his followers, but he claimed to have unearthed a gigantic, planetary conspiracy that had happened 75,000,000 years before and that had affected every human being on this planet. According to the then secret new auditing level, "Operating Thetan III" [Exh. No. 51, Excerpt], Hubbard had found out that,
"[t]he head of the Galactic Confederation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet - 178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H Bomb on the principal volcanoes (Incident 2) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic area ones to Las Palmas and there ‘packaged'. His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading data by means of circuits etc. was placed in the implants. When through with his crime Loyal Officers (to the people) captured him after 6 years of battle and put him in an electronic mountain trap where he still is. ‘They' are gone. The place (Confed.) has since been a desert ... The length and brutality of it all was such that this Confederation never recovered. The implant is calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it."
Further on Hubbard stated that due to this incident of exploding hydrogen bombs, so-called clusters of Thetans are attached to each human body, which would negatively influence the life of each person. After having achieved the "State of Clear," a Scientologist can get rid of the "Body Thetans" through auditing at these new "Advanced Levels" and re-achieve super-natural states. Hubbard attributed such "levels of higher awareness" to earlier superior and god-like forms of existence. Because of the newly re-attained super-natural abilities a "Clear" would finally become an "Operating Thetan" or "OT."
Within the following 15 years Hubbard and one of his aides, David Mayo, extended the range of the number of different OT-levels that were offered by the Church of Scientology to its adherents. Most of these "Advanced Levels" have their purpose in "freeing" the "pre-OT" from the great number of "Body Thetans" his body is occupied by or surrounded with and eradicating their negative influence on him/her as a "spiritual being." Although the contents of the "OT levels" are treated confidential by the organization and every adept is forced to sign an individual non-disclosure agreement before starting on each level, information and individual documents have found their way to the public over the years.
In 1985 a tape with a New Year's message by L. Ron Hubbard was circulated among the Scientology organizations. In that tape Hubbard announced that he had completed his "research" into the level "New OT VIII" and had delivered his notes and documents to the Scientology management, which would make it available to the public at a certain time. On January 24th, 1986 Hubbard died. In June 1988 "New OT VIII" was sold and delivered to Scientology public members for the first time aboard the ship "Freewinds" and has been remained since the highest level of auditing, marketed by the Scientology management.
Today there exists numerous courses and auditing levels within the Scientology network that are offered to the interested public and Scientology members. Additional to auditing and auditor courses, the Churches of Scientology offer as well administrative courses, based on L. Ron Hubbard's "administrative technology." These and some of the lower auditing services are also sold, licensed and delivered in a rather "secular" fashion through the "World of Scientology Enterprises" (WISE) and business consultancies that are affiliated with WISE. Most of the courses and auditing services are structured and mapped on Scientology's "Classification, Gradation & Awareness Chart" [Exh. No. 52]. This chart symbolizes a "Bridge" to Scientologists which they are urged to walk over (while taking and paying for all available courses and auditing levels) to the upper end where "total freedom" is promised to wait for them.
While the Church of Scientology offers a different program of courses and auditing services to its public members today than it did 50 years ago, the basic techniques, the theoretical background and the therapeutical goals of Dianetics and Scientology auditing are still similar if not the same. Nevertheless the organization completely changed its outfit, from a "clinic," as mentioned in Hubbard's letter from the early fifties [Exh. No. 49], to a tax-exempt religious corporative network composed of churches. With the change of outfit, the labels that describe the organization's activities have changed too, at least to the outside world: his therapeutic technique has become "pastoral counseling," patients are today "parishioners," fees or prices for services are nowadays called "donations" and the "E-Meter" is described as a "pastoral counseling device."