This site is best viewed using a highly standards-compliant browser
By Jeff Jacobsen more
|Sadger reported that when he could not relate some patients' neuroses to their embryonic periods, he induced them to recall what happened to their original spermatazoa and ova, or even to remember possible parental attitudes which could have produced a trauma in their delicate germinal cells before conception. Sadger maintained that these cells have a psychic life of their own with the capacity to learn and to remember.1|
This sounded strikingly like some theories I had read in Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health, by L. Ron Hubbard. I had been reading and studying Hubbard's works, and had even written a tract critical of his Church of Scientology after studying the church's doctrine and history. Dianetics seemed to be full of new and unique theories and ideas, but Delgado's statement caused me to wonder whether perhaps Hubbard had not actually ripped off some of his ideas instead of discovering them. Sure enough, the reference date on Sadger's article was 1941 — eight years before Dianetics was published!
That was the beginning of the booklet you are about to read. I had studied Hubbard's works since 1986, and had taken an introductory course in about 1983 (which included some "Book one" auditing). By the time of the Chicago book sale, Hubbard's writing style, wacky theories and smugness were wearing on me, and I hoped to begin a study on electrical brain stimulation — hence the interest in Delgado. But since the revelation hit that Hubbard borrowed rather than invented his theories, it seemed to be a ripe and exciting subject to pursue.
The reason I thought this was an exciting topic was Hubbard's insistence that he came up with his ideas by himself and that they were as monumental a breakthrough from what came before as was the discovery of fire to the cavemen. If it could be shown that dianetics was simply a synthesis of previous ideas, then Hubbard would be exposed as a huckster and fraud. And I don't like hucksters and frauds.
Generally speaking, it is my contention that Hubbard did no credible research of his own. Instead he distilled ideas from books he had read, the few college courses he took, his own experiences, and his very fertile and disturbed mind, and came up with a mish-mash of bizarre theories which he wrote down in scientific-sounding phrases and words.
The ideas Hubbard borrowed were generally bizarre ideas to begin with, and his fertile, twisted mind altered and embelished them to produce an even worse hodge-podge.
It is a mammoth task to try to piece where Hubbard took ideas, since there is no definitive list of works he had read. He did in the early years of dianetics credit some people such as Korzybski, Freud, and some others, but Sadger, for example, never shows up in any credit by Hubbard. Thus, one has to pick an idea (from dianetics or some writing) and practice a little detective work to see whether the idea originated elsewhere. Of course, this bares me to criticism that I am simply reading dianetics back into some work that just happens to sound like dianetics, but in fact what I am trying to show is that almost none of the ideas in Dianetics is new or unique, as Hubbard claims. My goal is not so much to trace back to the definite source where Hubbard took ideas, but to demonstrate that his "new" and "unique" ideas are neither. But I think it is possible to show that Hubbard absolutely stole ideas from some definite sources, such as Sadger and some others without ever crediting their works. The examples I have been able to uncover I am convinced are just the tip of the iceberg. There are ideas, for example, from William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which coincidentally was first published in 1950) that I find markedly reflected in the organization of Scientology. Were it possible to get a list of what Hubbard read, I am certain that a very large volume could be written comparing what he read to what he wrote. It is most certainly clear that Hubbard was first and foremost a synthesizer of ideas, not a creator.
Some of the sections in this booklet are the culmination and conclusion of about 5 years' part-time research into Hubbard's teachings. I wanted to put down what I had learned in order to move on to other topics.
Towards the completion of this work, I was reading the Australian "Report of the Board of Inquiry Into Scientology" from 1965, and was amazed to see that some of my research was a repetition of that work. The advantages to the Australian report are that they were able to call many actual experts to give their opinion of Hubbard's theories. They also had representatives of Scientology at hand who were allowed to present evidence as well, although they apparently did not produce anything that negates anything in my writings. This is a wonderful document despite its age, and I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to delve deeper into the subjects I have written about in this work. Actually, there should be no need to write about Hubbard's ideas at all, since most of them are so absurd and indefensible. Hubbard's writing style is grandiose, difficult, exasperating, and just plain wacky. But despite all this, there are still around 70,000 Scientologists today who consider Hubbard a genius and live their lives according to his dictates. Scientology still actively advertises and recruits the unwary, and so long as this is happening, those of us who know better must speak out and expose the lies and deceits. The way scoundrels win is by having no opposition. One of Hitler's first official acts when he became chancellor was to silence his critics. If we as critics remain silent, Scientology can go a long way, and Hubbard knew this — hence the constant attacks by Scientology on its perceived enemies.
|Review of Hubbard's Theories >|
1 Jose M.R. Delgado, M.D. PHYSICAL CONTROL OF THE MIND (Harper Colophon Books, New York, 1969) P.47-8.