December 22, 1951
When L. Ron Hubbard gave dianetics to a wondering world
(TIME, July 24, 1950), it looked as though he had claimed
everything in sight, and more. "The hidden source of all
psychosomatic ills and human aberration has been discovered,"
he wrote then, "and skills have been developed for their
invariable cure." But to Science Fictioneer Hubbard, these
achievements soon seemed like kid stuff. He broke with the
Hubbard Dianetic Foundation in Wichita, "to further pursue
investigations into the incredible and fantastic," as the foundation
puts it. Now, the founder of still another cult, he claims to have
discovered the ultimate secrets of life and the universe, and to be
able to cure everything, including cancer.
For the cult, L. (for Lafayette) Ron (for Ronald) Hubbard has
whipped up the bastard word "scientology," which he defines as
"knowing about knowing" or "the science of knowledge." His
latest ology is compounded of equal parts of science fiction,
dianetics (with "auditing," "preclears" and engrams), and plain
Hubbard has preached his gospel to the British;
he spent last week drumming for converts in Philadelphia. Awed
by his own accomplishments, Hubbard has awarded himself the
degree of "D. Scn." -- doctor of scientology.
*Sample, from Hubbard's new tract, Scientology: 8-80:
"An individual who cannot get out of his body immediately
can look around inside his head and find the black spots
and turn them white . . ."
It all began when Hubbard added an electrical gadget to his
dianetic auditing -- an "electropsychometer" or "E-meter,"
something like a lie detector. The subject holds electrodes in his
hands, and a dial needle records changes in current when he tells
about deeply disturbing things in his past. Hubbard found that
some of his subjects could not locate "painful prenatal
experience" anywhere on earth, but when he asked them whether
these things had happened on another planet, the needle jumped
This was enough for Hubbard. He scrapped his old dianetics
"time track" (running back to the moment of the subject's
conception) and soared off through "whole track" cosmic space.
In a number of booklets and pamphlets on scientology and
"electropsychometry," he tells how he has discovered and
isolated "Life Energy in such a form as to revive the dead or
dying . . . [gained] the ability to make one's body old or young at
will, the ability to heal the ill without physical contact, the ability
to cure the insane and incapacitated."
Everyone, it seems, is 74 trillion years old, and has been
reincarnated over & over in cycles ("spirals)," which have been
getting shorter as evolution has speeded up. The current spiral
began a mere 35,000 years ago. Everyone has a "theta being,"
which represents his essential thought-energy and becomes
associated with a 'MEST" body (another Hubword made from
the initials of matter, energy, space, time).
Clams & Birds
In contrast with the primitive dianetician, who was content merely
to probe the subject's life here on earth, the scientologist gets him
stretched on a couch, gripping the electrodes and usually wearing
blinkers and tries to reach preconception pains as fast as
The subject may be disturbed because of unimaginable horrors
perpetrated on his theta being in outer space billions of years
ago. ("Things are as rough in outer space as they are here," says
a devout Hubbardian. "Anything can happen.") If a subject has a
pain in his jaw, it may be that in an earlier spiral he was a clam. If
this pain is associated with fear of falling, he must have been a
clam that was picked up by a bird and dropped on the rocks.
Whenever the subject starts to babble about the terrible
conditions on Venus or the moon, the scientologist knows that he
is on the beam. More mundanely, if the subject gets up to date
enough to remember his own conception of the first cellular
subdivisions of his body matter, it may, Hubbard says, cure his
Scientology clubs are springing up, and their members are all
prattling about ded (deserved action) and dedex (ded exposed),
genetic entity and prenatal visio, and a lot more
adastraperasperal words. Needed for a club's start; a collection
of Hubbard's books ($2 to $5) and an E-meter ($98.50 at
Hubbard's Phoenix headquarters).