EVALUATION OF DIANETICS

One year ago this writing, Dianetics was first introduced publicly; twelve months of work by many hundreds of people now make possible a first evaluation of what dianetics actually has to offer, how much validity it has, and what it actually is. It will take a century or so to determine the full and proper rating of Hubbard's work, but a first-order approximation at least can be estimated.

Briefly, dianetics itself is much less than Hubbard believed it to be but is the essential, hitherto missing key to everything Hubbard claimed, and considerably more than he realized. In that respect. dianetics might be compared to money. "Money won't buy happiness; you can't buy everything!" is the old and very valid comment. But the other side is, "Yes: but have you tried buying them without money?"

Similarly, dianetics will not do everything, it will not assure happiness. But several millennia of trying to do it without dianetics has adequately demonstrated that that system definitely does not work. Whether you call it dianetics, hoosanany, sprooplotics or anything else makes no difference; psychology - psychiatry - philosophy and religion have not produced an adequately high level of human happiness, or an adequately high level of cultural sanity.

"Man's Proud History" is a seven thousand year written record of murder, rape, war, and looting. It's a record of the wastage of the best of human achievements, the destruction of the best of human abilities, the crushing of high, fine hopes and ideals. The world, at this moment, is busily harnessing the finest achievements of human efforts - the sheer, clean beauty of line of the fast jet plane, the great, sleek power of a great transoceanic plane, the great aspirations of harnessed atomic energy - to the purposes of mutual annihilation. Whatever philosophy, psychiatry, or religion may have had to offer mankind-the proof of their ineffectiveness is in the records of the years. Each of these great efforts to help men has, whatever its inherent merits may "have been, simply and conclusively failed.

Anyone who has tried to get a fear-stricken child to accept a pill that will cure its lethal illness knows, one physical equivalent of the situation. The medecine has. the power to cure the child; the child is wildly resisting the the admmlstratlon of the medecine. It makes no difference how good the medicine is - unless it can be accepted, it is useless.

The psychoanalyst who says "He came to me but I could not help him because he would not co-operate" is expressing the problem, too. The self-evident fact that you can drive a man to work with a whip, but you " can not force him to think as you wish, is part of it. The analyst who says "he would not co-operate" must recognize that that is not a failure of the patient; it is a failure of psychoanalysis. The man came for help because he had mental problems; the first problem was the mental 'Problem of gaining access to the core of the problem. If the doctor cannot induce the child to take the pill, that is not a failure of medecine, because medicine is the science of physical illness. But if the psychoanalyst cannot entice the patient to take the medicine, that is a failure of the technology, for that failure is a mental problem.

Psychoanalysis wtll help those who accept it. Philosophy, even more, can help those who accept and truly understand. Religion has even greater power to help, for some. What is it, though, that keeps men from understanding and accepting? None of these helpful mental disciplines is applicable or useful until some resistance that seems to be built into Man is somehow overcome.

Generations of philosophers and mystico-ethical philosophers have repeatedly said, through thousands of years, that the distractions of the flesh and of earthy things prevents one from attaining to a higher understanding. That the individual must overcome his fleshly wants to achieve the perfect peace of greater understanding. That, it's been phrased in a thousand semimystical ways. The essence is that you have to ignore and reject the body in order to bring peace to the mind.

It hasn't worked for many people. A handful of men in each generation, but not much more.

Actually, what Hubbard has in dianetics is precisely the same basic recognition, with a complete reversal of the answer to the problem. Dianetics is simply a technique for facing and understanding the problems of the flesh, or in less quasimystical terms, the mechanical problems of the environment are impacted mechanically on our perceptic apparatus, the physical body, and until those problems are considered, evaluated and resolved, we cannot handle properly the problems of the mind itself.

Consider this; Suppose you are trying to carry out some purely intellectual operation-writing an article, painting a picture, computing a complex problem. This is a purely mental function, with a minimum of physical problem. But you are working in a room where the temperature is 100°, there is gravel in your shoes, the humidity is ninety per cent, the seat of the chair is broken, and pinches you every time you move, and a squadron of mosquitoes is humming around the room.

There are, theoretically, two methods of handling this situation. Number One is the ancient philosophical method, the method of the mystics. You can be bigger than these petty physical annoyances, ignore them: rise above them, refuse to pay any attention to the distractions of the flesh, and go on to higher things. If you succeed in getting yourself into a semihypnotic trance, you may achieve that.

The second method is as follows: Get a new chair. Take off your shoes and dump out the gravel. Get a D.D.T. bomb and eliminate the mosquitoes. Get an air conditioner, or at least a fan. Go take a shower to remove accumulated sweat, put on fresh linen, and then buckle down and really tear that mental problem apart.

It seems clear that the second method is more apt to produce more results in less time for most human beings.

Hubbard's dianetics is simply the second answer to the problem of the "distractions of the flesh": stop kidding yourself that they aren't distractions, stop trying to ignore them; and find out what they really are. Then solve those.

After that, you can really tackle the main problem; the problem of the mind.

Hubbard did not have, in dianetics, the cure-all for mental problems, as he believed, but he did have the essential missing key. Dianetics is a technique by which the mechanical problems of the physical organism can be faced and resolved. After that, the mental problems are clarified, and can be handled rapidly and effectively. But no human being can handle the problems without facing and resolving the problems of his own physical past.

However, when the physical problems have been faced and resolved, then, the old philosophers were quite correct; mental peace through understanding undoubtedly can be achieved. But that is quite definitely beyond the scope of dianetics as originally presented. The immense importance of dianetics is that it gives us a technique whereby the physical problem can be tackled and resolved.

Psychology has long maintained that the human personality is made up of heredity and environmental factors. Accepting their statement as correct and complete for the moment, it is not complete; too many mystical philosophers have insisted that there is something beyond those two factors to permit a true scientific analysis to ignore it completely" we can analyze the factors they do consider. Heredity is pretty clearly beyond therapeutic influence; if a man has a certain set of genetic characteristics, that's pretty thoroughly and definitely that. Then environment is all that's left to be worked with.

Actually of course, "personality" is the resultant generated by the interaction of heredity and environment, and is absolutely distinct from either. Electrical charge is generated when a conductor is moved through a magnetic field; personality is generated when a certain structure: a human  body determined by heredity, is moved temporally through an environment field. But elecetric charge is not magnetism, and is not mechanical energy of translation: it's a separate thing in itself. Similarly, personality is not heredity, it is not environment, but a thing in itself generated by the interaction of a physical organism and its environment.

The confusion there is rather general and has, led to some fancy misunderstandings..Hubbard developed his work pragmatically, and his theoretical material needed a great deal of re-evaluation and reformulation, the kind of work that required many new minds.. Newton's famous Laws of Motion weren't theoretical material: they were merely codification of observational data, and generalizations drawn from those observavations. Einstein's work, generations later, is beginning to give us a theory of gravity and the laws of motion. But Newton's observational codifications have been vastly useful. Hubbard's observation-codification is equally basic and useful in the field of the mind, however far off his theories may or may not be.

And the most important consideration implicit in Hubbard's work is the recognition that environment and the physical organism are both purely mechanical. The process of, thinking is purely mechanical, as evidenced by the fact that computer machines can duplicate most of the processes of thinking; only "greater complexity is needed to get a fair approximation of the human thinking process.

Environment is purely mechanical; when someone speaks to you, no words reach your ears-sonly sound waves. Sound waves have no meaning, no intelligence, no emotional connotation except as your mind implants them. Consider the familiar wolf-whistle. That is simply and solely a series of musical notes, a sound-wave complex that a physicist could analyze, formulate, and re-synthesize. Such a whistle, reaching the ears of a Roman girl of Caeser's time, for instance, would have no emotional or intellectual evaluation whatsoever. It is, was, and always will be a series of sound waves, and nothing whatsoever beyond that.

Significance does not lie in the environment; it lies in the integration of experience and thought-emotion reaction. The environment is mechanical, wholly mechanical, and solely mechanical. It can, therefore, be approached only on the strictly mechanical level.

The human body is a biomechanical structure. It has magnificent biomechanical engineering. A committee of engineers studying the human body can find in its structures highly developed examples of practically every engineering art. The architect and strain-distribution 'specialist can study the human skull, and see incredibly ingenious interlocking arch structures. The acoustic engineer finds, in the ear, a marvelous mechanism for impedence matching, to transfer sound energy from the thin medium of air . to the denser medium of liquidand magnificent devices whereby that highly efficient mechanism can be made less efficient at will, in order to adjust for over-intense sound waves.

But that is mechanical.

Psychologists have long known that human beings do record sound phonographically, sight photographically, and all sense-impressions similarly. That was original with Hubbard in a degree, but it was not a new discovery. These abilities are purely mechanical; all memory is purely mechanical. A phonograph has no intelligence, but remembers sounds. Punched-cards have no intelligence, but can remember a man's description, his name and address, his business, his fingerprints, and a thousand other details, if desired.

These memory functions are mechanical.

Association of ideas can even be made mechanical, too. Punchedcard machines, fed data on a man's fingerprints, can associate that data mechanically with the data of who, where, and what.

Until the actual extent of mechanical functions in Man is recognized, the true field of the typically human function, as distinct from the mechanical, remains unallocated, and therefore no effectively directed efforts at reaching and understanding it can be made.

In his enthusiasm for the mechanical side, Hubbard pushed the mechanical explanation too far; in their enthusiasm for human individuality, psychology and philosophy have tended to push the line too far the other way.

The thinking process is mechanical, purely mechanical, and is not in any way part of the personality. It is purely the reaction of the physical structure to the physical environment.

Now the characteristic of mechanisms is their ability to tell what when, how much, et cetera. They do just fine at that. When a machine comes along, however, that refuses to do so, and instead of reporting the neutron flux concentration at the heart of an atomic pile, or the Bissell's Functions required, but instead types out on its output register "Why should I tell you?" something new has been added.

Hubbard's dianetics recognizes that before any understanding of the mind is possible, some calibration of the physical universe with respect to the mind is essential. It is a technique of studying the past experiences and learning what, when, where, who, how, and how much. So long as it goes that far and no further, it can, and will, help the p~ysical ills of the physical mechanism.

Only when it extends into the field of pure philosophy· and asks "Why?" does it become a true mental science attacking the true human problems.

Psychoanalysis failed because it didn't determine with adequate detail what happened, and did not understand what factors were important. Dianetics supplies the technique necessary to gather that data. But philosophy, not psychoanalysis or psychiatry, supplies the techniques for handling that data after it has been garnered. .

Part of the essential problem has been missed because of the cultural climate that originated about 1800. Up to that time, physical sciences had been making little progress indeed, because teleological, anthropomorphic thinking dominated "science." In the terms of that time, the heat generated in burning oxygen and hydrogen was the heat of the passionate embrace of the hydrogen atom for the oxygen atom, and the ardor of their love was equal to sixty-eight thousand calories per mole. Solving the problems of physical science in those termS conspicuously faiied to work-wherefore teleological thinking and anthropomo~ ism were given theyo-heaveho and progress commenced. Things happened because there were physicallaws, not because there were motives. Even today traces of the old motive-type, teleological thought. remain in the language of science. In gravitation, we speak of bodies attracting .each other, and certain chemicals have an affinity for water.

Unfortunately, the success of the nonmotivation, nonhuman thinking in physical science, and the rejection of introspection as a proper technique for understanding the world, spread to fields where it did not belong. Anthropomorphic thinking does not apply to hydrogen atoms-but. it does apply to anthropos, to Man himself. Introspection will not, for all the studying of the inward whichness of the why, explain the Balmer series in the hydrogen spectrum. But cyclotrons and spectroscopes have notably failed in explaining why a paranoid believes every man's hand is against him. To paraphrase the comment of a true thinker, render unto introspection, the things that are introspective, and unto spectroscopes the things that belong therein. Confusing things in either direction leads to spectacularly wrong answers.

Atomic energy yielded to the searching probe of the cyclotron; international insanity will not yield beto that-it can only be annihilated by it. Because foam rubber proves utterly futile in driving nails does not prove that foam rubber is useless.

Dianetics, as Hubbard presented it, was incomplete. The errors in it, the holes in it, were promptly, loudly, and emotionally pointed out by those who were making equal errors in the opposite direction. A relatively small percentage of psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and philosophers did, however, get in to the field and study the work. The reports of these men are not yet available; it takes more than a single year to evaluate such material. It can properly be taken as an indication of extremely inadequate .evaluation if a man can report that "This is useless!" or "This is the ultimate and complete answer!" in any six months study. No adequate evaluation can be completed in less than five years. Certainly no one-week study of a subject as fundamental as the theory of the nature of the human mind can be considered meaningful.

Those who have studied dianetics during the last year have only preliminary reports; summed up, they uniformly say "There's something extremely important here!" Those who condemn dianetics utterly because it is incomplete condemn their own thinking; Newton's observational rules for motion and gravity were incomplete. There have been attacks on dianetics beto cause Hubbard was not a professional psychologist; Newton was not ed- ucated as a physicist, Priestly was not a chemist, and Pasteur was not an M.D. In a truly highly evolved science, where there are many definitively explored fields o~ knowledge, years of professional experience are needed. But in 'a field which is still only quasi-scientific, where doctrine and authority and theory rather than law-of-nature rules that is not the case. The test of whether a science exists is fairly simple; can an experienced practicer of the field specify accurate tests, to determine quantitative factors, se-I lect material on the basis of those' tests, and predict with ninety per cent or better minimum accuracy the response of that material to specifically prescribed conditions? If he can, there is a science; if no man can guarantee such perjormance, there is no science, but only an art.

Some branches of medicine, under that rule, would be science; some are arts. The entire field of the mind, however, is clearly, at this stage in human history, definitely an art.

Dianetics, as Hubbard presented it, was incomplete; what was needed, however, was study, evaluation, and further work to complete it. It was essential, however, that it be presented for study, and that was done by this magazine.

Some thousands of people have, in the succeeding year, studied it, worked with it, and are developing it. It is far from complete; its mechanical aspects have, inevitably, at tracted many people who are mechanically - mechanistically - inclined, and relatively few who were philosophically, nonmechanistically inclined. That is, actually. an inevitable tendency: and an unfortunate handicap, since it tends to lead to further development of the already fairly well developed mechanical side, rather than the largely undeveloped philosophical aspects. Also, it is far easier for a human mind to face the question "What happened to me?" in the mechanical sense, than to face and solve the problem "What am I?" That one, as many a philosopher has found, is exceedingly disturbing and uncomfortable. But that latter question is, of course, the one that must be answered.

That dianetics produces some remarkable results is readily demonstrated. Individuals dying of psychosomatic conditions have been brought back to good health.*

A man suffering from severe gastric ulcers, scheduled for operation in two weeks, canceled the surgery after one week, and celebrated the cancellation with a steak, French-fries, and beer dinner. A relief, after several months on strained baby foods. The ulcers were gone. A young woman with arthritis of the shoulder lost all symptoms; X-ray plates before, during, and after conclusiv&o ly showed that calcification existed before, was in process of dissolving ten days after starting processing, and was gone thirty days after processing began. Another young woman at a State hospital for the insane was scheduled for prefrontal lobotomy as a hoIfelessly, permanently and violently suicidal case, after forty-nine electric shock treatments. After three months of processing, she had a secretarial job, and was, according to her relatives, more stable than she had ever been. The suicidal mania, incidentally, broke after half an hour of processing; additional processing was necessary, of course, before the acute neurosis was ended.

Acute compulsive neuroses have been broken in hours; it does not mean that all cases will respond spectacularly and swiftly, but that it happens at all means that there is something new at work. Specifically, Hubbard's observational rule thatneurosis of the acute level is direct. and literal carrying out of a specific verbal command seems demonstrated. One man had developed a compulsive neurosis to the extent that his driving was approaching homocidal tendencies. When driving, if he saw a friend driving toward him, he had a strong compulsion to drive right into the approaching car. So far, he had succeeded in negating against it, and drawing up, shaken mentally, for twenty minutes or so before he could proceed. This neurosis disappeared after finding the statementcommand of !lis Mother saying "I always like to run into my friends on the street." This case, incidentally, was handled by one of the cooperating psychiatrists, and has shown no recurrence of the neurosis.

Another decidedly undesirable driving pattern showed up in a man who, after attending his father's funeral in a town some fifty miles from his home, spent hours driving in circles, and arrived home finally in a state of physical and nervous collapse. His compulsive neurosis had forced him to turn right at every intersection he came to. It was only by a violent effort of will that he had been able to refrain sufficiently to get home at all. His father had been a minister; the command-statement in this neurosis appeared to have been: "You must always take the right road, son." Relieving that particular situation, in any case, ended the neurosis. There seems adequate evidence that Hubbard's thesis that direct and literal interpretations of statements plays an exceedingly important part in human neurosis.

Repression of normal caution was the result of a different type of command. State Highway Safety directors should be interested; the individual in this case had been in half a dozen extremely severe smash-ups, usually at speeds between sixty and eighty miles an hour, and had survived by a series of minor miracles. He had led an adventurous life, with a number of narrow escapes. There was a considerable and violent fear r~action when the command statemen"t "Don't worry, nothing's going to kill you !" was finally found and run out. The fear-reaction came from re-evaluation of the various automobile crashes.

Life can be interesting, but usually short, when such a commandstatement is in operation

Dianetics itself, the mechanical approach to the human mechanism, is definitely valid. It's exact extent, and its exact possibilities remain to be explored. And" the immensely greater field of philosophy that must be evaluated beyond dianetics, is still almost unexplored. Individuals who have cleared up the physical problems, and then proceeded into the philosophical problems, have already made many basic discoveries that seem extremely important.

For example, psychology and philosophy have long struggled with the problem of what emotion actually is. Philosophical introspection seems the only possible means of studying that question-and at the present time there seems to be excellent indication that an answer has been found. Emotion seems to be of only two true types; pure emotional pleasure, and emotional misery, unhappiness. These, however, are simply the pain-pleasure drives applied to the individual when he departs from basic, genetic behavior patterns. Man is gregarious by inheritance; departure from that pattern would be a defiance of the genetic behavior pattern-and would be rewarded with unhappiness.

Evolution studies have largely been devoted to the investigation of comparative anatomy-the physiological side of evolution. But cows are herbivorous not simply because they have herbivore teeth; a cow can digest meat with high efficiency. The physiology is accompanied by a genetically determined behavior pattern. The evolution of behavior patterns is extremely difficult to study-hut it is certainly exceedingly important. That behavior patterns are genetically determined is obvious-but the significance of those behavior patterns in human beings has not been adequately studied. If a genetic pattern exists, it is useless unless there is some means whereby it can enforce itself on the organism. It's been popular, for 10, these many years, to talk about "mechanisms" and explain everything in those terms. It works extrernelv well for atoms and 'molecules, 'and even simple things like radar sets. It works very poorly with human beings, or even animals. Living creatures are more complex; they have motives, desires, wishes something beyond mere mechanism. And emotion is simply the enforcing agency of the genetic patterns, apparently.

There has, incidentally, been a great deal of philosophical condemnation of "Man's animal instincts"; the next time some one brings up that old saw, I suggest you ask him to name the animals-other than Man, of course-that torture their own kind for amusement as a public spectacle, indulge in homosexuality, or abandon their new-born young because they are inconvenient: And which animal showed the more typically animal pattern, the Spartan parent who exposed his child on a hillside, or the wolf that took the little corpse home td feed her cubs?

It might be pointed out that genetic behavior patterns are evolved, just as physiological patterns are, and that a pattern of life that has undergone 2,000,000,000 years of field testing, or 300,000,000 years, as the mammalian patterns have, are not apt to be particularly given to destructive tendencies.

The other old saw about "self-'preservation" being the first law of nature can stand some healthy, critical inspection, also. A recent headline read: "Stewardess Saves Ten, Dies Trying To Save Others." Does such a headline make you feel, "The darned fool. 'What the blazes did she do a stupid thing like that for-risking her neck for somebody she never saw before!" or was vour reaction that that was what made being a human being worth while-that that was something worth while? Now if self-preservation is the first law, why, naturally, you'd feel embarrassed at the stupidity of anyone like that stewardess, or Roger Young who knowingly gave his life for his friends, or the silliness of a man who loses his life saving a child he didn't know.

On the other hand, if genetic behavior patterns are major factors in our lives and thinking-then one would expect a different pattern of' response. Genetic behavior patterns would have to euolt:«; they would be species patterns, and would exist only if the species existed-would survive only if the specks survived. That would have a tendencv to make species survival patterns' have a greater chance of continuation than individual-survival patterns. The tiger is a lone wanderer; tigers don't team up. But human beings do; evidently we have a different species survival pattern. And evidently part of it is that the group is to survive, even if individuals have to give their lives for it. That family-group must die for tribal-group, and tribal-group must die if thus only can the race, the species, be protected.

Patterns that live through millions of years, millions of generations- aren't apt to be destructive. And violation of such a time-tried pattern of life should carry a penalty.

There are great possibilities of understanding oneself, and that work has only begun. Dianetics, by handling only the physical aspects of the problem, cannot assure happiness- but it can act as the key to the greater problem. The dianetic aspects, the physicar-mechanical aspects, can be handled by a commercial, professional man, for money. But the deep selfunderstanding that must be achieved for full happiness can be achieved only with the help of someone who is strongly, warmly, personally-emotionally attached to the individual. That deeper self-understanding will, and must, be a home therapy, both because of the need of that personal attachment, and because it takes many, many hours of thinking to rework an entire life philosophy. Hubbard was much too optimistic on that.

The goal to be achieved, however, is. something beyond anything hitherto sought. Psychoanalysis seeks "adjustment"; philosophy seeks full understanding. The fully cleared individual-a state not yet achieved by anyone-is one who has full conscious awareness of all the sources of all of his motivations. The first step, however," is the dianetic clear-one who has found all the command-statements which have been serving as false motivations.

Incidentally, the goal of psychoanalysis: "adjustment" is anything but desirable. It is, actually, seeking to achieve a state of apathy, a state of accepting the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and, by not taking arms against the sea of troubles, to end caring about them. "You must face reality and accept your environment, adjust yourself to it" is a negation of precisely the characteristics that make man Man. Man, alone of animals, does not accept his environment, and will not face reality. The reality, at this moment, is that the night is cold, and wet, and the wind is blowing, and my skin is thin and furless. But I have refused to face realitv: I have taken reality by the ears and 'made it face me. I have a steam-heated, electrically-lighted house, and warm, dry clothes. The animals adjust themselves to reality; man adjusts reality to himself. George Washington may have been neurotic in psychoanalytical terms-he didn't face reality, either. He insisted on changing it to meet his ideas. The ideal state achieved by the doctrine of accepting reality is a nIce, even apathy: "Face the fact that your skin is thin and hairless, and the night is wet and cold, and don't be unhappy. Just accept it".

The man who first lands on the Moon is going to be someone who as a kid, wouldn't accept that whe~ he reached for the glowing Moon, it was too far away to reach. Some man who's so "neurotic" he figures it's better. to try, even if it kills you, than to gIve up and quit. Some fellow: who thinks. "impossible" means "we haven't figured the darned thing out yet," who feels that "reality" means "the raw material from which we intend to build what we want."

I don't believe anyone ever found a neurotic clam, however; they're beautifully adjusted to their reality.

Actually, what Man needs is to understand reality-as-it-is in the greatest possible detail, figure out what potentialities the situation-asit-is has, decide what he wants, then go to work on that reality and make what he can of it.

Dianetics is a technique of facing reality-the physical facts of which reality is, actually, made, and a technique for distinguishing between the raw material and the vastly greater power, man's mind, and thereby permitting a thorough examination of each, separately, to prepare the way for a proper program of interaction.

It needs a tremendous amount of development.

*Limited clinical records to this effect are already available; their value is, so far, indicative rather than definitive because of the Inescapable factor of time. Hubbard's own records are of relatively little value, because the necessary elaborate before·and~after medical, psychometric and psychiatric records were not prepared. The professional-level research in the field began only after June, 1950; indicative results were obtained in the first year, but these records are not acceptable as definitive until the results then obtained have been shown to persist over a period of years.

In consequence, while rather spedacular relief of acute conditions-suicidal mania, psychosomatic ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers, et cetera -have been obtained, time, and only time, can. prove in the worth of the method. The medical profession does not permit formal publication of clinical records on any such new technique until years of testing stand behind it.

Thus formal clinical records cannot be expected before 1955' here we are dealing with human beings, not' with a. physical science, and the problem is vastly dIfferent. In phYSIcal SCience, an experiment is repeatable-the ingredients of the experiment can be specified with accuracy, and the specifications matched. In human SC!ence, this is not, and never will be. the case. Even "identical" twins are not identIcal

John W, Campbell Jr.

ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, October 1951.