Welcome to our ongoing project, where we blog a 1950 first edition of Scientology’s bible, Dianetics, with the help of ex-Scientologist, Bay Area lawyer, blogger, and author Vance Woodward. Go here for the first post in the series.
We’re now entering Book Two, which promises to take us into the nuts and bolts of dianetic theory. And it begins with Hubbard describing to us how the human mind works — that it has three divisions, and in this first chapter he is going to explain how the analytical mind works.
The analytical mind, he explains, is the “I”. It’s the awareness we have as a self. When we’re conscious and thinking, it’s our analytical mind that is helping us make decisions.
And remarkably, the analytical mind works just like an error-free computer, analyzing data stored in massive data banks, never making a mistake.
Gosh, that’s a keen idea, and we figure it must have sounded downright spiffy in 1950, when this book came out.
After briefly noting that he’s just developing an analogy (you know, musing again), Hubbard makes more fabulous claims of certainty:
The action of the analytical mind — or analyzer — is everything anyone could want from the best computer available. It can and does all the tricks of a computer. And over and above that, it directs the building of computers. And it is as thoroughly right as any computer ever was. The analytical mind is not just a good computer, it is a perfect computer. It never makes a mistake. It cannot err in any way so long as a human being is reasonably intact (unless something has carried away a piece of his mental equipment).
In 1950, when this book came out, how many readers had any idea what “all the tricks of a computer” were? But Hubbard goes even further. Not only does he imagine some super pentium chip in your head flawlessly carrying out instructions, but the human mind also has giant “memory banks” which faithfully record every sensation and thought with perfect fidelity.
As earlier, Hubbard is asserting — without any evidence to back it up — that inside of each of us is some superhuman entity (which now resembles a computer) that has been obscured because of our “aberrations.”
But Vance, we have to ask, do Scientologists today understand that L. Ron Hubbard based the ideas in this book on the barest understanding of computing as it existed in 1950? And that his simplified calculation — that the unaberrated human mind is “error-free” and works perfectly until those darn aberrations mess things up, is once again a supposition that he provides no evidence to back up and no way for an independent researcher to double check?
VANCE: It’s tough to say what Scientologists think because discussion and speculation are prohibited in Scientology. Any discussion of Scientology risks polluting a Scientologist’s mind with “false data” and “out-tech.” And so discussions of what people think about “the tech” are nonexistent. As a Scientologist, the information comes from LRH’s lips and fingers to your ears and eyeballs. To know what Scientologists think, you have to pick up clues from periodic oblique comments. The impression I always got is that most Scientologists think that the particulars are unimportant. In other words, Scientologists are perfectly willing to accept that the material is made from 100 percent (error-free) brain farts. The only question that matters is, Does it work? Just don’t answer that question negatively, not if you want to stay out of Ethics trouble.
Now, if you actually managed to verbally corner a Scientologist, I think the average one would concede that the error-free-computer analogy is a slight exaggeration because, after all, LRH says that “absolutes are unobtainable.” (And as with any cult ideology, there’s always an out, many outs.) Scientologists don’t give a hoot whether any establishment-qualified clinical trials had ever been done. Even to ask about something like that would be a near blasphemy insofar as it would reflect some skepticism about the Man’s claims. In one of his early lectures, LRH claims that he cleared an unspecified number of people. Unfortunately, their case histories got lost (no explanation is given). Oopsy-daisy. And so, those original Clears all got lost from the scientific record. Bummer. But it proves that LRH did clear people. Right?
So far as Scientologists are concerned, if LRH says that it works, then it works. Period. So what if he didn’t write down any research notes? The stuff works. That’s what’s important. Oh? It doesn’t work? Who says? Who got to you? Who’s been talking to you? Where’d you get that false data from? You better keep you eye on that guy. He’s not looking out for your best interests. Scientology WORKS!
THE BUNKER: We’ll have to take your word on that.
Next week — Blogging Dianetics, Part 6: Reactive Mind Games
NARCONON GEORGIA NOW FACING A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
On Wednesday, we told you that Atlanta’s media is circling the sinking Scientology drug rehab facility in that city like sharks, and that WSB radio’s Pete Combs had reported the latest — that a new state investigation into fraudulent insurance charges was being added to the list of Narconon Georgia’s many woes.
Yesterday, WSB-TV’s Jodie Fleischer dug into the details of the new allegations, and found that the state’s probe will be a criminal investigation.
No word yet on which individual may face criminal charges, if any, but with only days before a wrongful death and civil racketeering trial begins on February 11, Scientology’s problems seem to be metastasizing.
TOMORROW — We start a new feature with none other than A Piece of Blue Sky author Jon Atack!
Posted by Tony Ortega on February 1, 2013 at 07:00