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Dianetics: Your Life Was Ruined Before Birth by Your Parents and Their Dumb Culture

Prenatal engram material?

Prenatal engram material?

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.

Vance, in this next chapter of the section on therapy, “The Auditor’s Role,” Hubbard lays down some pretty important guidelines which still seem to be in force today.

One of the key ideas in Hubbard’s therapy is that the listener — which he has named the “auditor” — must not interfere with the person he’s listening to.

There’s a quick sneer at “the couch” in this chapter, and it’s a telling one. For Hubbard, the practitioner in that other talking cure — the psychoanalyst — is too controlling, too judgmental, and too powerful.

In Hubbard’s scheme, the auditor must not cast judgment on what his “preclear” is saying. It’s more important just to get it out of him.

To drive that point home, Hubbard reveals here what he calls “The Auditor’s Code.”


It’s too long to quote here, but we can cite its main points — Auditors must be courteous, kind, quiet, trustworthy, courageous, patient, thorough, persistent, and uncommunicative — meaning, not commenting on or evaluating what the preclear is saying.

Vance, if we were just talking about how to be a good listener and supportive friend, and not talking about woo-woo engrams and the reactive mind, these would be solid guidelines for any person who wanted to help a troubled friend unburden themselves. Or are we missing something?

VANCE: You miss nothing. When I first read this, even though I was only a teenager, I had already met one or two frustrating conversation partners in my life. And reading the Auditor’s Code seemed like a good description of the difference between pleasant and unpleasant conversationalists. Besides, I aspired to be a good communicator. I think I improved my conversation skills by using the Auditor’s Code. Of course, hundreds of authors have summed up the components of a good conversationalist in hundreds of ways. I think I would have found ways to improve either way. I just happened to come across Hubbard’s way first. It was all part of getting sucked in: being young and naive. (Now, I might be old and naive, but that is a difference.)

Incidentally, I think the Code gives us some insight into Hubbard’s skills of manipulation. The Code basically lays it out. Never insult or get angry with or even directly contradict the mark. Win the mark’s trust. But at the same time, the auditor assumes charge of what is to be done. As Hubbard puts it, “The patient cannot see his own aberrations. That is one of the reasons why the auditor is there. The patient needs to be bolstered to face the unknowns of his life. That is another reason the auditor is there. The patient would not dare address the world which has gotten inside him and turn his back upon the world that is outside him unless he has a sentry.”

Reading this as a hopeful preclear, I thought, Gee, I have all these aberrations that I don’t even know about. It will be interesting to find out what they are.

So I was primed to have somebody else come in and start controlling my mind, if you follow. I was prepped to have an auditor “help me” discover what my aberrations were, i.e. to have me keep guessing at what my aberrations were until I guessed acceptable ones. For example, I had a problem that made me resist giving my life savings to the Church of Scientology. I had another inclination to have fun in life instead of taking Scientology courses every evening and all day on the weekends for months on end. I had this weird notion that Hubbard might not have had all the answers. I even privately questioned whether David Miscavige was such a great guy. Fortunately, auditing helped cure me of these aberrations. But my point is I never would have even realized that these were aberrations without the help of auditing.

THE BUNKER: Let’s move on into the next chapter, “Diagnosis.” It’s a lengthy one, but for today’s post we want to cite something that comes up early in it.

Hubbard is preparing auditors for the sorts of engrams they’re going to encounter when they work with preclears. And in 1950, he says, most of the material they are likely to run into will have a somewhat nostalgic flair…

As this work is written, most of the engrams that will be found in adults come from the first quarter of the 20th century. This was the period of “Aha, Jack Dalton, at last I have you in my possession!” It was the period of “Blood and Sand” and Theda Bara. It was the period of bootleg whisky and woman suffrage. It covered the days of “flaming youth” and the “The Yanks are Coming,” and bits of such color will be demanding action in the engram banks. Dianetic auditors have picked up whole passages of the Great Play “The Drunkard” out of prenatal engrams, not as a piece of funny “corn” but as Mama’s sincere and passionate effort to reform Papa. Superdrama, Mellerdrammer. And not only that but also tragedy. The hangover of the Gay Nineties, when the “business girl” had just begun to be “free” and Carrie Nation was saving the world at the expense of bartenders will be common fare in engrams found in today’s adults. Yesterday’s cliches and absurdities become, tragically enough, today’s engramic commands.

The reason that these 1950 subjects were running around with 1920s corn-pone drama messing up their heads, you see, is that they had absorbed prenatal engrams as their parents — people of a previous generation — had fought and screwed and talked loudly about their dumb culture, creating engrams in the zygote hugging mother’s uterine wall.

Apparently, as Scientology became more about past lives and less about time spent in the womb, these ideas receded. But Vance, we sort of love the idea that today, for example, the current generation is screwed up because of bad grindhouse movie dialogue spouted by our irresponsible parents.

Should we be taking this a little more seriously? Come on, this is comedy gold.

VANCE: It’s like we’re in a creative fiction class and Hubbard is telling us, “Go ahead and just get that stuff out on the page no matter how insipid it is. Just get it out. And with practice, you’ll be as good at lying as I am.”

And I’m thinking of the impact that 1970s adult movies could have had on my generation. You’d figure that we’d have a glut of thirty-something pizza delivery guys and plumbers. And all this time I thought the sound tracks were funny. Now I’m realizing that I’m just replaying prenatal engrams in my head. I feel so dirty. I’m so confused. I must need more auditing. Can you spot me a few thou’?

Whatever else we can say, Hubbard must have been auditing some interesting folks. Can you imagine having a preclear “remembering” his time in his mother’s womb and say, as Hubbard puts it, “Hey, what’s she got in here? Why, Goddamn her, that’s beginning to burn! It’s a douche. Say! Let me out of here! Bring me up to present time!” Now admit it, having just the thinnest possibility of that happening in auditing must make you want to run out and find yourself a preclear.

THE BUNKER: Ah, you’ve just hit on it, monsieur. The motivation for auditor training: voyeurism. Surely we’ll come back to this concept as we push on. Next week, we’ll continue on with “Diagnosis.”

Next week — Hysterical Hyper-Sight, and Other Lost Concepts of Dianetics


Jenna Miscavige Hill’s Book Cited in New French Senate Committee Report

BeyondBeliefOur man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, gives us another report on the French Senate’s interest in Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. Jonny blogs at Infinite Complacency.

The influence of Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book Beyond Belief is already reaching into government circles here: already praised by one French senator, it gets an honourable mention in an official report.

It got a pretty harsh review however, from a leading French Scientologist. But it turns out he hasn’t actually read it.

Her book, issued in French as Rescapée de la Scientologie, has received a lot of positive coverage in the media here.

We reported last month how her account of her experience growing up inside Scientology was praised during a hearing of a French Senate committee investigating influence of cult-like movements in the health sector.

They published their findings on Wednesday, presenting a set of 41 proposals to tighten up regulation in the sector to make it easier to go after anyone pushing fraudulent treatments.

The report deals with a whole range of organisations and issues, much of which has nothing to do with Scientology. Buried in its pages however, Hill’s book is cited and even quoted. (A pity they managed to misspell her first name three times: Jeanna?)

Hill and other children of Scientologists working in the Sea Org were kept at a place called the Ranch, the report notes, citing her statement that she never saw a doctor during her whole time there. (If you haven’t read the book yet, have a look at The Underground Bunker’s review.)

The report also mentions Hill’s account of how the movement frowned on the use of any conventional medicine to treat fevers and pain; and how even her own grandmother, a qualified nurse, was forbidden to practice because of the movement’s hostility to conventional medicine.

And the report quotes a passage from her book in which she records her superiors’ reaction when she was extremely sick with a high fever, constantly vomiting and on the point of passing out. She was simply told to keep drinking liquids and get some rest (all this from pages 28-29 of the report).

Hill’s account served to reinforce the account given by Roger Gonnet when he testified before the committee last month. Gonnet himself told how he would have lost a client on the Purification Rundown if had not broke with protocol and taken her out of the treatment. (For more on this, see “The Rundown: a close call” at Infinite Complacency.)

The committee proceedings, also published Wednesday, show that more than once senators put the contents of Hill’s book to witnesses -– including Scientology’s representative, Eric Roux.

It was Senator Muguette Dini who, as we have reported, praised the book during an earlier session. She confronted Roux with Hill’s account of the Purification Rundown and the health risks that she said it could entail. Why had he not spoken about this in his presentation, she wanted to know?

His reply: “I think that your source is lying in 50 percent of what she is telling, and from beginning to end if, being the niece of the ecclesiastical leader of the Church, her comments are being passed on by the mainstream press. It’s very ‘people.’

“In France, tens of thousands of people have followed the purification programme, there has never been a single problem… We’re talking about a religious choice made by people in good health.”

He mentions later that he hasn’t actually read the book.

He only made the admission when another senator pressed him on his dismissal of the book.

He had formed his view on the strength of extracts he had read in the press -– and on the official statement put out by Scientology in the United States.

Perhaps you believe her, he told the senators, “…but it’s difficult for me to say what is true and what is false, because I have only read extracts.”

Does anyone have an aspirin?

— Jonny Jacobsen

Jonny has now posted at his blog a lengthier version of the story he did for us yesterday, about British crime writer R.J. Ellory and Scientology.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 11, 2013 at 07:00


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