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Hysterical Hyper-Sight, and Other Lost Concepts of Dianetics

XrayVisionWelcome 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 the chapter “Diagnosis,” L. Ron Hubbard gets down to specifics, instructing an auditor how to assess the preclear that he’ll be counseling.

We were surprised when Hubbard suddenly started talking about hysterical blindness and hysterical deafness. Both are outdated concepts that became popular as diagnoses in the 19th century. Today, doctors refer to them as conversion disorder, but the idea of someone being totally blind or deaf from “hysteria” seems a dated idea.

Hubbard says, however, that most folks are suffering from a version of this, which either hinders or enhances their vision or hearing.

This is how he describes someone with “hypo-hearing,” who has some deafness, apparently caused by engrams and not something wrong with his ears…

This patient has something he is afraid to hear. He plays the radio very loudly, makes people repeat continually and misses pieces of the conversation.


Someone who has “hypo-sight” has a hard time making things out with his eyes…

The patient who is always losing something when it lies in fair view before him, who misses signposts, theater bills and people who are in plain sight is “hysterically” blind to some degree. He is afraid he will see something.

Then there’s the person who sees too well, which he calls “hyper-sight”…

A girl, for instance, who sees something or thinks she sees something but knows she doesn’t and is very startled, who jumps in fright when anyone silently comes into a room and can be so startled rather habitually, is suffering from extended sight.

And someone who over-perceives sounds is said to have “hyper-hearing”…

A person who is alarmed by noises, by sounds in general, by certain voices, who gets a headache or gets angry when the people around are “noisy” or the door slams or the dishes rattle, is a victim of extended hearing.

Since these conditions are caused by engrams, Hubbard supposes that these victims, when they were unconscious (or in the womb, perhaps) were in the presence of someone who shouted “Don’t see! Don’t hear!” and it has affected them the rest of their lives.

So it’s the auditor’s first job to decide where his preclear is on this scale.

Vance, did any of this stick around for Scientology of more recent years?

VANCE: None of it stuck around. Remember, Scientology came shortly after Dianetics. Consequently, Dianetics was essentially relegated to the status of a gateway drug used to get people hooked on the expensive stuff: Scientology. And Scientology’s Bridge to Total Freedom — the sequence of auditing procedures that Scientologists wade through on their way to financial ruin — is very much one size fits all. By that I mean the entire notion of diagnosis mostly went out the window with Scientology. With the Bridge, everybody gets the same set of processes in the same sequence, more or less.

That said, I’d say that most Scientologists are completely aware of the misogynistic roots of the word hysterical, and they are as reluctant to use the word as anybody else these days. Obviously that kind of sensitivity completely eluded Hubbard, but I’ll give modern Scientologists what credit is due on that point.

THE BUNKER: Well, for all that fuss about over-perception and under-perception, Hubbard ends up suggesting to the beginning auditor that he choose someone who seems to be of average sight and hearing in order to avoid complications. And so much for this chapter. So with our very average preclear, we’ll press on to the next chapter next week.

Next week — Dianetics is Not Hypnosis — Well, Except For That “You Are Feeling Sleepy” Part


Fresh Out of the Cincinnati Ideal Org

We’re going to reach out to the young woman who made this video about her brother, who has apparently fled his job on staff at Cincinnati’s Ideal Org, which was opened just last year.

Earlier, “Storm Zara” had shot some video inside the org, making her brother rather nervous. But now, he’s apparently ditched the place. His account is interesting, and we’re hoping there’s more to the story…


There’s so much going on in the Bunker this week. We want to thank our readers for the huge response to our story on Shelly Miscavige and the International Base yesterday. It even got noticed over at Daily Kos.

We have a lot more good stuff coming…


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 18, 2013 at 07:00

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