Introduction to Dianetics and Scientology


Because the terms dianetics and scientology may be unfamiliar, it is useful to provide definitions. These definitions are drawn from Harper's Dictionary of Modern Thought, by Alan Bullock, Oliver Stallybrass, and Stephen Trombley (new and revised edition, Harper and Row, 1988). I trust these extracts come under fair use doctrine.

A mechanistic technique of therapy developed in 1948 by L. Ron Hubbard. It is based upon the belief that memories reach back before the moment of conception to previous lives or existences even in non-human forms or on planets elsewhere in the universe, and that if these memories can be recalled without pain or emotion an individual will be freed to develop his personality and 'beingness'. Dianetics later developed into scientology.
An organization of a quasi-religious character founded in the U.S.A. in 1952 by the late L. Ron Hubbard and purporting to bring its members complete mental health. It has been widely accused of authoritarian attitudes and of indoctrinating, hypnotizing, and brainwashing its members so as to destroy their social links with non-members, including even close relatives. Several Australian states, New Zealand, Canada, and Great Britain have held official inquiries into its practices, and measures aimed at adversely publicizing its activities or drastically reducing their scope have been adopted in number of them.
Bibl: J. G. Foster, Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology (London, 1971).
There is a view that scientology is a symtom of the social decay and growth of irrationalism associated with late capitalist society and therefore shares some of the features of fascism.

World History Archives Gateway to World History Images from World History Hartford Web Publishing