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.
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.
- 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).