Possible origins for Dianetics and Scientology

by Jon Atack

HTML and links by Tilman Hausherr

My starting point is the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary definition of plagiarism, viz "the taking and using as one's own of the thoughts, writings, or inventions of another." Hubbard's plagiarism was extensive. He took ideas from earlier authors without proper acknowledgment; repudiated his initial, partial acknowledgment of other authors; and many times took ideas from his followers without acknowledging them. By far the majority of Hubbard's published work was actually readied for publication by others. Over time, acknowledgment for these co-authors has simply been removed from newer publications.


The key concept in any argument relating to Hubbard's plagiarism is that of "source". In the early days, Hubbard expressed a debt to other thinkers. For example, there are a number of references to Freud and Breuer in his 1950 lectures. Hubbard also initially credited U.S. Navy doctor Commander Thompson. The books Science of Survival (1951) and Scientology 8-8008 (1952) both contain acknowledgment lists. However, on 7 February 1965 Hubbard published the Policy Letter "Keeping Scientology Working", where he said: "Our technology has not been discovered by a group. True, if the group had not supported me in many ways I could not have discovered it either." This Policy Letter appears in all but introductory Dianetic and Scientology courses. In the Executive Directive "How to Raise Stats" (01), Hubbard said, "I am the source of Dianetic and Scientology tech, know-how and org[anization] form." In a talk given on 27 January 1986, the then head of the Sea Organization, which governs Scientology, Pat Broeker, said "There is only one source of Scientology and Dianetics tech, and that is L. Ron Hubbard ... There is - not 'was', is - only one Source ... What is it about LRH that made him Source? His technology - the Grades, the OT levels, all of his discoveries. Nobody else - nobody - ever discovered it." (02).

These assertions, despite Hubbard's earlier admissions, are held to be "sacred scripture" in Scientology (03).

Hubbard is styled "Source" by Scientologists. The Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary defines "source" as "1. the point of origin, or it would be the originator, or where something was begun or dreamed up or mocked up." Scientology's Modern Management Technology Defined defines "Source" thus: "Scientologists recognize and revere the spiritual leadership of L. Ron Hubbard as the Founder, and as the Source of the religious philosophy of Scientology."

Earlier, Hubbard had said "parts of these answers have been represented in many places under many names." (The Scientologist - A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, 1955). In a 1954 lecture, Hubbard said, speaking of the Hindu Vedas, "A great deal of our material in Scientology is discovered right back there" (04). Further, "We find Scientology's earliest certainly known ancestor in the Veda ... we can look back across a certain span of time, across a great many minds and into a great many places where man has been able to sit long enough to think, through this old record, and find where it joins up with the present and to what we, in Scientology are rightly indebted. For to say that out of whole cloth and with no background, a Westerner such as myself should suddenly develop all the things you need to know to do the things they were trying to do, is an incredible and unbelievable and untrue statement." (05). In the book Creation of Human Ability (1954), Hubbard said "Scientology is an organization of the pertinancies which are mutually held true by all men in all times" (06) and "Almost everything I have studied or observed has been evaluated otherwise somewhere, at some time, in relation to this or that". (07)

This equivocal attitude can also be seen in attempts by Scientology to make comparison with earlier work. The booklet Scientology and the Bible was published in 1967 and copyrighted by L.Ron Hubbard. The subtitle is "A Manifest Paralleling the Discoveries of Scientology by L.Ron Hubbard with the Holy Scriptures". Over 160 points of comparison are made, attributing "parallels" with most of the basic tenets of Scientology (including the Axioms and the Factors from which all of Scientology supposedly derives).

In "Advance! Magazine", issue 18, published in 1973 and copyrighted by L.Ron Hubbard, there is an elaborate comparison between Scientology and the Chinese Tao Te Ching, which predates the Christian era (08).

The Background and Cermonies of the Church of Scientology of California, World Wide, was published in 1973, and copyrighted by L.Ron Hubbard. Here comparisons are made with other "religious philosophies" (e.g., "Eastern religious philosophy has many similarities to be found in Scientology", p.10). Hubbard (or his ghost author) says: "In Hinduism, the separation of the Mind, Body and Spirit is very definitely a vita[l] part of the religious thinking - and it coincides with Scientology." (p.11). The book also acknowledges Hindu belief in reincarnation (p.11f). Hubbard even asserts that the authors of the Hindu Vedic literature were aware of the distinction between the conscious and unconscious minds (p.12). Acknowledgment is also made of the principle of "karma": "We would also agree with the moral law of cause and effect as detailed by the Hindu." (p.12). Reference is made to Buddhism and to Spinoza ("to understand something is to be delivered of it", p.14. This is the underlying doctrine of Scientology auditing). The book goes on to make comparisons between Scientology and the thought of Carl Rogers (p.14), Aristotle (p.16), Spinoza (pp.16f), Thomas Aquinas (pp.19f), the Bible (pp.21f) and "Modern Western Thought" (pp.22f).


"The goal of Man, the lowest common denominator of all his activities, the dynamic principle of his existence, has long been sought ... TIME, SPACE, ENERGY and LIFE have a single denominator in common ... They obey a single order and that order is 'SURVIVE!' ... It is not a new thought that Man is surviving. It is a new thought that Man is motivated only by survival." (Dianetics, pp.18-19). A year after publishing this statement about his discovery of the "lowest common denominator" of all human activities, Hubbard said this in a lecture: "You are asked this question in the field many times, I am sure. 'How does Dianetics differ? ... And they say, 'You look back in Darwin's theory, and you will find there that it's by natural selection - the survival of the fittest. Now, how does that possibly differ from "the dynamic principle of existence is survive"? It's the same thing!' It is not the same thing, because we have an aligned body of knowledge. We have taken 'the dynamic principle of existence is survive,' and then we have explored survival and found out where everything fits into the picture properly on survival ... There is a big difference between this and a phrase lying back there. It is true that Dianetics has a great debt to pay to Darwin" (10). Hubbard also credited Herbert Spencer, who coined the expression "survival of the fittest", in the acknowledgment lists in Science of Survival and Scientology 8-8008, and in Research and Discovery volume 1, pp.440-441 (11).

In Scientology 0-8, Hubbard asserts: "Man had no inkling whatever of Dianetics. None. This was the bolt from the blue." (12). In fact, Dianetics derived largely from work abandoned by Freud before the turn of the century. In a series of lectures given in 1909 (the Clark Lectures) (13), Freud described this work in some detail. The similarities to Hubbard's original Dianetics are startling - Freud concluded that hysterical states can bring about the illusion "of a whole number of serious diseases" (14) and said "our hysterical patients suffer from reminiscences" (15). Hubbard asserted that by far the greatest number of physical ailments are "psychosomatic" - or hysterical ("Psycho-somatic illnesses are those which have a mental origin but which are nevertheless organic ... About seventy per cent of the physician's current roster of diseases falls into the category of psycho-somatic illness." Dianetics, p.91). The hysterical symptoms "had arisen ... as residues ... of emotional experiences ... the particular nature of the symptoms was explained by their relation to the traumatic scenes which were their cause." (16). Hubbard's Dianetics depends entirely upon the re-experiencing of past trauma ("engrams" and "secondary engrams").

Hubbard also followed Freud in asserting that traumatic memories form in "chains" ("CHAINS: Any series of incidents in the engram bank which have similar content." Dianetics, p.423). As Freud has it: "What left the symptom behind was not always a single experience. On the contrary, the result was usually brought about by the convergence of several traumas, and often by the repetition of a great number of similar ones. Thus it was necessary to reproduce the whole chain of pathogenic memories in chronological order, or rather in reversed order, the latest ones first and the earliest ones last; and it was quite impossible to jump over the later traumas in order to get back more quickly to the first, which was often the most potent one." (17). Hubbard has "Reduce every engram you contact and when the engram will not reduce try to get the earlier one like it which keeps it from reducing and reduce that. Follow this procedure. Never leave a chain of engrams in restimulation. Discover the basic of that chain and reduce it." (18). "Basic" is defined by Hubbard as "The first engram on any similar chain of engrams" (Dianetics, p.423).

In re-experiencing a traumatic memory, Freud insisted that there must be expression of emotion (or "generation of affect" (19)). Hubbard spoke of "returning" in Dianetics: "the person can 'send' a portion of his mind to a past period on either a mental or a combined mental and physical basis and can re-experience incidents which have taken place in his past in the same fashion and with the same sensations as before." (Dianetics, p.11). Both Hubbard and Freud spoke of emotional "charge" ("Hysterical conversion exaggerates this portion of the discharge of an emotionally cathected (charged) mental process" (20). Hubbard has as a definition of "charge": "emotional charge or energy (21). Freud also described the "bewildering realization that in one and the same individual there can be several mental groupings" (22). These are described as "valences" or "demon circuits" in Dianetics. Freud was also to describe the division of the personality with his notions of the "id", "ego" and "superego", and with the theory of "transference" which asserts that patients transfer responses especially from parents to later figures of authority or support. This is the basis of Hubbard's valence theory as expressed, for example, through the "ally computation".

As with Hubbard, Freud used post-hypnotic suggestion as an analogy for the working of the unconscious mind: "In the familiar condition known as 'post-hypnotic suggestion', a command given under hypnosis is slavishly carried out subsequently in the normal state. This phenomenon affords an admirable example of the influences which the unconscious state can exercise over the conscious one; moreover, it provides a pattern upon which we can account for the phenomena of hysteria." (23). Hubbard asserts: "it was discovered that these 'unconscious' periods ["engrams"] were rather like periods of hypnosis driven home by pain. The patient responded as if the 'unconscious' period had been post-hypnotic suggestion." (Dianetics: the Evolution of a Science, p.62).

Freud and Hubbard both attempted to recover "chains" of traumatic memories to relieve emotional "charge". The most recent memory is taken up first, and then progressively earlier memories to the earliest (called the "earlier similar" technique in Scientology). Freud also used a method dubbed "repeater technique" in Hubbard's Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health: "In interviewing a patient, the auditor [Dianetic practitioner] notes carefully without appearing to do so, what phrases the patient chooses and repeats about his ills or about dianetics." (Dianetics, p.214-215); "It was observed that, while the patient was in her states of 'absence' ... she was in the habit of muttering a few words to herself which seemed as though they arose from some train of thought that was occupying her mind. The doctor [Breuer], after getting a report of these words, used to put her into a kind of hypnosis and then repeat them to her so as to induce her to use them as a starting-point." (24).

Hubbard claimed that his interest in psychotherapy was sparked by a meeting with U.S. Navy doctor Commander Thompson, in 1923 (when Hubbard was twelve). "Through his friendship I attended many lectures given at Naval hospitals and generally became conversant with psychoanalysis as it had been exported from Austria by Freud." (25).

Hubbard also accepted that Freud had understood what Hubbard was to call the "time-track": "All the great savants of the field of the mind never even suspected this track except Freud, and he said that the body contains some sort of a record or blueprint of its immediate past." (26).

Hubbard acknowledged Freud in several places: "The early part of Freud's work back around 1894 was good and we can use it. His equation 'Full recall equals full sanity,' whether he realized it or not, was the key that unlocked the door." (27). "his tenet of longing for the womb stated clearly that there must be memory associated with them ['prenatal incidents']." (28). "Freud ... did discover that there was possibly some coordination between mental reaction or mental experience and psychosomatic illnesses stemming from the mind." (29). "It is true that Dianetics has a debt to pay to Freud" (30). "Sigmund Freud stressed traumatic pre-natal incidents ... Forgotten incidents were postulated by Sigmund Freud, to whom through Commander Thompson, one of his students and the friend and mentor of my youth, I am much endebted, to be a considerable factor in human sanity." (31). However, Hubbard was also to deny Freud: "As a matter of fact, to Breuer's first belief in the subject of mental catharsis and to Korzybski belong the only acknowledgments that Dianetics really would care to make. Because both General Semantics and Breuer furnished some data. Sigmund Freud is not in there ... But Breuer was pretty right. It was Breuer's theory that full recall equalled full sanity ... The jump is from Spencer to Breuer to Korzybski to Dianetics." (32).

In 1950 and 1951, Hubbard spoke of the use of "narcosynthesis" (in Dianetics [e.g., p.117, footnote: "The author is well aware that many physicians, in using narco-synthesis, have occasionally accidentally entered 'unconscious' periods."],Science of Survival and the Research and Discovery volumes). It is clear that Hubbard was aware of the work of psychiatrists Grinker and Spiegel, who coined the term "narcosynthesis" in the 1940s (33). In fact, Hubbard recommended a text which discussed narcosynthesis and "hypnoanalysis" (34). This text gives the following description: "The doctors [Grinker and Spiegel] call this new technique narcosynthesis, because, while under the hypnosis, the soldier patient re-experiences the shocking occurence that caused his breakdown - his traumatic episode - and then reincorporates the memory thus obtained" (35). The text also speaks of the patient being asked to count backwards until in trance. This practice is also found in Dianetics - although Hubbard was less than candid about the trance state it can produce.

Dianetics is strongly related to these variations of Freudian psychoanalysis, which were briefly popular as a treatment for military personnel in both the US and Britain (where research was led by Dr William Sargant, who described his work in the 1957 book Battle for the Mind, a copy of which used to be on the shelves of Hubbard's personal library in the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C.).

Narcosynthesis sought to "abreact" painful memories: "Freud had found that 'affectless memories, memories without any release of emotion', were almost useless; meaning, that unless a doctor could get his patients to relieve the emotions originally associated with a repressed experience that had caused a neurosis, the mere fact of his remembering the experience would not constitute a cure. Sadler consequently defined abreaction as 'a process of reviving the memory of a repressed unpleasant experience and expressing in speech and action the emotions related to it, thereby relieving the personality of its influence.' In World War I, much the same abreactive treatment had been successfully used, but for the most part with hypnotism not drugs". (36)

Narcosynthesis was largely used on personnel suffering from what is now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The practice fell out of favour because it was held to be inapplicable outside the stresses of war (37). Hubbard, completely failed to acknowledge the work of these psychiatrists.

Hubbard added to Freud's therapy Korzybski's theory of identification (the "reactive mind" thinks in identities, the "analytical mind" in similarities and differences. Hubbard attributes this to Korzybski in Scientology 8-8008, on p.44), and the notions of natal and prenatal memory. The dust sleeve of the first edition of Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health advertises a book published a year earlier (in 1949) - Dr. Nandor Fodor's The Search for the Beloved - a clinical investigation of the trauma of birth and pre-natal conditioning.

As with Hubbard, Fodor believed that the trauma of birth and of the prenatal period are "locked up in the depths of the unconscious mind" (38). Fodor points out that "Catharsis (abreaction) is the cornerstone of Freudian psychology. It is said that unless the patient recovers the memory of the repressed and in recovering it re-lives the original event, he cannot become free" (39). Fodor adds "No psychoanalytic integration of a personality can be completed until it reaches the fetal levels of the mind because it is before birth that the psychic foundation of our being is laid." (40).

Fodor asserts that phobias stem from the birth trauma (p.5). Other undesirable conditions are also related to birth and the prenatal period (e.g., pp.15, 35-36). Fodor asserts that his idea of the birth trauma is not original, and was noted by Groddeck in 1935 (p.22). Fodor mentions others interested in the topic (p.30; p.139, Dr. Grace Pailthorpe's 1941 paper "Deflection of Energy as a Result of Birth Trauma, and Its Bearing Upon Character Formation" is mentioned; pp.327 & 335, Dr. J. Sadger's paper "Preliminary Study of the Psychic Life of the Fetus and the Primary Germ", 1941, is mentioned. Otto Rank is credited as the first to focus attention on the topic, and Freud's acknowledgment of it is noted, p.191. Rank's book The Trauma of Birth appeared in 1929). Fodor too spoke of "emotional charge" (p.63).

Fodor encouraged his patients to "re-live" birth, and reported instances where he believed this had happened (e.g., pp.79-80). Hubbard was to assert that the "reactive mind" (his name for the "unconscious" or "subconscious") records "mental image pictures". This idea is also found in Fodor's 1949 publication, he even foreshadowed Hubbard's later ideas that something psychic was at work: "[a newborn baby's] unconscious mind ... may function in the same archaic way which we encounter in the study of telepathic and clairvoyant phenomena ... Before self-consciousness forces these functions back into the twilight realms, they may register events with that photographic quality which is peculiar to the unconscious mind." (p.80).

Fodor also spoke of "transference" (e.g., pp.127, 334; see earlier comments in this report about "transference" and Hubbard's "valences"). Hubbard's views about the separation between "conscious" ("analytical") and "unconscious" ("reactive") minds has much in common with Fodor's view (neither of which is the commonly held contemporary view) (e.g., p.190). Fodor wrote "We know that the unconscious mind records many impressions which the conscious mind is not able or too preoccupied to notice." - a view basic to Hubbard's theory.

Hubbard shared Fodor's view that the prenatal state is not necessarily blissful (Fodor, p.303). Fodor also spoke of coitus and the "unborn" (e.g., pp.309, 352) and dedicated a chapter to "attempts at aborting the unborn" (p.325ff; p.334; p.352). Hubbard devoted considerable space to these topics in his Dianetics.

Fodor expressed a dissatisfaction with "science" similar to Hubbard's "The trouble with this scientific attitude is that it is based solely on materialistic considerations. Prove the existence of telepathy, and you have proven that shock effects can be transmitted from one mind to another without nervous connection." (p.330).

Fodor acknowledged various journals which had printed chapters of his book prior to its publication, in 1949. Between 1945 and 1949, some thirteen articles had appeared. Fodor was not the only bona fide researcher interested in these topics. In a 1992 article, Jeff Jacobsen also refers to Sadger's 1941 paper concerning the recollection of memories prior to conception (i.e., as sperm and ovum, called the "sperm dream" by Hubbard) (41). Jacobsen quotes Sadger: "there exists certainly a memory, although an unconscious one, of embryonic days, which persists throughout life and may continuously determine an action." Jacobsen also refers, as did Fodor, to Grace W. Pailthorpe, M.D. (42), who asserted that psychoanalysis should include the recollection of birth.

In his "autobiographical notes for Peter Tompkins", Hubbard asserted "As the Captain of Oak Knoll Naval Hospital was an intimate friend of my father's, and as the war was obviously all over for me, I was very pampered and had the run of the place (p.25) ... I had the run of the medical library (p.26) ... Therefore, using nothing but Freudian Psychoanalysis and using a park bench as a consulting room, I set out to find out whether or not those who would not assimilate hormones had mental blocks." (pp.25-27). With the "run of the medical library", his references to Freud and Breuer and his mention of "narcosynthesis", it seems barely possible that Hubbard was unaware of the work of Rank, Groddeck, Pailthorpe, Sadger and Fodor. If he was, he was a very poor researcher.

Mental health professionals are not the only possible source for the idea of re-living birth. In 1952, Hubbard recommended a work by black magician Aleister Crowley, which Hubbard called The Master Therion (published in 1929). This book was reprinted as Magick in Theory and Practice, and it too contains reference to the recollection of birth: "Having allowed the mind to return for some hundred times to the hour of birth, it should be encouraged to endeavour to penetrate beyond that period. If it be properly trained to run backwards, there will be little difficulty in doing this." (Crowley, p.419) (43).

According to his second wife, now Sara Hollister, Hubbard was also greatly taken by the work of English psychologist Richard Semon (Bent Corydon, L. Ron Hubbard Messiah or Madman?, p.264. "Semon" is mistakenly rendered as "Simon"), whose interest was largely with memory (he founded "mnemonic psychology"). Semon invented the word "engram" which is at the core of the Dianetic hypothesis. Hubbard himself admitted "About 1914-15 there was a chap who remarked on the fact that there was such a thing as an engram, that a moment of unconsciousness was recorded all the way through." (44).

Hubbard himself credits his use of "deintensification" - having the client tell and retell a traumatic memory - to normal hypnotic practice (45). He was also to redefine the hypnotic term "regression", showing that his method of therapy was, in fact, regression based (Dianetics, p.11-12). In Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard used the term "reverie", an expression commonly used by hypnotists at the time for "light trance" (i.e., where the subject appears to be awake (46)). Reverie was induced by the "auditor" counting backwards at the client, again a commonly used method of inducing trance (47).

Sociologist Roy Wallis, PhD, in his 1976 book The Road to Total Freedom also noted many of these parallels, and asserted: "Dianetics was a form of abreaction therapy, with strong similarities to a variety of techniques then in use. Since Hubbard himself has asserted the originality of the entire theory and practice and acknowledges having been influenced only in a most general way by other writers, it is difficult to be certain of the sources of his synthesis. Ideas which approximate to many aspects of the theory and practice of Dianetics were currently available in orthodox and fringe psychology..." (Wallis, p.31).


Speaking of his childhood mentor Commander Thompson, Hubbard said "that's a very unusual thing to do, to take a 12-year-old boy and start doing something with the mind ... He used to tell me 'If it's not true for you, it's not true' ... and he got this from a fellow named Gautama Siddhartha." (48). While the original statement by the Buddha is not referenced, it may well have been this far more eloquent appeal, from the Kalama Sutta, "Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though they have been held in honour for many generations, in many places. Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading yourself that some god inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of your masters or priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have tested and found to be rational, and conform your conduct thereto." Alexandra David-Neel (a possible source for much of Scientology) quotes from a Buddhist Sutra: "Be your own guide and your own torch" (49).


The word 'dianetics' is a variant of 'dianoetic', the earliest recorded usage is given as 1677 by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. A group called "Dianism" was started shortly before "Dianetics". The founder of this group was a U.S. Navy lieutenant who had studied the works of Aleister Crowley. Dianism centred upon the eighth ritual of Crowley's OTO - the "magical masturbation". Curiously, this was the ceremony performed by Hubbard with OTO leader Jack Parsons in 1946. It seems eminently possible that "dian" refers to "Diana", the Roman goddess, who in turn was seen by Crowley as the "dark goddess" - the Empress, Hathor, Artemis, Shakti, or the Babylon, or "Scarlet Woman", of the Book of Revelation. Hubbard's ceremonies with Parsons were intended to incarnate this very force. Hubbard called his first daughter by Mary Sue Hubbard, Diana. He also renamed one of the Sea Org vessels the "Diana". (50)


The name Scientology is borrowed. It was first used by philologist Allen Upward in The New World (which was published in 1910 in the U.S.). Upward used the word to mean "pseudo-science". Nordenholz, an Aryan race theorist, adopted the word "Scientologie" as the title of a 1934 book. Nordenholz's book was translated into English and published in the 1960s by former Scientologist Woodward McPheeters, who claimed many parallels between Nordenholz's work and that of Hubbard. Nordenholz used the word "Scientologie" to mean "the science of the constitution and usefulness of knowledge and knowing" or the "science of consciousness".

Hubbard claimed both to have coined the term himself prior to the inception of Dianetics (in 1950) ("In 1938 I codified certain axioms and phenomena into what I called SCIENTOLOGY" (51)), yet also claimed that Mary Sue Hubbard had coined it (52). He did not meet Mary Sue until 1951.


Hubbard himself credited the "cycle of action" to Vedic literature: "These were religious hymns and they are our earliest debt in Scientology ... because the very early hymns contain much that we know today and which checks against what we have rediscovered ... and this material included such a common thing as the cycle of the physical universe, known to you in Scientology as the Cycle of Action ... all this information is in there." (The Phoenix Lectures, pp.7-8).


The original tone scale, as given in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, seems to derive from Ivan Pavlov's work on "conditioned reflexes". Pavlov asserted that he had confirmed the existence of the four mediaeval "humours". Hubbard referred to Pavlov's work several times (e.g., Dianetics, p.142). "If a person is happy mentally, the survival level can be placed in Zone 4 ... Very unprecise but nonetheless descriptive names have been assigned to these zones. Zone 3 is one of general happiness and well-being. Zone 2 is level of bearable existence. Zone 1 is one of anger. Zone 0 is the zone of apathy." (Dianetics, p.22 (53)). In 1951, in Science of Survival, Hubbard devised a system of physiological diagnosis based upon emotional tone. The four cardinal humours - attributed to Hippocrates - were the basis of virtually all mediaeval medical diagnosis. The humours are: phlegmatic (corresponding to Hubbard's "apathy"); melancholic (Hubbard's "grief"); choleric (Hubbard's "anger"); and sanguine (Hubbard's "cheerfulness").


The phrase "the greatest good for the greatest number" derives from Jeremy Bentham, the Utilitarian philospher.


Training Routine Zero (TR-0) both with eyes closed and eyes open both derive from meditational techniques. L. Ron Hubbard jnr. claimed that he introduced the form with open eyes after a discussion with a Buddhist monk. Hindus call meditation in which one faces another person "tratak".


The notion of the misunderstood word derives from Korzybski: "General Semantics was of use to Dianetics. I started going back looking for the first time a word had appeared ... There might be some misdefinitions ... General Semantics is definitely of use in the definition of a word." (54). The philosopher Thomas Hobbes was greatly concerned at adequacy of definition (as Jacobsen points out), as have been all lexicographers from Samuel Johnson to this day. Aleister Crowley also advocated the clarification of words (55).


The first editions of several Hubbard books show that they were compiled or edited from his lectures or indeed written by others. In later editions, the work is attributed simply to Hubbard. The first edition of How to Live Though an Executive carries the statement "The manuscript of this book was prepared by Richard deMille who helped in the development of the communications system herein set forth". Latter editions simply delete this statement and ascribe the work to Hubbard. Child Dianetics was the work of a team, but again the current edition is attributed solely to Hubbard. The Phoenix Lectures were compiled into book form by members of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists in South Africa, but only the first edition (called Notes on the Lectures given by L. Ron Hubbard at Phoenix 1954) acknowledges this fact. Dianetics the Original Thesis was prepared for publication by Donald Rogers, to whom no acknowledgment is given. Science of Survival was prepared for publication by Richard de Mille, to whom no acknowledgment is given.

Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health

Hubbard's first supposed therapy book, was also a collaborative effort. Joseph Winter, M.D., has left his own account of this in the book A Doctor's Report on Dianetics (56) (e.g. pp.16-19). This is corroborated by my own correspondence with former Hubbard associate Donald Rogers, the letters of John Campbell, jnr. and Bent Corydon's interview with Hubbard's second wife, Sara Hollister. Winter, Rogers, Campbell and Sara Hubbard were among the original seven board members of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. These four discussed the terminology with Hubbard, and the changes made by them are obvious when comparing Hubbard's first article on Dianetics (Terra Incognita: the Mind) and the book Dianetics the Original Thesis with other works. For example, by the time Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health was published, in May 1950, Hubbard accepted an existing medical term, "engram", for the memory of a period of pain or unconsciousness. Hubbard said that he had previously used the terms "norn", "comanome" or "impediment". According to Joseph Winter, M.D., the term "engram" was taken from the 1936 edition of Dorland's Medical Dictionary (it is attributed to psychologist Richard Semon). As far as I know, this is nowhere admitted in the literature of Dianetics and Scientology.

Professional Auditor's Bulletins (PABs)

Many of the PABs were written by Johann Tempelhoff. However, since the late 1970s, Tempelhoff's name has been removed from all PABs. PAB 149 originally carried the legend "Compiled from the research material and tape lectures of L.RON HUBBARD by Johann Tempelhoff." Technically, this is plagiarism in that the written work was still that of Tempelhoff, whatever the source of the ideas.

The Book Introducing the E-Meter

This booklet is currently sold as an L. Ron Hubbard work. The first edition carried this legend: "Photographed and compiled by Reg Sharpe from the lectures and demonstrations by L.RON HUBBARD." Subsequent editions simply remove Sharpe's name: "Photographed and compiled from the lectures and demonstrations by L.RON HUBBARD." Sharpe's photographs have been recredited to Hubbard along with his text.

Rocky Mountain News

In February 1983, the Rocky Mountain News published what purported to be a long interview with L.Ron Hubbard. In fact, Hubbard's replies were compiled by his ghost writer, Vaughn Young, a member of the Hubbard biography project at that time.

Mission Earth

The ten volumes of this book were rewritten prior to publication by Vaughn Young.

Ron's Technical Research and Compilations (RTRC)

For many years, Hubbard recorded his thoughts in taped lectures. These were used as the source for printed issues (Bulletins, Policy Letters, Executive Directives and so forth). Hubbard gave his last public lecture in 1966. He continued to lecture occasionally to specific Scientologist audiences until 1975. From that time on, Hubbard continued to record his utterances on tape, and some time in the early 1970s a unit initially called "Ron's Technical Compilations" came into being to compile printed issues based upon Hubbard "advice" tapes. With the incorporation of the Religious Technology Center in 1981, a new acronym was needed, so the compilations unit became Ron's Technical Research and Compilations. Ken Rose, in Los Angeles, was a member of this highly restricted unit until November 1988. No specific acknowledgment is given to members of this unit, although the wording of issues is probably often their own.

Several people were given the right to publish issues on Hubbard's behalf and using his name (the name after all has been owned by Scientology since the 1960s - technically, the Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology of California could up to 1981, when the Church of Scientology International took over, issue work purportedly from Hubbard which Hubbard had never seen.) David Gaiman, acting as Scientology's head of Public Relations told a British government Enquiry "Any staff member can propose and have published a policy document ... Most policy is put out under Mr. Hubbard's name, no matter whom the writer." (57). Laurel Sullivan is probably most notable among these ghost authors, as she was Hubbard's personal Public Relations Officer for some 17 years.


There have been many unacknowledged contributors. Prior to his claim that he was the "Source", "fellowships" were awarded to Scientologists who had made a major contribution (58). Of course, David Mayo was such a contributor with the "NOTs" or "OT 5" materials, but while the court has ruled that Mayo was the co-author, the Church of Scientology still hides this fact from its members. Otto Roos was also a major contributor, working on the 1960s rehash of Dianetics and the "List processes" or "Ls" in 1971 (At a thousand dollars per hour, L10, L11 and L12 are the most expensive "processing" given by Scientology).

Evans Farber claims to have first suggested the need for an acknowledgment in the "cycle of communication", and therefore was the originator of Training Routine 2 (TR-2).

John McMaster was responsible for keeping Hubbard informed of any interesting ideas or procedures brought forward by Saint Hill students. The "Search and Discovery" procedure is based upon McMaster's own work. McMaster also claimed that the "Power" or "Grade V" materials were a gift to Hubbard from a Scientologist called Walter Hubbard who lived in Hawaii.

Ray and Pam Kemp have claimed that they suggested the "Drug Rundown" to Hubbard. Jim Dincalci seems to have been responsible for the use of "Cal-Mag" (a calcium magnesium mixture otherwise used only as a tranquilliser for sheep). Bill and Connie Hamilton have claimed to be the originators of the "Data Series".

Former Scientologist Ruth Minshull wrote several books about Scientology, all of which are copyrighted to Hubbard.

The original version of What is Scientology? was copyrighted to Hubbard, although it was written by Harvey Haber. The "Key to Life Course" currently sold by Scientology organizations was developed by Donna Haber.

It is in fact the Policy of Scientology to ascribe all copyrights to Hubbard. See HCOPL Outstanding Copyrights and Marks, 15 November 1958.


The current "OCA" personality test is credited to Hubbard. Formerly it was credited to Mary Sue Hubbard. This happened after Ray Kemp had refused to assign the copyright to Hubbard - his test was changed very slightly to become Mary Sue Hubbard's. However, Kemp had plagiarised the test from Julia Salman's American Capacity Analysis, which in turn derives largely from the 1940s Johnson Temperament Analysis.


Hubbard credited this fundamental Scientology idea to Buckminster Fuller in HCOPL Positioning, Philosophic Theory, 30 January 1979.


Occasionally, Hubbard was willing to admit that his work derived from other sources. So for example, his ideas about "positioning" in marketing are in fact a gauche interpretation of the ideas of Reis and Trout (69). The "survey technology" clearly derives from motivational research, and Hubbard makes this clear by referencing Vance Packard's Hidden Persuaders, which was actually an attack upon the techniques that Hubbard borrowed.


During the late 1930s and the 1940s, Hubbard corresponded with and visited fellow adventure writer Arthur J. Burks. Burks own work shares much of the philosophical basis of Hubbard's. Hubbard got into print before Burks, but the Hubbard Archive contains many copies of letters exchanged by Burks and Hubbard. These letters if produced would show the extent of Hubbard's plagiarism of Burks.


Many of the symbols of Scientology were taken from ritual magic. Hubbard was a member of the AMORC Rosicrucians in 1940 and performed sexual "magick" ceremonies with Jack Parsons, a follower of Aleister Crowley, in 1946. The Scientology cross is very similar to the Rosicrucian and Crowley crosses. Hubbard also used the "daleth" triangle of the Egyptian destroyer god Set as the Dianetic symbol.

The theta symbol used by Scientology is the central symbol of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis, where it denotes "thelema" or the will. It is the symbol of "Babalon", the antichrist that Hubbard and Parsons tried to incarnate. The "S and double triangle" motif of Scientology probably derives from the black magic use of the snake symbol (the "wise serpent" or Satan) combined with a deconstruction into two triangles of the Star of David (rather like hanging the Christian cross upside down to signify devil worship). This symbol - the magical hexagram - was used by Hubbard and Parsons during their attempts at incarnating the anti-Christ in human form. Again, Hubbard shares the double triangle with Crowley, where the triangles stood for the "Argentinum Astrum" or "Silver Star", a name for Crowley's organization prior to his take-over of the Ordo Templi Orientis.

Crowley's order - the OTO - had a common origin with the Thule group to which several members of the Nazi hierarchy belonged (including deputy party chairman Rudolph Hess). The sig rune - used by the Nazis - appears on the Scientology International Managment Organization's symbol - a red square enclosing a white disc and set off by four such sig runes. The swastika of the Nazi flag has been replaced by the Scientology "S and double triangle". The symbol of the Religious Technology Center is surrounded by sig runes. As far as I can ascertain, the sig rune is otherwise peculiar to the Nazis. (60)

Crowley's notion of "the will":

"The original definition of Scientology 8-8008 was the attainment of infinity by the reduction of the apparent infinity and power of the MEST [Matter, Energy, Space, Time] universe to a zero for himself, and the increase of the apparent zero of one's own universe to an infinity for oneself ... It can be seen that [the] infinity [symbol] stood upright makes the number eight" (61). Which is to say, the essential idea of Scientology is to raise the power of the individual's will or intention to "an infinity". This aim is held in common with all magical systems (Cavendish quotes Crowley "the Great Work is the raising of the whole man in perfect balance to the power of Infinity", The Magical Arts, p.5). The exercises used in the attempt to achieve this - especially those in The Creation of Human Ability (some of which were on the original "OT 5" course) - are ritual magic disguised as therapy. (62)


The current "OT" levels deal almost exclusively with "body thetans". The idea that human beings can be infested with spirits is common to most religions. As examples, such "attached spirits" are called "demons" in Christian literature, "dibbuks" in Jewish literature, "jinn" in Islamic literature and "gDons" in Tibetan literature. In the gospel of Luke, for example, we find the following: "For Jesus was ordering the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many a time it had seized him ... Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?' 'Legion', he replied. This was because so many devils had taken possession of him." (63). (64)

The method used to deal with these "body thetans" on the "new OT 5 course" is surprisingly similar to that employed by Chicago University professor Eugene Gendlin in his "focusing". The "OT 5" materials were published with a very limited distribution starting in September 1978. Gendlin's book was also published that year.


The Scientologists rely on a machine which they call "the Hubbard Electropsychometer" or "E-meter". The title is misleading as the machine was not developed by Hubbard. Indeed, Scientology literature admits that the first such machine for use in Dianetics was built by Volney Mathison (What is Scientology?, Ist edition, 1978). Later machines were designed by others, particularly Don Breeding, and E-Meter Essentials contains the following dedication: "To all those who have helped to develop the modern Electrometer". Some form of "E-meter" has actually been in use since before WWI, and in a rare early publication Hubbard admitted that it was pretty much a lie detector as used in police polygraphs (Electropyschometric Auditing, 1952).

To quote from Barbara Brown's Supermind: "Nothing perhaps, is a more poignant testimonial to the disregard of science for creative insights into the nature of man than the blindness of psychophysiology to the original observations by C.G. Jung about the body's ability to reveal the unconscious mind. It was in 1904 that Jung reported his experiments with recordings of the skin's electrical activity, while conducting psychological interviews. Using an old-fashioned galvanometer, he found the electrical activity in the skin changed specifically and dramatically when he asked questions that penetrated the hidden emotions of his patients. He is reported to have exclaimed 'Aha, a looking glass into the unconscious!'"

Gregory Mitchell's "History of the E-Meter" goes into considerable detail on this subject ("Outward Bound - the magazine of the Dianasis Data Network". No issue number or date given).


The practice of "disconnection", whereby one individual ceases all communication with another, has been found in fundamentalist sects for many years. Indeed, the practice has been enshrined in the English language with the phrase "sending to Coventry". The Amish call the practice "shunning"; the Exclusive Brethren call the practice "withdrawal". However, Hubbard probably took the practice from Christian Science.


Roy Wallis, PhD, in his Road to Total Freedom pointed out a number of similarities between Scientology and Christian Science. The most alarming of these is Mary Baker Eddie's "malicious animal magnetism", which has great similarity to Hubbard's teachings on Suppressive Persons and his adoption of the Fair Game law and disconnection.

Hubbard referred to Christian Science in a 1952 lecture (Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 37). He recalled writing a story ridiculing the fundamental belief of Christian Science - that the mind generates the physical world. The story, "One was stubborn", appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in November 1940. Of course, Scientology too has as fundamental premiss "considerations take rank over the mechanics of matter, energy, space and time", which is the very idea he was ridiculing in Christian Science.


The invidious practice of "Fair Game" is based in mediaeval English law, where an individual was marked as an "outlaw" or person beyond the protection of the law. Such mediaeval practices have long been abandoned in the civilized world, along with branding and trial by ordeal.


This quite obviously derives from Hindu and Buddhist idea about "karma-vipaka" or action and reaction. It is also a Christian belief: you reap as you have sown.


Since the release of Dianetics in 1950, many Dianetic and Scientology splinter groups have formed. These have further spread Hubbard's ideas creating a considerable literature. Such subjects as Synergetic therapy, E-therapy, Humanics, Dianology, Amprinistics, Eductivism, Abilitism, the Enlightenment Intensive, Re-evaluation Co-counselling, Sciognostics, Dianasis, Avatar, est (the Forum, now Landmark Trust), Kenja, Primal Therapy and Eckancar all derive from Dianetics and Scientology. Many texts rivalling those of Hubbard have been produced in the last 40 years. To this extent, Hubbard's ideas have entered the public domain.


Hubbard also borrowed lavishly from the US Navy, with uniforms and campaign ribbons, Boards of Fitness and a slew of military jargon. Security guards in the U.S. have taken to an imitation of the uniform of state troopers.


The "creative processing" of Hubbard's 1952 Philadelphia Doctorate Course derives from the work of black magician Aleister Crowley. Crowley is mentioned three times during the course of the lectures, one of his books is recommended and Hubbard calls him "my very good friend" (which was not in fact true - they neither met nor corresponded). Crowley's work also provided Hubbard with the notion of "past lives" (which was Crowley's expression for reincarnation). "Creative processing" is in fact a form of positive hallucination which is currently disguised under the term "guided visualization" and is more traditionally called "astral projection". Reference to the use of such techniques can also be found in the works of Alexandra David-Neele - books which were popular in the 1930s.


Hubbard also borrowed from George Washington, taking the phrase "The price of freedom is constant vigilance, constant willingness to fight back", and simply changing the word "vigilance" to "alertness" (see Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health, definition "price of freedom").

Hubbard also adopted the British slogan "the empire on which the sun never sets" and turned it into "the sun never sets on Scientology" (The Aims of Scientology).


Defendant's exhibit 9, Scientology 0-8, shows the "Gradient Scale of the Relative Value of Data", this was first published by Hubbard in 1951 as an appendix to Science of Survival. It derives from Korzybski.


I have an unconfirmed report that the "Study Technology" was lifted whole from a photography course that Hubbard was taking. I will research this further.

Buckskin Brigades

Hubbard was to create a mystique around his supposed association with the Blackfoot or Pikune Indians. He claimed to have been a "bloodbrother" at the age of two. However, prior to creating this fiction, Hubbard admitted that his information about the Blackfoot Indians came from a man he met in the 1930s (see Hubbard's article "Search for Research").


Robert Heinlein's ideas are also very similar to Hubbard's in places. Thankfully, Heinlein put the ideas into a fictional context. Hubbard claimed a close relationship with Heinlein, and I believe they did meet during the War.


Hubbard also seems to have borrowed ideas from Fritz Perls' Gestalt Therapy - though I haven't looked into this in any depth yet.


Hubbard's 'dynamics' have an origin in the work of a turn of the century mystic (whose name escapes me at the moment). I'm making enquiries on this.


The Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) appears to derive from a study of Chinese Communist "thought reform" techniques. There are a number of parallels between the RPF (introduced by Hubbard aboard the "Apollo" in 1973) and such techniques (first described in detail by psychiatrist Robert Lifton in 1961).

The repeated questions of Scientology "processing" are similar to the Zen ko-an, except that the individual does not repeatedly ask the question of himself.


In the 1930s, Alexandra David-Neel's books about Tibet were popular in the United States. As Hubbard was inclined towards mysticism and magical practices, and as only a tiny amount of literature was available at the time, it seems likely that Hubbard read David-Neel's books. He was later to claim (with no foundation in fact) that he had studied in Tibet (65). Scientology is supposedly rooted in Hubbard's combination of eastern mysticism and western science. The parallels between Hubbard's ideas and those of the Tibetans are irresistible.

David-Neel's first book, Magic and Mystery in Tibet, was published in the U.S. in 1932. This was followed by Initiations and Initiates in Tibet, first published in French in 1931, and Buddhism - its doctrines and methods, first published in English in 1939.


Scientology holds much in common with popular books about Tibetan mysticism published in the 1930s by Alexandra David-Neel. The following ideas are held in common:

Escape from the "cycle of birth and death"

The definition of the spirit

"Exteriorization" or "astral travel"


The "between-lives area" or "bardo"

"Implanting" in the bardo

That the individual is actually a "composite being"

Visualization techniques

Belief in telepathy

The use of techniques to bring about telepathic control of others

The use of the triangle as a symbol

The "process" of "clearing"

The capacity of the spirit to emit energy beams

The notion that reality is a halluciantion held in common

"Serenity" as the highest human state

The assertion that belief is self-created

That "being" is senior to "doing"

The distinction between "being" and "becoming"

Ideas about "absolute" and "relative" truth

The recollection of experiences in former lives

The notion of surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals

The significance of the interplay between the static and the kinetic

"Postulates" or "wishes"

That neither good nor evil exist

The "overt-motivator sequence" - a simplified version of the "karma-vipaka" concept of Buddhism.


As with Scientology, the Tibetans believe that they can escape the "wheel of rebirth", and the outcome of their previous actions (karma-vipaka, called the "overt-motivator sequence" in Scientology), by applying a set of techniques ("he may cause himself to be reborn in the most agreeable conditions possible" (66)). To quote from Hubbard "Not the least of the qualities of O.T. is personal and knowing immortality and freedom from the cycle of birth and death" (Auditor 19). The "cycle of birth and death" is a Buddhist concept, more usually expressed as the "cycle of death and rebirth" or the "wheel of suffering".

Hubbard claimed to differ from earlier researchers in defining the "spirit" as the "I" ("Basic Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology", definition of "thetan", "Dianetics & Scientology Technical Dictionary", definition of "theta being"). However, David-Neel has "What is this 'that' which continues its way after the body has become a corpse? It is a special 'consciousness' among the several distinguished by Lamaists. The 'consciousness' of the 'I', or according to another definition 'the will to live'" (67).

The popular Tibetan idea of the "spirit" is much the same as Scientology's "thetan", both seem to derive from the Hindu "jiva" doctrine: "the large majority of unlearned Buddhists have lapsed into the old Indian doctrine which represents the jiva (self) periodically 'changing his worn-out body for a new one, as we cast away a worn-out garment to clothe ourself in a new.'" (68). David-Neel elsewhere quotes from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita: "Just as a man puts off his old clothing to put on new, so also 'that which is incarnated' (dehi) puts off his old bodies to assume new ones." (69).

The ultimate goal of Scientology is the ability of the "spirit", "self" or "thetan" to leave the body and travel at will with "full perception" ("Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary", definition of "exteriorization"). This goal is found in many magical systems. In Tibet those who supposedly have this ability are called delogs. The Tibetans believe in an "ethereal double" capable of what is elsewhere called "astral travel": "During life, in a normal state, this 'double' is closely united to the body. Nevertheless, certain circumstances may cause their separation. The 'double' can, then, leave the material body and show itself in different places; or being itself invisible, it can accomplish various peregrinations ... Tibetans say that those who have trained themselves for the purpose can effect it at will." (70).

Hubbard told his followers of the "between-lives area", where they supposedly go between incarnations ("Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary", definition "between-lives area"). This is the bardo of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Three levels of Hubbard's "bridge" relate to "implants". In the early 1960s, in the foreword to a book written by his then-follower Charles Berner, Hubbard admitted: "The more experienced auditor [Scientology practitioner] would recognise the Between Lives aspect and implants..." (71).

A fundamental aspect of Scientology is the belief that the human being is a composite of "entities" (72) or beings ("thetans" or "body thetans"). "by BODY THETAN is meant a thetan who is stuck to another thetan or body but is not in control." (73) and "What you see as a human being, a person, is not a single unit being ... It is the aggregate of all these factors which you address when you seek to guide or handle the usual human being ... When you are handling a human being, you are handling a composite." (74). Most of Scientology's esoteric teachings deal with supposed indwelling spirits, or demon possession in Christian terms. This belief in indwelling spirits has an origin with the Tibetans: "Animals have several 'consciousnesses', just as we have ourselves, and as it also happens in our case, these 'consciousnesses' do not all follow the same road after death. A living being is an assemblage, not a unity." (75). "Sustained attention, perspicacious investigation will show us that we are not a unit but a plurality, that we shelter, temporarily, guests of varying origins, come from all points of the universe and as the lengthy consequences of intermingled causes and effects ... the Buddhist is exhorted to discern the nature of the elements which make up what he calls his 'self'. He is encouraged to follow up, as far as possible, the line of causes and effects which have contributed to the constitution of these elements and have led to their momentary union. Buddhists are recommended to watch, with sustained attention, the behaviour of these diverse elements ... In truth each supposed ego is a meeting-place where jostles about a crowd that comes and goes continually by many roads, for members of this crowd are constantly on the move to join other crowds at other meeting-places of universal life" (76). The Tibetans call these indwelling spirits or demons "gDons" (77).

Tibetans also use visualization techniques (also called "guided fantasy" or "induced positive hallucination") which Hubbard called "creative processing" during his Philadelphia Doctorate Course in 1952 (78).

In the original "Operating Thetan section VII course", Scientologists were given exercises which would supposedly lead to the ability to implant thoughts into another person's mind. Scientologists believe that they will ultimately be capable of psychic feats including telepathy and telepathic control of others (the aim of all forms of black magic). Practices with similar ends are described by David-Neel (79).

Hubbard's use of a triangle as a symbol of Dianetics can be explained by the common use of this symbol to denote black magic (also true in the Crowley system practised by Hubbard in 1946): "The word kyilkhors means a circle, nevertheless, amongst the numberless forms of kyilkhors, there exist square and quadrangular forms, while those used in black magic or for the coercion or destruction of malignant entities are triangular." (80).

A central aspect of Dianetics and Scientology is the notion of "clearing" which supposedly comes from an analogy with a calculating machine with a held-down number which interferes with all calculations. The held-down number is "cleared", so that the machine once more functions accurately. "Clearing" is achieved through the application of "processes" ("Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary" definitions of "clear" and "clearing"). However, David-Neel too spoke of the "process" of "clearing" (81).

Hubbard asserted that the being, spirit or "thetan" is capable of transmitting pure energy in the form of "tractor" and "pressor" beams ("Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary", definitions "tractor beam", "pressor beam"). This too is an aspect of Tibetan teaching: "Mystic masters affirm that by the means of such concentration of mind, waves of energy are produced" (82).

Hubbard asserted that "reality is the agreed-upon apparency of existence" (Scientology Axiom 26) and "Considerations take rank over the mechanics of space, energy and time ... it is conceived that space, energy and time are themselves broadly agreed-upon considerations. That so many minds agree brings about Reality in the form of space, energy and time." (Scientology 0-8, p.27). Further, "REALITY: That agreement upon illusion which became the MEST [Matter, Energy, Space and Time] universe" (Scientology 8-8008, p.133). This is the doctrine of illusion: "In Tibet the learned adepts of the Dzogschen Sect ... regard the world as a pure mirage which we ourselves produce, and which has no sort of existence outside ourselves. All that we see, all that we feel, is identical with that which we see and feel in our dreams..." (Buddhism, p.140); "The bodhisattva practically exercises his compassion when he has freed himself from the illusion which creates belief in the reality of the world as we perceive it." (IIT, p.135); "'Like visions seen in a dream, so must we regard all things.' ... For intellectual Buddhists of the Mahayana School, the world is not the dream of some fabled Brahma, but our own dream ... Each one of us fabricates, continuously, in his spirit, images of the world with its many aspects which, so it seems to him, surrounds him and in which he sees himself playing a part as he may do in a dream. The world is not outside us but in us." (IIT, p.170).

Scientology holds that the highest state is "serenity of beingness" ("Tone Scale in Full"), which once again is held in common with Buddhism: "The model he sets before the disciple is the calm figure of the arahan ... who has attained immovable serenity of mind" (IIT, p.136).

The "what's true for you is true" idea, which Hubbard ascribed to the Buddha (Story of Dianetics and Scientology, taped lecture, 1958), appears in David-Neel as "Be your own guide and your own torch" (citing the Buddha, IIT, p.147).

The Tibetans also speak of the seniority of "being" to "doing", an essential theme in Hubbard's work (IIT, p.162). Buddhist doctrine makes a clear distinction between "being" and "becoming". The Sanskrit bhava and the Tibetan sipa or sridpaconnote "Existence in the sense of 'becoming'." The Sanskrit sat and the Tibetan yeu or yod connote "Existence in the absolute sense of being." (IIT, p.218). With Hubbard this becomes: "There is beingness, but Man believes there is only becomingness." (Scientology 0-8, Factor 27). Hubbard asserts that "Space, time and energy become Be, Have and Do ... Space could be said to be BE." (Journal of Scientology, 1952, c. late November. Technical volume 1, p.295) and "In life experience space becomes beingness" (Journal of Scientology, 31 January 1954, Technical volume 2, p.13). David-Neel has "As the mind possesses no independent existence, no true 'self', we must know that it is like space itself." (IIT, p.183).

Hubbard asserted that "absolute truth" is unknowable (Scientology 0-8, Logic 6: "Absolutes are unobtainable.", Logic 7: "COROLLARY: Any datum has only relative truth."), this too reflects one of David-Neel's texts: "We must distinguish, they say, two sorts of truth - relative and absolute. Of these two kinds only the former, relative truth, is accessible to us." (IIT, p.169).

Buddhism contains a belief in reincarnation, David-Neel says "Buddhists are often heard to speak of the 'memory' which an individual may retain concerning his former incarnations." (IIT, p.166). Dianetics and Scientology both depend upon the supposed recollection of former incarnations ("past lives"). This is termed "whole track recall" by Scientologists.

David-Neel has "Seek friends who share your beliefs and habits and in whom you can put your trust" and "Avoid the friends, companions, relatives, or disciples whose company injures your peace of mind or your spiritual growth" (IIT, p.182). Hubbard has "Acquisition or proximity of matter, energy or organisms which assist the survival of an organism increase the survival potentials of an organism" and "Acquisition or proximity of matter, energy or organisms which inhibit the survival of an organism decrease its survival potential" (Dianetic Axioms 157, 158).

Hubbard shares the Tibetans concern for the interplay of the static and the kinetic (Dianetic Axioms 34 & 36). David-Neel quotes from a Sutra: "By rubbing two sticks against each other, fire is produced. And by the fire born of them, both sticks are consumed. Likewise, by the intelligence born of them, the couple formed by 'the motionless' and by 'the moving', and the observer who considers their duality are alike consumed." (IIT, p.204).

The Hubbard notion of "postulates" (Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition 2, "postulate") can also be found in David-Neel: "Wishes, or vows, in Tibetan meulam (smonlam) and in Sanskrit pranidhana, occupy in Buddhism a place analagous to that of prayers in theistic religions. Buddhists do not pray, they wish and in general, they believe that if the mental power of him who expresses the wish is sufficiently intense, such a wish acquires proficiency and produces the realisation of the result desired." (IIT, p.214, footnote).

Hubbard has "Absolute good and absolute evil do not exist in the MEST [matter, energy, space and time] universe." (Dianetic axiom 188) and "Goodness and badness, beautifulness and ugliness, are alike considerations and have no other basis than opinion." (Scientology axiom 31). David-Neel has "It would be imprudent, they [the Tibetan intelligentsia] hold, to reveal, indiscrimin|ately to one and all, that, really, there is neither good nor evil, that both are but conventions of a relative character." (IIT, p.216).

Hubbard taught a simplified version of the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of "karma-vipaka" (literally "action and reaction"), with his "overt-motivator" sequence. David-Neel: "Man is dependent on the general Karman [or "karma"] of humanity, and he is also dependent on the cosmic Karman. If a man finds himself caught in the midst of a war, or an epidemic of plague, or if a cataclysm, such as an earthquake, occurs in the place where he is living, the sequence of his own deeds, and perhaps his character, will be altered by these circumstances. Some ts will say that past deeds have led the man to be born in the place where these calamities were going to happen, or perhaps to move to it if the place of his birth was destined to be immune to such troubles." (Buddhism, pp.198-199).

Buddhism: Buddhism its Doctrines and Methods, David-Neel, 1939.

IIT: Initiates and Initiations in Tibet, David-Neel, 1931.

MMT: Magic and Mystery in Tibet, David-Neel, 1929.

TBMP: Tibetan Buddhist Medicine and Psychiatry, Clifford, 1984.


  1. 20 December 1969, LRH ED 67 Int.
  2. KSW News, issue 8
  3. see "The Corporations of Scientology", definitions of "ecclesiatical" and "scripture", also Lyman Spurlock's testimony in CSI v Armstrong
  4. The Phoenix Lectures, p.12
  5. ibid p.11
  6. Creation of Human Ability (1954), p.9
  7. ibid p.181
  8. See also Ability major issue 5.
  9. All page numbers refer to 1973 edition. Later editions may differ.
  10. Research and Discovery, vol.6, p.277
  11. Hubbard dedicated Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health to Will Durant, whose Story of Philosophy contains a number of ideas later espoused by Hubbard. See especially the chapters on Bergson and Spencer.
  12. p.12
  13. published in Two Short Accounts of Psycho-Analysis, Pelican Books
  14. ibid p.33
  15. ibid p.39
  16. ibid p.37
  17. ibid p.37; see also p.42 for the use of the word "chain"
  18. "Dianetic Auditor's Bulletin", vol. 1, nos. 1 & 2, July-August 1950
  19. Two Short Accounts of Psycho-Analysis, p.41
  20. ibid p.42
  21. "New Slant on Life, p.29
  22. Two Short Accounts of Psycho-Analysis, p.43
  23. ibid p.43
  24. ibid p.35
  25. "LRH's autobiographical notes for Peter Tompkins." Exhibit 500-I in CSI v. Armstrong, pp.7-8
  26. Dianetics Today, pp.96-97
  27. Research and Discovery, vol.1, p.68
  28. ibid, p.317
  29. Dianetics Today, p.310
  30. Research and Discovery, vol.6, p.277
  31. Science of Survival, II, p.67
  32. Research and Discovery, vol.1, p.440-441
  33. see their book Men Under Stress, published in 1945. See p.vii for use of the term, and pp.60-63 for one example of a case history
  34. Wolfe and Rosenthal's Hypnotism comes of Age, recommended by Hubbard in Research and Discovery, vol.2, p.12
  35. Hypnotism comes of Age, p.150
  36. Sargant, Battle for the Mind, p.54. He lists others interested in this field before WWII on p.55. A description of his own abreactive method and its relation to the work of Pavlov is given on pp.56-57
  37. Grinker & Spiegel, Men Under Stress, introduction to the 2nd edition.
  38. Search, p.4
  39. ibid p.193
  40. ibid p.329; see also cap. "Integration of Pre-Natal Trauma", pp.352ff
  41. Jacobsen, "The Hubbard is Bare", pp.11-12, referring to Dr. J. Sadger, "Prelimary Study of the Psychic Life of the Fetus and Primary Germ", Psychoanalytic Review, July 1941, 28:3
  42. Jacobsen, p.12
  43. See Atack Hubbard and the Occult, 1995, for a more complete discussion of Crowley's influence upon Hubbard. See also Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky, 1990, for a description of Hubbard's involvement with the Crowley system, in the chapter His Magickal Career.
  44. Dianetics Today, p.97
  45. Research and Discovery, vol.3, p.118-119
  46. See Hypnotism comes of Age, pp.61, 87-88, 124
  47. e.g., Gibson Hypnotism, p.87, see also Hypnotism comes of Age, p.151, already cited
  48. "The Story of Dianetics and Scientology", taped lecture, 1958
  49. Initiations and Initiates in Tibet, p.147
  50. See also Atack Hubbard and the Occult, 1995.
  51. Arcadia Address, Wichita, 1952, p.8
  52. "The Auditor" issue 21, p.1
  53. See "The Tone Scale 1950", p.101, Scientology 0-8
  54. R&D vol1, p.440
  55. Magick Without Tears, pp.xii, 26, 407 &440
  56. reprinted as Dianetics - A Doctor's Report, Julian Press, NY, 1987.
  57. Foster report, 1971, p.16
  58. HCOPL Certificates and Awards, 12 August 1963
  59. Reis and Trout, Positioning the battle for your mind, McGraw Hill, NY, 1981. Parts of which were originally published in Advertising Age, 1972.
  60. See also Atack, Hubbard and the Occult.
  61. Scientology 8-8008, p.30
  62. See also, Atack, Hubbard and the Occult.
  63. cap.8, v.29-30, New English Bible. See also Mark 5
  64. See also, Atack, Hubbard and the Occult.
  65. What is Scientology?, 1978, p.xlii
  66. David-Neel, MMT, p.24-25
  67. MMT, p.25
  68. ibid p.117
  69. IIT, p.167
  70. MMT, p.28
  71. A Manual for Guiding a Person through the after Death Experience, Berner; see also MMT, pp.29, 32-33; TBMP, p.111; and the Tibetan Book of the Dead
  72. Scientology: A History of Man, pp.13-14
  73. HCO Bulletin "Definitions Sect III", 5 February 1970 issue II
  74. HCO Bulletin "The Nature of a Being", 30 July 1980
  75. MMT, p.59
  76. IIT, pp.168-169
  77. see TBMP, pp.147-170, which treats with gDons extensively
  78. see MMT, pp.147-148
  79. ibid pp.233-234
  80. ibid p.265
  81. ibid p.278; see also IIT, p.141
  82. MMT, p.293; see also p.297