Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices regarding the metaphysical relationship between the mind and body created by L. Ron Hubbard; Dianetics is practiced by followers of Scientology and separate independent Dianeticist groups. Hubbard coined Dianetics from the Greek stems dia, meaning "through," and nous, meaning "mind." Dianetics has achieved no acceptance as a scientific theory and is widely considered to be a pseudoscience.
Dianetics divides the mind into three parts: the conscious "analytical mind," the subconscious "reactive mind," and the somatic mind. The goal of Dianetics is to erase the content of the "reactive mind," which Scientologists believe interferes with a person's ethics, awareness, happiness, and sanity. The Dianetics procedure to achieve this erasure is called "auditing." In auditing, the Dianetic auditor asks a series of questions (or commands) and elicits answers to help a person locate and deal with painful experiences of the past, which Scientologists believe to be the content of the "reactive mind."
Practitioners of Dianetics believe that "the basic principle of existence is to survive" and that the basic personality of humans is sincere, intelligent, and good. The drive for goodness and survival is distorted and inhibited by aberrations "ranging from simple neuroses to different psychotic states to various kinds of sociopathic behavior patterns." Hubbard developed Dianetics, claiming that it could eradicate these aberrations.
When Hubbard formulated Dianetics, he described it as "a mix of Western technology and Oriental philosophy". He said that Dianetics "forms a bridge between" cybernetics and general semantics (a set of ideas about education originated by Alfred Korzybski, which received much attention in the science fiction world in the 1940s)—a claim denied by scholars of General Semantics, including S. I. Hayakawa, who expressed strong criticism of Dianetics as early as 1951. Hubbard claimed that Dianetics could increase intelligence, eliminate unwanted emotions and alleviate a wide range of illnesses he believed to be psychosomatic. Among the conditions purportedly treated were arthritis, allergies, asthma, some coronary difficulties, eye trouble, ulcers, migraine headaches, "sexual deviation" (which for Hubbard included homosexuality), and even death. Hubbard asserted that "memories of painful physical and emotional experiences accumulate in a specific region of the mind, causing illness and mental problems." He taught that "once these experiences have been purged through cathartic procedures he developed, a person can achieve superior health and intelligence." Hubbard also variously defined Dianetics as "a spiritual healing technology" and "an organized science of thought."
Dianetics predates Hubbard's classification of Scientology as an "applied religious philosophy." Early in 1951, he expanded his writings to include teachings related to the soul, or "thetan." Dianetics is practiced by several independent Dianetics-only groups not connected with Scientology, and also Free Zone or Independent Scientologists. The Church of Scientology has prosecuted a number of people in court for unauthorized publication of Scientology and Dianetics copyrighted material.
What is Dianetics?
Dianetics spiritual healing technology can help alleviate such ailments as unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses (illness caused or aggravated by mental stress). The word Dianetics comes from the Greek words dia, meaning through and nous, soul. The full and proper definition of Dianetics is what the soul is doing to the body through the mind.
Before L. Ron Hubbard published the fundamentals of Dianetics in 1950, prevailing scientific thought held that man’s mind was his brain, nothing more than a collection of cells and neurons. IQ was considered unimprovable and personality fixed.
Dianetics technology changed all that. Its effectiveness, astonishing in many cases, has been documented in a multitude of case histories over nearly half a century of application.
Dianetics uncovers the source of unwanted sensations and emotions, accidents, injuries and psychosomatic illnesses, and sets forth effective handlings for these conditions. Further research into the spiritual aspects of Dianetics led to the discovery of Scientology.
Scientology, on the other hand, is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, to universes and to other life. Through the practice of Scientology one can increase his spiritual awareness and ability and realize his own immortality.
The pseudoscience invented by L. Ron Hubbard and used to give a thin veneer of plausability to Scientology. Dianetics claims to be "the modern science of mental health" but in reality is little more than ridiculous claims with no or fraudulent evidence to back them up. The basic principle of Dianetics is that by "auditing", which is like talking to someone, but much more expensive, you can be freed of your "reactive mind", the area of your mind that, according to Scientology, is out to make you fail at life. The concept of a reactive mind is of course completely false and was only invented to convince people that all their problems in life could be attributed to a single source which could only be cured by Scientology. As if that wasn't enough bullshit for one day, Dianetics and Scientology also claim to be able to cure you of other things besides your reactive mind, such as toxins, drug residues and radiation stored in your body, although any sort of reliable medical evidence that their methods work in any way at all is sadly lacking.
According to L. Ron Hubbard, taking huge doses of niacin can flush radiation and sunburn out of your body. He "discovered" this when he noticed that when people took large quantities of niacin, they experienced a red flush in areas where they had previously been sunburnt. If they regularly took niacin, the flush would lessen and lessen until eventually it stopped altogether. Hubbard concluded that the flush was radiation leaving the body, and that it stopped because all the radiation had been flushed out. Funnily enough, if you ask a medical professional, he'll tell you that a known side-effect of niacin overdoses is that they cause the cells in the body to release histamine, and that histamine can cause a strange red flush. He'll also tell you that when you're sunburnt, your capillaries - the tiny blood vessels in your skin become damaged, that when they heal they heal into a different structure than undamaged capillaries, and that in the event of a histamine release caused by overdoses of niacin, the red flush would look much different in areas with these damaged capillaries. Strange coincidence, eh?
Question: "What is Dianetics?"
Answer: Dianetics is the generic term for the beliefs underlying Scientology. Dianetics is the claim that each person’s painful past experiences create a lasting impression, termed an “engram,” on that person’s “reactive” (subconscious) mind. According to Dianetics, these engrams are the root cause of various diseases, conditions, neuroses, and injuries. According to Scientology, the list of maladies caused by engrams is extensive, including deficient vision, sexual problems, allergies, joint pain, headaches, and so forth. Engrams are also blamed for psychological disorders from depression to violence. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard went so far as to claim that, if dianetic therapy was applied worldwide, there would be no longer be any crime, war, or insanity.
Through a process referred to as “auditing,” Dianetics principles are applied in an effort to rid the person’s soul—called a “thetan”—of these engrams, ultimately resulting in a person with no reactive, or subconscious, mind at all. This state is called “Clear.” During the auditing process, a trained auditor sits across from the subject and asks him to relive a series of past events. In theory, these events are from any part of the subject’s existence, including infancy, pre-birth, or even a former life. All “memories” are treated as legitimate, and the subject is encouraged to discuss them until he feels at ease with the event. This supposedly removes the engram, and it can no longer produce harmful effects. This process somewhat resembles hypnosis and involves the use of an E-meter, or electro-psychometer, a device that works somewhat like a lie detector.
Hubbard began teaching Dianetics principles in the 1950s. Almost immediately, his claims were derided by experts in medicine and psychiatry. Since its inception, Dianetics has been classified as a pseudoscience, in the same category as phrenology, homeopathy, and astrology. There are no scientific studies supporting its effectiveness nor any scientific reasons to think that it would work as advertised. Dianetics’ most proven capability is in generating revenue: auditing sessions are expensive, and the wealthy are profoundly over-represented in Scientology.
Biblically, the claims of Dianetics are completely false. There are no prior lives from which to remember pain and trauma (see Hebrews 9:27). A person’s primary moral problem is not the memory of pain but his own in-born sin (Romans 3:23; 5:12). Dianetics claims that a person can, through force of will, make himself a better and more moral person. The Bible teaches that true change only happens when a person is reformed by Christ (1 Corinthians 6:10–11). As a mishmash of pseudoscience, Eastern spirituality, and New Age concepts, Dianetics is not only factually false but incompatible with the worldview of the Bible (Colossians 2:8).
a theory devised by L.Ron Hubbard to explain the functions of the human mind and the relief of psychosomatic illness, based on the concept of an engram; it was published in 1950 and is also called dianetic therapy