From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 11 - November 1993
See Home Page at http://www.ivymag.org
A View from the Bridge
By Eric Townsend, England
Chapter Three (a) (1)
Dianetics - Where Does It Fit In?
It was said in the CofS that the biggest single source of bringing
new people to the subject of Scientology is the book Dianetics:
The Modern Science of Mental Health. We can't verify this but it
seems probable on the basis of talking to long time Scientologists
one knows and the fact that sales of this book continue steadily
towards the ten million mark.
Why should this book and its subject be such a strong influence on
bringing people to the subject of Scientology? One reason is that
it was deliberately written as a populist book that would introduce
the subject of Dianetics to a wide audience of ordinary people. A
successful writer of fiction would know how to write about an
dry and academic subject in a way that would interest and absorb
of the general public.
Apart from the style in which it is written, there are several other
probable reasons why this first book has continued to be a successful
introduction to Scientology over the years.
One is that Dianetics is probably the most easily confronted aspect
of the joint subjects of Dianetics and Scientology. It will not offend
people who do not believe in spiritual life or people who have
religious beliefs. Both can accept the theory and practice of
without any disturbance to their other views. In addition Dianetics
is reassuringly other-determined. It states within the original book
and other texts on Dianetics that the subject primarily concerns what
was done to the PC. So one does not have to have a high responsibility
level to accept the likely truth of Dianetics.
Finally, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, contains
a Do-It-Yourself guide to auditing someone else. It is comparatively
easy to learn to audit using this technique, which became known as
'Book One Dianetics'. In 1950 when the book was first published,
formed themselves spontaneously into pairs and groups to audit each
other all over the USA. This also happened to a lesser extent in the
other English speaking countries.
In 1982 there was a revival of interest by the CofS in Dianetics:
Modern Science of Mental Health (DMSMH), rechristened as Book One.
There was also a revival of interest in Book One style Dianetic
auditing to get people into Scientology and onto the Bridge. Weekend
seminars were run and suddenly people who had been around the subject
for years came out of the woodwork wanting to be auditors. There was
a sudden resurgence of interest in Dianetics and significant numbers
of new people were recruited to the subject by this initiative.
many of them were lost almost immediately by clumsy attempts by
over eager staff members to sign them up for Scientology services
Two different subjects
The two subjects of Dianetics and Scientology are different and there
has never been any move to make Dianetics into an integral part of
Scientology. Even the title of the Technical Dictionary is
still prefaced by the words Dianetics and Scientology. So what is
Dianetics, why is it separate from Scientology, and how does it relate
To answer these questions we must look back to how we got to where
we are now. We started out as very powerful spirits, able to be aware
of and operate in different universes. It is obvious we have come
along way down. In this downward spiral we first started to lose our
powers, and then lose our awareness that we ever had them. At each
step we have lost a bit more power and a bit more awareness.
In this place and at this time large numbers of us have formed the
belief that we are our bodies. This shows the degree of our decline.
From knowing we are immortal beings that have existed since the
of time, we have convinced ourselves that we should only remember
the duration of one lifetime. Many of us have some inkling of our
immortality yet at the same time believe that this lifetime is our
one and only opportunity to do anything and everything. From a
viewpoint, this is similar to a human being coming to believe that
he is, and only has the life expectancy of, his latest motor car!
This fixed idea that we are our bodies is not just a silly mistake.
There is considerable social pressure to sustain this belief,
by vested interests, including political rulers and the medical
Western religions, Christian, Judaic and Moslem, have also fostered
such beliefs with their concept of a one-shot lifetime opportunity.
After this single lifetime they say you do continue to live but you
won't be able to do anything. You will be deprived of all
in a state called either heaven or hell!
There is another factor which brings about this strong conviction
that we are our bodies. This is the area of the human mind known as
the REACTIVE MIND. The discovery of this was the starting point of
Dianetics. As was said in an earlier chapter, the mind is the
between the thetan and the body. With each new body it sets up a new
mind to store the experiences of this lifetime and to use those
to enhance survival. The mind we have evolved to go with our bodies,
the Human Mind, is a very sturdy mechanism and has proved effective
in getting us this far in our progress towards mastering the MEST
The human mind does however have its limitations. One is that it
a very effective 'fight or flee' mechanism which we call the Reactive
Mind. This served us well when we were hunters and foragers struggling
to survive in a hostile environment. It is less needed now that we
have become socialised town dwellers and can be a definite liability.
The reactive mind is still very much with us and even has the strength
to enforce its commands to anti-social and ABERRATIVE BEHAVIOUR with
pain and stress on our bodies, and thus on us as thetans!
Inevitably we as thetans are very concerned at what manifestations
our bodies will show next under the influence of the reactive mind.
The body's condition becomes a constant worry to the thetan,
as he doesn't understand, or rather has forgotten, the mechanism of
the reactive mind. Thus the thetan is effectively trapped in the body,
wondering what it will do next and how its more uncomfortable
can be contained. Having this near obsession with the body, the
thetan is highly suggestible to ideas that his condition and
is entirely dependent on his body survival.
There is no point in attempting to do a summary of the theory of
in this book. The key text on the subject is still Dianetics:
Modern Science of Mental Health and it is always worth re-reading
even though it is 420 pages long. For someone who is already familiar
with DMSMH, the more compact books Dianetics: The Evolution
of a Science or The Original Thesis represent good summaries
but seem to be too steep a gradient for beginners. Very good as a
refresher, too, is The Dianetics Picture Book. For someone
who is completely new to the subject, the recommended starting point
would always be DMSMH but a helpful gradient may be the chapters
on the Analytical Mind and the Reactive Mind in Introduction to
We must return to answering the original question about the difference
between Dianetics and Scientology. Dianetics deals with the 'case'
attached to the body through the mechanism of the Reactive Mind. The
Reactive Mind is a complex construct which records what it thinks
is important survival data from the experiences of this body in this
lifetime. In addition it also has access to some pictures the thetan
has accumulated in previous lifetimes. The reactive mind represents
a formidable barrier to the efforts of the thetan to rehabilitate
itself and was unsuspected until the time of Sigmund Freud. It wasn't
fully understood to the extent that it could be handled and eradicated
until Hubbard evolved Dianetics in the 1940's. Scientology is the
fruit of Hubbard's subsequent work on the rehabilitation of the
There is a very neat summary of this distinction in the chapter called
'A Description of Scientology' in the book Scientology 0-8 -
The Book of Basics. In it Hubbard makes the point that there
have been and are spiritual rehabilitation practices of varying
of effectiveness. It seems probable that the most effective require
rigid disciplining of the body to 'key-out' the reactive mind. This
can be seen in the lifestyle of Buddhist monks or Christian monastic
orders such as the Carthusians, Trapists and Carmelites. These latter
create the circumstances to achieve spiritual rehabilitation by rigid
self-discipline and complete isolation from the outside world and
thus minimum restimulation of the reactive mind.
State of clear
For people living in the midst of our restimulative western society,
there is little chance of major progress towards spiritual
while we have our own individual reactive mind. And so we come to
the latest definition of the word 'Clear'. This is 'A person who no
longer has his own individual Reactive Mind'. (HCOB 1980 The State
The need to quote a Bulletin of such a recent date, rather than one
of the twelve definitions of Clear that appear in the 1975 Dianetics
and Scientology Technical Dictionary, is indicative of the difficulty
of discussing this term. The definition of Clear has been subject
to considerable re-inspection over the years since it first appeared
in DMSMH in 1950. This does not mean the earlier definitions
were wrong but the whole subject within which this crucial term exists
has been changing and developing very fast. The same thing can look
very different when seen from a different viewpoint. ...
(1)Earlier chapters appear in IVy 12, page 20, and IVy 13,page 29.
(2)By Eric Townsend, Anima Press, 6 English Pounds(postage 10%
20% Europe, 30% rest of world. Anima Publications, PO Box 10,
Stockport SK7 2QF, England. ).
Mon Jul 17 19:39:16 EDT 2006