According to its adherents a science, according to its disbelievers a PSEUDO-SCIENCE, founded by L. Ron HUBBARD, at the time a pulp writer whose main market was the sf magazines. Hubbard's sf had always emphasized the powers of the mind and deployed protagonists who maintained to the end a heroic stance against a corrupt Universe. The former interest was translated into real-life terms in the late 1940s, and the latter vision may be what sustained Hubbard against the widespread execration he and his movement received from some quarters, both outside and inside sf.The editor of ASF, John W. CAMPBELL Jr, began experimenting with Hubbard's ideas in 1949 and believed them valid. In May 1950 ASF (after much prior publicity) published a long article on Dianetics, seen as a form of psychotherapy that could achieve miraculous results in sweeping away the dross that encumbers ordinary minds, to leave uncovered the SUPERMAN latent in us all. Follow-up publicity went well beyond the sf magazines. Hubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950) was published in the same year, and immediately became a bestseller. The attractions of Dianetics were manifold: it could be practised after mere hours of training, with no formal education necessary; it proposed an apparently simple and coherent model of the mind; it offered an explanation of why so many people feel themselves to be unappreciated failures - and, better than that, it offered a cure.In Dianetics an "auditor" (the therapist) encourages the patient to babble out his/her fantasies. The E-meter, a form of lie-detector, early on came to be an essential item of equipment. In theory, the needle on the meter swings over whenever a traumatic area of memory is uncovered, and the auditor then disposes of the trauma by revealing its meaning. So far, this is rather like an sf version of conventional psychoanalysis. However, Hubbard also taught that traumas could be pre-natal, and eventually that they could have been suffered during previous incarnations (REINCARNATION) right back to the dawn of time. A "clear" - a person who had successfully rid himself/herself of aberrations - would possess radically increased intelligence, powers of telepathy, the ability to move outside the body and to control such somatic processes as growing new teeth, and a photographic memory. Here was the superman figure of so much contemporary pulp sf made flesh - at least if Dianetics worked (EDISONADE).Film stars took up Dianetics; centres were opened all over the USA; many thousands were converted, including A.E. VAN VOGT, whose own sf had produced many protagonists not unlike Dianetics's "clears". One of Hubbard's assistants was Perry CHAPDELAINE, who later became an sf writer himself. In 1952, after an organizational rift, Hubbard left the Dianetic Foundation and soon advertised his new advance on Dianetics, SCIENTOLOGY, in the entry for which this story is continued.
   See also: PARANOIA.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dianetics — 1950, coined by U.S. writer L. Ron Hubbard, an alteration of dianoetic (1670s) of or pertaining to thought, from Gk. dianoetikos of or for thinking; intellectual, from dianoetos, verbal adj. from dianoe esthai to think, from dia through (see DIA… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dianetics® — /dī ə netˈiks/ singular noun A system developed by the American writer L Ron Hubbard, with the aim of relieving psychosomatic illness by removing unwanted images from the mind ORIGIN: Gr dia through, and nous mind …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dianetics — This article is about the set of ideas and practices termed Dianetics. For the book by L. Ron Hubbard first published in 1950, see Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health or Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science (1950). Not to be confused… …   Wikipedia

  • Dianetics — noun A self help system designed by which is chiefly employed today in Scientology …   Wiktionary

  • dianetics — noun /daɪəˈnɛtɪks/ A discipline invented by designed to heal psychosomatic illnesses by cleansing the mind of harmful mental images …   Wiktionary

  • DIANETICS —    a theory, book, and later therapy, developed by Ron L. HUBBARD, the founder of SCIENTOLOGY, who taught that psychological and other problems result from engrams or bad impressions in the subconscious mind. Negative engrams must be eliminated… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Dianetics — n. spiritual healing technology; methodology to soothe and relieve undesirable emotions and sensations as well as illogical fears and psychosomatic illnesses …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Dianetics — [ˌdʌɪə nɛtɪks] plural noun [treated as sing.] a system developed by the founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, which aims to relieve psychosomatic disorder by cleansing the mind of harmful mental images. Origin 1950s: from Gk… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Dianetics — /daɪəˈnɛtɪks/ (say duyuh netiks) noun (construed as singular) a series of techniques and studies which aims to give insight into the full potential of the mind, developed by L Ron Hubbard in 1948. See Scientology. {trademark; see dianoetic + ics} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Dianetics — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science —   …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.