Dianetics is Still Needed and Timely After 73 Years
- By Martin Landon --
- 09 May 2023 --
In the spring of 1950, the world was still digging itself out of the rubble of World War II, a conflict that had advanced the technology of wreaking death and destruction to an apocalyptic level—a man-made catastrophe born of a perfect storm of insanity, hate and fear never before seen in history.
The postwar world groped for answers. The United Nations came into being essentially to forestall any future global conflagration by bringing the combatants to the table rather than the battlefield.
But scholars and philosophers, theologians and scientists alike knew that politics and diplomacy alone could not provide a permanent solution to the problems of insanity, criminality and their ultimate fruits, conflicts and bloodshed.
On May 9th of that year, a book emerged that identified both the problem and the solution: “Attack unreason, not the society or the man,” it proclaimed, adding “There is a higher goal, a better goal, a more glorious victory than gutted towns and radiation-burned dead. There is freedom and happiness and plenty and a whole Universe to be won.”
Dianetics: The Modern Science Of Mental Health hit the world 73 years ago this May 9th.
L. Ron Hubbard’s seminal work, which introduced the revolutionary idea that a person can better his own mental health without resorting to drugs, hypnotism or “professionals,” became the number one self-help book of its kind in history, giving rise to a worldwide movement encompassing Dianetics study groups, foundations, organizations and grass-roots groups in over 160 nations.
Hubbard’s “attack on unreason, not the society or the man” remained on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for an unheard of 100 weeks—garnering that publication’s Century Award.
The passage of time has made Dianetics no less relevant today than it was nearly three-quarters of a century ago. Man’s inhumanity to man, his use of force instead of discourse, and his habit of settling arguments through arms rather than reason are still the MO.
The statistics tell the tale.
In 2016, suicide was among the top 10 leading causes of death in Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe, Central Asia, Australasia, Southern Latin America, and in high-income areas of North America. In the United States in 2019, and consistently over the past years, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death.
The domestic violence numbers are also grim. An average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States—more than 12 million women and men in a year. At the same time, almost half of all adults in the U.S. have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Drug abuse is rampant in our enlightened age, to the cost of over 35 billion tax-dollars annually to curb a scourge that has entrapped large swaths of the population, with no regard to race, creed or gender.
If you have tried an illegal drug before age 13, you have a 70 percent chance of developing a drug problem within seven years, whereas if you wait until you’re 17, your chances “improve” to 27 percent.
Small wonder, then, that 77 percent report that they experience stress that affects their physical health, 73 percent have stress that impacts their mental health, and 48 percent of people have trouble sleeping because of stress. Overall, for over half of Americans the stress level is worsening.
Hubbard’s assertion 73 years ago that Man’s enemies do not include Man is as true today as it was then. “How much can Man conquer?” he asks. “He loses if he conquers Man. He wins if he conquers his own fears and conquers then the stars.”
Likewise, the workability of Dianetics—a precision technology of the mind founded on proven facts rather than theory and assumption—has been demonstrated a millionfold over the years. “The trail is blazed,” Hubbard writes, “the routes are sufficiently mapped for you to voyage in safety into your own mind and recover there your full inherent potential, which is not, we now know, low but very, very high.”
At 73 years, Dianetics shows no signs of slowing. No ivory tower complexity meant for the elite few, it is a technology for the people, open to anyone who can read the book and apply it. Or, as Hubbard wrote, “the adventure is yours.”