Volume 3, Issue 10, page 11


Ideals Lose in Clashes with Env
771 an Revolts at
MAN GETS an idea for a new product. He
goes to a research laboratory and tells
them how frozen foods can be protected
for the consumer. The device is a chemical compound that will go thru freezing
only once without changing color. It is
non-toxic, has no food value, and has a
very unusual property in it that will turn
orange should the frozen food ever be frozen again after thawing. This means that
consumers would be protected in getting
only freshly frozen foods that have not had
the cellular structure broken down thru
thawing and refreezing.

The research laboratory develops the idea. Then
the trouble starts. They can find no food processors who will dare institute this protective device
in their frozen foods. The processors claim they
cannot vouch for the handling of their food once it
gets into the hands of the distributor or retail
store, and that such a device would give their product a bad name if the distributors and retailers
were to mishandle it in any way.

This is not just a fanciful illustration designed to make a point. Such a product was developed,
and just such a series of events took place in
reference to it.

A situation very similar to this took place when
the field of Dianetics was propounded by Ron Hubbard in his book, "Dianetics, the Modern Science of
Mental Health". The book was on the best seller
list for a short time, selling close to 200,000
copies. Almost a half-million persons became interested in the work and tried to put it to use.

Dianetics did not have a lasting effect on our
culture or on the mental sciences of today because
of the pressure it put upon the present practitioners to change and benefit themselves before they
began to work with others. Consequently, Hubbard
was asked to modify the concepts he had presented.
He refused to do so and, because of the "interference", began to lash out at the medical, the religious, and the psychological professions. The result
of this action was some most unfavorable editorial
comment by men who were highly respected in their
respective fields. Such vehement denunciation lost
Dianetics many friends and contributed to the rapid
dissolution of most of the following that Hubbard
had gathered.

But those who remained saw any denunciation of
Dianetics as personal affronts. They became slightly fanatical about holding to the cause. Resentment
between themselves and the members of the other professions grew and caused them to become even more
dogmatic about their ideas. The result was a further rejection of Dianetics by the general public.
The groups and individuals who were a part of these
developments began to drift away because of their
basic drive to be at one with their environment.

None of this had anything to do with the rightness or wrongness of the concepts that Hubbard was
presenting. It had nothing to do with the effectiveness of the techniques he was developing, or with
the number of people following him. The only point
in question was the fact that the acceptance of
Dianetics called for some changes in people's thinking. It meant that the evidence previously accepted
as valid had to be re-examined. Actually, the prior
evidence had only to be realigned to include the
new data by expansion. No one asked that it be rejected. But most of the people who rejected Dianetics did so because they thought they had to throw
away all of their previously acquired evidence.

Still another element which influenced this series of occurrences was the fact that Hubbard tried
to take all of the credit for developing the ideas
on which Dianetics rested. Many metaphysicians, ocT 1 L . '
f
ironment By JAMES WELGOS
7o'ce~ Cltai't9ec
Perhaps there are as many different answers to the
problem of why the popularity of Dianetics was so
short lived as there are persons trying to answer the
question. In 1950, mention of the fact you were a Dianeticist could arouse interest in almost any group
anywhere, but today, its once-popularity has gone into occlusion, and the word can stimulate no more than
a mild curiosity should other topics of conversation
be lagging. This, despite the fact that some of the
medical profession, the most bitter denunciators of
Dianetics five or so years ago, now accept some of
its tenets