Hubbard seldom refers to the medical profession without using the occasion to attack and vilify it in the most intemperate manner. He has an irrational obsession about the techniques of psychiatric treatment. He is completely intolerant of opposition or criticism, and he resorts to almost incoherent, hysterical, low grade abuse whenever he believes himself or scientology to have been attacked and often when no such occasion exists. His special targets are psychiatrists and psychologists, whose realm is the mind. Concerning psycho-surgery and ECT, which have their proper use in the successful treatment of the mentally ill, Hubbard makes a number of completely untrue and unjustifiable statements.
Typically Hubbardian inaccuracy and falsity abound in his attacks upon the medical profession and its techniques. Examples of Hubbard's hostility which follow are given to illustrate the nature and degree of his intemperate abuse, and the imbalance of the mind which produces it; these examples are not to be taken as being statements which are even vaguely related to fact.
In Dianetics: MSMH, in an introductory chapter, Hubbard seeks to frighten the reader away from orthodox medical treatment by the following extravagant passage: -
"According to a modern writer, the single advance of psycho-therapy was clean quarters for the madman. In terms of brutality in treatment of the insane, the methods of the shaman or Bedlam have been exceeded by the 'civilized' techniques of destroying nerve tissue with the violence of shock and surgery, treatments which were not warranted by the results obtained and which would not have been tolerated in the meanest primitive society, since they reduce the victim to mere zombyism, destroying most of his personality and ambition and leaving him nothing more than a manageable animal. Far from an indictment of the practices of the 'neuro-surgeon' and the ice-pick which he thrusts and twists into insane minds, they are brought forth only to demonstrate the depths of desperation man can reach when confronted with the seemingly unsolvable problem of deranged minds."The following passages from a later chapter in the same book are in similar vein:
"The auditor should be extremely cautious, at least for the next twenty years, about any case which has been institutionalised, for he may be getting a case with iatrogenic psychosis - caused by doctors - in addition to the patient's other engrams. Dianetics may help a mind a little in which the brain had been 'ice-picked' or 'apple-cored', but it cannot cure such insanity until some clever biologist finds a way to grow a new brain. Electric shock cases are equivocal: they may or may not respond to treatment, for brain tissue may have been burned away to a point where the brain cannot function normally."In Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science, Hubbard writes: "Pre-frontal lobotomy is such certain and complete mind-murder that one cannot be certain thereafter of anything in the patient except Zombie-ism." An almost identical sentence appears in Scientology: The Evolution of a Science.
"The 'tests' and 'experiments' with human brain vivisection in institutions are not, unfortunately, valid, For all the pain and trouble and destruction caused by these 'experiments,' they were done without a proper knowledge of aberration and mental derangement."
"Then one day, since this is one engram among many, the mental hospital gets our patient and the doctors there decide that all he needs is a good solid series of electric shocks to tear his brain up, and if that doesn't work, a nice ice-pick into each eyeball after and during electric shock, the ice-pick sweeping a wide arc to tear the analytical mind to pieces. The wife agrees. Our patient can't defend himself: he's insane and the insane have no rights, you know."
In Science of Survival, Hubbard writes:
"In treating psychotics, always remember that one is working with minimal theta present and maximal entheta .... No mixture of Dianetics with old treatments or practices of any kind are recommended to the auditor. Electric shock has been known to lay a severe engram into an already overcrowded reactive mind and is not successful in any way, other than making a few patients so apathetic that they are barely acceptable to society. Psycho-surgery, removing pieces of the brain, has long been acknowledged an entire failure so far as any actual 'cure' is concerned. Electric shock and psycho-surgery may alter the behaviour pattern of the individual and may suppress him into some tractable condition, but the result is inevitably harmful to the ability, efficiency and general worth of the subject, with the further detraction that they cause damage to the brain from which the individual never completely recovers.In Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, Hubbard writes:
Now there are three ways of handling delusion. The first way is to electric-shock, or prefrontal-lobotomize, or sedate the preclear into utter apathy and uselessness in the society and wreck him completely. This is not recommended."
"The use of electrical shocks upon a body for any purpose is therefore very dangerous and is not condoned by sensible men. Of course, the use of electrical shock was never intended to be therapeutic, but was intended only to bring about obedience by duress, and, as far as it can be discovered, to make the entirety of insanity a horror. Electrical shock deranges the electronic field in the vicinity of the body and is always succeeded by bad health or physical difficulties and never does otherwise than hasten the death of the person. It has been stated by people using electric shock that if they were denied euthanasia .... they would at least use partial euthanasia in the form of electric shock, brain surgery and drugs. These treatments in some large percentage of cases, however, effected euthanasia as they were expected to do."Various other psychiatric methods are similarly the object of Hubbard's attack.
In Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science and in Scientology: The Evolution of a Science, he writes that narco-synthesis (i.e., narco-analysis) "produces slightly higher results than a magic healing crystal in the hands of an Australian medicine man."
In Science of Survival he writes, "Restraints and cold packs only succeed in shocking the patient into a deeper state of lethargy."
He further writes:
"Probably the most dangerous thing one can do to any aberrated mind is to place it under heavy sedation and try to treat it, or while it is under sedation place it in an atmosphere which is restimulative. Sedation of the insane is, shortly and abruptly, criminal, since it permits new perceptics to become entangled with an already confused mind under circumstances of perception which could not take place if the patient were not under sedation."In Dianetics: MSMH Hubbard writes, "When one of these 'unconscious' periods was so probed - by the drug hypnosis called narco-synthesis - the patient usually became worse, not better."
Referring to the hospital treatment of psychotics, Hubbard writes in Science of Survival:
"Probably the worst thing that can happen to a psychotic is to be placed in the atmosphere normally provided for him by the state .... No better method of tailor-making psychotics could be devised than the usual institution, and it is probable that if the normal person were placed in such an institution, in such an atmosphere, he would become psychotic. Indeed, the incidence of psychosis overtaking attendants and psychiatrists in attendance in such institutions is alarmingly high. This is second only to psycho-surgery and shock treatment in the worsening of psychotics in a psychotic state. Rather than give psychotics such treatment it would be far kinder to kill them immediately and completely, and not partially as does psycho-surgery and electric shock."Ironically, the Board heard evidence that the very institutions which Hubbard denounces in the last quotation have successfully treated unfortunate victims of his pernicious processes.
Hubbard has been equally intemperate in his bulletins and in magazine articles. A few examples must suffice. In HCO Bull. of the 24th July AD 10 (1960), Hubbard attacks the British Medical Association which, so he said, had maligned him. He writes:
"With what amazed surprise we viewed the recent attack upon us by the British Medical Association. With their hands caked with blood they sought to point a grisly finger at us and to bring down upon us the wrath of the government they claimed they controlled. Folly, thy name is medicine ... I have found that the British Medical Association in England .... has encouraged its doctors to spread vicious lies about us via their patients."In Ability magazine, issue 31, Hubbard writes,
"Psychiatry, a dead duck in fact, is now pretty well known around as a dead duck by reputation. A gone goose. The reason: brain washing doesn't work."In Certainty magazine Vol. 5, No. 1, AD 8 (1958), appears the following:
"Amongst the failed philosophies is communism and its offspring, the quack 'therapy' of Vienna, Moscow and Eastern Europe. This has posed as 'psychology' while at no time has it validated the psyche, or soul, thus being a contradiction in terms (just to start off with). In the U.S.A. at this date, 'psychology' as known for the last half century and more, is a discredited practice."In HCO Bull. of the 15th June AD 10 (1960) Hubbard writes, "We are having Dickson investigated for Anti-social background, and if it ever comes to a court case, we'll ruin him." Dr. Dickson was and is the medical secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Australian (formerly British) Medical Association. A press statement concerning scientology attributed to Dr. Dickson had sprung, so Hubbard said, "From an effort by medical doctors to monopolize all healing to their own profit." Later evidence showed that the "investigation" of Dr. Dickson unearthed nothing.
In Com. Mag. Vol. 4, No. 10, October, 1962, Hubbard writes:
"The treatment of the insane today is far worse than it was two centuries ago and the brutality practised under the name of 'mental healing' cannot be regarded with equanimity by any civilized man.In HCO Bull. of the 5th May, 1959, Hubbard writes that we have seen several practices which are
We discover psycho-analysis to have been superseded by tyrannous sadism practised by unprincipled men themselves evidently in the last stages of dementia. This then is the end of the trail for psycho-analysis--a world of failure and brutality. Today men who call themselves analysts are merrily sawing out patient's brains, shocking them with murderous dlllg~, striking them with high voltages, burying them underneath mounds of ice, placing them in restraints, sterilizing them sexually, and generally conducting themselves much as their patients would were they given the chance."
"not now classifiable as anything better than betrayal. Psychiatry and medicine are both good examples of this. The person who goes to a psychiatrist usually finds himself betrayed. He does not receive help, he receives brutality in the form of electric shocks, brain surgery and other degrading experiences. Even in the highest form of psychiatry it was common advice for the psychiatrist to tell the wife that the best cure for her troubles was to betray her husband, and vice versa."The frequency and the intensity with which he vilifies psychiatrists and their work are the more serious because of the effect upon preclears, many of whom, when most needing psychiatric attention, are terrified at the thought of going to a doctor. This is one of the most wicked sides of scientology, for having made a massive onslaught on the person's mental integrity by its pernicious practices, it then effectively prevents him from seeking assistance from a source likely to cure or ameliorate his condition. Many scientologists stated in evidence that they would prefer to go to a scientologist rather than to a doctor for the treatment of almost all conditions and they echoed Hubbard's hostility to the medical profession. The scientology viewpoint is that the medical profession is a great conspiracy, and that, especially in relation to mental health, "medical doctors and psychiatrists" are to be avoided.
A tragic and yet typical example of the dangerous way in which these fulminations against the medical profession take effect was dramatically illustrated in the case of one ardent but non-conforming scientologist who was excommunicated by Hubbard from scientology. Thereafter he suffered great mental tortures for a year and more, "with crocodiles chasing him around the streets of Brisbane", because, though he was desperately in need of psychiatric attention, he was yet unable to bring himself to seek it because of the deeply ingrained belief that psychiatry was, in Hubbard's words, "barbarity practised under the name of mental healing" and that the medical profession was concerned only to torture and debase.
Last updated 21 February 1997
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