Cheryl Duncan on Dianetics Day

It’s May 9, an average, everyday Monday to most, but to Scientologists around the world the anniversary of a watershed day in understanding human behavior. That’s because on May 9, 1950, author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard wrote the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It’s especially interesting for me because I’m mid-reading the nearly 500 page tome myself now, close to the end of it. I really understand why the commercials called it “The Owners Manual for the Human Mind!”

What strikes me again and again as a I read is that though Dianetics was at the beginning of Hubbard’s researches that—myself knowing more than a little about his later discoveries—he knew where he was going almost before he started! In Dianetics you see he’s just on the cusp of discovering the human spirit, which is what Scientology explores and, in fact, rehabilitates. And there are a whole lot of other aspects that he’s looking at that he gets back to in later researches.

But more than anything I understand more and more the little bits of insanity that we face every day—everything from someone who is deathly afraid of dogs, even little ones, to the person who flies off the handle at the slightest provocation to hoarders. I also understand why “Junior” is just like his dad. You name it and it can be traced back to a part of the mind that Hubbard discovered and wrote about in Dianetics, the part that holds all of one’s kookiness. Not yours. Of course not. You’re perfect and never had an issue in your life! J Just your friend’s, or boss, bus driver, waitress or the cat lady down the street.

Because it’s so simply addressed—so simple, in fact, that a child could literally handle it—one knows why a Scientologist might scoff at or rail against things like psychiatric drugs, ice picks and electrodes being used to handle mental ills. In reading it, it’s really hard not to get steamed when thinking of it, actually. But that will be the subject of another post someday.

The 100th Anniversary of L. Ron Hubbard’s birth (March 13, 1911) is being celebrated this year. The millions of people who have the book Dianetics might find that picking up the book might just explain, well, a lot. Happy Dianetics Anniversary, everyone!

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