In 1949, psychiatrists wouldn't touch Dianetics - so L. Ron Hubbard invented one who would - 2018-10-23
(Author Alec Nevala-Lee and L. Ron Hubbard)
What an amazing treat we have for you today. To celebrate the publication of his book Astounding, author Alec Nevala-Lee is helping us bring to you a stunning document made public for the first time. We'll let him describe it, and then we have it in its entirety in both text and pdf form. Also, Alec will be able to answer your questions about this or other subjects during his Reddit AMA on /r/books at 12:30pm ET on Wednesday October 24. Here's Alec...
For over half a century, the Church of Scientology has gone relentlessly after its critics—but the first attack on its underlying ideas was written by none other than L. Ron Hubbard himself. It's a curious document that owes its existence to the editor John W. Campbell, who was Hubbard's closest collaborator on the mental health therapy that eventually became known as dianetics. By the end of 1949, the two men were preparing to publicize their work, and they had an obvious platform available in Astounding Science Fiction, the pulp magazine that Campbell had been editing for the last decade. Campbell knew that introducing it there would make it hard for readers to take it seriously, though, so he pushed hard to submit a paper first to a professional journal. The third important member of their team, Dr. Joseph Winter, reached out informally to the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry, both of which passed. As soon as it became clear that they weren't going to publish an article anywhere else, they decided to run it in Astounding, but Campbell still wanted to present it in a way that gave the appearance of balance. Accordingly, he proposed that they find a psychiatrist to write a critical treatment of dianetics to run alongside a piece by Hubbard. Instead, on December 9, 1949, Hubbard wrote to Campbell: "In view of the fact that no psychiatrist to date has been able to look at Dianetics and listen long enough to find out the fundamentals, Dianetic explanations being dinned out by his educational efforts about Freud, we took it upon ourselves to compose the rebuttal."