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Dianetics: The modern science of mental health Unknown Binding – 1978

3.9 out of 5 stars 576 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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" Dianetics can remove the aberrations which make man a selfish and anti-social creature.... It holds hope that man may at last dispense with the ugly institution of war, because wars are the end product of social aberrations at the national level... Dianetics can rectify the mental short circuits which bring accidental death, can increase longevity, minimize the pain of child-bearing and present Mankind with vast new intellectual vistas..." --Los Angeles Daily News


"...the wave of interest in the subject Dianetics which has swept the country." --Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Dianetics has remained a bestseller for more than 50 years. And with over 20 million copies in print, generating a movement that spans over 100 nations, it’s indisputably the most widely read and influential book ever written about the human mind.

Here is the anatomy and full description of the reactive mind, the previously unknown source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurities which enslave Man. This book shows you how to get rid of it, and so achieve something Man has previously only dreamed of: the State of Clear.

Among the discoveries herein:

  • The Goal of Man
  • The Dynamic Principle of Existence—the one word that motivates all living things
  • The Four Dynamics—the drives upon which all of life is compartmented
  • The Descriptic Graph of Survival—revealing one’s true potential and how to achieve it
  • The discovery of and complete anatomy of the reactive mind
  • The painful experiences—engrams—contained in the reactive mind which command one to act irrationally against their own wishes and goals
  • The impact of prenatal engrams—what took place before you were born and how it’s influenced you ever since
  • The complete Dianetics procedure to discover and eradicate these harmful experiences so they never affect you again, revealing the one person you’ve always wanted to know—you.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 553 pages
  • Publisher: The Church of Scientology of California, Publications Organization United States (1978)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007EVQIE
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (576 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,370,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book to be filled with jargon, half baked theories and bizarre assertions. Hubbard seems to only be guessing; he gives no clue as to how he arrives at any of his fantastic claims- that one can raise one's IQ, avoid accidents, pretty much eradicate any and all issues in one's life, by clearing away "engrams" created by bad experiences, including *prenatal* experiences.

In short, one will become more or less superhuman- and if not, it's because you're not doing it right- and it's this weird circular logic that makes the book impossible to take seriously. He seems to have started with some interesting borrowed ideas (regression therapy, ritual magick, etc.) and gotten extraordinarily carried away. In short, he combines older forms of psychotherapy with magical techniques and his own version of Buddhist mindfulness meditation.

This could be of limited usefulness, but I am very concerned that the book makes claims that homosexuality, infertility, etc., are 'perversions,' actual physical illnesses that can be 'cured' by Dianetics, and that ulcers and other diseases are caused by unsuccessful attempts at abortion. These are just two of the many odd medical assertions hubbard makes which could cause serious harm were one to prefer Hubbard's advice over proper medical or pychological care. Most disturbing of all, critics of Hubbard's methods are, of course, ill themselves, criminals, or worse, a frighteningly convenient idea.
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Format: Paperback
Hubbard is attempting to introduce a new system of therapy in this book and as such, it is necessary that he take pains to write in a particularly lucid and precise style; this is not the case. This book rambles on for far too long in many places, introduces concepts out-of-step with their field in a brash manner that is not thoughtful, and does not sufficiently refute its interlocutors. It is also hard to tell how seriously the author himself takes these theses in the course of his writing. As a piece of rhetoric, self-help, or literature, this is a failure. Also, I can only speculate on why there is a bursting volcano on the cover; this makes the book less credible and more sensational in my opinion.

-JAK
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Format: Hardcover
L. Ron Hubbard has been grossly underestimated as a writer of Science Fiction. He is possibly one of the greatest fiction writers of the 20th century. With "Dianetics," Hubbard has been able to weave a complex, believable tale of the science of the mind, essentially forming the basis for what would come to be taken to be a religion. How many other Science Fiction writers have done something of that magnitude with such far reaching effects? Darn few.

"Dianetics" made an early appearance in the magazine "Astounding Science Fiction" back in May of 1950. It garnered a lot of press and created a buzz that eventually garnered the attention of a wider audience.

Hubbard created a whole mythology around himself. It is said he was a bronco buster at the age of three, a teenage explorer, a blood brother of the Blackfeet Indians of Montana, a Nuclear Physicist, and a World War II hero, among other things. But above all, he was a writer of pulp Science Fiction.

Interestingly enough, there's plenty of documention that many of the ideas put forth in this book are not original. Many may not be aware that at the root of Dianetics are the discoveries of Dr. William Sargant (a psychiatrist). Sargant's research observed post traumatic stress syndrome in World War II soldiers, leading to a cure known as Abnormal Reaction Therapy. This entailed re-experiencing traumatic events (Hubbard called these "engrams") utilizing a hypnotic (or drugged) state to confront these real or imagined items with the aid of a facilitator. If you are interested in exploring Sargant's work, his book is called "Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing." There are many very close similarities between the two texts.

The key is to become "Clear.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this when I was young, before I had a real capacity for critical thought, and found it deceptively engaging in a rebellious "anti-establishment" kind of way. Unfortunately, close scrutiny of the text reveals hollow, unproven arguments (with citations desperately needed) leaving one walking away from the book with serious cognitive dissonance.

[...]
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By Amy S. Happ on November 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
There are just no words to accurately describe this book. The made up words, the crazy assertions, the babbling, the insanity. A road map of the Mojave Desert could give more insight and guidance into mental health than this book.
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Format: Paperback
The thing that bothers me about this book is how it lacks in any sort of scientific validity. The book proposes theories about how the mind works without any research evidence. The concepts are dreamed up by this science fiction writer and don't really have any sort of relevance to how you can become happier, etc. If you want to improve yourself, read a self-help book written by a mental health professional, counselor/psychologist,etc. If you want to go to Hubbard's dream world of magic, read Dianetics.
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By Peter Reeve on September 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
What exactly is this book? Is it, as it purports to be, a manual of psychotherapy? Or is it, as Scientologists seem to believe, Holy Scripture? If the former, it should be updated periodically, in light of new research. If a doctor stood at my hospital bed perusing the 1858 edition of Gray's Anatomy, I would worry. Or is the original text of Dianetics inerrant, being the result of divine revelation? If so, they should say so, and drop the pretence of scientific rigor.

What are we to make of a theory that states that psychological disorders can arise from the fetus - or even the fertilized egg, the zygote - overhearing and recording conversations from the outside world? An example given is of a husband beating his pregnant wife while shouting, "You've got to take it!" The poor child that results will grow up to be a kleptomaniac ('You've got to take it'. Geddit?).

If dialogue can be so destructive to the unborn, perhaps we need a new movie rating of FU, for 'Fetus Unfriendly'.

In fact, the theory goes even deeper into absurdity. We are told that "it is not true that emotion gets into the child through the umbilical cord...Emotion comes on another (more electrical than physical) type of wave...Therefore, anyone who is emotional around a pregnant woman is communicating that emotion straight into the child." 'Straight into' you notice, like some sort of radio transmission. Believe that and you'll believe anything.

Here's another: "It may be that a patient is urgent in her insistence that her father raped her...Large numbers of insane patients claim this. And it is perfectly true. Father did rape her, but it happened she was only nine days beyond conception at the time.
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