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Thus the battle lines were drawn. Dianetics offered a means to happiness, stability and success. It provided a solution to psychosomatic illnesses. It created an interest in the workings of the mind among people of all classes and ages. And it gave the man in the street a method that, for the first time, he himself could utilize to improve his own condition. Additionally, it should be kept in mind that L. Ron Hubbard achieved something that psychiatrists have long been attempting to achieve: to write a book about the mind that was genuinely popular, that people actually wanted to read, that was both understandable and applicable.

But Dianetics did more. It labeled the latest and greatest psychiatric drugs as dangerous. And it directly exposed the inhuman crimes of psychiatrists and the harm they caused with ECT and lobotomies, clearly substantiating the irreparable damage these treatments caused to healthy brain tissue.

That mental health professionals were incensed by Mr. Hubbard’s not-so-gentle upbraiding is understandable, particularly as he was not a member of their elitist clique.

But when all was said and done, the issue was clearly financial: How long could one continue to convince the American taxpayer to foot the bill for multimillion-dollar psychiatric appropriations in the face of what Dianetics could accomplish for the price of a book?


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