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L. Ron Hubbard



This, then, was the world which confronted L. Ron Hubbard in May 1950, when he published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health with its bold proclamation that not only was intelligence fluid, but one could improve it with the easily learned techniques of Dianetics. Then, too – and this was particularly startling – one could improve his intelligence beyond normally imagined limits.

The key which unblocked man’s ability to reason was the discovery of the engram, the reactive mind and Dianetics proper. In the summer of 1950 the Hubbard Foundation verified and measured intelligence gains relative to auditing. The results were surprising to say the least. Thousands of testimonials attested to these gains and the consequent word of mouth laid waste the cornerstone of the man-from-mud school. Thinking on the subject reversed so rapidly and dramatically that even the mental health community, firmly rooted in genetic theory, came to embrace the idea that intelligence could be improved. By the late 1950s, even noted behaviorist B.F. Skinner had remarked that human intelligence could be changed. Meanwhile, Dianetics continued to be used widely by the man in the street and the idea that his abilities could improve soon spread far beyond the ivory walls of learning to become a popularly accepted fact.

Just how thoroughly this seminal discovery by Mr. Hubbard has permeated society, however, was seen in the controversy which surrounded publication of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life in 1994. That book’s authors vainly attempted to present evidence to support the theory that intelligence was hereditary, fixed and impossible to change. Almost instantly, the authors were burned at the intellectual stake as educators decried the book, pointing to a mountain of accumulated evidence which proved conclusively that IQ could be raised, a fact considered common knowledge by then. The backlash experienced by the authors of The Bell Curve is a testament to how a single discovery by one man can completely reverse the status quo in a span of less than fifty years.


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