Elizabeth Daily Journal
February 12,, 1951
Dianetics Founder Challenges Psychiatry to Mental Duel
L. Ron Hubbard, of Elizabeth, founder of the controversial new
mental health science of dianetics, today hurled a challenge at the
psychiatric profession, many members of which have sharply criticized
Mr. Hubbard, organizer of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation
at 275 Morris avenue, suggested that two impartial judges select two
neurotic individuals, without previous advice from either
psychiatrists or dianeticists.
The psychiatrists would treat the patients for a week, under his
proposal, with psychometries - tests, to the laymen - of the most
rigorous nature and before and after treatment.
"Thereafter," said Mr. Hubbard, "our foundation will give them
dianetic processing for one week, with comparative psychometries. If
the resultant psychometries prove that dianetics has not done
uniformly more for these persons than psychiatry, I will be perfectly
willing to withdraw my book, 'Dianetics,' and admit that dianetics is
not better than psychotherapy."
"This decisive test is offered in all sincerity," said the letter
addressed to the Menninger Clinic at Topeka, Kan., the American
Psychiatric Association and the New York Psychiatric Advancement
Mr. Hubbard charged that psychiatrists have been flailing at him
"from behind the scenes and from behind the armor of their
He said that they had incited legal action against the furthering
of dianetic knowledge, a reference to the impending District Court
suit brought against the foundation by the State Board of Medical
The test, he declared, was proposed because of the "unwarranted and
unfounded statements against dianetics" by persons "having but scant
knowledge of the subject."
Dianetics, which claims to offer permanent cures for certain mental
ailments, has been in existence since last May, when Mr. Hubbard's
book was published. In addition to the foundation headquarters in
this city, branch foundations have been opened in New York, Chicago,
Washington, Los Angeles, Kansas City and Honolulu, with other groups
active in fifteen countries.
The foundation asserts that more than 1,000,000 persons are
currently engaged in the practice of dianetics. The theory has been
blasted by psychiatrists and other professional groups as a panacea
that is potentially of great harm to those with mental ailments.