(Definition: Psychoanalysis is a system of mental therapy developed by Sigmund Freud in Austria in 1894 and which depends upon the following practices for its effects: the patient is made to discourse [free associate] on and recall his childhood for years while the practitioner effects a transfer of the patient’s personality to his own and searches for hidden sexual incidents believed by Freud to be the only cause of aberration; the practitioner reads sexual significance into all discourse and evaluates it for the patient along sexual lines; the entirety of the cases of psychoanalysis have never been tabulated and little or no testing has been done to establish the validity of the system.
— Markham, The Way of the Mind, page 32)
It is the unkind fate of subjects which fail, to be overhauled and criticized by later understandings. Such, perhaps, cheerfully may be the fate of Dianetics and Scientology-and I say cheerfully — if their improvement in later centuries leads to an even greater freedom and understanding for mankind. But now and then it becomes necessary to eradicate from a new subject things which it has inherited from an old. And only because this has become necessary am I persuaded to tread upon the toes of the “grandfather” to Dianetics and Scientology.
It is necessary to understand first that we are actually indebted to psychoanalysis and its originator, the debarred doctor, Sigmund Freud. My basic, if unappreciated, education in the field of the mind came from Commander Thompson of the Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy, who was Freud’s personal student. Better than others, then, some sixty-two years after Freud’s original declarations, I could be considered qualified to criticize the failure of not only the basic work of Freud but the later offshoots which, while following his original tenets, yet sought to expand information on psychoanalysis. Very few living analysts today have as direct a connection with the subject as I do and there are few who can boast of the successes with the subject which I can. For I have used psychoanalysis as a practitioner and have achieved some certain successes with it, were one to call a success the sporadic eradication of the severe neurosis in a known mental patient. Further, there is my own enfranchisement by the Freudians when they were all but obliterated in Europe by Russia.
Having established then my possible qualifications to criticize and having compounded such right by having bettered the results of Freud, I feel it is necessary to overhaul rapidly the points of failure of psychoanalysis as we understand the mind today.
In the earliest beginnings of Dianetics it is possible to trace a considerable psychoanalytic influence. There was the matter of ransacking the past, the matter of believing with Freud that if one could talk over his difficulties they would alleviate, and there was the matter of concentrating on early childhood. Our first improvements on psychoanalysis itself consisted of the abandonment of talk alone and the direct address to the incident in its own area of time as a mental image picture susceptible to erasure. But many of the things which Freud thought might exist, such as “life in the womb,” “birth trauma,” we in Dianetics and Scientology confirmed and for them provided an adequate alleviation. The discovery of the engram is entirely the property of Dianetics. Methods of its erasure are also owned entirely by Dianetics, but both of these were pointed to by early Freudian analysis and hypnotism.
It was in Scientology and the anatomy of Life that one departed entirely from the tenets and teachings and fundamentals of psychoanalysis and sprang forward into the actual causes of things, for Scientology, unlike Dianetics, is not a psychotherapy. It is therefore from the dominance of Scientology rather than from the viewpoint of Dianetics that one can understand the failings of psychoanalysis, its dangers and the reasons why it did not produce what it should have produced. This is not to enter Scientology as a mental therapy, but Scientology is a broad understanding of Life and is certainly capable of looking at a mental therapy AND delineating its errors.
The first solid criticism of psychoanalysis is inherent in its failure to advance. Sciences are living things. When they are based upon truths they advance and evolve. Psychoanalysis did not advance or did not evolve. There is little, if any, difference between the writings of Freud in 1894 and the declarations of analysts today unless it is a deteriorated difference; the writings of Freud in the late nineteenth century were clearer and more precise than those which are published today. The earlier writings of Freud had in them the saving ingredient of humanity, which is woefully lacking in later workers in the field of psychoanalysis.
The failure of psychoanalysis to expand, to improve and to embrace other fields of livingness, despite its ambitions, is the clearest observation that can be made detrimental to psychoanalysis. Successful things expand, disseminate and invade. Psychoanalysis has not, and today is almost a lost subject. There are fewer analysts in the world today than there were fifteen years ago despite the enormous wages which could have been earned by them. The complete structure of modern psychoanalysis is the same today as in 1894.
In the face of a successful subject one seldom finds newer and more brutal subjects arising and flourishing. That psychoanalysis could be discarded in favor of Russian Psychiatry as practiced today in Europe and the United States is a terrible condemnation of psychoanalysis itself. It must have failed to have made men this desperate. The treatment of the insane today is far worse than it was two centuries ago and the brutality practiced under the name of “mental healing” cannot be regarded with equanimity by any civilized man.
We discover psychoanalysis to have been superseded by tyrannous sadism, practiced by unprincipled men, themselves evidently in the last stages of dementia. This, then, is the end of the trail for psychoanalysis — a world of failure and brutality. Today men who call themselves analysts are merrily sawing out patients’ brains, shocking them with murderous drugs, striking them with high voltages, burying them underneath mounds of ice, placing them in restraints, “sterilizing” them sexually and generally conducting themselves much as their patients would were they given the chance. It is up to us to realize, then, that psychoanalysis in its pure practice is dead the moment the spirit of humanity in which Freud developed the work is betrayed by the handing over of a patient to the merciless misconduct which passes today for treatment.
But completely aside from this general lack of advance, there were certain definite flaws in psychoanalysis which we Dianeticists and Scientologists must inspect, lest we fall into these errors and go the way of the analyst. We have learned certain things in Dianetics and Scientology, and we have learned several Not-Dos which psychoanalysis considered Must-Dos. This article, then, is a list and description of these.
Communication has the power of eradicating spaces and masses. Communication can create spaces as well as eradicate space, but it cannot create mass. If any mass is created it is created by the command that it be created, and is not created by the communication itself.
We have learned that possession of or contact with mass and the ability to tolerate mass are the bases of good therapy. To use indiscriminately something which erases and vanquishes any and all masses is in direct argument with the very well measured results we are obtaining today using mass acquisition techniques.
If you wish to make this test, you have only to take a person who is somewhat disturbed and make him talk about his disturbance. While there is a point when he seems less agitated concerning the disturbance itself, there is no point when he, as a whole person, is bettered beyond his initial state. If this person is permitted or forced to talk, he will bring himself lower and lower in tone. All one needs to do is watch the emotional content of his communication to realize that he is going down in tone.
A practical application is that a person in a disturbed state, permitted to talk, will not cease to be disturbed. Told to be quiet and given, no matter how, a remedy of his mass, it will be discovered that he rapidly regains his equilibrium. In practice it is far better to tell a patient who is compulsively recounting his difficulties to shut up than to permit him to go on speaking.
In psychoanalysis it was pretended that a patient only needed to talk about his difficulties to have them disappear. Naturally, so long as his mass was not entirely unbalanced a person not in bad condition would be able to talk away some minor difficulty without suffering badly from the result of the drop in mass. Freud has said that a great many people were not to be saved or healed by psychoanalysis. It is interesting that this entire category of people is included in the statement that they are very low on havingness or masses. In other words, when a person was so low on masses that he could not afford to eradicate a mass, he could not then be healed by psychoanalysis, but the strange part of it is that people who were fairly well off in mass at the end of a two- or five-year psychoanalytic sprint had been found to be so deficient in mass as to be almost impossible to deal with.
Free association and all other communication means detailed by Freud are only superficially therapeutic. A remedy of the tolerance of mass is therapeutic on all levels of case. You may or may not be aware that a psychoanalytic patient is supposed to talk hour in and hour out for years to his analyst before any recovery is experienced; that no recovery is thereafter experienced in most cases is a very plain case, to the Scientologist, of induced mass starvation.
Two-way communication must be used sparingly and must be accompanied by a replacement of those masses eradicated in the process. Otherwise communication is not therapeutic.
A second tenet of psychoanalysis was that all one had to do was to recall hidden incidents to have them disappear. An analyst expected his patient to go on recalling endlessly, and expected sooner or later that the patient would turn up some interesting bric-a-brac which was the basic difficulty in his case.
Had the analyst known the character of the entire genetic line, had he known of the countless billions of incidents which were hidden from his patient over and above minor secrets of present-life childhood, he would have abandoned this idea that the exposure of a few hidden incidents would bring about a recovery of the patient. Actually, it is true that a patient can be made a little happier by recovering some lost moment he has forgotten, but the condition is not stable and does not continue.
The analyst used to excess the idea of remembering. We in Scientology know the principle of knowingness and not-knowingness, and know that it is as important to be able to not-know things as to know them. The fixation on endless remembering as found in psychoanalysis would be very destructive to the patient and indeed in practice proved so, even under the eyes of the more critical analyst.
It would have been far better had the analyst asked the person time and time again, “Tell me something you wouldn’t mind forgetting.” However, a test of this on a patient who is already deficient in havingness, demonstrated the same phenomenon observed in over-communication. The patient under the impact of this command went down in tone, but did satisfactorily remove several overt acts.
It can be considered, with our experience in testing, an impossibility to eradicate the difficulties of the past in an individual by making him endlessly recall his past. We have the case histories and the tests and the careful observation necessary to establish this point beyond any contest.
We find another error in psychoanalysis under the heading of “transference.” The actual definition of “transference” in psychoanalysis is sufficiently unstable to bring about considerable argument as to what is meant by transference. In fact, in Dianetics we had to re-establish an entirely different condition which we called “valences” to denote the shift from one’s own personality into that of another.
Transference in psychoanalysis was used to denote the transference of the patient into the valence of the practitioner. This was the way which Commander Thompson described the phenomenon to me and nothing has been learnt from later analysts to disprove this basic definition of Freud’s.
We know in Dianetics and Scientology that the acquisition of additional valences means no more and no less than a scarcity of identities. One wonders a little at a practitioner who would be so certain of his own high quality that he would demand that every patient assume the analyst’s identity. This presents us with a very amusing picture of an entire world full of analysts.
However, there were other connotations to this thing called transference. But their significance was never plumbed or solved in the field of psychoanalysis. A valence, the assumption of the identity of another, can be quite destructive to the personality of any person, but such an action means only a scarcity of identities. Requiring a person to invent identities brings about a drop in the number of personalities obsessively held or dramatized by that person.
However, transference accidentally was not a totally bad step, but a step actually in the right direction. The analyst made the person aware of the fact that he could assume at least one more identity and this, we suppose, was the basis of all therapeutic results obtained by the use of transference. But the loss of one’s own personality to the extent of assuming yet another identity — that of the analyst — could not have proved other than destructive to the personality of the patient, and thus we must assume that the entire sphere of transference was an error.
As we increase this list you may find it questionable that psychoanalysis ever intended at any time to improve anyone if they used only those methods and mechanisms calculated to depress and enslave the patient. However, there was the saving grace of giving to the patients’ difficulties the attention of the analyst, and this mixed with the ingredient of humanity, mercy and kindness must have produced what results were produced by psychoanalysis.
Those in Dianetics and Scientology are aware of the existence of eight separate spheres of beingness — the eight dynamics — and know that the second dynamic is only one of these eight. They are also aware of the fact that a concentration on one dynamic to the exclusion of the others cuts back the ability to live to just that degree that the concentration takes place. In other words, one who is concentrated on only one dynamic could be said to be only one-eighth alive.
As Freud worked in a very sexually inhibited era it is natural that he would pick upon something which was intensely aberrative to the people in his immediate vicinity. Furthermore, he had a racial fixation on sex, a fixation sufficiently pronounced to cause it to infect contagiously all modern European stock.
However, to one who has adventured amongst barbarian peoples and who has inspected aberration in its many guises, the concentration on sex as the sole offender as pretended in the “libido theory” of Sigmund Freud becomes unreal. Races which have no sexual inhibitions of any kind are yet aberrated. In fact I know of several savage races which find so little meaning in sex that they do not even bother to trace ancestry seriously, and when they do wish to connect themselves with a family connect themselves on the mother’s side, as one can be fairly certain what woman bore him when one is uncertain as to who influenced the birth from the masculine side. Yet these races, free as the wind on the second dynamic, are yet intensely aberrated in other quarters. Some are aberrated on the eighth dynamic of God, some on the first of self. The American Indian, for instance, is enormously aberrated in the field of animals, but not much inhibited in the field of sex.
It must have required a considerable mental gymnasticism to have combed everything down to sex, and when Freud did so he did no more therapeutically than to give a stable datum to the confusion of the mind which other people living in a sexually inhibited time could accept. Therefore, the advancement of sex, just as the advancement of lanterns or the advancement of chewing tobacco, as the single source of human aberration could have brought a tiny amount of stability to the confusions surrounding the problems of the mind.
But the concentration on sex is not a true one and has led the psychoanalyst down many a blind alley and has inhibited him from observing rationally and truthfully what is going on in his patients, which is a pity, since if he had done this observation properly he would have discovered a great deal more than he has discovered in the sixty-two years of his existence.
Later analysts sought to expand the second dynamic ideas of Sigmund Freud into “social” activities. In other words they tried to go up to the third dynamic of groups, but their search forward was not successful.
You see, there is a considerable amount of attention concentrated on sex, but to say that everything stems from sex is to invalidate the ability of people to create themselves. Sex is simply a low order massive level of creation. True, it is a powerful one, but people in the grip of the inspiration of work, group activities, religion, very often experience far greater emotional or ecstatic impact than from sex, which, all things said, is fun, but not entire. Sex could have been tossed aside with Ovid’s works and yet have left a full mental science.
The reading of sexual significances into each and every action of a person could not but continue to expand the grip sex already had upon the person. Thus it could be said that the Freudian concentration on significances themselves was extremely detrimental to patients in general. The more such significances added to a case, the less chance the case has to recover.
There is a process in Scientology known as “assigning the reason why.” It is a rather old process and is not particularly useful since it considerably reduces the mass tolerance of the individual. One has the air about one give various reasons why. The result of this is to add up an adequate number of significances to the individual, and to desensitize his fixation on having to know the reasons back of certain motions, combinations and beingnesses. Today one could assign reasons why to the walls with considerable recovery.
As the total significance to existence is the significance that the being puts there, the adding of significance to his life without adding as well games, spirit, havingness and other things, could be a considerable detriment to his happiness, and has proven so in psychoanalysis.