Those familiar with the life of L. Ron Hubbard as recounted in issues of the Ron Series will recall repeated references to the LRH trail of research through the latter 1940s. Generally touched upon are his 1945 endocrinological studies at an Oak Knoll naval hospital near San Francisco, his 1946 examination of narcosynthesis at a California Veterans Administration, his 1947 work with neurotics from the Hollywood film community and his 1948 treatment of the criminally insane in a Savannah, Georgia institution. Also routinely mentioned is Ron’s first formal description of results in a widely circulated “Original Thesis,” his presentation of discoveries to an American medical and psychiatric establishment, his rebuff from that establishment and, finally, his authoring of a broadly accessible Dianetics handbook in a beachfront rental in New Jersey. Never previously offered, however, is what appears here: the actual correspondence from which we draw so much of the color and detail found in the Ron Series.
For example: from the literal road of discovery LRH traveled through these years, comes his most revealing letter to Russell Hays. An author, inventor and gentleman farmer, Hays had counted himself among Ron’s closest friends for more than two decades. Both shared an abiding fascination with primitive cultures, aeronautics and that terra incognita of the human mind – the subject of Ron’s letter here.
Next, and quite in addition to above-mentioned LRH letters to the American Medical and Psychiatric Associations, we offer Ron’s summary description of Dianetics to the Gerontological Society in Baltimore, Maryland. Of particular interest – and found nowhere else – is Ron’s reference to that Oak Knoll experimentation wherein former prisoners of war responded to hormonal therapy only after “the removal of early traumas” through Dianetic procedures.
Although much has been previously said regarding author-editor John W. Campbell’s publication of Ron’s “Evolution of a Science” in Astounding Science-Fiction, here is what Campbell himself had to say on the matter. Here, too, is J. W. Campbell on the forthcoming Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and what he rightly foresaw as the backlash from a deeply flawed psychiatric community.
Finally, and for a rare LRH description of the actual Dianetics birthplace, comes a second telling note to Russell Hays from the “wilds” of Bay Head, New Jersey.
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