A Doctor's Report on Dianetics
|Author||Joseph A. Winter|
Crown Publishing Group
A Doctor's Report on Dianetics: Theory and Therapy is a non-fiction book analyzing Dianetics. The book was authored by Joseph Augustus Winter, M.D., with an introduction by Frederick Perls, M.D., Ph.D.
The book was first published in hardcover by Julian Messner, in 1951, and published again in 1987, by Crown Publishing Group. The work was the first book published that was critical of L. Ron Hubbard.
Dr. Winter had previously served on the Board of Directors of L. Ron Hubbard's Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, but resigned in October 1950 over differences on how to employ the Dianetics techniques. Dr. Winter was also Medical Director of the Foundation. He also wrote the introduction to Hubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Prior to his falling out with Hubbard, Dr. Winter stated that he had used Dianetics to cure his six-year-old son of fears of ghosts and the dark.
A Doctor's Report on Dianetics: Theory and Therapy gives credit to the concepts of Dianetics which the author adheres to, and also cites the particular issues that Dr. Winter disagrees with. Dr. Winter agreed with L. Ron Hubbard's concept of the engram, writing that engrams can be formed in the prenatal stage, but he disagreed with Hubbard's concept of the "sperm dream", asserting that this was something purely imagined by the patient. This concept was later analyzed in Culture and Experience.
Dr. Winter also objected to patients recalling deaths from previous reincarnations, Hubbard's authoritarian attitude and disregard for usage of the scientific method, and Hubbard's view that anyone could become an auditor. According to Winter, repeated attempts to try to convince Hubbard to utilize a minimum standard upon which to test student applicants was not successful. Dr. Winter wrote that Hubbard's techniques did not always cure, but sometimes harmed the patient, and that he had yet to observe a single "Clear". Though Hubbard claimed that a Clear had been obtained after twenty-four hours of therapy, Dr. Winter never observed an individual reach the state of Clear or display any of the unique abilities attributed to a Clear by Hubbard during his time practicing Dianetics. Dr. Winter also believed that some people became psychotic due to their involvement with Dianetics, and he included a case study in the book.
Martin Gardner analyzes the book extensively in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Gardner wrote that the "most revealing" material in A Doctor's Report on Dianetics, were the records of the author's own auditing sessions. Pitirim Sorokin wrote in The Ways and Power of Love that though Dr. Winter wrote an enthusiastic "Introduction" to Hubbard's Dianetics, his own book exposed some of Hubbard's more "charlatanish" claims.
The book was also reviewed in The American Journal of Psychology and The American Journal of Psychiatry. In a review of the book in Psychosomatic Medicine, Frank R. L. Egloff wrote that Winter did a "relatively good, factual job" and provided a "fairly clear, dispassionate view of dianetics".
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