A Doctor's Report on Dianetics

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A Doctor's Report on Dianetics
A Doctor's Report on Dianetics.jpg
Author Joseph A. Winter
Country United States
Language English
Subject Dianetics, Psychotherapy
Genre non-fiction
Publisher Julian Messner
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date
1951, 1987
Media type Hardcover
ISBN ISBN 0-517-56421-1

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.[1]

About the author[edit]

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.[1] Winter was also Medical Director of the Foundation.[2] He also wrote the introduction to Hubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.[3] Prior to his falling out with Hubbard, Winter stated that he had used Dianetics to cure his six-year-old son of fears of ghosts and the dark.[2]

Main points[edit]

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 Winter disagrees with.[4] 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.[4] This concept was later analyzed in Culture and Experience.[5]

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.[1][2][4][6] According to Winter, repeated attempts to try to convince Hubbard to utilize a minimum standard upon which to test student applicants was not successful.[1] Winter wrote that Hubbard's techniques did not always cure, but sometimes harmed the patient,[7] and that he had yet to observe a single "Clear".[1][7][8] Though Hubbard claimed that a Clear had been obtained after twenty-four hours of therapy, 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.[8] Winter also believed that some people became psychotic due to their involvement with Dianetics, and he included a case study in the book.[3]

Winter also took time in his book to rebuke Hubbard's "Guk" program, which was a combination of vitamins and glutamic acid that was meant to make dianetics subjects "run better".[1][2][9]

Critical reception[edit]

The work was called an important new book on psychotherapy, in Pastoral Psychology.[10]

Martin Gardner analyzes the book extensively in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.[4] Gardner wrote that the "most revealing" material in A Doctor's Report on Dianetics, were the records of the author's own auditing sessions.[4] Pitirim Sorokin wrote in The Ways and Power of Love that though Winter wrote an enthusiastic "Introduction" to Hubbard's Dianetics, his own book exposed some of Hubbard's more "charlatanish" claims.[7]

The book was also reviewed in The American Journal of Psychology[9] and The American Journal of Psychiatry.[11] In a review of the book in Psychosomatic Medicine,[12] Frank R. L. Egloff wrote that Winter did a "relatively good, factual job" and provided a "fairly clear, dispassionate view of dianetics".[12]

The book is referenced in Rodney Stark's The Future of Religion,[13] and in Frank Gerbode's Beyond Psychology.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Atack, Jon (August 19, 1990). A Piece of Blue Sky. Carol Publishing Group. pp. Chapter 2. ISBN 0-8184-0499-X. 
  2. ^ a b c d Staff (September 3, 1951). "Departure in Dianetics". Time Magazine (Time Warner). 
  3. ^ a b Cooper, Paulette (1971). The Scandal of Scientology. Tower Publications. pp. Chapter 1. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Gardner, Martin (1957). Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 274, 275. ISBN 0-486-20394-8. 
  5. ^ Hallowell, Alfred Irving (1974). Culture & Experience. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 392. ISBN 0-8122-1039-5. 
  6. ^ Staff (November 22, 1951). "A Doctor's Report on Dianetics". The Fredericksburg News. 
  7. ^ a b c Sorokin, Pitirim; Stephen Garrard Post (2002). The Ways and Power of Love: Types, Factors, and Techniques of Moral Transformation. Templeton Foundation Press. p. 508. ISBN 1-890151-86-6. 
  8. ^ a b Bainbridge, William Sims; Rodney Stark (1980). "Scientology: To Be Perfectly Clear" (PDF). Sociological Analysis. doi:10.2307/3709904. 
  9. ^ a b Marcuse, F. L.; Winter, J. A. (January 1952). "A Doctor's Report on Dianetics by J. A. Winter". The American Journal of Psychology (University of Illinois Press) 65 (1): 154–155. doi:10.2307/1418860. JSTOR 1418860. 
  10. ^ Princeton Theological Seminary (1950). Pastoral Psychology. pp. 6, 7. ISSN 0031-2789. 
  11. ^ Peck, Robert E. (July 1952). "A Doctor's Report on Dianetics". The American Journal of Psychiatry 109: 70–71. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.109.1.70-b. 
  12. ^ a b Egloff, Frank R. L. "A Doctor's Report on Dianetics - Theory and Therapy" (PDF). Psychosomatic Medicine 15 (4): 370. 
  13. ^ Stark, Rodney; William Sims Bainbridge (January 16, 1986). The Future of Religion. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-05731-9. 
  14. ^ Gerbode, Frank A. (August 1995). Beyond Psychology: An Introduction to Metapsychology, 3rd Edition. Institute for Research in Metapsychology. ISBN 1-887927-00-X , ISBN 978-1-887927-00-0. 

External links[edit]