|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (January 2008)|
MEST is an acronym used in Scientology and coined by author L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard used the first letters of the words matter, energy, space and time, the component parts of the physical universe. Writings and lectures by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard frequently use the term MEST in place of the phrase "the physical universe". Hubbard described the purpose of the "Theta Universe" as "the conquest, change, and ordering of MEST" (our physical universe).
Ethnic minorities and MEST
African Americans and MEST
Hubbard felt that African Americans had a tendency to personify the MEST universe by giving objects personalities: "Actually, have you ever noticed how a negro, in particular, down south, where they're pretty close to the soil, personifies MEST? The gate post and the wagon and the whip and anything around there. A hat – they talk to 'em, you know. "Wassa madda wit you, hat?". They imbue them, with personality." 
Other racial implications of MEST
In The Fundamentals of Thought, Hubbard also says:
Unlike yellow and brown people, the white does not usually believe he can get attention from matter or objects. The yellow and brown believe for the most part (and it is all a matter of consideration) that rocks, trees, walls etc. can give them attention. The white man seldom believes this and so is likely to become anxious about people.
Thus the white saves people, prevents famine, flood, disease and revolution for people as the only purveyors of attention are scarce. The white goes further. He often believes he can get attention only from whites and that yellow and brown peoples' attention is worthless. Thus the yellow and brown races are not very progressive but by and large, saner. And the white race is progressive but more frantic. The yellow and brown races do not understand white concern for "bad conditions" since what is a few million dead men? There are plenty of identities and there is plenty of attention, they think. The white can't understand them. Nor can they understand the white.
- PMEST (Personality, Matter, Energy, Space, Time) in Ranganathan's colon classification introduced in 1933.
- "MEST", Bridge Publications Inc.
- Hubbard, Science of Survival, 1st edition, pg. 99
- Marshall, Gordon (1990). In Praise of Sociology. Routledge. p. 180. ISBN 9780044456872. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
Nor is it possible to document fully the numerous developments in the theory and practice of Dianetics during its early years. These include Hubbard's distinction between 'MEST' and 'theta' (the former is an acronym for the physical universe of Matter-Energy-Space-Time, while the latter stands for the universe of thought); the development of the 'Tone Scale', indicating the amount of 'free theta' available to the analytical mind, and according to which pre-clear individuals and groups can be classified; Hubbard's proliferation of 'logics, corollaries, axioms, and definitions' [...]; and his growing commitment to past lives and deaths.
- Hubbard, Therapy Section of Technique 80: Part I, Route to Infinity, 21 May 1952
- From the 1997 edition of Fundamentals of Thought, Chapter 3 "The Conditions of Existence", section "Identity and Attention", pg. 35-36.
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