The word “Dianetics” comes from: dia (Greek) “through”, nous (Greek) “mind”.
Dianetics is a science and counseling technique which can help alleviate unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses (illnesses caused or aggravated by mental stress).
L. Ron Hubbard began his studies of the mind in 1923, resulting in a manuscript entitled “Excalibur” in 1938. He decided against publishing the book due to the fact that, “‘Excalibur’ did not contain any therapy of any kind but was simply a discussion of the composition of life.” Consequently, “I decided to go further.”
That “going further” resulted in Dianetics, a subject which was introduced to provide an actual “therapy” easily applied by the man in the street. Thus, in 1947, he wrote a manuscript detailing the core discoveries of Dianetics. Although not published at the time, the manuscript was circulated among friends and colleagues, who copied it and passed it on to others. (This work was eventually published in 1951 as Dianetics: The Original Thesis.)
As copies of the manuscript continued circulating, Mr. Hubbard began receiving a flood of letters requesting further information. Indeed, he soon found himself spending all his time answering letters and decided to write a comprehensive text on the subject—Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Published on May 9th, 1950, it sparked a storm of popular enthusiasm, and immediately hit the New York Times bestseller list where it remained for 28 consecutive weeks. As such, it was the biggest selling book on the mind ever written, and remains so today. Contained within was the discovery of the reactive mind—the hidden source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurity.
With the publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, a national movement began. By summer, people who had read Dianetics flocked to L. Ron Hubbard’s home in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They wanted to know more. They wanted to become more proficient in Dianetics auditing. And with this demand, four individuals (an attorney, a publisher, a doctor and an engineer) approached Mr. Hubbard to form a Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation (HDRF). With his consent the Foundation was formed in Elizabeth. In the following months, four additional foundations were formed across America where students were trained on Dianetics.
With his continuing research into the mind, including the publication of 4 additional books advancing Dianetics therapy and techniques, Mr. Hubbard, by late 1951, found himself eventually studying the human spirit to answer the question of “who or what was operating the mind”.
Since Dianetics was a subject concerned solely with the mind, Mr. Hubbard needed a new word that would encompass these new discoveries he was making concerning the human spirit. A new subject was founded: Scientology (from the Latin scio which means “knowing, in the fullest meaning of the word” and the Greek word logos which means “study of”).
Groups of students from around the world traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, where Mr. Hubbard held classes and lectured on the subject of Scientology. As a result, students returning to their areas formed Scientology groups not only in America, but in England, Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.
Eventually, since the subject of the human spirit was truly in the realm of religion, it was determined that the organization should be reformed as an actual church, and so the first official Church of Scientology was founded in Washington, D.C. in February 1954. By the middle of the next decade over a dozen Churches of Scientology existed in some five countries along with scores of Scientology groups in dozens of nations.