Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1950, 8 July
Document title: About Psychotics
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Professional Course
Location: Elizabeth, New Jersey
Document ID: 5007C08B
Description: Hubbard lectures on "demon circuit" psychotics; talks about the shamanistic call and how this can be expected in Dianetics; discusses a case history of a young woman with a shamanistic call for Dianetics.
Treating a demon circuit psychotic you will have to probably discover the source of the demon circuit. These demon circuits are “Everybody’s against me” control circuits, “You don’t dare tell him the truth” circuits, and so on, but this person will move to some slight degree on the track. You may have to push him a bit and much to your dismay find out that you have restimulated 4 to 5 engrams, and he flares up and says, “You are trying to kill me, I know, you’re against me too.” You have restimulated several engrams on him, and he doesn’t like it. They settle out in 8 to 10 days, but don’t let anybody give him electric shock during the time you are waiting for an engram to settle out.
The fear which is generally felt toward the psychotic is not peculiar to this society. The awe and terror that insanity has produced in men down through the ages is very standard. Insanity has been incomprehensible and as a result they have been afraid of it. Suddenly somebody’s loved one, back in the cave days, turns up screaming, “I am a chipmunk, bark, bark, chatter, chatter.” What do we do with him? Well, we can say he has been invaded by spirits and is a holy man, and let him wander around, as long as he doesn’t destroy any property or hurt anybody. Some choose their witch doctors from amongst their psychotics. Then there is the shamanistic call where some psychotic suddenly goes into a slight spin and walks out in the woods thinking the ghost of some shaman has called him.
That may be peculiar to North Borneo, but anything that one human being will do, others will. Some psychotic will probably have a shamanistic call on the subject of Dianetics, and will go around saying that he has been chosen to be the carrier of the great torch of truth, Dianetics. He is now second only to God himself and is the wonder of the ages, and he is the only one who is qualified to know anything. That will be the shamanistic call at work. It is a very interesting mechanism. The person has been trying all his life to become important. He has a manic on the subject. He has to become important, he has to tell somebody something. He has a message for somebody. And all of a sudden he grabs hold of Dianetics– there’s the message. Of course he has been psychotic all his life; however, earlier it was the message that this or that or something else.
People are going to say Dianetics is dangerous because of this. If anybody mentions that to you, point also to the Holy Bible, and if they will check back against the past they will find there have been people who were not quite sound, who had some feelings that the word ought to be spread. This occurs with almost any subject. This does not invalidate religion, nor does it invalidate Dianetics. This is the shamanistic call.
You may walk into an institution and find four or five people in there with the shamanistic call all of a sudden for Dianetics: You may find a couple more that have been driven insane by somebody who knew what he was doing with Dianetics too. This is an aberrated society. There will be somebody who, for instance, has one of these shamanistic calls, who is going around and telling everybody, “Now, the thing for you to do is to bow down to the Great God Motaw.” Or, “I am the chosen one. In a vision last night I saw the Great God Motaw, and I have this great message for the world.”
If you start working him on the basis that there is an engram at work underneath it on the subject of the great message, you are not going to get anything because you are facing a demon circuit. Although the wording of the demon circuit makes it possible for this sort of a computation to come in, you are actually working a manic case. That manic may only be Grandma saying, “You mustn’t abort the baby because he will be a great man someday and he may do something wonderful in the world,” and so on.
The insidious part of demon circuits is that they seem so reasonable at times. A person working on one of these demon circuits may seem quite rational to you, but when you have had a little experience with psychotics, you will notice that the division line between sanity and insanity in the lower stages is so sharp that you will never be very confused about it. You can tell a man who is a psychotic. Don’t think for a moment that on this shamanistic call basis it isn’t based upon a perfectly good analytical computation. Somebody sees something good or something that has to be done in the world. Some priest goes out into the backwoods where sacrificial altars are the order of business and he finds that they sacrifice little babies on sacrificial stones, and that some of the customs there are very remarkable. He starts telling them that there is only one God–the God of goodness and love. This priest is doing a good job. In past ages the civilization got carried into the backwoods by these means, and one wouldn’t say that every priest that went out was crazy merely because he said, “I’ve got a better answer than you have, boys.”
Take somebody who has been studying engineering who suddenly finds out that if you mix concrete with such-and-so you can double its tension. You don’t say that that man’s crazy because he runs down the hall and starts telling people about it.
The shamanistic call is a different proposition. I have seen one at work. The person was frothing at the mouth. He would throw himself down on the ground and claw at the earth and then he would scream like a wild animal. Then he would jump up again and say, “I have a message.” Everybody would gather around and listen for this message. He was crazy. But things came to him in visions and his message would be to the effect that the fish were going to be very good down in the river the next day. That was the shamanistic call at work. One of these people had Dianetics on the brain and was saying, “Contact that auditor. Contact that auditor. Contact. Now you can do this. You know you can do this. You know you can do this. Contact that auditor. I have a clear brain, I’ve been cleared. It just came over me all of a sudden. I’m a clear, I’m a clear now. You can go to bed with me.” There was nothing rational about it at all. She had been beaten and hypnotized by a professor of psychology who precipitated a break. Before that time she had been trying to sell him Dianetics. He “fixed” her. Fortunately Dianetics works and the case in question was brought out of it and is doing fine. Work a psychotic on the principle of knocking out the engram in which you find him, or knocking out the demon circuits, especially the command “Control yourself” and its ilk, “I can do this. I’m the only one that can do this,” which may have as its underlying command, “You can do it and I’m going to make you.”
You are working then in the interest of springing the psychotic out of the engram in which he is stuck and preventing a further break. When the demon circuits are knocked out, the chances of a break are not just reduced, they are wiped out. It is the circuit that makes the break possible in the first place. I have never yet seen a psychotic who wasn’t running on the computation that he had no control of himself and he couldn’t control himself, as a demon circuit, or on the other hand who had one that said he had to control himself. Some had both–he can’t control himself but he has to control himself. So the problem of circuitry is quite sharp when you address the psychotic.
Hubbard, L. R. (1950, 8 July). About Psychotics. Professional Course, (5007C08B).Lecture conducted from Elizabeth, New Jersey.