Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1951, 9 July
Document title: MEST Processing
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Professional Course Lectures
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Document ID: 5107C09C
Description: Hubbard lectures on "the history of what they laughingly used to call psychotherapy," mentioning shock treatment, hypnotism, narcosynthesis, brain operations, psychoanalysis, nondirective therapy, General Semantics, Dianetics and MEST processing.
Let’s go into the history of what they laughingly used to call psychotherapy. The first thing that man came up with in this line that was really effective was shock treatment and hypnotism. These are the oldest varieties –sedation, narcosynthesis, shock and, at about the same time, brain operations. These are about two thousand years old. They are still with us; there is still a strata carrying them forward because there has not been anything up to this time to substitute for them. Man tried in psychotherapy to control something. His whole object was control. For instance, a girl runs around, she gets mad and she threatens her mother with a butcher knife, so the family rushes her down to court; a psychiatrist is called in and he says, “I’ll cure all that with a prefrontal lobotomy, then you can handle her.” Never does he say “We’ll make her sane.” He says, “You can handle her”–control.
This graduated in its cycle to a little higher level: education, an effort to educate people one way or the other–for instance, psychoanalysis, social behavior codes, enforced ethics codes and soon, trying to teach people to be sane. That didn’t work either. It is a funny thing, but the more laws that are passed, the crazier people get. For example, take Prohibition.
The next line of advance in the field of psychotherapy was permissive or nondirective therapy. Child upbringing, for instance, got along on the line of complete non direction with regard to the child. Let the child come in and smash all the Ming vases in the house, and lie down on the floor when you are trying to have an evening of bridge and scream and so forth, and you just say, “Yes, Reginald.” Don’t do anything spare the rod and that sort of thing. There was no training involved.
A higher echelon came along than this, and this was the fourth level: semantics, a study of language and an effort to make language sane enough so people learning language and using language could be sane. This was General Semantics. There was also an effort there to keep from identifying one piece of space with another piece of space, one time with another time, the name with the object and the object with the title, and so on. That was very worthwhile work. This was getting up into a level that was starting to pay off.
The next advance was Dianetics, by a perceptive contact of engrams. We made a big jump. We said, “Let’s attack this entheta and get it out of there and run it out,” and we found out that this was successful. We can do something very specific and positive.
And the sixth level is MEST1 Processing. The reason MEST Processing suddenly occupies this echelon is a very simple one: All of a sudden we have dived below the effectiveness of language. We declare herein that we have been validating language as being aberrative. True enough, language has its aberrative factors. True enough, glanced at, looked over and so forth, language is aberrative. It is certainly insane enough. Trying to communicate with English or Chinese or something or other, trying to give somebody a symbol that stands for a thing and so on can be highly aberrative. There are all the homonymic characteristics of language, like threw and through–”He threw the cat” and “He through the cat”–and the reactive mind has a glorious time with this. “He rowed a horse” makes perfectly good sense to the reactive mind! So something desperate had to be done about language. We have been running it out as perceptics and locks and so forth. In MEST Processing, we immediately go into the strata underlying language and process there. We are not processing language.
Hubbard, L. R. (1951, 9 July). MEST Processing. Professional Course Lectures, (5107C09C). Lecture conducted from Wichita, Kansas.