Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1958, 8 August
Document title: Auditor Interest
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Twentieth American Advanced Clinical Course
Location: Washington, DC
Document ID: 20ACC-33
Description: Hubbard says he promised Norbert Wiener he would never mention the name of Cybernetics; discusses a "moronic reaction" feedback. Hubbard advises his auditors not to "preserve" cases.
Now, nearly every one of us knows something about a case intellectually, that we’ve actually never seen in a case. We know something could be theoretically true about a case, or a certain combination of circumstances would be true about a case, but we’ve never just sat down and seen it right there – bang! You know? So there’s lots of those things and you kind of keep wondering if these will ever turn up, and you’re looking now on a via. After a while you begin to look fairly directly. You know, you say, “Well, that’s what that case is all about – phewww! See? And it’s this way and it’s that way.” Now, we don’t collect cases, we don’t collect cases, we spoil them; we’re case spoilers, we ruin them. We alter the cases around.
But the reason psychiatry has utterly flopped, and it’s one of the biggest flops in the world today, is because they carefully preserve them. They’re scared stiff of spoiling one of those gorgeous manic-depressive schizes, you know. They have this wonderful maniac back in a cell and he just keeps gibbering and gibbering and gibbering, just exactly the way Kurtz Schnutweiler says in his book on Mania, My Mania.
Fellow came into the psycho ward up here, one of the hospitals north here, that had a twitch which was apparently an exact textbook case of Norbert Wiener’s.1 And I promised Norbert I would never mention the name of Cybernetics, so of course I can’t, you know. And I never do anyway. And so anyway, he writes in there about a feedback or reflex moronic type reaction – a “moronic reaction” or something of the sort, whereby you stick a needle in him someplace and you can actually trace the current pattern as it goes through the neurons and get it back somewhere else.
I’ll be a son of a gun if a standard case that matched this textbook didn’t come into one of these mental hospitals. You know, they didn’t do anything with the guy for two or three months, but every doctor in the area went up and saw this.
When you hit a certain nerve area in the fellow’s upper back shoulder, you got a leg twitch. And so doctor would come up, and they’d hit him in that area and then they’d watch that leg twitch, you know? And it’s wonderful – wonderful case. There must be – there must be something to cybernetics because look at that, guy obviously couldn’t do that unless there was an electronic circuit, and there it is. And there must be something about the body that has to do with electronics.
And I heard one of them say, “This proves conclusively that we should continue to shock people.” I don’t know how it proved that, but it did. They have a tendency to preserve cases. Now, as long as you have a vast number of available people, as long as there are lots of people available, you never preserve cases. But more importantly you’ll never collect any people unless you preserve your interest in how cases are made up.
Hubbard, L. R. (1958, 8 August). Auditor Interest. Twentieth American Advanced Clinical Course, (20ACC-33 ). Lecture conducted from Washington, DC.