Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1958, 6 July
Document title: The Magic Button
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Clearing Congress
Location: Washington, DC
Document ID: 5807C06
Description: Hubbard tells the story of "the held-down five" to illustrate his cybernetics model for the analytical and reactive minds.
But if they press you–remember the old adding machine idea that appeared in Dianetics very early?1 For those of you that have forgotten it or need your memories refreshed, could I–could I just tell you that little one? The held-down five? Hm?
All right. Now, it seems like up at Harvard University–they have a school up there, they call it a university–that they had a mechanical monster that they said was a mechanical brain. And it wouldn’t turn out any right answers all of a sudden.
It was going along fine; it was whirring and clunking; it was dispensing with faculties, students, staff, everything else. And eventually we were just going to have a building sitting there with a beautiful mechanical brain in it, and everything would be fine from there on out. That’s, I think, the goal of modern society. No people!
So, anyway, the thing was running along and whirring, and the wheels were coming nicely, and the big tape and data banks were all–oh, it was lovely, you know, and whirr, clank, and chutes going, and pieces of paper going, and punch card systems going and–oh, it was wonderful, wonderful.
And all of a sudden it started to lie. And they called for somebody off the ministerial staff and tried to give it a moral lecture, and they called for a psychiatrist, and he stood around and said it had a neurosis. And they gave it an IQ test and it flunked it. And finally it occurred that somebody remembered suddenly that this machine had been built by some electronics men. They were “Mama.” And so they called for these fellows, and they started looking through the machine, and they made a very practical dissertation on it, and they found out that it was lying at a definite rate. It was always telling the same order of magnitude of lie.
If you asked it what five times one was, it said twenty-five. If you asked it what one times a hundred was, it said five hundred. If you asked it what one times ten was, it said fifty. And they did some common arithmetic which would have solved all the problems the machine would ever solve in the first place, and they found out that it was wrong by a factor of five. So they started burrowing through the guts of this sort of thing, you know, and took out its appendix. And when they finally got down to the last channel where the little simple column that really did the work–you know, all the little contacts that really did the work were; they got past the advertising plates, you know, and the cybernetics attachment and all of that–they found out that a drop of solder had melted so that whatever the machine said, five was totally connected into the machine.
In other words, whatever else was added into the machine, also, unbeknownst to anyone, five was added into the machine. There was that five.
So, that anytime the machine gave you an answer of any kind, it multiplied it or divided it or added to it five. You see? It had the figure five identified with every factor of every problem that was fed to or taken out of the machine. You see that? There was a five identification.
Now, that figure five and this machine analogy is what we used to demonstrate what happened with an engram. An engram has just added a number of set factors.
This fellow knows “all women are evil.” So he goes into a restaurant, and he knows that, whatever else he knows, he knows that one, you see? Just like some girl who knows “all men are alike,” something like that.
But he knows this factor, “all women are evil.” He goes into a restaurant, he starts to order some ice cream, and then sees that it will be served by a waitress, notices that this is a woman, decides ice cream will probably give him indigestion; he eats some ice cream and he gets indigestion. Get the idea?
He walks down the street and sees that it is a beautiful day, there are no women on the street, see? The beautifulness of the day is evaluated by the fact there are no women present, see?
He goes into a bar, and it’s horrible; it has a woman bartender. But he never notices this woman. He just notices this is a horrible bar. He tells all of his friends never to go near the place. The liquor is poisoned, they have all sorts of tramps that hang around there, you get rolled for your money. You just never go near this bar. And the only thing that’s really wrong with it, it’s got a woman bartender.
The one factor that he never sees is the factor that is wrong! Just like the machine never noticed that five was soldered into all the answers, so he never notices at all that women are added or subtracted in everything that he does in the society.
Right-wrong, good-evil, all of these things have women connected with it. Some day, some auditor comes along and deletes this piece of solder, this aberration about women from the machinery. Zuupt. And he walks down the street, and it is a beautiful day because it is raining or because it is sunny or foggy or something else, but it’s a beautiful day because it is what he might consider a beautiful day. It is no longer beautiful simply because there are no women on the street. You get the idea? And he meets some girl, and they live happily ever after if that’s possible.
I actually did this to one of the finest Scientologists down under. I actually pulled this soldered “all women are bad” out of the bank one night about midnight with the first class of Scientologists taught in England.
I backed him up against the wall and sat him down on the couch. And we’d had enough of this, and his case was being very resistive. And I peeked. It was a very bad thing to do, but I peeked. And he had murdered a sufficient number of women up and down the track that he was pretty well stuck on the subject–overt act-motivator sequence.
And I said, “Well now, get in there and pitch. Let’s walk down that cave and pick up that rock and bash the woman, that girl, over the head and kill her dead.”
And he screamed faintly, and I pressed right on as an auditor, and I made him do this thing. And it was basic-basic on this particular chain. And it blew up the whole chain, and his case ran very easily after that, and he’s been a terrific auditor ever since.
Now, look at this as an actual explanation. It isn’t too simple an explanation, then, to say “held-down five.” See, it isn’t too simple at all.
And this has come back to us again after all this time. I’d like to tell you some more about it because it’s become so important to us in modern processing.
Hubbard, L. R. (1958, 6 July). The Magic Button. Clearing Congress, (5807C06). Lecture conducted from Washington, DC.
- See Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Chapter One: The Analytical Mind and the Standard Memory Banks. ↩