APA Medical Director on Hubbard and Dianetics (August, 1950)


Patron Meritorious

August 1, 1950
National Better Business Bureau, Inc.
Chrysler Building
New York 17, New York

Attn: Miss Diana Bennett

Dear Miss Bennett,

In reply to your inquiry of July 17, 1950, about Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation, Inc., of Elizabeth, New Jersey, I can give no personal opinion since I am totally unacquainted with the group and the type of treatment they sponsor. Any reaction to their claim of curing epilepsy is that of any medical man: that it is entirely unethical. The Hubbard group are not doctors of medicine (with the exception of one person, I believe, who is the assistant or partner of Mr. Hubbard).*

One of my assistants has talked with a number of reputable psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychologists in this area who have personal knowledge of Hubbard’s system and have witnessed his demonstrations.

It is their considered professional opinion that Hubbard’s approach is unscientific and unrealistic. His presentation is flamboyant and full of contradictions. His technique is that used by hypnotists; his appeal is to the hysterical, as is the appeal of most faith-healers, fortune-tellers, astrologers and cultists. He refuses scientific and specific questioning, referring all questioners to his book. His emphasis on sensational publicity is not in keeping with the behavior or conduct of a professional man whose chief interest is in his patients’ welfare.

His encouragement of lay practitioners of his system can lead only to widespread quackery.

It is also the opinion of the profession here that $500 a month is an exorbitant fee. The average cost of psychiatric treatment or psychoanalysis with a person of many years training and experience is from $150 to $250 a month. Costs vary according to the intensity of the treatment and often according to the standard of living prevailing in different geographic locations.

To date, this Association has not formulated an official opinion on the subject of dianetics. The above statements represent only the opinions of local members of the profession, based on their personal experience with dianetics.

Hoping I have been of some assistance to you, I remain

Sincerely yours,
Medical Director
[Emphasis added.]
* Dr. Joseph A. Winter

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