Early Scientology / Dianetics - 1950
SIR: To Dr. Martin Gumpert and to all who may be disposed to take seriously his tirade against "Dianetics" (the NR, August 14) I commend the words of advice attributed to Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech ye, in the bowels of Christ, to consider whether ye may not be mistaken." In vain I warned the Literary Editor of the NR a month ago NOT to submit this book to review by an "Authority" unwilling to put its postulates to a test. Dr. Gumpert has not only put them to no test, but has carefully refrained from asking the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for documentary evidence and case studies -- now being prepared for later publication. He also "hopes to prevent" others from testing the postulates and believes (shades of the AMA on socialized medicine!) that dianetics should be "prohibited."
Happily, his efforts will be futile. The only thing "dangerous" or disgraceful in this matter is that the "New Republic" should print such utterly ignorant and irresponsible statements, under the editorial delusion that they constitute a critical evaluation, and thereby make itself the laughingstock of the rapidly growing throng of people who know what dianetics is about. Not the book, but the review, is "complete nonsense," a "paranoiac system" and a "fantastic absurdity." There are no authorities on dianetics save those who have tested it. All who have done so are in no doubt whatever as to who is here mistaken.
FREDERICK L. SCHUMAN
[While Dr. Schuman is a distinguished authority on political science, we do not feel that on issues involving psychiatry he is entitled to any more respect than any other layman. His suggestion that no one should write about dianetics without having experienced it seems to us like saying that no one can be an authority on cyanide of potassium unless he has eaten some. -- THE EDITORS]