Zilboorg Denounces 'Dianetics' at Forum

Source: New York Times
Date: March 30, 1951

The practice of "dianetics," a theory for the treatment of psychosomatic and other ills, was attacked as "dangerous" last night by Dr. Gregory Zilboorg, psychiatrist, at a meeting held under the auspices of the Physicians' Forum at the New York Academy of Medicine, 2 East 103d Street. The attack on "dianetics," the theories of which are expounded in a best-selling book of that name by L. Ron Hubbard, was said by a spokesman for the Physicians' Forum to have been the first by a physician at a public meeting in New York.

Dr. Zilboorg declared the book was "unfair to human beings" in promising the hope of cures by persons without scientific or medical training. He said the theory advanced that all illnesses stemmed from a single source, engrams, was a dangerous one, and that its application would cause megalomaniacal phantasies.

According to Mr. Hubbard, engrams are fixed in the reactive (subconscious) mind by unpleasant experiences, and when eradicated the cure or "clearing" of the patient results. The author declares that one who has mastered his book can act as an "auditor" for another person and get rid of the engrams by helping the patient to relive the unpleasant experience. Dr. Zilboorg said many of theories set forth in the book were Freudian and other well-known theories that had been given the terminology of the electronic age.