Scientology: A History of Man - Publication History

Publication History

The book reportedly originated in Scientology auditing sessions held in Wichita, Kansas in early 1952, involving Hubbard and his personal auditor, Perry Chapdelaine. According to Chapdelaine, Hubbard would "settle himself on a couch with a tape recorder handy and an 'auditor' who would be expected to provide appropriate feedback. In no time a flow of introspection - like the free association characteristic of a psychoanalytic session - would begin." Hubbard's son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr. (otherwise known as "Nibs") and Hubbard senior's medical officer, Jim Dincalci, have both stated that the book was written under the influence of amphetamines:

LRH gave his son Nibs some amphetamines, and Nibs started talking, he said, started really going talking fast, from the speed. And he kept talking, he kept talking, and his dad kept giving him speed and all of a sudden he was talking about his history, when he was a clam and all these different situations in early Earth. And out of that came History of Man.

Hubbard's account of human evolution was first released as four lectures which Hubbard delivered to Scientologists on March 10, 1952. Further lectures followed in Phoenix, Arizona in April, and in July 1952 the book What to audit; a list and description of the principle incidents to be found in a human being was published by the Phoenix-based "Scientific Press" - an imprint established by Hubbard. The same book was published under the title A History of Man by the London-based Hubbard Association of Scientologists. It was reissued in two substantially modified editions, in 1968 (minus chapter 11 of the original book and under the current title of Scientology: A History of Man) in 1988, and again in 2007, this time with a set of lectures expanding on the content.

Since 1968, the book's jacket has displayed a picture of a hirsute, unkempt "caveman" dressed in a fur eating the raw meat from a thigh bone of an animal. This appears to refer to one of the past-life "incidents" described by Hubbard in the book. Many Scientology books have similar curious pictures on their jackets; according to former Scientologist Bent Corydon, their purpose is to "restimulate" past-life memories and make the book irresistible to purchasers. After such symbols were first added to the jackets of Scientology books, writes Corydon,

A special "Book Mission" was sent out to promote these books, now empowered and made irresistible by the addition of these supposedly overwhelming symbols or images. Organization staff were assured that if they simply held up one of the books, revealing its cover, that any bookstore owner would immediately order crateloads of them. A customs officer, seeing any of the book covers in one's luggage, would immediately pass one on through.

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