The Rare Manuscript by the Founder of Dianetics, L. Ron. Hubbard

Science of Survival is a book published in 1951 by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology.

The title of Science of Survival alludes to Science and Sanity, a highly popular work by Alfred Korzybski, the founder of general semantics. Hubbard acknowledged Korzybski’s contributions in the book.

It has remained perpetually in print over the years, and is currently published by Bridge Publications, Inc.  However, elements in the text have changed over the years, with some modern editions no longer containing specific medical claims of Dianetics’ ability to cure disease and to increase IQ.

Science of Survival was the follow-up to Hubbard’s best-selling Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It expanded significantly on Dianetics, setting out what Hubbard called the “dynamics of behaviour” and provided descriptions of new techniques of Dianetics processing that Hubbard described as being faster and simpler than those that he had advanced previously. In the book, Hubbard introduced two concepts that were later to become key elements of Scientology: theta and the tone scale. He also endorsed the concept of past lives, an issue that had been controversial in Dianetics but which Hubbard had come to embrace.

Tests and results

As Hubbard tells the story in Science and Survival, in 1950 the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation agreed to a definitive test of claims demanded by the psychological community who wanted Dianetics to validate its claims. The claims to be tested were increased IQ, the relief of psychoses, and the relief of psychosomatic illnesses.

Hubbard said that the tests had been done using psychology’s strictest psychometric protocols (Minnesota Multiphasic Test and the Wechsler-Bellevue, “Form B”) with examiners Gordon Southon, Peggy Southon and Dalmyra Ibanez, Ph.D., Ed. D. who were said to be registered professional personnel.[who?] Hubbard also said that their witnessed signatures were affixed to each bank of tests and that all three claims were validated by these tests and these psychometrists.

January 1951 Hubbard published a booklet by these same alleged doctors: Dianetic Processing – A Brief Survey of Research Projects and Preliminary Results by Dalmyra Ibanez, Ph.D., Ed. D., Gordon Southon, Peggy Southon and Peggy Benton In it, the authors state:
“ If dianetic research is to be defined as “the study of human behaviour for the purpose of discovering and removing the sources of aberration”, or, in other words, as the study of mental health, a need arises for tools with which to pursue that study. Actually, such tools as do exist may or may not apply to the dynamics of Dianetics, since its methodology has no exact parallel in the history of psychology… For our present studies, therefore, use has been made of those testing instruments judged by a group of psychologists as most appropriate for dianetic purposes. ”

The names of the persons in this “group of psychologists” are not mentioned. The booklet presents case histories and X-Rays and says that it proves that Dianetics can cure “aberrations” including manic depression, asthma, arthritis, colitis and “overt homosexuality.” The booklet further says that it used twelve different tests and presents results from five, four of which came from the California Test Bureau and had according to an 1946 investigation of V. E. Ordahl of the University of California no evidence of reliability or validity.

Modern reprintings of Science of Survival (post twentieth printing) no longer contain information about this study or mention the alleged IQ gains of about ten points and other similar alleged gains. The modern version (ISBN 0-88404-418-1) bear a new subtitle: “Prediction of Human Behavior”. Earlier editions were subtitled “Simplified, Faster Dianetic Techniques”.

Body odor and the Tone Scale

In Science of Survival, Hubbard discusses the correlation between body odor, bodily substances, and one’s position on the Tone Scale:

“The body is normally sweet-smelling down to 2.0 but begins to exude chronically certain unpleasant effluvia from 2.0 down. Individuals from 2.0 down commonly have bad breath. Their feet may have a considerable odour. The musk glands are very active. The sweat has a peculiar smell. Sexual organs emit a repelling odour. And various body exhaust functions are not under very good control. The person may have to urinate or defecate under slight stresses or may weep easily for no apparent cause. This column has not been added to this chart because it has not been thoroughly explored but is only known in a general way. Any slightly or greatly repulsive physical odour from an individual does, however, indicate a tone scale position below 2.0. It is amusing to note that in the Orient wives are commonly selected by the sweetness of their perspiration. This is a very reliable test for position on the tone scale. People who have bad breath as they are processed lose it when the are above 2.0 on the tone scale. People who are temporarily suppressed below 2.0 commonly have bad breath.” (pg.146)


One passage in particular in Chapter 27 of Science of Survival has been singled out for criticism by opponents of Scientology. In it, Hubbard states that

“The sudden and abrupt deletion of all individuals occupying the lower bands of the tone scale from the social order would result in an almost instant rise in the cultural tone and would interrupt the dwindling spiral into which any society may have entered. It is not necessary to produce a world of clears in order to have a reasonable and worthwhile social order; it is only necessary to delete those individuals who range from 2.0 down, either by processing them enough to get their tone level above the 2.0 line — a task which, indeed, is not very great, since the amount of processing in many cases might be under fifty hours, although it might also in others be in excess of two hundred — or simply quarantining them from the society. A Venezuelan dictator [Juan Vicente Gómez] once decided to stop leprosy. He saw that most lepers in his country were also beggars. By the simple expedient of collecting and destroying all the beggars in Venezuela an end was put to leprosy in that country.”

Critics, such as the French Government’s Anti-cult interministerial mission, believe that forcibly quarantining all human beings that are classified low on Scientology’s tone scale would be a violation of human rights.

Furthermore, the book’s claims that “adders are safe bedmates compared to people on the lower bands of the tone scale” and that it is one’s “level on the tone scale which gives [him or her] value”  have also come under fire.

Hubbard has also been criticised for the strong opposition to abortion that he displays in the book, in which he says that “America spends [billions] yearly on institutions for the insane and jails for criminals … primarily because of attempted abortions done by some sex-blocked mother to whom children are a curse, not a blessing of God.”

Publication history

The book was published in August 1951 and was originally dedicated to his daughter Alexis Valerie Hubbard (whom he later disowned). It was dictated on Sound Scriber discs in Havana, Cuba, where Hubbard took refuge when his marriage to his second wife Sara Northrup Hubbard was in an advanced state of disintegration and he was embroiled in a custody dispute over Alexis.

By the time Science of Survival was published, the public popularity of Dianetics had faded and only one Dianetics Foundation – Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Wichita, Kansas, funded by millionaire Dianeticist Don Purcell – was still in existence. The Wichita Foundation underwrote the costs of printing the book. It recorded poor sales when first published, with only 1,250 copies of the first edition being printed.  However, the book has remained in print as a standard reference work of the Church of Scientology and is listed in their Materials Guide Chart.

A deluxe 50th anniversary revised edition was released in 2001 and a new revised edition in 2007.

About The Manuscript

In 1951, the first printing of the manuscript for Science of Survival was published in a highly limited run. Each copy contained a reprinted signature by L Ron Hubbard. The signature read “With my very best wishes, L. Ron Hubbard”.

See more photos of this rare manuscript

Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: 1942
Binding: Cloth Hardcover
Signed: Reprinted signature

Punlished by Whichita: The Hubbard Dianetic Foundation. This hardcover book has maroon boards with gilt lettering on spine. It includes reprinted hand corrections. Housed in a slipcase.

The page with personal inscription from L. Ron Hubbard, unfortunately reprinted and not original.
The page with personal inscription from L. Ron Hubbard, unfortunately reprinted and not original.

About the book

“Science of Survival”, the most useful book you will ever own. Built around the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation, Science of Survival provides the first accurate prediction of human behavior. Included on the chart are all the manifestations of an individual’s survival potential graduated from highest to lowest, making this the complete book on the Tone Scale. Knowing only one or two characteristics of a person and using this chart, you can plot his or her position on the Tone Scale and thereby know the rest, obtaining an accurate index of their entire personality, conduct and character.

Before this book the world was convinced that cases could not improve but only deteriorate. Science of Survival presents the idea of different states of case and the brand-new idea that one can progress upward on the Tone Scale.

About L. Ron. Hubbard

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986) was a fiction writer who devised a self-help technique called Dianetics and philosophy known as Scientology, out of which grew a large organization later identifying itself as a religion: the Church of Scientology. In addition to fiction (most notably science fiction), Hubbard wrote a body of works comprising the Scientology doctrine and is perhaps best known for having written Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1950.

Hubbard was a highly controversial public figure during his lifetime. Many details presented by Hubbard of his life and knowledge remain disputed by critics, media, scientists, and even governments. Official Scientology biographies present him as “larger than life, attracted to people, liked by people, dynamic, charismatic and immensely capable in two dozen fields”. In contrast, unofficial biographies (some by former Scientologists) as well as some reports in the press paint a much less flattering picture which often contradicts official Church accounts.

Writing career

Hubbard was an unusually prolific author and lecturer. Because the majority of Hubbard’s writings of the 1950s through to the 1970s were aimed exclusively at Scientologists, the Church of Scientology founded its own companies to publish his works – Bridge Publications for the US and Canadian market and New Era Publications, based in Denmark, for the rest of the world. New volumes of his transcribed lectures continue to be produced; that series alone will ultimately total a projected 110 large volumes. Hubbard also wrote a number of works of fiction during the 1930s and 1980s, which are published by the Scientology-owned Galaxy Press. All three of these publishing companies are subordinate to Author Services Inc., another Scientology corporation.

Hubbard was awarded the 1994 Ig Nobel Prize in Literature (a parody of the Nobel — the name derives from the word “ignoble”) for “his crackling Good Book, Dianetics, which is highly profitable to mankind—or to a portion thereof.”[127]

In 2006, Guinness World Records declared Hubbard the world’s most published and most translated author, having published 1,084 fiction and non-fiction works that have been translated into 71 languages.

A selection of Hubbard’s best-known titles are below; a bibliography of Hubbard’s more popular work is available in a separate article.


* Buckskin Brigades (1937), ISBN 0-88404-280-4
* Final Blackout (1940), ISBN 0-88404-340-1
* Fear (1951), ISBN 0-88404-599-4
* Typewriter in the Sky (1951), ISBN 0-88404-933-7
* Ole Doc Methuselah (1953), ISBN 0-88404-653-2
* Battlefield Earth (1982), ISBN 0-312-06978-2
* Mission Earth (1985-87), 10 vols.

Scientology and Dianetics

* Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, New York 1950, ISBN 0-88404-416-5
* Child Dianetics. Dianetic Processing for Children, Wichita, Kansas 1951, ISBN 0-88404-421-1
* Notes on the Lectures Parts of transcripts and notes from a series of lectures given in Los Angeles, California in November 1950, ISBN 088404-422-X
* Scientology 8-8008, Phoenix, Arizona 1952, ISBN 0-88404-428-9
* Dianetics 55!, Phoenix, Arizona 1954, ISBN 0-88404-417-3
* Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science Phoenix, Arizona 1955, ISBN 1-4031-0538-3
* “The Creation of Human Ability” 1955
* Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought Washington, DC 1956, ISBN 0-88404-503-X
* The Problems of Work Washington, DC 1956, ISBN 0-88404-377-0
* Have You Lived Before This Life East Grinstead, Sussex 1960, ISBN 0-88404-447-5
* Scientology: A New Slant on Life, East Grinstead, Sussex 1965, ISBN 1-57318-037-8
* The Volunteer Minister’s Handbook Los Angeles 1976, ISBN 0-88404-039-9
* Research and Discovery Series, a chronological series collecting Hubbard’s lectures. Vol 1, Copenhagen 1980, ISBN 0-88404-073-9
* The Way to Happiness, Los Angeles 1981, ISBN 0-88404-411-4


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