Today in History: Anniversary of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, the Best Selling Self-Help Book of All Time

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May 9th marks the annual anniversary of Dianetics, the book that took the United States by storm in 1950.

May 9 marks the anniversary of the publishing phenomenon Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, originally released 1950, the book has since become the best selling self help book of all time. Born in Tilden, Nebraska on March 13th 1911, Dianetics author L. Ron Hubbard was first and foremost a writer in prodigious volume, totaling more than fifteen million words between 1929 and 1941. Hubbard’s prolific writing career funded his research into the mind enabling him to travel across much of the United States, the Caribbean and Asia.

His research was interrupted only by World War II, where he served as Lieutenant in the US Navy and saw action in the Atlantic and Pacific. In early 1945 at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, while recovering from injuries sustained in combat, he employed early techniques of Dianetics to assist in speeding recovery of otherwise terminal patients. Upon honorable discharge from the navy in 1946 L. Ron Hubbard continued his research and refinement of Dianetics to the benefit of some 350 cases. He was also a Los Angeles Police Department Special Officer where he conducted research into the whys and wherefores of criminal behavior.

With case material collected from several decades of research L. Ron Hubbard completed Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and was released on May 9, 1950. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for twenty-eight consecutive weeks and inspired what newspaper headlines described as "Dianetics-taking U.S. by storm," "Dianetics - Overnight Whirlwind Success" and "Dianetics: A study of the mind - fastest growing 'movement' in America."

To advance the subject and meet demands for formal instruction, Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundations were formed across the country; New Jersey, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Between May 9th 1950 and December of that year, L. Ron Hubbard delivered more than 140 lectures, including a now legendary address to six thousand at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.

Dianetics has since become a global phenomenon with the book now available in 165 nations in 50 languages. More than 21 million copies of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health have been sold which has appeared on a record 116 bestseller lists internationally.

Today, L. Ron Hubbard's works are studied and applied daily in over a thousand Dianetics centers, Scientology churches, missions and organizations around the world. His most famous works and biographical series are available in libraries throughout the world.

For more information on Dianetics, visit the Dianetics website at For an interactive audiovisual overview of the life and works of L. Ron Hubbard, visit

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Francisco Sanz Polo
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