“No happier kids have I ever seen, however, than the kids of a couple of parents. They weren’t interested in anything for their kids particularly; they were interested in somebody next door who was in, kind of, a little bit of bad shape.
“And here were two kids that were round-faced and they were very happy, cheerful little kids. They came in, they sat down quietly and they listened very alertly—one was six and the other was eight—and they sat there, two little boys. And they sat there very quiet and they listened about it. And the mother told them, ‘You can go outside and play if you want to.’
“And they said, ‘No, we’d rather sit here.’ And they agreed to this and they sat there. Gee, those kids were calm! They gave me the spooks! This was so unreal, I mean, the kids sitting there; no noise and so forth.
“Finally, experimentally I shoved over a gimmick and a gadget I thought they might be interested in, a ship telescope, thinking, of course, it would be pulled to pieces in the next five minutes. And they didn’t; they found out how it was used and they found out how it was focused and a few minutes later were over at the window looking out and examining the neighborhood, using it the way it was supposed to be used, not beating each other over the head with it. This fascinated me.
“So I said to the lady, ‘How do you and your husband get along?’ And she said ‘Why, what do you mean? We get along all right.’
“I said, ‘What church do you belong to?’
“’What…what church? We don’t belong to any church.’
“’Well, what kind of a fellow is your husband?’
“’Oh, he’s a swell guy.’
“’What does he do?’
“’Oh, he does, he does pretty well.’ It turned out the fellow was a man in shipping and he wasn’t doing anything really to be super proud of but according to this woman, why, he was about the biggest shipping man that ever got to ship anything!
“And I got more curious about this and I met this fellow a day or so later and I said, ‘Say, what do you think about your wife? What kind of a wife do you have?’
“He looked at me with great surprise, ‘But about the finest woman alive; you’re not going to say anything against her, are you?’
“And I said, ‘No!’ and I said, ‘Do you get along well with her?’
“’Oh, sure.’ He says, ‘You know,’ he said, ‘I never really amounted to anything,’ he says, ‘until I got married,’ he said. ‘And things are very nice.’
“I said ‘What happens at night when you come home?’
“’Oh, I don’t know, eat supper and play cards with the wife and kids and maybe go for a drive, something like that.’
“And I said, ‘Well, where are the kids’ grandparents?’
“’Well, they’re all dead.’
“And here were two very bright, alert, calm little kids. They never got into trouble in the neighborhood with their fellow man. But you would very occasionally find them on a highly punitive expedition—the two of them—to sort out this bully who had assaulted somebody younger than himself; knights-errant! Very serious about the whole thing. Well, they beat up a kid that was about ten. And this was something that shouldn’t have happened to this ten-year-old kid according to his parents. And I heard some future history on this thing. And they came over and evidently they got—this complaining parent got very short shrift about the whole thing. In other words, these kids were not only being backed up in the house, they were being backed up outside the house. Nobody questioned their reasoning, so they had no reason to question their own reasoning; and life was very, very beautiful all the way around the line.
“This doesn’t mean these children are going to be dumb vegetables. It means probably they will be very sane citizens and actually amount to something very, very fine in life.
“I give you this as a model of what happens.”
L. Ron Hubbard
“Child Dianetics—Part II”
8 November 1950