“Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” was first published by L. Ron Hubbard in 1950. It is a canonical text of Scientology, often referred to as “Book One” of the Scientological holy books. One of the best-selling self-help books in American history, it is also one of the most widely reviled, as the Church of Scientology, like all churches, does not lack for enemies.
“Dianetics” itself is a mixture of biology and psychology, none of it more recent than 1949, and most of it soundly debunked – in some cases, even before the book was written. In particular, the book is frequently criticised for its lack of either qualifiers to its claims or evidence to support them.
No doubt all these critics are merely dupes of Xenu and his thetans.
One of the world’s most popular forms of birth control, the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill – or more commonly, The Pill – is a combination of oestrogen and progestogen in tablet form, which is swallowed daily by the user. It prevents unwanted pregnancies, and is perhaps the single most controversial legal drug in history.
Approved for use in the United States in 1960, the long term effects of the Pill were not well understood at the time. Some versions of the Pill later turned out to have unhealthy side-effects, including increased risks of cancer and birth control. But more important were the social effects. While there would still have been a Feminist movement in the Western world without the Pill, it would have been quite different in many ways, and very likely would have made less progress without the freedom that widely available contraception gave women.