My Dear Mr. Clouston: 11 June 1954
I wish to thank you for your forceful letter on the subject of your testimony as it may be given before a Royal Commission of Canada on the subjects of "Insanity as a Defense" and "Criminal Sexual Psychopaths."
You state that the Royal Commission of Canada has been set up for the purpose of inquiring into and reporting upon two questions:
1. Whether there should be any amendment to the criminal law of Canada relating to "Insanity as a Defense."
2. Whether there should be any amendment to the existing laws of Canada relating to "Criminal Sexual Psychopaths."
As I understand it, you intend to advance the fact that only a trained therapist with those detectors which may be at his disposal is competent to make a fair analysis of a persons degree of sanity and in the second case that you intend that, for arbitrary punishment now being imposed, periods of detention should be set during which the prisoner should receive therapeutic treatment (preferably Scientological) and discharged only when found free from the criminal tendencies for which he was detained.
It is very encouraging that a Royal Commission should see fit to inquire into these ranges of justice, and it is quite heartening to find that it would invite a man of your caliber to express his views. It may be that something definite may emerge from this and it would appear to be a very hopeful view.
You asked me whether or not I think your approach is sound and to invite appropriate suggestions as I may care to make. And I wish to thank you for this opportunity and your courtesy.
On page 402 of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health [Book Three, Chapter Ten] there begins a three-page essay on "Judiciary Dianetics" with which, I believe from your letter, you seem to have some acquaintance.
For whatever they may be worth to you, may I give you my general comments on this matter.
The whole subject of "insanity" in law is adrift since it is a chip launched into the already existing definition of criminality. Any confusion as to where to place insanity in law comes about through the basic definition in law itself of insanity and criminality.
Law defines criminality more or less as "action despite knowledge of right and wrong" and insanity as "an inability to differentiate between right and wrong." If law is based upon the idea that all people are selfish and self-centered, then we can differentiate between criminality and insanity. But if law were to consider man a social animal, basically it would have to consider that any act which was intentionally harmful would stem from a frame of mind which omitted differentiation of right from wrong. No man, in other words, who was sane in the fullest sense of the word would be motivated by actions which victimized his group or community since he would realize that he, with the others, would suffer for these activities. And even in a practical sense it is apparent that the thief in committing criminal acts strengthens the necessary force of law in the area and so further inhibits his own freedom.
This is a problem, mainly, of the degree of enlightenment of law itself. It is a matter of what standard the law or the society, the will of which is represented by the law, is willing to recognize a higher standard of conduct than that enforced by law these many years past. Society is more and more inclined toward the understanding of criminality as "antisocial."
Jurisprudence may content itself to remain with its definition that insanity is the inability to differentiate right and wrong. But this view may be broadened through such inquiries as that of the Royal Commission and by the publics own pressure, which actually such a Commission represents, to account insanity as, simply, the inability to differentiate.
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