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An Essay on Scientology

David John Carter

Overview of the cult's ideology, nov. 1995

Here is a personal interpretation of some of the teachings of the Church of Scientology. I have included some experiences from my years in the `church' which I hope you find interesting. Please excuse the use of abbreviations and acronyms: these terms are commonly used in Scientology, and a few are essential to an understanding of its ideology.

Table of Contents

Brief Overview

Broad View

1. People consist of three parts.
2. People are basically good.
3. Removing the reactive mind.
4. The spirit is trapped.
5. Three types of people.
6. Three states of existence.
7. Emotional tone scale.
8. Overts and withholds.
8a. Ethics.
9. Automatic mental processes.
10. Communication.
11. ARC triangle.
12. Psychotics.
13. Accidents and Assists.
14. The 8 Dynamics.
15. Goals Problem Mass.
16. Randomity.
17. Study Techology.
18. Courses and courserooms.
19. The `Tech'.
20. The OT Levels.
21. Initial attraction.
22. Disaffected Scientologists.


A. About the Author.
B. Scientology Associations.
C. References used in this essay.
D. Further reading.

Side Trips

The Tone Scale.
Price List.

Brief Overview.

In the late 1940s Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (LRH), who had written some fiction and science fiction stories in the decade before, left the US Navy and wrote a book called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (known as Book 1). This was published in 1950 and gained an immediate following. Dianetics centres were set up around the United States and people began `auditing' each other. Auditing is the term used to describe the time where two people sit (usually) in a room and the auditor asks pre-determined questions (processes) of the other until the desired outcome is reached. The desired outcome is called the End Phenomenon (EP).

Hubbard lost the rights to Dianetics in the early 1950s and began a movement which he called Scientology. This was later registered as a religion and stands as such today in a number of countries. In the mid 1950s he regained the rights to Dianetics and incorporated its techniques into his Scientology processes. He said "Dianetics addresses the body. Scientology addresses the spirit." (Ref: HCOB 22 April 1969)

The fundamental concept behind both Dianetics and Scientology processing is that the mind stores incidents (as images) in a series of related chains. If something is troubling a person it is because a similar upsetting incident has previously occurred to that person. If you find the earlier incident (which has been lost to the conscious mind) and get the person to look at it, then this can eliminate the problem. If this doesn't work then there is an earlier incident and so on. The earliest incident is called `basic on the chain'. The End Phenomenon would be that the person is no longer troubled by the incident.

The EP of Dianetics is the `Clear'. The person has no more incidents in the past to affect him or her in the present. This is supposed to produce a completely rational human being. Scientology goes on past this point (although there are many Scientology processes before the clear state is reached) and deals with the liberation of the spirit (called OT levels). It is after clear that the entire concept changes and the processes bear no resemblance to the principle explained above.

In 1967, to develop and deliver the OT levels, Hubbard set up the Sea Organisation (S.O.). This is a Scientology organisation run along navy lines with officers and other ranks who sign a billion year contract to serve Hubbard and Scientology. Here lies the real power and wealth of the `church' and it is commanded at present by its CEO David Miscavige who holds the Scientology rank of Captain.

Hubbard was born in 1911, married three times and officially died on January 24, 1986.

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Broad View.

1. People consist of three parts.

"There are three parts of man: thetan, mind, body." (Ref: HCOB 13 Nov 1981)

Scientologists call this the Thetan. It is the person (you) and is immortal. It has no existence in the physical universe and so has no physical universe size, shape or age. Since we are immortal, we have thus always existed. "The weird idea is that one only lives but once" (Ref: HCOB 23 April 1969)
Scientologists believe that this has nothing to do with the brain, which is merely a sort of switchboard for the Thetan to communicate with the body. They are taught that the mind is simply a collection of pictures (facsimiles) which are carried around by the Thetan. These pictures, when they are accessible to the Thetan, form the analytical mind. When the pictures are hidden from the Thetan, they can have unpredictable mental, emotional and physical effects; this is called the reactive mind.
The Thetan is, in a sense, trapped in the body. It escapes on the death of the body and is then forced to return to earth to pick up another. Scientology is supposedly trying to free the Thetan from this never ending cycle.

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2. People are basically good. Irrational thought and behaviour, along with evil, exist only because of the effects of the reactive mind.

"It will be found that man is basically good. Only his aberrations are bad." (Ref: HCOB 23 April 1969)

The reactive mind pictures (called Engrams) are stored in times of pain and unconsciousness. When pain, along with some degree of unconsciousness, occurs, it seems that the Thetan decides this is too awful to be confronted so it places the pictures of the incident in an area that it cannot access. So the Thetan (the person) `forgets' the incident but can experience a type of flashback when later circumstances resemble the ones in the forgotten incident. The reactive mind takes some control and this can cause the individual to do and say things and feel emotions which are inappropriate to the real circumstances. It is a survival mechanism gone wrong.

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3. Removing the reactive mind pictures makes the person sane.

"Once the reactive mind is vanquished, the PC is again capable of his full potential as a being." (Ref: HCOB 17 Oct 1964)

A person who does not have a reactive mind is said to be CLEAR. A person on the road to clear is called a Preclear (PC).

To remove the reactive mind, the practitioner (called an Auditor), simply gets the PC to talk his way through whatever incident has been blocked from his conscious thought. Auditors use an E-Meter to help the PC find these incidents.

The E-Meter is a piece of equipment that measures the resistance in a body. The theory is that the pictures in the mind have a certain amount of mass and electrical charge, as the person looks at a picture it causes the mass to come closer to the body and so increases the overall resistance associated with the body. The person keeps looking at the picture and eventually s/he can see it all at which time the mass disperses and discharges (which is indicated on the meter) and it cannot cause any more unfavourable effects.

This was the basis of Dianetics which Hubbard devised in the late 1940's.

Hubbard lost the rights to Dianetics in the Early 1950's and had to change tack. He devised a whole encyclopaedia of processes to help people get to clear and beyond, and began his new religion called Scientology.

He eventually regained control of Dianetics and developed New Era Dianetics (NED) to run in conjunction with Scientology.

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4. The spirit has degenerated into something that is trapped in a body and, in fact, thinks it is a body.

This is a basic belief of Scientology and Hubbard devised the OT (Operating Thetan) levels to take the Thetan back to its native state. (Able to operate without the need of a body.) These levels are above the state of clear. Scientology is in effect, offering a god-like state to anyone who can travel the whole path.

The path is called `The Bridge to Total Freedom'. This is a multi-level chart of considerable length and expense. The Bridge is two sided, `processing' and `training', and to really be successful, it is said, one must walk up both sides. This then requires years of processing (Auditing) and even more years of training (to be an auditor and to help one to handle life).

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5. The world contains three types of people.

Suppressive Persons (SP).
SP's are the treacherous and evil types who are determined to wreak havoc wherever they can. They destroy everything that is good, and support everything that is evil. They cannot be helped and have a terrible effect on others around them, often making their associates feel inferior. Anyone who opposes Scientology is considered an SP. These people make up 2.5% of the population which at today's count would be well over 100 million people. It is my opinion that within the walls of Scientology the percentage is considerably higher than 2.5%.
Potential Trouble Sources (PTS).
People who are closely associated with SP's can be made to feel worthless and are often ill. However there is an even more noticeable side-effect of this relationship, the PTS person can take on the attributes of the SP and can cause considerable trouble for others (mainly Scientology). If, in the company of a particular person, one makes mistakes, acts stupidly, feels inferior or becomes ill, then one is said to be PTS to that individual. This can be due to the fact that the individual is an SP or reminds the PTS person of a past SP. Being PTS to a family member will require action to handle it, which might mean separation from family. These PTS's make up a further 17.5% of the population. Beings who are very PTS and have been for a long time are called `Degraded beings'. (Ref: HCOB 22 March 1967)
Average Person (not a Scientology term).
Those who do not fall into the above two categories. Which is 80% of the population. However anyone can become PTS to certain people or groups. The average person needs help in life and Hubbard said that they are the ones for which Scientology is meant. The disparaging term for those who are not Scientologists is Wogs. These people are considered to be not trying.

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6. There are three states of existence.

This state of existence is associated with our understanding of reality. In order to continue or persist, existence requires an untruth (Alter-is). The physical universe consists of Matter, Energy, Space and Time (MEST) and exists because we agree that it exists, and persists because it contains lies.
This is a state which is denial of the truth. An attempt to remove an unwanted state by not looking at it.
This is a state where existence is viewed exactly as it is, with no lies, at which time it ceases to exist. This is the underlying theory behind the workability of Dianetics and Scientology. When you look at something, exactly as it is -- when you `as-is' something -- it ceases to exist and can no longer effect you. In theory, the whole physical universe could be as-ised.

An interesting aside to this is that you will not find many Scientologists asking, "How are you feeling?" They usually ask, "How are you doing?" The reason is that if you ask someone the former question, they look over their present condition and supposedly as-is some mass. This would have the effect of reducing their possessions (or Havingness) and cause them to feel worse.

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7. People have a chronic emotional state (Tone) which lies somewhere on the Scientology Tone Scale.

The Tone Scale is a range of emotional tones that begins below `body death', but I will deal only with those above that level. The higher the tone level of the individual, the more able is that individual.

The tones range through body death, apathy, grief, fear, covert hostility, hate, anger, antagonism, boredom, contented, mild interest, conservatism, enthusiasm etc. Tone 0 (zero) to Tone 40. Each has been given an arbitrary number. A person in a particular tone acts in a predictable manner. If you are able to spot their tone you can predict their actions. You can use this to communicate with someone, all you need to know is that people are unable to communicate at a tone far above their own level. Spot their tone and adopt a tone a little above that in order to communicate.

Covert hostility is given the arbitrary number 1.1 (one point one) and any one who is being sarcastic is described as being 1.1. It a sort of concealed hatred, supposedly not `uptoned' enough to show hate.

People travel the tone scale experiencing each and every emotion in its turn (even if only for a few seconds). For example, a person moving (because of some external effect) from conservatism to apathy will spend some time at each of the levels between these two.

People move up and down these tones constantly, but everyone has a level where they are to be found on most occasions. This is their chronic tone level and Scientology auditing and training is said to have the effect of raising the person on the tone scale. (Thus increasing their ability to communicate and their general well being.)

People can be temporarily brought `up tone' by the simple action of observing their tone level and addressing them at a slightly higher level. An example can be shown in dealing with a fearful person. If you address them at a level of apathy, they will probably join you at that level (get worse). However if you address them using anger (not addressed at them, of course, but as their ally) they will most likely become angry themselves, which is a higher tone than fear and therefore makes them more able to handle their situation. Anger, is not a particularly workable tone level but this is an example only.

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8. People are critical of others because of what they have done to those others.

Let's assume a hypothetical situation exists where Jim constantly criticises Mary.

Conventional thought is that Jim dislikes Mary because Mary is an idiot or has done something to Jim. Scientology teaches that the opposite is true; Jim dislikes Mary because of what Jim has done to Mary.

It is known as the `Overt-Motivator' sequence (The overt occurs before the reason for it). It goes something like this, Jim does something hurtful (an overt) to Mary. Having committed the overt, Jim has to justify it (make it okay).

Jim will belittle Mary in the eyes of others to make her seem worthless (the motivator). He will then be convinced, whether or not Mary eventually does something (also a motivator), that she deserved the overt as some sort of retribution. This gives approval to continue to commit overts on Mary.

"When someone has committed an overt, he or she has to claim the existence of motivators." (Ref: HCOB 7 Sep 1964). Simply put, this means that people who dislike and criticise you have done something to you.

A person who commits an overt will keep it quiet (withhold it). He or she is said to have a withhold. Withholds cause people to individuate (separate away from the group).

This is bad enough. But when a third person does or says something that makes the person wonder whether or not they know about the withhold, then it becomes the very dangerous `missed withhold'. Missed withholds may cause the person to become irrational or even psychotic, he's just not sure whether you know!

To be overly critical of something indicates overts against that thing. I well remember an incident which happened to me at an Org many years ago, it is an indication of how the `tech' can be misused. I had paid some money for a service or something and a few weeks later I was approached by the Executive Director (ED) of the Org asking me if I had paid the sum or not. I stated that I had and made the point that if someone pays for something, the Org should be sure to record the fact. The ED immediately went on the attack and said that I was being critical (thus accusing me of having overts against the Org.). This is just one instance of how incompetence can be justified and how true is the old maxim `a little knowledge can be dangerous'. Fortunately I knew of a Hubbard reference that didn't condemn all criticism (Ref: HCOB 21 Jan 1960). Fighting `tech' with `tech' can help you survive in Scientology.

The word, Motivator, is also used to explain the cause of mishaps. For example if something goes wrong then you have done something (the motivator) to cause it. (You pulled it in.).

A point that may be of interest to those on the Internet who are becoming a problem for Scientology, ars for instance, Hubbard said "One cannot have a problem without overts and withholds against the people involved in it..." (Ref: HCOB 9 Nov 1961). I wonder what they have done to you? Well I'm sure you could tell me and that is Scientology's motivator.

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8a. Ethics.

The overt-motivator sequence is the underlying theory behind Scientology's Ethics section handling of dissatisfied Scientologists. An Ethics officer is trained to find out what the person has done to cause them to be upset with Scientology. The person is told to `write up your overts' and is assigned an ethics condition, under which they must carry out specific tasks in order to progress up to a normal or better condition.

A quote from the excellent book L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman by Corydon and Hubbard Jr., succinctly spells out the thinking of the `church'. "To be a critic of the church or its founder is to be insane. Simple as that."

An auditor trained in `security checking' can give the person an HCO confessional, which is an ethics action in an auditing session. Under normal conditions an auditing session is `confidential', however anything divulged in an HCO confessional can be used in evidence against the person.

Since Scientology is thought to be the only true hope for the individual, anyone who is opposed to it must have committed overts against it and will not be able to function as a true Scientologist until they have been honest and admitted to all of their overts.

People leaving Scientology without doing this are said to `blow' (leave unexpectedly). They are given a short period in which to return, after which if they remain disaffected, they are branded as SPs. This carries with it the loss of all rights and if they then attack the `church', by suing, going to the press or any other way, they are considered `fair game' for any retribution.

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9. People set up automatic mental processes (Circuits) to carry out actions that they find tedious or difficult.

A classical example of this is the person who drives a car and changes gear without conscious thought (most of us). Circuits or habits are set up when a person is unwilling to duplicate.

These can be very useful, but if the circuit is based on some reactive mind information, it can be dangerous, absurd and actually insane.

One type of circuit is set up so as to make others wrong and justify the actions of the person. This is called a Service Facsimile and is based on a thought, such as `I know best'. It allows the person to do or say things without having to examine the truth, which if done may prove the person to be wrong.

Being wrong is seen as a non-survival action and since Hubbard decreed that `Survival' was the motivation for our existence, (Ref: HCOB 27 Jul 1960) these circuits are designed to help us survive. Unfortunately, since they are based on an insane thought, they can have the opposite effect.

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10. Communication has a formula.

The formula for communication is Cause-Distance-Effect, with intention and attention at both cause and effect and duplication with understanding at effect of what emanated from cause. If any of these elements are missing then complete communication does not take place. (Ref: HCOB 27 April 1971)

If a person has no attention on the source of the information or has no intention of receiving it then that person is not able (or doesn't wish to) duplicate the message. The message can, under these circumstances, be misduplicated and so misunderstood or not arrive at all.

A communication particle can be a thought or an object. (Throwing a ball to someone is a form of communication.).

To end a communication cycle, the originator must be acknowledged.

Hubbard considered communication to be the most powerful force in dealing with the reactive mind. "Increasing communication with the aberration will eventually handle it." (Ref: SHSBC-298).

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11. Understanding consists of Affinity (affection), Reality (agreement) and Communication.

A person who is upset with someone has had a breakdown in one or more of these three points. It is called an ARC break. Identifying the outpoint can clear away the upset. Friendliness greeted by no answer is an indication of an ARC break.

A Thetan will dream up ARC breaks to take his mind off a Present time problem. (Ref: HCOB 20 Aug 1958)

For an ARC break to occur there must have been ARC (friendship/understanding) in the first place.

Increasing one will increase the others; e.g., increasing Communication with someone will increase Affinity for the person and Reality or agreement with them, thereby increasing understanding. Conversely, decreasing one will decrease the others.

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12. Psychotics.

Psychotics are people who are stuck in a past incident and do not have enough attention units in the present time (PT) to act rationally. If they are auditable you can use "Point out something that is really real to you." (Ref: SHSBC-15), as a command to bring them into PT.

In a later bulletin Hubbard stated "All persons who have been too much around a bad military or who have had military fathers are very likely to be subject to a derangement." (Ref: HCOB 25 Aug 1960).

Psychosis and neurosis are caused by too much restimulation from the environment, so anything which reduces the restimulation is effective. "Thus, under threat, he goes out of present time." (Ref: HCOB 8 Jan 1969)

Rest, isolation from the former environment, mild exercise and the provision of a safe environment are the first treatments. (Ref: HCOB 11 Dec 1964)

Simply saying "Come up to present time" can sometimes bring a psychotic out of the incident.

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13. Accidents and Assists.

An `assist' is an auditing action that is designed to get the Thetan into communication with the body; and in so doing, allow a more rapid recovery. (Ref: HCOB 21 Oct 1971)

There are a number of assists. The Touch Assist sees the auditor touching, over and over again, various parts of the PC's body. The Nerve Assist is a massage-like action; and the Contact Assist gets the person to touch the hurt body part against the object that caused the damage.

There are also numerous subjective processes designed to help with accidents and to increase the Thetan's communication with the body part. They also serve to bring the PC out of the incident and into PT.

A cold may be cleared up by asking, "Who has left you in the last few days?" (Ref: SHSBC-268) and there is a "bring back to life assist" as described in a Bulletin of that name. (Ref: HCOB 8 Apr 1988) It consists basically of shaking the body and demanding that the Thetan return.

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14. The Dynamics.

There are eight `dynamics' in Scientology:

  1. Self.
  2. Sex and family.
  3. Group.
  4. Mankind.
  5. Animals and plants.
  6. Physical universe.
  7. Spirit.
  8. God.

It is the desire to survive as or through these dynamics that is the driving force of the Thetan.

The eighth dynamic (also known as `infinity') is not addressed by Scientology. In fact Hubbard did not believe in the existence of God. He proclaimed "...prayers going up to a myth..." (Ref: Taped lecture: "Scientology and effective knowledge.")

An example of the use of the dynamics: If a Scientologist is having an affair with another, he or she is said to be `out 2D'. Meaning that the second dynamic is not as it should be. This is usually handled in Ethics section and it can lead to an SO member being severely punished.

A person can be aberrated (deviation from what is usual) on any or all dynamics. So to be truly sane one must be sane on all dynamics.

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15. Goals Problem Mass (GPM)

The mind contains pictures (facsimiles) of events, which under normal circumstances are `filed' in chains of similar incidents by time. These pictures contain tiny amounts of mental mass and are usually very ordered. If you get a picture of (think of) a childhood event, you know where it fits on your time track.

A particular type of mental mass, called a `ridge', is formed when a goal is thwarted by a problem. Ridges normally are filed in their correct position in time with relation to other events. However, the mind can become confused where there are a number of similar frustrated goals and the pictures can become jumbled up in a spherical mass, like a pile of film which has run off a reel.

When the dates in a chain of pictures become confused in this way, the resulting bewildering mass is called a GPM. These are not `this lifetime' problems, but are actually made up from past existences. (Ref: HCOB 17 Jan 1962). There can be actual GPM's and Implanted GPM's. Something the PC wanted to do is an actual GPM, whereas something that someone else tried to make him do would be an Implant GPM. (Ref: SHSBC-361)

These GPM's, because the mind cannot separate them out and date them correctly, can cause physical and emotional problems in present time for the PC. "The basis of the reactive mind is the actual Goals Problem Masses." (Ref: HCOB 17 Oct 1964)

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16. Randomity.

Randomity is a word used to describe the state of activity in an area. Where a person is bored because there is insufficient activity to satisfy his or her needs then the person is said to have minus randomity. Too much activity for comfort is called plus randomity and just the right amount is given the term optimum randomity. It is basically a consideration of motion.

A person who can comfortably tolerate various degrees of activity would have a broad area of optimum randomity. If a person is unable to tolerate plus and minus randomity, that person tends to go on `automatic' when it occurs. Hubbard coined the word `automaticity' to describe this state and it means basically that the person is not consciously deciding his or her actions. (Ref: Abil Oct 1956) The actions are being determined by a `circuit', not the person. So the person, in a sense, is unable to face up to (confront) the activity and so cannot stay in it's vicinity (mentally). Since "All power depends upon the ability to hold a location in space" (Ref: HCOB 2 Jun 1971), increasing the person's tolerance of motion, rehabilitates the ability of the person.

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17. Study tech.

If you don't understand something that you are reading, it's not because the concept is too difficult to grasp. It's because the passage contains words that you don't understand or for which you have the wrong definition. Finding those words and defining them with a dictionary (word clearing) will enable you to understand the concept.

People who have passed a `misunderstood word' (MU) will show telltale signs. They may become sleepy, disinterested, or irritable and will not understand the paragraphs written after the MU.

If the object being studied is not available for the student to examine (called lack of mass) this can cause problems as well. This can be overcome by using anything at all (clay, bits of wood, etc) to represent the object and so supply some `physical universe' mass. Those who were with Hubbard at the time that he `discovered' study technology say that he was extremely excited about this `breakthrough'. My thinking is that he was excited because he had actually found something that may have been of some use.

There seems to be some real value to this, but unfortunately like most other things in Scientology it has been developed to such an absurd degree and has become so all consuming as to be almost unworkable.

He said that "Stupidity is the effect of misunderstood words." (Ref: HCOB 4 Sep 1971). It became a `court of ethics' offense to fail to clarify words not understood. (Ref: HCOB 10 Jan 1977)

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18. Courses.

There are no `teachers' or `instructors' in Scientology. All courses have a `supervisor'. The supervisor's function is to monitor the students as they study the Bulletins etc, watching for telltale signs of having passed an MU, or having a `lack of mass'. Supervisors check out students' knowledge of the course by asking for definitions of words and getting the student to demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge of the course.

There are numerous courses available, from basic courses in communication through personal development all the way up to advanced courses for Technical people (auditors) and Administration staff.

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19. The `Tech'

`Tech' is short for technology. The term is used to encompass practically everything that Hubbard wrote. He is seen as the `Source' of all the tech of Scientology and no one must alter this tech in any way. It must be studied, drilled (practiced) and used exactly as it is written. Hubbard wrote tech for Auditing procedures and Administrative procedures. Both are sacrosanct.

Hubbard once said, "If you follow too closely any rules, it becomes a simple Simon idiocy." (Ref: HCOPL 17 Sep 1962) Nonetheless, he demanded that Scientologists do just that.

This causes some of the most horrific arguments when people interpret the tech in different ways. No one is allowed to tell anyone else what the tech means (called verbal tech), so each person reads it from their own viewpoint. Much of the tech is taken word for word from Hubbard's lectures, where he would talk on a subject for 40 minutes or so and was seen to contradict himself on a number of occasions. No editing was allowed and so the contradictions stand.

An auditor may read and drill a particular auditing process and then go into session and use it on a pre-clear. Afterwards, the session is written up and checked over by a case supervisor (C/S). If the case supervisor believes that the auditor ran the process incorrectly, the auditor will be sent to re-study the appropriate bulletins on the process. If this is not the first time, the auditor may be forced to restudy the entire course.

Where two bulletins contradict, many people will simply accept what the case supervisor says and do it in a way that satisfies the C/S. This is fine until the auditor gets a different C/S who interprets the procedure the original way and gets the auditor to again restudy it. I have seen auditors who are trying their best, weeping in frustration over this on a number of occasions.

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20. The OT levels.

To this date eight levels of OT processing have been released to Scientologists. The `Bridge' records fifteen.

OT I through OT VIII are said to be `negative gain' levels. That is, they are removing the things that limit the persons OT abilities.

OT IX and above are known as positive gain levels and are assumed to increase the OT abilities of the individual. None of these look like being released for a long time.

It is the materials of the OT levels which cause the most upset within and without the `church'. Scientology lawyers are quick to act in any case where these materials are presented for public scrutiny. Most non-Scientologists, when first reading this gibberish are incredulous and cannot understand how anyone could believe it has veracity. In my opinion, it is this reaction which worries the `church', not the breaking of copyright. After all, who is going to pay thousands of dollars for information they can get freely from elsewhere, and which they are not impressed with at any rate? Mind you, you are not just paying for the information, but also for the techniques to supposedly handle the auditing of this information.

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21. Initial attraction.

Like all religions and cults, Scientology offers answers and a purpose. It engenders a community type relationship where one is made to feel part of the group. A common enemy is seen to exist (Psychiatrists and other vested interest groups) and protection from them reinforces the need to support the group. Of course one will hear about the former members who are persecuted by the `church', but one can dismiss this with thoughts such as:

"They must have done terrible things to deserve that treatment," or
"They are obviously SPs," or
"It would never happen to me."

Scientology differs from most accepted religions in that it proclaims that human beings can become God-like. It teaches that we were all-powerful (but inexperienced) at some time in the past, and Scientology is just helping to get us back to that state. This is very attractive to a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Consider the man who is in great fear of death. He is told that at some point in processing he will leave the body (exteriorise) and so prove that he is a spirit and will survive body death. This can be a great comfort to him.

Some who join are `searchers'; they have been looking for answers all their lives. These people have tried orthodox religion, meditation, drugs, hypnotism, other cults and anything that might help them to understand what life is all about and what happens at death. They are looking for answers and usually have no intention of becoming `attached' to Scientology, but it happens nevertheless. (Sans the drugs, this is me.)

Greed also plays its part. Some celebrities and those who have been nurtured to the point of arrogance and who come to believe in their divine right to receive everything that they desire, are of course reassured by the teachings. (They probably already think that they are God or at least God-like.) Some people join, thinking that this is a great scam and they want to be in on it. Also the `church' staff are well trained in handling people who wish to leave and they are also trained in hard sell tactics, which goes a long way to explain the vast wealth of the `church'. Members are warned of the dire consequences of leaving the `church' -- once aboard you MUST go the whole route. This can be very intimidating.

An effort is made in initial interviews to find the newcomers' `Ruin', which is the matter about which the person is most concerned in life. Whatever it may be, it is pointed out that Scientology can help to resolve the problem. Scientology has the answer and it is put forward as the only way out of the situation.

Hubbard also made a statement that "...mystery sticks a Thetan...." This means that people will hang around due to curiosity to find out what is coming up next. So of course members often speculate about the OT levels (which are confidential) and are willing to do anything asked of them, so as to not jeopardise the chance of getting their OT levels. They `know', of course, that they have to wait and do it properly or it could kill them; people have been on staff for 20 years and not even made it to clear! This of course assumes that there is such a state.

Hubbard said that "Book 1 clear is a `this lifetime' clear" (Ref: SHSBC-121), which infers that to be really clear one has to look all the way back through past existences (called going whole track). Of course none of today's 'clears' possess a portion of the abilities claimed for them in Book 1, but that is another story.

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22. Disaffected Scientologists.

People who leave Scientology, after having spent some time with the organisation, often state that they have no quarrel with many of its tenets. This attitude tends to 'wear off' as they return to a normal life in the real world and as they objectively realise the adverse effects.

Nevertheless, some of the teachings (especially up to clear) seem to contain a degree of commonsense and can be useful in helping to understand why people react in the ways that they do.

It was, after all, these ideas which attracted them to Scientology in the first place. However, many found the attitude of their fellow Scientologists to be stifling of originality and producing very depressing and unpleasant working conditions.

This is not restricted to Scientologists who have joined staff, but they are the ones who have most often experienced at first hand, the offensive and bad tempered treatment handed out by the senior ranks. These are the ones who have worked for 16 hours a day, seven days a week, survived on beans and rice and slept in dingy dormitories for a few precious hours a day. Even after showing this dedication they are treated as less than animals. If one were to pick a tone scale emotion for most Sea Org staff it would have to be `anger' and a lot are in `apathy'; if you have ever worked with angry people you may have some idea of the conditions experienced by Scientology staff members. (Some former members have left because of this and formed their own similar organisations. They are given the term `squirrels' and are a target of Scientologists).

Many former Sea Org and class V Org staff (the small Orgs in cities and towns) are confused as to how a so-called `sane' group of people could act with such arrogance and belittling anger. Perhaps the Organisation has been almost completely infiltrated by SP's or maybe the overts and withholds of this group are so numerous as to be un-confrontable.

Poor food and lack of sleep obviously play a part in this and it is fascinating to read Hubbard's booklet `The way to happiness' if just to note how much of its philosophy is denied to Sea Org members. As well though, a large amount of vitriol is leveled at non-Scientologists. Even the finest individuals are considered `wogs' who are `not even trying.' One is tempted to use the `tech' of the overt-motivator to ask "What have you done to non-Scientologists?" Or of Hubbard himself, "What have you done to a psychiatrist?" (Ref: SHSBC-117). Of course, the answer is there for all to see and is put forward clearly in a number of books written about Scientology by former and non-Scientologists. A bibliography can be found at the end of this essay.

To the `public' (non-staff) Scientologist, who may find the study demanding and the constant sales pitch for money an irritation, the general feeling is that it is an interesting and enlightening subject. No-one believes they are joining a cult and they feel, almost universally, that this is a misunderstood group of people, simply trying to better conditions for everyone on the planet. In the early days a new member is sheltered from the reality of what occurs behind the scenes and even long time Scientologists often have little understanding of the outrageous conditions endured by the Sea Org crew member.

Because of this, many Scientologists tell glowing stories of the church and what it achieves, although if asked about its public support services, they would be hard pressed to think of any. What Scientology does, it does for Scientology and its motivation seems to come more from the desire to accumulate wealth and protect itself, than the more often quoted and comfortable `Clear the planet' purpose.

So called `Success Stories' exist in the thousands. These are written by Scientologists after an auditing session or course of study and are actually required, before the person can move on to the next level of auditing or begin another Scientology course. They are written at a time when the person is feeling good (usually) and can appear to be an unwavering endorsement for the effectiveness of the `tech'. In effect they prove nothing; an unsolicited `Success Story' may have some merit but a compulsory one simply means that the person did what he or she was told. (Was at effect.)

I believe that the effects of auditing are not lasting. A bit like taking a drug, feeling good for a while, returning to normal (or worse) and requiring another fix to feel good again. Hubbard explained this as the effect of being PTS, and is not how auditing should be. However that is very convenient for Scientology and not proved to my satisfaction. The consequence of this is that people have to keep coming back for more `cleanups' as well as continuing up the bridge as far as their money (often borrowed) can take them.

The paranoia which sweeps through Orgs is something to be seen and at some time every Scientologist will experience the wrath of those convinced that they are trying to destroy the `church'. At these times even the `tech' will not protect you.

A person who is accused of being an SP will not receive any support from his or her `friends', regardless of prior record, and can be the subject of the most humiliating treatment. The highest trained technical Scientologists (Class XII auditors) can be stripped of their certificates and forced to re-train on all of the levels, all in the name of Keeping Scientology Working. Officers and NCO's are regularly `busted' in rank and the most dedicated can spend time in the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), which separates family members and can be inhuman in its degradation. Interestingly, Hubbard said that it is suppressive people who are paranoid. (Ref: SHSBC-430).

This treatment engenders suspicion and certainly doesn't contribute to a happy, smooth running organisation. On the contrary no-one trusts anyone else; if you share a thought or feeling with another, you are liable to find that you are asked to explain a `knowledge report' which has been written up about your indiscretion. It really smacks of the Hitler youth group and the Chinese Red Brigade.

One old-time Scientologist once said to me that Scientology can offer something that nothing else can, it can offer happiness. I look back on this and chuckle, because I can honestly say that I am far happier, now that I have left the `church', than I ever was whilst in it.

When I accepted the fact that it was over and that Scientology really could offer me nothing, I was able to get on with life. At 42, I had to rebuild from scratch because I had lost my home, savings and superannuation, but the fact is, I was able to. Contrary to what the `church' teaches, people who leave can survive and do so...Mind you we are usually much wiser.

So don't bother to come around trying to sell us a bridge (real or imagined). I can assure you that you will be given short shrift.

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A. About the Author.

I spent 6 years in the organisation, firstly as a public Scientologist and later as a Sea Org crew member. I was trained at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida to Level VI auditor and was processed to New OT V. Since leaving Scientology I have been able to put my life back in shape (a feat which is impossible according to `church' propaganda) and am now completely disaffected with the organisation which I am convinced is a shameless fraud.

I believe, nevertheless, in the right of people to follow the religion of their choice, and leave when they like, without pressure. I also think that they should be allowed to get the less palatable facts before becoming involved. After all, it was Hubbard who said, "Honesty opens the door to case gain." (Ref: HCOB 1 May 1985)

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B. Scientology associations.

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C. References used in this essay.

Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin. These are individually dated technical issues.
Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter. Individually dated admin. issues.
Ability magazine. These are early Dianetics and Scientology issues.
Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, lecture cassette tape number XXX.

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D. Further reading.

L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or madman?
Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard Jr, N.J. : L. Stuart, 1987.
Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard
Russell Miller, London: Joseph, 1987.
Religion Inc.: The Church of Scientology
Stewart Lamont, London : Harrap, 1986.
A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed
Jon Atack, N.Y., N.J. : Carol, 1990.
Cult Controversies: The Societal Response to New Religions
James A Beckford, London, N.Y. : Tavistock, 1985.
Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology: Report
Sir John G. Foster, London : H.M.S.O, 1971.

Copyright David J. Carter November 1995. May be reproduced so long as it is kept in its entirity and not edited.
[Link to Side Trip on "A Walk Across The Bridge to Total Freedom" removed. Tone Scale & Price List included from another source. - HHP]

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