The NOTs Scholars Home Page (Scientology)

NOTs (New Era Dianetics for Operating Thetans) are part of the formerly secret "Advanced Technology" of Scientology, the New Age religion founded in the 1950s by the creepy pulp fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Scope and Purpose

This web site was created to promote the scholarly study of the NOTs documents as both religious literature and historical texts. In particular, I am interested in exploring the following issues:
  1. Scientology's view of the structure of the mind as expressed in NOTs and its supporting materials, such as OT III and the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. Are there similarities between the body thetan interactions described in NOTs and the Society of Mind theory proposed by artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky of MIT?
  2. The spiritual phenomena and processes described in NOTs, and their equivalents in other religions. How does belief in body thetans compare with belief in demonic possession? In what ways does auditing out BTs resemble exorcism?
  3. Origins and history of the NOTs issues: who wrote them, who revised them, and what earlier source materials were drawn upon in their preparation? Although supposedly written by Hubbard himself, David Mayo is said to be the real author of some NOTs issues. What was the extent of Mayo's contribution?
  4. The role of NOTs in the contemporary practice of the Scientology religion. How are these documents understood and used by Hubbard's followers today? Is NOTs being promoted as a cure for physical ailments? This is currently being debated in Religious Technology Center v H. Keith Henson.

Call for Contributions

Contributions to this web site are eagerly requested. Information, commentary, and criticism of any aspect of NOTs may be submitted to Dave Touretzky. The appearance of any essay on this site is not an endorsement of the views expressed therein. It reflects only my editorial judgement that the material is relevant to fostering scholarly discussion.

Anonymous contributions are welcome. However, materials that clearly violate US copyright law will not be accepted. Of course, quotations are often allowable under the "fair use" provision of the copyright code. Potential contributors should note that since I am not a lawyer, I cannot advise them on what they should or should not say here.

Given that the NOTs documents have been published on the Internet, both by posting to Usenet (including multiple news servers here in Pennsylvania) and by archiving on web sites at Alta Vista and Deja News, it is my understanding that public discussion of these materials is not a violation of Pennsylvania trade secret law. Readers in other jurisdictions may wish to consult local laws before downloading material from this site.

Church of Scientology Recognizes NOTs Scholars Page

Prerequisites for Beginning NOTs Scholars

Readers new to the study of Hubbard's thought will find the following starting points essential:

The Origin of NOTs

Provenance and Structure of the Vorlon NOTs Pack

The Vorlon NOTs pack was first posted to alt.religion.scientology on May 6, 1996, through the anonymous remailer service at It was reposted twice more within the week, via other hosts.

The NOTs Dictionary

A dictionary of acronyms and technical terms found in NOTs. Remember to never go past a misunderstood word!

Demonic Possession in Scientology

Why Are There So Many Levels of NOTs?

OT III is where students first encounter Xenu and the body thetans (BTs). After completing OT III, the student thinks that they are rid of all their BTs. They are in for a surprise when they move on to NOTs, which consists of levels New OT IV through New OT VII:

The Practice of NOTs Auditing

Medical Claims in NOTs

"Medicine has long acknowledged that in order to scientifically test the efficacy of a new medicine, for instance, it must be compared to the effects of a placebo administered with equal solemnity, ritual and belief. This is because the solemnity and ritual and belief can themselves heal."

-- from an analysis of Dr. Drown's Homo-Vibra Ray, another quack technology

Has NOTs Harmed Anyone?

A quote from this affidavit by Jesse Prince, a former top-level Scientology official, indicates that NOTs auditing was sometimes used as a substitute for medical care. The infamous NOTs 34 (discussed below) deals with treatment of physical ailments. The term "end cycle" means to cause or allow oneself to die.
b) Ted Cormier, a personal friend of mine. He had Parkinson's disease. He was ordered to leave Gilman Hotsprings and go directly to Flag for NOTS 34, auditing to cure his cancer. When this failed, Ray Mithoff sent him orders in his Pre-Clear folder for him to "end cycle." He died.

Summaries / Thumbnail Sketches of NOTs

... if it was defendants' intention to make the technology public, they could do so without infringing plaintiffs' copyright by creating and publishing a noninfringing description of the procedure.
-- United States District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer, in Religious Technology Center et al. v Robin Scott et al., 1987.

Fake NOTs

Keith Henson constructed a fake NOTs 56 using the Travesty program and some hand editing. (The real NOTs only goes up to 55.) Keith's effort appears as authentic as any of the real NOTs issues, which has led Scientology to claim it as a copyright violation.

Commentary on Individual NOTs Documents

When Scientology attacked the Internet, it smacked a hornets' nest. Now it gets to negotiate with each hornet individually.
-- A peeved netizen on alt.religion.scientology
Many of the people on alt.religion.scientology first became interested in Scientology as a result of the Internet war. Several have contributed commentaries below. However, there is another group of people interested in NOTs: the members of the FreeZone, who still practice Scientology but are estranged from the Church. I am especially interested in receiving FreeZone commentaries on the NOTs scripture.

Attention NOTs scholars: multiple commentaries on the same document are welcome. There are many ways to analyze these writings.

Read the Actual NOTs Documents Yourself

Beyond NOTs

There is only one released level beyond NOTs. (Other levels are said to exist but have not yet been released by Scientology.) This level is New OT8, "Truth Revealed". The contents of New OT8 are not known for certain; several wildly different versions have appeared on the Internet, but none has been universally acknowledged as genuine. Here is one such summary of OT8 with the actual processes supposedly involved.
David S. Touretzky
Computer Science Department & Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891,