Mornings, I generally got a ride to Saint Hill with Max Dinmont, who was an OT VI, the highest Level then available. Max always left right after breakfast, and had no sympathy for those who missed their ride. Two women on course were resentful whenever he drove off without them. There would then be squabbling and name-calling -- "Dimwit Dinmont" -- in the evening. Ralph Wilkins, the landlord, drove another shift over in a small panel truck a few minutes after Max, but this meant sitting scrunched up in the van with at least six other people.
One way or another we would get to the Hill and scramble for tape machines. A dozen machines had to serve the entire class of around thirty people. If I was lucky enough to get a machine that worked, I would listen to tapes all day, with a half hour sandwich break at the canteen at noon.
Ron Hubbard's presence was all-pervasive in the classroom: in his books and pamphlets lying on tables, his slogans on the bulletin board, and his large portrait on the wall near the Instructor's desk. Most of all, Ron was a voice on tape.
Among the forty or more tapes on the checksheet were eight on Study. Hubbard's simplistic teachings had me enthralled. "To study something is to look at it, observe it, find out about it." Ron advised that when learning about, say, tractors, "one should have a tractor on hand to study." Why hadn't that basic concept ever occurred to me before? It was so simple, so direct. Ron scorned traditional schools' ignorance of the true purpose of education: to teach a person to be able to apply data. Of course! All those years I had wasted in school! But now with this clear presentation in mind I could remedy the error.
According to Ron, there was nothing complicated about knowledge. Even his own methods, which were based on laws of physics and engineering, boiled down to this type of formulation: "If we take a brick and put another brick on top of it, we then have two bricks, one brick on top of another brick." From time to time, the lecture audience could be heard in the background on the tape guffawing as Ron toppled idols to the ground.
Ron was by turns rambling and succinct. On some tapes he chatted for ninety minutes on subjects seemingly unrelated to his lecture topic or even to Scientology, and suddenly whipped everything together on the last few feet of tape. I marveled at his broad scope as he held forth on subjects as far-flung as small boat navigation and the city morgue.
He began each of his lectures with the date "In the Year of Dianetics." For example, "1963" came out as "AD 13." This had a strange effect on me and I would find it difficult to concentrate on what immediately followed. Then he would pull my attention back with a comic anecdote. In one sequence, on the herd-like quality of the masses, Ron made his point by uttering the word like a sheep: "The MA-A-A-SSES." In another, he told of a man he had known in New York in the good old days who had a phobia about being seen naked in public. One morning Ron saw him on the subway rushing down to Times Square to pull off all his clothes. There was a lesson here, a cosmic law: You get what you resist.
I tended to remember these sections more than the others. Occasionally I heard the chuckles of classmates at nearby machines, and once several students in a row broke into laughter simultaneously at Ron's remarks on their respective tapes.
The class was often interrupted. Once a week the room was darkened for the showing of Ron's film-lecture on the reactive mind, and students working with tapes, bulletins or clay had to move to other rooms or out onto the lawn near the tennis courts. A good part of every Friday afternoon was taken up by a Success program that everybody had to attend, held in the Chapel, which was actually the ground floor of the Castle, called "the Chapel" once a week for the occasion.
And during each day students who had completed their Solo Audit entered the classroom to receive our collective acknowledgment. The Instructor would shout "THAT'S IT!" and we would drop our work for a moment while the new Releases gave their Success Speeches. Then our applause, "START!", and we would attack our studies again.
Once we were interrupted by a woman coming in to make a special announcement: The Scientology organization was going to be much stricter about nameplates. All persons on the grounds were expected to wear one, including visitors and taxi drivers coming in to pick up fares. It was everyone's responsibility to report persons not wearing nameplates, even the taxi drivers. Students and staff members might incur Ethics penalties for being caught either not wearing a nameplate or for failing to report someone else not wearing one.
I decided to keep my nameplate on at all times. This was somewhat oppressive, but would save a lot of pinning and unpinning.
What with the lack of decent facilities and the numerous interruptions, it was impossible to stick to the schedule I'd set out for myself. Many of the machines were defective, and the tapes had worn thin. Even with much jiggling of the start-stop button, whole sentences remained elusive. Some of the headphones were broken and had to be held manually. The incessant straining to hear Ron's message left me groggy. As an escape, I would plan my Success Speech or look around the room to see if my eyesight was improving. Sometimes I would start to nod; then the noise of the headphone hitting the table would bring me around again. On and on I listened. It seemed as if even when I dozed off I could hear Ron's voice, a rich baritone that was gravelly yet mellifluous, at once ingratiating and commanding.
Scientology is the study of Knowingness in the Fullest Sense of the Word. Scientology is not a healing science like Dianetics. Dianetics heals the sick and cures the insane. Scientology frees souls.
There has been a notable lack of Knowingness in the Western World. When you stop to reflect that there are fifty thousand some Oriental books on Knowingness that haven't been translated into the English language, you begin to get the idea why we are not famous for Knowingness. The scientists, the "Great Authorities," have done nothing to change this deplorable condition. To the contrary, they are bent only on keeping thetans in a hypnoid state. They use various methods, but in particular are partial to electricity to keep thetans tractable. Thus do they dramatize what they cannot confront on their own Time Tracks.
The doctors can go right on as they have through the ages, hacking, sawing, poking into the brain, discharging electricity into the insane, pumping the sick full of drugs. It is only their ignorance; but this monumental ignorance has plunged the world into a race between destruction and survival. You have a choice: Scientology or the hydrogen bomb. I am giving you the tools to better yourselves and save this planet. For Ron's sake, get busy and win this race!