Inside Scientology/Dianetics, by Robert Kaufman - Next - Previous

The Special Briefing Course

Now we're going to make you into an expert auditor no matter what happens. We'd rather have you dead than incapable.

The SBC produced Class VI auditors, qualified to process preclears through Grade IV Release. There was a sign over the Academy door, THROUGH THESE PORTALS PASS THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, OUR FUTURE AUDITORS.

I was introduced to the Instructor, a soft-spoken empathetic Australian. Haggard, sunken-chested and slightly hump-backed, he seemed in physical distress, coughing repeatedly in a well-mannered little bark. I though he might be consumptive.

The Instructor informed me of the class hours, 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. seven days a week. I could stay on until 10 each night if I wished -- they didn't play around at the Academy. He pointed out on the wall the Conditions Board, on which I was to place my stats each day, one point for reading a bulletin, five points for a checkout, and so on. Then he sent me on my first task, filling in a sheet of questions about the AOUK premises -- Where is the Galactic Control Room? How many steps are there in the front staircase? -- an inane exercise, I thought.

The Academy was furnished with a few tape machines, dozens of chairs, and the ubiquitous folding card tables. It was hopelessly crowded. Students frequently had to step over other students' legs or make circuitous trips around the room to get to their places. There wasn't always a vacant space at a card table; one would then have to sit on a stool near the Instructor's desk.

Radcliff Jones met me that night after class and took me for a drive in his rented car. Rad was a good-hearted person. He knew I had been going in for review, and always looked for ways to try to cheer me up without "discussing case." He gave me pipe tobacco, which was at a premium in Great Britain, luxury cigarettes from South Africa, and rides home from the AO. Rad also had his perplexed moment and had fallen behind his schedule. That day he had finally gone in for review and attested to OT IV.

"God, man," he said, in his relief his face almost as red as his hair, "when you get to know what this Level is all about you'll have to laugh!"

"It'll be some time before I get to do IV," I said, trying to smile back at him. "I just went on Special Briefing Course." I sketched the events of the day for him as we drove around the city.

"It must be the right thing for you at this stage. Telling me about it brought in your Good Indicators," he said. He pulled in at a fish-and-chips shop in the suburbs where young people of Edinburgh were queuing up after the movies.

After we had ordered, he went on above the racket. "You know, all this ties in closely with Ethics. I just don't buy that Ron ever intended Ethics to be stern and punitive, as some people must think. The other day one of the old-time Sea Org crew showed me a diagram he put together. He had managed to impose the Conditions Formulas over a chart of all the Grades and Levels. And it worked! I don't remember now exactly how he did it, but it lit the whole think up like a neon light!"

For a moment Rad's exuberance came home to me and I imagined that I, too, could understand Ethics. I saw a glimmer of the benign in a world that I had once felt myself drawing closer to. For that few seconds I recaptured what I had once envisioned the true essence of Scientology.

Thus you may find your preclear stuck in incidents of great age and fury.

The first person I befriended at the Academy was an American in his early fifties with a hangdog look, who was also starting the SBC. We grinned at each other several times the first couple of days. Soon it seemed natural to save each other seats in the morning.

He had been in the middle of OT VI when yanked off of auditing and placed in the Academy. This I surmised because his name, William Burgmuller, was registered under the OT Vs on the board in the hallway.

I was bewildered by this man. For an OT V he had little confidence in himself. He appeared beaten-down, despondent. His forehead bore thick worry lines, his eyes peered out at me from deep caverns, hinting that he had been caught in a crushing engram far back on the Time Track.

He had been a railroad engineer in the Midwest for many years, sometimes parting from his family and job to follow Ron on the quest to establish a permanent Dianetics Center. I had taken to the fellow immediately, but under these circumstances wasn't too happy having him for a partner. Being around a down-stat person was not the way to proceed swiftly through the almost endless course to the certainty I needed.

Class knocked off at noon for an hour break. There were dismal lunches with Bill Burgmuller. We were both on a budget and almost invariably had fish, mashed potatoes in gravy, and cabbage, finished off by a coffee or two and chocolate-covered wafers, all of which we wolfed down so we could get at our cigarette butts -- Bill and I both smoked our cigarettes in two or three instalments.

Bill was lonely and wanted to room with me. I kept putting him off. He needed a cheaper lodging and seemed helpless about getting started finding one. I got hold of a map of central Edinburgh and a list of rooming houses from a tourist bureau and tried to help him organize himself by showing him how I might circle the locations of cheap rooms if I were seeking one.

The search of this track began some years ago and was conducted sporadically on many preclears.

Due to the difficulty of getting tape machines, Bill and I sometimes sat at a card table studying bulletins. In the old days of Dianetics, he told me, things were a lot rougher. Preclears were sent back on the Time Track, with no preliminaries, to terrifying engrams that had them bouncing on the couch and clawing at the wall. It was possible, I thought, that people had died or become permanently deranged. Certainly, auditing was much smoother now, although there was also the possibility that in another decade or so Scientologists would refer back to 1968 as "the rough old days." In fact, Ron had stated that a thetan might pass through a state of insanity on his way to the top -- a condition far superior, however, to "the sanity of a human being."

Whenever I got a tape machine I managed to break the earphones. The connection between cord and listening device was so delicate that a turn of one's head could snap it -- and because of the many new releases announced in the foyer, and other interruptions, one was frequently tempted to turn one's head.

There was a rule on the Academy bulletin board: Any MEST Damaged In The Academy Must Be Fixed Or Replaced By The Student Who Damaged It Before He Or She Can Continue On Course. This was a tough regulation for those of us who were sick or caught in the middle of an Upper Level and in a panic to get through. The Instructor was understanding, and gave nervous students all the leeway he could if they broke something. On three occasions I got his permission to leave the classroom and take the equipment to a shop a half a mile away that had a soldering iron.

Most of the Academy students were from the States. Americans, as a rule, were likeliest able to afford extended training on top of the processing. However, once on SBC everybody was together in the same arena. The fight for Certainty was fierce. To an extent this was because there was no live instruction, other than the checkouts. The Instructor did not "instruct"; if he did he would incur a penalty. Students had to glean everything from the tapes and bulletins -- which were a maze. Some bulletins appeared to contradict others, and one had to twist and turn through dozens of them, seeking the path to Certainty. This often involved sifting out the data that bore the latest date. Ron insisted that every word he ever wrote held just as good today as when he wrote it; nothing he ever said needed changing. Veteran Scientologists claimed that if one dug deep enough into the material one would understand the profundity of that remark. It was an unspoken truth, however, that on any question involving apparently conflicting data, the bulletin with the latest date took precedence.

There is absolutely nothing concealed from the student. There is no hidden data line. Everything that is known about Scientology is available to him. All data is to be found on tapes and bulletins. The data, properly studied and digested, is applicable as Standard Tech -- the right way to run a process. Studying and applying Hubbard Bulletins correctly is called Duplication. Anything other than Duplication is Out-Tech. Plainly the cause of auditor failure is Out-Tech, the inability to Duplicate.

In-Tech and Duplication glistened in the distance like a mirage. There was only one way to be In-Tech, but countless ways one could mis-Duplicate and be guilty of Out-Tech and subject to Ethics punishment. Sometimes innocuous remarks I heard around me in class would make me return obsessively to a bulletin that seemed clear and logical only an hour ago. I would study every clause, trying to figure out how I had been mis-Duplicating. The same bulletin might appear, on successive readings, succinct and straightforward or muddy and labyrinthine.

The SBC was purported to be a fount of revelations, Cognitions popping up at every turn. Such were denied me. It heightened my feeling of deficiency to hear some other student say, "Wow! Did I ever Cognite on such-and-such last night!" I wondered how some of the others were so easily able to digest the data. There was a basic flaw in my makeup, a lack of faith or character that kept me from Duplicating. The SBC was going to take much longer to get through than six months. Perhaps a year, endless time, and an ocean of data on which to drift ...

... and you would do well to know that there are suppressives within the group itself. Take a gander around your org. Have individual and group stats been foundering? Have communications got mysteriously "lost"? Has there been a decline in raw meat brought in for processing? By this shall you know them -- those who "just can't follow instructions, just can't learn the data."

The suppressive always gives himself away. The point about a suppressive is he's afraid. He reacts in present-time as though he were stuck in a past life. He's literally back there trillions of years ago going through all the terror as he screams his way down the Time Track.

Our orgs must provide a Safe, Secure Environment, free from enturbulation and Dev-T, where Tech is Duplicated and preclears climb swiftly up the ladder to Total Freedom. We can do this only if you Know Tech, Know that It Works, Infallibly, on Everybody, Apply it Correctly, Close the Door on Mis-Duplication, Stamp out Dev-T, and eliminate those who would gleefully destroy us.

As I listened to tapes and studied bulletins I kept thinking case. Each scrap of data held a personal taint. I tried to shape Ron's words into a diagnosis. If he were discussing engrams, then I was in an engram; if he mentioned the Time Track, I perceived sections of it bunched up and laden with charge; if he were writing about ARC breaks, present-time problems or overts, then these were the cause of grief.

I read with particular intensity the bulletins on Potential Trouble Sources and Suppressives. I saw in myself characteristics of both. Perhaps I was suppressive to myself. These anxieties made me spend more time on a bulletin than the other students would. I would sit fingering a page for long moments, in a daze. At interludes there would come a shout from what seemed far away, "Now hear this!" as some fortunate one attested to another level.

That every MEST body had a decayed thetan in it was unknown until now.

Something was incurably wrong with my inner being. A new bulletin was tacked up on the board in which Ron lashed out at those who falsely attested to Levels the hadn't rightfully attained. I took this deeply, for I didn't feel like I was a Clear, an OT I or an OT II.

Another new bulletin described a Condition lower than any Ron had previously discovered: Degraded Being. Though I wasn't sure this Condition applied to me, still I would have to remain in the perdition of the SBC until I could return to self-auditing, get the preclear or preclears out of The Wall of Fire, and earn the right to call myself by those Levels I had attested to.


My pattern of a typical morning was to wake up around five and futilely try to get back to sleep. At seven, I would waken Radcliff Jones and wait for him to get shaved and dressed and come to breakfast. Seeing the morning newspaper at the table was a strange experience, and I rarely got past the front page. The events of the world were taking place on another planet -- a lurid and unconfrontable reminder of the extent to which I had lost touch with my former reality.

I had been in Great Britain just a little over two months now.


At the AO, as at Saint Hill, there were many interruptions. One evening each week there was a so-called religious service in the Galactic Control Room -- actually the front waiting room -- which for that one hour was renamed the Chapel. One of the Sea Org crew would read the Scientologists Credo, which espoused tolerance for religions and everyone's right to free speech and individual thinking.

More precious study time was lost one morning when male students were conscripted to move mildewing furniture and mouldy bedding down to strata of the old hotel beneath the basement proper. I pitched in for two hours, hauling the decaying objects down from the upper floors into the dank chambers, our only illumination a single bulb on an extension cord several hundred feet long. Deeper and deeper we went, down black stairways, whistling and joking and cheering each other on with "What's a little dirt to a thetan?" I was worried about the Instructor, who directed the work crew. The dust from the dim rooms sent him into paroxysms of coughing. He was wasting away before our eyes.

Marty Moussorgsky, my old auditor from New York, visited the AO that day. Over lunch he told me of life aboard the Sea Org yacht. Marty had been on the first crew, when none of the members knew the slightest thing about running a ship. Ron decreed that they would best spend their time navigating the vessel up and down the Mediterranean. The Scientology cycle of action was applied on these maneuvers: Start -- Continue -- Complete. This meant that the boat was put in motion, sailed for a few miles, then stopped as abruptly as possible. The procedure was repeated, over and over, every day for several weeks. From time to time mistakes in navigation occurred, such as a near-crash into the docks at Tunisia, a goof that occasioned Ron to place the boat in Condition of Doubt.


Each evening at six I went to dinner with Edward Douglas, who had finally made it up from Sussex for his OT II, and Elisabette, a willowy OT V from Holland. We were often joined by Bill Burgmuller or Radcliff Jones. Elisabette was attending the Academy for a course on needle-reading before chancing the stratosphere of Level VI -- but I suspected she had already started that Level and fallen into trouble, as I guessed was Bill's torment.

We were a close group, though our fondness for each other was tempered with the poignancy of unuttered questions. Oddly, by own situation brought out my affection for others, and Elisabette, Edward, Bill and Rad seemed more lovable than I had ever known people to be. It may simply have been loneliness; our dinners together were the closest thing to companionship I could hope for until I got back to New York. With frustrated yearning to tell someone of my suffering, I imagined a wordless communication among us. "Are they going through this too?" I pondered, as I gazed into their kind faces, smiling, hoping I wasn't looking at them too beseechingly, with eyes as unyielding as a stuck needle and the fever of charge running through my body. Did they see it? Did they know something was Out on my case?

I cut short these times with the others to get back to the tapes and bulletins. The one moment of relative peace I allowed myself was at midnight when, back in my room at Mrs. Blake's, I would lie on my bed studying Hubbard's Axioms. The Axioms reputedly held the innermost kernel of Scientological truth. They dealt with the nature of the thetan, and its relationship to the MEST world. Though I didn't understand these abstractions, they gave an impression of vast, quiet expanses that had a lulling effect on me. I could imagine Ron in his captain's hat, seated at a large desk in a room decorated in nautical motif, working at his charts, calculating the precise interactions of these spiritual properties. When one read the Axioms one might arrive at a Cognition at any moment.


Bill Burgmuller and I checked each other out in class on tapes, bulletins and Axioms. We had both decided to study Dianetics all over again. His knowledge of the subject was far superior to mine, but his general uncertainty was undermining. His faltering, somewhat pathetic manner turned the simplest bulletin into a potential booby-trap. He would look up at me and say, with a sheepish grin, "I'd sure like to be Certain about that, old buddy!" I couldn't help thinking how much I would have enjoyed being with him in a different setting -- he was ingenuous and likable. I didn't want him to know that he depressed me, but whenever he invalidated himself blatantly my irritation slipped out. It didn't seem to make any difference. He was already punishing himself for something.

His most oft-voiced anxiety concerned floating needles. "After all this time," he would sigh wearily, "I'm just not sure about spotting the goddam things." When I had heard this for the fourth or fifth time, I threatened to report him to Ethics for self-invalidation, trying to mask my genuine annoyance by putting it in a joking manner. He brought out all my own uncertainty on that subject. In New York I'd seen needles that drifted lazily about the dial for minutes on end, while in Great Britain floating needles appeared and vanished in seconds, as elusive as eels slithering through the rushes.

At such moments I squelched a wish to shake Bill by the shoulders and tell him that everything was going to be all right anyhow. Instead I contended myself with visualizing what he would be like when he completed OT VI; or how he used to be. I pictured him as he might have looked on his old job, riding the cab of a locomotive as it hurtled down the flat, the wind rushing by, his eyes, unafraid then, scanning the distant reaches of the plains, as he patiently contemplated his next adventure with Ron Hubbard, far from the world of cornfields and semaphore signals.


There was an old, out-of-tune piano in the Galactic Control Room, and nobody objected to its being played. A teenaged South African thumped out a kind of music I had never heard before, some not-really-Spanish paso dobles and un-Germanic waltzes. I was familiar with a wide range of music, and could only conclude that this was "Afrikaner style," if such existed. I never asked.

A young American fellow occasionally beckoned me out of the Academy to hear his improvisations. He would look raptly into my eyes as he played, murmuring about ARC and Flow.

Heinz Migdahl, a recently-attested OT VI, sometimes played the opening measure of the Grieg Concerto. He said he hadn't touched a piano in eighteen years -- he had given it up for abstract painting, which he did well -- but now played better than ever. "On OT VI I discovered that my old keyboard technique was a machine, a part of the reactive mind that puts you on automatic," he said. "Now I'm starting from scratch to learn to play as myself. I've already eliminated all excess motion." A musical illiterate could observe that he swiveled his body and threw his arms around -- a lexicon of excess motion -- but I didn't challenge him. At any rate I'd found out what was causing the music in my head, a marching band that struck up every morning on my walk to the AO: a machine.

Another OT VI pianist also claimed he owed it all to Scientology, but he wasn't referring to lack of excess motion. He told me that he had almost attained a permanent state wherein he no longer felt his MEST body while at the keyboard. "I'm so close to it now I can almost taste it," he told me.

During a coffee break I sat down at the old upright. I could barely play. My arms felt weak and I couldn't remember the pieces I had played at Town Hall last October. I recalled a happier summer many years ago and a variety show at a music camp, where on another beat-up piano I had played, as a stunt, the "Etude on the Black Keys" of Chopin by rotating an orange in my right hand -- a fragmented memory of the power and joy I once felt playing the piano.


Across the aisle from me, a young American named Frank bull-baited a middle-aged lady. He stared at her over his memorably long nose, his mouth fixed in a smirk. The button he was flattening her on was "penises," and he carried on about "a sixteen-inch pecker peeking out at her from some guy's fly." I couldn't concentrate on my bulletins with this going on, and watched the pair for twenty minutes, as at a floorshow.

In another part of the room, one of Frank's roommates was exploiting someone else's Jewish button: "Take 23 -- 'Dish ish Moishe Menehan of Tel Aviv Radio Station K-I-K-E. Ve are bringing you ...' Flunk for laughing. Start! Take 24 -- 'Dish ish Moishe Menehan ...'" Late in the afternoon they had got up to Take 58, the button still unflat, the bull-baiting victim still laughing hysterically.

Frank, now bull-baiting a young lady, was working the button `old.' "You're so old, so o-o-o-old, my dear," he repeated, as she laughed uncontrollably. Just when this button was flattening, the hulking Master at Arms entered the Academy, and, squatting down beside Frank, started in on her in his British accent: "You're aould, me dear, sao aould. I wonder if you've ever considered the fact when you looked in the mirror that there wasn't just the slightest chawnce, the tiniest infinitesimal little possibility that perhaps -- that maybe -- you Put In Your Pawstulaytes that you ... might ... be ..." (here Frank joined in "aould, me dear ... sao-o a-o-o-o-o-ould!"

Paradoxically, some of the most effective bull-baiters employed Scientology terms. Master at Arms was a virtuoso at this. He would go on about a student's "by-passed chawge" and "withhaoulds" until he had them howling with laughter.

I did TR-0 with Frank. We sat at a table looking into each other's eyes. That day TR-0 locked my face in a vise. I was well aware that my features were fixed in pained, angry confusion, opening my inner state of being to detection, and I feared that someone would say, "Why, I see through him. He's sick, he's not showing any gains, he's repudiating Scientology by his failures. He's a suppressive." Nothing of that sort occurred. Frank only observed that my face looked tense. He switched to bull-baiting. To my own amazement, he couldn't draw a chuckle out of me. A young lady tried her hand at it. She, too, failed. Finally Edward Douglas, the old maestro, got into the act. He leaned forward, puckered up and kissed my cheek. When that didn't crack my expression, he jumped around the table like a baboon. By this time there was a ring of onlookers. Most of the Academy were watching to see if anyone could make me laugh, not knowing that I couldn't have laughed if I'd wanted to. As from a distance, I saw myself sitting there like a ghoul. Stuck in the middle of this grotesque scene, I peered across the table at Edward with eyelids like steel sheets and head bound in brass.


I got in review lines at Reception. I had held off for two weeks. While waiting in the Galactic Control Room for the Examiner to see me, I read of copy of the Scientology Wedding Service, a version of the marriage ceremony revamped into Hubbard's jargon. This, the once-a-week Success Service and an occasional clerical collar was the only evidence I saw at the AO to support Scientology's claim that it was a religion.

Heinz Migdahl came in and with excess motion banged A minor chords on the piano. Edward moseyed up with a back copy of The Auditor Magazine, and showed me a photo of Ron standing next to a model of a GPM. There was the "Top secret data" popping out at us from a world-distributed periodical!

"Oy wish Oy'd seen this staring me in the face a few years ago," Edward chortled. "It sure as 'ell would've saved me a lot of torment."

I thought back to the Solo Course, with its data on line-plots, crossovers, and opposition terminals which we were almost certainly never to use. Then I remembered Gerald's story about the inauditable preclear whom he had finally "cured." Was Scientology Ron's joke after all?


Whenever I was in the Galactic Control Room, the young crew members making up their stats charts would ask me for my Success Story. Customarily one submitted a testimonial for each release and always after clearing. I had presented nothing to them as yet -- it would have been an outright lie -- so I would grin ruefully and mumble, "Not just yet. I'm working on it. Please wait a day or so."


The Examiner's eyes widened. "Do you know what you're doing? You're running away from class! Ron has a name for that. You're rabbiting!"

But I'm hardly sleeping and I haven't moved my bowels for two weeks."

"We can't do it for you. You have to work for these Upper Levels. Ron has a new policy, Get Tough! Better Get That In. It'll make up an up-stat person and then you can move your bowels all you like. Now stop rabbiting, stop coming here, and go back to your class."

"It's not that I'm rabbiting," I shot back.

"Don't you dare raise your voice to me!" Then, softening, "I didn't mean you're a coward." She wrote something on a slip. "Here. Take this to Ethics."


Ethics looked at me with good-humored pity. "You're rabbiting? Go back to your class and get through your course. The Way Out Is The Way Through."

"I had to come in for review. where else am I supposed to go for help?"

"We learn to help ourselves. No one else can do it for you." She smiled, her eyes widening, and said in a Tone-40 voice, "Now go back to your class!"

I moved down the hall towards the Academy, stopping on the way at the Galactic Control Room. Among the newsletters and advertisements on the center table was Ron's new Policy Letter, "Get Tough!"

So you feel that you've taken on too great a load, that you're doing far more than you should and couldn't possibly do more but should be doing less? Then immediately double what you are doing! You may be surprised to hear this, but it is in fact an accurate appraisal and a solution to your problem, whatever that may be.

Astonished, I reread the article. On second reading I began to see some truth in it, and on third I thought, "My god! He's right -- and he's speaking directly to me."

The Sea Org knew me. They saw through me as no one had before. All my life I had got through on facile talent. I had never had to show real grit. Soft and spoiled, I'd spent a good part of my time hatching grandiose schemes, never putting in the sweat to finish anything I started. I had to admit that Ethics and the Examiner were right. This was not so terrible to confront once identified. They were offering a chance for redemption, and firm hands to pull me through my resistance, my childish weakness. To be charming, interesting, a "nice guy" meant nothing to them. I was a spirit, a thetan. Here was no escape, no evasion of responsibility. I must finish what I had begun. It was for my own good ... and it was too late to stop.


To graduate SBC, students audited preclears to releases on the Grades. It was getting time for me to scout up a preclear. Since I knew practically nobody in town but Scientologists, I would have to go out on the street and disseminate. I cringed at the prospect. I had seen too much tasteless proselytizing, and I knew how it could turn people off. The AO had not as yet alienated itself from the community. The good citizens of Edinburgh were considered far less suppressive than those of East Grinstead. In fact, the Scientologists thought the Scots as a whole nicer people than the English. But sooner or later suppressive orders would be placed on the bookshops that chose not to carry Ron's writings. The shop owners would react. There would be further ill feeling, perhaps incidents.

Moreover, in disseminating, I would be selling something which hadn't as yet brought me any lasting benefits. Fortunately, I'd only be pushing the Lower Grades, which had produced significant gains in New York. I would have to conquer my humiliation and take the plunge. I got the Instructor's permission to go out on the street, and, fighting my shame, I approached my first raw meat near the blue-rimmed door of the AO.

I soon learned to be selective about whom to buttonhole. A Class VII Auditor, like Gerald, could detect a suppressive walking by on the street. If I were unlucky enough to bring to the AO a suppressive or a Potential Trouble Source, there would be a big flap at Qual Office. Although it went against my grain to label anyone suppressive or PTS, certain individuals acted dimwitted or surly; so I kept my dissemination to alert, cheerful Up-Stat-looking citizens, preferably younger ones -- they tended to be more open-minded. I fell into a routine. I would accost people near the AO, point to the sign above the door, and burble, "Do you know about our college?" I would go on to mention the special process they could have done on them at no cost, and one or two of the other wonderful things that went on upstairs. I made no attempt to "find their ruin," as in the dissemination drill. I simply wanted to get them into the Academy to sign the Preclear Logbook on the Instructor's desk and perhaps buy something at the bookstore.

Within a few days I succeeded in logging in several names. My only unpleasant street encounter was with a confident young man who proclaimed that Scientology was no damn good, Jesus Christ was his Savior.

I didn't ring any doorbells -- though some of the disseminators weren't above doing that -- with one exception. I tried a house down the street from Mrs. Blake's, where I was told several AO students had stayed until recently. I introduced myself to the landlady as a roomer at her neighbor's. Before I could start my patter, she said, "Isn't that where some of them crazy Scientologists are staying? I just asked three of them to move somewhere else. They'd lock themselves in the bathroom for hours on end having their godless sessions."

I enquired about a fictitious lodger, and left.

My dissem at my rooming house was unsuccessful. Mrs. Blake was wary about going downtown and walking through the blue-rimmed AO doorway. One of her boarders, a young math student who worked a full shift as a bus conductor to finance his education, was neither for nor against Scientology. We had several discussions about it at night, when Mrs. Blake set late tea. Ian was a gifted fellow and the questions he asked were pointed and a bit unsettling. I wanted him to try at least one process. He didn't show up for breakfast one morning and Mrs. Blake reported that he had been killed in a highway accident while riding his bicycle home from work, and his parents would be coming from their village to take his possessions. During lunch break at the AO I told Edward Douglas about the tragic accident.

Edward looked at me sagely. "'E knew 'e could 'ave auditing and went ahead and left the body anyway." His eyes saddened. "Well, Oy guess 'e made 'is choice, didn't 'e."


I was spending half my lunch hour approaching people on the street and still hadn't obtained a genuine, living, breathing preclear, only a bunch of names in the log book. I had finished running the Dianetic Levels on a rag doll, making out full mock reports, the final preparatory exercise, and was checked out and ready to audit.

Everything was so much more complicated than at the franchise in New York. Before auditing the preclear on Dianetics we had to fill out a Preclear Assessment Sheet, four pages of questions about the preclear's background, some of an intimidatingly personal nature. Needle action and tone-arm were recorded next to the preclear's responses. Another added step was the Beginning Rudiments, or The RUDS, six questions put to the preclear after the Assessment which were supposed to handle present-time problems and ARC breaks. I had never done such a thing to a preclear in New York. If a preclear seemed unhappy about something (which had been the situation with my very first preclear), Gerald taught us that is was best to get him into a casual conversation in which he might talk himself into feeling comfortable, which would make him auditable. In contrast, The RUDS were blunt and intimidating. I asked the Instructor if we really must subject raw meat to this list of highly-charged questions. He gave me the best answer he could, since apparently there was no bulletin or tape he could cite on the subject.

"Ron put that step there for a reason," he said. Nor was he totally satisfied on this point himself. He went to ask the Director of Training about The RUDS and was nearly placed in Liability for "not knowing what reply to give a

In general you will find the preclear has been subjected ... to enormous invalidation of all his force, power and natural attributes.

I entered a coffee house in search of a preclear. I slid into a booth opposite a tall, slender young man and introduced myself as a trainee at the Hubbard College two blocks away. The young man put down his newspaper and made some remarks about the class struggle and life in general that struck me as perceptive, although it had been so long since I had been exposed to such talk that it also sounded quaint.

This young man was an interesting person. His eyes were tired, defeated, crafty, yet empathetic. His manner was courteous, his mind lively, as he communicated to me a bittersweet regret over the things he had missed and would no doubt always miss in life. He alerted when I broached a foolproof method of self-improvement. In short, Alistair McKenna seemed the ideal preclear.

I led him upstairs, proudly introduced him to the Instructor, and logged him in. On the way out I showed him the bookstore, a niche off the corridor leading to the back offices. He selected two of Ron's slimmer volumes, Fundamentals of Thought and The Problem of Work, and we waited in the line at Accounts. When Alistair reached the desk and was told the price of the books he was put off. I asked him to take only one if that was all he could afford. No change was ever returned at Accounts; one either wrote out a check, had the exact amount in hand, or the excess credited to his accounts. Alistair didn't have the right amount for the book, so I lent him the difference. When we got down on the street he immediately repaid the loan, in paper and change that he had had all along, with the explanation that he trusted me but was leery of the organization.

We had the session at my place. I faced the unpleasant task of putting Alistair through the Preclear Assessment Sheet. He was already nervous from his experience at the AO, when I began with the easy questions about his education and medical history. Then I got to his relationship with his mother. He faltered -- I already knew he was still living at home. "Well, let's just say we don't get along ver-r-a well."

Next came questions to elicit any record of criminality or insanity. Alistair's needle was rising. "I guess you might say I have a criminal record."

"Can you tell me about it?"

"When I was eleven years old I broke into a saloon after closing, stole some empty beer bottles and sold them for a few pence. I got caught."

"Fine," I acked, noting it all down with the tone-arm read.

It suddenly dawned on me that a preclear with a criminal record might be a Potential Trouble Source and I'd be a fool to handle his case. I took another good look at Alistair, trying not to make it too noticeable.

"I'm really sorry, but I have to go back to the college and find out whether I can audit you. Just so you won't be in the dark about this, it's your criminal record. I know this happened years ago, and it's probably okay -- it certainly is with me -- but I don't want to do the wrong thing on my training. I'd better go downtown and ask the Instructor."

"Why don't you telephone him?"

"Hey, you're right, you're one hundred percent right! Why didn't I think of that?"

The Instructor got on the line. "Eleven years old, eh?" he said drily. "That should be all right. Go ahead and audit."

I returned with Alistair to the wobbly table in my room.

"We only have a little more to do on the Assessment. What are your goals in life?"

"That's ver-r-r-ra easy. To have money."

I was stumped. Just a couple hours ago he had spoken of his frustrated hopes for a better world. Now he was coming on PTS again. I was aware that the Assessment had put him in a negative mood. I fished around.

"Would you say, then, that you're interested in improving your life?"

"Oh definitely. And the best way to do that would be to get my hands on some money."

I prompted him with, "Can I put it down that you wish to enhance your ability to do the things you like doing?"

"Yes, I guess that's one way of putting it."

"Anything else? Any other goals?" My mistake; I was slightly ahead and should have dropped it.

"Well, I'd like to get in the position so that other people don't have the upper hand over me."

Pencil poised: "You mean you'd like to advance yourself in the social and business worlds?"


"Good. How about the spiritual world."

"Yeah. Naturally. Whatever that is. Any world."

With apprehension growing that this wasn't the fresh, glowing preclear the AO wanted, I sketched out the auditor's report for the ARC Straightwire Process. Then I remembered with a jolt that I had to do The RUDS. On the way to Mrs. Blake's I had given Alistair a good Reality-Factor on the Dianetic Levels. I had forgotten to prepare him for The dratted RUDS.

"Are you upset by anything?"

"Yeah, I guess I am."

"Fine. What do you consider it could be?"

"Those questions you just asked me were kind of personal."

"Thank you. Any other considerations on that?"


"Okay. Do you have a present-time problem? That reads."

"Money. Also, I'm ver-r-ra nervous."

"Thank you."

When we got to overts, the needle tightened up. "What do you mean, `overts'?" he asked.

"Oh I'm sorry. That means something you've done that you consider wrong."

"I see." He thought for a moment. "Well, I'm beginning to regret coming here."

"Thank you. Now we'll start the process I described on the way over."

I cleared the commands with English and Scientology dictionaries, another recent requirement, and sailed into the familiar ARC Straightwire commands.

"Recall a communication."

Alistair nodded.

"Good. What was it?"

"A phone call."

"Fine. Recall an emotion ..."

On went the process, with the tone-arm lurking around 4, an area of tension. For a brief spell Alistair's Good Indicators came In. He recalled pleasant letters, holidays, and emotions such as love and happiness. Had I missed that all-evasive fucking floating needle? Why, the bloody thing could come and go in a split second -- it took Scientologists years to spot one properly. Now the needle was dirtying and Alistair's responses were bogging down. We had been at it a long time. Several columns of worksheet were filled with my notations. Something had gone wrong. Perhaps I never should have audited this preclear in the first place. I had had enough warning signs, but I'd allowed my desire to help both Alistair and myself sway me. I would have to show up at the AO with all the evidence of having audited a PTS. Alistair looked dazed.

"Recall something real."

"Um hmm."

"Good. What was it?"

"A fight I had when I was sixteen."


I'd been pounding away at the process for an hour. I was killing him. This mustn't continue. The session would have to end unflat.

"Recall an emotion."

"Uh huh."

"Good. What was it?"


"Thank you. Okay, Alistair, now we have to go back to the College and have my reports looked at. Nothing you've done wrong, I assure you -- it's been good of you to help me train -- but the process I've been running isn't finished yet. It's probably my fault; I'm just a novice at this. My supervisors will tell me what to do next. Can you wait five minutes while I write out a summary?"

While doing that I came about with a start. "Shit! I thought, "I forgot to include in my R-Factor the possibility of review or Ethics action."

On our way to the AO, I explained that my superiors might want him to have an additional session with one of their auditors -- inwardly resolving to make up to him any cash he might spend at the AO.

The Instructor glanced at my report while Alistair waited in the Galactic Control Room. "Hmmm, I see you got in your RUDS. You may've gone past a floating needle. Towards the end there your preclear's responses were pretty low-tone. We better 'ave one of the more advanced students rerun 'im on the ARC."

This was a relief to me, but for the preclear the proceeding had turned into an inquisition. I remembered my first auditing; I'd been well-greased beforehand by friends and then processed by one of them in a cozy apartment.

A young SBC student took Alistair up to the third floor and brought him back twenty minutes later, a Straightwire Release. The preclear's Good Indicators were not In. Before he could go to Certs and Awards he had to see the Examiner. After five minutes in Qual, a red-faced Alistair trotted through the foyer and disappeared down the stairs.

"What's the matter with you anyway, bringing a preclear like that in here!" said the buxom redhead.

"What do you mean? He seemed perfectly fine to me."

"Do you know what he had the gall to say to me? He said he hadn't got any gains from his auditing! He's an ignorant suppressive creep! Don't you ever drag someone like that in here again!"

I left Qual Office. I didn't think the outcome was entirely my fault, and I talked it over with the Instructor.

"Oh, she's all right, that gal," he said. "I've known 'er for years."

"But the guy seemed like a nice person to me."

"She's OT VI. You're got to figure she's probably right about 'im."

Angry and confused, knowing that Alistair thought I had betrayed him, I took out a tape, slammed it on a machine and promptly broke the earplugs. I couldn't let the Examiner get away with invalidating me like that. This time she had gone too far.

She eyed me as I neared her desk. "It's about this afternoon," I began. "I don't feel that we left our talk on a very constructive note."

"What do you mean?"

"I haven't felt at all right about it afterwards. I did the best I could with that preclear."

"Couldn't you see he wasn't the right material?"

"I really thought he was terrific. I had a long chat with him over coffee. He seemed to be reaching out for help."

"It's okay." She regarded me drolly. "Forget about it and go out and audit preclears."

There was a long pause during which we stared deeply into each other's eyes. Suddenly her face glowed, her eyes twinkled. "And ... I shouldn't have yelled at you that way. I apologize!"

We reached for each other over the desk as again the waves of tender compassion bathed me.

"It's beautiful!" I gasped, holding her as gently as if she were a gigantic puff of meringue.

On the way out to fix the earplugs, I made the "everything's all right" circle with my thumb and index finger, and called over to the Instructor, "You were right about her."


Betty Buchanan, a saucy blond divorcee who wore no-nonsense plaid outfits, arrived to do the Upper Levels. She was South African, like Radcliff Jones, and they immediately started a flirtation in the form of a mock "battle of the Levels." The winner would be the first to attest to OT VI. Betty had the advantage. She had the money to take preferential review. Anyone paying double, $40 an hour, could see an auditor with no waiting.

I never saw the friendly opponents, Betty and Rad, touch each other, though there was definitely an attraction there; nor could they say much about their "battle." Instead they discussed such topics as how to run a business using Ron's Ethics system, or Betty's ambition to confront the Prime Minister of South Africa with strong TRs and the Four Steps of Dissemination.

It was from Betty that I first heard of Ethics households. "They have Ethics In at orgs, don't they?" she said. "This is a logical extension. You keep hat-books and Conditions charts on a bulletin board where you live. Children love it too; they always know just where they stand."

She went on to describe Ron's plans for a secret Ethics training camp for Scientology offspring in Rhodesia.

These conversations were help in coffee houses late at night after closing of lines. Betty and Rad took me along, I suspected, as a chaperon. I'd sit with them over tea and shortbread cookies, with my briefcase, now bereft of confidential materials but, through obsession or force of habit, under the table near me and still locked. I always kept one leg pressed against the side with the lock.


One night Elisabette gave Edward and me a lift home from the AO. Edward was staying at a boarding house on a hill overlooking a large park. Elisabette dropped him off, drove up the winding street a few hundred yards and parked. I seemed to be looking not over the treetops to the sparkling lights of Edinburgh but on a hill in my hometown many years ago with my young love.

Elisabette was near the bursting point with her case. Of course she said nothing about it, but I could sense it. I struggled against the urge to take her in my arms and beg her to tell me about her suffering. We turned to face each other and were silent for a moment.

Then I said, "Look, Elisabette, this isn't secret stuff or anything. Maybe you can tell me why Ron put The RUDS after the Assessment Sheet instead of going right into ARC Straightwire."


I had been in Great Britain close to three months and my visa was up for renewal. My passport was to be sent to the British Home Office in London, but the Sea Org had it locked up in a drawer at Housing and I was able to obtain it only in exchange for my return air ticket.

Two days later the British government passed an edict prohibiting foreigners from entering Great Britain to study Scientology, and stories denigrating Hubbard and his ideas appeared in the newspapers. There was a great uproar at the AO. People thronged the lobby and the Galactic Control Room, vilifying the British as suppressive, and comforting each other with predictions of the horrible things that were going to happen to Parliament. Several of the inflammatory news articles were tacked up on walls under signs proclaiming We Have Nothing To Hide. Many of the students were sick with anxiety. We were now classified "undesirable aliens" and measures would soon be taken to get us out of the country. Most worried were those now on crucial Upper Levels who had travelled halfway around the globe and spent almost their last cent.

By evening Ron had come through. Rapture spread throughout the AO as Master at Arms announced to the crowd that a brand new AO had just been opened in Los Angeles, the AOLA. Some of the Americans, including Bill Burgmuller, were glad to be returning home to their families sooner than they had expected. I didn't know what I would do. Air fare from Scotland to L.A. was expensive, and the cost of living in L.A. was rumored to be about twice that of Edinburgh. With all the review I had had, I was running shy of ready cash. And getting out of the stock market at a bad time, I had lost heavily on my investments.

Many of the staff had already departed for L.A. Due to the mass upset and the lack of auditors, review lines were swollen. The waiting line spilled over into the Galactic Control Room, and there was barely enough space, even then, for the overflow. Most of the Qual people I'd been dealing with had left. I would make one last attempt to get review.

Master of Arms was the Examiner that day. He eyed me balefully. "Why are you here" Why aren't you in class?"

"I can't work properly. I'm sick."

"Get back to your class," he growled. "Stop rabbiting and get back to your class."

I melted under the intense heat of his stare. Something inside me gave way again. I grimaced approvingly. "Thank you -- oh thank you for that." Wincing with gratitude, I grasped his beefy hands. He didn't move or speak, just continued to stare at me with a quizzical look on his face.


Edward and I stood near the curb after dinner discussing the recent crisis. He was worried and depressed.

"This could be another Austraylia all over again," he mumbled wretchedly. In the mid-60s Scientology had been outlawed in Edward's province and he had had to save money for three years for the trip to England. "Oy just don't know if Oy can go through the 'ole thing again."

I felt sorry for him. Why couldn't Ron let a loyal follower like Edward take the Upper Levels on credit? This time it was my turn to bolster him. Shaping my mouth into a grin, I said, "It'll be okay, Edward, just wait and see. Everything's going to work out beautifully for you."

"Oy suspect as you're right. Oy 'ope so."

"And Ron's bound to do something for people in your predicament," I added, as we exchanged meaningful looks as we used to at Fyfield Manor. "He'll make Parliament revoke the law, or he'll arrange some way to get you to L.A. Don't worry, Edward" -- I mustered up as close to a Tone-40 voice as I could -- "RON KNOWS!"

When Mrs. Pattycake comes to us to be taught, turn that wandering doubt in her eye into a fixed, dedicated glare and she'll win and we'll all win. Humor her and we all die a little.

A mousy little gray-haired lady from Iowa, who was taking a short course on self-auditing between her Clearing Course sessions, asked me to coach her on the TRs. During a lull she confided that there were certain aspects of the Clearing Course she didn't understand. I told her it was all there in the instructions.

"But I've been over that instruction booklet a hundred times and I just don't get it," she whimpered. She leaned forward and lowered her voice. "It's that spotting. How in the world do you spot?"

"Look in your instructions," I replied. "Everything you need to know is there."

"But do you actually look at something? Are you supposed to keep your TRs In when you spot?"

I'd never thought of that. Now I began to get concerned. Perhaps having my TRs In on the Clearing Course would have made the difference. But how would I have done that?

"Look, when you spot something, say that wall over there, you don't mull over it, do you? You just say, `There it is.' Nothing more to it than that."

"But with the wall, at least you know it's there."

There was something pitiful about the woman. Suddenly my stomach did a dive as I saw the trap. I'd let this sweet old lady draw me into a forbidden discussion! But how bad had it really been? I tried to reconstruct it in my mind, not listening to her bewildered prattling. Finally, not sure of what I'd done, I snapped, "Excuse me. I have to handle something," and left the Academy.

"I'm putting myself in Liability," I told the gorgeous blond Ethics Officer, "for listening to somebody's questions about the confidential materials."

"Where is this person?"

"She's in the Academy."

"Good. What's her name?"

"Lucille Warburton."

Lucille was brought to the office in tears. She came over to me. "I'm so sorry. I never dreamed of what I was doing. Oh look," she turned to Ethics, "it was all my fault, not his."

Ethics sent her out to don a gray arm rag and start her work penalty. Ethics smiled warmly at me. "Do you really feel you're in Liability? You did report the matter. Aren't you perhaps only in Non-Existence?"

"I'm in Liability. I listened to her."

"Okay, then. I'll have to give you the same punishment. After all, no one knows better than you what Condition you're in."


A young student staying in my neighborhood had been borrowing my room during daytime hours for her self-auditing; her place wasn't secure, she said. I returned after my penalty the next night to find my window open and the room freezing. The OT I materials were lying on the dresser. The front page looked different from what I had seen, the one with the Clearing Course materials repeated. Here, there was something about "auditing outdoors." Afraid of seeing more of this version, I threw a coat over the pack, grabbed a cab for the AO, and reported the incident to Ethics just before the closing of lines, in the nick of time to keep from incurring my third Liability penalty.


I could no longer apply myself to a bulletin or tape. I had given up hope of finding another preclear; people on the street were now evasive or hostile. I left the Academy every few minutes to loiter in the hallway and smoke half a cigarette.


I stared at the bulletin board in disbelief.

Richard Stiles has been declared in Condition of Doubt which carries a 72 hour work penalty for having seizures in public thus invalidating Scientology. If there is any recurrence of this behavior either consciously or unconsciously on his part he will be placed in Condition of Enemy and declared Fair Game.

By Order of the Third Mate

During coffee break, Dennis McClain, a quiet, courteous veteran Sea Org member, discussed music with me. I told him of my New York piano debut and the less-than-pleasing critique in the newspaper.

Dennis said, "The next time you give a concert find out in advance who the critic will be."

"Critics probably aren't assigned until the day of the concert."

"Nonetheless, if you really want this information you'll get it. Once you know who the critic will be you can find a way to sabotage him."

"Why?" I asked, dreading where this might be leading.

"You know he's out to get you before you've even started. He's a critic -- he's out for your blood. A critic damaged you before and he'll do it again if you let him. Get to his car and screw up the motor so he can't drive to the hall."

Dennis was talking to me as calm and friendly as usual. I sensed the danger. I couldn't let him suspect I thought anything was wrong with what he was saying.

"How would I find out where the guy lives? Besides, we're talking about New York. He probably takes a cab to the hall."

"There's a way if you just Get the Data In and Apply It. Yes. Have a friend of yours phone the hall just before concert time and have them page the critic, who's to be told that his wife has just been murdered in cold blood or had a heart attack or the like. If he doesn't have a heart attack himself, he'll certainly leave forthwith, and then no one can harm you. You can play away to your heart's content in a Safe, Secure Environment."

"But Dennis, how do we know he's got a wife?"

I was starting to wonder if one could take a music critic out of action so easily in New York City.

"You'll have to work the details out yourself, of course. Just remember what Ron says: When you know in advance that someone is out for you, don't be a fool and sit on it. Attack, man, attack!"


No civilization has ever survived for more than one billion years -- and only one ancient intergalactic kingdom lasted that long. It was eventually weakened and destroyed, as all civilizations before and since have been, because beings were "reasonable." We intend to create an organization that will flourish forever, bringing Peace, Sanity, and Freedom to this and all other planets of the galaxy.

Ron has taken on a staggering load. He is ultimately responsible for the entire organization, everyone in it, every branch of it, and every scrap of data, every process, every Tech specification, every Ethics Policy, every Admin Policy, every punishment, every bulletin, every tape -- EVERY WORD. ALL EMANATE FROM HIM. YOUR CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT SOURCE WERE PLUCKED FROM YOUR REACTIVE MIND IN POWER PROCESSING. RON IS SOURCE.

Some have not shown Ron the gratitude that he deserves. Suppressive and Degraded Beings of the galaxy have conducted a conspiracy against Ron and Scientology. In time the world shall know them for their crimes. Behind every attempt to discredit Scientology lies a degraded mind. Behind every attack on Ron is someone with a criminal record.


Ron has set things up so that thetans will be freed from the Trap they've been in for trillions of years. There is no other road to Total Freedom. A yogi or a Buddhist may only temporarily key out the Time Track. One has to be too good for too long to get rid of all one's karma. Ron has given us the only Safe, Sure Way to Total Freedom and Total Power. Do nothing to damage your only chance.



Funeral services for Richard Stiles will be held next Friday at 3 p.m. at Municipal Crematorium. All students wishing to attend may request a pass from the Director of Training."

I wanted to rush to the Instructor and ask him how Richard Stiles had died. With a wrenching effort I pulled my mind away from this. It wouldn't help a dead man to put the Instructor on the spot and give myself away as well.

Later that afternoon, Richard Stile's widow, having just attested OT II, victoriously received the applause of AO members in the foyer.


All of Mrs. Blake's rooms were now occupied by Scientologists. One of them, a middle-aged South African gentleman, was in the custom of knocking on our doors at five in the morning to bring us tea. No one complained; Releases were not supposed to need a lot of sleep.

On a Sunday morning, Mrs. Blake's visiting aunt and uncle were having their breakfast in the lounge. A young lady with heavy TRs began giving them a zealous dissemination. The aunt, an elderly lady whose wrinkled face had undoubtedly seen a lot, looked up from her plate and said, "Why do you have such unnecessary notions when life can be so simple and good as it is?"

These words called forth within me a shattered image of my former self. With a sense of self-loathing, I swallowed the rest of my coffee and left the room.


Frank told me there was an opening at his flat. His roommates were on Special Briefing Course also, and Ethics was really In at their place. It sounded like an economical arrangement, so I agreed to join them.

I was to share a room with a young man H had never liked, Nash Rabinowitz, whose scraggly beard and phlegmatic eyes made him resemble a Barbary goat. I scuffed about to find space for my clothes and books.

The flat at 20 Argyle Street maintained rotating hats, hat books (instructions) for cooking, dishwashing, laundering, etc., and a Conditions Board for the household in toto. My first hat was cook's. When I changed to another hat at the end of the week, I would be expected to write a few comments in a special book, not the hat book itself but a separate collection of added instructions the boys thought up, along with nostalgic reminiscences of their stay.

Heinz Migdahl, pianist and painter, was the senior member of the household. He gave unreservedly of his knowledge and experience as an instructor at the New York Org. When I had finished unpacking I watched him coach two of the younger students on a drill in which the auditor gently but with Strong Intention took a preclear who had "become disturbed during auditing" by the shoulders and led hi back to the chair he had just bolted from. They plodded slowly up and down the hallway as though run by machine, far into the night, covering miles of maroon carpet.


I placed a bowl of oranges and apples on the kitchen table and prepared a breakfast of sausages and eggs. Heinz had his own special breakfast, consisting of toast, which he doctored with sugar in an eccentric manner, and Nescafe, which he spooned in meticulous measure into a cup into which he directed me to pour boiling water up to a specific mark.

A strange atmosphere prevailed at the table. Each of the roommates had his individual joy or sorrow -- though not a word was said about the "sorrow" end of it. Two of the young men, the ones doing the midnight drills, were training twins, worked well together and romped through the course. Nash was preoccupied. He had had trouble running Straightwire on one of the locals, I'd overheard him telling the Instructor, and wasn't too certain about E-meter reads, especially the mercurial floating needle. Frank had completed OT III. His dead seriousness at all times, even when bull-baiting, impressed on me that he was going through his own private hell. Heinz, the benevolent authority, sat at the head of the table keeping close watch over the household.

At nine o'clock Frank, Nash and I set out on foot for the AO. It was a twenty minute walk through a lovely park and an interesting part of the downtown area. We were silent for a while. Then Frank addressed Nash: "Do you know the folding table was left out in the living room last night?"

"That's not my hat," replied Nash defensively.

"Fine. Are you wearing the Ethics hat this week?"


"Good. What are the duties of Ethics as defined in our hat book?"

"To Check the House for Cleanliness and Order, Write Out Chits for Violations, and Keep the Living Room Neat."

"Thank you. Then is it your duty to fold the table and move it over against the wall?"

"Somebody must've left it out after I went to bed."

"Okay. Did you notice it out this morning?"

"That's not my hat." Nash was sulky, beaten down.

I wanted to scream, "Will you cut the fucking nonsense? Can't you enjoy the scenery?" I lurched ahead so I wouldn't have to hear any more of this.

Hold on, I told myself, Think it through. I liked Frank and thought Nash obnoxious. Now I found myself sympathizing with Nash. Whom should I like or dislike?

You're missing the point, man, You're forgetting what this is all about, I told myself, now nearly one of them. Ron says Ethics must be for the betterment of the Group. Open your mind to it. Can you confront it? Can you rise above your petty likes and dislikes and help get Ethics In on this planet?


Over lunch Heinz Migdahl and I compared great pianists. Our conversation turned to Ferruccio Busoni, one of the immortals, whom I had heard one of the other AO musicians praise for the luminous, "exteriorized" quality of his playing on old records. The description had stayed with me.

"Busoni surely could have been an OT," I said lightly.

Heinz stared at me, the whites of his eyes prominent. "You mean he had qualities that might remind one of an OT ... don't you?"

By the way he was looking at me he could see the taint, the corruption, the lack of true faith. I had finally done it. Heinz now knew the truth about me.

As I entered the AO, two of the Qual girls were chatting in the foyer, and I lit their cigarettes for them. As I headed for the Academy I heard them snickering behind me. When had they first viewed me as an object of contempt -- and as dispensable as Richard Stiles?

A public couldn't stomach what really went on before Earth. Your preclear isn't able to stomach it -- that's why he's forgotten it.

When I left the AO at ten p.m. a girl was handing out dissem leaflets for distribution. I didn't relish the activity at that hour, but when she thrust them towards me with a determined smile, I didn't refuse.

I walked in the direction of Argyle Street, chucking the adds into mailboxes along the way. Arriving at the flat, I slumped down in a chair in the living room. There was a selection of Hubbard's books on a nearby shelf. I picked up The History of Man. The book contained a depiction of incidents Ron claimed to have discovered in research on preclears' Time Tracks, many of which involved thetan traps, devices by which thetans were jerked, bounced, spun, hit from every angle, packed in ice cubes, stuck in gummy material, and reeducated to be a type of thinking file card system. One of the incidents was fac one, a machine called the "Coffee Grinder," which laid in baps on the pineal gland and other areas.

I came to a passage on the many forms through which the thetan had evolved on the way to its present meat-body. The room, the book I was holding, were in a haze. I seemed to be reading about the death of giant clams with hinges that couldn't shut.


I could no longer deny to myself that I was PTS. As an Ethics case I could by-pass the Examiner.

Ethics that night was a young Englishman, dressed in white and neatly groomed. His wistful blue eyes and dreamy expression made him appear to be in a trance. I proceeded with my plan to get review. "The thing I wish to tell you is I've been roller-coastering."

"Pick up the cans, please. Are you connected to a suppressive?"


"Thank you. I'll check it on the meter. Are you connected to a suppressive? That's clean. Are you connected to a suppressive group?"


"Thank you. I'll check it on the meter. Are you connected to a suppressive group? That reads. What are your considerations on that?"

"I don't know what group it could be. The only group I'm in is Scientology."

"All right. I'll check it on the meter. Are you connected to a suppressive group? There's a read on that. I'd like to indicate that you are connected to a suppressive group and are PTS. Please go to Reception with this slip of paper."

I read the slip on the way. My reads were on it, along with instructions that I be put in lines for a Search and Discovery.

The Galactic Control Room was still crowded. Some of the Upper Level students who had got sick when the government edict was announced had been waiting for review for over a week. The AO was short on staff and had sent to Saint Hill for extra auditors to handle the overflow. We were told to keep our vigil even after the closing of lines.

I waited all that day and into the next night. Elisabette sat next to me -- she had been there for three days. I wished we could talk to each other. Still, it was comforting to be near her. I snuck into the scullery and cadged two cups of coffee. We waited together side by side, sipping coffee, rarely speaking.

A young lady motioned me upstairs. Before I could have the Search and Discovery, I had to be put through another green-form. In response to one of the questions I mentioned OT III. Her expression flickered.

"Aren't you at least a III?" I asked her.

"No, I'm only a II. If you're going to go into that, you'll have to go through lines again and wait for another auditor."


Late in the evening I lay collapsed on my bed. My roommate strummed on his guitar and sang to himself, almost inaudibly. He hadn't been well lately either. As the music tolled on through the lonely room, I felt it tugging at me. "Oh play it, Nash, it's beautiful, so beautiful," I heard myself whisper. "Sweet sounds, wind softly around us thetans and bring us peace."

I awoke the next morning with the thought that I would have to kill myself. Dim light outside the window told me it was dawn in Edinburgh. I pondered the matter of my death carefully as Nash lay snoring a few feet away. Where had the thought come from? I'd never had it before. But I had damaged myself beyond repair on OT III, and even the Sea Org with their Search and Discoveries couldn't help me. The next step was suicide. I could jump off the bridge into the Edinburgh railroad yards. But by so doing I would invalidate Scientology. My name would go up on the bulletin board. I couldn't bear the shame of knowing what would happen after my death.

Nash began to stir in his bed. I got dressed and went to the kitchen to wear the cook's hat.

That night, after another day of waiting for review, as I left the AO and was crossing a street an inner voice whispered to me that I had an alternative to dying. I could leave the AO for good and return to New York. It wasn't until I'd come here that I had ever thought of taking my own life. Scientology had done this to me. I would finish my review and fly home again to stay.

A surge of joy overcame me at the thought of returning to my crazy, blessed old life in New York.


Sitting by Elisabette in the Galactic Control Room, I continued my musings. Once I got back to New York I would do what I should have done from the beginning: stick to playing the piano. Scientology was not my goal in life, no, nor had it ever been. My goal was to make music. Goal? I felt the GPMs, the Goals-Problems-Mass, churning in the depths of the bank. Was I Creating piano playing to Destroy it or Destroying it to Create it? The phrase "piano playing is my goal" was a dense, heavy glob that stuck in my chest. Perhaps I had never really wanted to be a pianist; that was my GPM. The materials h ad clotted; they were choking me, coating my insides with something warm and disgusting I couldn't vomit up.

Then it hit me that conjecture about my life was meaningless. What ever made think they would let me leave? For a moment I was paralyzed. Then adrenalin flooded my body and I had the urge to hurl myself down the stairs and out onto the street, appealing to the nearest passerby for help. I shook with the immediacy of the danger. How hopelessly stupid I had been to think they would let me walk out of there with their innermost secrets!

Paranoia. I must stop this, pull myself together. If I had to brave it out with Master at Arms and his pair of brass-knuckles, I'd do it.


At 10:30 p.m., well after the closing of lines, an auditor approached and asked, "Would you like to be audited?" A few moment later I was in his tiny bedroom on the third floor being worked through a green-form. "Has a withhold been missed?"

"Yes. I've been thinking about killing myself."

"All right. I'll check that on the meter."

I was nattering, talking from the bank, that much I knew from my training, and I admired the auditor's TRs as he handled my responses. Moreover, he was dead tired, having been auditing several days and nights straight, and was yawning and bleary-eyed.

"I'm trying to make it was interesting for you as I can," I said, as he failed to smother a formidable yawn.

He slumped back in his chair with an exhausted grin. "Gotcha! I dig ya, man!"

He continued down the list. "Is there something that somebody nearly found out about you?"

"Yes. I want to leave this place and to back to New York."

"All right. That's it. You had a floating needle on `I want to leave this place and go back to New York.'"

I smiled at him wryly.

He said, "There's one other process I could do on you if you wish. I was thinking I might give you a Purpose Search and Discovery -- that's to find out what you really want to do."

What did I have to lose? I'd already paid for a Search and Discovery. I asked him if he could just do it immediately.

"I guess I could, but first I must show the Examiner my report and get his consent," he said.

He left the room and returned a moment later. "The Examiner wants to see you."

Don't invalidate somebody as a theta clear just because he doesn't act like a saint -- he might even be more devilish than ever!

Master at Arms' little eyes scanned my face spitefully. "Why are you in review?"

"You know why I'm here."

"Well, if you daon't gao back to your class tomorrow you can forget the whaole thing."

This was what I'd been hoping for. "All right. Then I'm leaving."

"What? You'd give up Taotal Freedom? You're a fool!"

I stared at the ultramarine carpet I'd tacked to the floor while working through Liability.

"This life isn't for me. I just want to go back to New York to the way things were before."

"Gao back?! You're fooling yourself! You'll never make it in the wog world!"

"I'm leaving," I repeated numbly.

He wrote something on a slip, and dropping it on the desk as if he were shaking a gob of mucous off his fleshy hand, said in a colorless tone, "Here, take this to Ethics and when you're through with that gao back to your class."

Ethics read the note and looked into my eyes. "Is this something you'd talk to me about? Why do you wish to leave?"

I told him of my morbid thoughts of the past few days and went back to how it had all started at the Hill. "I have to leave," I concluded. "I'm going to die if I stay here."

He looked at me searchingly, as though just awakened from a strange dream. Perhaps he had been told to use the gentle approach.

"Please. This is too good a thing to give up like that. We all have to go through our ups and downs. I've been through all the Conditions myself -- more than once. Don't leave, man. Don't fuck yourself out of this."

I was slowly being drawn into his hypnotic stare. I struggled to keep my resolve. " It's no use. I have to go. Maybe this is too good a thing for me now. I don't have any business being here. I want to go back to New York."

"Man," he muttered sadly, "don't blow it. Don't fuck yourself out of this."

His eyes never left mine for an instant. I could feel myself wavering again -- should I give them another chance? I dug my fingertips into my palms.

"You're speaking from the reactive mind. You've got to understand that." Having attained clear, I was no longer supposed to have a reactive mind. "I tell you what. Go across the hall and make me a clay demo of your whole situation. Make a good one with labels and everything -- you know how to do it. I'll come and see it in a little while."

Detaining me at Ethics and assigning me a clay demo was a stalling maneuver to keep me at the AO until other arrangements could be made: a revolver, a club or a hypodermic needle, then chaining me in one of the rooms below the first basement. I bristled as terror seized me again. I might have to jump out a window onto Southbridge Street. It was a good three stories down and I would break my legs, even if the fall didn't kill me. At this late hour there were few people on the street to save me before the Sea Org reached the bottom of the stairs ... and they had my airplane ticket. I'd have to chance the clay demo. I knew the kind of demo he wanted. It would show me fighting the evil that was plaguing me, thetan versus the bank. Then, by the use of the Solutions to Preclear Problems from Ron's Case Book of Remedies, he would audit me out-of-session to the inescapable conclusion that I could resolve my inner conflict only at the AO. He might then try to tempt me with the offer of more review. I must stay alert to these traps; I must not make the kind of demo he was anticipating.

Ethics would be upstairs now with Master at Arms plotting the best way to get me under control without making too much noise. With a quick glance out the window to gauge the drop, I turned to the desk and rolled out a pitifully awkward demo. It was a series of human figures, the first on its belly, the second crawling, the third kneeling, and the fourth upright with arms outstretched towards the sun. There were no labels; I didn't know what call it.

Minutes ticked by. Surely the Sea Org was coming for me. I peeked out into the corridor. There was a short lineup outside the Ethics Office, and Ethics was back at his desk. I motioned to him that my demo was ready for inspection.

"But I don't understand this. What is it supposed to be?"

"There's a man lying down, crawling, kneeling -- "

"I know. But how does this demonstrate your case?"

I fumbled for an acceptable explanation. "It represents the human spirit struggling up from the darkness into the light."

I was getting impatient with Ethics now. The procedure was leading nowhere. And Ethics was still looking at me. In the depths of his eyes were vistas of a world of outer space slowly receding into a boundless, timeless heliotrope. Again I felt myself being slowly overcome by that unearthly zombieish stare.

"I've made up my mind," I said. "I'm leaving."

"I simply don't understand it," he said. "I don't even know what Condition you're in. If you blow the AOUK I'll have to place you in Doubt. Then anytime you wish to return all you'll have to do is work your way out of that Condition and the others, up through Non-Existence ... but I just don't understand. Are you in Doubt?"

"No, I'm not in any doubt," I replied, playing on his words.

His voice was chilly. "I wonder if perhaps you're not in a lower Condition than Doubt." I shivered. Enemy. The Fair Game Law.


"Well, I'll put you in Doubt, then. When you wish to come back you'll be welcome here. You know you're a very beautiful being."

We looked into each other's eyes for a long moment. "Michael, I said, calling him by his name from his former life, "will you still like me when I'm a wog?"

My question put him at a complete loss. It wouldn't do to answer yes, but neither did he wish to say no. The situation was preposterous; I had managed, with no premeditation, to embarrass him. This business with me was weighing him down. I could sense his brain bogging. At last, having no other way out, he nodded.

I gripped his shoulders. "Can I really come back whenever I want to?"

"The AO door will always be open to you, remember that."

"Maybe if I go home, rest up for a while, give a piano recital, I'll come back and work up from Doubt."

"That's be great, man. Come back soon. We'll be waiting for you." He began writing up an Ethics order placing me in Doubt.

"Would you do me one more favor ... Michael? Would you give me a copy of the Conditions of Ethics Bulletin to take home with me?"

"Sure, man, I was going to do that anyway. Now tack up this order on the Conditions Board, get your stuff out of the AO, don't hang around the place and don't speak to any Scientologists."

Cramming was ready to close Housing for the night. "I'm leaving, old pal, and my return flight is here."

"You're leaving?" She rummaged in a drawer for my ticket. I opened the sealed envelope, peered inside to make sure there was no slip-up.

"So long ... Hester."

"See you around, Bob."

I passed the weary Instructor in the corridor; he was finally getting to bed. "I'm leaving ... Neil. You've been great," I said, extending my hand.

He took it in his and gave me his pained little smile. "I'll see you again," he said.

As for Elisabette, Edward, Rad and Bill, they wouldn't know I'd gone until they saw my name on the Conditions Board. They might never know what had really happened. I would probably never see any of them again. I went down the long winding staircase to the street.

I still had to get out of Edinburgh. I'd been lucky. Michael had doubtless put himself in trouble by letting me go. It was one a.m. I needed sleep and headed for Argyle Street.

Frank was in the living room studying. "I'm in Doubt and I have to leave you fellows. Is it okay if I grab a few hours sleep before I go?" I asked, ready to spend the night in the railway station if need be.

"Sure. Get some sleep and leave in the morning."

Rather than linger in bed when I awoke at five, I packed immediately. I would take the E-meter and most of my books; perhaps I could sell these articles in New York.

Nash rolled over and opened his eyes. "What are you doing?"

"I'm packing. I'm in Doubt and I can't stay here. Do you want these blank auditor's report forms?"


"Then how about some unused preclear assessment sheets?"

"You're in Doubt. I can't talk to you."

As I was leaving the flat, Nash yelled, "Hey, wait! You owe us advance payment on next week's rent." That was one of their rules. I was also breaking another rule by leaving without having found a replacement boarder. I heard Nash waking up Heinz and consulting with him in the other bedroom. Frank mumbled sleepily, "It's all right, Bob. Take care."

I went out into the Edinburgh early morning.

I still had a few pounds on deposit at a local bank. I took a cab to the railway station, checked my bags and had breakfast. The bank opened at nine, and as I had plenty of time, I took a long way there via the bridge. I paused halfway across to look down at the steaming locomotives and say to myself, "There! If I'd really wanted to jump I would have done it just now."

At ten o'clock I boarded the fast train to London.

Contents - Next - Previous