During an auditing session, a preclear is under the control of the auditor whose objective is to be in command of the situation and keep the preclear's mind rigidly on the subject matter which is being probed by his repetitive questions and commands. In Chapter 18, reference has been made to the hypnotic aspects of auditing.
Preclears react in various ways to auditing. Though the effect of processing is to develop in the preclear a degree of dependency upon scientology and the auditor, that dependency is on occasions allied to fear and hate of the auditor because of the strain which the repetitive questioning on matters of a harrowing nature imposes on the preclear. Sometimes during processing there are periods of ecstasy and exhilaration but these quickly wear off. Sometimes the preclear exteriorizes; frequently the preclear has hallucinations of the most fanciful kind which may persist as realities after the session has concluded.
Scientology auditing is of a confessional nature. The preclear is encouraged to reveal his innermost secrets and thoughts and to describe in detail all features of anything in his past life - not necessarily a previous life - which is troubling or has troubled him. Such a procedure involves the dredging up from the almost forgotten and ill remembered past of shameful thoughts and experiences. The questions are designed to ensure that no phase or feature of any guilty circumstance in the past is left unexplored: processes such as the "overt withhold" scour the preclear's mind with questions like, "Are you withholding anything?" Each aspect is savoured, appraised and dwelt upon.
There is inculcated in the mind of the preclear a belief in the infallibility of the E-meter with the result that, should there be a "read" on the meter, it is assumed that all has not been told, and the preclear is required to probe and dredge his recollection to find some explanation for the "read". Such a course often results in the preclear developing feelings of guilt in respect of matters which are quite innocent.
The evidence and the processing files reveal that, during this time, the preclear is very frequently experiencing mental torture, which shows itself in contorted and flushed features, tears, moaning, inability to speak, apparent deafness, nausea, dizziness, sensations of pain, coma and unconsciousness. One witness said that he almost killed his auditor, a close personal friend, who was questioning him about withholds he had as to "sexy thoughts" concerning a female staff member; the witness said he aimed a judo blow at the auditor and checked himself just in time to avoid inflicting injury. This evidence was corroborated by the contents of his processing file. Sometimes preclears are so distraught that they scream, develop murderous feelings, have bouts of anger, grief and morbid feelings and thoughts; their sexual passions are aroused, they act insanely, laugh hysterically and engage in other hysterical behaviour; they become violent and try to escape and have to be restrained. Such behaviour is not unexpected by the scientologists; see Chapter 13, dealing with the S.C.S. process.
In scientology parlance, when such manifestations as these occur, the preclear is being "restimulated"; in fact, he is being debased and mentally crippled. The scientologists have their own names for these phenomena: for instance, coma and unconsciousness are variously described as "anaten" or "analytical attenuation", "dope-off" and "boil-off", the last-mentioned being described in Scientology: 8-80 thus:
"It is not uncommon for the preclear to go into periods which resemble sleep but boil-offs are not sleep. They can last for hours .... The sudden wave of unconsciousness occurs because the preclear has run an outflow or inflow of energy beyond the limit of elasticity of the flow".In fact, the intensity of emotion produced by the auditing has resulted in a condition of mental exhaustion.
Scientology auditing mobilizes guilt and can produce dangerous mental attitudes in persons who are suffering from anxiety. A distorted desire to debase and torture themselves develops in some preclears and they assume attitudes of guilt over conduct which is often innocent and often imagined. They are sometimes euphoric and excoriate their minds. They develop a morbid desire to dwell upon their guilty past, like the witness of sheltered upbringing who was seduced and thereafter found solace in scientology by being repeatedly processed on aspects of her shame; and like the witness, a young man, whose acts of masturbation subsequently weighed on his conscience, who was repeatedly processed at about six monthly intervals about the habit long since
discontinued and far better forgotten. The files of the HASI contain very many cases where a guilt complex in respect of the past actions of preclears has not been allowed to lapse but has been kept alive and the incidents relived in courses of auditing which are sometimes spread over many months and even years.
At the end of a session or a course of auditing the preclear may feel depressed, fatigued or ill; or he may feel elated with a completely unfounded belief that he is possessed of increased abilities of a very high order and that he is capable of doing almost anything if he really wants to - of course, he does not want to, but he is buoyed up by the belief that he has only to decide to do such things and he would be able to do them, for, so he thinks, he has been made more able.
Should the preclear appear to be depressed or not have gains or the processing not produce the desired result, the verdict of the director of processing would be that more auditing was required to improve the tone of the preclear. On the other hand, if the processing appeared to have been successful, the verdict would be that the preclear was in good shape which was a good sign, indicating that he ought to have more processing to put him in better shape.
Some preclears have said that they have been "clear" for a time after auditing. However, the feeling of being clear wears off, as do other feelings of benefit and exhilaration. On the other hand, Hubbard admits in HCO Pol. Lr. of the 10th October (year not given but probably 1960), that there have been several instances of persons taking processing who had "nervous breakdown" and were sent to an asylum for "observation".
Long Term Effects.
Beyond the elementary stages of scientology, almost invariably processing and training go hand in hand, and their combined effect usually conditions preclears to believe that scientology possesses almost magical powers. The bizarre idea develops that only in scientology is the truth to be found, that the rest of the world is a place of insanity and that the HASI is a little island of sanity; that outside scientology is a dangerous environment, that in scientology it is always safe. Scientology practitioners become imbued with the idea that they are creating a new race of men, the homo novus, which is to take the place of the homo sapiens, for whom they have great contempt. The phrase "homo sapiens" is sometimes abridged to "homo sap", with emphasis on the "sap".
Preclears are flattered by being informed by the HASI that they have been chosen - the implication is by Hubbard - to be amongst the ten thousand to be cleared, and they respond to the summons to attend for more processing by being told such things as "Ron wants a clear in your area". The service of scientology becomes an end in itself; some business men who have espoused scientology have endeavoured to introduce its practice to their staff and to require that their executives and others undertake processing; scientologists endeavour to procure members of their families to take up scientology, and family opposition is interpreted as an indication that the objector has some guilty secret which he is afraid scientology will find out, and so unhappiness and mistrust are engendered. Any degree of mental imbalance is accentuated, and even the scientologists themselves recognize a condition in which a preclear, after auditing, may exhibit exaggerated symptoms of cognition, as where he claims a too ready understanding of scientology principles in order to be thought more acceptable. A person so conditioned is said to be "theety-tweety". Preclears become even more suggestible, their critical faculties are suspended and they readily accept - or at least do not reject - nonsensical ideas because they emanate from Hubbard.
Many scientologists impoverish themselves by their exclusive preoccupation with scientology either on the staff of the HASI at submarginal remuneration or by spending large sums of money, far beyond what they can reasonably afford, on deleterious processing.
This first part of Chapter 30 deals in detail with the likelihood of professional scientologists and other persons who have undergone sustained scientology processing and training being permanently affected.
To the outsider there are aspects of scientology which may be highly amusing and diverting. The outsider laughs at the thought of people believing in past lives and in the fantastic experiences of trillions of years ago. However, the Board has heard evidence which satisfies it that almost every case is one of unrelieved tragedy, for these aspects demonstrate that the preclear has been "brainwashed" and conditioned to the extent of accepting such experiences as true.
A few of the very many cases which illustrate this may be briefly mentioned. A constable of police with many years' service and good prospects of promotion became a scientologist and was given the role of liaison officer with the Victoria Police Force; certain of his suggestions that scientology methods be adopted by the Force were rejected, and he resigned from the Force. With his wife and family he is now living in a country town, on the verge of destitution, doggedly seeking to preach and practise scientology. One woman who successfully conducted her own school introduced scientology into the curriculum; the evidence makes it clear that the parents objected to the techniques which she was applying to the children and the school was forced to close. Another woman, a de facto wife, who had had a somewhat colorful earlier life, sought solace in scientology processing but without success, and in the course of her endeavour spent £800 on scientology and is further in debt to the HASI to the extent of £250; she had a nervous breakdown. There was the young married couple, the husband believing he was so high on the tone scale that he did not need sexual relations with his wife whom he considered too low on the tone scale for such relations, anyway. There were several cases of families where one spouse was a scientologist and money needed for household purposes was being squandered on scientology to the detriment of the household. One of the few professional people who gave evidence on behalf of scientology was a woman medical practitioner, who, in 1957 declared that she intended to be clear the following week, but six years later and £2,000 lighter, in 1964, she was being processed for three half days a week, her goal still being to be clear. A University student, who after two visits to the HASI was not further interested in scientology, was pestered by letters warning him that the problem which the HASI imagined him to have was an acute one and that he needed scientology processing. A young woman, highly placed in scientology, believes that her future is a bleak one because, due to her devotion to her 4-year-old son whom she will not leave, she is denied what she believes to be the sublime bliss of going to Saint Hill. A man who has had 700 hours of auditing for which he paid £3,000, his goal being to be clear, is still not clear. A young man aged about 23 years, a dedicated scientologist who claimed some improvement to his eyes through scientology, who was earning between £6 and &;163;7 per week, was paying £5 per week back and hoped that he would be able to go to Saint Hill. There were several cases of persons who had sacrificed prospects of good careers to become auditors or members of the staff of the HASI. These included a number of school teachers, a surveyor and people with various technical qualifications. Several preclears abandoned their studies to concentrate on scientology. A former University student, while doing his course, became a scientologist; he spent a few years in scientology to the detriment of his course, which, however, he ultimately resumed when he cast off scientology and he obtained his degree. Scientologists seek to claim credit for his having obtained the degree, but he now considers that scientology was for him an unqualified disaster. It is not improbable that scientology contributed to his matrimonial trouble. A witness before the Board, a young country girl who was lured to Melbourne by the promises of scientology, was endeavouring to break with scientology but was constrained to stay for reasons, amongst others, that she feared that those who opposed scientology would die. A young man in auditing had a hallucination of having killed a woman and buried the body and he was greatly worried and puzzled subsequently because he had not been questioned and the police were not making any enquiries. This young man was quite certain that he had been Mark Antony in a previous life. He remembered Cleopatra, but not the battles of Phillippi or Actium because, as he said, he had not read much history and had had an "occlusion" on some parts of his past lives. He had also been, so he claimed, Chopin, and though born in the 1930's, he claimed to have met a man in this lifetime whom he had known in Paris in 1924. The lifetime which he was then experiencing came to a sudden and dramatic end in 1936, when he was executed in Germany by a firing squad. He was born into this lifetime in the following year.
One scientology witness said that she had met a man in this lifetime whom she recognized as Simon Legree, whom she had met in a previous lifetime when she had been John Brown. She said, however, that she had not met Uncle Tom, as he was merely a fictional character.
One man had been a pirate chief whose crew had mutinied and killed him in 1813. Another man recalled being on a ship which was involved in a collision in the North Sea in February, 1917. He was on the bridge at the time, dressed in tropical rig. He went down with the ship and was lost. He was born into this lifetime the following year. In a previous lifetime another young man had been a space jockey engaged upon a journey in a space craft. He had a doll body at the time, "a body very similar to the humanoid body .... but not made of flesh, sort of mechanical". He was on a journey of 6,000 light years from Euripodes to Helatrobus, both of these being planets, but in what constellation it did not appear. On this journey he went elsewhere and got lost. He reported to a space controller who happened to be the space controller of the planet Helatrobus and he was sent to an implant station of Helatrobus which was Heaven, where he was stuck on a pole for five days and then entered a round vestibule and climbed up marble stairs and was implanted, apparently by electronic charges emitted by little boxes at ankle height. At one stage, about 75 trillion trillion years ago, this preclear's thetan had a goal to be sexual. The explanation for such a goal was that at that time his thetan had as its body a doll body which was sexless because it had not been reproduced as human bodies are, but had been manufactured by a machine. This same preclear had had experiences 48 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years previously and had experienced bear implants and black thetan implants in a glade.
A married woman, with two children to support with only occasional help from her husband, for several years was herself working five days a week and was then occupied by scientology study, auditing and doing training drills all day Saturday and frequently Sundays. This woman over the years had goals which included "to find courage to ask for money for [name deleted]'s auditing, to be clear, to have a slim body, to increase havingness, to get a better reality on figures", "to get mum and dad into scientology", "have a clear outlook", "have gains in session", "win confidence", "lose mass". One auditor's note stated that the preclear complained of mass in her head, and was concerned about "decayed thetans". This woman spent some hundreds of pounds on auditing, on occasions borrowing from her parents.
They were people with "problems", anxieties about particular matters, uncertain, introspective, seeking some solace or escape, groping for something certain on which to rely. They were unable to cope with their problems as the normal person bears and copes with his problems. They were looking for something which would protect them from the realities of life. Some had tried a succession of religions. In scientology they now found the answer to everything, for they could avoid reality for the time being, as scientology allowed them to believe with conviction anything they wished. Others who had sought to lose themselves in study found in scientology a respite from formal study which offered a short cut to learning and was fascinatingly diverting and seemed to be so far in advance of conventional learning and so easy to cognite upon. Some were people with specific mental illnesses. One was a manic depressive who for years refused to have psychiatric treatment and took drugs instead; he found that he could, at the cost of many hundreds of pounds and economic embarrassment, for short periods be processed out of his depressed state. He considered that scientology solved his problems at work for when he had a problem which seemed insoluble he had on occasions looked through the window at a bright light like an illuminated sheaf of wheat which then exploded and he found the problem solved.
There were some instances where benefit seems to have been obtained but these were generally cases in which such benefit had been obtained at the personal efficiency level, where the procedures were mainly of a conventional psychological nature and efforts were made to give to the HASI the atmosphere of a club or association for mutual and friendly uplift and co-operation.
The purpose of scientology processing is to keep the preclear permanently enthralled. The brainwashed, hypnotized preclear does not advert to Hubbard's broken promises of infallible processes. Hubbard attributes to his auditors failure to process preclears to clear; but auditing makes a preclear feel that the deficiency is in him, and his bewildered mind is a shuttlecock between the despair which follows one course of auditing and the ephemeral elation which follows the next.
The circumstance that those who fall victim to scientology's lure are often the mentally disturbed or weak or greedy or curious is no occasion for complacency. That such victims act voluntarily when they embark upon scientology is no reason for polite non-interference in other people's affairs. Indeed, the fact that so often the weak and mentally disturbed are so vulnerable affords adequate reason for taking steps to guard them and others from the dangers inherent in scientology processes.
Last updated 21 February 1997
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