Each morning I awoke at three or four and lay under the covers in a state of terror. A new symptom augmented the electric tremors: pain shooting through my head and converging to a point behind the right eye, like a jabbing icepick. My broodings on dramatizations became farfetched, in keeping with these symptoms: Stabbingness ... Voltageness. I tried to stop this madness with the command "That's it!", repeating this phrase innumerable times. Occasionally I would leave my bed to forage for cigarettes. I looked forward to seven o'clock, when Marilyn, the cook, could arrive to start breakfast. Marilyn was working to support her husband through Special Briefing Course. She was from Australia, and a warm and gracious person, the only one to whom I ventured to speak about the actions of the Sea Org crew, however avoiding outright criticism. I didn't mention "fighting the tiger" to Marilyn, although she must have gleaned from my early-morning visits to the kitchen that I wasn't sleeping properly.
At breakfast, Edward Douglas habitually downed vitamin E and a large pill called a "GUK bomb." Perhaps I had made a crucial mistake not to have done this from the first. I chose to tell Edward about my sleeplessness and ask his advice.
"It's the Trap," he said, peering steadily into my eyes. "The bank puts up a stiff fight to keep from being destroyed. You're getting real close now, mate. Oy sure as 'ell want to be around when yer go clear." He broke into a smile and clapped me on the shoulders. "They'll be able to 'ear you play your pianner all the way to New York!"
I began to lean on Edward. On seeing each other we would exchange significant looks, followed by smiles and pats on the back. I sensed that my struggle was very meaningful to him, that my success would be a win for him also. It was unfair, in a way, that I had the money I needed to take the Upper Levels while Edward was sweating it out, waiting for funds to arrive from Australia, where he had put his house up for sale. He was growing deaf, and there was still a chance, I thought, that when he could afford Level II or III (The Wall of Fire) his hearing would be restored.
I also sought comfort from Max Dinmont, the OT VI, who drove me to the Hill most mornings. I felt that I needed someone on an even higher Level than Edward to confide in, and told Max I had been having a rough time of it in the early morning hours. He smiled and said, "All right, you haven't been sleeping in the morning." The smile was unrestimulative. It seemed to say, "I am not allowed to tell you all I went through on my way to the top, but I understand your struggle and smile knowing the higher state of being you are so close to." His smile wiped away my misery for the moment, and we hugged each other and went out to his car.
That night after dinner I overheard an exchange between Max and Mike Glassman about Mike's girlfriend, Olga O'Brien. "Couldn't you wait sometimes when Olga's a couple of seconds late and give her a ride to the Hill," Mike boomed in a voice of powerful command.
"I leave every morning at exactly 8:40," replied Max in quieter but equally impressive tones. "If's she's downstairs, I'll be glad to give her a ride. If she's not, she'll have to find another way just like anyone else."
"I GOT THAT," acked Mike. Their statements were crisp, measured, and as incisive as speedballs, so that I could almost feel the impact of the energy and mass being hurled about the dining room. The air vibrated with the force of these OT VIs, who, though observing out-of-session auditing conventions -- TRs and acks -- plainly disliked each other.
Max told me afterwards that Mike was full of bluster and good for a laugh, a sucker for Olga's charms and now playing the role of her sugar-daddy. Max made it sound as if their quarrel were merely a game they enjoyed playing with each other on occasion.
Another incident that week increased my admiration for Max. He had to stop abruptly near the Saint Hill driveway to avoid hitting another car, and we received a sharp bump from the rear. A beefy, red-faced young man stuck his face up to Max's window and shouted, "Stopped a bit short, eh guv'nor?"
Max waited a moment, letting the exclamation ring in the air and die down, then said very levelly, "I don't think so."
This remark was so clearly etched and separated from everything around it that the young man, looking as dazed as a cow stunned by an electric concussor, turned and went back to his car.
Max was quite human, in a nice way, for all his OT qualities. He liked to tell me about his daughter in California, the good ARC he had with his car, and his experiments with fad diets and fasting. One morning I asked him to check my E-meter. When he picked up the cans, I was astonished to see his tone-arm climb to 4, an area of tension. He yawned, stretched, rotated his shoulders, gulped and opened and shut his mouth convulsively. These contortions failed to bring down the tone-arm needle.
After the practical drills I was on my own. I went to Certs to attest to checkout on the drills and began the final preparations for Solo Audit: making out sample auditor's reports and doing Solo Assists -- drills on cleaning my own dirty needles, present-time problems and ARC breaks. I had no trouble with the assists. To lower the tone-arm, I directed, "Get down, you motherfucker!" and the needle responded with a long fall to the right, immediately bringing the tone-arm from 4 to 2.5, a blowdown.
The summer influx was well underway at Saint Hill. Fyfield Manor was crowding up more than ever. Besides housing several on course, it was a stopover for recruits heading for the Sea Org boat, still reportedly moored off the Spanish coast. One night there were a dozen people in sleeping bags or on mattresses on the living room floor. Some of the regulars were miffed at the presence of these transients, and complained to Ralph Wilkins. Also to Ethics. Ethics sent someone over to report on the Ethics Condition of the manor. And the East Grinstead Board of Health paid a call, to ascertain its Health Condition.
Some news caused a stir at the Hill. An Advanced Org United Kingdom (AOUK) had just been established in Edinburgh, Scotland, operated exclusively by Sea Org personnel. Two of its white-clad officers canvassed the Hill one afternoon for advance payments on Clearing and the Upper Levels. Those students who were able unhesitatingly signed up for clearing and all eight OT Levels, though only six were currently available, at a total cost of about $4,000. I, too, signed up for the whole package, but without making payment, because I planned only to go clear -- and also OT I. Word had got around that OT I was "a must, to stabilize the state of clear."
MEST beings, incapable of regaining a theta state in the absence of Dianetics, dislike theta beings.L. RON HUBBARD
Many of the students on Solo were getting nervous as they approached the culmination of weeks of study and perhaps sleeplessness. The outer layers had been stripped from the core of the bank; the last stretch before the process was almost unendurable. Several people at the manor were sick. I couldn't tell if it was the same sickness I had; they called it "a touch of flu" or "an upset stomach." Concern over money was more pressing than ever, with the word out on OT III. Something terrifying lay ahead on The Wall of Fire, and there were people who had come to England only for clearing who now needed additional funds to brave OT III and break through their sickness.
I heard muttered speculation at the manor about the outbreak of illness. It was like a curse; somebody or something must be causing it. Ron's instructions had been altered by incompetent or malicious underlings, and the group was suffering for it. Or perhaps Ralph Wilkins' Out-Ethics in taking contaminating PTS-3s into the manor, especially Albert Ward, who was a malignant omen. Proximity to East Grinstead was another Trouble Source. Felicia and Gerald, back in New York, had told me of Scientologists confronting locals on the street with books and pamphlets. Many of the citizens thought the Scientologists mental, with their hectoring dissemination, carefully guarded briefcases and signs ("Please Don't Ask Me Questions ..."). At the franchise we had had a good laugh over the story about a town wag who had managed to get "Saint Hill" entered in the local telephone directory under "Zoo."
The Scientologists in turn were indifferent to the townspeople, or derisive, referring to them as "wogs" and labeling the whole town suppressive. To many Scientologists there was something defiled and diseased about these people. "Suppressive" suggested the stench of evil.
I brushed aside such notions. The evil influence was not emanating from the distant town or even from suspect people who had one lived among us. The Trouble Source was now within the walls of the manor itself. I looked to the others. Simple enough. As they drew near the core of the bank, they had gotten overwhelmed and had dropped on the Tone Scale, lowering their own resistance to illness. But I was on to this; I was fighting the tiger, sick as I felt.
But there was still another possibility. It might be Edward Douglas. A friend and admirer could drag one down far deeper than could the most malicious enemy. There was something ominous in our relationship. He wanted something from me and I didn't know what it was. I began watching him more closely. Now that I had allowed myself to think of it, I realized that his slowly spreading smile and meaningful staring into my eyes were contrived. He was grimly serious about Scientology, and this wasn't what Ron wanted at all -- pagan Ron, chuckling his way through the tapes. Edward must be concealing something. He was very clever about disguising his suppressive tendencies, his childlike bulbous face in reality a devil's mask...
At six o'clock the morning of my Solo Audit, I walked down the dirt driveway at Fyfield. This was better than lying in bed trying to ward off the terror springing at me from unknown forces. On either side of the drive were the massive trees, solid and peaceful, with pink and white blossoms shimmering in the early morning air. Cars and trucks passed by on the highway going to London. I watched them disappear over the hill, and for a moment I thought of leaving. I could pack my bags and be out there thumbing a ride in twenty minutes -- no one would stop me. Instead, I turned and walked slowly back to the manor.
I stayed on after breakfast to be alone with my meter.
When almost everyone had gone I went upstairs to my room, closed the door after me, and set up the necessary articles just as I had gone over in my mind so may times: report forms and worksheets on one side of the desk near the meter; an assessment sheet, in the event of a dirty needle, on the other side; an English dictionary and a thesaurus of synonyms on the bed within easy reach. I set up and turned on the meter, filled in the heading of the report form, tested the single tin can used in Solo, centered the needle, and took the first tone-arm reading. Now for the process.
"What am I dramatizing?" I asked myself. "Fear" was the immediate rejoinder. I spoke the word several times, got a flicker on the dial, and registered Fear on a card.
What was its opposite, Unfear? The item didn't read. I reached for the book of synonyms, looked under "confidence," and called out several of the entries. Nothing read. I uttered "Unfear" again and this time got a small read. I registered the word on another card and clipped it to the first.
For my next end-word I tried Anxiety and got a read. Again I had trouble finding the opposite. The needle was dirtying-up -- which called for an assessment. I went down a sheet of questions such as "Have you gone past a correct end-word?" Doing an assessment on myself was nerve-wracking. I had covered too much material in a short time and couldn't remember the data on reads. Pressure started building in my forehead.
I managed to get one more pair, Unhappiness and Peace, scarcely antonyms but both read. Tension read. "Relaxation," I exclaimed, and, failing to get a read, wrote up the Summary Report, packed up my things and hitched a ride to the Hill.
The Instructor looked over my reports and snorted, "Damn it, man, you've got several EWs (end-words) right there! Go back and complete your pairs."
When I resumed auditing myself, Unanxiety read. That gave me another pair, and I needed only a mate for Tension. I found myself somehow associating the word with "closing."
"Opening," I cried, and the needle swiftly hove to the right, practically falling off the dial. When I nudged the tone-arm to center the needle, it went into a series of surging motions in which I thought I spied a floating needle.
It was late in the afternoon when I got back to the Instructor's desk. I told him I was worried about Opening, since that word can be a verb form as well as a noun. Perhaps it wasn't a proper end-word; I wished I had tried "Openness."
He exclaimed, "What do you want, man? The word read? Then it's an EW! Go attest and get started on out-going lines."
My head was still pounding, but leaving Saint Hill would doubtless put an end to that symptom, as well as to the sleepless mornings.
Reception handed me a form setting out the order of progress from office to office. This orange-colored sheet would be traveling with me to Scotland on a comm-line between the out-flow of the Hill and the in-flow of the AOUK, the new Advanced Org United Kingdom.
After attesting and receiving a certificate, I went to Success to record my gains. My true gain was knowing that I would soon be leaving Saint Hill, but rather than putting things that way I stated, "Complete satisfaction with the Solo Course." Success asked me to send him more details when I got to the AOUK, and directed me out to the garbage dump to burn all the notes I'd taken while on course.
That evening when I went to the manor's kitchen commissary for a cup of tea, there was Edward, looking like anything but a suppressive. When I told him of my Solo Release he gave me a bear-hug and danced me around the kitchen table. I had the impression that my release meant much more to him than it did to me.