[ Chapter Six | Table of Contents | Chapter Eight ]

The Mind Benders, Scientology

by Cyril Vosper

7. Training

L. Ron Hubbard has been described somewhere as the world's most famous psycho-analyst.

By his followers he is known to be the greatest man, or superman, ever to have lived.

One thing is certain - he is the greatest Scientology auditor.

He was merrily auditing away long before the publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and produced dozens of Clears. It took him sixteen years to so refine and analyse what he had been doing originally in order to get others to audit with the same skill. Many of the Masters, the Great Teachers, have been able to do all manner of wondrous things but have been unable to transmit their abilities to their disciples. This was Hubbard's task - to find out, in terms comprehensible to others, precisely what he did in order to train these others to carry on his work. His discoveries were borne from the same crucible as the Atomic Bomb, apparently, and if this planet and its civilisation were to continue, then it would need thousands of people able to duplicate what Hubbard did intuitively.

Training in Scientology is a process of taking a frail human and turning him into a carbon-copy of Hubbard. It is not an attempt to instil clairvoyance or inspiration, more, it is a matter of duplicating the effects of these to produce the same end result. Personal quirks and interpretations are anathema to effective auditing. This is not an experimental pursuit in which the auditor is bravely plumbing the depths of his preclear's mental and spiritual being. Auditing is like flying a jet, you do it precisely or you are in trouble!

This analogy can be taken further. Gentle and reasonable auditing may appear, yet it is stripping the self-protective covers off the innermost thoughts, the deep-down aggressions and frustrations, and these can have the power to self-destruction, comparable in analogy to four jet engines with after-burners going. In the hands of an adequately trained auditor, the operation has little danger and this is the point - the auditor must be adequately trained.

All the research has been done by Ron. An auditor just has to learn how to do it, and to some degree why, and then take his preclear through the steps by rote. Auditing is not dependent on intuitive brilliance or artistry, though these can add a certain panache to the proceedings. It is more akin to engineering in its precision. The precision of engineering is applied to objects and energies. In Scientology, the precision is applied to thoughts, considerations, feelings, loves and hatreds, yet for all that these are areas in which precision would seem least able to be applied, still Scientology auditing is precise. As an auditor, one speaks, at least outside of auditing sessions, of mental and spiritual phenomena as a bridge builder might speak of his girders and rivets. It is an extraordinary experience to be an auditor.

Educational qualifications are not needed for a student. He has to be able to read and write but any expertise in other comparable fields does not equip him to be able to grasp the concepts of Scientology any better. Indeed knowledge of other fields is a hindrance.

The training methods are claimed to revolutionise the whole of education. Nearly everything that Hubbard says revolutionises something or other and education comes in for its treatment in a series of eight ninety-minute tape-recorded lectures known as "The Study Tapes". In these, Hubbard defines his discoveries on the subject of learning.

The most revolutionary of these discoveries is: a student will lose interest in and be unable to understand any further part of that which he is studying if he goes past a word he does not understand. The Misunderstood Word is regarded as the major reason for educational failure. A child who misunderstands one word of mathematics is destined to turn in poor examination results and to hate the subject evermore. Thus the legend at the front of all Scientology books:

The only reason a person gives up a study or becomes confused or unable to learn is because he or she has gone past a word or symbol that was not understood. Therefore in studying Scientology be very, very certain you never go past a word you do not fully understand. If the material becomes confusing or you can't seem to grasp it, there will be a word just earlier that you have not understood. Don't go any further, but go back to BEFORE you got into trouble, find the misunderstood word and get it defined.

Thus also the insistence upon ultra-simplicity to the point of absurdity in the descriptions of Scientology.

A second revolutionary discovery described in "The Study Tapes" is called "Clay Table". Thoughts, concepts, memories, these have little mass. Much of the reason why a Thetan considers himself unable to directly control the physical universe is that he deals always with insubstantialities. He thinks, he feels emotion, he permits memories and mental machinery to control his every action. His ability to heave physical universe masses about and directly control and create effects upon real things is not used. He has substituted his mind and body and, more recently, his civilisation, his technology for the pure and natural Thetan abilities to directly influence the environment.

In order to get the Thetan both in contact with physicality and also able to see his mind and mental mechanisms as separate objects from himself, he is given a large lump of Plasticine and told to construct some part of his mental mechanism from it. He can also get a direct reality upon that which he is studying by making it in Plasticine.

There is a saying: "If you have a problem, write it down." Scientology's version is: "If you have a problem, represent it in clay." In other words, get it from your mind into real handleable clay. It raises the ability to confront by transferring mere thoughts of tenuous and slippery character to real objects.

So long as the student feels that the lump of clay he has moulded into a representation of an Engram or a human body or an E-meter, or whatever, is a representation, then that suffices: It must be his concept of how these terminals look; his idea of a symbolic representation in clay. For instance, he may be asked: "Represent in clay, the Communication Formula." A simple Clay Table representation would be a lump to stand for the auditor and another for the preclear. Three lines of clay run between the lumps to show the question, answer and acknowledgement communication lines. Labels are stuck into the clay to indicate what they are. The important thing is that the student understands what he has represented and can demonstrate to the instructor how these pieces of Plasticine demonstrate the Communication Formula. However, it could be a good deal more sophisticated. The student might need to show a couple of little human figures sitting at a table with an E-meter in order to thoroughly represent the Communication Formula. Some truly masterly and exotic Clay Table models have been moulded.

Based on a similar theory to that behind Clay Table is Hubbard's admiration for engineers, those who work with their hands, craftsmen and all non-intellectuals. These people are in direct contact with "your actual universe" rather than insubstantial thoughts, opinions and concepts. The "figure-figure" case, someone who sits there for hour after hour in auditing and tries to figure all his own problems out and cannot just do the commands of the auditing, is regarded by Hubbard with a deep and withering contempt. Hubbard likes the man of action, the effective doer.

When the student enrols on a Scientology course, and after he has signed the contract and paid his course fees, he goes to the instructor who gives him a Check Sheet.

This is a list of L. Ron Hubbard's tape-recorded lectures, technical bulletins (written theory, description and instruction about training and auditing), T-R's (training routines) to be practised and those of Hubbard's books which relate to the course. The student uses the Check Sheet to take himself through the materials of the course. When satisfied he knows the tapes, bulletins and books, he initials those items on the list that have a regular rating. He gets another student to examine him on star-rated items and to coach him on the T-R's. In this way he monitors his own progress. He has completed the course when his Check Sheet is filled with signatures. If he needs help on any part of his studies, he can refer to the instructor who will usually make him re-read or listen again to the source of the difficulty. If any confusion has arisen, he has gone past a Misunderstood Word. He should go back to find this, get it thoroughly defined for himself and will then have no further difficulty. Hubbard has covered all points of any relevance and the only way for the student to get the real information is to refer back to source-point - Hubbard. An instructor making something "more understandable" will only manage to lessen the purity of Hubbard's word.

The T-R's are one of the unique features of all training in Scientology.



"NUMBER: T-R 0. Revised 1961 and 1963

"NAME: Confronting Preclear.


"POSITION: Student and coach sit facing each other a comfortable distance apart - about three feet. Student has an E-meter.

"PURPOSE: to train student to confront a preclear with auditing only or with nothing. The whole idea is to get the student able to hold a position three feet in front of a preclear, to BE there and not do anything else but BE there.

"TRAINING STRESS: Have student and coach sit facing each other, neither making any conversation or effort to be interesting. Have them sit and look at each other and say and do nothing for some hours. Student must not speak, fidget, giggle or be embarrassed or anaten. [Scientologese for Analytical-Attenuation.] It will be found the student tends to confront WITH a body part rather than just confront, to use a system of confronting rather than just BE there. The drill is misnamed if confront means to DO something to the pc. The whole action is to accustom an auditor to BEING THERE three feet in front of a preclear without apologising or moving or being startled or embarrassed or defending self. After a student has become able to just sit there for two hours, 'bull-baiting' can begin. Anything added to being there is queried by a coach with a 'What happened?' Twitches, blinks, sighs, fidgets, anything except just being there is promptly queried with the reason why, if necessary."

By way of explanation; the coach is instructed to "bullbait" as follows: "The coach may say anything or do anything except leave the chair. The student's buttons can be found and tromped [sic] on hard. Any words not coaching words may receive no response from the student. Instructors should have coaches let students have some wins (coach does not mention these) and then, by gradient stress, get the coaches to start in on the student to invite flunks. This is 'bull-baiting.' The student is queried each time he or she reacts, no matter how minutely, to being baited. The whole of T-R 0 should be taught rough-rough-rough and not left until the student can do it. Training is considered satisfactory at this level only if the student can BE three feet in front of a person without flinching, concentrating or confronting with, regardless of what the confronted person says or does."

Extraordinary these instructions may sound, yet T-R 0 is one of the set of T-R's which have been around for years and is regarded as absolutely essential if one is to be able to handle a preclear with the correct degree of attention combined with self-disciplined separateness that is the essence of the auditor's attitude.

"HISTORY: Developed by L. Ron Hubbard in Washington in March 1957 to train students to confront preclears in the absence of social tricks or conversation and to overcome obsessive compulsions to be 'interesting'. Revised 1963 by Reg Sharpe."

Needless to say, this T-R more than any other is applicable to life at large and is not confined to the auditing room. Meet a Scientologist in everyday life and you will invariably find that he looks at you in a most disconcerting way. His level gaze and expressionless face will give a creepy feeling he is looking right into your innermost soul. He isn't but he looks as though he is. If he keeps saying "Thank you", "Good", "Fine", "Okay" and "Alright", often with no particular relevance to the train of conversation, he is giving you acknowledgements and you should feel grateful.

"NUMBER: T-R 1. Revised 1961 and 1963.

"NAME: Dear Alice.

"PURPOSE: To train the student to deliver a command newly and in a new unit of time to a preclear without flinching or trying to overwhelm or using a via.

"COMMANDS: A phrase (with the 'he saids' omitted) is picked out of the book Alice in Wonderland and read to the coach.

"POSITION: Student and coach are seated facing each other a comfortable distance apart. Student has an E-meter.

"TRAINING STRESS: The command goes from the book to the student and, as his own, to the coach. It must not go from book to coach. It must sound natural, not artificial. Diction and elocution has no part in it. Loudness may have.

"This drill is passed only when the student can put across a command naturally, without strain or artificiality or elocutionary bobs and gestures, and when the student can do it easily and relaxedly.

"HISTORY: Developed by L. Ron Hubbard in London, April 1956, to teach the communication formula to new students. Revised by L. Ron Hubbard, 1961, to increase auditing ability. Revised 1963 by Reg Sharpe with the advices of L. Ron Hubbard."

T-R 2 is to train the student to deliver an acknowledgement.

"PURPOSE: To teach the student that an acknowledgement is a method of controlling preclear communication and that an acknowledgement is a full stop. Also that an acknowledgement lets a pc know that he has answered an auditing command.

"TRAINING STRESS: To teach students to acknowledge exactly what was said so preclear knows it was heard. To ask the student from time to time what was said. To curb over- and under-acknowledgement. To teach him that an acknowledgement is a stop, not the beginning of a new cycle of communication or an encouragement to the preclear to go on. To teach further that one can fail to get an acknowledgement across or can fail to stop a pc with an acknowledgement or can take a pc's head off with an acknowledgement."

In auditing, every answer to an auditor's question must be acknowledged in such a way as to give a recognisable end to the cycle of communication. This keeps the preclear in session, that is, in present time with regards the consecutive events of the session. Unless an auditor does acknowledge his preclear, he will cause his preclear to hang up on various questions throughout the session. His attention will not be right with the auditor but will be spread throughout the time lapse of the session. For instance, taking a process which is usually run on any preclear early in his career in Scientology:

"What would you be willing to talk to me about?" asks the auditor.

The preclear spends a few moments to find what he would be willing to talk about, then says:

"I'd be willing to talk about my sex life with my wife."

To the preclear this may be a very large step. He may not have discussed this subject with anyone else. He may feel, even though he says he would be willing, many reservations as to just how much of his sex life he would be willing to discuss with a comparative stranger. If the auditor is not sufficiently aware of these doubts, he could acknowledge with a "Thank you" which neither reassures the preclear that it is quite safe to unburden his problems to the auditor, nor is the acknowledgement sufficient to allow the preclear to leave this subject and move on to the next question. The auditor is not saying: "Now, tell me everything about your sex life with your wife." As and when the preclear finds it safe enough and his ability to confront is sufficiently developed that he can face up to perhaps unsavoury or emotionally weighted subjects, then will come the time to actually discuss his sex life problems. The auditor is asking: "What would you be willing to talk to me about?" and is not asking that these things necessarily be talked about. Thus the ability to acknowledge is of paramount import in auditing. Unless the auditor can, with his acknowledgement, complete the cycles of communication that comprise the auditing session, he will have a preclear whose attention is locked on earlier events. This is not at all the purpose of auditing, to fixate the preclear's attention on parts of an auditing session. Very much the opposite. The purpose is to unhook attention from all earlier moments and bring them all into availability in present time. Most people, whether fully conscious of it or not, are working flat out to prevent their past catching up with them. They are desperately trying to forget.

T-R 3, Duplicative Question, is concerned with the ability to transmit to the preclear in a fresh unit of time the auditing question or command. On the theory that one is talking to the Thetan who has relinquished control of his mind in an endeavour to make him capable enough to regain control of it, the auditor asks a broadly based question over and over again in order to get the preclear to thoroughly examine the whole concept. "What part of that problem about ... can you confront?" asks the auditor, filling in with a problem which has been located with the use of the E-meter. This question, repeated sufficiently, will bring the preclear to so thoroughly inspect every aspect of his problem as to be able to set it aside. Interestingly, prior to the discovery of the release-point where the E-meter needle floats without reaction, any type of problem-handling in auditing was not regarded as complete or "flat" if the preclear wanted to Do something about it. The completion of the process was when he was totally unconcerned.

The training drill in T-R 3 is simply a matter of the student asking: "Do fish swim?" or "Do birds fly?", (non-significant subjects), of the coach. He must be able to ask these fresh and naturally each time but without resort to differing voice inflection or any attempts to be interesting. He must bold the preclear's attention in present time, right there in the auditing session, by himself being in the present each time he delivers an auditing command.

So the T-R's go on. Hubbard has reduced each action of significance in auditing to a recognisable simplicity. This is coached individually until each of the actions is understood by the student, at which time the student can bring them all together to produce a competent auditing mien. The complexities of the action of auditing are such as to make the attempt to train a student in auditing as a whole very arduous. It is swifter and more precise to reduce auditing to its components, train the student on those and when competent on the parts, he will easily handle the whole. Hubbard has analysed his own spontaneous conduct when auditing to produce these T-R's.

The T-R system of training is applied to the use of the E-meter, controlling a human body so that the student does not feel inhibited as could happen in the CCH processes mentioned in the last chapter, and how to get an intention across.

In this last, the student says: "Stand UP" to an ashtray. If the ashtray does not have the sense to stand up when given such an imperative command, the auditor enforces the command by lifting the poor thing into the air, whereupon be says: "Thank you" to it. In the same Tone 40 you're-just-going-to-have-to-do-this-whether-you-like-it-or-not way, he says, sometimes shouts, sometimes whispers: "Sit DOWN." Ashtrays, being well-known for cussedness, usually have to be assisted to sit down and so the student puts it back in the auditing chair. "Thank you", he says. Hilarious though this process of training an auditor may be, it is very good for breaking down any student's inhibitions about anything. After auditing an ashtray for some hours like this, ANYTHING is possible and quite probable.

The T-R's are incorporated in all training leading to professional Scientologist qualifications - the Professional Route to Clear - and to a lesser degree in the non-professional route - the Preclear Route to Clear.

As will have been seen, there is no call for creative contribution in any part of the training of a Scientologist. Hubbard's contempt for even the most knowledgeable Scientologist has led him to describe imagination as one of the most mentally harmful actions. Within his reasoning, Hubbard sees imagination and creativity as the use of mental image pictures in combination, to produce a new idea. It is not a truly creative act to think up a steam engine, a computer or an atomic power station, but is more the novel combination of existing techniques to develop a further technique. Hubbard reasons that a Thetan, uncluttered with minds and mental mechanisms, will be a truly creative and imaginative individual. Prior to this blissful state, the individual who thinks he would like to be imaginative is playing with fire for the only way for him to be imaginative is to use his mind. Each time he thinks, he pulls mental image pictures into view. Each time he views a mental image picture, he makes it more real and solid. Each time he makes a mental image picture more solid, he adds mass to the entirety of his Reactive Bank. Beyond the purpose of inhibiting the creative impulses of Scientologists, obviously imperative to preserve the myth of Hubbard's tangibility, this theory explains the apparent psychosis of such creative minds as Michelangelo Buonarroti, Vincent van Gogh and Richard Wagner. "If only such as these had been able to get auditing", says Hubbard sadly.

Scientology training is purely a matter of turning out the students with the same level of skill. There is no such thing as a scale of qualities in students. All can learn the material if they apply themselves. All, after all, are Thetans. Apparent failures are not really failures in the absolute sense - they are simply those who have allowed their reactive mentalities to impede their progress. Any objection or disagreement is regarded in the same way. If a student is having difficulties and cannot resolve them for himself, he is ordered to have a Review of his case.

Since training and auditing are combined in the progress of the individual towards Clear, a student on any Scientology course is partially regarded as a case. That is, someone undergoing therapy. Hubbard has said: "An auditor does not have a case" - he is not supposed or permitted to react in an auditing session but must be impartial if the preclear is ever to find his own way through. In the same way, a student who is preparing to be an auditor is not allowed to give up, feel depressed, have doubts or in any way demonstrate less than godlike persistence. If he is foolish enough to do so, he must be Keyed-In, under the influence of his wretched Reactive Mind.

To resolve these difficulties, the student goes for a special type of auditing known as a Review, wherein his auditing progress is looked at with the view to destimulating the reactive influences. If, in the Review auditing session, applied usually by a very highly trained auditor, it is found he is in contact with and under the disruptive influence of a Suppressive Person - anyone overtly or covertly antagonistic to Scientology - or a Suppressive Group - any group of people whose aims are diametrically opposed to those of Scientology, such as the Communist Party or the British Government or even, as in one case, a bewildered delicatessen shop in East Grinstead - he is ordered to have an S & D (Search and Discovery) Session and is declared a P.T.S. (Potential Trouble Source). As a P.T.S., the student can also have an adverse effect upon other students - there is nothing more catching than aberration - and so he is ordered off course. If he happens to object to any of this high-handed treatment or, even worse, tries to be reasonable about it, he is likely to be regarded as near enough to being a Suppressive Person himself as makes no difference and thus he will be labelled. Since Hubbard has made the Road to Total Freedom available to anyone who is prepared to put up with this sort of treatment, it is not unreasonable for him to expect them to comply. If Hubbard's aim to make Scientology universally accepted comes off, those students at L.S.E., Yale and University of California, who make a habit of letting their Reactive Minds run loose by barricading themselves in administrative blocks and one thing and another, had better watch out. They will all be ordered for S & D's which should cool down their youthful high spirits no end!

Of the series of courses that a Scientologist takes on his Route to Clear, the same outline procedure obtains. The major difference between each of the classes is that the student is fed more and more Tech. (Scientologese for the practical application deriving from the theory), he is put through a higher standard of T-R drills, though they be the same drills, and he learns more of the historical background of his subject.

Credence is not given to any of the parts of psychology since Hubbard regards these as paltry. He condemns psychologists for not even using the right word for their subject. Psyche, he explains, is Greek for the soul, the eternal and mystical portion of the human being. So why do psychologists study the mind and materialistically deny the very existence of the soul? Instead, the historical developments in Dianetics and Scientology leading to the technology of Clear. The student builds up his knowledge of the ways in which Scientology has developed over the years by listening to Hubbard's tape-recorded lectures from those years. The only true forerunner to Scientology and Dianetics, that is, the only body of knowledge which contains anything like the incisive wisdom of these, is the ancient Eastern philosophies. The 100,000 religious and philosophic writings known broadly as the Vedic Hymns are often quoted by Hubbard as containing true wisdom as apart from the bald meaningless materialism of the West. Since to read anything like 100,000 writings would be a daunting task, even for Hubbard, one must assume that he likes the idea of an incredible store of the real lowdown on wisdom, truth and all related matters, as there is not much likelihood of anyone being able to argue his claim.

Scientology is in the direct tradition of Buddhism, that is, it follows most closely the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha, 563-483 B.C., the Buddha, in placing responsibility for the achievement of Nirvana (Clear) directly on the shoulders of the individual. Lao-tse, 604-531 B.C., Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, is also regarded as someone who really knew the answers to many of the reasons for life and people.

Hubbard makes it clear that he is in the tradition of these great teachers but has the advantage of technological orientation, such as tape-recordings, books, E-meters and mass communication, to preserve the purity of his wisdom and make it universally known. It is from this base that his conceit and intolerance of any other viewpoint stem.

A student being fed this type of material will automatically turn from life as it is lived towards the mystic belief that he is following a divinely inspired man. As with any such deeply self-satisfying religious belief, day-to-day upsets take on an unreal hue. These are but part of the struggle to spread the word of the Master. One knows, what with Reactive Minds and Suppressive Persons and Groups, that it will not be an easy task to enlighten the human race but it is the most worthwhile task ever to face a true believer.

Hubbard has criticised standard educational procedure for its habit of trying to force students to be intelligent and capable by filling their heads with unrelated and non-understood facts at the cost of a true ability to reason. This criticism is substantially true as are many of Hubbard's comments on the failings of human efforts, yet his method of instilling wisdom into his followers is so inept as a wisdom-inducement as to be laughable.

Any advanced student must know the Axioms of Scientology for these are the theoretical source for the subject. In order to "know" them, the student must learn them by heart - every comma, every capital letter. To substitute an "A" for a "The" is seen as a gross inability to duplicate the purity of Hubbard's word and is regarded as an attempt to Alter-Is. If there be one thing in the whole wide world which must not be Alter-Ised it is Hubbard's word.

Scientology Axiom Eleven: "The considerations resulting in conditions of existence are fourfold:

(a) AS-IS-NESS is the condition of immediate creation without persistence, and is the condition of existence which exists at the moment of creation and the moment of destruction, and is different from other considerations in that it does not contain survival.

(b) ALTER-IS-NESS is the consideration which introduces change, and therefore time and persistence into an AS-IS-NESS to obtain persistency.

(c) IS-NESS is an apparency of existence brought about by the continuous alteration of an AS-IS-NESS. This is called, when agreed upon, Reality.

(d) NOT-IS-NESS is the effort to handle IS-NESS by reducing its condition through the use of force. It is an apparency and cannot entirely vanquish an IS-NESS."

This breath-taking Axiom which sums up the reality of spirituality and the spirituality of reality for all its quaint wording is learned by heart by the student and he is coached on it by another student to really get the full meaning.

"In your own words, what does 'The considerations resulting in conditions of existence are fourfold' mean?" asks the coach.

After a few moments of brow-furrowing, the student says: "It means 'The way people think about the way things are adds up to the way they are and they are four in number', I think."

"Well that isn't quite the way I see it."


"No", says the coach, as if talking to a village idiot. "Let's break it down a bit. What, in your own words, does 'The considerations' mean?"

Squinting is added to the brow-furrowing as the student tries to grapple with this new problem. "'The considerations' means, um, that the way you think about the way things are is the way they are, isn't it?"

"Don't ask me, look it up in the dictionary."

Out comes the Webster's. "Consideration" is defined - sometimes also "The" - and eventually the poor student is elated to find he "knows" the Axiom. He now knows what Hubbard was driving at, within Hubbard's terms, but he does not KNOW it in terms of being able to apply it or derive a new form for his life.

This is the essence of Scientology training. It is not designed to give the student a widened viewpoint of life so that he can cope better. It is designed to instil the word of Hubbard. This word may be the most complete examination of religious philosophy ever undertaken; it may be indeed "the most important discovery since fire" as Hubbard puts it. But if a student is CONDITIONED into a belief. though it be the most true Truth in the universe, he is still conditioned.

He is still a pawn; for unless he KNOWS the truth for himself, unless he UNDERSTANDS with a deep and full comprehension, unless a subtle metamorphosis occurs, he is merely sold truth like a can of baked beans.

Sad it may be but truth and comprehension of oneself and an all-embracing cognisance of life are not marketable merchandise.

[ Chapter Six | Table of Contents | Chapter Eight ]