I took my seat in the lobby of the AO to wait for my first session on the level called Power. Three or four other "pre-OT's" were also silently waiting for sessions. For some reason there was never much conversation in the waiting room of the AO. I looked around at the room. The carpets throughout the building were a deep royal blue, and the walls a stark white. The Sea Org colors, I realized, blue and white. A bronze life-sized bust of L. Ron Hubbard was mounted on a pedestal facing the entrance, keeping a silent vigil over all who entered below.
The windows were open and a breeze, unusually fresh and clean for L.A., billowed the curtains flapping in the windows and playfully scattered pieces of paper from the desk of Tech Services onto the floor. I reached over to retrieve several slips of paper just as my name was called by the Tech Page. I followed the young boy who was acting as Page down the long hallway to a closet-sized auditing room about halfway around the building. My auditor's name was Sandy, a short red-haired woman wearing a Sea Org uniform.
"Pick up the cans please," she said, wasting no time.
After the usual preliminaries, she began the Power process.
"Tell me a source," she commanded.
"A source," I paused, thinking. "Well, the sun. The sun is a source."
"Good," she continued. "Tell me about it."
"Well, it gives off heat and light. It provides life energy to the Earth."
"OK. Tell me a no source."
"A rock is a no source. It doesn't give off anything."
"All right. Tell me a source."
I already knew the answer.
"Me. I'm a source. I have the ability to think, to make postulates, and to carry out those postulates."
"Your needle is floating," Sandy confirmed. "End of process."
"That's it? That's all there is to Power?" I was stunned.
So three minutes and six hundred dollars after we had started, I was on my way to the Examiner to attest to completing my Power.
Soon I was "routed" onto the Solo Course, where I would be trained as a "solo" auditor. On the lower levels of Scientology, one is always audited by another person, but on the upper levels one audits oneself. Instead of holding the cans in both hands, on the Solo levels one holds two cans soldered together in one hand while using the other hand to operate the meter and write the session notes.
The theory section of the Solo Course was mystifying. The Course began with as essay by Hubbard titled, "The Inner Structure of the Mind."
"We are going to delineate for you the inner structure of the reactive mind," Hubbard writes in this essay.
The core of the reactive mind is the R6 (Routine 6) bank. It is surrounded by engrams and secondaries which must be wiped out to get at the core itself. And what does the R6 bank consist of? You may be surprised to learn it is groups of words called GPM's (Goals-Problems-Mass) which serve to confuse a thetan. They are the cause of aberration. The contents of the R6 bank are aberrated stable data.
According to Hubbard, the reactive mind in each person on Earth is the legacy of millenia of implanting. In the implants, the thetan, between lives, is pinned to a wall with electronic beams and then programmed with opposing pairs of words, called "terms" and "opp-terms," while simultaneously being zapped with powerful electronic beams. The result is a permanently crippled and confused thetan who is then sent back to Earth to "pick up a new body" and start another lifetime in captivity.
On the Solo Course, one learns to audit these pairs of words, thus becoming freed from the devastating effects of the hypothetical implants. The most interesting skill learned on the Solo Course is called the Dating Drill. In this drill one partner picks out a fictitious date, while the other partner, using the E-meter, has to discover the exact date. The date will typically run into the billions or trillions of years.
For example, if my partner were to pick out a date of 260 billion, 376 million, 492 thousand, 790 years, the dating drill process would go something like this: "Is the date tens of years, hundreds of years, thousands of years, tens of thousands of years, hundreds of thousands of years, millions of years, tens of millions of years, hundreds of millions of years, billions of years, tens of billions of years, hundreds of billions of years?"
Theoretically, I would get a small tick on the needle of the meter, registering my partner's "charge" on the correct item, "hundreds of billions of years". Once this has been confirmed, then I will narrow down the years even further.
"Is the date more than 500 billions of years?"
There should be no tick.
"Is the date less than 500 billions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 300 billions of years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 300 billions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 200 billions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 250 billions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 275 billions of years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 275 billions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billions of years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billions of years?" No tick.
"Is the date 260 billions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 500 millions of years?" No Tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 500 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 250 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 300 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 400 millions of years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 400 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 350 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 375 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 380 millions of years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 380 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date 260 billion 376 millions of years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 500 thousand years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 376 million 500 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 250 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 400 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 450 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 475 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 480 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 490 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 495 thousand years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 376 million 495 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date 260 billion 376 million 491 thousand years?" No tick.
"Is the date 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 500 years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 750 years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 800 years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 800 years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 775 years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 780 years?" Tick.
"Is the date more than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 790 years?" No tick.
"Is the date less than 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 790 years?" No tick.
"Is the date 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 790 years?" Tick.
"I would like to indicate that the date is 260 billion 376 million 492 thousand 790 years."
End of drill!
While studying the "Theory" section of the Solo Course, I was told that I would need a lockable briefcase and a dog leash for the upper levels. So I went to J.C. Penney's with the charge card my father had given me to use for limited purchases, and bought an inexpensive briefcase. Then I went to the nearest 7-Eleven store to buy a dog leash.
When carrying the secret upper level materials, it was required that they be locked inside the briefcase, and the briefcase attached to one's arm with the dog leash. This was a security precaution to prevent the theft or loss of the greatly valued and confidential upper level materials.
To do the Solo auditing, I locked myself into a room at the house, set up my meter, and began to "run" the process.
"What am I dramatizing?" I asked myself.
Then I had to locate one-half of the word pair that I had been implanted with. For example, I might use the word "Smart." Then I had to find the antonym. "Dumb."
Then I would read this pair of words aloud until there was no reaction on the E-meter.
When there were no more words to find, then I was finished with Solo. And theoretically, I had a picture of the exact implant structure of my mind.
The Clearing Course was a bizarre course containing lists of objects that I had to "spot" in my "space." Some of these objects were:
Hollow triangles going away and coming in.
Hollow circles going away and coming in.
Hollow squares going away and coming in.
Hollow ellipses going away and coming in.
Hollow cubes going away and coming in.
Hollow prisms going away and coming in.
Hollow cylinders going away and coming in.
[And so on with a number of other shapes.]
There were a number of other bizarre practices.
It may be difficult to understand why approximately 40,000 people in this country and 60,000 people overseas would willingly subject themselves to such insane procedures. The only explanation I can offer is that it is quite possible to hypnotize a person to believe anything, or to perform any action, no matter how ridiculous, without question. The cognitive function of the person's mind is completely disengaged. Can a person's mind be controlled? The answer is yes.
After finishing the Clearing Course I gave my Clear speech. Something to the effect that "I was happy to finally be At Cause in my life without the burden of the reactive mind that I have been carrying around for thousands of years." OT 1 consisted of one command. "Spot a person." I went to a local mall and spotted people for several hours until I came to a "cognition" and realized that I was different than any other person in the world. At which point I finished OT 1.
OT 2 was another bizarre level on which I had to audit some curious things. Including The Arrow, The Woman, The White Black Sphere, Hot Cold, Laughter-Calm, Dance Mob, and the Double Rod. I soon finished and attested to being an OT 2 Completion. I gave my success speech to cheers in the lobby of the AO.
Now I was ready for the great leap into the Unknown. I was ready for OT 3, on which I would learn the secret of the universe which had eluded Man for millions of years.
I had a friend, an older man named Les, who volunteered to come with me during my first day on OT 3 and coach me on the materials. We drove together to the AO.
"Nervous?" he asked, lighting a cigarette.
"Yeah, a little. I've only been waiting ten years to do this level," I answered.
"Well, just think, in another hour or so, you will know the great secret. You will be one of us." He winked at me.
At the AO, I first had to find the locked room where the materials for OT 3 were kept, a small closet just across from the OT 3 course-room.
I knocked on the door. A slim Sea Org member unlocked the door to let me in, then quickly locked the door behind me. I had to unlock my briefcase and show him that it was empty. He then handed me a brown envelope containing the OT 3 materials. I locked this envelope in the briefcase which was leashed to my arm. He checked to make sure that the briefcase was actually locked. Then he let me out of that room, and locked the door behind me.
He escorted me across the hall and I knocked on the door of the OT 3 classroom. The door was unlocked to let me in, then locked again behind me. I am quite sure that not even the Pentagon has better security than Scientology.
Les was saving me a seat in the classroom. I sat down, unlocked my briefcase and pulled out the treasured envelope. Smiling at Les, I opened the envelope and pulled out several pages which were copies of pages handwritten by Hubbard. I began to read.
The head of the Galactic Federation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) (founded 95,000,000 years ago, very space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet, 178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H-bomb on the principal volcanos (Incident II) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic ones to Las Palmas and there "packaged."
His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading data by means of circuits etc. was placed in the implants.
When through with his crime loyal officers (to the people) captured him after six years of battle and put him in an electronic mountain trap where he still is. "They" are gone. The place (Confederation) has since been a desert. The length and brutality of it all was such that this Confederation never recovered. The implant is calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it. This liability has been dispensed with by my tech development.
One can freewheel through the implant and die unless it is approached as precisely outlined. The "freewheel" (auto-running on and on) lasts too long, denies sleep etc. and one dies. So be careful to do only Incidents I and II as given and not plow around and fail to complete one thetan at a time.
In December 1967 I knew someone had to take the plunge. I did and emerged very knocked out, but alive. Probably the only one ever to do so in 75,000,000 years. I have all the data now, but only that given here is needful.
One's body is a mass of individual thetans stuck to oneself or to the body.
One has to clean them off by running Incident II and Incident I. It is a long job, requiring care, patience and good auditing. You are running beings. They respond like any preclear. Some large, some small.
Thetans believed they were one. This is the primary error. Good luck.
The remaining pages in the packet I had been given elaborated the detailed procedures to be used in auditing out one's "body thetans."
Break came, and I was feeling very perplexed as I followed Les out of the building.
"Well, what do you think?" he asked eagerly.
I was feeling very strange. I had been programmed under hypnosis for ten years to accept as gospel everything said or written by Hubbard. I had paid thousands of dollars to gain access to the privileged OT 3 material. I was programmed to believe. But the materials were too absurd to be believed. The result was that my mind, like a computer which has come upon data impossible to analyze, simply refused to compute. I felt as if my mind had been completely shut down. I had an eerie sensation of mental "floating," of being mentally suspended in time and space.
Hubbard had jammed my mind. And from that point I became a total pawn. Not able to think, I was a completely programmable stimulus-response machine. I had become a robot. Or, to use the phrase now popular among ex-Scientologists, a "Rondroid."
"I feel sort of strange," I said to Les. "I feel like I'm floating. And I'm not sure I understood what I just read."
"What didn't you understand?"
"Well, is he saying that because this guy Xenu, millions of years ago, blew up thousands of thetans and caused them to become clustered together, that now everyone on Earth is some kind of multiple personality? And that what we have to do now is audit all these other thetans stuck to us so that they can leave and go get their own bodies?"
"Exactly," Les looked at me proudly. "You understand it just fine. You see, everything in Scientology has been leading up to this level. The purpose of your lower grades was to erase some of the lighter charge from your mind. And Power enabled the dominant being in the "cluster" to separate out so that it you could audit the rest of the guys."
"You mean that everyone on the upper levels is just auditing to get rid of their `body thetans?'" I was still incredulous.
"Well, you have to do it to appreciate what it will do for you. You won't believe how good and clean you will feel after a few hours of OT 3." He put his arm around my shoulder.
"It kind of reminds me of a dog getting rid of its fleas," I remarked. "Somehow, it's just not what I had expected."
During the remaining days on the course, I learned how to locate and "run" my "body thetans." You had to close your eyes and locate a feeling of pressure somewhere on your body. Then telepathically audit the body thetan. You would first audit the thetan through Incident II, which was done by asking the thetan to visualize:
- Loud snap.
- Waves of light.
- Chariot comes out, turns right and left.
- Cherub comes out.
- Blows horn, comes close.
- Shattering series of snaps.
- Cherub fades back (retreats).
- Blackness dumped on thetan.
This "implant," according to Hubbard, happened four quadrillion years ago. I dutifully completed the "theory section" of the course, then took my E-meter back to the house and began to audit OT 3.
I held the Solo cans in my right hand, leaving my left hand free to work the meter and write my session notes.
I closed my eyes.
Soon I felt a pressure on my head (or imagined I did). There was a flicker on the meter.
I concentrated on making telepathic contact with the disembodied being. "Was it Hawaii or Las Palmas?" I asked the invisible thetan, watching my meter for a reaction.
"Las Palmas. Good" I acknowledged him.
Then I had him visualize Incident II. If I got a floating needle, it meant that the body thetan had left me. If the needle didn't float, then I had to audit the thetan on Incident I. I tried to do my best at this procedure, but I was soon in trouble.
"You're going to need a review," the "Tech Sec" (Technical Secretary) looked at me seriously.
I walked glumly from the AO back to my house. I was scheduled for a Review tomorrow. I was still experiencing the strange floating feeling. My mind was still suspended. I could not think.
Lately I had been having strange nightmares. I was feeling more and more peculiar. And it was getting worse.
In my Review, it was found that I had "overrun" the last body thetan I was auditing. This was corrected and I was sent back to my house to continue the auditing. After several more sessions, I managed to obtain a dial-wide floating needle, and was declared to be an OT 3 Completion.
But where were my gains? Why wasn't I able to leave my body at will, as had been advertised? Where were my psychic abilities?
I began to have an alarming array of physical problems. There was an outbreak of hepatitis at the house. A health department nurse came to innoculate everyone living in the house, but I had already begun to run a high fever. I was audited to spot the suppressive I was connected to. Nothing came up. I continued to have nightmares. On two occasions I woke up in the dark, screaming, thoroughly alarming the other people sleeping in the room.
I started to have migraine headaches severe enough to keep me in bed for the whole day. And even though I was taking the antibiotics mandated by the health department, my fever persisted.
Finally, I was called into Tech Services. I felt more dead than alive.
"I'm afraid you are going to need some more advanced auditing than OT 3," I was informed by the Tech Sec. "Some people resolve most of their "case" on OT 3, but others require an additional auditing procedure."
The auditing that I needed, I was told, was a new level just developed by Hubbard called New Era Dianetics for OT's, or NED for OT's. The cost: $8,000 per 25 hour "intensive." Unfortunately, I would not be accepted by the AO for this auditing unless I bought at least two intensives of NED for OT's. In addition, I would have to fly to the more advanced AO in Clearwater, Florida to do this new level.
I was routed back to the Registrar. At this point I was beyond caring about the cost. I signed over the balance in my account, $16,000, to the AO. It was all or nothing. I flew to Florida.
In November of 1979, I arrived at "Flag," the new "Flag Land Base" established when Hubbard had brought the floating Sea Org ashore several years before. I was given a room with two other "OT's" in the Scientology hotel.
In my first NED session, I was told that there were additional body thetans stuck to me that needed to be audited. These "BT's" had not responded to OT 3 because they were "unconscious" or "asleep." Before they could be audited, they had to be awakened.
The sessions continued in the bizarre fashion of the OT 3 sessions. First I had to close my eyes and locate a "ridge" of sleeping "BT's." I had to close my eyes, visualize the ridge of dormant "BT's" and flow energy at them until they woke up. Then they could be audited on OT 3.
Finally, ten years too late, I balked.
"No way. This is ridiculous. I can't do this. This isn't what I expected." From the day I started NED for OT's, my life became a constant Review session. I was becoming more and more desperate. I panicked as the money and the time in my intensives dwindled. I was getting no results.
"This isn't working," I complained to the Examiner. "You have to find out what's wrong."
I started to complain to other students who were on the same level. "It's not working for me. Is it working for you?"
"Yes," they would answer. "It's incredible. I'm having incredible wins."
In the warped logic of a Scientologist, it was forbidden to think that there might be something wrong with the "tech." In other words, it was forbidden to think or say that the "Emperor had no clothes."
Therefore there must be something wrong with me. But what?
One night I had an especially bad nightmare and my screaming woke half the building. I was sent for another review.
The next day, I woke up to find a Sea Org member stationed outside my room. "What's going on?" I asked her.
"I've been posted here," she answered. "You've been ordered to stay in your room. Your meals are going to be brought up here."
"But why?" I asked.
"Until your case has been straightened out," she answered tersely.
I went back in the room and sat down on the bed.
"Maybe," I thought excitedly, "maybe they're going to send me "over the rainbow" (the Scientology code words to refer to the location, unknown to anyone except a very few select Sea Org members, where Hubbard was in hiding). At four o'clock in the afternoon, my female guard was replaced by another Sea Org member, this one a stocky male.
The day went by, two days, a week, then three weeks. I paced in the room and slept to pass the time.
One night, I looked outside the door where the guard was posted and found, to my surprise, that my guard for the evening, a young man in uniform, was sound asleep. It was after twelve o'clock and the building was quiet. I crept past the sleeping guard and went out the side door of the building. I walked nonchalantly past the night watchman.
A block away, I realized that I was free. But where to go? I couldn't go the the suppressive police. I had no money. And it was nearly one o'clock in the morning.
I couldn't think. I walked a few blocks to a small deck on the bay belonging to a nearby condominium complex. I took off my shoes and sat on the edge of the deck, dangling my bare feet in the cool water.
I looked out over the bay at the twinkling night lights. The water lapped rhythmically onto the shore. The sky was cloudless and starry. It was a picture of complete peace, a soothing contrast to the chaos churning inside me.
I sat there for an hour, two hours. I tried to think, but thinking didn't produce any new options. After a while, I began to feel chilled. Slowly, feeling defeated, I made my way back to the hotel.
I went back up to my room, slipped past the still sleeping guard, and lay down on my bed.
My prison did not have locked doors. They were not needed. My prison consisted of the locked doors in my mind.
One night, shortly after my midnight venture, I was given the order to pack my things. The next morning I was shuffled into a waiting van. Three guards rode with me in the back of the van.
"Where are we going?" I asked curiously.
"To the airport," was the curt reply.
We disembarked at Tampa International airport. I was escorted to the waiting area for Northwest Airlines. I noticed the destination marked behind the ticket check-in counter: Detroit, Michigan.
"What?" I looked at my guards in confusion.
"We located your parents," one of the guards said to me in an emotionless voice.
"You are to go back to Michigan. Here are your instructions." I was handed a thick packet of materials.
The plane was boarding. One of the guards put his hand around my arm and directed me toward the waiting plane. The two other guards disappeared. I flew with my guard to Michigan, where my father was waiting for me at the airport. The guard immediately booked a return flight to Florida.
I rode silently beside my father on the forty minute drive to Lansing, where my family was now living.
I opened up the packet I had been given at the airport. It was a list of instructions, about thirty pages long.
I was to pay back Scientology $30,000 for all services I had taken as a staff member. I was to read a long list of books and write reviews of each one. I was to run, take vitamins and write a new list of all my overts, both in this lifetime and in my past lives.
Then I was to retrain on all my levels in Scientology. I was to start over as a preclear from Dianetics upward. Once I had trained up to Class 4 and demonstrated that I could again become a valuable member of the group, my petition to rejoin the group would be considered.
I stared in disbelief at the document.
Suddenly the truth exploded in my mind.
I had been exiled from Scientology.
I had been offloaded.