OT III Scholarship Page
Return to the Secrets of Scientology web site.
Founded Jan. 19, 1997, by David S. Touretzky (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: Why can't Lisa McPherson read this page?
A: Because she's dead.
Our sympathy to her family, and the families of all Scientology victims.
Space Opera as Theology: Scientology's OT III
This page is dedicated to the analysis and criticism of what Scientologists
must consider to be the most significant document in the history of the
human race: L. Ron Hubbard's "OT III". (See legal notes below.) The
first page of this historic work, jotted down in Hubbard's own hand, is
The head of the Galactic
Confederation (76 planets around
larger stars visible from here)
(founded 95,000,000 yrs 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 volcanoes (Incident 2)
and then the Pacific area ones
were taken in boxes to Hawaii
and the Atlantic Area 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 6 years of battle
and put him in an electronic
mountain trap where he still
is. "They" are gone. The place (Confed.)
has since been a desert.
How do you know this was actually written by L. Ron Hubbard?
Scientology sued Karin
Spaink for publishing OT III, claiming she violated their
copyrights to their "advanced spiritual technology". In addition, the
document displayed on this web page was authenticated by Helena
Kobrin, lawyer for Scientology's Religious Technology Center, in a
letter sent to Carnegie Mellon's legal counsel on January 24, 1997.
Her assistance is much appreciated.
Do Scientologists really believe this stuff?
Yes, they do. This essay by Bob Minton
describes the Scientology world-view that emerges from OT III. And
here's an excerpt from a piece
by Stacy Brooks describing her reactions upon first reading OT III:
I sat there for a long time after I read this startling revelation.
It was a profound turning point for me. I will describe what went on in
my mind as well as I possibly can. Here I had finally made it to the
Wall of Fire, I had just been given the Secrets of the Universe. This
was Reality! I distinctly remember feeling like I was in a state of
suspended animation; as if I were watching myself to see how I was
going to react to this news. I almost let the thought form: "You've got
to be kidding!" But I caught it just in time and squelched it. I did
allow myself to think that I didn't understand what he was talking
about. But having already installed L. Ron Hubbard in my mind as the
unerring dispenser of Truth, there was no way for me to reject the
information. I remember feeling completely numb and making sure to
arrange my expression so that the course supervisor would not realize
how stunned I was.
Mercifully, it was soon time for dinner. I remember walking toward the
galley (the dining room), which was in the basement of what is now
Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles, trying to digest what I had just
learned. As I walked over a small bridge I suddenly stopped dead in my
tracks, frozen by the thought that I was crawling with millions of
disembodied creatures. I had to restrain the urge to wipe my hands over
my whole body to get them off!
What comes after OT III?
After OT III comes NOTs, or NED for OTs (New Era Dianetics for
Operating Thetans), which covers levels OT IV through OT VII. More
body thetan stuff. You can learn about NOTs at the NOTs Scholars Home Page.
Was Xenu a drug-inspired hallucination, or a rip-off from Gurdijeff??
Prignillius contributed this interesting posting concerning how Hubbard's drug use may have contributed to OT
A reader writes to inform us that "... the body thetans idea is
similiar to Gurdjieff's `Organ Kundabuffer': an organ supposedly
implanted (long ago) in human bodies in order to twist their
perception of reality. The whole of Gurdjieff's work was aimed to
destroy the consequences of this Organ (as repeated many times in his
Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson book)."
- Funny that there is no date on this page. Hubbard dated everything.
Two later pages of the 20 page handwritten manuscript bear the date October
28, 1968, but the first three pages have no date. Was he too spaced out
when he wrote this to remember such details? Why did he write (1) twice at
the top of the first page?
- The penmanship in this document is poor. Hubbard switches
between cursive and printed styles seemingly at random. Notice the
"b" in "billion" is printed the first time and cursive the second.
And reader Jeff Lee points out that "[Hubbard's] punctuation is
atrocious. He also shows some inconsistency in dotting his i's and
crossing his t's."
- He underlines three words, presumably for emphasis: the word "then",
and the place names Hawaii and Las Palmas. It's hard for a
lay reader to see why emphasis is needed here. However, location is very
important in Scientology auditing: they believe it necessary to
"date/locate" an incident in order to properly identify it and "blow the
charge" from the engram. Hubbard's definition of "truth" is the exact
time, place, form, and event. Hence, location is emphasized here because
this information will be needed later to identify which implant station the
person (thetan) was taken to. Note that Teegeeack and Earth
are not underlined.
- Hubbard writes "volcanoes" where my preferred spelling (and the
one used in Wakefield's book and the Fishman Declaration) is
"volcanos". However, the version of OT III in Scamizdat #5 has
"volcanoes". Dictionaries list both spellings. Equally acceptable
spellings are listed in alphabetical order, so "volcanoes" appears
first, but it is not marked as the preferred form. But a reader in
the UK, where Hubbard spent some time, advises that "volcanoes" is the
preferred form over there.
- Most of the volcanos cited in the "data" section of OT III (later
in the document) did not exist 75 million years ago. See the list at
- Hubbard capitalizes "H Bomb" where the convention (at least now) is
- Note that Hubbard uses the correct spelling of "principal". He does
not appear to be a bad speller. (It would be impossible to check this by
looking at printed Scientology literature, since his output was checked and
edited by underlings before publication.)
- Note the reference to "Incident 2". In both the Fishman Declaration
and Wakefield versions of OT III this is transcribed as "Incident II",
i.e., using roman numerals, and this convention is also followed in the
Vorlon edition of the FLAG NOTs pack. Martin Ottman's transcription says
"Incident 2". In Hubbard's original document, arabic numbers or
the words "One" and "Two" are used, but never roman numerals.
- The heavy use of parenthetical interjections gives the page the tone
of a verbal report, but examining the actual document shows that a couple
of these were inserted later, so this cannot be a verbatim transcript. The
first one, "(founded 95,000,000 yrs ago, very space opera)", appears to be
an insert because it uses smaller letters and smaller inter-line spacing
than the rest of the text. The second one is "(Confed.)", which clarifies
the meaning of "place". This is expanded to "(Confederation)" in the typeset
versions of OT III I've seen, such as Wakefield's (cited below.)
- On the RJ-67 tape (Ron's Journal #67), Hubbard uses "Confederacy"
rather than "Confederation".
- Two other insertions are noteworthy. The "with his crime" phrase, the
only interjection not parenthesized, indicates that it was Xenu who was
"through", rather than the implanting of an individual reaching completion.
And the "(to the people)" comment clarifies that the officers were loyal to
Xenu's victims, not Xenu. The visual appearance of this comment shows that
it could not have been inserted later. On the other hand, it is
ungrammatical, suggesting that Hubbard realized the ambiguity at the moment
he finished the preceding line, and stuck in the parenthetical comment to
- Attorney Douglas M. Johnson suggests (see bottom
of page) that the word I've transcribed as "loyal" may actually be
- The document has a telegraphic style in places, suggesting it was
scribbled down in haste. One example is the abbreviation "yrs" in the
first parenthetical comment. (All the typeset versions of OT III I've seen
expand this to "years".) Another example is the ungrammatical "(to the
- On pages 2-3 Hubbard suggests he may be the only person in 75,000,000
years to have discovered the implant and lived to tell about it. The raw,
breathless tone of this document, and the fact that it is still presented
to Scientologists in its original handwritten form, heighten the reader's
sense of being there with Hubbard in 1967 when he emerges "very knocked out
but alive" to scribble down his momentous discovery.
- It's hard to see how a galactic confederation could become a "desert"
except in a highly metaphorical sense. What happened to all the folks who
defeated Xenu's renegades? Is Xenu, still locked in his mountain trap, the
lone survivor of his race?
- Logical contradiction: how can there be 250 billion "or so" per planet
if the average number was 178 billion?
The Xenu/Xemu Controversy
- This page contains one of the few appearances of the word "Xenu"
in print in the Scientology scriptures. (To the best of my knowledge, this
is the only occurrence in Hubbard's own handwriting.) I've heard that
there was an OT III teacher's manual that contained "Xemu" in print, and in
at least one case the word was crossed out and "Xenu" was handwritten in,
but I have not been able to confirm this. The ex-Scientologists I've
personally spoken with say "Xenu" is the more commonly used form.
- There is reference to the OT III story in the RJ-67 tape cited by
Kendrick Moxon in his deposition of Jeff Jacobsen (see below). Moxon says
"Xenu" in the deposition, but Xenu himself is not mentioned on that
- Why did Warren McShane say "Xemu" rather than "Xenu" in his testimony
in the FACTNet case in Colorado? (Transcript below.) This may be a
transcription error, since Robert Vaughn Young, a former high-level
Scientologist turned critic who also testified that day, is shown using the
same pronunciation. RTC lawyer Helena Kobrin has been known to block out
the word "Xenu" in some of her legal correspondence, so perhaps saying
"Xemu" is a Scientologist's way of avoiding pronunciation of the real word.
It's clear from the document image that Hubbard really did write "Xenu" and
not "Xemu". And two people who knew Hubbard have told me that the name is
definitely "Xenu", although one recalled that there was one place where
"Xemu" was used. Presumably that was the Class VIII Assists tape.
- There are several spoken mentions of "Xemu" on the Class VIII
Assists tape. A partial transcript of this tape appeared in Scamizdat
#5. Sound clips are available here in several formats: WAV, PCM, or
RealAudio files. (You can download a free RealAudio player by clicking here.)
In the first excerpt Hubbard appears unsure about the name:
xemu0.wav, xemu0.ram, xemu0.pcm:
Aren't thetans supposed to have perfect recall of all their memories? How
come Hubbard can't remember whether the biggest villain in galactic history
is named Xenu or Xemu? Wouldn't such a thing be indelibly burned into his
mental image pictures of his life as a space alien?
And they had elected a fellow by the name of Xenu, ahhh, could
be spelled X-E-M-U, to the supreme "rulah", and they were about to
unelect him. And he took the last moments he had in office to
really "goof the floof."
The remaining four instances on the tape are all "Xemu":
- xemu1.wav, xemu1.ram: "Xemu missed."
- xemu2.wav, xemu2.ram: "which Xemu had brought in"
- xemu3.wav, xemu3.ram:
"so on, the administrators that had been loyal to Xemu were"
- xemu4.wav, xemu4.ram:
"Xemu was put with several of his cohorts in the center of a mountain"
So, if the transcript is accurate, Hubbard himself was unclear whether the
name was Xenu or Xemu. His associates insist that he always said "Xenu",
and in this tape he does start out with "Xenu", but then he continues with
Isn't this material a trade secret?
No, it's not, according to the sworn testimony of Warren McShane,
president of Religious Technology Center, in civil action
no. 95-B-2143, Religious Technology Center v. F.A.C.T.Net, Inc., et
al., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
24 A The very first tab under Tab No. 1. You can see there are
And later in his testimony:
25 references to the Galactic confederation, 76 planets, but
1 within that there is information on what are called incidents
2 that you see there, Your Honor, in parentheses. Those itself
3 are trade secret. Any descriptions in that first page which
4 actually described what happened to the individual himself is
5 a trade secret.
6 But it may be easier to explain what's not. The
7 discussion of the -- of the volcanoes, the explosions, the
8 Galactic confederation 75 million years ago, and a gentleman
9 by the name Xemu there. Those are not trade secrets. The
10 officers mentioned there are not. But the -- the parts in
11 there that actually described what happened to the individual
12 and how to handle it, especially when it goes onto page 2 from
13 that point forward, that is trade secret.
14 Q Everything thereafter?
15 A Yes.
16 MR. KELLEY: Is page 2 Tab 2?
17 THE WITNESS: Tab 2, I'm sorry.
18 THE WITNESS: This particular exhibit I am looking at
And here's Warren talking about mention of
Xenu in Ron's Journal 67 in the FACTNet case. See also the
statement by Scientology lawyer Kendrick Moxon, during the deposition of Jeff Jacobsen in the
Arnie Lerma case, that the Xenu story "has been a matter of public
record for many years".
19 is O.T. III. And as I explained to the court the other day,
20 when we were talking about what's generally known in the 75
21 million years ago and Xemu and the volcanoes, which is
22 knowledge that has been known for years, that is contained in
23 bits and pieces in the first paragraph of page 1. This is
24 page 3. Your Honor, if you look at the first full paragraph,
25 it starts with "one's" on the handwritten part.
1 THE COURT: All right.
2 THE WITNESS: First full paragraph where it says
3 "one's body." From that point on -- at least on that point is
4 what's trade secret. Mr. Hubbard describing what has occurred
5 to the individual, not the general description of what events
6 happened 75 million years ago, but what happened to the
7 individual person. That is a trade secret. That's what's not
8 published in any works. From that point forward is a
9 description of the actual technology itself and how to undo
10 that great catastrophe that occurred.
McShane is mistaken when he says the OT III data beginning "one's
body" remains a trade secret. This material has been published in
several places, including Margery Wakefield's book, where the first
three pages of the OT III document are quoted in full. And see Jon
Atack's OT 3 for Beginners for a
synopsis that spills all the secrets.
A similar exorcism procedure is practiced in Avatar, a Scientology
offshoot invented by former Scientology franchisee Harry Palmer.
Avatar's version of the procedure can be viewed here.
Scientology has not sued Avatar, possibly because doing so would
require admitting that the "advanced spiritual technology" of L. Ron
Hubbard was in fact a form of exorcism.
Isn't this material subject to copyright?
It may be. The copyright registration number is TXu-290-496. The
copyright is currently owned by the Church of Spiritual Technology, and
licensed to Religious Technology Center, both Scientology shell
corporations. However, the US Copyright Code provides for "fair use"
quotation for purposes of comment and criticism, and this web page clearly
falls in that category. There is also some evidence that the copyright filing might be fraudulent.
Is this drivel worth anything at all?
Scientology thinks it's worth thousands of dollars. Check out this advertisement and price list for their ``OT III
Wall of Fire'' course. Scientology has gone to great lengths to keep
OT III secret, as detailed in this 1985 LA
Where can I read the rest of OT III?
The following list, filed as an appendix to an injunction in the
Erlich case, sets out the contents of the OT III course:
- As of April 2008, WikiLeaks has all the OT materials available in
a 612 page PDF file. You can find out about this compilation at this
- Andreas Heldal Lund, maintainer of the Operation Clambake web site, has said
that he will make copies of OT III available on
request for journalists and researchers.
- Scans of the actual 20 handwritten pages of OT III were present
(as of September 2004) on a Russian web server, but have since been remvoed Please read the Russian
statement explaining why this unauthorized distribution is
permissible under Russian law, and see his
Scientology attorney Ava Paquette.
- A text version was available at benzedrine.cx but
later remove due to copyright threats.
OT III - including but not limited to the following works:
HCOB 4 May 1968 Character of______
HCOB 4 May 1968 ________ Auditing
UCOB 4 May 1968R ________ Auditing
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 4 May 1968 Issue II Overrun on III
HCOB 4 May 1968R Issue II Overrun on III
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 23 August 1968 Arbitraries
HCOB 2 October 1968 OT III
HCOB 2 October 1968R OT III
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 26 August 1969 OT III Case Supervision
HCOB 26 August 1969R OT III Case Supervision
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 13 October 1969 Issue II OT III Errors
HCOB 13 October 1969R Issue II OT III Errors
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 25 October 1969R Formation
HCOB 25 October 1969RA Formation
Revised 20 September 1978
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 5 February 1970 The Basic
HCOB 5 February 1970R The Basic
Revised 16 August 1983
HCOB 5 February 1970 Issue II Definitions, Sec. III
HCOB 12 April 1970 Running OT III
HCOB 9 July 1971 Section III Running
HCO PL 14 January 1972 Issue I The Green Green Form Revised
HCOB 14 September 1978 Dianetics Forbidden on Clears and OTs
HCOB 2 November 1978R Dianetics Deleted from OT III Materials
Revised 10 December 1978
HCOB 10 December 1978 Addition to OT III Pack
HCOB 4 July 1979 Handling Correction Lists on OTs
HCO PL 19 November 1980 OT 3 Solo Auditor Training Course
HCOB 14 August 1983 C.C. Implant
HCOB 15 August 1983 Flying Ruds on Solo OT III and Above
HCOB 16 August 1983 Ruds Going Out
HCOB 17 August 1983 List of LRH Handwritten Materials on OT III Course
Attachment No 1 - Data
Attachment No 2 - 2nd Note
Attachment No 3 - 1st Note
Attachment No 4 - Instructions
Attachment No 5 - Section III OT
Attachment No 6 - 3rd Note
Attachment No 7 - Important Note
HCOB 2 July 1984 Issue II Assessment
HCOB 8 June 1970 Issue II Secret
- Atack, Jonathan. (1996) OT 3 -
Scientology's "secret" course rewritten for beginers.
- Fishman, Steven. (1993)
Declaration filed April 9, 1993 in connection with civil case 91-6426
HLH (Tx), Church of Scientology International v. Steven Fishman and Uwe
Geertz, US District Court for the Central District of California. Pages
76-100 contain the text of OT III.
- Hubbard, Lafayette Ronald. (1968) Operating Thetan Section III.
Handwritten manuscript. Available online
courtesy of Andreas Heldal-Lund.
- McShane, Warren. (1995) Transcript of testimony in civil action no.
95-B-2143, Religious Technology Center v. F.A.C.T.Net, Inc., et al., U.S.
District Court for the District of Colorado. Proceedings before the
Honorable John L. Kane on September 11, 1995.
- Ottman, Martin. (1996) Posting to Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled
"New (old) OT III material". Posted in November, 1996, under the name
email@example.com. Contains a transcript of the first handwritten page of OT
III, and several HCOBs comprising the OT III Course Pack.
- Scamizdat Staff. (1995) Scamizdat #5. Contains a partial transcript
of L. Ron Hubbard's "Class VIII Course, Lecture #10", commonly known as the
Class VIII Assists tape, a lecture delivered October 3, 1968 aboard the
Scientology ship Apollo. Hubbard discusses Xenu/Xemu by name. Scamizdat
#5 was published on the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology in May,
- Spaink, Karin. (1996) Summary of OT III.
Ruled legal by a Dutch court.
- Vorlon. (1996) The
FLAG NOTs Pack. This is referred to as the "Vorlon edition". For more
information, see the NOTs
Scholars Home Page.
- Wakefield, Margery. (1991) The
Road to Xenu. The first three pages of OTIII are quoted in
chapter 13 . This chapter also gives the full descriptions of
Incidents 1 and 2, which are referred to in OT III auditing.
Message from Xenu
music video, by the Truth Rockets.
Scientology episode "Trapped in the Closet"
Wikipedia article on Xenu
Test your knowledge of OT III by taking a quiz. Level 1 is funny and easy.
Level 2 is much harder, but anyone who has truly earned their OT III
certificate should pass it without trouble.
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