The Road to Xenu, by Margery Wakefield  -- prevToCnext

Chapter 9

Death on the Titanic

MEST, Clam, Ice Cube, E-meter. She audits a bedwetter.

No sooner had I gone to sleep than I heard the early morning knock on my door. "0700, time to get up."

Unwillingly, I forced my eyes open. "Get up," I thought, "or you'll fall back asleep." I closed my eyes and snuggled down under the thin blanket I had been given to keep out the chill of the California winter nights. Just two minutes, I bargained. For two minutes the overwhelming temptation to sleep battled with the fear of Ethics. Finally, fear won out. Last night had been an unusually late night. Two missionaires from the ship had arrived yesterday at the center, dressed in starched "dress whites" with gold braided ropes hanging from their shoulders. At eleven PM, after the last of the "public" students had drifted out the door following the customary sharing of our "wins" after class, the twenty or so staff members from the center gathered in the front of the auditorium for a briefing by the missionaires.

"The tech is going in," they told us. "We are winning on every continent. The stats world wide are in Affluence (a high Ethics condition). We are getting Command Intention (what Ron wants) `in' all over the globe. Clearing this planet becomes more a reality with each passing day."

Two new centers had been established in South America in the past month, we were told. A new center in Germany, and an "Org" in Italy. The stats for "raw meat PC's" (new people into Scientology) was almost double what it had been at this same time last year.

They told stories about "Ron" and life aboard the ship. Hubbard was doing his research on the upper "OT levels," we were told. Although it had been a strenuous experience for him it was rumored that research into these levels was extremely hazardous, and that anyone venturing into these areas prior to Hubbard had met with death. He had come through it shaken up, but alive.

There were all the customary rituals, the cheers to Ron as we saluted his picture, the long ovations at each announcement of success, and the usual hard line to all of us to push our stats even higher during the coming months. Stationery was handed out for each of us to write a personal letter to "Ron," telling him about our wins and thanking him for his contributions to the survival of mankind.

It was 1:30 AM before the briefing was dismissed and I walked wearily back to the house. I had no memory of going to bed.

Fatigue was a fact of life, a small sacrifice made by each of us daily to the exalted goal of planetary salvation. I didn't seem to dream any more, I realized one morning. Sleep had become an experience in pure unconsciousness, much like the experience of being anesthetized for an operation. There was no longer any awareness of elapsed time between the act of falling asleep and the event of waking up in the morning.

An unfamiliar sound drifted into my consciousness. A soft and rhythmic tapping against the window. Rain. It hadn't rained for weeks. I looked out at the somber sky which perfectly reflected my mood.

Fear permeated the outer limits of awareness. Ethics. I had already had two warnings placed in my student file for being late to class, and the third one, I knew, would mean certain disciplinary action.

I reached for my sweater and made my way down the hall to the bathroom. The door was locked and two people stood ahead of me in line. Just my luck. I accepted fate and took my place behind a man I hadn't seen before. No one was speaking. I assumed that everyone was too tired to attempt a morning greeting. Besides, I had noticed, Scientologists tended not to waste words. Communication was restricted to the functional, without the luxury of bourgeoisie social niceties. And under the circumstances, I thought, somehow "good morning" seemed hypocritical.

House rules alloted us a strict three minute limit on morning bathroom time. Showers had to be taken at breaks or during a time of less critical bathroom demand. I splashed cold water on my face in an attempt to stimulate myself into consciousness.

The usual breakfast madness was in progress in the small kitchen as an assorted two dozen or so inhabitants of the house scurried to make it to post or course before the strict eight o'clock deadline.

"Just coffee, please," I instructed Glenda, who was currently serving as Kitchen I/C (in charge). "I managed to oversleep again. I'm starving, but I'll be late to course."

"Here," she handed me a slightly stale store-bought cinnamon roll. "You've still got a few minutes. Everyone's late this morning. Hubbard must have discovered a substitute for sleep. The missionaires were down here at seven AM asking for breakfast. When I told them they'd have to wait, they put me in a condition of Liability. I already had too much to do today as it was," she grumbled resentfully.

"Yeah, but you don't argue with a missionaire from the ship," Gerry looked up at his wife. "Unless you're asking for trouble. I heard that they put the whole staff at the L.A. Org on beans and rice until they get their stats up. And they handed out 72-hour amends projects to five of the execs. I saw them out in back of the Org yesterday with grey rags around their arms, painting the annex. Circles under their eyes, beards. Three days with no sleep. It must be rough. They were a sorry lot," he chuckled.

I liked this couple. Gerry was a part time character actor in Hollywood and Glenda had managed somehow to finagle the kitchen job so that she could care for her two month old son herself. Two months ago she had delivered the baby in the front room across the hall from me, assisted only by Gerry and a midwife. I had never witnessed a home birth before, and was full of awe for Glenda.

"I wouldn't be on the ship for anything," remarked Jon, a quiet, uniformed twenty year old from Denmark. He was a Class 8 Auditor, the highest trained person in the house and therefore respected. "I've heard they've been throwing people overboard every morning. Part of a new Ethics crackdown. And putting people down in the bilges for a week at a time. I'm just glad I'm here," he said gratefully.

"Why would they throw people overboard?" I asked him incredulously. "That sounds dangerous."

"I guess they throw them a life preserver once they're in," he answered as he gulped down the last of his coffee. "But it's dangerous for sure. If you hit the strake on the side of the ship as you go under you might as well kiss this life goodbye. I'd rather take my chances with the good old L.A. smog." He deposited his cup in the sink and saluted as he headed out the door. "Later, everyone."

"Yeah, me too," I swallowed the last of the stale roll with a gulp of coffee. "I've got exactly thirty seconds to get my body into a chair next door. Thanks for the coffee, Glenda." I sprinted out the door and around the corner to the center.

Just in time. I made it into my seat just as the Supervisor called her customary, "That's it. Start of course." She gave me a warning look. "That's cutting it close, Wakefield. Better get your ethics in." I nodded in acknowledgement and quickly immersed myself in my checksheet. Just a little more reading, then I'll be able to audit, I looked in satisfaction at the pages I had filled with my initials as I completed the items.

Aileen and Antonio had gone away on a mission together. They were rumored to be helping to set up a new Celebrity Center in Canada. I felt abandoned when they left, but at least I would be able to make lots of progress on the course while they were gone.

I turned to the next item on my checksheet. It was an essay called "The Evolution of Man."

"Man," Hubbard began,

evidently began as a monocell, without intercellular relation problems. He developed by counter-efforts to a degree which banded together many cells with one central control center. He joined then with a second control center and, dual, evolved organically into Man.

The problems of the monocell by itself were strenuous but uncomplicated, having relationship only with the environment in its grossest form: pure MEST. These problems included such phenomena as the explosion of cosmic rays.

How is it, I wondered, that I can simultaneously understand and not understand everything that Hubbard writes. I had learned not to ask questions. That would only result in a "word clearing session" in which I would have to look up every word in the bulletin while hooked up to the E-meter, a very tedious affair. Better to struggle in silence, I had learned by experience.

"The problems of a cellular colony," Hubbard continued,

under one control center were yet similar to those of the monocell. The protagonist had but one personality and one antagonist, MEST. Vegetable and invertebrate problems are found in this period.

Interpersonal relations, when in difficulty, have their root in the elementary problems of the dual control problems wherein the current control center confuses its ancient problems with its partner center with the problems the organism may have with other individuals in the environment.

The evolution of Man presents many fascinating aspects but all have basic simplicities. There are, essentially, only two sets of problems: The problems between the control center of the mind and the elements; the problem of the control center of the mind with its alternate control center.

An auditor need only resolve, in any case, the essential basic confusions of the pre-clear in each of these two sets.

I wanted desperately to yawn, but suppressed it. I read back through the section again, looking up the word "protagonist." "Well," I thought, "it kind of makes sense, I guess." I initialled the appropriate space indicating that I had read the essay.

I looked surreptitiously around the classroom. Two students were doing TR 0 in the far end of the room, while two others had started their bullbaiting. One was pretending an English accent.

"I say, old chap," he said, clapping his partner on the shoulder, "do y'know where I could git a bit o' arse? It's been a bloody long time." His partner smiled. "Flunk for smiling. Start!" he said sternly. "I say, old chap," he began again.

My friend Kris was absorbed in an elaborate clay demo. Two other students were listening to tapes. There were another dozen and a half people studying silently at the two long tables where I was sitting.

I began to fantasize about being in bed, snug under my blanket, and of being able to sleep just for once for as long as I wanted. I was remembering rainy mornings at school when my earliest class was at ten AM and I had been able to sleep in until nine. As I thought back, it seemed an unbelievable luxury. My head jerked back. I had actually started to fall asleep. I dug my fingernails into my palms, trying to will myself into consciousness. I turned the page in my checksheet.

History of Man. A book by Hubbard. I turned to the Foreword and began to read.

This is a cold-blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years.

I blinked and looked again. Yes, that's what it said. I continued to read.

The test of any knowledge is its usefulness. Does it make one happier and more able? By it and with it, can he better achieve his goals?

This is useful knowledge. With it the blind again see, the lame walk, the ill recover, the insane become sane and the sane become saner. By its use the thousand abilities man has sought to recover become his once more.

Gravestones, ancient vital statistics, old diplomas and medals will verify in every detail the validity of "many lifetimes." Your E-meter will tell you.

The book, I discovered as I read, was divided between a description of the events in the past "track" of the "genetic entity", and the events in the past track of the thetan, or soul. The genetic entity referred to those incidents which were supposedly recorded at a cellular level in the person's body. The events of the "theta being" were the memories of the person himself, as a soul.

Some of the past events that are common, according to Hubbard, to all of us on a cellular level are:

  1. The Atom. The very first state of being of physical life, described by Hubbard as "a condition of motion, with the preclear in the center, with rings of motion traveling around him."
  2. The Cosmic Impact, in which "cosmic rays enter the body in large numbers and occasionally explode in the body."
  3. The Photon Converter, in which we, as algae and plankton begin "taking their living from photons from the sun and minerals in the sea."
  4. The Helper, which is "mitosis, or cell splitting," in which one half of the split cell tries to help the other half to survive.
  5. The Clam. Which when restimulated in a person may cause problems in the opening and closing of the jaw.
  6. The Weeper. A bivalve, and the first creature to use the land. An important stage in our evolution. The Weeper later develops into the eyes of a person, and the pumping out of salt water in the Weeper is the basic reason why we cry.
Further stages in our evolutionary past include the Birds, Being Eaten, the Sloth, the Ape, Piltdown Man, and the Caveman.

In contrast, are the past events in the history of the theta being. They include:

  1. The Jack-in-the-Box. "An invader trick, a method of trapping thetans." The thetan is given a box of pictures and "when he replaces the lid, the box explodes violently." People with this incident in restimulation, says Hubbard, tend to be very curious about cereal boxes.
  2. The Halver. "A half-light, half-black gun which shot out a wave. Half of this wave, usually the black, hit the right side of the victim's body; the other half, in the same explosion, usually the light side, hit the left side of the victim.

    "The Halver was rigged up with religious symbols and it truly lays in religion."

  3. Facsimile One. An incident in everyone's "bank", or reactive mind. Originally laid down in this galaxy about one million years ago. In it, "a push-pull wave is played over him (the preclear), first on his left side, then on his right and back and forth from side to side, laying in a bone deep somatic. When this treatment is done, the preclear is dumped in scalding water, then immediately in ice water. Then the preclear is put in a chair and whirled around."

    When this incident is "run", or audited out, Hubbard claims, it will eradicate "such things as asthma, sinus trouble, chronic chills and a host of other ills."

  4. Before Earth. An incident in which the thetan is "summoned before a council, is frowned upon, and then sent elsewhere than where he is." The effect is to make the person a "more obedient colonist."
  5. The Joiner, in which "a person is "packed in" with other souls by electronics.."
  6. The Ice Cube, in which "the being is packed in ice, taken to a new area and is usually dumped in the ocean." When this incident is in restimulation, the person may suffer from chronically cold hands and feet.
  7. Between Lives. The familiar between lives implants. In this incident, the person "`reports in,' is given a strong forgetter implant and is then shot down to a body just before it is born."

    About these implants, Hubbard writes, "The report station for most has been Mars. Some women report to stations elsewhere in the solar system. There are occasional incidents about Earth report stations. The report stations are protected by screens. The last Martian report station was established in the Pyrenees."

  8. The Emanator. "This is a large, glowing body of radioactive material which hangs magically in thin air, a sort of god, an all-knower. Its outpulse puts one into a trance."

I was getting a headache. I looked up from the book and around at the class. I wanted to ask someone about what I was reading, but I would have to wait for break, when I was safely outside the ever-present scrutiny of the Supervisor.

The other incidents on the theta track, I continued to read, were the Double Body, Theta Traps, the Body Builder, the Jiggler, the Whirler, the Bouncer, the Spinner, the Rocker, the Boxer, the Faller, the Education, and the Fly Trap. Of this last, Hubbard wrote:

It was of a gummy material. The thetan who got into it punched and fought at this material until he was psychotic enough to react to the physical universe laws of responding to motions. He was taken out of this trap by a crew of do-gooders who had caught him for his own good and who trained him in religious sweetness and syrup until they considered him fit to be part of their group.

I closed the book and looked around the room. Kris was sitting across from me at the table. The Supervisor was at her desk occupied with paperwork. I knew that we weren't allowed to talk on course unless we were doing a checkout. To be caught talking might mean a pink sheet to Ethics.

I reached over and tapped Kris's study pack. She looked up. I held up History of Man so she could see the title.

"Did you read this?" I whispered.

"Yeah," she whispered back.

"What did you think of it? Is he for real?"

She nodded her head. "Yeah, I guess. I thought it was pretty weird too. I figure it's probably just some kind of analogy or symbolism or something."

"But what if he's really serious about this stuff? I mean, I knew we were supposed to come from apes, but I have trouble believing I was once a clam."

"It might have something to do with the upper levels," she looked around furtively for the Supervisor.

"It's OK, she's doing some paperwork at her desk," I assured her. "I just feel confused. I know Hubbard is Source. And I believe what he says is true. But this stuff is wild."

"Maybe there's some reason he had for writing it that we don't know about. Anyway, I decided, the only thing that's important is the auditing. The tech works. When you start auditing, you'll see."

The Supervisor looked up from her desk and surveyed the class. I quickly looked down at my pack and signalled to Kris not to talk.

I wish Antonio were here, I thought wistfully. I know he could explain this to me. He always knows the answers to everything. I made a mental note to ask him about the book as soon as he returned to the center.

The next few days on the course were spent in learning to use the E-meter. Since I didn't have a meter of my own, I had already arranged with Antonio to use his while he was gone. Eventually, I would have to somehow come up with the money to buy my own meter.

On the E-meter drills, I learned how to keep the needle on the dial by moving the Tone Arm to compensate for the needle swings off the dial. I learned how to correctly set the sensitivity knob for each person I was auditing, as different people might have different sensitivities to the meter. People who didn't "read" well on the meter required a higher sensitivity setting than those who did read well.

Another part of my E-meter training consisted of learning to differentiate among the various different types of "reads." When the needle swung sharply to the right, it was known as a "fall." This was a sign that (electrical) "charge" was "coming off the PC's case", in other words that they were discharging unwanted mental tension.

A very long fall to the right was known as "a long fall blowdown." Other falls could be either "short falls" or "long falls." The difference in the reads were significant to the auditor. Locating items the preclear needed to "run" was often determined by the length of the fall of the needle on the dial of the meter.

When the needle swung to the left, it was called a "rise." A rise meant that the person being audited was actually "keying in" or accumulating mental mass. His "case" was becoming more solid. If a person's "TA" or Tone Arm setting was too high at the start of the session, that meant that he or she had something in restimulation, and might need to go through a "review session" before being audited on the current action, to find out what he was upset about.

Other reads of the needle included a "theta bop," which was a very rapid back and forth motion of the needle; a "rock slam," a distinct read which usually indicated that the person being audited had "evil purposes" or was an SP; and a "dirty needle," a jagged, irregular motion of the needle that usually meant the preclear had "withholds", that he was withholding something from the auditor.

I practiced with the E-meter for several days, running make-believe sessions with a large doll propped in the chair across from me until I was completely comfortable with using the very precise Dianetic commands, while simultaneously handling the E-meter.

Finally, I was ready to audit my first preclear.

I was assigned to audit Tommy, another student on the course. He was an artist who wrote poetry illustrated by detailed and intricate line drawings done in a very fine black pen. He was very popular at the center and I felt honored to be his auditor.

We walked back to the house where I had reserved one of the two small rooms upstairs used for auditing. I already had the table set up with the E-meter ready in the middle of the table. On my side of the table were the paper and pens I would be using to keep a running log of the session to be submitted to the "C/S" (Case Supervisor) after the session.

We sat down across from each other. Tommy reached for the small V-8 cans connected to the leads attached to the meter. He looked at me smiling.

"Have you had plenty of rest?" I asked him. It was always necessary to make sure that the preclear had plenty of rest and wasn't hungry before actually starting the session.

He nodded.

"Are you hungry?"


"All right. This is the session," I announced. I wrote down the starting time of the session on my worksheet.

The beginning of the session was easy. I had to ask him a series of questions from a sheet printed in green called appropriately a "Green Form." The answers of the preclear to the questions on this form would determine what to "run" in the session.

As we completed the form, Tommy revealed that he had recently suffered from headaches in which he would feel a sharp pain behind his eyes. This turned out to be the correct item to run.

I looked at Tommy with my very best TR 0. "Locate an incident containing a sharp pain behind your eyes," I commanded. He closed his eyes. "OK," he answered.

"Good. When was it?"

"Yesterday. On course. I had a headache."

"All right. How long did it last?"

"About three hours. Most of the afternoon. I was feeling nauseous, too."

"OK. Move to the beginning of the incident and tell me when you are there."

"Yeah, I'm there," he responded, his eyes still closed.

"OK. Now scan through to the end of the incident," I dictated the next command.

"OK," he said after a long silence.

"All right. Now tell me what happened."

"Well, I was just sitting in class and I started to get this same kind of headache I've been having lately. It just feels like a shooting pain in back of my eyes. I was having trouble seeing right. And I was sick to my stomach."

I had him visualize the incident again, then asked him if the picture was erasing or becoming more solid.

"Solid," he replied.

"OK. Is there an earlier similar incident containing a sharp pain behind the eyes?" I waited while he mentally searched for another picture. After a couple of minutes, he recalled another headache several days earlier. We ran this according to the same exact procedure.

All auditing must be very precisely done. Any deviations from the exact procedures written down by Hubbard are known as "squirreling" and are an Ethics offense. Continued squirreling could result in expulsion from Scientology and in one's being declared a Suppressive Person.

After going through several similar memories Tommy had of headaches in this lifetime, I asked him for yet another earlier incident.

He was silent for a long time.

"Well, I don't know. I seem to be looking at a picture of a grassy field."

"All right," I acknowledged him. "When was it?"

"About sixteen hundred years ago," he said, opening his eyes.

"How long did it last?" I asked.

"Not long. About half an hour," he closed his eyes again.

The incident turned out to be a time when he was a monk in ancient Italy. He had had his eyes put out for heretical beliefs.

After going through this incident I asked if there was an earlier incident. I was beginning to wonder when we were going to reach the end of the session. It was rumored that sessions sometimes lasted for eight to ten hours or longer.

Tommy located an earlier incident. It was a time several million years ago when, in an implant, he had had a metal band put around his head which was then slowly squeezed tighter and tighter causing a sharp pain in his head. Finally, at the end of this incident, Tommy opened his eyes and began to smile at me.

"Maybe that's why I've been getting all these headaches," he said hopefully. "All this reading about all these implants must have been keying in my headaches. That's really neat. Maybe now they'll stop."

"Great," I smiled back at him. "I'd like to indicate to you that your needle is floating. End of session."

He put down the cans and stretched.

"That felt good," he said, yawning. "Thanks a lot."

I turned off the meter, and told Tommy he could go over to the Examiner as I had to write up a final report of the session. It was necessary for the preclear to visit the Examiner after each session. The Examiner would check his "TA" (tone arm position) and needle action after the session to make sure that he had a floating needle and that the session had gone well. The Examiner's report was part of the paperwork that had to be submitted to the C/S.

I "wrote up" the session. I filled out a session cover sheet, carefully noting down the Tone Arm position at the end of the session and the ending time of the session.

I walked over to the center to pick up the exam report and to turn my folder in to the C/S. What a relief, I thought. Everything went just the way it was supposed to. I was happily anticipating the "Very Well Done" I would get from the C/S (all sessions were graded in this manner).

I returned to class and gave Kris a thumbs up sign. "It was easy," I told her.

"See. I told you. Wait 'til you do more. It's a blast," she whispered. We both returned to our reading.

On the next day I audited Tommy on his "feeling of nausea." The "basic" incident on this "chain" turned out to be another implant millions of years ago when he was being spun around in some kind of device while subjected to electronic beams. I turned this session in and received my second "Very Well Done." I was feeling proud.

I reported to the center for my third and, hopefully, last auditing session. If this session was successful, I would be able to graduate from the course. I would then be a full-fledged Hubbard Standard Dianetic Auditor, able to audit "paying PC's" and help make money for the center.

I walked over to the Supervisor's desk for my next assigned preclear. There was a young boy sitting in a chair next to her desk.

"This is David, your preclear," the Supervisor announced, not looking up. The boy stood up and looked at me shyly.

"My parents brought me here," he said. "They are in the Sea Org. I have a problem with wetting my bed. They said that you were going to help me." I was surprised, but I managed to smile at him. "How old are you David?" I asked him.

"Eight," he replied.

I looked at the Supervisor uncertainly. "How can I audit someone who's only eight years old?" I asked her.

"Where in the tech did it say that you couldn't audit someone that age?" she responded icily.

"Nowhere, I guess," I faltered, "but..."

"I suggest you get your ethics in," she said sternly, "and take your preclear into session."

I looked down at David. "Well, OK. C'mon David. Let's go see what happens." He walked silently beside me on the way to the house.

"David, how long have your parents been in the Sea Org?" I asked.

"As long as I can remember. I think since I was a baby. My older sister is in the Commodore's Messenger Org on the ship. She sends me post cards."

I had heard about the group of teenage girls and boys who served as Hubbard's own personal aides on the ships. According to the rumors, they were being groomed for executive positions in the organization.

"How about you, David? Do you go to school?"

"I go to the Scientology school. We learn TR's and all sorts of other things. In four more years I'll be old enough to join the Sea Org too," he answered. "I'm going to work on the ship and be a famous auditor. I'll get to travel all over the world." He kicked a stone on the sidewalk.

"Do you get to see your parents a lot?"

"Sometimes. When they're here. A lot of the time they're gone. Mostly I stay with the other kids in a house by the AO. That's where my parents work when they're here," he answered.

He looked up at me. "Is it OK for you to audit me?" he asked anxiously.

"Yes, I guess so. Have you had auditing before?"

"Oh, yes. Lots of times. Sometimes my dad audits me. Whenever I get sick I get a session. Or when I have to get my ethics in," he said matter-of-factly.

We reached the house. As I hung the "In Session. Do Not Disturb" sign on the outside and closed the door, David took his seat at the table and picked up the cans. He sat patiently and waited for me to start the session.

I asked him the preliminary questions about sleep and food. "OK, David," I said, adjusting the meter. "This is the session."

I did an assessment to see what "somatics" were associated with his wetting the bed. "A wet feeling" turned out to be the largest reading item.

"Locate an incident containing a wet feeling," I told him gently.

He closed his eyes. He's done this before, I realized.

In response to my questions, he remembered several times in the past when he had wet the bed, each one happening earlier in time.

I asked him for an even earlier incident. He had his eyes closed and appeared to be concentrating.

"I see a ship," he said. "People are running all over. They're screaming."

"When was it?" I asked him calmly.

"A long time ago," he answered. "It was before I was born. About fifty years ago, I guess."

"How long did it last?"

"It lasted a couple of hours. The ship is sinking. Everyone's running around and screaming."

I took him through the incident using the exact commands I had been taught. "Tell me what happened," I said, as he sat with his eyes still closed.

"I'm in this little room. I'm in a crib. There's water coming up around me. I'm getting wet. I hear all these people screaming in the halls. I wonder where my parents are. Pretty soon the water comes all the way up over my head." He opened his eyes and looked at me sadly.

"I was a little baby on the ship and I drowned," he said. "I think it was the Titanic."

"All right," I acknowledged him. I asked him if there was an earlier incident.

"No, just that one," he said decisively. "I was a baby on the Titanic and I drowned." I took him through the incident again.

"That's all there is. It was me. My parents went away and left me in this room on the Titanic and I drowned."

Never invalidate the preclear's data, was one of the inviolable rules of the Auditor's Code.

So I ended the session. David was smiling at me.

"Does this mean I won't ever wet my bed again?" he asked me.

"I guess we'll just have to wait and see," I said. I didn't want him to sense the doubts I was having in my own mind.

"Let's just go back to the center and you can see the Examiner."

A few minutes later, David sat in the chair near the Supervisor and waited for one of the teenage aides at the Org to come and walk him back home. I took my seat on the course and watched as he left, holding the hand of the young aide. I was feeling vaguely uneasy about something, but I didn't know what it was. I waited for the "C/S" to come back on my session.

Half an hour later, the Supervisor called out in a loud voice, "That's it everyone. Margery has just passed the Dianetics Course. She is now a Hubbard Standard Dianetic Auditor!"

Immediately there was applause from the class. I stood up. I knew I would have to make the obligatory speech.

"It was a lot easier than I thought it would be," I said, trying to say something positive, and not express the misgivings I was feeling inside. "I know I have a lot of exciting sessions ahead. I'm looking forward to being an auditor, to helping Clear the planet." More applause. I sat down.

The Supervisor came over. "Your next step is Success," she said, handing me a pink sheet on which she had printed my name and the words: Routing Form to Success.

I made my way up the hall to a door with a sign printed "Success and Certificates."

I knocked. Beverly, a very large woman and one of the staff workers at the center, handed me a piece of paper with a picture at the top of a dove flying through clouds. On the top of the paper were the words in large blue script: "SUCCESS STORY".

"Fill this out," Beverly instructed me. "You have to do this after you finish each course."

"What happens if someone doesn't want to fill it out?" I asked her curiously.

"Then they have to go back on course to see what it was that they didn't understand," she answered. "If they're not happy with the course, it means they had a M/U (misunderstood word) somewhere on the course. They can't graduate until they find it."

"Oh. I just wondered." I looked down at the paper.

"I had some wins on this course," I wrote. "The auditing was easier than I thought. I feel good knowing I can help people with their problems." I handed the paper to Beverly.

"OK. You're all finished here. You can come and pick up your certificate later this afternoon. Now you'll be ready to route onto your next course. I'll take you down to the Registrar." With some difficulty she got up out of her chair.

Within ten minutes, I was signed up and given my study pack for the next course, "Level 0".

I was on my way. At this rate I thought optimistically, I could probably make Class 6 within a year. I went back to my chair. No one looked up.

Later that afternoon I went back to Success to retrieve my certificate. It looked very impressive. My name had been printed in gold script. There was an official looking seal which had been stamped and printed with the date. I looked with satisfaction at the tangible proof of my first achievement as a Scientologist.

Many years later, back home in Michigan, I would spread all my hard won Scientology certificates out on the bed. They looked so official. Unfortunately, as I was to learn on that cold February day twelve years later, in the "wog world" my certificates had absolutely no value.

One night, I took all the certificates, and burned them one by one in a fire my dad had built in the living room fireplace.

It was a hard lesson in relative cultural values.

I never did see young David again.

I would think of him from time to time. "I wonder if he still wets his bed?" I never did find out.

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