Addition to Chapter 4

More Scientology Basics

EVEN AT THE MOST BASIC LEVEL, the courses I took and topics or terms I learned, brought about my Scientologist state of mind. I didn’t realize at that time that my Scientologist state of mind was shaped largely through the hypnotic repetition of commands and drills, and the replacement of concepts and words with Scientology language and ideas. Ex-Scientology readers already know the Scientology basics, from mystery sandwiches and cleared cannibals to wogs, learning how to learn Hubbard’s way, the sci-fi aspects of Scientology, and on. Continued (from printed page 45:)


I adopted Hubbard’s label that people outside of Scientology were wogs (coined by Hubbard from the phrase “worthy Oriental gentleman”), common ordinary run-of-the-mill garden variety humanoids who aren’t even trying to get informed about the superior spiritual technology understood only by trained Scientologists. Dedicated Scientologists are responsible to attack wog opponents—psychiatry, psychiatric drugs, psychology, ex-members, media, and any form of critics—and defame their reputation in order to protect and preserve Scientology’s.  The “wog” label is demeaning, a human’s worst condition other than “suppressive” for renouncing Scientology. We began to think of our families and friends as wogs. I never checked this word’s origin, thinking Hubbard had coined it, but later discovered it had been an offensive term of abuse with racial slurs for Blacks and Asians in Australian and British cultures.


The Student Hat course promises a learning method for high comprehension, and is a prerequisite for all Scientology courses. The Student Hat devalues a college education that, according to Hubbard, does nothing to improve the plight of humankind. I listened to more than a dozen taped lectures by Hubbard about education, knowledge, his philosophy of man, and various failed attempts throughout history to find solutions to the problems of the mind and the mysteries of life.

I embraced the rule that while reading, I could never go past a word I didn’t fully understand. Passing up a misunderstood word (MU) would cause blankness that would prevent me from comprehending anything beyond that MU. Not only did I have to learn every definition of Scientology terms, but every definition of every word I ran across that I didn’t fully understand, plus it’s derivation. I became a pro at using a dictionary and never studied without one after that.

Courses are done as an independent study using a check sheet in the course room. Students keep a student points sheet, and log points for reading pages, clearing words, and doing demos and checkouts throughout the study period. Teachers are not present;  course supervisors walk through the room looking at your points sheet to see if you are making good progress. Supervisors keep a total of student points for their weekly statistic. They watch the “indicators” of students to see if they are manifesting signs of study problems, such as passing misunderstood words, skipping a gradient, or having lack of mass from studying about something that is not real to them.

I’d sit at the table with my check sheet and materials, playing with my demo kit, and did every assignment in the sequence laid out. Once I finished reading a policy or book, if there was an * (asterisk) next to it on the check sheet, someone had to give me a star-rated checkout that checked my understanding of the material. The star-rater randomly picked words, and asked me to define them and use them in sentences. If I couldn’t do it, I got flunked, and had to find my MUs. Once I completed all the targets on my check sheet, I took the exam for the course.

The goal of a serious student like me was to attain “Fast Flow” status, so no one else had to check my understanding. I would be exempt from exams, entrusted to apply what I learned. To be Fast Flow, I had to complete the Student Hat and Method One (M1) Word Clearing. The theory of M1 word clearing is based on the belief that people can’t access the content of their education because of all the MUs they have accumulated, which cause blankness and stupidity. M1 promises to recover people’s entire education. It’s a laborious process done on the e-meter by an auditor who assesses all the subjects I have ever studied. The auditor detects words I didn’t understand by watching the reaction of the needle on the e-meter, and then clears the chain of earlier words until my needle “floats,” indicating I was a free release on that chain of words.

I demonstrated my understanding of the materials by making clay models on a table. For example, when I learned about Scientology’s KRC and ARC triangles, I had to model a little guy in clay and show how he could control (C) something only once he had gained the knowledge (K) about it and took responsibility (R) for it. To show ARC, I had to make clay models that showed how affinity (A), reality (R), and communication (C) equal understanding.

The upside to Hubbard’s study tech increased my ability to comprehend what I was reading, because I didn’t allow myself to skip over words or concepts. But I was already an avid reader and excellent student, so for me, this part was easy. Not until years later did I learn the downsides of study tech.


The need for high ethical standards across all eight compartments or dynamics of life is the pulse of a Scientologist. I learned that no solution to a problem is optimum unless it takes into account all the dynamics the solution affects. These eight dynamics are represented in concentric circles. The center circle is the First Dynamic, the self. The Second Dynamic is sex and family; Third, groups; Fourth, mankind; Fifth, all living things; Six, the physical universe; Seventh, the spiritual dynamic; Eighth is infinity.

For example, if I wanted to be in Scientology and Peter didn’t, this could be a problem on our second dynamic. I’d determine which dynamics this affected, and would decide what to do based on the greatest good for the greatest number of my dynamics. The Ethics book says that once you knock out one of these dynamics in a person’s life and say, ‘For this individual, this dynamic cannot exist,’ you get trouble, because they all get knocked out.” Hubbard’s approach to rational ethics comes into question, since he teaches that ethical decisions should be based on the “greatest good for the greatest number of one’s dynamics.” What about everyone else’s dynamics that you affect by your actions? I questioned many of Hubbard’s lopsided concepts, but could not express my doubt to anyone without getting in trouble or being disciplined. If this package of dynamics is so vital to the survival of an individual, I wondered how some of my friends who always seemed to be broke justified spending a lot of their money on Scientology auditing and training, which left nothing to feed the kids and pay the bills.


Paging through Scientology’s red Technical Dictionary opened up new worlds for discovering the alternate reality of Scientology philosophy. I read specialized terms about some of the secrets and mysteries of life I couldn’t otherwise learn about until I progressed through advanced levels. These terms represented the otherworldly side of Scientology with a sort of magical intrigue. A lower-level Scientologist has no way of learning what will be revealed in the advanced levels unless they gain access to confidential technical materials, or have indiscreet conversations with advanced Scientologists who will tell them about these things.

How fascinating to think of myself as a “thetan,” a living unit of theta life force or awareness as a spirit, soul, or source of energy in my own universe. Exploring definitions led to discoveries like “theta exterior” (knowing I am out of the body), “theta perceptics” (communication with the spiritual world without the body senses), “and theta universe” (an independent universe parallel to the material universe). The idea of myself as a spiritual being called a “thetan” instead of just a meat-body humanoid had its appeal. As an artist, I believed that theta spiritual states were possible, because creativity is theta that comes from an individual well of endowment. For example, when Peter sat down at the piano keys to improvise without sheet music—where do those notes come from as they flow through his hands on the keys? From his well of endowment. When I design something that is completely original, where does that come from? From my creative endowment.

How thetans live along the time track, and definitions of different spiritual states intrigued me: A human being’s mind has two main parts—the reactive mind and the analytical mind. The goal of “clear” is to erase the “reactive mind” that contains memories [engrams, moments of pain and unconsciousness] with negative charge. Hubbard’s History of Man says when a thetan’s body dies, the thetan with his/her reactive mind reports in at the “between-lives area.” An invader injects a strong forgetter “implant” before the thetan goes back to Earth to grab a new body before it is born
(p. 68). Dianetics says that births must remain silent to reduce the engrams the thetan receives in the new baby body. This birth-life-death cycle continues ad infinitum along the time track. Thetans get upset about going in and out of bodies, so Scientology addresses the problems of “interiorization” and “exteriorization” with special auditing actions.

A “Clear” is a person who no longer has his/her own reactive mind. I hoped to someday meet a “cleared theta clear” to see whether s/he could create illusions perceivable by others at will—theta perceptions—and move objects without using the body. An “operating thetan” (OT) has no reactive bank, and is able to live freely outside or inside of the body, in total control of matter, energy, space and time. I accepted the premise that the power of Scientology draws its strength from Hubbard’s revelations of the mysteries of the universe with the technology that equips Scientologists to control them. In 16 years in Scientology, I never met a Clear or OT who had these abilities.

Hubbard asserts that human souls on earth have been trapped in physical bodies since the beginning of time, and Scientology is the first and only solution that people can use to free themselves of this trap. He also says that a thetan can trap another thetan by using any means possible to reduce the thetan from being a “knowing” spiritual being to becoming just a slave stuck in a physical body. I thought, how cruel it would be to try to “trap a thetan.” How could this happen? Why would anyone want to do that, and who would do that?

Other sci-fi terms in the Tech dictionary sent up warning bells, such as “Galactic Confederacy,” “Marcab confederacy,” “Helotrobus implants,” “presser beams,” “tractor beams,” “getting PDH’d,” and on. For example, “implants” are overwhelming ideas or commands put into your mind through hypnosis or shock by an entity that is trying to overpower or control you. Once you’ve been implanted, you can’t help but to embrace the idea or obey the command. A person could be “PDH’d” by being implanted through pain, drug and hypnosis. Hubbard claims that humans have been implanted by outer forces all along the time track, and Scientology is the first technology to help people locate the implants in their mind and eliminate them. This is partly what he means by promising spiritual “freedom”—freedom from implants and from one’s reactive mind.

Until Scientologists get to OT III, they do not yet know that to get through the OT levels, they have to eliminate the clustered body thetans (BTs) that have been infesting them for eons. Thanks to Galactic ruler Xenu, who solved his overpopulation problem by mass implanting. Xenu delivered millions of people to Teegeeack (Earth), and used atomic bombs on specific volcanoes to blow these people to bits. These thetans have since infested all people on Earth. A brand new Scientologist is introduced to this volcano concept on the cover of Dianetics: A Modern Science of Mental Health without having any idea what that volcano represents. It’s a subliminal suggestion about this explosion of body thetans that they can’t learn about until they get to OT III.

Not until I was out of Scientology did I get many of my questions answered about all this. I am one of the fortunate ones who never read the confidential materials contained in the advanced OT (Operating Thetan) materials while I was in Scientology. After I attested to the state of Clear, I dragged my feet about “going OT,” with something telling me not to do it. After I finished Solo II, I didn’t go beyond OT Preps. This saved me from spending a fortune on the OT levels and saved myself from the insane process of purging the body thetans from myself.

Scientology clashes with Christian beliefs. Scientologists come back lifetime after lifetime; Christians only live one life. Scientologists are spiritual beings who reside in a body that we “drop” at death. The thetan comes back again and again, with a different body each time. Hubbard doesn’t use the word reincarnation because that belief lacks control of future lives. For example, a Hindu could come back as a rock or an animal, depending on karma. A Scientologist comes back in control of future lives, if audited and trained well enough to control all aspects of life, thought, matter, energy, space and time. As spiritual beings with god-like powers, we have the ability to recover all innate, natural powers of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence native to all thetans since before the beginning of time. Plus, thetans created time. Christians believe that God created the universe, time, space, and all of life.

Scientologists seek abilities beyond those known to the five senses, and train to develop 55 Super Power perceptics that develop abilities not sought by common people. This underscores the importance of training and auditing, so one can learn to control not only this life, but future lifetimes. The belief in coming back again and again takes the stress off having to accomplish everything they want to do in this one lifetime, since there will be plenty of chances to be, do and have everything within our imagination in future lifetimes.

Most of this information can be found online, but lower-level Scientologists do not know about Xenu or body thetans until they get to OT III. Devoted Scientologists are bamboozled enough to allow the church to install filters on their computers that block such advanced information, along with the “lies”or criticisms ex-members post about this. They believe that reading  critical information will make them very sick, break their back, or even result in death. So if you ask a Scientologist about Xenu or body thetans, they won’t know what you are talking about unless they are OT III or above


If humans are not their body, but they have a body, what holds together the spirit and the body? According to Hubbard, this question is a mystery sandwich, since many people believe that the spirit and the body are one and the same. Thetans get stuck in mystery sandwiches. He explains this mystery using the analogy of two pieces of bread making a sandwich. One slice represents a person’s body, living in the material world. The other slice represents the spiritual being, or thetan. Between these two slices of bread is the sandwich spread that holds the slices together. The sandwich spread is the thought process that compels the individual to want to know the mystery.

Mystery sandwiches are so compelling that people become stuck to the mystery sandwich of Scientology itself, according to Hubbard. New Scientologists are told that the mysteries of the universe are solved on the upper spiritual path of Scientology, the OT levels. It is this very mystery sandwich that lures newcomers into the Scientology world and keeps them stuck there.

The mysteries of Scientology enticed my curiosity in a similar way to when I wanted to know about God as a child. Who created the world and me? Who was in control of life on Earth? I had never gotten my questions answered in Catholic school or church. Instead, priests and nuns focused on Catholic life and rules. While attending Catholic school in Chicago, I had been spanked across my legs and my butt by a nun with a yardstick for wearing wrong uniform parts. Nuns had shagged me out of my pew in church when my girlfriends and I talked or laughed in church. I found the Bible picture books to be simplistic and mythical, not believable, as if dumbed down for moldable children’s minds. This environment surely didn’t reveal a God who I wanted to get to know. So, how to know the Supreme Being remained a mystery that kept me on the hunt for answers.


What happens if you clear a cannibal? According to Hubbard, a cleared cannibal survives across all aspects of his life in accordance with his breadth of understanding. In Science of Survival, he wrote, “This does not mean that a Zulu who has been cleared of all of his engrams would not continue to eat missionaries if he were a cannibal by education; but it does mean that he would be as rational as possible about eating missionaries; further, it would be easier to re-educate him about eating missionaries if he were a Clear” (p. 110). In the classroom I would ask the supervisor, “Is this supposed to be a metaphor, or does he mean this literally?” “Go clear your MUs,” the supervisor would say. And so it goes, studying Scientology. I’m supposed to decipher that unless a cannibal is trained properly in Scientology so he can successfully manage his life, just relieving the cannibal of his engrams on his whole track isn’t going to change his cannibalism. In other words, if someone is a rapist or murderer, clearing is probably not going to stop a person from killing and raping; it will just make the criminal as rational as possible about committing those crimes. The only way to create change is to train the individual in Scientology, to get the tech to handle life.


Scrapping my own critical thinking skills was the greatest error I made as I progressed deeper into Scientology. I thought, well, these are mysteries of life. Surely there must be more that I need to learn before I understand what all this really means. Receptivity to Scientology was partially influenced by my unhappy Catholic background. As a kid, I couldn’t see the benefits of religious traditions in our daily lives, starting with the Catholic church’s power over Mom and Dad. They had to lie about using birth control, which could have gotten them excommunicated if discovered. To live in fear of church rules seemed to counter what faith was supposed to be about. My family’s rituals, such as occasional visits to confessionals, praying while doing stations of the cross, and refraining from eating meat on Fridays, didn’t seem to enhance our lives in any way. Mom and Dad switched me from public school to Catholic school from 2nd to 5th grades, to ensure that I was a well-grounded Catholic who made her first holy communication and was confirmed in 5th grade. Instead, the strict disciplinary methods of nuns and priests drove me away from wanting to know the God they professed. Through my child eyes, religious regulations made followers feel like powerless sinners who couldn’t question things or live up to the church’s standards. My parents attended church inconsistently, so they had no grounds to disagree when I refused to go to church many Sunday mornings. By 11, my refusal to attend church at all liberated me from the suffocating rituals, but I kept my heart open to knowing God. I sensed that there was a deep well of love and wisdom that I would discover when I grew up, but it might take peeling away the layers of rules and regulations to find what I was looking for.

I was peeling away layers of beliefs and life principles that had shaped my upbringing and replacing them with new concepts I learned through reading Scientology books. The journey up Scientology’s bridge was no walk in the park; we were nudged every step of the way. Registrars and Bookstore Officers used heavy pressure to buy our complete LRH library (Hubbard’s hundreds of books and tapes). “Registrars” are actually salespeople trained in “Big League Sales,” a hard-sell sales method that doesn’t let customers say no. Their job is to register customers for training and auditing, so if you don’t pay you don’t receive a service. The groupthink was that if I didn’t own this book or that tape and e-meter, I would be labeled as “off-Source.” After my first outlay of $8,000, we went $30,000 in debt for Scientology services and materials within our first year.