PART IV: In the Wog World
The present life is always of considerable interest to the preclear.
L. RON HUBBARD
This is a universe of force. It is not a universe of reason. Brutal, unthinking, without decency or mercy, MEST force awaits with punishment any being with a weakness.
Only when the train pulled out of Edinburgh Station did I allow myself to think forbidden thoughts, feel the resentment and disgust. I wanted to heave their lines, their ethics, their stats up in one big ball.
Ron's bombastic voice still filled my head -- Source, who had nothing but contempt for the world and had taught me to see only danger and ugliness. Did I forget something? Say the wrong thing? Leave my briefcase unlocked, unguarded? And fear: fear of not escaping the Trap; fear of not being able to afford auditing; fear of sec checks, the soul stripped bare by the meter; fear of being down-stat, subject to ethics penalty; fear of destroying the preclear and myself; fear of the unconfrontable wog world.
Ron's followers were not spared his contempt. I had been seared by it when I split myself into a pathetic creature called "auditor-preclear."
I had hammered down my feelings, paralyzed myself with fear whenever my mind tried to tear itself free. How many times I'd shuddered as I was about to think what I shouldn't, and intercepted and aborted the thought; how many times I had said "Yes, oh yes," and felt the horror. Horror at myself, my own voice whispering, "Why, this is wrong, all wrong."
As the train carried me away from the AO and my Doubt penalty, I took out some notebook paper and started to write. I had denied myself self-expression for three months that seemed like three years. The notes I wrote were criticisms of Ron, Tech, the Sea Org.
That night I shared a hotel room in London with a salesman from the north of England whom I'd joined up with near the railway station to look for a cheap lodging. He wanted to know what had brought me to Great Britain. When I told him Scientology, he showed surprise, since he had read scathing articles about the group.
My indoctrination took over; I rose to the defense. "Those articles are slanted to appeal to the public's sensationalistic taste. Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers."
"But the Minister of Health said that Scientology breaks up families, damages minds."
"That gentleman has an axe to grind. We don't know what his real motives are, do we? `Damages minds' -- that's a consideration on his part."
"Well, what do you yourself think of Scientology? How did you like it?"
"I got up to one of the highest levels they have."
I asked the location of the Home Office from a Londoner wearing a bowler hat. He walked me almost to my destination. The wog world was inexplicably buzzing along as usual; my courteous guide, the buses and trucks and flocks of people. Return to the wog world seemed unreal.
A woman handed me my passport and consulted a list. "I see that you're in Scientology. I must inform you, if you don't already know, that you're classified as an undesirable alien now."
"I know. I've left the group and I'm going back to the States today."
I tried called the Dalmases for the tenth time. No answer. I was worried about them, but perhaps they were simply out enjoying the countryside for a day or two.
Before checking out my bags at the railway station, I had the urge to pick up some reading material. I hadn't read any of my old friends, the Oriental sages, in many months, and, feeling and intense longing for something other than Scientology, purchased a translation of the Tao Te Ching and a book of essays by Krishnamurti.
I chatted with the middle-aged couple seated next to me on the plane. I could disagree with anything they said, turn my head away whenever I pleased; I didn't have to keep my eyes frozen on theirs while acknowledging everything they said. I let some of their remarks dangle in the air unacknowledged.
I needed a place to stay in New York, but great caution was in order. I was carrying the confidential materials around in my head, like the OT III bomb, and my presence might harm others. The truth was sickening and degrading. Those close to me must be spared such awakening.
I called Dag Lildberg from Kennedy when I deplaned around 10 p.m. Dag was a serious student of yoga; he had once hinted of methods for warding off evil forces, and I could be near him with minimal risk of causing damage.
When I entered Dag's apartment, he looked at me strangely. "What that funny odor?" he asked.
"Sweat, I guess."
"No, it's not like ordinary body odor. For crissake, it's fear. I smell fear coming out of your pores."
I told Dag I was through with the organization, omitting any details of my experience. We talked into the morning. I lay down for a long-awaited restful sleep. I awoke three or four hours later in terror. The "thing" had followed me to New York! But now I could tell someone about it. I woke up Dag and begged him to talk with me.
Dag knew something about inner fear. At divinity school he had become disenchanted and had gone through a long period of spiritual unrest. Through the months of soul-searching he had gradually grown stronger, and his eventual victory over the negative forces was a turning point in his life. Dag's story struck a distant bell. His desire to help me was unquestionably sincere, and I stretched my mind to identify with his experiences. After two more wretched nights, over his protests, I called the franchise.
A theta being produces considerable voltage and amperage, enough to give somebody a very bad shock, or put out his eyes or cut him in half.
"I just don't get it, your honor," said Gerald. "You graduated the Dianetics Course here, and you were happy and healthy and a terrific auditor. Now you seem rather caved in, sire."
Felicia remarked that my "powerful negative flow" almost knocked her down when I entered the penthouse.
"I'm in Doubt, but they may have placed me in a Lower Condition by now, and I'm sure I'm either an Enemy or a Degraded Being. Do you think they'll do anything to me?"
"I never heard of them actually doing anything -- maybe a little harassment at worst," Felicia replied. "But don't get yourself Declared unnecessarily. A girl I knew did , and she's never been the same since. Anyway, cheer up! She smiled. "I don't think you're a Degraded Being!"
I gave them a history of my case, stopping short of OT III. Gerald had a theory. "You know, you were probably clear long before your Solo Audit. In fact, when you left New York last May you must have been close to it. I took off so much charge in those review sessions that you were in really great shape, high on the Tone Scale and almost Thetan Exterior. There's a good chance you pulled in the Upper Levels at Saint Hill before you ever did them -- OT III and beyond, maybe everything up to OT VI and god knows what else! You're probably an OT III or higher right now. Why don't you go into the bedroom, give yourself a rehab and see where you stand."
Holding the single tin can, I asked myself, "Are you an OT I? II? III? IV? V? VI?" and got floating needles on all but VI. I wondered how the meter knew all this when I'd never seen the IV, V and VI materials.
"Now that you're definitely a III," said Gerald, "you can go to the new AO in Los Angeles and get everything straightened out. Whenever you attest to an Upper Level you're automatically in Condition of Affluence, by-passing Doubt or any other penalty."
"I don't think I ever want to see them again."
"Well, in that case, my good man, I'll do what I can to help you."
"You mean review?"
"Precisely -- and it's on the house. But you mustn't breathe a word of this to anyone. It could get pretty hairy for me if they ever found out."
Rehabilitate the thetan and the entity problem vanishes. Start auditing entities and they increase in power.
Gerald wanted to check OT III. I was reluctant to divulge the secrets to him, but he assured me that, since he had done a lot of research for Hubbard, he knew the basic idea behind them.
I described the body thetans and the incidents. "You know," he said, "these body thetans are really much the same thing as the Genetic Entities Ron wrote about in his History of Man in the early '50s. This is nothing new to me a-tall, a-tall."
He checked the body thetans I had run so exhaustively. "Did this body thetan leave you at any time?"
"It could have. I had a hunch it left on the seventh or eighth run."
"Now that's very interesting. I'll check it on the meter. Did the body thetan leave on the seventh run? The eighth? Wait a minute. Just how many times did you run it on the first incident?"
"About 63 times."
"Good lord! Thank you. Your needle is floating. That means you overran yourself on the incident about 56 times. Put down the cans a moment. In my experience as a Saint Hill intern, I saw this happen time and time again. You know Edward Douglas, the Australian? That poor old bloke did a hundred runs of the entire Clearing Course, over eighty of them unnecessary. He was on it for months. I thought they'd carry him away in a basket. As for me, I overran clear, OT I and OT II. I was on II for weeks on end and feeling worse and worse. One night I got fed up and guzzled down almost a litre of Scotch while I audited myself on II, and staggered in to attest at noon the next day with the king of all hangovers. The young snot-nose Examiner tried to tell me I couldn't possibly be an OT II in the state I was in. I screamed at her, `I don't give a flaming fuck what you say. I'm an OT sodding II!' Now, pick up the cans, your majesty. I want to try something else."
Gerald gave me a Search and Discovery. We quickly got to the suppressives: Scientology and Ron Hubbard.
"That's pretty funny," I said.
"Why, not at all. Ron often shows as the suppressive on Search and Discoveries. Won't you write him a disconnect letter?" He handed me pen and paper.
"This is silly. I don't need to `disconnect' from anybody." I wrote on the sheet a simple "Fuck you, Ron."
As I was leaving the franchise I saw on the hall table the latest edition of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. On the jacket was a colorful picture of an erupting volcano. Was this another one of Ron's jokes?
I stayed at Dag's for two weeks, then got a furnished room, and a music job.
I had thought that in New York the old me would return with loving familiarity and I would make a quick recovery, but, despite Gerald's review, the sickness lingered. I inhabited two worlds simultaneously, and thought the wog world seemed much the same as before, I had changed.
Only a few friends guessed that something was wrong. Renzo Lancia sensed right away that my trip had gone badly, but didn't try to probe, to get me to talk about it. Alan Ottoman was more outspokenly against Scientology than ever. Dag Lildberg insisted that Scientology had nothing to do with spirituality because "they scare the shit out of people."
Morton Morvis was still saving up his money to go clear. I had to warn him about the organization. He listened to me as unevaluatingly as a Scientologists should, carefully observing tenet number ten of the Scientologist's Code: Engage in no unseemly disputes with the uninformed on the subject of my profession. I pleaded with Morton to reconsider. He thought I was nattering, and suggested I write a letter to Hubbard telling my story. There was a box near Reception at every org for communications addressed to Ron, and all letters were supposed to reach him sooner or later.
I felt stupid. I should have known better than to try to talk to Morvis.
Restful sleep remained unbearably elusive. I awoke around six each morning, regardless of how late I had gone to bed. The bed itself seemed cursed, and I couldn't find a comfortable position. After a while, the "charge" would come, a pillar of vile substance running from my head down through my neck, casing the nerves with fiery entities. I would jump out of bed as though possessed, pull on some clothes and walk slowly down the avenue, keeping my eyes on faces, traffic and window displays. Sometimes while waiting for a light to change, a pressure would quickly mount in my head, threatening to topple me over. I could resist it only by taking small steps in place. Sometimes I felt about to rise off the pavement, or that my mind was going to disintegrate and fly off into space in several directions at once, like The Objects on the Clearing Course.
At the ballet studios, the rehearsal music looked strange, and I cringed at some of my own sounds on the piano. In the orchestra pit at night, I fought the dizziness that made me feel like falling off the piano bench during the performance. After the show, I would slowly walk uptown, tingling with the fear of waking up with the "presence" still there. The fear crescendoed as I unlocked the door to my hallway. I might find a suppressive order in the day's mail on the table just inside. One night as I entered my room I felt that something was dreadfully wrong there, and looked around. It was the Scientology books still sitting on a shelf. I grabbed them and threw them into the garbage can in the kitchen. I had already torn some bulletins into shreds in a minor ritual performed at Dag's apartment.
I would put off going to bed, in the hope that this would somehow make me wake up later. When I finally retired, I would lie on my back, spread-eagled, and imagine I was opening myself to the blessed forces that would come during the night to heal me.
Time was an enemy. There were hours to kill each morning before rehearsals began, and a free day each week to survive. To keep active, I started writing an arrangement. My music notations looked as blurry as fronds in a dirty aquarium. I reread a few of my old notes on piano playing and was saddened and ashamed at the bravado I had once affected. I put down the notebook, overcome by memories. After that I gave up working on projects in my room.
I thought back further to those happy months before my departure for England. I had disseminated Scientology to friends, hoping they would share my vision of an expanding world; and had given a piano recital, expecting success to follow automatically, like the gains from auditing. When the concert came to nothing, I had dropped my music plans. I hadn't admitted to myself that I was discouraged and disillusioned -- as I was now -- that my life during those months was basically no different than before Scientology.
I stared at the entry I had made in my datebook just a few months ago at the franchise: "Talk yourself out of it." I must cure myself. The sickness was emotional; the cure lay in identifying and understanding my emotions. I had enough information. Failure and loss were involved. I had spent my savings and submitted to numerous indignities to find a solution to my life. I had failed, proven myself a weakling, and was now punishing myself, siphoning up an inner reservoir of guilt, humiliation, self-hate. I searched for the key that would unlock the sickness. But the feelings weren't really "mine"; they were mixed in with Scientology, and I had never yet made the separation.
I must take an objective look at Scientology itself, sifting out from its components -- Ron, Tech, Ethics -- the true and the false. However, I was still too fettered by my indoctrination to step outside for that kind of look. My "scrutiny" consisted of posing a few questions within the Scientological context, always in their terms: Why were the Lower Grades so structures, engrams, then communications, problems, etc.? After overts, withholds, present-time problems and ARC breaks were released on the Lower Grades, why did these trouble spots reappear on clearing and the Upper Levels, to be dealt with again and again on green-forms and in review sessions? And why were there "incidents" on OT III when the bank was presumably "erased" on the Clearing Course?
But there was something I was missing, even with these questions.
Ron, with the overts and withholds, had smeared everyday human occurrences with a sordid coloration. I dimly recognized Ron's own "overt." It appeared in vague form, immense and unidentifiable. I knew only that Ron repudiated the human spirit in is unaudited state; he had maligned the world with all its good people and lovely things. His creation was a blasphemy.
I often thought about Felicia and Gerald. Thus far they were the only ones I felt completely safe talking to. Yet there was an ambiguity about them, something I couldn't place. They straddled a gulf. They never challenged anything I told them, or criticized me. I could confide my worst fears to them and they did their best to comfort me, treating my most extravagant delusions with gentle, sympathetic humor -- like parents quieting their child's fears. Gerald stressed that the secret materials were nothing but a bunch of words on paper and could only help or harm one who gave them the power to do so by believing in them.
But just as they would not "invalidate" me, neither would they invalidate Ron's Tech and the Upper Levels. To do so would have compromised their own long commitment and the good living they were making at the franchise. They wanted me to think of my symptoms as a "sign of progress," and that once I got over the shock of my OT awareness, I would start enjoying it. Felicia had herself suffered post-clearing effects -- floating sensations, difficulty getting about on public transportation, and the constant runny-nose peculiarly known as a "clearing cold."
Then, chameleon-like, they would about-face, admitting that my story had cast a shadow over Scientology, causing in them such disturbing doubts that they were close now to cutting their connection with the organization. Something had gone horribly wrong. Had Hubbard or the organization gone mad? Perhaps, like other great teachings throughout history, Hubbard's message had been warped by followers. Or had Ron disappeared and someone else taken over? Of course, the Founder and Commodore was not above suspicion either. Just who was this man Ron?
I went to an M.D., who gave me a physical exam and ineffectual tranquilizers. Then I visited a chiropractor I'd last seen in 1966, who was a devout follower of a Middle Eastern holy man. As he adjusted my spine, he said: "I don't know what you did over in England but you've abused your nerves and glands terribly. You're not the same person you were before you went over there for "Sky-entology.'"
"Its Scientology. It come from a Greek word meaning "to know."
"I know. I had one of them in here the other day badgering me for an hour. Well, what's this `Sky-entology' all about, anyway? I couldn't get it out of him. What's their main idea, their pie-in-the-sky?"
"That man is basically a spirit, an immortal soul. Scientology restores his soul. They have another name for `soul.' They call it the thetan."
"`Thetan.' Now, that's funny. Sometimes the mind hears the things it wants to hear. Just then I heard you say the word I was thinking all along. I heard you speak with a lisp. I heard you say SATAN."
This very instant I know of three cases with whom I am in daily contact whose lives would be changed by finding and running the incident necessary to solve their case.
I was stuck in OT III, beyond help. I had ruined myself self-auditing while out of my senses, opening myself to the noxious material. I had seen the reads, felt the charge, the electricity, even as I did now. There was still an unflat engram, the incident that would resolve my case, the one only Ron himself could find and erase.
I had been an intruder in the group, concealing my selfish motives, caring nothing about Clearing the Planet, feeling covert pleasure when others rejected Scientology. I had given myself away because I couldn't audit myself properly.
I remembered with dread the assumed understanding. I feared the looks the stares, their insane longing to make me one of them. They would never stop wanting something from me. They would never let me go.
The Sea Org was on the move. New orgs were springing up, thousands joining. It was spreading like a malignant tumor. I recalled Ann Dalmas' tale of zombies sent from another galaxy to enslave earth. They would take over our planet. Dressed in Sea Org white they would come to claim me, one of their own.
Your preclear has been guilty himself of any crime or action he protests occurred to him -- for by his worry he confesses that whether or not it happened to him, he did it to others.
I had tried to bring others into the group. Innocent, lovable wogs. The knowledge of what I had done, what I had given myself to, made my whole former life suspect. I had been living in a dream. How sick at heart and in need of punishment I'd been, how little I'd known about myself -- my very existence an attempt to hide from the fact that there had been something radically wrong with me -- jobs, schemes, romantic feelings, every waking moment an escape from this awful truth ... my whole life was spinning around me.
We had something in common, Ron and I. He too was afraid, and his fear had taught him how to ensnare us. Beyond the dream of infinite love was Ron's hatred, as scorching as the OT III hydrogen bomb. With brutal contempt he milked his slaves of all they had. But that was not enough for him.
I was getting close to Ron's overt. Along with everything else in Scientology, the overt came from Source. Ron had created the overt. And the withhold, the Time Track, the charge, the implants, the body thetans, the Degraded Beings of the universe whom even Scientology couldn't salvage -- all a world of his own crafting. It was Ron who had created the reactive mind. He played with us as he played with his pack of creatures, and the evil he accused others of was his own creation. I had trusted him and become sick and loathsome in my own eyes. A thetan was not a human being -- to be human was to be corrupt, contaminated. I had been betrayed by this man whom I had seen only on film.
With self-hatred gnawing at my insides, I identified my foolhardy mistakes with Ron's crimes against humanity. His sin was of such magnitude that I did not comprehend it until in my morbid state, as in a vision, I finally beheld the astounding power of Ron's overt.
The vision came to me with the memory of premonitions I had had as I sat in my room in Edinburgh, calling and spotting the thetan: the bulletins on implants, beings from the outer worlds, their enslavement of mankind, and the thetan's fall.
It had been Ron all along, claiming that his own deeds were committed by others. He told us what we were, erasing our old identity and implanting a new one. At his command we caromed off of stars, or slithered down into the sinewy gray coils of the Time Track. Ron was an amorphous thing, creating thetans by enslaving human beings, then eating their minds and souls, engorging them back into Source, bloating himself with thetans in his insatiable craving. This was being At Cause. This was the grotesque culmination of our noble, naive desire for freedom.
The creature was inside me now, the thing Ron had taught me to create by spotting. When I perceived the world around me, the people, the buildings, the vehicles, about to split and fly apart, it was the thetan, created and warmed by false love, trying to pull itself away and fly back to Source.
The act of creation was hideous because of what I had helped to create. My fanciful ideas of my former life, of what was lofty and pure, were tinged with the repugnancy. The love, the beauty had been a grandiose delusion, the attempt of a foolish, obstinate soul to clutch at things.
Ron said in a bulletin that a thetan would do anything to prove itself right. I had had to create to justify my own existence and fill in the dreaded void. Like Albert Ward, sulking at the table at Fyfield Manor, like Richard Stiles, burnt to ash in the Edinburgh Crematorium, I was a bitter, fallen thetan blown about the universe.
I wanted to thank Ron for this awareness he had given me of my true self. He could never accuse me of being one of the ungrateful ones.
The visitations appeared more frequently. I often caught myself hallucinating. My mind was damaged. Something had been taken away and something put there. At times I could feel the thing in my head trying to eat its way out. Once I had the notion that my brain was quicksand, with a puckered hole through which it sucked itself down with gurgling noises. Once it was a hole in a sofa, left by a burning cigarette, the faint trickle of smoke wafting up through charred shreds of fabric.
My perceptions carried to me a profound disgust: colors, thoughts, memories, passing faces -- infected with the disease. I was aghast at the power of Ron's creation, as I began to see things with his mad vision. A street corner recalled to me a past life on another world. Time and proportion had lost their meaning. It was the same -- our beloved earth and another beloved planet. A great ache welled up in me as I saw a vivid green meadow and a spaceship departing into an alien sky with my loved ones aboard.
The sickness was wearing me down. It was harder to get through each day. I longed for sleep and sometimes dozed off on the subway. I had no strength left to fight. Finally I gave way to the depression. I awoke each morning disconsolate. There was nothing I wanted to do anymore. The wog world had no more meaning. I walked on Broadway weighted with the sorrow and futility of everything around me.
I used to pray that I could be as I'd been before, full of weaknesses and hopes, never knowing what I was doing. My crazy, blessed life, stumbling about, planning, whoring, wasting time. I observed with clarity the things my brain was doing, and remembered the way it had worked before -- its first thoughts in the morning, the way it responded to sights and sounds. I couldn't bring it back and I missed my beloved old brain. I envied most people for their earth-bound consciousness, their everyday cares. I had thought I would be different from them. Why hadn't I just been thankful for what I had?
These were my thoughts during the week or two before I decided to take my own life, and as a last gesture on my own behalf committed myself to a psychiatric ward in Rochester, New York, where I joined the nerve-ridden and depressed people of the wog world.
The hospital treatment took three forms: talking therapy, drug therapy, and activities. Each day I looked forward to the half hour with the psychiatrist assigned to me. This seemed to hold the only hope for change. I liked my psychiatrist, a red-bearded Australian (apparently Australians played an obligatory role in my life that year), who looked as though he carried the sufferings of the ward on his shoulders. However, since there was no particularized treatment for post-cult syndrome at that time, the doctor turned my overtures to discuss Scientology back to my childhood: "I wonder what your feeling was when you were a little boy about being controlled by others."
To help the doctor grasp my situation, I wrote up a brief description of the confidential materials and gave it to him, after warning him about their danger. He would be the first non-Scientologist I told. I was surprised to see him the next day strolling down the corridor with his usual careworn expression but evidently unharmed.
"You've read my report?" I asked him. "You don't seem affect by it."
He replied, "Yes, I'm all right. But I understand better now why you were disturbed by this."
The hospital staff obligingly let me spend every possible moment at the one activity I could tolerate, painting in oils. After about two weeks they gave me afternoon passes to go to my father's apartment and practice piano.
The hospital provided temporary safety but little towards a cure. I was discharged after five weeks and went to stay with my father. I did almost nothing at his place except learn some piano pieces. Weeks dragged by, then months.
Felicia phoned me from New York. She and Gerald had visited the AO in Los Angeles and were now OT VI Class VIII Auditors; also man and wife. Class VIII was a new elite auditor's course, much of which dealt with OT III. There were lots of casualties on III, and Hubbard had made at least one major change: OT IV was no longer self-audited but administered by Class VIII Auditors.
Felicia was enthusiastic about my coming to New York. "We've got the answer to your trouble now, and we can remedy it. What's more, we can audit you through OT IV if you need it."
I told her I wanted to return to New York but had had enough of Scientology.
"But we were almost ready to chuck Scientology because of what happened to you," Felicia said. "Then Ron gave us a special dispensation to take the Class VIII course free -- otherwise it would have cost us $1,000 each. But we really went to L.A. for more than any other reason to find a way to get you out of whatever you fell into."
The moment I rang off I had second thoughts. Hubbard had admitted that Tech was imperfect, and had made the needed changes. Perhaps he wasn't really such a monster. I had gone the establishment route at the hospital, and I was still despondent most of the time. The doctors had advised me to forget my experiences in Great Britain -- which were now somewhat repressed by tranquilizers. The Tybers might still get results where the wog world had failed. In the security of their penthouse, I would triumph over my fear of auditing and the E-meter and let the new Scientology cure the old.
I also wanted to give the Tybers a chance to vindicate themselves. They felt responsible for my trip to England, and I knew Felicia was sincere about their going to great lengths to help me. We would be good friends again.
Besides, I was curious.
"One of the things Ron discovered," said Gerald, putting in an R-Factor, "was that many Upper Level students were auditing themselves over ARC breaks, present-time problems and withholds, such as in your case, where you spent weeks auditing with all your withholds and had a drastic ARC break with everything from the time you got to Saint Hill. So a Class VIII Auditor cleans them all up at the beginning of each session."
My only new withhold was my written account of the Upper Levels I had given the doctor. Gerald was concerned that it might be used by the American Psychiatric Association against Scientology. I replied that the ravings of a mental ward patient would scarcely be considered incriminating evidence.
Next, Gerald checked for lingering body thetans. "Remember that part about the `days of pictures of gods, devils and the bank' that Ron calls the thirty-day run? That's precisely what happened to you, sir; you fell into the thirty-day run."
A person is "packed-in" with other souls ... placed in a ring and hammered by electronics to get them to fuse.
"Ron has just discovered there can be a whole bunch of body thetans in one location. He calls that a cluster," Gerald continued. "I'm going to check for clusters. Is there a cluster? I'm getting a read. How do you feel about that?"
"I guess there's a cluster, then," I agreed.
"All right. We're going to run it on inc I."
We went at it for a while, looking for more clusters, and running them through the incident.
I was bored to the point of giddiness. "Gerald, there aren't any more body thetans. In fact, I never had any. I don't even believe they exist. It's a load of crap."
"Your needle is floating on `a load of crap.' Maybe it is a load of crap, your honor. I just want to make completely sure there are no more around."
After repeated checking and recurrent floating needles, Gerald concluded, "Now we've proven you're and OT III beyond all doubt, we're going to make you an OT IV beyond all doubt."
The specific incidents you must run ... are directed solely, at this stage, toward attaining a voluntary and controlled separation between the MEST body and the theta body. This is much easier to do than you would at first believe.
The OT IV materials began with more rehab or releases and cleaning up of possible ARC breaks, present-time problems and withholds since the last session. The Level proper consisted of a detailed search for engrammic recording. Gerald read down a list of types of engrams, scanning the machine for reads.
I said, "There aren't any engrams. I got rid of all my engrams ages ago -- if there ever were any."
"I just want to be absolutely sure."
"Gerald, there are definitely no more engrams."
"Are you perfectly sure."
"Then I ask you: Where are you right now?"
I thought about it. He had some reason to think that I was exteriorized, but I had no reason to think so. "I'm not sure. I don't feel too bad at the moment, but I think that I'm most likely in my body."
"Well, I have on the dial what's known as an exteriorization needle. It's a dial-wide float. Are you exteriorized in your own universe?"
"I don't know what that means."
"I have every indication," he said, "that you are already an OT IV. How do you feel about that?"
"I'm willing to accept it if that what it is."
"Great! You're exteriorized in your own universe at this moment and the rest will come in time. Congratulations, your most royal highness. I'd like to validate the fact that you're really, truly and absolutely an OT IV!"
The Tybers and I had a victory celebration at a French restaurant. Over our second bottle of wine, Gerald fractured Felicia and me with stories about his recent experiences at the AOLA. A Class VIII Auditor could handle any preclear in any situation at any time, and Gerald had encountered some dillies. One was a man who had got into difficulty on OT III. When Gerald gave him the first command, "Locate a body thetan," the man leered and said, "How can I when there is no `I'? The `I' went away during an incident. I'm one of them! HAHAHAHA!"
"Were you able to patch him up?"
"Why, certainly. I just ran incs I and II on him till I cracked his case."
Gerald's masterpiece involved none other than our old friend Marty Moussorgsky. Felica and I listened raptly as Gerald regaled us with all the details.
"Mary was almost impossible to audit. There was no one left at the AOLA who would handle his case. They pleaded with me. I said not on your life, but finally relented out of sheer compassion.
"Marty kept breaking out-of-session to criticize my auditing technique; I could see why the other Class VIIIs refused to audit him. After several hours I was just beginning to make some headway when Marty slammed his fist down on the auditing table and bellowed, `I've got it! I finally know what past-life I'm dramatizing. I'm a LION! BWAAA!'
"`Thank you. I'll repeat the auditing question -- '
"`Good. I'll repeat the auditing question -- '
"At this point Marty got down on the floor on his hands and knees and went `BWAAA!'
"Fine. Pick up the cans, please.'
"`BWAAA!' Marty roared, circling the auditing table on all fours."
"Did you ever get him out of that?" I asked weakly.
"Oh sure. Same thing, incs I and II," said Gerald, lowering his voice because people at other tables had turned to peer at us.
We sat around after dinner drinking brandies. Felicia suggested we have a little sport with the other diners. "You can expect to start turning on to your new powers any time now," she said. "You're At Cause other things. Put your awareness on that woman in the red dress over there. I bet you can make her scratch her leg."
I furrowed my brow. The woman picked up a menu.
"You see that? She moved! Soon you'll be able to narrow it down till you can -- would you believe this? -- make her have ... Gerald and I have been fooling around with this lately. We project MEST body feelings, if you dig what I'm getting at."
"You don't mean a th-theta fuck, do you?"
"You've got it."
"And you can actually do this with people?"
"Not people. One person. Gerald and I have been faithful to each other."
The pictures, by the way, are simply generalized views, stills of vacant lots, houses, back yards, of a recent Earth period...
The next morning I awoke with the fear. A few hours later I went to Gerald for review. We agreed it would be convenient to use the word "It" to represent my negative emotions.
"I want you to close your eyes and make a mental facsimile of `It,'" Gerald said.
"How do you mean? Imagine `It'?"
"Any way you want, okay. Got it? Now make another facsimile of `It' -- andanotherandanotherandanother. Good! Now lump them all together into one. Now destroy it. Now bring it back. Now destroy it again -- any way you want, throw it off the terrace, flush it down the toilet, I don't care, just destroy it." He had me repeat this several times.
"Why are we doing this?"
"You're creating something, the thing we choose to call `It,' compulsively. You have no control. This process restores your ability to destroy as well as to create. You must possess both abilities, you know."
I was creating compulsively even as Gerald spoke. During the first part of the session one facsimile had stuck in my mind, a snow-capped mountain, ponderous in its evocation of immovable mass. At opposite sides of its base were positive and negative poles, with charge winging back and forth between them like tracer bullets. Then the image had merged into others, which were now exploding in rapid sequences like sees in an accelerated filming of the growth of plants. Then there were pictures of rooms in various countries, in small towns, where people sat, isolated, waiting through the billions of years, encased in the mustiness of the furnishings and their own loneliness.
It is nothing to do with hypnotism, charlatanism, monkeyism, or theosophy.
"Put down the cans a minute. How are you feeling right now?"
"Okay. Next, I want you to go out on the street and as you see people coming towards you imagine that `It' is passing from you into them. Do that for an hour or so."
"I'm sorry, Gerald. I can't do that."
"Why in heaven's name not, man? It's for your own good."
"Maybe it s, but I wouldn't want to project what I'm going through into anyone else."
"This is perfectly harmless. It's simply to give you more control over your own universe. You won't harm a bleedin' soul doin it."
I hesitated. There was something diabolical about Gerald's suggestion. It sounded like black meditation.
"I just can't do it. Maybe it's harmless, as you say, but I won't risk it."
"Fine, Bob." He thought I was nattering from the bank. "If you won't do it, you won't do it. How about doing it on that wall over there? You can't have any objection to that."
He had me project "It" into the wall a dozen times.
The behavior of the thetan ... was often copied after something he took from the entities ... Insane people are found to be running on their entities, not their thetans.
"One thing has impressed me throughout this whole affair," said Felicia. "You seem to be dramatizing the two opposite poles, positive and negative. Sometimes everything is fine, other times it's like a different you. There may be two yous. If you don't mind we'll take a look at this. Let's make a list of qualities, and we'll call some of them `the positive you' and the others `the negative you.'"
She started listing in two columns. "The first column -- happiness, cheerfulness, confidence -- that's what you postulate, isn't it? That's the real you. Now doesn't it strike you that these qualities in column two that you dramatize at other times are coming from somewhere else, that you're stuck in somebody else's valence? I want to find out who or what you're dramatizing when you're column two. Can you think of anything? Who in your life has any of the characteristics in column two?"
"Some of the women I've known."
"So you've known several women you associate with the negative list. You mean they're afraid or depressed."
"Sure, at least part of the time. I mean, none of them has always been totally positive."
Felicia's eyes widened. "I've got a hunch. Maybe you're acting out a composite, a cluster of women!"
Felicia had conducted an informal Search and Discovery and found an item. Her item; the "cluster of women" was her brainstorm, not mine. If she had been on the tin cans, her needle would have floated off the dial.
The auditor should not be startled when, for the preclear, large chunks of the Environment start do disappear.
Felicia had another brainstorm. She asked me if I knew the term As-is-ness. I remembered it from Hubbard's Axioms as the concept underlying the crux of processing, erasure. When the preclear relived an engram or called an item, he or she made a mental image picture of it -- in the vernacular, "As-is-ed" it. This made the engram or item disappear. I had heard Scientologists talk about "As-is-ing away" colds and headaches. In Hubbard's cosmos this extended beyond one's own symptoms or the reactive mind. Hubbard postulated that one could cause matter -- the entire MEST universe -- to evaporate.
Felicia said, "I think you've been As-is-ing positive states. You are so eager to cling to the good moments that in effect you are making mental copies of them and they disappear."
"How can I stop As-is-ing?"
"Let the good times roll, then forget about it. By the same token, you're Not-is-ing -- you remember that part of the Axioms -- the bad moments. You can't stand them, you're over-anxious to not have them, and consequently you pull them in. You must allow the negative moments the right to exist. Grant Them Beingness. When `It' appears, say `Hello, It,' acknowledge `It,' greet `It' like an old friend. If you resist `It,' it means you can't have `It' -- and you must be able to have and not-have something to have it under control, if you know what I mean."
Before I left the penthouse, Gerald put me on the meter and asked me how I felt.
"Felicia just gave me some advice, but I'm not sure I can follow it. It reminds me of positive suggestion. Is that all Scientology finally boils down to?"
"You're not completely off base. There is a certain amount of suggestion to it."
"Gerald, where do we stand? I feel as if we're not getting anywhere."
"We haven't even begun this review yet, your majesty! Don't be discouraged. I've handled over 2,000 preclears and never failed to crack a case."
He gave me a technique to do at home. I was to sit in the center of my room, close my eyes and try to hold the eight corners of the room in my awareness for at least a half hour. Hubbard called the technique anchor points. When I tried it, it felt so much like spotting the light and The Objects on the Clearing Course that I had to quit after a few minutes.
That week Gerald brought up an unpleasant subject: money. "I hate to mention this, old man, but I need money occasionally and I've given you quadzillions of hours of auditing time. Can you possibly pay for it soon?"
"Didn't you tell me that this review was free?"
"My god, man! That was way back in September. You can't expect me to do all this for nothing! I've prepared a bill. Here."
On the slip he had listed the hours on OT IV, as well as subsequent review up to the present week.
"I've given you the best deal I possibly could, half price for OT IV with a discount thrown in. Review I've kept at $25 an hour, even though we've double our fees this year." The bill was for $700.
"But I've already paid for OT IV in Scotland, and I paid for all the other Levels too. You don't want me to pay twice, do you? If you need the money, don't you think you should get it from the AO? They're the ones that got it from me."
"You know how they are about money. They wouldn't give me a subway slug. I've put in the work and you should think about paying me for it."
"I don't know, Gerald. Let me sleep on it. Maybe I should pay you for the review but not for OT IV. Don't worry. You'll get something for your trouble."
Our next review session was late getting underway. The Tybers were entertaining a visitor who was dressed in the clerical garb of the Church of Scientology. I was bitterly annoyed. However, I could see why it would have been shortsighted of Gerald to interrupt the drinking and socializing. The visitor was John McMaster,[*] famed throughout Scientology as the First Clear in History and for his dissemination in every part of the globe. Gerald was trying to inveigle McMaster into working for him, a plum that would put the franchise far ahead of the org, his chief local competitor.
McMaster was excited. With exaggerated gestures and face flushed to a cadmium-dark, he was describing his spiritual moments.
"What a joy to see thetans, thousands of them, all over the place -- in stones, in wood, in little pieces of carbon. They've been trapped for billions of years because they didn't have the awareness that they could be free, and now I have the power to give them this awareness. It's like a new release for me each time I release one of them.
"Not so long ago I was walking in a beautiful forest. I felt the love all around me. I'd never been so happy in my life. Total Freedom. Suddenly I knew I could contact Lyndon B. Johnson and audit him telepathically. And I did, I audited him through his Power Release. And you remember how he just decided not to run for re-election..."
After an eternity McMaster left and review was resumed.
You can almost break a preclear's spine by asking him to contact his own tractor around his own body and yet withhold the pressor against his spine.
The deathly gray of late afternoon filtered through the window. I'd thought I was finished with engrams; the idea of running another one sickened me. But as Ron's saying goes, The Way Out Is The Way Through.
I was in a stone cell. A noose was being placed around my neck. I got down on the floor still holding the cans and started choking. My head jerked in spasms until I thought it would tear itself from my neck. My body went into convulsive tupping movements like a marionette jerked on a cord till its spine snapped. I gagged and turned over on my stomach, wanting to vomit on the rug. I retched. All that came out was a thick gob of spittle. I twitched for a while. Then I stopped moving and lay exhausted on the floor.
Gerald ran me through the incident again, but there wasn't much left to it.
"Congratulations, your highness. Now no one can ever try to tell you you haven't been run on an engram! How are you doing?"
"Freakishly awful. I hardly know where I am. I don't know what I'm going to do when I leave here."
"Your most royal highness, I want you to know one thing: I'm going to get you through this. You can rely on me. You have my word as an auditor and a friend. I'm going to stick by you until you come out of it. I don't care what I have to do. I only want you to get well."
I stood at the door and begged Gerald not to make me wait until the next day for more auditing.
"There's nothing more I can do for you today. I have a preclear coming in a couple of minutes. You've got to refuse to be bothered by engrams. Say `To hell with them! I'm not going to get a lousy little engram spoil my day.' Be above it, man. Be happy, put a smile on your face, laugh, joke -- okay?"
"Jesus, I -- "
"Good! Now stay happy and keep laughing and I'll see you tomorrow."
Rule out, auditor, any mumbo-jumbo of mysticism or spiritualism or religion.
"Can you think of anyone who'd want to put a curse on you? We mustn't overlook that possibility. Don't scoff, sire. There's a lot of things under the sun, Horatio -- and there are such things as spells and witchcraft. I know. I was into black magic before I ever heard of Scientology. And so was Ron Hubbard, by the way."
"Is this one of Ron's processes?"
"Well, yes, in a way. It's all very much the same thing, whether you're talking about body thetans or valences or dramatizations. This is just my own approach to it. We can call it Para-Scientology, or better yet, The Tyber Effect. Now, can you think of anything?"
"Just a moment ago, as you were saying `Don't scoff,' I had a thought about someone putting a curse on me. I've felt that way since last summer. It's crazy, and yet -- maybe one of those women ..."
"Is the item `one of those women'?"
"All right, sire. Now, is there anyone who's dead who might want to be near you?"
"Sure. My mother."
"Ah hah, your mother. Were you with her when she died?"
"No. I was on the opposite coast, about 3,000 miles away."
"All right. Did you happen to experience anything unusual at the time?"
" Yes, as a matter of fact; it's something I'll never forget. A day or so before my uncle phoned me about her death, I had a sort of waking dream about her."
"Did your mother enter your body at that moment?"
"How could I tell? I don't really think so."
"I wouldn't suggest anything to you. I'm just going to offer -- for whatever it's worth, as a distant possibility, as a fascinatin' theory -- that your mother entered your body during the vision. Can you accept that for a minute or two, just to see what develops?"
"Why not. Fire away."
"Good. Now, is there any reason why she should want to enter your body? I don't mean in order to harm you in any way, but with the best intentions?"
"I don't know."
"But why would she enter your body when she died? Keep it in mind, I'm not trying to plant any suggestions."
"I'd been away from home for over two years. She missed me."
"Very well, your honor. I want you to contact your mother telepathically, and when you've done so I'm going to audit her on the Grades straight up through Power Release and free her from having to be near you. Okay? We'll start directly with ARC Straightwire."
During the auditing that followed, Gerald addressed my mother. I answered the questions without hesitation, all thinking shut off. A floating needle terminated the Straightwire process after a few questions. On the next part, I -- or my mother -- gave the loss of a ring and was released on Secondaries. The engram in the following sequence was a sharp slap her mother gave her when she was a little girl.
My mother was quickly released on Communications, Problems, and the lot. I mouthed her problems, ARC breaks and overts, all of which issued forth as spontaneously as though I were the channel through which psychic contact flowed. In "auditing my mother," Gerald was as scrupulously polite and solicitous as ever, acking in his best manner and softening his voice sympathetically, almost lugubriously, as though we were amidst the heady-smelling flowers at a funeral parlor.
How far am I going to go along with this? I asked myself. Am I willing to try anything, lower myself to any depth, if there is a chance it might help my case?
"I'd like to indicate to you that you are Power Release," Gerald told my mother. "What gains have you experienced from the process?"
"`I feel happier and freer.'"
"Fine. Then I'd like to ask you, are you indeed free now to leave your son, knowing that you don't need each other any longer, that he'll be all right without you and you can be serenely off on your own?"
"Thank you. Then I'd like to indicate to you, Bob, that your mother is indeed free to leave your body and go her own way in peace. Has she done so?"
"I think so."
"Okay. That's it!"
Out in the living room, Gerald gave Felicia a knowing look to signify that he had had an extraordinary session. Over a festive luncheon at a nearby restaurant, I made a tasteless remark about a table-setting for my mother.
"You're not feeling too well today?" asked Gerald. "We're going to do something brand new." He rubbed his hands together ebulliently. "Ron's just come out with completely new material on the Grades. He's made it mandatory to rerun all of them through Power. He discovered that in addition to the two flows in some of the processes -- you know, doing something to someone, and them doing it to you in return -- there's a third flow, someone doing it to someone else. This Triple Flow Process has just been incorporated into all Grades, and all Scientologists must have it."
"That means that every Scientologist has to get to an org and pay to have it done? Even if he's in Samoa?"
"That's exactly what it means. You're lucky. The others are paying $800 for it."
"But why should those poor slobs pay an extra $800 for something Ron found lacking in his original Grades."
"Auditing time, I suspect. But it's worth it, sire. This process in fantastic! Felicia and I have already audited each other on it. The whole point of Triple Flow is that it remedies any lack of gains. After you've been run on it you'll start realizing your gains immediately."
We barrelled through the new process without stopping, Grade by Grade, rehabbing the two flows and adding the third flow with commands such as, Tell me a problem someone else has. After each Grade, Gerald asked me how many times I had been released. I didn't understand what it meant to be released on a Grade more than once, and picked numbers at random.
"More than that?"
"Thank you. The meter confirms that you've been released on Straightwire 167 times."
Some of the numbers were even larger. Communications, for example, registered several thousand releases.
When we were through, after less than an hour, Gerald wanted to know how I like the Triple Flow Process. I said I thought it might have helped. Before turning off the meter, he asked me if I were exteriorized.
"I'm not too sure."
"Well, how many times have you been exteriorized?"
"All right. Any more on that?"
"900 and something ... no, less than 900. Let's make it 873."
"Are you positive on that?"
"Good. Your needle is floating. I'd like to indicate that you're been exteriorized 871 times."
I didn't recall any of these exteriorized moments, and archly asked Gerald whether it would be required to rerun my mother's Grades on the new Triple Flow Process.
Review had been going on for about three weeks now.
The E-meter is never wrong. It sees all. It knows all. It tells everything.
I awoke at six a.m. with a bad case of `It,' went to the franchise and woke up Gerald after ten minutes of banging and ringing. He was furious. I'd never seen him angry before. I pleaded with him to audit me. He refused to take me before eleven, and I left feeling almost as bad as when I had committed myself to the mental ward.
A little later I visited an East Side doctor who was known to practice vitamin therapy, hoping he would give me something for sleep. Instead he injected me with vitamins laced -- without his informing me -- with methamphetamine. The shot was immediately effective. Too effective. The doctor had me back the next few mornings for his "treatment," and within a week I was hooked. By then I was suspicious that the shots contained more than vitamins and calcium, but the doctor denied it. (I remained in the dark about the injections until I withdrew three months later.)
Ironically, this misadventure signalled my return to the wog world. Whatever was in the shots, they eliminated my symptoms. If I missed a visit, the demons pounced. This put life on a new basis: The shots worked; the latest Scientology techniques, administered in a benevolent, relaxed setting, did not. Scientology had been replaced with almost farcical ease. With the ascendance of a new and more powerful witchdoctor, Gerald Tyber was no longer a significant force. I would take command of my life once more -- and perhaps do a better job of things this time around.
For several weeks I frequented both the Doctor of Medicine and the Doctor of Scientology. Feeling quick relief from the very first injection, and pleasantly high, I had called Gerald later that day. He seemed to have completely forgotten the early morning rift, and invited me right over for auditing.
At that session and those that followed, Gerald, having run out of novel ideas, resorted to the old standbys -- overts, withholds, present-time problems and ARC breaks. He kept his auditor's poise, but I knew he was at a loss, and began to see him not as an OT VI Class VIII Auditor but as a human being with his own foibles and frustrations. His methods were powerless to "clean" the "ARC break" I still felt over his dunning me for money and his early-morning rejection when I thought I needed him most. To resolve that would have required human communication and understanding. It had been misguided loyalty, faith in him as a friend and healer, plus a touch of nostalgia for the old times, not lingering faith in Scientology, that had kept me coming back.
The E-meter indicated none of this. Those last sessions were replete with floating needles, and I found that I could predict them. At one point I got a floating needle when I whimsically said "windowshade." I started responding freely with that word. If I didn't get a floating needle by the third question, I would raise my eyebrows, pause portentously and announce, "windowshade." This never failed to produce the float. The preclear actually learns to control the needle.
Disdain for floating needles was my opening for an "outsider's" look at auditing. The E-meter was the foundation of Ron's mystique, the "proof" of his theories. But a person might have floating needles while severely disturbed -- not in theory but in my own personal experience. I had got too many floating needles at such moments to believe they meant much of anything. If the mind were an iceberg, the E-meter reflected only the negligible portion above the waterline. All hell could break loose beneath the surface, but the meter wouldn't know the difference. The needle would go its merry way, drifting lazily about the dial, fooling auditor, preclear, and perhaps L. Ron Hubbard himself, alike.
Scientology was crumbling like a tissue paper castle.
"Are you still letting Gerald audit you?" asked Renzo Lancia, long finished with Scientology.
"I've been letting it run its course," I replied, "but I may be joining your ranks any day now, my fine suppressive friend."
"Oh Most Exalted OT IV, you know that your leader can do a lot more for you than god himself," said Renzo. "God only says, `I'm putting you here on earth, Brother. Now try to follow the road.' Ron says, `Forget that long hard road and come with me down my little alley. It's Safe, Sure, and Inexpensive when you compare it to the cost of a moon rocket.'"
"You should ask for your money back from the organization," said Alan Ottoman.
"Maybe I should," I said, "but I was equally responsible for what happened. If someone gives you a bag of candy and you gorge yourself sick, you have yourself to blame."
"If what they're offering you is what they say it is," Alan said. "If the candy contains strychnine you're only responsible for gluttony and they're responsible for murder."
"Why don't you write a book about your Scientology experience?" Alan's wife, Brenda, suggested. I hadn't considered that before. Several neat bourbons had preceded my telling the couple about the AOUK, still excluding any "secrets." They had noticed my voice tightening when I spoke about Ethics.
"But Brenda, there isn't really that much to write. Maybe enough for an article at most."
Her response was one of the nicest things anyone ever said to me: "You can try. When you get home make a start. I have a feeling there's a lot more to this, and you've got to get it out of your system."
It took me two days to make an outline. Then I knew I had enough for a book. I knew also what a precious gift Brenda Ottoman had given me. I now held the cure in my own hands and would soon stop seeing Gerald and eventually the doctor. The cure was direct action. As I wrote, through the weeks or months it might take, things would fall into place. I would relive the experience -- not Ron's way of reliving but my own way. Then, if I felt like getting my book published, there was no one on earth who could tell me I was not free to try.
I get sentimental when I recall my reemergence as a true wog.
I concluded, therefore, that the relatively sane are capable of accepting evidence, and the insane are not.
Gerald must have felt a burden lifted when he realized he had been replaced by the doctor, but, to his credit, he urged me to get off the shots.
During what was to be our final session, I found it hard to focus on his auditing. Recently I had allowed myself my first look at wog exposes of Dianetics and Scientology. The auditors held the E-meter in low esteem as a precision instrument. The E-meter is a galvanic skin response (GSR) device, basically a well-known elementary circuit called a Wheatstone bridge, around for about the last hundred years. GSR devices in general are looked upon by biofeedback experts as perhaps the least reliable in their field. Even in its role in a lie-detector polygraph -- actually an array of biofeedback devices -- it has drawbacks, the major one of which is that one may learn to beat the machine.
The E-meter's current diminished as its batteries wore down, and there were internal variances amongst individual machines. It cost $15 to make. To add insult, there were also variances amongst the soup cans plugged into the meter, which happened to be manufactured at several different can companies.
The wog critics called Scientology "dangerous quackery." Had I bothered to read such opinion in 1967, I still might not have been dissuaded from being audited. Now it helped me to this conclusion: A "dangerous quack" is unscrupulous, but the people who go to him or her for treatment and get worse are merely misguided. I would never again be beholden to L. Ron Hubbard for my sins. I could live with my own mistakes, blameworthy unto myself for my own reasons, not his.
Scientology hadn't worked for me; and apparently not for a lot of people who still thought it worked for them. I would approach it with the assumption that it didn't work until I satisfied myself as to why it didn't work.
In this spirit, I took another look at Hubbard's writings. A year ago I had thought them valuable, sought to understand them, and searched for meaning that wasn't there. Now it was only fair to start to pull them apart in support of my new approach.
This wasn't difficult. Most of Hubbard's metaphysical arguments wind back to the presumed efficacy of auditing and the E-meter. Without the "cure" context there is very little theory.
Hubbard sets forth various processes, many of them for clearing. There are striking similarities to the E-F Packs on the Solo Course; and to the endless review lists to handle Upper Level mishaps; and to the "expanded" processes now in operation -- a succession of "corrections" and rejected material going back to, and including, Dianetics 1950. Failed attempts. Not because "clearing" ever existed. Hubbard rejected his material as he went along for another reason.
I began to view Scientology 1968-9 as Hubbard's latest control system, a more efficient way to "stretch things out." With the Grades and Levels Hubbard had devised an expedient method for herding preclears quickly through lists of questions, demarcated by increasingly costly stages and "releases." His intent was to hook the preclear on the auditing habit like a drug pusher -- like my medical doctor -- and keep on maintenance.
When I read Hubbard's books afresh, they were, at last, an education.
Then there was my own book. I had got up to my first session with Felicia. It is so thoroughly ingrained in Scientologists that auditing dehypnotizes them that they would snigger at the mention that they were subjecting themselves to hypnotic suggestion from the moment they picked up the cans. Yet there was the auditing ritual on paper in my own scribbles: "This is the process"; the uncompromising gaze; the repeated question, each in the same tone of voice; a small reward called "acknowledgment" for each response, and a big reward of approval at each "release"; "That's it!" to end the session, like the hypnotist's snap of the fingers. Later, doing TR-0, my training partner and I had stared into each other's eyes for hours, methodically deadening our minds to a semi-torpid state. Still later, on the Clearing Course, Hubbard had us spot an imaginary light, like the candle the hypnotist holds before the subject's face.
A preclear who is conditioned to be tractable in session will do what he is told out of session: pay for more Scientology, bring raw meat in, and perhaps join the org and work for Hubbard far into the night for a pittance.
Felicia had played her auditor's role with the purest of motives. She had had it done to her, believed that it helped her and wished to spread the blessing to others. She had gained some measure of control over her preclear even before the advent of my "heavy," Gerald Tyber -- duly piloting me through several stages to fixed destinations. And my passage to Ron's Never-Never Land had begun.
However, these fixed destinations, the "release points," are far from what Hubbard claims they are -- "key out of the reactive mind." The "release" is an ordinary function of the mind, part of life's normal ebb and flow. Unless a person is terribly sick or preoccupied he or she might have several "releases" during a typical day. that first cup of coffee may produce a "floating needle," or getting to work in good time -- as registered, perhaps, on a more accurate instrument than the E-meter. Some people have "releases" many times a day (they might be the last ones to pay for auditing).
There is precious little connection between the preclear's "release" and the material he is "run on." The preclear brings his own physiology with him to the auditing session. The auditing format of "restimulative questions" admirably fits his natural brain cycle into the deception. The preclear feels the angst of the questioning for a while, then relaxes his mind, stops thinking -- and something lifts a little. Alpha-waves register on a biofeedback device. The "session release" is just as fleeting as the "cup of coffee release." All the hocus-pocus about "communications," "problems," "charge building and blowing," etc., gives a common phenomenon meaning it doesn't possess, but nevertheless bolsters the preclear until his next "release."
To further manipulate the preclear, Hubbard has the auditor reward him or her for evading real problems, and "confronting" old or imaginary ones. The E-meter is used as an evasion tool. Over several hours of auditing, the preclear learns to control the needle enough to get a "release" when he things he "deserves" one -- just as people have learned how to beat lie-detectors (so that polygraph readings have limited value as evidence in courts of law), and produce alpha-waves ("floating needles") on other biofeedback devices. Rather than having to face his problems, the preclear quickly discovers that he can easily revert to a distant memory or a "past life." Having successfully avoided a real trouble spot, the relieved preclear "blows off charge" and "produces a floating needle with Good Indicators In." To make the procedure conduce even more to evasion, the auditor never "evaluates" for the preclear -- that is, never discusses or challenges the evasion -- but rewards the preclear for it!
Felicia, Gerald and Marty never asked me about the meaning and chronology of so-called "recalled events." I supplied all the material. The preclear hangs himself.
The preclear is not the only one taken in by the meter reads. Again, the auditor is merely Hubbard's dupe, believing that the E-meter, quite the opposite of an aid to evasion, guides the way to the preclear's troubles and accurately registers their "erasure."
It was easy to see that personality, another distinctly woggish element, has a decisive influence on the preclear. Certain individuals are esteemed as "great auditors" -- even at the AO. Those are the ones with warm, congenial, "validating" personalities. For example, Gerald, the amiable case-cracker, knew how too treat a preclear. People felt at home with him; they could be themselves. In fact, preclears do much better with people they like, making the needle respond like a dog wagging its tail at hearing a friendly voice.
The growing rapprochement between auditor and preclear -- sitting to front and back of the E-meter, the dispenser of judgments and gifts -- is a tragi-comedy, neither having any idea of what is actually happening, neither aware that the machine is their masturbation toy.
The deception and the self-deception deepen when the preclear audits himself. Upper Level material, "implanted past lives," is the process. Hope, fear, pride, belief, move the needle. And Ron's commands. The self-auditor goes on "erasing" Hubbard's science fiction. But the earthly "problems," "withholds," "ARC breaks" of the earlier stages keep cropping up time after time. Because they have never been resolved -- much less "erased."
There are no "Grades" or "Levels", apart from Hubbard's concealed programming, his calculated exploitation of preclear credulities, his "hidden stages" that lead further into his trap. The "hidden stages" run an easy gradient. First the raw meat is shown something vaguely feasible that he might buy. He might not pay thousands of dollars to foil the evil plot of Xenu on another planet, but he might snap at "improving his memory and problem-solving ability" for a few hundred. There follow everyday upsets and guilts -- nothing too arcane as yet. Power Processing is the first "secret," the stage that breaks earthly bounds, the crossover into Never-Never Land. On Power the preclear may reach the "cognition" that he is a "source." But Ron is Source. Once the preclear accepts this incongruity, he is ready to be trotted into the Upper Level madness, where he will feel electric shock on cue and exorcise alien souls ... including his own. "Spotting the thetan" is subliminally, for the indoctrinated Scientologist, equivalent to erasing himself.
Once the raw meat makes his initial mistake of trying a beginning stage, the gradual impingement on his mind of Scientology concepts, terminology, auditing control methods and group pressure draw him as far into Hubbard's world as his finances will permit.
In the wider context of the wog world's power/money games, Hubbard has been outstandingly successful, creating his own world and persuading thousands to inhabit it and act out his fantasies. For one who has left that world behind and, looking back over a distance, views it as but an episode of Earth's true science fiction, Hubbard's landscapes have lost their mystic gloss; and the thetans, the bomb in the volcano and the allure of exteriorization are seen for what they are: a commercial.
Gerald had just started into another commercial, yet another Search and Discovery.
I reflected for a moment on a possible suppressive. It wasn't Ron; he had covered that ground before. Nor Gerald, just another opportunist and now fairly boring.
"There is no suppressive," I said. "There never was a suppressive. All those Search and Discoveries were a crock."
Gerald thanked me for my response and checked the question of unnecessary Search and Discoveries on the meter.
"I'd like to validate that there is no suppressive, there never was a suppressive, and all those Search and Discoveries were a crock."
Like other demagogues, Ron has to have scapegoats. He is more inventive than most, conjuring up the suppressive, the reactive mind, engrams, charge, withholds, GPMs, implants, body thetans, the unnamed beings who trapped thetans with sticky tape. All something to blame.
I told Gerald that I saw through it now and there was no longer anything in it for me. I had spent a good part of two years seeking scapegoats, chasing after Ron's carrot. If the dream didn't materialize at one stage it might at the next.
Gerald checked the meter and, ever the punctilious auditor, validated that I "saw through it now." We had shared the final outlandish irony, the E-meter invalidating Scientology truth!
The session was ended. We got up from the auditing table. I had left many sessions feeling sick, and was still not as I used to be. It would take a while to recover from attaining OT IV.
Gerald had been asking me for money again, and I had given him $250. My savings were just about gone: $8,000 to Scientology, much of it to "process out" a sickness I'd never had prior to joining; thousands to the hospital for treatment of the sickness; round trip plane fare to Great Britain and living expenses there; the sizable amount I had lost in foolish investments after several months of pollyanish Scientology processing and training.
I had thrown away this money, along with such reason that I possessed, and very nearly my own identity, because I had wanted a new life. somewhere along the way I had confused freedom with escape -- like the Sea Org crew, that colony of human ants eagerly escaping from a nonconfrontable world to a "freedom" more like enslavement. No army or police force, no torture or drug, did this to us. We did it to ourselves. For a while I hadn't been able to live with this hard awareness.
The strong urge for self-fulfilment -- through some form of escape -- is the common thread connecting so many "joiners," the key to the baffling contrasts in personalities I observed on two continents, the disparate nature of the Scientology group. How easily noble motives are distorted: to use others and be used in turn, pursuing our vision of freedom until we find ourselves in chains. It's paradoxical how we may lose ourselves seeking ourselves. It sounds like a word game ... shades of Ron Hubbard's dichotomies on the Clearing Course, Create-Destroy.
Ron, too, hungers for freedom. His dozens of processes and millions of words written and taped define his efforts to cure himself; his microcosm, the organization over which he is absolute monarch, another attempt to solve his own life.
He will go on and on with it, fated to fail, and, rich and powerful, he will remain trapped in his own device more securely than any of his followers.
One may describe exteriorization and immortality as "spiritual," as an alternative to being a decent, caring citizen of the wog world. The price for both giver and receiver in this transaction is costlier than any money involved.
Truth exists elsewise, in simpler things. To be fully human, not "superhuman." To be with life as it is.
Life in the wog world is often disheartening. We try one substitute after another for the magic of childhood. The promise we started with fizzled and we found ourselves impelled not towards our beautiful dreams but into an automated world of semi-enslavement. Science fiction writers, including L. Ron Hubbard, have depicted, along with outer worlds, our own sense of alienation.
I will feel sadness at parting from my delusions and facing what I tried so hard to escape. It will not be easy starting all over again to learn to deal with the same old life, the same old problems, without the soothing belief in shortcuts. But I survived my self-deception. I can put my survival instincts to further good use immediately by spending every dollar Gerald wants from me on some new clothes.
I stand in the living room chatting with the Tybers. They are in the throes of giving up their two to three daily packs of cigarettes each. They are both ready to climb the walls and take turns snapping at each other. I have to smile. I know why it is so trying for these clear, Upper Level Scientologists to kick the habit: They're no goddamn different from anyone else.
I walk out into the cold Manhattan night. The streets of the wog world still look strange. They may look strange for a while. But I'm over my recent delusions.
Mass. Charge. Spaceships.
There is no symptom, mental or physical, that cannot be produced by shattered reason crying out in protest ... or by fear.
"Joe Thetan, Scientology Student," alias Five Brooks, musician, visited me at the ballet rehearsal studios. He wanted to help me resolve my problems; since he hadn't heard from me in months, he'd deduced that I was on the outs with Scientology. I was extremely nervous in the presence of this blend of good will and TRs, especially since a draft of this book was next to me on the piano bench, covered only by a thin glass ashtray. I had no trouble diverting Joe Thetan's gaze from the bench, however; he kept his eyes fastened on mine like meathooks on a haunch of beef.
"I guess you'd rather not tell me what Level you're on or what happened to you," he said, "but did anyone try to monkey around with you before you went to England?"
"What do you mean, `monkey around'?"
"You know: invalidate you, minimize your gains."
"Well, I just wanted to let you know, there's a lot happening, man. Ron's come out with something. They're doing Dianetics different now. It's like it originally was in 1950. Now-you-can-go-up-the-Grades-as-a-thetan-from-the-very-beginning."
In other words, "Scientology" was "Dianetics" once again! I had seen posters of the familiar multi-colored volcano on billboards in subway stations, and had wondered why "Dianetics," not "Scientology," was being advertized. Perhaps the government was looking into Scientology, and Hubbard, wishing to avoid trouble, had changed the name back again, just as he had changed a healing business into a "religion." In any event, Ron had found another cure-all for mankind's ills.
I didn't disclose these thoughts to Joe Thetan. He was earnestly trying to help, and for a moment I reexperienced the fear of hurting someone by "invalidation." We talked until the rehearsal started. During that interval I saw the uncertainty on his face. A long-lost voice from his past, when he was a human being, was whispering to him that I was sad, in mourning for the old Five Brooks. He never quite heard the voice. Our meeting ended on that strange, incomplete communication.
"Have you heard," asked Dag Lildberg, "about the Scientologists picketing a psychiatrists' convention in Miami? In fairness to the shrinks, we ought to picket their headquarters."
"Sure. Get a lush and hand him a bullhorn and a couple of bucks to stand outside the place and shout `Ron Hubbrd ish a boddy thetn!'" said Dag, slipping into "valence."
"You're right! I can just see it: The Commander rushes out onto the street yelling `What was that you said?'
"`I shed, Ron Hubbrd ish a boddy thetn. Gimme a quarter.'"