We get calls nearly every day here at the LMT from people who are having doubts about whether or not they should continue to be a Scientologist. Without question, the subject they ask me about most often is the tech of auditing. What do I think about the Tech? Do I think it works?
When anyone calls me for advice about whether auditing is beneficial or harmful, I always preface my response by saying that there have never been any clinical studies done to determine the effects of auditing. I have my opinions, but my opinions are based purely on my own experience and nothing else. Certainly they are not based on any scientific evidence, because there isn't any. Hubbard never did any scientific testing, and no one else ever has either. The only available information is purely anecdotal. Ten Scientologists could write about their experiences in auditing and they would all have totally different perspectives, I am sure.
What I have to say here is my opinion.
Since I left Scientology I have had a chance to learn more about the various schools of therapy that have been developed. Now I understand that Hubbard borrowed from a number of different schools when he put together the lower levels of auditing. Dianetics and the Grades are basically a simple form of regression therapy. The theory of regression therapy is that by going back and revisiting moments of trauma, one can resolve confusions that were created by the trauma and thereby free up more of one's mind for creative endeavors.
My view is that not everyone in the world needs therapy, and that of those who feel they do, different kinds of therapy work for different people. Some can benefit from simple regression; others may need medication, and still others may find that transactional analysis, or perhaps Jungian analysis, or perhaps something else helps them. I do not believe that any one form of therapy will work on everyone.
I think Scientology does many people a great disservice by insisting that "the Tech" works on everyone in exactly the same way and that if they are not having gains it means there is something wrong with them. I don't think that's true. Some people say they have made gains from their Dianetics or Grades auditing, and I won't dispute that. But many others have told me it didn't work for them. I don't dispute that either.
Auditing, at the lower levels where it is simple regression therapy such as Life Repair, Self-Analysis Lists or Grades, may be beneficial for some people. Scientology auditors have no formal education to prepare them as therapists - even the highest trained auditor studies nothing but L. Ron Hubbard's writings and is forbidden to study anything else. But even so, perhaps it can be beneficial, just as Transactional analysis or Jungian psychotherapy can be beneficial for some people. Conversely, if a person gets involved in a form of therapy that is not right for them, it won't help them and may even make them worse.
In the lower levels of auditing, an auditor guides the preclear, using an E-meter, to areas of trauma or difficulty. By talking about these personal difficulties, some people feel some relief from painful memories. The preclear's personal reality is important in this auditing. Whatever is true for the preclear is what is addressed.
This is what attracts many people to Scientology. They hear auditing is a form of therapy that is tailor-made for each individual's particular problems, or "case," as they call it in Scientology. This is a very important aspect of the initial attraction. Many people are thrilled at the idea that such a thing exists.
As I said, some people say they have made gains from their Dianetics or Grades auditing, and I won't dispute that. However, there is at least one major aspect of the lower level auditing that concerns me.
What happens in an auditing session is that the auditor asks the preclear, or pc, to locate a moment of trauma in his or her life. The pc is indoctrinated to believe that similar traumatic or painful experiences (such as all the times when you hurt your knee, or all the times when you missed your mother) are linked in the mind. If the pc tells the auditor about a certain moment of trauma and there is nothing earlier holding it in place, then once the pc has revisited that moment, the upset connected with that moment will vanish. But if there are earlier similar moments of trauma, it will be necessary for the pc to revisit those earlier moments before the trauma connected with that particular "chain" will vanish. The auditor decides whether or not there are earlier similar experiences by the behavior of the needle on the E-meter. If it is free-floating, the chain is finished. If not, there is something earlier.
Now let's see how this plays out in an auditing session.
Your auditor asks you to recall a time when you lost a friend. You tell him in as much detail as possible about a time when your best friend moved to another state. The auditor thanks you, and then asks you for an earlier similar time when you lost a friend. From this you know that the auditor did not see a free-floating needle and therefore knows you still have earlier traumas connected with this question. Believing that this is the way the mind works, you dutifully search your memory for an earlier time when you lost a friend. You remember a time when you were six and you and your neighbor had to start school at different schools. You remember crying and begging your mother to let you go to the same school as Sally. You hadn't remembered that in a long time. You hadn't realized you still had so much trauma connected with Sally.
You think you're finished with that chain of traumas. But your auditor asks you again for an earlier similar incident. You can't remember anything earlier than that and you tell your auditor so. Your auditor is very understanding and tells you to let him know whatever comes into your mind. You want to do what your auditor says because you trust him, so you try to remember another similar experience. You close your eyes and let your mind float a little bit.
You see a picture in your mind of someone lying on the ground. Your auditor says, "What's that?" Then you know that there is some validity to the picture you just saw, because the auditor saw a response on the E-meter. Now you look more closely at this picture. You start to add details to the picture you saw. The auditor asks you when this experience happened. The year 1864 comes into your mind. You say this to your auditor. He acknowledges you and helps you fill in more details of what is happening.
Soon you can describe a full-blown scenario to your auditor. You are on a battlefield with lots of other soldiers. You are looking down at a young man in a blue uniform with blood all over his chest. You kneel down and cradle his head while he dies. "I'll miss you," he says, and you start to cry as he dies in your arms.
Oh! You tell your auditor tearfully, now you understand why losing friends has always been such a terrible thing for you. Your auditor smiles at you approvingly and tells you that your needle is floating.
In Scientology they call this "going whole track." The Whole Track is a reference to the entire history of the universe that goes back millions and millions of years.
In auditing, the preclear is utterly dependent upon the auditor to confirm that these incidents are real. It all depends on what the E-meter is doing. If the meter says the incident is real, then it is. Gradually it becomes easier and easier for the preclear to believe that these past life incidents really happened. The preclear's boundaries gradually fall away completely, until there is no limit at all on what might have happened. It doesn't matter, after all. No matter what the preclear says, the auditor always smiles and says his needle is floating.
Now you have had hundreds of hours of Dianetics and Grade auditing. Your idea of what is real has completely changed. You know you are different from other people, because now you know that you have lived for millions of years. You know it is true because you've relived so many experiences in your auditing. You feel set apart from other people who have not yet discovered the truth. You want your family to experience the truth too, but you can't tell them. They wouldn't believe you. They have to experience it for themselves. You're spending your time with other Scientologists now, because it's uncomfortable to be around non-Scientologists. They don't understand. Scientologists are the only ones who know what reality really is.
Now when your auditor asks you for an earlier similar incident, you don't have to be coaxed into finding a picture. You know what to do. Now, as soon as the auditor asks the question, a picture appears. There is no longer any difference in your mind between something that happened yesterday, and something that happened 300 years ago, or 25,000 years ago, or a million years ago.
All Scientologists believe that these incidents they find in their auditing really happened to them. They believe that they have memories going back thousands of years, millions of years, even billions of years. This is encouraged by the auditing process, in which the preclear is repeatedly told, "What is true for you is true for you." In practice, this means that the auditor validates as real anything the preclear comes up with in session, no matter how far-fetched it may be.
Moreover, the preclear is not allowed to discuss all of this with anyone but his auditor. Husbands and wives are not permitted to talk about what happens in their auditing sessions. Friends are required to report on each other if someone talks about an incident from their auditing. So the preclear is left without any way of keeping himself anchored in the real world. There is no way to verify whether or not something is true or imaginary.
Preclears who do not give their auditors incidents prior to this lifetime are required to undergo a Whole Track Remedy before they are allowed to go onto their upper levels. So this belief in a personal history stretching back millions of years is a required part of the preclear's reality in order to progress up the Bridge to Total Freedom.
In my opinion, this insistence on letting go of any boundaries for what is true and what is imaginary, and the requirement that one is not allowed to compare notes with anyone else about what is coming up in the auditing sessions, is all part of a gradual indoctrination that prepares people for what they will be required to accept as reality on the upper levels.
Let me recount my own experience. On my lower level auditing I had found earlier similar incidents that seemed to be past life experiences. I wasn't sure if they were real or imaginary, and there was no way for me to find out. Certainly I couldn't ask my auditor, because if I told my auditor that these incidents didn't seem real to me, I would be sent back to do even more of this kind of auditing and that was the last thing I wanted to do. I just wanted to keep going up the Bridge to Total Freedom until I got to some part of it that made sense to me.
I did my auditing back in the old days - in the mid-1970s - when people were still required to do a step called R6-EW and the Clearing Course in order to go Clear before moving on to the OT levels. Instead of making more sense, these upper levels were even more confusing than the lower ones. At least on the earlier levels I was told that the auditing had something to do with experiences that were personal to me. Starting with R6-EW and continuing on the Clearing Course, I was given lengthy instructions about what I was supposed to audit. No longer was I addressing my own reality. Now I was told that everyone had been given identical horrific implants that I would be auditing out from now on. It had nothing to do with me any more.
I stumbled my way through the end words of R6-EW and the bizarre "implant sequences" of the Clearing Course. Somehow I managed to tell the examiner after one of my solo sessions that it seemed like I was mocking the whole thing up. What I meant was that none of what I was auditing seemed in any way real to me, and I didn't think the E-meter was really reading on anything but my imagination. But soon I was called to attest to the State of Clear, and I discovered I had voiced the "Clear Cognition." That was it? I thought to myself, although of course I didn't say that to anyone. Here I was at this tremendous milestone in my life, attesting to the State of Clear, and I felt exactly the same as I had before - except a bit more confused.
I did what many of the people I have spoken to also did. I went along with what was happening because I didn't want anyone to know it wasn't making sense to me. Shouldn't I feel elated, exhilarated, different somehow? But I didn't. I resolved to continue on to the next levels. Maybe if I just kept going it would start to make sense.
But OT 2 was an even more bizarre assortment of implant sequences, punctuated with moments during which bright lights were supposed to have been part of the implant and I was supposed to contact my memory of these lights until I got a big meter read.
Anyone who is familiar with False Memory Syndrome may be feeling by now that auditing is a classic example of it. That is certainly how I feel about it now. I think all of this telling me what happened to me millions of years ago and then getting me to "remember" these things until I "confirmed" it by the E-meter is nothing more than coercing me into creating memories to further someone else's agenda.
The only way I could get the meter to read was to heave a big sigh, which is what I did every time I thought about these lights. That way I could report that I was getting a meter read. It was the best I could do. None of it had anything to do with me whatsoever. That was how I felt.
But I thought the best thing to do was keep quiet and get to OT 3, the famous Wall of Fire. There the secrets of the Universe would be revealed to me, and all of this lower level stuff would fade into insignificance.
When I finally was admitted to the OT 3 course room I thought to myself, "Finally! Now it will finally all make sense to me!"
Oh, how wrong I was.
Reverently, I took the dog-eared legal-sized file folder from the course supervisor. Struggling to contain my excitement, I opened the pack and read LRH's handwritten explanation of the history of the universe. This is what I discovered:
Xenu, the head of the Galactic Federation, which consisted of seventy-six planets, had a terrible overpopulation problem - up to 250 billion people per planet. He decided to solve it by mass implanting. So he rounded everybody up and shipped them to this planet, which was known at that time as Teegeeack (pronounced T-G-ack). He blew everybody up by dropping H-bombs into volcanoes. Then he had all the people who had been blown up in the Pacific area taken in boxes to Hawaii, and all the people who had been blown up in the Atlantic area taken in boxes to Las Palmas. Then everyone was subjected to several weeks of implanting, during which all these disembodied creatures were implanted with everything we currently think of as reality. The implant was designed to kill anyone who tried to solve it. Only through LRH's courageous technical development was it now possible to overcome it.
Now I learned the terrible truth: my body was a mass of individual disembodied space creatures, or body thetans, as they are called in Scientology, stuck to me. I would have to audit each one of these body thetans and get them to leave. It was going to take a long time, but there it was. Hubbard said, basically, that it was a good thing someone had finally had the courage to chart this dangerous path for everyone else. It was a heroic thing he had done for all of us.
I sat there for a long time after I read this startling revelation. It was a profound turning point for me. I will describe what went on in my mind as well as I possibly can. Here I had finally made it to the Wall of Fire, I had just been given the Secrets of the Universe. This was Reality! I distinctly remember feeling like I was in a state of suspended animation; as if I were watching myself to see how I was going to react to this news. I almost let the thought form: "You've got to be kidding!" But I caught it just in time and squelched it. I did allow myself to think that I didn't understand what he was talking about. But having already installed L. Ron Hubbard in my mind as the unerring dispenser of Truth, there was no way for me to reject the information. I remember feeling completely numb and making sure to arrange my expression so that the course supervisor would not realize how stunned I was.
Mercifully, it was soon time for dinner. I remember walking toward the galley (the dining room), which was in the basement of what is now Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles, trying to digest what I had just learned. As I walked over a small bridge I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks, frozen by the thought that I was crawling with millions of disembodied creatures. I had to restrain the urge to wipe my hands over my whole body to get them off!
That was in 1976. From then on until I left Scientology in 1989, auditing was completely and utterly about getting rid of as many of these BTs as possible. No one ever mentioned my own problems again, unless it was to security check me to find out my crimes. But as far as any kind of therapy for me, psychologically or emotionally, that was over. Now I was supposed to be above all of that. That was all for the uninitiated. I had no case; I was Clear. Emotions and problems were for people who were still encumbered with such degraded human issues. If I had any problems or difficulties of any kind, there were only two possible reasons. Either my ethics were out and I had hidden crimes, or I had BTs who had waked up and were enveloping me in their degraded emotions, and they needed to be audited out. I couldn't have any problems or difficulties myself, remember - I was Clear. I effectively ceased to exist as myself. I was nothing more than a mass of BTs.
Solo auditing was always bizarre for me. Sitting in the room all alone, holding both cans in one hand, watching the E-meter dial for a read that would tell me where my next BT was - I only got a few reads during my OT 3 auditing. You get to attest to OT 3 Completion when you can't find any more BTs. Well, I attested very quickly, glad to be done with this strange auditing level. I was ready to move on to something else.
To my great dismay, I discovered that the rest of the Bridge to Total Freedom was all about BTs, BTs, and more BTs.
OT 4 is the OT Drug Rundown, during which you locate BTs who have been affected by drugs. You have to get each BT to zero in on the particular drugs that caused the problem and audit those drugs out until the BT can blow.
On each of these levels you are assured that you have gotten rid of all your BTs. You attest to being free of all BTs and you are really happy to have rid yourself of all the little parasitic creatures. Then you route onto your next level and you are told, "Actually you do have more BTs. We just didn't want to tell you until you were ready to hear it."
The day before you were perfectly certain that you were free of the little disembodied thetans. Now you suddenly discover that in fact you have millions more; you just weren't aware enough to perceive them until now.
OT 5 is Audited New Era Dianetics for OTs, or Audited NOTs for short. On NOTs you learn that everything is made up of BTs. EVERYTHING. Your toes, your thoughts, your love for your daughter, the moon, your fork, your shoes, your teeth, your bones, your molecules - literally everything - is made up of BTs.
You have an auditor with you for Audited NOTs. Your auditor tells you to locate another BT and ask it, "What are you?" You do this silently, and the BT then answers your question, silently, of course. As I said before, it can answer literally anything. It might say, "your third fingernail on your left hand," or it might say, "your refrigerator," "the light bulb," "the anger you're feeling toward your mother," anything. The rug, the window pane, the North Star, a Kleenex. Remember, what's true for the preclear, or pc, is what is true, and now the pc is the BT. You never invalidate the pc.
You get the BT to keep answering the question, "What are you?" until the auditor can tell by meter read that the BT has given you the right answer. Then you are told to ask the BT another question, "Who are you?" When the BT answers, "I'm me!" it causes the needle on the E-meter to fall dramatically and the BT blows.
Again, you audit OT 5 until you can't find any more BTs. You attest to having no more BTs, and then you go onto Solo NOTs. First you do OT 6, which is the Solo NOTs Auditing Course. On it, you learn how to audit your own BTs on the NOTs processes.
Then you begin OT 7, Audited NOTs. On this level you sit in an auditing room all alone, holding both cans in one hand, locating BTs by meter read, and auditing your BTs on the NOTs commands, "What are you?" and "Who are you?" just as I described above, until they blow. The way you know when a BT has blown, by the way, is that your needle starts to float on the dial, signifying that there is nothing there any more. You will continue to find BTs and audit them until your body begins to look translucent, signifying that all of your BTs are gone.
By now you know that the entire physical universe is composed of BTs. You know that the reason it is so important to get everyone on the planet into Scientology and on the Bridge to Total Freedom is that it will take every single person auditing all day long, every day, for many, many years, to audit out all the body thetans that compose the physical universe. You now share the most important secret of all, because only now that you are on OT 7 do you know that the true goal of Scientology is to make the physical universe disappear.
And that is why nothing can stand in the way of Scientology's forward expansion. That is why anyone who tries to stop Scientology must be ruthlessly moved out of the way. Truly, it is a matter of the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics! How can we be concerned about the fate of one individual critic, or one individual Suppressive Person, when the fate of the entire Universe is at stake?
Now when you read Keeping Scientology Working you truly understand what LRH meant when he said: "The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology."
Now it is perfectly clear to you why LRH set up the Guardian's Office, now known as the Office of Special Affairs, and said "The goal of the Department is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by high level ability to control and in its absence by low level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies. Scientology is the only game on Earth where everybody wins. There is no overt [meaning crime] in bringing good order."
This is what goes on in the mind of a high-level Scientologist.
Many people have been auditing on OT 7, alone in a room for hours every day, auditing out their BTs, for as long as fifteen years. It is impossible to imagine what this can do to someone's state of mind. Indeed, it is my belief that this auditing of thousands upon thousands of imagined disembodied creatures, this picking apart of the very fabric of one's reality as I described above, can bring about a state of such acute dissociation that it can induce a kind of psychosis of irresponsibility.
I have never experienced anything like the ruthlessness of Scientology since they have labeled me and the people I work with Enemies of Scientology. We are now targets of their Fair Game policies, which instruct them in how to go about destroying our reputations, our sanity, and our lives. It is like being pursued by the Terminator. These people will never stop their attempts to destroy us.
But it begins to make sense to me when I realize that through the process of auditing as I have described, these people have been stripped of all sense of themselves; they have lost all sense of responsibility - indeed, all contact with their own emotions, their own thoughts, even their own hopes and aspirations. They have become addicted to the irresponsibility that comes with living a fantasy. They have truly come to believe in a bizarre future, in which the ultimate goal is a Scientology world, a world in which everyone who disagrees with Scientology will be done away with, quietly and without sorrow.
This is not a world in which I want to live.