Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology’s International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
Claire, it seems like we’ve come a long way now. Where do we go next after finishing the Expanded Grades?
CLAIRE: Next will be NED — New Era Dianetics. The premise and theory of this level is covered in L. Ron Hubbard’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It used to be that Dianetics auditing was first on the grade chart. That was before my time. Then later on, the grades were added as prerequisites to NED. The idea behind it was that the grades would address a person’s particular life problems, so by the time they get to Dianetics they’re in better shape and will keep their gains on this level. But really, to sum it up, this is where you will run out all your engrams and go Clear.
THE BUNKER: Wait a minute. You mean, we’re going CLEAR this week?
CLAIRE: You got it! You mean you’re not feeling the whole unraveling of the secrets of the universe??
THE BUNKER: Well, we’re just amazed that we’re here. And also surprised that the last step before Clear is where everything started, with Hubbard’s 1950 book, Dianetics.
We already blogged our way through the entirety of a first edition copy of Dianetics with author Vance Woodward earlier this year, so we won’t recap all of it here again. Let’s just say that we were fairly astounded by how much the book is obsessed with sex with pregnant women, women being harmed, women and their bathroom habits, and a lot of other misogynistic freakout that hardly ever seems to be discussed about that book. It’s really a horror show. (Go here to start our adventure reading the book with Vance.)
But we also learned the essence of Hubbard’s original “discovery:” The true nature of the human mind. It contains two halves, the analytical half and something called the “reactive mind” which records traumatic memories that occur while we are unconscious. These memories are stored as “engrams,” and later they can be “restimulated” and cause us problems. Dianetic theory allows the subject to relive those traumatic experiences and neutralize the engrams by re-experiencing them and lessening their impact. The engrams with the most power over us we picked up in the womb as sperm, egg, or zygote as we heard things said by mom and dad during rough sex. When we erase those very early engrams, it is then easier to get rid of the rest we picked up through life. Once we’ve erased them all, we’ve erased the reactive mind itself and then, for the first time in human history, achieve the superhuman state of Clear.
Claire, what is “Clear” supposed to be today? It seems like it changed a lot over the years.
In the 1950 edition of Dianetics, a Clear has total recall, is impervious to almost all diseases, and generally lives like a superhuman. Do Scientologists still believe this?
I don’t think the state itself has changed, I just think a lot of the verbiage concerning medical claims have been removed.
The state of Clear is achieved when a person has run out many engrams in the reactive mind, and this is supposed to indicate that the person no longer suffers from unwanted emotions. I can remember thinking that the state of Clear was a magical state — and that it would mean the person would be completely sane, rational, competent and just an all-round stellar human being. However, my interaction with people who had achieved the state of Clear didn’t realize my expectations. Nonetheless, it remains a very significant level in Scientology.
After you’ve achieved the state of Clear, a green stripe is put on your pc folders, which indicates that only someone who is Clear or higher can look in your folder. And of course, the seemingly bigger deal is that your next step (eventually) will be the OT — Operating Thetan — Levels.
THE BUNKER: Claire, we’ve looked through the materials involved with New Era Dianetics, and it’s a pretty massive file of stuff. Naturally, there’s plenty of drilling on the many things we’ve gone over before (it wouldn’t be Scientology without a lot of repetition), and it looks like it would take a long time to get this done. What would you estimate the amount of time it would take? And the cost, of course.
Also, is this something you can do at your local org, or do you need to go to an Advanced Org (an AO is one of the special facilities in places like Los Angeles, Sydney, Copenhagen, and Florida)?
CLAIRE: This can be done at your local org, and it’s one of the last steps before you head off to the AO. I’d say it would take 6 months to a year, and cost would be $40,000 to $80,000. NED sessions tend to run very long.
THE BUNKER: In the pack of materials — which runs to more than 300 pages required beyond the book Dianetics itself — there are transcripts of several Hubbard lectures. So you’d have to absorb all of them, as well.
We’ll give you just a taste of one of them, a short excerpt of a lecture Hubbard gave on May 16, 1963, when he’s talking about the vast time spans that his auditors are going to run into as they’re tracking down engrams on the “time tracks” of their preclears…
Found a datum here you might be interested in. That particular outfit was down toward the center of this particular galaxy and was founded at 52,863,010,654,079 years. And I can’t give you it much closer than that, because when places get founded more or less becomes part of their lies. But it was founded at that time, and it was destroyed on the date 38,932, 690,862,933 years ago, by the 79th Wing of the 43rd Battle Squadron of the Galactic Fleet.
It was not a part of the galaxy. It was a wildcat activity sitting there. They used to drag Magellanic clouds out of the center hub of the galaxy, let them follow the lines of force, and just let them come over a system. Then when they got around to it, they’d send planes in with speakers, and so forth, and give the place the business. But the place very often was totally caved in for thousands of years by these Magellanic radioactive clouds which would just engulf the particular system. You got the idea? I just give you that in brief, just as a matter of interest, because I don’t think . . . I’ve now got good data on the dates. These dates we’re getting are accurate. I have now compared them up the track and squared them around. These are the dates.
You’re not likely to find any implant earlier than or even near 52 trillion, and you’re certainly not going to find an implant closer to present time than 38.9 trillion. And if you find any other kind of an implant, you’re probably looking at a different kind of implant or somebody dramatising it someplace else, so it’ll be a subgrade proposition. So that is the span and period of these particular things.
Well, you get the idea.
But Claire, it really surprises us that this all comes back to Dianetics.
In 1950, you bought a copy of the book, found a friend to audit with, and after 20 to 100 hours of running engrams (with no e-meter), you could attain “Clear” and be fairly superhuman. (At least, that was Hubbard’s claim in the book.)
In 2013, you go through maybe a couple of years of preliminary Scientology (and more than $100,000) before you finally come back to the original point of the movement — Dianetics, also known as “Book One.” After running your engrams (now with an e-meter) you attain the state of Clear, and it’s not even as superhuman as it was originally.
So the “progress” that has been made since 1950 is the addition of a lot of preliminary drills and vocabulary lessons that tend to put in control mechanisms to make you more compliant before you finally get to Book One.
We’re sort of stunned.
CLAIRE: Yes, that concisely sums it up.
I had a fairly unique, though not uncommon experience. I was put on NED when I had already studied all materials on the Clear “cognition” — a fairly specific statement that indicates you’ve reached the state of Clear. (Paraphrased, this is where you realize you created or “mocked up” your own reactive mind.) I was also already mid-OT V at the time.
Honestly, I simply could not stay awake for the life of me.
THE BUNKER: Speaking of the OT levels, with so many of them still to come after Clear, has it lessened the significance of Clear?
CLAIRE: I don’t think it’s less of a big deal, but perhaps there are fewer fireworks, since there’s “much more to come”…
COST THIS WEEK: $60,000
COST SO FAR: $183,197
Last week, Claire took us through Expanded Grade Four, and we learned about the Scientology concept of “service facsimiles,” something about mental image pictures that turn us into dominating jerks. Claire mentioned that L. Ron Hubbard had a theory that Australians had more “ser facs” to deal with than other people, for some reason. And as a result, Scientology leader David Miscavige would abuse church spokesman Mike Rinder (who was from Adelaide) by habitually calling him a “ser fac’y bastard.”
However, when we saw Rinder and Marty Rathbun in Texas last week, they said that Claire was mistaken. They didn’t remember “bastard” being a word in Miscavige’s vocabulary.
In fact, they say, Miscavige often called Rinder a “ser fac’y cocksucker.”
We’re happy to correct the record.
Brad Pitt and the Celebrity Centre
Yesterday, we talked to Jenna Miscavige Hill, who told us she’d been misquoted in some recent news stories about Scientology celebrities. In particular, she said that she’d told a reporter that her mother had told her she’d seen Brad Pitt at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre near the Purification Rundown area. The ensuing news story claimed that Jenna was saying that Pitt enrolled in the program to go through a detoxing program for drug use. Jenna told us she hadn’t said that at all. And now, we’ve heard from a reader who says she can back up what Jenna is saying. Here’s what our reader sent us…
I can confirm that Brad Pitt was in the vicinity of the Purification Rundown at CC on at least one occasion, but he was not on the Purification Rundown. I know this because I was there and I spoke with him.
It was Spring 1991. I was on the Purification Rundown on the advice of one of my doctors (pause for eye-roll) after I had undergone multiple surgeries and radiation treatment. The Celebrity Centre was undergoing renovations and had all the ambiance of a construction zone. Security was minimal. Lots of Sea Org offspring were running around unsupervised. The Purif area was just steps from a back door and easily accessed. People could come and go to the Purif area from this door without ever setting foot in the rest of the building. The Time magazine article came out while I was on the rundown, and there was talk in the sauna that it was not to be read. So I read it.
Juliette Lewis was on the Purification Rundown at the time. She and Brad were dating. He was a relatively unknown actor at the time but had just been cast for A River Runs Through It. It was a big deal since he would be working with Robert Redford. He was leaving town soon for location filming in, if I remember correctly, Montana.
One day the Purif In-Charge was away from her post when someone came knocking at the door. I heard the knocking and answered it since no staff were around. And there was Mr. Brad Pitt. He was polite and soft-spoken, and he asked to see Juliette. I told him I would go and find her and I asked him if he wanted to come in while I located her. He said, “No, but would you give her this?” He handed me a small gift box which was from a shop on Melrose. And then he left.
I do not know if he ever took a Scientology course, but it’s an educated guess that Juliette would have tried to get him interested. She was a die-hard, second generation believer. They were an unlikely couple. She commented once that he wasn’t her usual type…too beautiful. If he had been on the Purif around that time I would have known it. There was only one sauna and everyone knew everyone else. Remember, the process usually lasted for weeks on end and required several hours per day. Based on his demeanor, he was clearly not comfortable enough in the environment to come inside the Purif offices. He never crossed the threshold. When he left, he went straight out the back door, not into CC proper. This was a budding romance and it didn’t last very long.
Thanks for that account. It may be futile to push against tabloid stories, but if we don’t do it, who will?
Posted by Tony Ortega on September 18, 2013 at 07:00
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