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.
Well, this is it. We’re finally plunging into Scientology’s “Operating Thetan” levels after Claire Headley has taken us all the way up the Bridge to Total Freedom. Claire, we’re very excited about this. You’ve explained to us that the anticipation of Scientology’s superhuman secrets — finally revealed on the OT levels — is what keeps people in for years, toiling away at repetitive tasks that can seem ridiculous in the extreme. But now, we’re finally here!
CLAIRE: Well, cool your jets. We have one final step before we can plunge into OT 1 itself — and that’s “OT Eligibility.”
THE BUNKER: Say what?
CLAIRE: It’s basically another “sec check” — an interrogation — and it’s like the False Purpose Rundown that we’ve done before. But in this case, it’s an investigation so that a Knowledge Report (KR) can be written up, and then an ethics officer goes through it in detail to see what you’ve confessed to — and then handles everything that came up in the KR. It’s got to be done before you can be approved to start the OT levels.
Also, a review is run to make sure you’ve done all the grade levels in full, and that your case supervisor has signed off on them. Your ethics have to be acceptable, and you have to prove that you’re an active and participating Scientologist.
Here’s a good example of the last point. My mother was in the Sea Org and left. So although she remained an active Scientologist, she had the nasty label of “ex-Sea Org.” This meant she was not allowed to work at any Scientology organization, and she had an unperson stigma attached to her.
Well, when I joined the Sea Org she was just completing her Solo auditor course.
She told me a few years into my SO career that the only reason her OT Eligibility was approved was because I was in the Sea Org and, by that time, I was positioned at Gold.
THE BUNKER: So she lost her unperson status and got to do the OTs because your service at Gold rubbed off on her.
CLAIRE: Something like that. So after your sec check and the review of your various qualifications, then you still have to get a CSW (Completed Staff Work) signed off by a whole slew of people, including a representative of the Religious Technology Center (RTC).
THE BUNKER: That’s the Scientology entity run by chairman of the board David Miscavige, and is nominally in control of the organization. (As Denise Brennan explained to us recently, it’s really the Sea Org — with Miscavige as its captain — that runs Scientology from top to bottom.)
CLAIRE: Now, my personal experience with OT 1 was different than your average “public” Scientologist because I was Sea Org staff at the Hemet base. So I did the OT levels there, and I didn’t have to pay for expensive accommodations at Flag or AO in Los Angeles like publics would have to.
When I did OT 1, the Advanced Course room at the base was in a single-wide trailer out at the Old Gilman House (OGH), a location which was a kind of no-man’s land.
THE BUNKER: That doesn’t sound very spiritually rewarding.
CLAIRE: Yeah, there’s nothing like doing the OT levels out where all the people who wanted to leave or were being punished were kept in unperson status.
THE BUNKER: OGH was sort of The Hole before The Hole itself was invented in 2004.
CLAIRE: Exactly. So, in that environment, I wasn’t really expecting to have my socks blown off by OT 1. I expected that it was a level where you got your feet wet as a Solo Auditor, you got oriented and demonstrated that you could audit yourself successfully to a result — to a floating needle and to cognitions.
THE BUNKER: “Cognition” being a word that Scientologists use where we might say “epiphany” — a sudden realization.
CLAIRE: When it came to counting bodies, I went to the base muster, which at that time involved up to 800 people. I didn’t have any blinding cognition, and it wasn’t really an unusual sight for me to see a muster.
THE BUNKER: Well, let’s stop you there and explain to our readers what you mean by “counting bodies.” Ladies and gentlemen, the vaunted processes that L. Ron Hubbard came up with in 1968 for Operating Thetan Level One consist of several pages of drills spelled out in a handwritten document.
The first couple of pages instruct the subject how to get ready, with a list of the usual things Scientologists monitor to prepare for the experience. Then, the exercises begin.
In the name of “Fair Use,” we’re going to let you see Hubbard’s handwritten description of the initial exercise…
Your eyes are not deceiving you. After years of preparation and a quarter of a million dollars in fees by our count, here’s how the legendary Operating Thetan levels begin:
1. Walk around and count bodies until you have a cognition. Make a report saying how many you counted and your cognition.
After that exercise, there are twelve more somewhat like it.
While sitting outside somewhere, you will count “small female bodies,” you’ll observe a crowd, watch people “unobtrusively,” observe people walking toward you and away from you.
You’ll note things about your own body, you’ll note the way people are weighed down to the ground, and look for “importance” in them as they walk by.
You’ll even find a place with no people, and wait for a cognition.
And that’s it.
Claire, can you give us some idea of what a “cognition” would be like after going out to count people walking by?
CLAIRE: I’m afraid I’d be hard put to tell you what my cognition was right at that moment. Keep in mind, the programming was firmly in place by that point: you run the process, you have a cognition. I don’t think it even really much mattered what the “cognition” was.
THE BUNKER: Amazing. Well, by our 2001 price list, OT Eligibility is going to run us $9,831.25, and New OT 1 itself is $3,327.00
COST THIS WEEK: $13,158.25
TOTAL SO FAR: $262,133.25
Posted by Tony Ortega on November 4, 2013 at 07:00
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