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Scientology Means Never Having to Tell an Ashtray You’re Sorry

Kool_AshtrayClaire 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.

Last time, Claire introduced us to “study tech.” This week she’s got a huge amount of material for us. What’s this course called, Claire?

CLAIRE: The Hubbard Qualified Scientologist course. This was my first official “hard course” in Scientology. I started this at age 12. The course took me about eight months to complete, and approximately 200 hours of study.

THE BUNKER: That seems like a lot. Was it all on one subject?

CLAIRE: No, it broke down into several sections…

— A review of study technology: once again you run through the “barriers to study” and how to apply those in one’s study of Scientology.


— TRs 0-4: Yep, we’re back at it for another round.

THE BUNKER: And to remind readers, that means another round of staring contests, bullbaiting, and reciting lines from Alice in Wonderland. What else?

CLAIRE: Upper Indoc TRs 6-9: Let the fun begin.

THE BUNKER: Upper Indoctrination Training Routines Six through Nine? We’ve heard about these.

CLAIRE: Yes. This is where I got to yell at ashtrays, among other things. The idea of these drills is to train you to get another person to execute a command no matter what objections or interference they throw at you. “Tone 40” is the “zone” you’re trying to get into, where you can make someone do something whether they actually want to or not.

THE BUNKER: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”

CLAIRE: Um, yeah.

THE BUNKER: Can you tell us more about it? We’ve known for quite a while about these drills, but we’re wondering what they were like from someone who actually did them.

Up_The_BridgeCLAIRE: Honestly, I’ve never discussed TR-8 with another Scientologist. I think it’s very important for an outsider to understand that discussing any part of Scientology auditing or training is strictly forbidden.

In other words, no one ever compares notes or discusses what they’re doing in Scientology, what their thoughts are, how they feel about it. It’s a huge no-no.

So I’ll tell you the steps of TR-8 and then exactly how I felt about doing those steps at age 12.

TR-8 has several steps, all of which involve giving commands to an ashtray. And yes, I can absolutely understand where someone on the outside would find this strange.

Frankly, I found it bizarre at age 12, and some of the steps I found to be utterly ridiculous. If there was a benefit, I’m not sure I could tell you what it was.

But perhaps that’s just me.

The steps of TR-8 are as follows:

First of all, the commands you give to the ashtray (and which you then make the ashtray execute) are:

Stand up.
Thank you.
Sit down on that chair.
Thank you.

You do these commands by yelling them at the ashtray as loud as you possibly can.

Next you do it non-verbally — thinking the commands at the ashtray and making the ashtray execute them.

Next you do the commands in a normal voice, but with Tone 40 intention, and your coach bullbaits you while you’re doing that.

Again, the idea being to train one in Tone 40 intention, where you can get someone to execute a command without resistance.

For me this was one of many things in Scientology where I just “went with it” and decided to not question or try and insert logic into it, since that would have got me in a serious bind.

THE BUNKER: And there’s still more in this course?

CLAIRE: Oh yeah. HQS is also where I first studied about “ARC.” Mind you, I was already very familiar with all the terms, having grown up in the Cadet Org. In simple terms A = Affinity (one’s feeling of love or liking for someone), R = Reality (being able to relate and agree with another person), and C = Communication (the two-way relay of ideas and concepts between two people). The ARC triangle is another fundamental of Scientology, the premise being that if you can attain A, R, and C with another person you will achieve understanding.

— Cycle of Action: Covered in detail in the book Problems of Work, the cycle of action in Scientology is Start/Change/Stop. This is also where one learns about “Confusion and the stable datum.”

— Tone Scale: A more in-depth study of the emotional scale.

— The Eight Dynamics: Again, this is something you can ask any Scientologist about and they will know the answer. I learned the eight dynamics by heart at age 5 in the Cadet Org. 1st = self, 2nd = sex/family/children, 3rd = the group, 4th = mankind, 5th = the living kingdom (ie. animals, plants etc.), 6th = the MEST universe (M=matter, E=energy, S=space, T=time), 7th = the spiritual dynamic and oneself as a thetan, 8th = infinity (this is the only part of Scientology that ever touches on or infers any kind of belief in a god, though, as has been well documented, if you ask a Scientologist if he or she believes in god, you will invariably get a different answer every time).

— Parts of Man: Body/Mind/Thetan.

— Co-auditing: This is where students team up and audit each other back and forth. On this course, I was required to co-audit the following: Assists, Locationals, CCHs 1 – 4, CCHs 5-7, Op Pro by Dup, and Self Analysis.

THE BUNKER: Whoa. Can you spell those out for us a little?


Touch assists (a sort of faith healing using the command “feel my finger” to restore communication with the painful area) and contact assists (repeating the injury — such as stubbing a toe — until the pain disappears).

CCH (Control, Communication, Havingness) 1 through 4: Processes to overcome aversions to being controlled. In CCH 1 the two people sit opposite each other and one says “give me that hand,” to the other, over and over.

CCH 2 is another repetitive process of instruction with these commands: You look at that wall. You walk over to that wall. You touch that wall. Turn around. Repeat.

CCH 3 Hand Space Mimicry: Put your hand against mine, follow it, and contribute to its motion.

CCH 4: Book Mimicry: Auditor makes a motion with a book (a circle for example) and you then have to copy that, over and over again.

Op Pro by Dup (Opening Procedure by Duplication — also known as “book and bottle”). Commands are: Look at that bottle. Walk over to it. Pick it up. What is its color? What is its temperature? What is its weight? Put it down in exactly the same place. Turn around. Repeat above steps for the book.

Self Analysis: A process of talking about memories in your life, as covered in the book of the same name.

And that covers Co-auditing.

— Selling Scientology: The final section of HQS, and where I personally had the most trouble, is the requirement that you actively promote Scientology. As part of the course you have to sell Dianetics to a new person and then select a new person to be brought in front of a registrar and sold on new services.

THE BUNKER: Wow, that seems like a lot, especially for a 12-year-old. We found a checksheet for the HQS — let’s take a look at a few things from it…


If it isn’t weird enough that you’re supposed to shout instructions at an ashtray, this seems to indicate that you would then create a clay model of yourself shouting at an ashtray? How meta.

CLAIRE: Yes, that’s correct — I made a clay demo of myself doing TR-8, ashtray included.

THE BUNKER: Speechless here.


This exercise sounds like what Lawrence Wright wrote in Going Clear when he described Tom Cruise sitting in a car with Tommy Davis, parked outside a Home Depot so Cruise could judge the Tone Level of people coming out of the store. How exciting.


A “touch assist” — Scientology’s version of faith healing, of laying on of hands — on a doll? Until the doll’s pain is gone? And who knew Scientology had an intoxication cure? Apparently there’s no excuse for Scientologists getting DUIs.


This is the part you said was difficult for you, Claire. Are you telling us copies of Dianetics don’t sell themselves?

CLAIRE: Yes, selling Dianetics and also getting someone in to the registrar were really hard for me.

I didn’t want my friends to know I was a Scientologist. And going up to a stranger was really tough, too. I ended up selling the book to a newer friend. I hadn’t read the book by this point, so it was not about me promoting my knowledge to another person. Rather, it was about grooming me to bring new people in. Getting someone in to a registrar was even harder for me.

Finally, I was sent to the London Test center and stood out on the street asking people to come in for a free personality test. I brought in about 5 people that way, and 2 of those then went to the registrar.

THE BUNKER: What an experience. And the price of all this?

CLAIRE: About $1,000.


COST SO FAR: $1,925


Once Were Warrior

For a few months over at ESMB and elsewhere, there’s been an ongoing appeal for help on behalf of Mark Plummer, a/k/a “Warrior.” An old-time critic who provided crucial help in numerous court cases and on the ‘net, Plummer has fallen on hard times since being laid off from his Homeland Security job in 2010. Read more about his amazing background and his current situation at his website, where there’s also information about how to help him out with donations.


Oklahoma’s Drug Rehab Bill Needs Another Vote in the Senate

Yesterday, we reported this news late in the day, so in case you missed it, we’re repeating it here: Oklahoma’s state House yesterday passed SB 295 by a vote of 80-13, and sent it back to the state Senate for a final vote before it then heads to Governor Mary Fallin. Previously, it passed the Senate on a unanimous vote.

We talked with Rep. Jason Murphey, who helped sponsor the bill and pushed it through Oklahoma’s House.

“It does need to go to the Senate one final time,” he told us by telephone. “But it doesn’t have to go to a committee,” he points out.

We asked him how he felt about it. “It’s exciting to see it go through. There were some very liberal members who voted against it. But it went through with a wide margin and that’s nice to see.”

Does he think it will end up providing the Department of Mental Health the oversight that will be needed to make a difference in the case of Narconon? “I think so. I absolutely do,” he said. “The people at the Department of Mental Health were very helpful.”

We pointed out that recently, Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith had said he didn’t understand why the legislature was paying so much attention to this bill.

“I guess when that many people pass away in your facility, it’s going to get some attention. That’s kind of how it works,” Murphey said.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 16, 2013 at 07:00

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