Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


It’s time to wake up our space cooties on Scientology’s New Operating Thetan Level Five!

NEDsClaire Headley and Bruce Hines are taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. Claire spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Bruce was in Scientology for 31 years and spent about half that time as a senior case supervisor. Go here to see the first part in this series.

This week, Bruce is helping us as we soldier on into the strange environs of New Operating Thetan Level Five. We’re now moving into a new realm — New Era Dianetics for OTs, which is usually shortened to NOTs. We’ll have Bruce explain that in a bit.

But first, let’s take a look what we ran into as we leafed through the materials for New OT 5.

We ran into a checklist of prerequisites, which include having a security clearance and making sure we don’t have a vitamin deficiency.

Once we’re ready, there’s a 29-step checklist that makes up OT 5 itself. Each of them refer to corresponding NOTs procedures. So the first step, for example, is “Indoctrination Step & clearing words,” which refers to NOTs 4 and 27.

Other steps include “Handle BTs who went Clear,” “Handle BTs who went Exterior,” “Handle BTs audited past erasure,” and “Repair BTs run on uncharged items.”


“BTs” stands for “body thetans,” those disembodied alien souls that we thought we’d gotten rid of on OT 3 and then OT 4. But apparently our BTs need further handling because they’ve been going Clear and Exterior on us.

Some additional steps in New OT 5:

Handle BTs/clusters Being Body Parts
Handle BTs On or Around the Body
Generally Spotting and Blowing BTs/clusters
Mass That Kicks in when Pre-OT Looks into Body
BTs with Mis-U words Rundown

And here’s the final step, which is a doozy: “Verify whether Pre-OT has achieved the full EP of NED for OTs as described in NOTs 27, pages 8 & 11. If so Declare. If not, locate the unflat/incomplete Pgm step(s) and handle…DO NOT DECLARE UNTIL PRE-OT HAS THE FULL EP.”

Well, that certainly sounds sophisticated and worth hundreds of dollars an hour, doesn’t it?

BRUCE: For me personally, the subject of NOTs is especially significant.

THE BUNKER: How about explaining NOTs for our readers.

BRUCE: NOTs stands for New Era Dianetics for Operating Thetans. New Era Dianetics (NED) was the incarnation of Dianetics circa 1978. There were versions in the 1950s which kept getting revised in those early days, then 1963, then 1969 (that was called “Standard Dianetics”), then NED. It was discovered after the release of NED that Dianetics should not be run on anyone who is Clear or above. The claim is that on a Clear, a person who does not have their own mental image pictures, running Dianetics restimulates the incidents (pictures) of BTs, and it gets very messy. It can result in illness or body problems or confusion or upsets or whatever. NOTs came about as a way to address these things on people who were OT 3 or above. Except it actually does not use a Dianetics-type technique. It is never simple.

THE BUNKER: OK. So different flavors of Dianetic counseling are required before and after going Clear. We’re with you.

BRUCE: I joined the Sea Org in 1979 in order to be a NOTs auditor, and then I held that post, after the requisite training, until 1987. In the latter part of 1978 and the first part of 1979, I was living in LA working as an electrician and doing my OT levels at the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA) as a public Scientologist. In those days in the lobby of AOLA there would be announcements when someone attested to Clear or to an OT level, and the person who had attested would tell their “wins” to the people who happened to be gathered there. There would also be promotional announcements from time to time. One evening I was passing through the lobby when a guy was telling his “wins” from the NOTs auditing he’d gotten at Flag (in Clearwater). The advanced orgs at that time could not yet deliver NOTs auditing. I listened to that guy and was impressed by the amazing OT things he was saying he’d experienced as a result of his NOTs auditing. That guy happened to be Larry Wollersheim.

NOTs was developed in September 1978. It came out of auditing that David Mayo did on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard during a severe illness. Most people don’t realize how much Mayo contributed to NOTs. He was so utterly vilified to Scientologists later on. For over a decade prior to that, many people had been focused on doing the OT levels, especially the vaunted OT 3. The highest one could go then was what was called “Full OT 7.” That was a much different OT 7 than what exists today. And oddly it was done between OT 3 and OT 3 Expanded. OT 8 was not available until the late 1980s. The result was that there were a lot of people who had “gone up the Bridge” and had not achieved OT abilities. They had kind of dead-ended. With the release of NOTs they all had something new that they could do. There was also an explanation why they were still mere mortals, or so they thought. This meant that there was a huge demand for this new service and the Church of Scientology had a cash cow. I believe during that period was the first time the Flag Service Organization (which runs the spiritual mecca in Clearwater, Florida) took in a million dollars in gross income in a single week.

Bruce Hines

Bruce Hines

It also meant that there was heavy recruitment into the Sea Org for potential NOTs auditors. There were special recruiting projects at Flag, in LA, at Saint Hill, and in Copenhagen to get people to join to become NOTs auditors. The FSO and all of the three advanced orgs that existed at the time had sold millions and millions of dollars of this service without having the means to deliver. I was one of many who fell for their pitch. Andre Taboyoyan was on the AOLA recruitment mission. I joined the Sea Org at AOLA and was sent to Flag immediately after I had done an abbreviated “EPF” (Estates Project Force, the first thing one does upon joining the Sea Org). I was put onto full-time training right away (which violated their own policy — only proven staff members should get the “privilege” of full-time training). Jesse Prince was one of my course supervisors at Flag. I somehow made it through that training, amazingly, as it was intense and stressful. For months and months, the training was for 13 or 14 hours a day, no days off, with short breaks for lunch and dinner. One is constantly being scrutinized, with lots of criticism and correction, to make sure one makes the grade (in their estimation).

When one has jumped through various hoops, and has “security clearance,” one is allowed to study the confidential NOTs materials. Some of these materials are the same ones that a person doing New OT 5 these days reads in the introductory steps of their auditing sessions. The subject of BTs and clusters is revisited, with a vengeance. One learns that there are way, way more BTs than had been known about before NOTs. In the OT 3 materials Hubbard said that the number of BTs a person might have to deal with is in the hundreds; on NOTs, it is some huge yet unspecified number. These BTs are supposedly dormant and have to be woken up. This is accomplished by receiving NOTs from a specially trained auditor. New OT 5 is not a solo level.

The instructions for the current New OT 5 are in technical bulletins that were put together in 1991 by Sue Koon (Dan Koon’s former wife), who was in “the Hole” at some point according to something I read online. These were revisions of the original 1978 NOTs bulletins that were compiled by David Mayo. The level changed in 1991 from how it was prior to that. Few people know that actions were added in to New OT 5 in 1991 that were never mentioned by Hubbard, who had died five years earlier. This is a big deal for Scientologists, who think that Ron devised all the tech.

THE BUNKER: Jeff Hawkins has made the point that changes in the “tech” made after Hubbard’s death in 1986 were justified by claiming that Hubbard had left notes that were being followed or some other Hubbard-based justification.

BRUCE: The changes are justified by something Hubbard wrote or said (his recorded words). Or on things that someone else wrote and was personally approved by Hubbard when it was submitted to him. But sometimes it was interpretations of what he said. These interpretations were a bit of a stretch on occasion. Like Hubbard said something about staff meetings, and Cathy Rinder (remember her on that Anderson Cooper 360 show?) wrote a whole policy letter called “Staff Meeting” that laid out a whole procedure for these meetings that Hubbard never described. She had been ordered to do so and got it approved through David Miscavige. There are things that are in the current version of NOTs (New OT 5) that Hubbard never wrote or said or approved.

A key part of the theory of this auditing is that the BTs and clusters are not only dormant (unresponsive, like in a coma), but they are out of valence, which I wrote about in relation to the original OT 4. To wake them up and get them to blow, telepathically, silently, the pre-OT has to ask them what they are, and then who they are. The idea is that these beings are stuck in a false beingness (the valence). They might be thinking that they are a body part, or some inanimate object, or a quality, or anything at all. So the pre-OT asks, “What are you?” and keeps asking that until the auditor sees the “correct” E-meter reaction. Supposedly, when the pre-OT then acknowledges the BT or cluster that this is the false identity, a valence shift happens. Then the next question, “Who are you?” is asked repeatedly until the BT or cluster says, “I’m me.” Generally, so goes the theory, once the BT or cluster being audited realizes he or she or it (Hubbard never said anything about the gender of these beings) is just himself (or herself or itself), then they blow. The are freed up and might even go Clear at that point.

THE BUNKER: Yeah, there’s nothing insane about that at all.

BRUCE: The pre-OT being audited on New OT 5 goes through these steps over and over and over again. It is called “Valence Tech.” New OT 5 consists of locating BTs and clusters in various ways, and then running Valence Tech on them. To locate them, the pre-OT has to be able to perceive masses. The BTs and clusters have actual mass, so it is written, and since they are sort of dead, the only way to see them (not with the eyes) is to spot their mass. For example, the auditor might tell the pre-OT, “Locate a mass in the body.” Then, once they have done that, the auditor finds out whether that mass is a BT or a cluster, and then runs Valence Tech. There are several actions that deal with BTs that were messed up in the pre-OT’s earlier auditing. So supposedly there can be BTs who went Clear and are hung up because this was not acknowledged, or they went exterior and could not leave because times when they interiorized (incidents on their own time track) got restimulated, or there could have been other kinds of errors that occurred on a particular BT.

The whole thing is pretty complicated.

THE BUNKER: Complicated? We’re actually thinking of another word.

BRUCE: Well, I think it is all nonsense. But within that world, once one has bought some of the ideas, there is a kind of internal logic to it.

There are a lot of individual actions that make up this level. And there are a lot of contingencies and phenomena that the auditor has to be aware of and possibly act on.

I, and the people I audited on NOTs, had no trouble accepting that there was a whole new layer of BTs and clusters to be “handled,” or getting answers from them, or feeling like they blew.

Originally, there was a bulletin that said that one of the end phenomena of audited NOTs was that the body should become translucent to the thetan perception of the pre-OT. Of course, this is totally subjective. At some point in about 1980, solo NOTs came out and the pre-OT could shift over to solo auditing once they were deemed to be far enough along in their audited NOTs. Then, there was no more effort to get a translucent body. In about 1982, audited NOTs became New OT 5, and Solo NOTs became New OT 7.

THE BUNKER: We’re feeling pretty translucent at this point. So Bruce, how many “intensives” are we going to need to purchase to get through all of this waking up of BTs and making them blow?

BRUCE: When I was still involved, New OT 5 would typically take 4 to 6 intensives (50 to 75 hours). There might have been some “fast” pre-OTs who completed it in 37.5 hours.

THE BUNKER: According to a 2007 price list, 50 hours of intensives for New OT 5 runs $27,300.


COST SO FAR: $315,405.50


News and notes

Yesterday, filmmaker Louis Theroux mentioned on Twitter that he’s working on a documentary about Scientology…

Actually, this is a project long in coming that we’ve known about for more than a year, and it’s exciting to see it kicking into a new gear.

In fact, there are currently at least six television or feature film projects in production or being planned that we know of, but since most of them have reached out to the Bunker in some way, we’re going to remain vague about them until they give us permission to begin promoting them. (We’ll just say that one of them may be showing up as early as next month.)

There’s been some interest in a story coming out of Germany about an unnamed professional football player’s contract with the team Bayern Munich which included a clause saying that the contract could be severed if the player had anything to do with Scientology. We asked our man in Europe, Jonny Jacobsen, what was being said in Paris about this latest development.

So far as I can see this has been a slow burn: Der Spiegel appear to have run this more than a week ago in its Sunday edition (February 2). It must have been picked up by a news agency yesterday because it’s only now beginning to appear on a few French websites.

No trace of it in l’Equipe, the sports daily: the closest I got in a word-search of their site was “sciatologie,” which I promise you is nothing more sinister than a back injury.

The Adidas statement about supporting diversity and tolerance and somehow suggesting that Scientology not be compatible with such values — the very idea! — very much reflects the German view of Scientology. But while they say it’s a standard clause in their contracts, I can’t help wondering if it extends beyond the Bundesliga.

I can’t see that flying in Major League Soccer — is that what you call it over there? I’ll make inquiries at Adidas France to see if they’ve tried the same clause.

Thanks, Jonny. We hope you get some word back.

UPDATE: Adidas confirms that the clause only exists for its German contracts.

On a sadder note, we heard from Colin Henderson last night, who told us that Suzan Holten had died after battling cancer. Suzan’s daughter, Hillary, died in April 2012 at Narconon Arrowhead, the flagship facility of Scientology’s drug rehab network, which is in Oklahoma. Hillary’s parents, Suzan and Matthew, are among several families suing the Narconon center over a series of deaths there. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Matthew Holten, and we hope he can still find some justice in the future.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 11, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email