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


Going three feet back of your head: Scientology’s Original Operating Thetan Level Six!

COHA2Claire 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.

Bruce Hines is helping us again as we push on into the upper Operating Thetan levels, and boy, are we excited. This week, we’re up to Original OT 6, and the title for this level’s materials is “Familiarisation as a Thetan Exterior with the Physical Universe.” Hey, that’s sounds major!

After some review and preparation, we proceed to Step One.

“Be three feet in back of your head,” we’re told, the classic Scientology instruction to go “exterior” from our bodies.

Then we’re asked to do a series of exercises involving making “copies” of things we see in the room and then “disposing” of them. We’re told to find locations in the room or on Earth and “hold onto them” for two minutes. Once again, as in the previous level, we’re asked to “spot spots” in the room. And then there’s this fun instruction:

“Be in the following places: The room, the sky, the moon, the sun. The above steps should be done to a Major Cognition or ability regained. Repeat until this occurs. Write it down.”



Now on to Part Two, which takes place while we’re instructed to be lying down with our eyes closed.

We’re told to locate an animal and make it move it around, to find a person walking and make them walk faster, and then make a walking person stop and start again. We’re told to find someone “in a distant land”…

“Notice the terrain. Notice the general environment. Smell the air. Locate a thought that is his. Locate a thought that is yours. Continue until flat.”

Far out.

On to Step Three.

Now we’re told to turn on sexual desire and then turn it off. “Continue that step until you feel you have control over the sexual drives.”

Whatever you say, L. Ron.

We’re then told to create a feeling of pain, and then of serenity, then of hunger, then of admiration.

“The end result of these particular drills is the regained ability to control the body and its sensations…The Operating Thetan must be able to manufacture and experience to his complete satisfaction, all sensations including pain in mock-up form, and all energies such as admiration and force.”

Out of sight.

So it’s on to Step Four.

Now we’re told to “postulate” some emotions — anger, boredom, grief, cheerfulness, and serenity. “This is continued until you are sure that you can create any emotion.”

And finally, we get the big test to make sure this stuff is more than just lying down with our eyes closed while imagining things…

“Finally, exteriorized visit a friend who lives in another state. Greet him and flow affinity to him. Ask him to communicate to you by letter.”

And that’s it.

Hey, what if your friend doesn’t like to write letters?

BRUCE: The original OT 6 is similar to the original OT 5 in the general kind of process that gets run. Part of it is supposed to get a person to “realize” that feelings and emotions and sensations are not something that they are effect of. They are something that the person creates. This is probably the most fundamental goal of Scientology in general. Or, rather, this is what people are led to believe. Another way of saying it is the well-known Scientology dictum, “You are responsible for your own condition.” The various travails that any human goes through in life are supposedly caused by the person him- or herself. So they create a reactive mind, which they are supposed to realize at the point they go Clear. They lessen their own abilities because they believe themselves to be capable of harm and want to keep themselves from doing further harm. They “misown” (assign false ownership of) pictures and experiences of BTs and so lose their own identity. This all happens, as given in the theory, because they have been tricked or misled or programmed by implanters (psychiatrists) way back in time. And nothing bad can happen to a person unless they somehow have agreed to it.

So, the people who did the original OT 6 (and that was considered to be a very lofty thing by true believers back in the day) think that they are overcoming all this illusion that mere mortals think is reality. Probably any cult promises some kind of relief from or transcendence of the human condition.

One thing that is interesting about the original OT 6 is that many of the steps were published in 1954 in the book entitled The Creation of Human Ability (or COHA as it is often referred to inside that acronym-happy organization). That book describes many auditing processes that were in use back in the early 1950s. It contained “Route 1,” which was for people who could exteriorize, or who would believe that they popped out of their body upon being given the auditing command, “Be three feet back of your head.” Mr. Hubbard actually used the word “command” for directions given to the preclear in auditing. The step where the person was supposed to be in the room, the moon, the sky, the sun was called The Grand Tour, if my memory serves. And I’m pretty sure some of the other original OT 6 actions were also part of Route 1.

You weren’t allowed to know what was on that level (or any OT level) until you had paid for it, were given the OK to do it, and had an instruction from the case supervisor to actually start it. That made it very mysterious. If people knew that the same information already existed in a book that was available to anyone, it would have been more difficult to sell this “step to OT.”

There was also “Route 2” in the same book. This was for people who couldn’t exteriorize. Supposedly if one followed this route, they would then gain in ability to the point where they could be exterior and do Route 1. The processes were numbered and each one was referred to as “R2” followed by its number. For example, R2-17 was the famous “Opening Procedure by Duplication.” The notorious R2-45 comes from this book.

I’d be willing to bet that most of the people who did the original OT 6 chose a friend that would have been likely to send them a letter in any event. I never heard of someone deciding to send a letter because they felt that they had been influenced to do so by some disembodied soul.

THE BUNKER: Another set of excellent observations, Bruce. Next week, we’ll look at New OT 6, one of the most voluminous levels on the entire Bridge. (For now, we’ll hold on to our cost so far: $315,405.50)


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 18, 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, 40

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