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Lured into your own past: The seduction of an initial Scientology session

[Pete Griffiths, fully hatted]

My first ever Dianetics session had a bizarre twist which at the time meant nothing to me. Years later it made me go, wow! Really? Did that really happen? Am I making this up? How accurate are memories anyway?

Here’s how it unfolded. Like an idiot I follow this girl into the org to do the personality test and spend the next 45 minutes answering 200 questions as honestly as I can with a YES, NO or MAYBE. Scientology calls this test the Oxford Capacity Analysis, but it has nothing to do with Oxford University. Your answers to its 200 questions are supposed to produce some meaningful inspection of your character.

“Do you make thoughtless remarks or accusations that you later regret?” Er… maybe… OK, YES! Sometimes…

Next I am led into an office by the same girl who now has a graph in her hand. That wiggly line is my personality displayed for all to see.

Firstly, I disagreed with everything the OCA test evaluator said about me, but I did agree that I could improve. The evaluator was claiming that Dianetics would help me to do that. Would it? I had no idea but she was insistent that it would help me to remove the barriers and unleash my true potential. That I wasn’t being the real me. The real me was hampered by my reactive mind. Get rid of that and feel the power. Well, she was right when she told me I wasn’t happy, if I’m honest with myself, I’m not really happy as I know I could be a lot happier. Oh yeah. Bring it on.


So I bought into that idea. And then I bought five hours of introductory auditing, using the money set aside to pay the mortgage for that month. I was persuaded that once I realized my true potential that a single mortgage payment would be chickenfeed. I would be making money hand over fist. I would be a real powerhouse. I could live with that.

I go into the session not knowing what to expect but I had read the book — Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health — and found it interesting and I had always had a fascination with the idea of self-betterment and even past lives (although they don’t get a mention in the book) if I could only find out how to do it. I really had nothing to lose. Except £34.50p. This was in 1987. It would be about £90 today.

The auditor asks me to close my eyes and there sit I, teetering on the edge of a great adventure. He asks me what I had to eat the previous day. I had good old fish and chips, a British staple. He asks me if I can taste them again, and as I take a breath in, I get the reaction that you get when you smell vinegar and I am amazed as my mouth begins to water in anticipation. I grin. Maybe this does work. Now I know what to expect and so find myself rolling down the time track at the auditor’s command, looking for some incident that was upsetting to me. Oh there is one, right there.

He was my friend, with a verve for life and living that made him drink too much, steal cars and have far too much fun. Sadly, one night he was chased by the police in a stolen car and crashed it, killing himself instantly. That was pretty tough to take.

The auditor had me go to the moment of finding out about the tragedy and I found that easy to do. We went over it again and again and then again until I found myself sighing with the boredom of it. My feelings about his death seemed to have undergone a change in that they were no longer heavy and sodden with grief. He asked me to go back to the beginning and go over it again. “Do I have to?”

At that point he ended the session and we took a break. I did feel pretty amazing to be honest. Something that had upset me for years, no longer did. I felt lighter somehow, almost floating. This seems to be working. Bloody hell.

The next day we continued and like a pro I went gliding down the time track looking for something to audit. The only thing that I could find was a minor incident from when I was just a few weeks old and living at my granny’s house, where someone jostled the pram in which I was fast asleep and startled me awake. Is this for real? Am I making this up? From there I tried to find prenatal memories but nothing came up so I just kept on going back and back and back and finding nothing. A nothing that became empty space.

Floating in space. Real space. There was nothing in the space at all. It was neither warm nor cold, just there. And dark. No arms or legs or a body, just a being, in space, drifting somewhat aimlessly. I became aware of a light source off in one corner which began to get closer and closer until I could identify it as a huge orb of energy pulsating as it floated around without any obvious purpose.

The auditor asked me what was going on and so I told him, I have no idea but I’m looking at something, maybe it’s a god, just floating and pulsing. The auditor asked if this “god” had a name. I had recently been studying Norse mythology. The word Odin came to mind instantly. Then Wotan, Wodin, Otan, Odin, I told him. This was insane, Odin had hung on a tree for 9 days and nights, not drifted around in space disguised as a glowing orb and I told the auditor this.

“It’s like some galactic energy source or a god or something.”

He ended the session saying that he was going upstairs to get advice from the Case Supervisor. When he returned and we got back into session he insisted on my naming this thing. I had already lost interest but tried to find a name for him. All I could come up with was Odin, but I was pronouncing it as “W-dan.”

He went back to the Case Supervisor three more times, and then again we went back into session, each time trying to get a name from me, until finally we went into session one final time. I was getting frustrated with this meaningless looking for a name for a bright shiny orb which I no longer cared about. Why couldn’t it be Odin? Why is he insisting that I find some other name?

By this time the auditor had stopped making notes of the session. I was getting thoroughly bored with this. He leaned forward and in a conspiratorial whisper asked, “Is his name Xenu?”

He appeared to be slightly embarrassed asking this question and it clearly meant nothing to him. He was simply following instructions from the CS. Knowing what I now know you would think I was making this up. I had never heard of Xenu and so casually said, “No, it’s Odin or W-dan.” A part of me was thinking, “What the heck is Xenu?”


The full significance of this didn’t occur to me until many years later because I had never heard of Xenu. I mean who had? Oh yeah, OTs had. (Scientologists encounter the Xenu tale when they start on OT 3.) The Case Supervisor was only Clear and not started on his OT Levels. How could he have possibly known about Xenu? Nobody else in the org was above Clear except for the Case Supervisor’s wife, who was OT 3. Nobody except her could have known or should have known about this. I draw my own conclusions from that. There must have been some interesting bedtime chats in that household. This couple are now very prominent UK Scientologists, utterly devoted to the cause.

A person from the technical division next interviewed me and told me that the Dianetics Book One type auditing was no longer done and that there were much more modern techniques that were faster and better and that I was deemed ready for that. I was disappointed as I had found the whole process to be kind of fun.

There ended my Book One auditing. Overall I felt much better and concluded that it actually did work. From there I went onto the HQS (Hubbard Qualified Scientologist), then the Student Hat and full-time executive training. It was only years later when I was remembering these sessions that the “Xenu” question came back to me. You can imagine what that was like, now that I know all about Xenu. It should have been a “wow” moment all right.

As it was, it was all quite bizarre. It’s no wonder you are not allowed to talk about your sessions!

— Pete Griffiths


Technology Cocktail

“The more hysterical a pc is about getting advanced processes or a case gain, the less strenuous the process administered must be. The psychiatrist erred on this one point and it wiped him out as a social benefactor. The more desperate the case, the more desperate were his measures. He was just echoing his patients. It is very important for an auditor to realize this one datum for it is the second guiding rule of Level 0. It is a very senior datum. One must not become desperate and use desperate measures just because the pc is desperate or the family or society is desperate about the pc. The worse off the pc, the lighter the approach to that pc must be. Psychotics (real, gibbering ones) are below auditing treatment in sessions. The measure used for them should be just rest and isolation from their former environments. And the first process used should be just getting the person to realize you are safe and safe to talk to.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1964


Coming Soon: The Fair Game Podcast’s return

As seen on Mike Rinder’s blog, the podcast is coming back at the end of August, and will now post twice a week!




Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 7 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and it’s a conversation with Geoff Levin about Scientology’s celebrities and which ones are most likely to defect. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 6 available to everyone, with Pete Griffiths on running a mission, Sunny Pereira dishing secrets of Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre, Bruce Hines on the crazy life in the Sea Org, Jeffrey Augustine on recent Scientology court cases, Claire Headley exposing Tom Cruise, and Marc Headley on what it must be like for David Miscavige living in Clearwater, Florida. Go here to get the episodes!


Source Code

“Illiterate cultures do not survive and they are not very high. The natives of the tribe of the Bugga-Bugga Booga-Boogas down in Lower Bugga-Wugga Booga-Woog are mostly no longer with us or they are around waving red flags today and revolting against their central government. They’re having a bad time. Well, the British Tommy that went down there with his Snider or his Lee-Enfield and brought them higher education in the first place was only occasionally followed by anybody who taught them anything. And they didn’t learn fast. Their literacy was not up to absorbing culture rapidly. So, of course, they can be victimized by anybody who comes along. Once the line is open, if literacy doesn’t follow and if secondhand observation is not available to a people, they stultify, they die, they go to pieces, they degrade. They are struck by this tremendous volume of exterior culture. They’ve been very happily down amongst the bong-bong trees, you know, dancing up and down amongst the bong-bong trees and the highest level of their interest, and so forth, was their own back yard. They could tell you all about bong-bong trees and they could tell you all about you mustn’t step in bug-bug bushes, because you step on a thump-thump snake and this was their direct observation.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 11, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“BREAKTHROUGH: In the last few days I’ve made about three upper level breakthroughs, two very important. One of these is comparable to the CC breakthrough. The other deals with On perception, why it’s off and how to turn it on. So my own hats have a high stat this week. About a century’s worth.” — The Commodore, August 11, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“In the last 100 or so years, science has done very little real advancing and a whole lot of chasing its own tail. Don’t imagine that most of what you see as advances in technology are triumphs of science; they aren’t. There’s a little incremental science in there and a whole lot of engineering, which is not the same thing at all. And unfortunately, most of what the God of Physics, Albert Einstein, had to say is based on false assumption and is thus false. Yet physics has been limited by his writings for a least a century. Interestingly enough, Einstein’s writings, if accepted would be the exact thing you’d promote if you wanted to keep a planetary population bound to their planet. Four years to get to the nearest star, if you could go as fast as light, which Einstein says you can’t.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Tilman Hausherr posted news that a German court has upheld the conviction of a Scientologist police officer. “The Berlin state court has confirmed the conviction (for violation of the data protection law) of the Scientologist cop who had forced job applicants to take a ‘personality test’ and had forwarded the data to the cult. The fine was lowered to DM 9000 (instead of DM 12,000 of the first court, instead of DM 16,000 as out-of-court fine). The cop says he wants to appeal.”


Random Howdy

“Back in my punk days I would donate plasma twice a week for $20 a pop. It helped keep me in pizza.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11, pretrial conference August 17.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Readiness hearing scheduled for August 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filing amended complaint on August 2.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] Tom Cruise’s Scientology superpowers, No. 12: Resisting illnesses with his mind alone
[TWO years ago] Leah Remini’s podcast: Forbes and Time writer Richard Behar on being a target of Fair Game
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s efforts to suck up to power is appearing to pay off
[FOUR years ago] Church of Fear: When John Sweeney sat down with Anne Archer and Leah Remini
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini calls for federal action: Here’s the frustrating reason the IRS may not answer
[SIX years ago] Never-before-seen photo of Diana Hubbard, daughter of Scientology’s founder
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s front group that targets kids gets cover from a Swiss politician: News report
[EIGHT years ago] Mike Rinder on Scientology’s pathetic PR, and the Freewinds welcomes a famous clown
[NINE years ago] Stop Picking on Scientology! Double-Fisted Wisdom from 1977
[TEN years ago] Scientology Drug Program Narconon’s Licensing ‘Extremely Vulnerable’ After Oklahoma Deaths
[ELEVEN years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 23: Ken Dandar


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,753 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,258 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,808 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,798 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,689 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,994 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,864 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,638 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,969 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,442 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,758 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,324 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,243 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,411 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,991 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,253 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,289 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,004 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,529 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 884 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,059 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,610 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,759 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,079 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,934 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,053 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,409 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,712 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,818 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,216 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,092 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,675 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,170 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,424 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,533 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 11, 2022 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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