Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Journey To OT3 & Back

For many years I was a Scientologist and although the OT3 story is now freely available on the internet, I, like most Scientologists, had no idea what I was in for.

I made a legally and morally binding commitment to 'confidentiality' before having the story revealed to me, so I won't tell you the details ... but it's easy enough to find.

What I will you is that I am no longer a Scientologist and that I never cried so much with a complete and utter feeling of betrayal as I did on the day that I finally read the OT3 'data'. I was in a highly secured and confidential course room and I held my response in until I was 'off-base' and in the safety of my own bedroom that night, where I was overcome with profound waves of grief, betrayal and a deep loss of dignity for having been drawn into such a ludicrous example of The Emperors New Clothes.

I kept all of this to myself because I just couldn't believe or comprehend the immensity of what I had just done to both myself and my family by committing to such a purpose. I had sensed it coming during OT2, finding certain bits of 'data' on that mysterious level very difficult to accept.

I was so confused with literally nowhere else to go that I contained my response and innermost opinion, deciding to 'keep my Auditor Hat on' as I had been trained to do and just did the next step as required. But as confused as I was, I also made a commitment to myself that I would discover and discern my own truth by being non-resistant to any ideas.

It was around then, between 'solo sessions,' that I listened to a taped Ron Hubbard lecture that he gave many years before coming up with his OT3 theory, when, I think, he did actually understand a few basic spiritual laws (or enjoyed reworking the truths of others, as he seemed to have a habit of doing). He stated that “you get what you validate” and this statement jumped out at me with more significance at that moment than anything else I had ever heard him say (this is the exact truth expressed by truly great teachers like the Buddha, Jesus, William Blake, Thomas Troward, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many more). In other words, “As you believe, so it is for you”. You create your reality by what you believe and hold to be true.

I did the OT3 processing per my training and ignored my inner protestations as to the believability of the 'historical' story behind the 'data'. I discovered you do in fact “get what you validate” and experienced many strange manifestations 'in session' as a result of my belief.

For me, the ultimate saving grace is that I discovered first hand the ultimate truth of the universe, but not the way Ron Hubbard had in mind: That which you hold in mind, sooner or later is reflected back to you in external conditions. A contemporary writer who I have since discovered - Robert Anton Wilson - does a great job of explaining this concept in his book Prometheus Rising. He also does an hilarious job of explaining how people get brainwashed.

As I mentioned earlier, I continued on with the OT3 'processing' because I just couldn't believe so many people could buy into such a bizarre way of explaining their life issues if there wasn't some sort of truth to it. (I'm assuming by now, you know the story. i.e. "75 Million years ago a great catastrophe occurred..." etc.)

After all these years, effort and expense, it had to be real.

As a result, I gradually bought into it. Looking back I can understand that on a conscious level, the pain, anguish and confusion of facing the fact that your entire life is based on a very big lie, coupled together with the idea of losing all your closest friends, who are also caught in a spell, was too much to bear. At that time, I just literally couldn't let the truth dawn on me.

As soon as you complete OT3 - after you've been announced as a 'Completion' to the assembled 'Org', who clap and scream in delight and you've given your thank you speech that gives nothing of 'the OT data' away to the other lower level Scientologists who are blissfully unaware of what hypnotic spells await them - you get ushered into the 'Registrars' office where great pressure is brought to bear to get you to come up with the money to pay for OT4, if you haven't already. The belief is that stopping at OT3 and just getting on with your life is not a good idea because, according to Ron, you are not at a stable point and it is best to consolidate your 'gains' by completing OT4.

Since I left Scientology, this is the point that gets brought up by my remaining COS friends (the ones who still talk to me). They ask tellingly if I completed OT4 after OT3 and when I tell them I did not, they nod knowingly to themselves and recognize my folly at having not completed OT4. I allow them to have their little moment without interruption but here's my take on this:

When you do OT3, it is done 'solo'. In other words, alone in a locked room. You use an 'E-meter' to detect areas of 'charge' in your 'case' which are then 'audited out' by a process of silently asking yourself pre-prepared questions. This is different from normal Scientology Auditing (counseling), which is done with an Auditor (counselor) and the person being audited. My experience when I completed OT3 was that even though I got a big buzz out of buying into the whole OT3 trip, there was still a part of my mind that still thought the whole idea was rather ludicrous.

OT4 is done with an Auditor and not alone, or 'Solo'. Although I didn't complete OT4, I was ordered into doing a short 'repair' session with an Auditor. Once you are in the Auditing room with someone else and both Auditing the 'OT data', things get very surreal. The fact that there are now two of you both buying into this stuff compounds your mutual belief in it - In my opinion.

Imagine how you'd be after doing 50-100 hours of this stuff and getting to OT5.

How much work do you think it would take to undo a spell like that?

I have friends who have made it to OT7. Their lives have actually been destroyed on many levels but they push on like heroic crusaders convinced they are 'saving the planet'. They are, in fact, beautiful people and mostly do great things for others when they can, like 'lower level' Scientologists who are also mostly caring people who desire change and believe that the mystery is solved by completing the 'Confidential OT Levels'.

So, how did I wake up?

After I completed OT3, I convinced the staff that I would return very soon to do OT4 (I was sincere). I then 'routed out' of the 'Org' and headed back home to repair my very strained marriage. Ah, my saving grace, yes, I'm married to a non-Scientologist. I'd been away from home for months 'studying' full time and constantly downloading more money, as needed, on our home mortgage. My partner's patience was at an end.

I came home to rebuild, and in the safety of my own home, my mind literally started to recover its own ability to discern truth. My partner just gave me space to figure things out and applied no pressure in any direction. There was no need for me to leave Scientology. The only requisite for an ongoing marriage was to stop spending money I didn't have. That seemed fair enough to me.

I got really interested in 'New Thought' literature which was a non-denominational movement that spawned many authors and teachers (some of the originators I mentioned earlier) of the concept of; "as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is". The gist of their work tied in completely with my own realizations about the power of the mind to shape personal reality on conscious and subconscious levels.

Some beautiful things occurred to me over the next year or so and I eventually felt ready to make my official announcement to my family, friends and the Church Of Scientology. I was leaving and I knew enough about Church Policy to make my point but not aggravate the wrath of what I have come to see as a deluded and self-righteous group with feigned tolerance towards the beliefs of others.

My recovery process continues day by day. I have become a truly happy person and I've noticed how my genuine interest in other people together with my ability to love and trust is blossoming with each new friend I attract. I love my true friends like never before but I still grieve my old Scientologist friends who have 'disconnected' from me because they cannot accept my decision. These are people whose weddings, parties and birthdays I celebrated. They rant about Religious Freedom and Human Rights, yet deny others the right (per Articles 18 and 19 of The International Bill Of Human Rights) to change their beliefs, disagree with L. Ron Hubbard and still be included in their community.

They are people I loved and continue to love, but they love Ron and his promises more and per their own Church policies, they can't have both.


Some books that helped me to understand:

'Key to Yourself' by Venice J. Bloodworth (1952)
'As a Man Thinketh' by James Allen (1912)
'The Power of Your Subconscious Mind' by Joseph Murphy (1963)
'The Magic of Believing' by Claude M. Bristol (1948)
'Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion' by Emile Coue (1922)
'The Law of Psychic Phenomena' by Thomson Jay Hudson (1893)
'Prometheus Rising' by Robert Anton Wilson (1983)