By Hermann Philipps
Scientology: Teachings and Practices by Hermann Philipps,
Many unpleasant things are said and written about
Scientology, including an article in this forum (SCWHAT.TXT by
Martin G. V. Hunt)
You may wonder how it is possible that such an allegedly evil
organization can attract any large number of adherents, so I
think it may be helpful to give an outline of what Scientology
actually teaches and does. This article does not concern itself
with the horrors of Scientology although these do also exist.
I was an adherent of Scientology for more than seven years
and even worked as a staff member in a private organization
licensed to use Scientology techniques for four years, covering
the period from 1975 to 1983. During that time I climbed up the
Scientology "grade chart" ladder to the level of OT III, and
also studied extensively all Scientology materials up to the
level of a "Class IV", "Dianetics" and "Happiness rundown"
auditor, so I am actually quite familiar with the teachings and
practices of Scientology as far as the actual "spiritual"
aspects of this phenomenon are concerned. I left Scientology
when I finally could not close my eyes any more to the gap
between claims and the harsh reality inside Scientology
organizations. Nevertheless, I feel quite strongly that I have
gained many benefits in personality and abilities through
Scientology practices and teachings.
Here follows an outline of Scientology thinking and
A human being basically consists of three parts: The physical
body, the mind and the spiritual entity called a Thetan. You
don't have a thetan, your ARE a thetan. Being immortal, that
unit being aware of its awareness "has all potentialities, but
no mass, no wavelength, no energy and no time or location in
space, except by its own consideration or postulate". Man is
basically good, Scientology claims.
Today, us thetans are almost inextricably stuck to meat
bodies and confined to an insignificant planet. Insanity, war
and crime are our daily companions. How is this, when a thetan
is potentially absolutely free and good?
In ages past, creating universes and things within such
universes was just another game for a thetan. He/she liked to
show his/her creations to other thetans, and by too close
identification with their creations and "helped along" by other
thetans, we gradually were reduced to what we now are. In order
to have a game, a thetan must forego some of its omnipotence and
omniscience. If you know everything beforehand, a game is no fun
any more, isn't it?
That much for the very basic principles. Now what can we do
today to help us reclaim our former potential?
Every person has a mind where all events are stored in
mental-image picture form. These mental images contain some mass
and energy. Everyday incidents are not particularly dangerous
but there are also times when you were hurt, damaged or even
killed. Apart from pain, such incidents also contain
unconsciousness. Things said by other persons or decided by the
thetan in such incidents are also stored along with the trauma
and can form post-hypnotic commands which will later influence
your behaviour and thinking without you knowing it.
This is likened to a mechanical calculating machine where you
can press a digit, say "7". If you now were to do calculations
while the seven is pressed, all your results would be wrong. For
the mind, such wrong results could be any psychosomatic illness,
pain or ill feeling, attitudes, behaviours, mental concepts. In
fact, practically everything, including accidents, are in some
way connected to the mental state of the sufferer. We all have
our "held-down sevens". For this reason, much in our behaviour
and thinking is unknowingly erroneous. In order to arrive at
correct computations you have to "clear the calculator" first.
Everyone coming to Scientology to get the sources of
erroneous attitudes, behaviours and thinking located and
handled, is therefore called a pre-clear person or preclear, in
Scientology knows a vast number of processes and procedures
to locate and get rid of such unwanted conditions. Usually there
is a person applying these processes, called the "auditor"
(because he listens to what the preclear says, latin: audire -
I remember a case when I audited a person who always looked
dejected. After a number of Dianetics sessions (of which later),
he found an incident of a long time ago where he, being ugly,
was ridiculed by a woman whom he loved. In a state of
desperation and misery he killed that woman and himself
(obviously this didn't happen in the person's current lifetime).
Suddenly that person looked up at me, and with a surprised face
stated that he had actually felt sad and miserable ever since. A
great joy went over his face and then he laughed his head off.
Since then, his posture was not any more bent down with
shoulders hanging forward, but straight and firm.
Scientology starts with a "Communications Course". This
course teaches and practices simple but powerful little
exercises which are intended to improve your ability to stand up
to life and its problems. You are made to sit facing another
person about three feet apart. You just look at that person. The
objective is to be able to do so without discomfort (just try
this, you will be amazed). This is called "confronting". It does
not include any notion of aggressiveness, it merely means "to be
there and doing nothing else but being there". This ability is
increased by various other exercises, all aiming at improving a
persons ability to deal with life and other people in a saner
and more ethical way without getting into useless emotions.
There are other courses teaching ways of dealing with other
areas of life such as work, family life, education, dealing with
oppressive environments, locating sources of trouble in
organizations or your own life, etc.
Most of these courses also include definite procedures which
you can study and train to apply to yourself or to other
Scientologists. As all of this is about mental matters, a person
alone cannot usually handle his own disabilities. If the person
could, he/she would most likely not have those disabilities in
the first place. Therefore a second person is needed who applies
those procedures to you. It goes without saying that before such
auditing sessions begin, there is a clear understanding that the
person undergoing auditing must know what will be going on and
has agreed to it. Otherwise, it wouldn't work.
A Scientologist learns about life and how to handle it
better, and he/she also learns to apply mental and physical
procedures and processes to bring improvement about within
himself or to others. This is the "training side".
There also is the "auditing side". Question-and-answer
techniques are applied to the preclear to locate areas of
disability or discomfort and to get rid of these. An ability to
"confront" things in the sense outlined above, is clearly
required as it is mostly not nice stuff that you will discover
in your past.
As a person is considered an immortal being (the thetan) with
a body and personality as temporary means to live on earth, it
may not come as a surprise that most Scientologists could tell
you a lot of "past lives" exerting influence on their current
ones. This is, because when you die, you take your mind with all
its traumatic mental-image pictures with you. In your next
incarnation, most of that stuff is initially not yet
and has no active influence on you. But with the years, more and
more of those traumas come to live and cause a person to loose
the brightness and freshness of young children. Through
Scientology methods, one attempts to destimulate or even wipe
out these "unconscious" incidents (stored in the "reactive mind"
as opposed to the "analytical mind") and restoring them as
normal, harmless memories in your "analytical mind"
Dianetics concerns itself with bodily and emotional
psychosomatic harms. You may have heard of the E-Meter. This is
a device for measuring skin resistance to a tiny electrical
current. As has already been found with so-called "lie
detectors" that mental trauma or discomfort shows itself in a
sudden rise of that electrical skin resistance. I have worked
with this E-meter for years and can only state that it actually
works marvellously for this purpose. The preclear holds tin cans
which are connected to the E-meter. A littly current runs from
one hand to the other through the body. The current is so tiny
that you won't notice it. The E-meter has a dial with a needle
in it which shows changes in skin resistance. There is also
something called "tone arm". This is a control which is used to
keep the needle in the readable area of the dial.
Using an E-meter, the auditor asks the preclear for pains,
emotions, feelings etc. while at the same time closely watching
the needle reactions accompanying the preclear's statements.
The auditor then up picks the psychosomatic items given by
the preclear in the sequence of needle reaction size.
Say, the preclear has given a "pain in the left elbow" which
produced the larges needle reaction. The auditor would then
begin with the basic Dianetics procedure. He would ask something
like: find a time when you had "pain in the left elbow". The
preclear usually remembers quite well a time when he had this.
Preclear: Yes. Auditor: Thank you. When was it? Preclear:
Last month. Auditor: Good. Go to a time "last month". (It can be
observed as a needle reaction when the preclear in his mind has
indeed gone to "last month"). Preclear: yes. Auditor: Close your
eyes. What do you see? Preclear: Our kitchen. I can see the
clock, it is half past seven in the morning. Auditor: Good. What
is the duration of this incident? Preclear: Perhaps three hours.
Auditor: Thank you. Go through this incident till "perhaps three
hours" later. The preclear mentally "re-lives" that incident.
The auditor watches his E-meter writing down the readings. When
the preclear is through with the incident, he/she will usually
look up or say "yes". The auditor then has the preclear tell
what happened in the incident: "Tell me what happened". The
preclear does so. Depending on E-meter reactions, the auditor
will know if this incident is "erasing" or if there must be an
earlier similar incident. (If the tone arm is rising, there must
be something earlier or more basic as this means that mental
trauma is a bit more restimulated.) Auditor: Is there an earlier
incident when you had "pain in the left elbow"?
The preclear will usually find one as psychosomatic
discomforts usually have a long history.
Although no preclear is ever told to find incidents in a
"past lifetime" (an earlier reincarnation), even fresh people
usually inadvertently and much to their own surprise, find
pictures coming up which cannot stem from their current lives.
But this is no prerequisite.
The procedure roughly outlined above is followed down until
the preclear suddenly comes up with some sort of "cognition",
some realization about himself and his condition. The tone arm
comes down indicating that a lot of trauma is moving away. The
needle starts to "float" which is an idle and free movement of
the needle on the dial while during the session the needle tends
to be tight. Most notable, however, is the big laughter by the
preclear and his generally "good" or "very good indicators" as
Scientology speak calls it.
This would be good time to end the session.
The preclear is then sent to an independent "examiner" who
again checks for the preclears "indicators", needle reaction and
tone arm reading. The examiner notes this down. The auditor
places the examiner's report into the preclear's session file
and passes the whole documentation of this session on to the
"case supervisor". The auditor is not allowed to reconstruct the
session after it is concluded. Rather he keeps a protocol while
the session is going on. He may clarify his scribblings if
something he has jotted down, is illegible.
The case supervisor now goes over the session to see if the
auditor has made any mistakes and to give instructions as to
what the next session should contain (the auditor has given his
suggestions, though). If the auditor has displayed any
imperfections in his auditing, he is made to re-study the
pertaining materials and to train them until he will not repeat
his mistakes in the future.
At this point it should be pointed out that Scientology
procedures are not open to any laxness. The auditor has to
follow exact techniques. He/she must not include his own
personal idiosyncrasies in order not to disturb the preclear's
action of exploring his/her own "reactive mind".
In this way, whole chains of mental-image pictures are found
and destimulated or erased. But if a person has some
psychosomatic discomfort, one does not only look for harmful
acts "done to him" but also for similar acts "done by him to
others". One major point in Scientology is the absolute
responsibility of a person for himself/herself. Even more
traumatic than incidents where something happened to you, are
incidents where you caused others to suffer from what you are
suffering now. "Locate a time when you caused another to have
"pain in the left elbow" would be the next process run on our
fictitious preclear. There are two more chains to be audited:
watching another causing others to have a "pain in the left
elbow", and "causing yourself 'pain in the left elbow'".
After only a few dozens of hours, the preclear usually will
be much better off than before.
Returning to "past lives", I recall how I saw my first
past-life incident. In my early Scientology days, I did not
believe in such things, so I told my auditor merely what I saw -
hastening to add that, of course, I didn't belief in it. I was
processed on a chain of incidents having to do with throat
aches. We had come down in time to my early stages as an embryo,
when, suddenly (or so it appeared to me), my auditor asked if
there was an earlier time. Strangely, although not believing in
past lives, I had the feeling that the answer was 'yes'. The
auditor then asked for when it was, and immediately the figure
1796 flashed up in my mind. The incident took about half an
hour, and I had a clear impression of seeing old houses with
ship masts behind them. I recognized a crowd in front of me, a
parson coming up trying to make me repent, and then I was hanged
by the neck. I felt myself floating upwards, and that was the
This and other incidents plus other Scientology processes had
the result of me getting rid for good of recurring (about every
three months) of very painful throat aches.
Today, I am not so sure about my past lives any more, but
they definitely had a beneficial therapeutic effect!
That much for Dianetics. Dianetics is a section of
Scientology. Scientology proper deals with the spirit or thetan.
A vast abundance of processes and procedures to handle
well-defined areas in life is supposed to remove all sorts of
barriers to make a thetan free from obstacles that hinder him to
regain his past potential because Scientology claims that it is
all there still. You remove the crusts of many lifetimes, and
there is your thetan clean and shining. He now is a clear!
Initially, Dianetics processing was done at a very early
stage in a Scientologist's auditing career. In the mid-70s, Ron
Hubbard (founder of Scientology) found, that many people had
actually "gone clear" during Dianetics auditing. It didn't take
the organization long to discover that this plugged a good
source of revenues. I suspect that that was the reason behind
moving Dianetics auditing to a much later stage on the
Scientology "Grade Chart to Total Freedom". Today, preclears
have to go through a rather lengthy stretch of Scientology
auditing, quite helpful in itself but in my experience not
nearly as powerful as Dianetics. Nowadays, Scientologists don't
get "clear" that cheaply and easily any more.
To be a 'Clear' means that your own mind is free from
irrational impulses. You are no longer subconsciously influenced
by any traumatic experience from the past. However, even people
declared 'Clear' showed flaws in their characters and bodies
which were hard to explain in view of their state of 'Clear'. In
the early sixties, Hubbard discovered the reason why. In his
major book "Dianetics - The Modern Science of Mental Health"
(1950) he explains that parts of your mind can form encysted
areas caused by heavy traumatic experiences - encapsulating life
force which is no longer accessible and usable by you and which
can appear as individual minds with their own personalities. In
a somewhat later book, "History of Man" (early 50s), Hubbard
suggests that these encysted areas might actually be true
individual people or "thetans" sticking to your body, but at
that time he was not quite sure.
The OT III materials tell us that you are actually not just
one person but that thousands and millions of other thetans are
glued to you influencing you in many undesirable ways. A Clear,
therefore, may still have many psychosomatic disorders of body,
character, emotions etc. although his very own mind has been
cleared. But there are, of course the minds of the very many
"body thetans" - the other thetans which form the whole of your
composite personality. These must be dealt with as well.
This is done in OT III. How is it that so many thetans are
attached to us? Well, this is a grim story which in many
Scientology pamphlets is hinted at as a vast catastrophy which
happened some 75 million years ago in our sector of the galaxy.
What this c was, is carefully withheld as unprepared people
might die from learning about it if this incident be
restimulated in a person without it being handled.
The story goes something like this: There existed an
interstellar civilisation consisting of a number of inhabited
planets each of which having a population of some 200 billion.
An evil being with the name of Xenu usurped power and decided to
solve the problem of overpopulation. He grabbed billions and
billions of people, extracted the thetans, and by some high-tech
electronic means confined them within ice cubes. These were
transported to a planet called Teegeeack, our Earth. There, the
thetans where placed around volcanoes. Then H-bombs were
exploded in those volcanoes, and the thetans being torn upwards
by the explosion where caught by electronic beams and fused
together. Then they were exposed to many days of painful
implantation with mental concepts and hypnotic commands which
these thetans would unconsciously adhere to and follow in later
incarnations. To cause minor discomfort in people, such an
exploding volcano is shown on the title page of the Dianetics
book. Other books carry images which allegedly were part of that
traumatic implantation process. The intention is said to be
making people feel uncomfortable enough to rush into Scientology
centres to find relief.
Xenu was later hunted down by "loyal officers" and captured
within a magnetic box where, hopefully, he is still confined to
this day in his bodiless thetan form. These loyal officers now
populate the Sea Organization ("We come back" is their motto)
trying hard to eliminate the disastrous after-effects of Xenu's
In OT III, one deals with those body thetans by locating them
using the E-meter. If you have difficulties with your, say,
right eye, although being a Clear, it may well be that a body
thetan or even a whole cluster of body thetans is sitting there
with a post-hypnotic command of "I cannot see well" in action.
Once found, it is established if it is a cluster of a single
body thetan. This determines the procedure to be followed next.
The objective is to give those body thetans an awareness that
they are thetans who could very well lead their own lives and
not to be stuck to somebody else. They will then fly off trying
to find some fresh body of their own (delivery rooms in
hospitals being favourite places for this). In the case of a
cluster, one does this, for example, by running an even earlier
ghastly incident which contains blinding light, a steady beat,
fanfares being blown and an angel-type being riding to and fro
in a carriage.
You may laugh at all this. I had many astonishing experiences
while doing OT III and felt great relief as a result of these
procedures. One definite outcome was a major improvement in
self-confidence which was only to be expected considering that a
lot of life force is freed and made available to a person by
getting rid of so many thetan parasites, according to
Even today, not being an adherent of Scientology since 1983,
I feel that Scientology has done me much good. I have spent a
lot of money there (about 60.000 dollars from 1975 to 1982) but
the benefits were certainly worth it. From my own experience I
can clearly state that most of Scientology does indeed work and
could be of much benefit to most people.
Unfortunately, Scientology organizations are more or less
what Mr. Hunt has outlined in his article given above. If a
group of people can monopolized something really powerful, they
will easily be corrupted by the lure of money and influence. L.
Ron Hubbard himself had some skeletons hidden away in his many
Today, I also think that some of the basic tenets of
Scientology: the concept of a thetan, in particular, and the
notion that unpleasant incidents are something to get rid of in
order to live better in this world, are principally wrong. But
that clearly is a matter of belief.
I hope to have given a good idea of what people actually do
in Scientology and why it is attractive despite the
organization's questionably methods.