This is chapter 13 from the book The Total Freedom Trap: Scientology, Dianetics And L. Ron Hubbard by Jon Atack. Emphasizing added by me.
"Scientology is evil; its techniques evil;
its practice a serious threat to the community;
medically, morally and socially."
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF INQUIRY INTO SCIENTOLOGY
FOR THE STATE OF VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, 1965.
While the basic ideas of Scientology had nearly all been expressed by the end of 1952, Hubbard continued to pour out new techniques that were "guaranteed" to cure all human ills. He borrowed from many forms of therapy and meditation to create an elaborate "Bridge" which he claimed led to "total freedom".
Scientology indoctrination usually begins with the Communication Course Training Routines or `"TRs". These are supposed to enhance the ability to communicate, but have been called by one expert "the most overt form of hypnosis used by any destructive cult".
In the first TR, two people sit silently facing each other, with their eyes closed. In the second, they stare at each other, sometimes for hours on end, inducing hallucinations and an uncritical euphoria.
In the next stage, TR-0 Bullbait, the student has to sit motionless, while the "coach" does everything possible to disturb him or her. The student progresses to reading aloud disconnected phrases from Alice in Wonderland, and then to acknowledging statements read out at random from the same text. Then comes TR-3, where the student repeatedly asks the coach either "Do fish swim?" or "Do birds fly?". In the last "Communication Course" Training Routine, the student again asks one of these questions repeatedly, learning not to be distracted by anything the coach says or does.
Repetition is another way of inducing an altered or trance state. Following these procedures definitely makes the individual more susceptible to direction from Scientology.
From the Communication Course, the new recruit will usually go onto the "Purification Rundown", after a meeting with a Scientology salesperson, who convinces the recruit that the Rundown is well worth the high price demanded for it. Those on the "Purification Rundown" take extremely high doses of vitamins and minerals, and combine running and sauna treatment for five hours each day. Such high doses of vitamins can create various physiological reactions, including drug-like experiences. Hubbard attributed these reactions to stored drugs and pollutants being removed from the body. He even made the ridiculous claim that LSD lodges in fatty tissue. As LSD is both highly unstable and water soluble, this is impossible, but it shows Hubbard's usual scientific ignorance. The heat exhaustion brought on by the sauna can lead to euphoric experiences, yet again weakening critical thinking.
The sequence of steps on the Scientology Bridge has changed from one year to the next. After the "Purification Rundown' - and another interview with a salesperson-the recruit might well go on to the "Hubbard Key to Life Course" (at a cost of [£] 4,000 or $8,000). This supposedly undercuts all previous education by returning the individual to the basics of literacy. Factually, because it treats all clients as pre-school children, it tends to cause age regression, making people yet more susceptible to Scientology.
From the "Hubbard Key to Life Course," the individual moves on to the "Hubbard Life Orientation Course" and thence to the "Objective Processes."
There are several hundred Scientology counselling procedures or "auditing processes". The "Objectives" were first introduced in the 1950s. Hubbard asserted that it is necessary to show the individual that reactive impulses can be controlled by being put under the control of another person (the Scientology "auditor"). This might be more simply termed "mind control". On the Objective Processes, the individual is given strict orders to repeat an overwhelmingly tedious cycle of behaviour.
In "Opening Procedure by Duplication", for example, the auditor and the client or "pre-clear" are alone in a room with a table at either end. On one table is a book, on the other a bottle. The preclear will be instructed, with unvarying wording, to look at the object at the other side of the room, to walk over to it, to pick it up and to identify its colour, weight and temperature. Sessions often run to two hours, and cases of 18 such sessions for this single "process" are not unheard of. Eventually, this arduous ritual leads to a sensation of floating, believed to be "exteriorisation from the body" in Scientology-but a common side effect of hypnotic trance. The Scientology Bridge is laid out in a series of steps, or grades, each with a purported result. On Grade Zero, for example, clients are meant to achieve the ability to "communicate freely with anyone on any subject". A Grade One "release" is supposedly without problems.
In 1959, Hubbard introduced "security checking", where Scientologists are interrogated, having to answer long, prepared lists of questions about their moral transgressions. The E-meter is used as a lie detector throughout these "sessions". A careful record is kept of all confessions, and this has proved to be a highly effective means of silencing dissidents.
This procedure, renamed "integrity processing", using exactly the same lists of questions as the earlier "security checks", finds a place on Grade ' Two, and is frequently repeated beyond it (at a cost ranging from [£] 130 to [£] 260, or $250 to $500, per hour). Scientology presumes that any of its members might become a security risk at any time. There is justification for this suspicion, as thousands have left the movement, including many leading lights.
There are two further release grades, before the "preclear' starts on the current form of Dianetic auditing. In New Era Dianetics, the preclear is asked to re-experience incidents from "past lives", which can lead to strange delusions on the part of Scientologists, compensating for the shortcomings of their real lives. Through Dianetics, preclears are supposed at last to become Clear, with the realization that they no longer need their "Reactive minds", where engrams are supposedly stored.
Once "Clear", they are ready for the Advanced Courses of Scientology, the "Operating Thetan" or "OT" levels.