... to bring an individual into such thorough communication with the physical universe that he can regain the power and the ability of his own postulates.L. RON HUBBARD
As I was the first franchise student to complete the Dianetics Course, Gerald threw a party in my honor. About thirty people showed up. Gerald called for everyone's attention, announced my graduation and presented me with a blue certificate. Then, as he had forewarned me, I was expected to make a "success speech." For some reason at that moment I lost the spirit of celebration. I felt embarrassed and slightly dazed, and had trouble controlling my voice. To make it worse, several org people were present.
After my "speech," one of them, a young man, approached me. He fairly bristled with TRs (training-acquired skills), fixing me with an aggressive stare and acknowledging my end of the conversation with abrupt "Goods" and "Fines" that smacked me in the face like a wet fish. He wanted to know when I planned to go to Saint Hill for clearing. I hesitated. Perhaps he thought I lacked funds for processing -- a clinging aberration -- for he hit me with a particularly strong dose of TR-0 and said, "You'd better Put in your Postulates to go Clear."
Aside from eye-lock and acknowledgment, the org people's most notable mannerism was their speech patterns, almost another language in itself. Of course by this time I had had ample exposure to Scientology jargon, but the org members seemed to be trying, as faithful disciples, to outdo their leader himself, combining usages from Hubbard's writings and tapes into an "L. Ron Hybridization" of English.[*]
Late in the evening as the party wore on Gerald and I took refuge out on the terrace. "You know, your honor," he said, "being a Clear and an Operating Thetan isn't always easy. At times I feel that I have few real friends, and I get rather lonely. With all my training and auditing experience I see through people immediately. I see their reactive minds at work and I know what they're going to say ages before they get it out of their mouths. I have almost no one with whom I can discuss the Sublimities of Beingness and the Beauty of Esthetic Vibrations."
I felt a little sorry for him, and also wondered if this was the kind of enlightenment I was seeking. "Don't worry, Gerald," I said. "When I come back from England a Clear we'll have a ball together."
My decision probably surfaced in such a conversation with Gerald and/or Felicia. Inner events leading up to it remain hazy. Somehow over that winter of 1967-8 I came to disassociate clearing from the odious aspects of Scientology and envisage it as the portal to a new life.
At some point after Gerald's review sessions I had started cogniting on my own. I knew then that I could create my own gains and transcend auditing. This realization brought a momentous, freeing, "eureka" feeling. Scientology was now in proper perspective as a middle chapter in my life. Gerald had been an ideal guide for a time, the catalyst for my ever-expanding thoughts. Now I was ready to come into my own and fulfill my vision of the future -- as soon as I was free from the reactive mind.
Hubbard had made an apt analogy: A person with a reactive mind was like a calculating machine with a stuck key that fouled every operation. I was still crippled by that "bug" in my mental machinery, still affected by things around me, like a piece of lint blown about on a windowsill. Cleared, I would enjoy the full power of my own postulates, a resurgence of my true abilities, and success at schemes both long-frustrated and yet-to-be-conceived.
I had no fear that clearing would erase anything I wished to keep. I wasn't so sure that Scientology itself -- even Felicia's and Gerald's saner, milder version -- would not be erased by the process! Through one of life's ironic twists, clearing might prove to be the "final fix." No longer needing Scientology, I might choose to be done with it for good.