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The Mind Benders, Scientology

by Cyril Vosper

3. The Thetan

"Who Are You?

"What Are You?

"Why Are You?

"Deep down inside; down where you are free to dream, free to know - down there you aren't a casual event.

"You are not the result of a few millennia of accidental blendings of chemicals. You know with a keen awareness, your life is a beautiful and exotic continuance.

"You are a fine and a true being, capable of love, wisdom and beauty.

"An immortal.

"A man fearless.

"A being who can look and see. An awareness of awareness.

"Down in the deepest recess of your being you know and need nothing but to know.

"You are a THETAN.

"No longer need you hide your true self even from yourself.

"Scientology is here to rescue you."

So might read an advertising blurb for Scientology. Cut away all the pseudo-science, the conceit and the exaggeration and this is what Scientology is all about. The fundamental aim is to produce true people from fearful half-people. We are all living at but a fraction of our true potential. When we discover Who we Are, What we Are and Why we Are, we assume again our true identities.

The I, the Soul. the Élan Vital, the spirit, the motivation of life, life itself, this is the Thetan and the concept is not unique to Scientology. What is unique is the level of importance given to the Thetan. No Western religion or philosophy gives quite this degree of responsibility to the individual - the true, immortal, all-cause individual - that Scientology does.

All Thetans are potentially equal. Obviously Scientologists are better than other Thetans, by implication, for they have shown the good sense to join the only possible movement that holds the key to their salvation. Rather like Jehovah's Witnesses, every soul is worthy but some are favoured more than others.

There are powerful Thetans. Hubbard, obviously one, has described himself as a Meteor. My meetings with him bear this out an incredible dynamism, a disarming, magnetic and overwhelming personality. Once I met him early in the morning at Saint Hill Manor on a Sunday when there were few people about. He was then at the age of fifty-three (He was born at Tilden, Nebraska, U.S.A., in 1911.) and radiated health and good will. We spoke for some thirty minutes about Scientology generally and a breathtaking stream of ideas and new projects poured from him with youthful enthusiasm. His brilliant red hair and broad smile, his benign authority, made it not difficult to believe that here was the new Messiah. The twentieth-century, science-orientated, super genius on whose broad shoulders and intellect the fate of the world rested. Yet not so far removed from the plain man as to be unable to stand and gossip while taking snapshots with his Leica.

There are also degraded Thetans.

These poor souls are probably well-intentioned and nice enough but they lack "Theta Energy" - whatever that might be - due to a mysterious and particularly revolting event on their Past Track, prior to this life, that makes them pretty useless until they have had a lot of high-level Scientology therapy. Hubbard probably invented degraded Thetans, or sometimes "Weak Thetans", to explain failed cases who yet kept trying.

Most Thetans one comes across nowadays are closely associated with a human body. If any of them ever give much thought to it, they probably reckon they are their bodies. Yet interestingly they will say: "My Brain", "My Hand", "My Body", thereby giving the secret away. Of course it also happens that one says: "My Soul" and, crime of crimes, a new Scientologist may well say: "My Thetan!" Having said it once, he never says it again.

Thetans as badly off as human beings do not feel particularly distinct from their bodies. This is a subject of amusement to L. Ron Hubbard. He regards anyone who is not thoroughly aware of being a totally distinct entity as being something not quite up to the level of a village idiot. In Scientology though, thank goodness, a goodly proportion of us can readily find out that we are not our bodies.

"Be three feet back of your head", commands the Scientologist, and over 50 per cent of people sail out of their heads and adopt a position three feet behind their craniums. This is known as the "One-Shot Clear" technique and is so routinely effective as to make the task of saving the world very simple. People actually do it. They don't just imagine they are three feet back of their heads. They don't just adopt a viewpoint as if they are three feet behind their heads. They are actually in a position exterior to their heads. At least, according to L. Ron Hubbard they are.

How one can demonstrate where a Thetan is at any particular moment when he is a nothingness is not very clear. One can ask the Thetan - "Are you three feet back of your head?" and, of course, Scientologists will answer - "Yes". Through their bodies, you understand - a newly exteriorised Thetan can hardly be expected to demonstrate a high level of telepathy or to have perfected the technique of talking without a larynx, mouth, wind-pipe and so on. Nevertheless, it is not very convincing that Scientologists, who invariably know about exteriorisation and who are always prepared to co-operate in proving Scientology right, seem to be the only people who can do this magical trick. It is also confusing that Hubbard has more recently described the relationship of the Thetan and his body to be like a wooden splinter in a thumb. The splinter is the body and the thumb is the Thetan. If this be the case, then how can the Thetan exteriorise from the body when the Thetan is bigger than the body? The Thetan is occupying, in all probability, a volume with a radius much greater than three feet from the body, so it is a mark of pure genius for the Thetan to be able to exteriorise therefrom. Additionally, and according to Scientology Axiom One: "... A Life Static (Thetan) has no ... location in space ..." The whole thing becomes more and more mysterious.

Nevertheless, Thetans are capable of all manner of wondrous things and this is probably one of them.

Most religions and therefore the majority of people pay lip-service to the spirit or soul as being immortal. Even if at no other time, at death, the soul must detach itself from the body to do whatever the particular religion says it does. Hubbard has not been content to leave his ideas at the somewhat vague level of other religions. He more or less follows the Buddhist and Hindu belief in eternal reincarnation and has attempted to give some sort of rational basis for this. A Thetan runs a body though he is potentially capable of a quite distinct existence without one. The body is used as a communication terminal - it being easier to locate and communicate with a body than a nothingness. Dependence on a body is a very low-grade pursuit. As a symbol of oneself it is quite a good idea but one has a tendency to become the symbol. Ideally, a well-off Thetan would be able to have one or more bodies, or not, as he thought fit. In Scientology there is a revulsion and contempt for bodies and indeed, all materiality.

Hubbard speaks scathingly of our types of bodies as: "Meat Bodies"! There are also Robot, Metallic, Doll (stuffed with Kapok?), Vegetable, Gaseous and Amorphous Bodies and probably many more besides. One hopes that these other types of body are not on this planet right now but one should always be very careful. Whatever they are made of, all bodies are a trap.

Thetans treat them badly, give them psycho-somatics, break them and kill them off and, after feeling remorse and guilt, become them. Despite the superhuman potential abilities of Thetans, they seem to fall for some of the corniest traps in the vicinity. In the mentalities of the beings who constructed the physical universe and responsible for all the wondrous parts thereof, including the human body, there seems to be a perverse desire to get into deep trouble. If one can follow Hubbard's reasoning, this fits the desire of Thetans to experience and to create effects - "Scientology Axiom Ten: The highest purpose in this universe is the creation of an effect".

One way of looking at it is to see Thetans as very bored with being super-stars all the time and so they decide to get mixed up and involved. Even from the limited view of a poor old Homo sapiens, one can perhaps understand that to he the epitome of efficiency, effectiveness, happiness and success with everyone smiling the whole time could drive one, after a few trillion years, to desire above all else to be a miserable, ineffectual, stuttering, bent, bitter and twisted mortal with sinus trouble and B.O. Just to introduce a bit of variety.

Hubbard's justification for Scientology, which will ruin our self-deception by making us into those boring superstars again, is that we have all embedded ourselves so thoroughly as to be unable to extricate ourselves. We so threw ourselves into the whole concept of self-entrapment that we did not bother to leave the combination of the lock to let ourselves out again. At least, not until Scientology came along.

It is analogous to a Monopoly player who becomes his Battleship or Smoothing-Iron and really Goes to Jail, Goes Directly to Jail, Does Not Pass Go and Does not Collect £200!

This is an observable trait in people. They throw themselves into events and situations "just for the hell of it". Young people, in particular, want to experience life whether the consequences are good or bad. Children want to try things for themselves. They do not put much credence in advice. They want to experience. Bravado is an admired trait. None have it to the degree of Hubbard, according to Hubbard. He, without more than a passing thought for the consequences, took his sanity in both hands, nay his very spiritual existence, and sailed out into the storm-tossed and uncharted waters of the stuff of life. Into the realms of insanity he ventured, head high, eyes narrowed...and so on and so on. Some might say - "Was your journey really necessary?"

Thetans show their genius by the ways in which they so deny their own existence and god-like capabilities as to end up as human beings. A shrewd self-negation is necessary to turn a being at total cause over the physical universe into us.

Progress in sociological, political, medical and technological subjects is meaningless. Scientology sees such progress as Orwellian but vastly more subtle and insidious than outlined in 1984. NASA's Apollo programme may be an admirable achievement technologically and within a limited framework but it does not expand human awareness. In fact all "progress", with the sole exception of Scientology, is a step to make the individual less self-reliant and confident whether purposeful or accidental. If only the resources used to develop a biological detergent or a better can for brown ale were used to help the desperate cause of freeing the Thetan from his self-imposed hell, we would not now be facing a future of horror from atomic war, overpopulation/starvation, pollution, dwindling natural resources, social unrest, racial intolerance and so on. Political systems and solutions which ignore the individual are destined to failure or to remove the thing for which they are designed - the individual.

Hubbard bases this conclusion not solely on observation of this civilisation but also on memories of other planets which surged ahead materialistically at the expense of recognition of the spiritual needs of the individual, only to destroy themselves. Earth is apparently following the same course at a vastly accelerated rate and has little time to save itself.

His answer to these problems is Scientology. Only Scientology recognises the paramount worth of the individual for only Scientology knows what the individual really is. Only Scientology acknowledges the true worth of the individual and counts all else as of lesser import to the free expression of the individual. This is not anarchy. Very much the opposite.

Freedom is earned. Justice is not a natural law. Truly free individuals will choose always the optimum course and in such choice will often relinquish their own personal desire in the cause of the overall good. This is not at all the similar sounding concept of Marx and Engels' Dialectical Materialism, in which limited personal freedoms must be cast aside in the greater cause of the full freedom of the State - the true organism. Marx and Engels postulated that human evolution would be given freedom to occur in their socialist state.

Hubbard says that human evolution with the aid of Scientology is necessary before any political system can be expected to work. Once this evolution has occurred, limiting political systems will not be necessary and the breadth of the newly acquired comprehension of every individual will be so great as to make any system so far devised appear absurd. This is understandable since politics now seems absurd, even without the benefits of Scientology.

Lenin demanded revolution as the only way to free humanity for a more worthwhile future. Hubbard demands evolution. Revolution is meaningless destruction since the people are not changed. If the people are not changed, then the society emerging from a revolution will not be changed. Only by an evolutionary process can the people so change as to alter the basic assumptions of their society. The only possible worthwhile evolution for the human race is upwards towards self-awareness. "Know Thyself" is an injunction which finally carries some practical hope.

Each individual must be aware of himself as a Thetan - an actual individual free of the only limitations that can enslave him, his own self-constructed limitations. It is not enough to pay lip-service to the concept of the immortal and all-powerful individual. Only by a direct experience through the application of Scientology techniques can the true picture be discovered - that each of us is unique, totally responsible for ourselves and there is only one way out, and that is through.

Mental aberration makes individuals act in destructive ways; mental aberration held in common by groups and nations causes wars, riots and, more tragically, apathetic acceptance. It is the sum total of frustration, apathy, grief, anger, bitterness and fear of the individuals comprising a society that makes up the aberration of the society. The society does not have an entity of itself. Depending on the form of the aberration will depend the actions of the nation. A society without aberration would move rapidly forward rather than as now two steps forward and four back. Leaders, statesmen, politicians are but reflections of or catalysts for their nation. It is not enough to install better systems or leaders. To avert catastrophe, the individuals must be given the opportunity for freedom. Personal, individual, mental and spiritual freedom.

Free individuals will work constructively towards heightened survival for all life and do not need systems to tell them arbitrarily what to do. This is heady stuff. Given a new meaning in Scientology by the assurance that evolution of human mentality is available. The evolution is very definitely upward to a grander and more humane state. All else but striving for the greater awareness of the individual is absurd or worse. A free and aware Thetan has good, practical and achievable intentions. He has no unknown blocks to the implementation of these intentions. He will work co-operatively for the overall good but will retain and strengthen his own individuality.

To try to establish a sociological standard at this time when human mentality is so open to the unpredictable whims of aberration is pointless. Nothing will work unless humans are free to look and see. When they are, they can be relied upon to sort these problems out for themselves with a cool and rational comprehension of the true situation.

The future is indeed rosy with Scientology.

It is the most important single power on this planet to resolve the immense difficulties of the human race. Just get enough people cleared of their mental hang ups and everything will be reversed to an upward trend.

In 1950, Hubbard wrote: "One sees with some sadness that more than three-quarters of the world's population will become subject to the remaining quarter as a natural consequence and about which we can do exactly nothing."

Every religion, political ideology and dictator, no matter how degrading, has propounded a theory "for the good of Mankind". All Scientologists believe and utter with the gleaming eyes of the proselytiser: "Scientology is the only thing that can save Mankind."

Having seen, worked with and intimately known large numbers of Scientologists who have been cleared, the future proposed by Hubbard is at once ludicrous and terrifying. These people are no longer in control of their own minds. Their outlook and contact with reality is so limited as to be absurd. Yet they are convinced with a deep-down certainty that they are supermen. They are convinced as no other religious adherents can ever have been convinced of their infallibility.

They intend to "save the world from itself" whether the world wants to be saved or not.

The very thought of such a fate for the poor old world is horrifying.

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