The murky state of Clear
Jeff Jacobsen

It would seem that the first person to reach the state of Clear should stick out in history like a sore thumb. After all, a Clear -
  • never has colds or accidents,
  • has a soaring IQ,
  • total recall of his entire life from conception on,
  • has cancer (possibly) and other physical deficiencies repaired, (1)
  • can compute in seconds what the average person needs 30 or more minutes for , (2) and
  • is the first case of a truly rational person. (3)

As Hubbard states, "We are dealing here with an entirely new and hitherto nonexistent object of inspection, the Clear.". (4)

A Clear would be an immense boost to many social areas, such as law enforcement, where a Clear could recall events when he was a fetus or unconscious and thus help solve crimes he may have "witnessed" while in an unconscious state. Biology would make giant leaps if you could really recall what you were thinking when you were a sperm or ovum (Planned Parenthood might be helped by having a person recall their life as an ovum; "could you have stopped the sperm from impregnating you?"). Clears would be the most sought after people in many sciences, in law enforcement, medicine, and other fields. Clears, being the most rational and intelligent of society, should naturally rise to positions of power and authority in academics and politics, making the world a better place to live.

This allegedly superhuman condition is the end result of dianetics and the launching point toward the upper levels of Scientology training. Any person not yet Clear is an aberrated person and not capable of full human potential.

It should be obvious to all, considering the incredible abilities and states of being involved, who the first Clear was. Just as we know who was the first man to walk on the moon, we should all be taught who the first person in history to reach the state of Clear was. L. Ron Hubbard himself should surely have known who this person was, since he claimed discovery of the condition.

Or was it Hubbard himself? Imagine, says Hubbard, an engineer who builds a bridge up to a high plateau that had never been visited by man. After finishing the bridge, "He himself crosses and he inspects the plateau carefully." (5) Others cross after the engineer. This analogy is obvious. The engineer is Hubbard, and the plateau is the state of Clear. So Hubbard was the first Clear, and to support this further is the "Scientology Catechism", which asks if Hubbard was Clear, and answers "Yes- in order to map the route for others he had to make it himself." (6)

Yet, in a speech in 1958, Hubbard said that the first Clears were people he was treating in Los Angeles while he was disguised as a swami. (7) The first of these became Clear "by 1947"; "these were the first Clears." (8) "There were people who were run on the old techniques who were Cleared years ago," Hubbard stated on June 12, 1950. (9)

On August 10, 1950, Hubbard gave a talk at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles where he introduced Sonya Bianca (aka Ann Singer) as the world's first Clear. (10) After she miserably failed recall tests on stage, she was never again referred to as the first Clear. This declaration, however, seems to contradict the notion that Hubbard was the first, or even that the "swami's" patients were.

Hubbard declared Sara, his first wife, as the first Clear until she divorced him. (11) "He stood up on stage in Los Angeles and announced that I was the first 'Clear.' I was so embarrassed..." (12)

Within Dianetics itself several Clears are mentioned, who would thus have to have been Clear before 1950. A woman with twelve difficult prenatal engrams finally "progressed to Clear." (13) A husband and wife team Cleared each other. (14) A pianist who was halted by his engrams became "one of the best-paid concert pianists in Hollywood". (15) Others are indirectly mentioned. (16) These pre-Dianetics Clears seem logically to be necessary, otherwise how would Hubbard have been able to describe what a Clear was like?

For example, how did Hubbard know that a Clear has "an increase in longevity which is at least a hundred to one for every hour of therapy"? (17) Wouldn't at least one Cleared person have had to have lived for quite some time before Hubbard, with his reported penchant for scientific accuracy, could write this? Also, how did he know that about 500 hours of auditing is the average amount needed to produce a Clear, (18) and that it otherwise takes from 30 to 1200 hours? (19) This indicates that there must have been several Clears at the time Hubbard wrote Dianetics.

And last but not least, John McMaster was checked and double checked, and the Church of Scientology officially declared him the first Clear on March 9, 1966. (20)

Will the real first Clear please stand up?

Since it seems impossible to understand the state of Clear by observing the first example, let us come at it from what Hubbard wrote from his observations of Clears in Dianetics. "If this person now feels he can solve all the problems of life, lick the world with one hand tied behind him and feel a friend to all men, you have a Clear." (21) Hubbard is helpful here, although it could be argued that he is also describing a drunk.

Of course, Hubbard has more scientific sounding definitions: "the Clear is an unaberrated person... [who] has no engrams which can be restimulated..." (22) This sounds more helpful, but how can you tell when there are no more engrams?

Engrams, those memories stored in the reactive mind, have to be found, and gone over and over until the auditor perceives that the pre-Clear has come up through apathy, anger, boredom, and finally laughter. (23) Once the pre-Clear is having a good time reliving his father's attack on his mother or his mother attempting to abort him (to use Hubbard's examples), then the engram is said to have moved out of the reactive mind and into the analytical mind, and the auditor moves on to search for another engram. Simply put, then, an auditor has a pre-Clear relive an experience (which has pain and unconsciousness in the experience) stored in the reactive mind over and over until the auditor is satisfied that the engram no longer affects the pre-Clear. At this point the engram is considered erased [note: there seems to be a contradiction here in that the auditor is not to evaluate for the pre-clear, although here the auditor decides when an engram is gone].

Although Hubbard declared that anyone can audit (Dianetics is, after all, a how-to-audit manual) there are many pitfalls an auditor must watch out for while searching for engrams. He may encounter a "lie factory" engram that makes the pre-Clear "remember" things that never really occurred. Hubbard offers no help in differentiating between actual engrams and "lie factory" memories, and in fact says you will wind up in a "tangled hash." (24)

The "denyer" engram may hide itself by denying its own existence. Phrases in an engram like "I'm not here" and "forget about it" will hide its existence from the auditor because the pre-Clear, in his aberrated state, takes language phrases in an engram literally. The method used to find these is to GUESS at a phrase that may be in the engram. In one example, Hubbard tells of an auditor who tried 200 phrases before he got one that seemed to fit the bill. (25) This would seem by the auditing methods used then to probably have taken days of the auditor telling the pre-Clear to "Repeat this phrase, 'you won't find me' (pre-Clear repeats many times. No apparent evidence of an engram, so...) Now repeat 'I can't be found'..." Doesn't this seem to be a way to drive someone insane rather than therapy? And Hubbard says there are thousands of denyer phrases!!! (26)

The "bouncer" engram is another deceptive type, with phrases like "get out," which kicks the pre-Clear out of the engram. (27) Again, the solution is to GUESS at a phrase since this is the best way to find engrams. (28) Consequently a lot of guessing goes on in this precise "scientific" process of auditing.

The "holder", "misdirector", "grouper", and "derailer" all offer similar problems to the auditor. And all the above are simply blocks to FINDING an engram. There are also problems in eradicating the engram. You may think an engram has been erased, yet you may only have reduced its effect on the pre-Clear.

There is even the possibility that the pre-Clear has engrams in another language that he doesn't know about! (29) How these can be declared eradicated when there is no proof of their existence in the first place strains the imagination to the utmost.

The above (incomplete) examples of problems in auditing are brought up to show that finding someone who has no engrams is a difficult task, since engrams according to Hubbard's own words are often hard to detect. And if just one engram escapes detection, you do not have a Clear.

Let us consider a theoretical example of a person who knows Dianetics but is not a Clear. This person, during auditing, kicks in a "lie factory" engram, and since this person understands the auditing process he is skillfully able to create fake engrams, and even can fake its eradication. His mother lived with her Greek parents until the fifth month of pregnancy, and engrams in the Greek language were instilled in the fetus. The auditor found prenatals in auditing (after the fifth month), and it was assumed that all were eradicated, since the person became much more assertive, happier, and the like after many hours of auditing. This person could be declared Clear because the "lie factory" engrams were skilled at hiding by understanding the auditing game, and the foreign language engrams were never restimulated or found because auditing was done in English. This is a perfectly conceivable case under Hubbard's theories. But a worse case might be when an auditor continually searches for weeks trying to find engrams that don't even exist, in other words, auditing a Clear.

It should be obvious from the above that the entire process of auditing is subjective. An engram is declared gone because the auditor perceives that the person has gotten better. A Clear is declared because the auditor decides he is now free of "aberration" and "psychosomatic illness." (30) Hubbard even states that "The subjective reality, not the objective reality, is the important question to the auditor." (31) This massive amount of subjectivity puts a strain on Hubbard's claims of scientific accuracy.

The auditor is continually required to make subjective decisions and yet is taught that the entire process is a mechanistic, scientifically precise exercise. The auditor is never allowed to consider that a hindrance to auditing is from anything other than engrams. If a person is skeptical of engrams, the auditor is assured that an engram is causing the skepticism32 and certainly not a healthy amount of research on the part of the skeptic. When someone "resists" auditing, that is caused by an engram rather than the person's conclusion that dianetics is stupid. (33) Boredom is never from genuine boredom, according to Hubbard, but from an engram. Consequently, anything other than full acceptance and submission to dianetics auditing must be caused by engrams.

This entire process of finding and eradicating engrams is totally subjective. Although Hubbard tries valiantly to make auditing seem a mere mechanical process (34) with his engineering and scientific talk, the mind is not a mechanical object. It is the most complex device nature ever made, and has to this day baffled those who have tried to figure out how it works. Personality, culture, upbringing, and more, influence individual actions, not just a finite set of past events incorrectly stored in the reactive mind.

In the real world, the state of Clear is basically a rank within the Church of Scientology. In the real world, the superhuman qualities of Clear have not been perceived by independent investigators, nor have these superhumans been able to take over or at least greatly effect society in any fashion. In other words, although thousands of people have obtained the rank of Clear, there is no proof that any of them fit Hubbard's grandiose claims for them in Dianetics. Nor have they been able to accomplish what Hubbard claimed they could.


  1. Dianetics, p. 24
  2. Dianetics, p. 228
  3. Dianetics, p. 24
  4. Dianetics, p. 18
  5. Dianetics, p. 543
  6. L. Ron Hubbard and staff, What is scientology? (Los Angeles; Church of Scientology of California, 1978), p. 202
  7. L. Ron Hubbard, "The Story of Dianetics and Scientology", cassette tape, 1958. tape #581OC18
  8. ibid.
  9. L. Ron Hubbard, Research and discovery series (Copenhagen, Denmark; Scientology Publications Organization ApS, 1980) vol. 1, p. 84
  10. Russell Miller, Bare Faced Messiah (New York; Henry Holt and Co., 1987), p.165
  11. Stewart Lamont, Religion, Inc. (London; Harrap, Ltd., 1986) p. 24
  12. Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? (Secaucus, NJ; Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1987) p. 288
  13. Dianetics, p. 365
  14. Dianetics, p. 502-3
  15. Dianetics, p. 316
  16. Dianetics, pp. 211, 228, 311, 552
  17. Dianetics, 1975 edition, p. 417. This is not in the newer version.
  18. Dianetics, p. 258
  19. Dianetics, p. 519
  20. Religion, Inc., pp. 53-4
  21. Dianetics, p. 414
  22. Dianetics, p. 565
  23. Dianetics, p. 429
  24. Dianetics, p. 256
  25. Dianetics, p. 295
  26. Dianetics, p. 440
  27. Dianetics, p. 282-3
  28. Dianetics, p. 369
  29. Dianetics, pp. 418-419
  30. Dianetics, p. 227
  31. Dianetics, p. 522
  32. Dianetics, p. 246-7
  33. Dianetics, p. 479
  34. Dianetics, p. 522

Reprinted with permission from The Hubbard is Bare by Jeff Jacobsen. Copyright © 1992 by Jeff Jacobsen, P.O. Box 3541, Scottsdale, AZ 85271.