From Rex Basterfield 101334,email@example.com Sun Dec 24 15:15:23 GMT 1995 EXPERIENCE --------------------- 1974 was not a very good year. I was twenty and in need of a few big answers. Like why did I get so anxious about Life sometimes and how should I cope with the idea of dying sometime. How did everyone else seem to take things in their stride yet to me the sheer awe of existence was frequently just too much to bare. I couldn't concentrate on my college work because I felt it all to be totally futile, whistling into the wind of inevitable annihilation. Normal post-teenage angst? Well, maybe. But it felt like shit. No sympathy from the doctor and little understanding from anyone else. My worst panic was "I can't be helped! There's nothing anyone can do!". Then WHAM!! I had DMSMH introduced to me by a close friend. At last. Not only the answers as to what was causing the problems (Engrams) but a sure fire therapy to free myself from the mire I found myself in. And not only that, but after a few hundred hours of doing this "Auditing" with someone familiar with the procedures, I'd be a mental superman, certainly in comparison with my usual, struggling self. According to The Book, hundreds of people of all backgrounds had undergone Auditing and had not only been cured but gone on to be better than they ever were before. They never even caught colds. Whatever they did in life prior to auditing they did many times better afterwards. And it seemed obvious that the established professions of psychotherapy would be jealous of such a simple system and try to put it down; so that explained why a 24 year old system was still obscure...of course. My friend had also read The Book and had already reached the same conclusions as me. Also the girl who'd given The Book to him was going to the local centre already and seemed to be doing really well on it. Naturally I tried to impart my new enthusiasm to my other friends, a simple desire to share something fantastic and exciting. I was alarmed and confused to find their reactions rather luke warm. Most had no prior knowledge of the subject and they all had very open minds. What I didn't realise at the time, because I was so wrapped up in myself, was that they didn't have the same burning NEED as me. So whilst The Book may or may not say something useful, it was just another book to them. I took on board the ideas of hidden memories influencing present thought, and so on, and started to feel much better. No Auditing, just the application of the ideas. And I started to model myself on the image I'd got of what it was to be Clear, with no Engrams. To do this I made myself aware of what I detected as being impulses of an unconcious origin and to examine them logically and in detail, where they might have come from and how they programmed me. And, bugger me if that didn't work! Major insights arose from this approach. Of course this was only exploring wasn't it? Not doing the real thing, on an Auditing course. The next book I got hold of was Dianetics '55. Ah, a more recent work, I thought. And WOW! This took the claimed results in DMSMH and stretched the possibilities to infinity. Dianetics-'55 affirmed that the "I" is an undying non-material "Thetan" and, being a Thetan, I could learn to leave my body and do amazing tricks like going down to the library and reading the books (though I wouldn't be able to turn the pages). Some lucky people could even be exteriorised by simply commanding them to be behind their heads (sadly, not me). Flushed with the good feelings from my new found interest I couldn't resist trying exteriorisation. But nothing really happened. A headache or two, but no flight. At that point I decided to go to the local Scientology Centre to do a course, for proper guidance. After all, DIY is OK but sometimes you need a teacher to put you on the right lines. I recall feeling both nervous and excited as we arrived it the local Centre. It was my friend's first visit too. We discussed whether they would exteriorise us on our first visit, or Audit us and find amazing Pre-natal Engrams causing us to curl up and sob on the floor. There was so much that could happen, and it was so exciting to contemplate. What did happen was rather banal, I'm afraid. Enrollment, sitting in a class room reading LRH documents and making models out of plastercene to illustrate concepts. I soon realised that the goals were to be approached on a pretty shallow gradient. I learnt how to BE in front of someone without laughing or reacting (useful later in my life) and about using a dictionary to aid study, and other dreary stuff. After course time I felt a certain subtle pressure to be very high spirited and relate my "Wins" for the evening. Bit of a let-down after the heady offerings in LRH's books. But never mind, I thought. Dianetics MUST work because I feel good and am thinking clearer. So I bought another of the books on sale at the Centre. The Creation Of Human Ability (COHA) turned out to be literally out of this world! You could get someone exterior and SEND THEM TO MARS!!! Oh WOW! There was loads of strange and interesting stuff about flows and ridges and thought having mass and so on, and by now I was totally bowled over. It HAD to be true. The Clears and Operating Thetans at the Centre went about with idyllic expressions and glassy eyed wonder as they affirmed the amazing things on "The Upper Levels". Being of a technical bent I didn't find the instructions in this book (COHA) at all difficult to understand. I'd read that self auditing wasn't possible but knew that solo auditing was feasible (?). So I just had to try out some of the processes. Mostly they involved protracted concentration excersises with simple repetitive tasks aimed towards an impresicely defined goal such as increased Affinity, Having-ness and so on. And there was always that tantalising prospect of going exterior, often implied as being a side effect of the various processes. And bugger me if I didn't end up feeling really spaced out and full of colour! I went sort of exterior in as much as I felt my body to be an object I was associated with in an agreeable interactive relationship, rather than just being a "meat" body. I tried to read or perceive from outside my body but I wasn't correctly seeing what was there. So I wasn't doing the real thing was I? Only experimenting until I could get the proper Auditing. The peak experience generated by my experimentation was high and powerful. The world was full of wonder at every turn and the best thing in it was Scientology and the best person LRH, good old Ron. But the doubts crept in. Firstly I felt a terrible downswing about two weeks later. The gain from my solo auditing was not stable. So I had a "Life Repair" auditing block, which uncovered some unpleasantness but didn't approach my reactive mind in the way I thought was appropriate (as per DMSMH). The Life Repair could have been delivered by a computer programme, following a simple decision tree approach and involved no special reverie state. I also came to realise I was alienating myself from my friends by being so insistent that they should get involved. And I felt that I should keep some of the bizarre material I had found in LRH books away from them, because it might put them off (!). I was being frequently asked to spend more time and money on courses and to get others into the Centre. "Proper" auditing never happened. It was obfuscated by plastercene demos and how-to-be-a-student training. There was never any lying down, repeating painful phrases, to locate Engrams. Never any exteriorisation processes run on me. And I was finding so many contradictions in LRH's material. We were always told to take the most recent point as valid, but surely a Clear would be able to get it right first time (and be consistent within the same book)? Then my favourite Clear caught a cold. She told me she pulled it in because she wanted some attention. Oh shit. In Nietsche's words, "Human, all too human". So I found myself devoting more and more time and effort to justifying Scientology's shortcomongs to others and to myself than I spent in honest work on my own case. I felt I couldn't get back to the glorious state I was once briefly in, because of Scientology itself. It seemed, at the time, that it had given me a magic jewel to hold, then snatched it back from me for ever. I made a hard decision. The mounting inner turmoil had outgrown any benefits I was getting. I wanted to ask big questions to the Clears and Operating Thetans at the Centre but was worried about losing their trust and friendship. I had a major conflict between what I knew was good about the "Tech" and some of the stuff I now started to see as being rubbish. So I resolved to leave the organisation and carry on with Scientology, somehow, on my own. It was the idea of continuing on my own which bought the Guardian to my door- twice. He blamed my recent car accident on my leaving, said I owed them money, offered more Auditing and left. The second time he came he said I'd been such a good student before (I'd won a book for getting people in to the Centre) that I must now be P.T.S. and that this could be handled. But that I absolutely shouldn't start any rival organisation or I'd be in big trouble. AFTERTHOUGHTS ---------------------------- I'm extremely grateful to Scientology. It provided me, an unsophisticated, troubled youth with the first stepping stone over the river of confusion which can be spiritual and mental life. And that particular stone was exactly right for me at that time. Of course I see it now as a flawed system and far from the complete Bridge it claimed to be. But it bears a core of useful philosophy and effective practices which one can relate to many other disciplines. It really is a case of sorting out what works for oneself and abandoning the rest, without guilt. This I've done with all the systems I've since read about and practiced. I can now celebrate my ecclecticism! I've learnt I can find nuggets of truth in most things, nestling in amongst the garbage. My experience in Scientology taught me this valuable lesson. And I have no hard feelings. Philosophies and practices are actually just tools. As I go through life I collect tools which suit me, which help me in whatever my purpose is. Whether it be a new wrench to help fix the car or a visualisation for calming my fears. I never keep a tool unless I know it works. And if I happen upon a better one I exchange it. I don't see LRH as either evil or mad. Just very creative and somewhat mischievous. He blended wisdom with science fiction and threw in plenty of humour and intrigue to produce a volume of work which has drawn in millions of people for over half a century. And if it's true that he planned it all to "make a million" then I can only be totally impressed, because he evolved a system which could produce such devotion and following in so many. And that's no easy trick. In this respect Scientology certainly works. Half my lifetime ago I had the pleasure of spending nearly a year in the company of wonderful people, very civilised and genuine in their common spiritual pursuit. I was very sad to leave them, and have never encountered such a group of people since. Rex. "Belief is the key which opens the door to illusion"
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