Inside Scientology

First-hand accounts of the Scientology Experience

Rex Basterfield's Story

From Rex Basterfield 101334, Sun Dec 24 15:15:23 GMT 1995


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

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

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

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.


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.


"Belief is the key which opens the door to illusion"

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