Male voice: I’d like to hear your explanation of how you started on all this in the first place.
Started on what?
Male voice: Scientology. Dianetics. How you sort of independent – became independent again now, or – how did all this really come about?
Oh! Nothing-very, very simple.
Male voice: I mean, maybe a lot of people have heard it but I haven’t heard it.
I just died about three times in this lifetime and got used to being outside.1 Really, that’s factual, and because I was already moved out of the groove, don’t you see, in teachings. My family, many members of my family that I was raised with were devout Christians, and my grandfather was a devout atheist.
And there were conflicts involved in the subject, and like a kid normally will, where there’s an area of argument, he just moves out of it and he says, “Well, I don’t know anything about it,” you know?
And I got over to Asia and India and I found out there were a terrific number of things that were – evidently people knew, and then I found out to my horror that they didn’t know what they knew about! I eventually realized that – that they didn’t know what they knew about. And they didn’t know how they were doing, what they were doing, and in the midst of all of this knowledge, I found the direst of poverty and a totally caved-in civilization. So that knowledge couldn’t have been any good for anybody but it still was a route, you know? They didn’t have it.
And I came over and took science over here at GW2down at 22nd and G Street. After I’d been there for a little while, I found out they sure didn’t have much of a route in science – they were gibbering! Yeah. They didn’t explain very much of anything.
I got so I could pass a 100 percent examination on physics any day – I just – snap of the fingers, run it all off just like a machine, you know? Nothing to it. But didn’t get us anywhere. Didn’t explain matter. Didn’t explain the universe – why it was here.
Used to listen to biologists gibbering around about how we were all mud, and so forth, and I already knew that they were quoting a heathen religion over in India. And I tried to tell them this and they’d say, “Oh! No, no, no. This is the latest biological founding,” and so forth. Bah! And they were dramatizing Adam and the rib and so forth and so I figured these guys were kind of dead-ended. And then, I got interested in the arts and I said, “Well, the devil with all of it.” I got interested in the arts and was fooling around in the arts and all of a sudden wondered why all poetry in all languages sounded like poetry! And decided there must be some missing branch of aesthetics called rhythm or something. And I couldn’t – found out nobody had adequately described the stuff, so I set up some scientific apparatus to test some Japanese poetry.
And then I wondered why various syllables – why should various syllables mean sadness? I eventually got the picture of sad syllables, you see? I spoke two or three languages without too much difficulty, you know, heathen languages, and so forth. And I’d take poems from these languages and I’d read them and I’d get a picture on a little tape on a Koenig photometer. And I’d look at this and they looked the same, but these syllables were a common denominator of sadness, you see, or a common denominator of joy. And you’d get a certain wave picture that’s joy, and a certain wave picture that’s sadness, you know? And yet, each race seemed to agree on this, and I’d found the first thing that man could agree on, of being sad and being happy and that that had something to do with certain syllables.
And boy! This was quite a revelation to me, but I said, “Well, if people know all about this…” and I went over to the psychology department. You wonder why I’m bitter about psychology. And I found a fellow over there named Dr. Fred Moss and he was a fine guy. He’d been called in by President Hoover many times for consultations. He was one of the better psychologists in the country – he wrote a book or two on the subject – and not a bad old joe himself at all.
But I found out they couldn’t answer a single question I asked them about behavior or the mind. And I found out psychology was a study of a thing called a brain and it had no relationship to the thing called a mind. And the more I stressed this fact and the more I asked questions concerning it, the more I found that the mind was a totally neglected subject in modern times.
So I busted out James and an encyclopedia and Locke and Hume and Descartes and all the rest of it and, boy, I read those guys down to the bone – and they all disagreed to some degree or another.
But the odd part of it is that the older editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica – I realize now at this line – does carry a list of terms that we use right now in Scientology. It’s by accident, see?
Our concentration on these terms and subjects was once concentrated on back in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century, see? Man was thinking fairly straight along this line and then he went nuts, went crazy, you see?
And I found these fellows were simply being pompous. And you only find me getting real cross about one thing. This is a common denominator of what I get cross about, I get real mad about. It’s not any individual penchant, I don’t think, because I’ve looked for it in vain. But when something is pretending to be something else than it is, when it is knowingly pretending and when it is knowingly a fraud, I cannot restrain my teeth from meeting. That one drives me nuts, see? Why? Here are a bunch of people who want to know – civilization which is dying for the lack of a knowledge – and here and there in the society we find some men who know positively that they don’t know and who are saying to everybody else that they know.
Now, these men are the principal third dynamic engrams; and those are the engrams of the third dynamic. Here we have Dull Foster, see? Dull Foster himself knows and states to his friends that he knows nothing about international relations and the only reason he wants to be secretary of state was because his grandfather’s great-grandfather was. He knows that he has no business opening his fat mouth! And here he’s got this country so involved it doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going. The man is not honest, and when a man is knowingly dishonest I like to break out my quiver of arrows, even if they are only verbal.
Now, as far as knowledge of the subject concerned, I proceeded from the fact the psychology department didn’t know what I was talking about. I said “Man, whatever his race, apparently has something in common emotionally. Now, what is emotion?” Duhh. Anytime we talked about something besides a part of the brain they weren’t with us.
Well, the Christian Scientist had already talked about mind. You look in Christian Science and, although there’s some pretty wild ones in there, they must have been on the groove somehow or another; they at least admitted there is something called “mind.” And to find oneself existing in a society, with the knowledge that there was a hole in that society, needed for the enhancement of its culture, which wasn’t filled, plugged or cared for, and so on, was challenge enough. That was challenge enough and I fooled along with that for some time, just monkeying around, trying to find a few common denominators.
I applied mathematics and what I knew of the physical sciences and what I knew of spiritualism, hypnotism and the rest of it. I was not without some background on the subject. But here you had a broad span, and I wasn’t dedicated to any of these any more than I am dedicated to a symbol today. It’s just the truth and what is it all about; that’s the dedication.
And I found that there was some advance – one could make an advance along these lines and one could understand more about it and I was quite pleased to go ahead with it.
And then one day I kicked the bucket and that upset everything. And I found myself about a hundred and fifty yards outside the head, with the heart stopped, and I said, “Wait a minute! What am I doing here?” You know? “What’s this all about?” You know? I kind of dimly remember that this was the way it was supposed to be anyhow, and then it was kind of, “What was I doing in there?” See? And found out vaguely that I had a full command of my faculties.
And people that have been exteriorized by auditors very often can’t see the environment or see a false environment. I never had that difficulty – the environment that was there. The cars were cars, the body was the body, the operating table was the operating table and all the rest of it, see? I saw the body was going to kick the bucket and suddenly realized that was going to do me out of things.
Now, here I’d been working for years trying to build a name and I’d been – had a few MEST possessions and I had things wheeling. And I just reached over and grabbed the body by the head and smacked it back to life again, see? Bang! And it gave me pause for thought.
Oddly enough, I reverted from a spiritual explanation and explained everything electronically, or tried to. But I was merely interested in what was making the body function because I was trying to hook it up again.
Well, a couple of times in the war – various things – 1938 I wrote the first book on this subject: common denominator of existence is survival, and that is for true. It still is. We’re still solving things on the basis of survive: the first command. It took – ’38 to ’58 – it took nineteenth years, that is, 1957 I found “help.” It took nineteen years to find a word that exactly ran and described survival so that it would run on cases, and it was the via that was the acceptable via that took apart the conglomeration of this and that, see?
But during the war, why, I already knew enough about my subject. I had run into people who were interested in the mind, Freudian analysis, other things, when I was a kid. I used to be able to take Freudian analysis and things like that and patch up guys who were going off their rockers.
Last year of the war I spent getting patched up in a naval hospital. And I used to drift over and bother the psychiatrists and I didn’t belong in that ward, and so they got upset with me. And I found out I could do things with troops that were in Jap camps and so forth, nobody else could do.
And thought of myself as – the first time as somebody who actually had some business in the field of practice as well as research. First time – because it didn’t matter how many hours they saw psychiatrists or psychoanalysts, you see, they didn’t get well. And I could patch them up sometimes fairly adequately.
And then, 1947, I received all of my back pay from the war in one lump sum and although I was going along pretty good as a writer, I had to write the whole thing into solvency, which left very little time for research. I set up a practice in Hollywood with this lump sum and all of a sudden had a singing, humming practice. Every once in a while somebody writes me from 1947. I didn’t charge people anything unless it was part of their case that I had to, and started making Clears.
I heard from one of those Clears the other day, by the way. A girl wrote me – and she had no word for anything, you know – thanking me for all the confidence I had given her, and she’d been very successful since. These people evidently were still pretty stable up the line.
And then by 1950, wrote a book on the subject but I, meantime, had tried to teach some people how to do it; and the book was devoted to teaching them how to do it. It came close in some places but it didn’t give, oddly enough, the first clearing method. I myself didn’t understand it and I carried on since that time merely developing a surer lineup.
And what drove me from 1947 on was this one fact: I realized that a subject of the mind in the world had no slightest business existing unless it cured itself; and that acted as a terrific catalyst. You could release things into the world, then, which were unsolvable and which merely became new evils, and anybody who has done that in the field of the mind, you see, has gummed the race up something fierce.
So, not wanting to gum the race up just one more time – as one more guy gumming the race up – I have been surging forward towards a subject which also solved itself. And you have processes today, old processes, which run out auditors, pcs, run me out, run all the books out, you know? And I wouldn’t be proceeding with any aplomb unless – unless that were the case, you know? We don’t want a new cult – as the newspapers insist on calling us – which is going forward, unable to cure itself, which in another century would become one of the greatest ills the race has, like Christianity did.
Christianity to me is the great example of this. For a while it was terribly successful and then it just caved in on itself and it became – oh, whole nations have been slaughtered in the name of peace and Christ, for heaven’s sakes. And I never wanted to get into this category, that’s for sure. That’s what’s been keeping us going.
But a bomb landed in front of me one time and blew me appetite over tin cup, and so forth, and I found myself out of my head again, only I was used to it by this time – pick the mock-up up and keep it going – pretty weird, pretty weird.
Any one of you might have started on the same route – any one of you. It’s just a cross-up of training more than anything else, and a stick-to-ivity on the subject, which was actually taught to me in several fields. But nothing very odd about it except that it…
The oddest thing about it to me is why man never made a breakthrough on this! That I have never been able to get through my head, you know? And I read these wise men, these men with facilities of language and thought and so forth which I never on earth possessed, and these guys were walking around in circles? Schopenhauer, for instance. This man’s ability to write and to think, and so forth, and he got right on down to the death engram – Will and the Idea – he got right on down. And then he simply dramatized: he didn’t do anything more than dramatize.
And that man has been staggered by this for some time has made me suspicious! Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be solved, you know? And I had that suspicion with me right up till 1950 and I then began to realize that that was not the case! That it couldn’t be solved – that was factual from the standard reference points he uses. That it was not meant to be solved was a dramatization.
One of the biggest dramatizations you’ll find in a case is the case mustn’t know anything about its own case. As a matter of fact, that dramatization, I’ll confess to you, carries on to this moment in Scientology – that you mustn’t know much about your own case; you must audit somebody else and understand his case.
Now, with this ACC we have made a breakthrough in that, all by itself, and I can conceive the possibility now of a man being able to confront his own bank well enough to solve his own case. I can confront this. Self-auditing, as long as you stay on “Mock up somebody who would like your own condition,” something like that (don’t go off into a figure-figure and so on) is productive of results. I’ve been keeping two cases on self-audit and taking tests on them, and they are gaining – they are gaining about – with half the speed they would have gotten from an auditor, see? But of course they do have an auditor sort of on an oblique angle. But this we’re solving; we’re getting it even on down past the universal “There must be two,” don’t you see? And that’s passing to some degree.
But that doesn’t invalidate your training because as I look at the people who are around in this world at this time and imagine them being able to confront their own minds, when they don’t even know such a thing exists, there’s lots of room for you.
Well, that’s the long and arduous story of it, stripped of all of its romantic elements.3