Why Do Scientologists Accept the Xenu Story?

Categories: Scientology

South Park's rendition of Xenu
For going on 17 years I've been writing about Scientology, and over that time there's one question that has come up again and again.

Why don't Scientologists, when they've been in the organization long enough to reach the legendary material in "Operating Thetan Level Three" -- the stuff about Xenu the galactic overlord which made for a great 2005 episode of South Park -- bust out laughing and walk away?

Tom Cruise and John Travolta and thousands of other Scientologists have moved on beyond the space opera stuff in OT 3 (Cruise, for example, has moved up to OT 7), and for some reason, they accepted the Xenu story and never looked back.

When I've been asked that question, I had a ready answer that I'd put together after talking to many ex-Scientologists who told me their own experiences.

But now, I realize that the answer I was giving was wrong. The reason why Scientologists accept the story about Xenu and disembodied alien beings infesting this Earth is actually much simpler, and much more mindblowing, than I ever realized.

In the past, Scientologists had convinced me that their long, gradual indoctrination was so insidious, by the time they were allowed to read L. Ron Hubbard's strange OT 3 story -- which has a galactic overlord solving an overpopulation problem by bringing billions of disembodied alien souls to this planet 75 million years ago -- their critical reasoning skills were so eroded, they would accept anything.

I remember Jason Beghe, for example, telling me that other religions have their angels and demons, so was a story about alien spirits from another solar system really all that harder to believe? I could see what he was saying, but after spending so much money and time -- hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years of dedication to reach OT 3 -- wasn't it a shock for Scientologists to learn that this was what their religion is really all about?

Some ex-church members I met did admit that they had negative reactions to the Xenu story, but by the time they learned it they had already spent so much of their lives invested in Scientology, they really had no personal will to walk away -- at least at that point.

But then, recently, I had a new realization about what church members go through before they get to OT 3.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed a man named Dani Lemberger, and he made me understand the "whole track" and auditing better than anyone else had before. (In auditing -- Scientology's spiritual counseling -- a subject holds onto the sensors of an e-meter while an auditor asks questions prescribed by Hubbard, encouraging the subject to remember events earlier and earlier. The purpose is to remember and then disarm traumatic memories that happened in your past lives, and helps you move toward becoming "clear." As you do so, you gain a view down your entire "whole track" of existence as an immortal spirit, called a "thetan.")

For my story about Dani and the mission in Israel that is splitting away from the official church, I interviewed Lemberger for hours and sat, mesmerized, as he told me about his whole track auditing, during which he saw himself millions of years ago, leading groups during different lifetimes and on other planets. Over the eons, he said, he had lived lifetimes during which he had a tendency to get his head chopped off when his people rebelled.

Dani was serious. (And he's also a successful businessman with an MBA who characterizes himself as a "skeptic.")

Lemberger made me realize something very basic about Scientology that, for some reason, had never really sunk in before. And it is this...

The reason Scientologists accept Hubbard's bizarre story about Xenu is that by the time they reach OT 3, they have been "remembering" their own outlandish space opera "whole track" stories during auditing, perhaps for several years.

Why question Hubbard's tale about mass alien genocide 75 million years ago, when you've been "seeing" yourself as some kind of Buck Rogers fighting enemies and bedding beauties from one end of the galaxy to the other?

With this new realization, I went back to some of my ex-Scientology sources to put it to them: had they been holding out on me a little about their own Star Wars-like adventures?

Several of them admitted that yes, even ex-Scientologists long out of the church can be somewhat reluctant to discuss the wild things they "remembered" about their past during auditing. But I pressed them -- tell me about your adventures from millennia past.

"I blew up a water dam that destroyed a third of the cities that were downriver of it. That would be about 300 million years ago -- but you would say something like '346,767,813 years ago' to your auditor. I think it was on some planet that started with the letter 'V'," says Chuck Beatty, and he laughs, knowing how ridiculous it sounds.

Even after I had explained what I was asking, it took me some while to pry that answer out of Chuck, who is, just about anyone will tell you, the most forthcoming and talkative source of information on Scientology in the world.

Tiziano Lugli was the same way. He spoke to me at length about his own auditing and the entire progression of the OT levels. But I had to keep pushing him until he finally coughed up one of his whole track events...

"It was 250,000 years ago, in a space ship, and I'd gathered all these people from these planets, and I'm implanting them with mental pictures and then throwing them down to the earth, a prison planet," Lugli said. "I was the guy in charge, and I'm responsible for this prison planet. The feeling of that responsibility and what I went through freaked me out for a year."

And that's really the purpose of "remembering" such material -- Scientologists believe that if they can recall and "handle" things that happened to them eons ago, it will solve whatever problems they have going on in their current lives.

"At the end of a session you feel invincible," Lugli says. "You've been having planets built and destroyed. After that, you come out into this normal world and you feel like the most powerful person around because you've been traveling through space and time."

Marc Headley pointed out that if you're having those kinds of experiences, Hubbard's story about a galactic overlord is just not very surprising.

"OK, so there's a galactic overlord named Xenu. Big deal. That's not the craziest thing you're going to hear on your way to spending three hundred thousand dollars," he says, referring to the ballpark figure for what it takes to get through the years of services to get to OT 3. At the upper levels, such counseling reaches about a thousand dollars an hour.

But during their journey to OT 3, not everyone has such outlandish "memories," they all pointed out to me.

Amy Scobee, for example, told me a pretty mundane story about seeing herself in a scene from about two centuries ago (which, even though it was rather tame, she asked me not to share). Other memories she worked with were almost contemporary.

She just didn't have wild space opera experiences the way some others did. So when she she reached OT 3, I asked her, how did it hit her?

"I did wonder if it was true," she says. But when she then ran the auditing routines involved in the level, the e-meter's needle seemed to indicate that what the material proposed -- that disembodied alien souls were hovering around her -- seemed to be confirmed. "It's weird. I don't know what to say. I didn't feel like I went through that incident, but the needle was going wild, so I had to assume that someone had."

I also called Jefferson Hawkins, who I've always considered one of the smartest, most level-headed of the ex-Scientologists who speak out about their experiences. He laughed as soon as I explained why I was calling.

"I ran a lot of that stuff, as anybody does, and people don't want to talk about it because it's kind of silly when you get out. But when you're in it's very real," he says.

And Jeff's "whole track" auditing memory? "I was a navigator on a space ship, and it had this very complex navigation system that I was in charge of and I could describe it in great detail," he says. "It was just very vivid. I could see the equipment and could describe it."

He points out that Hubbard had suggested these kinds of stories in his books and lectures, talking about waves of "invader forces" that had colonized the solar system.

"As a kid I was a real science fiction fan. And the idea that this stuff had actually occurred millions of years ago -- it was crazy, but in a good way," he says.

So these Scientologists, in their auditing sessions, were "remembering" pretty mindblowing stuff. But there was a catch -- they weren't supposed to tell other church members about it.

Lugli describes the scene to me: "You would go to the restaurant at the Sandcastle Hotel in Flag [Scientology's spiritual mecca in Clearwater, Florida], and everyone is out of session, saying things like, 'Wow, this really blew me away! I've never handled more charge in one session!' But you can't actually say what happened," he says.

However, people would violate the rules and spill secrets about their past lives, they tell me. Some folks just couldn't help themselves.

"It was a status thing," Hawkins explains. "I knew probably four or five Scientologists who told me confidentially that they were Jesus."

And in the 1980s, he remembers, "there was this fad for a while that people were all remembering that they were Nazis in World War II, and that's why things were so screwed up in their present lives," Hawkins says. "That's why they had to be so active in Scientology, to atone for what they had done in past lives."

I also pointed out to Jeff that there seemed to be another status thing going on -- the better Scientologist you were, the farther back in your whole track you could go, retrieve incidents, and handle them. Hubbard himself seemed to promote this idea, that if his followers could travel back hundreds of millions of years, he was so advanced he was going back trillions of years. (Astronomers tell us the universe itself is only about 14 billion years old, but that didn't stop Hubbard.)

Hubbard claimed that he'd visited Heaven 43 trillion years ago and then a trillion years later. And, as we pointed out (and Beatty gave us credit for being the first ever to do so), when Hubbard died, Pat Broeker showed a number with 347 digits on it to the audience when it was announced that Hubbard had merely left his body in order to continue his research on another plane.

The number that Pat Broeker showed at Hubbard's death announcement.

That number, Broeker told the audience, represented in years the farthest back in his whole track that Hubbard had been able to go at the end of his life.

We did the math, and here's what that number represented...

24 billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years.

That's some time travel!

So you see, 75 million years ago is not really such a big deal, and Xenu and his alien overpopulation problem isn't going to scare off your average spacefaring Scientologist.

Someday, I'd love to hear Tom Cruise's whole track tales. They must be something.

UPDATE: I'm at a gathering of ex-Scientologists this morning, and when I saw Roger Weller, he said, "I wish you would have asked me about my whole track stories." Well, Roger, I can always add it to this post!

I've written about Weller before -- he filled me in on what Scientology was like back in the heady days of the late '60s in Greenwich Village. He's right now wearing a T-shirt with a photograph of himself with Mick Jagger, who he had given a Hubbard book. The T-shirt's slogan: "Me & Mick: Smoking Dianetics, L.A. 1972"

I asked Roger about his past-life auditing.

"I had this one incident where I had so much grief," he says. Even though the auditing session happened in 1968, he still remembers it vividly. "I was on this planet, and there was this beautiful woman on a beach, a blonde."

There were knowing chuckles around the table. Roger smiled, but he said this was actually a sad memory for him.

"I was working in government, I was flying in space ships. I was at this planet, and I knew that it was going to get knocked out. I couldn't warn anybody about this, because I was working for this group," he says. "It was going to happen in a month or something, so I was able to leave, and the memory I was left with was this blonde on the beach that I was betraying."

I asked him when he thought it had occurred. He said it was some millions of years ago, but he couldn't be more exact. "When you couldn't pinpoint the time of the memory, you would point. I remember pointing at a direction in the room," he says.

"It was so real to me. But it was disjointed. That's how auditing is, it's in fragments. I might have cried for an hour."

I thanked Roger for that glimpse of his auditing. Now, if I can get some other people at this gathering to cough up their own stories. If so, I'll add them here...

Just talked to Dan Garvin, a 25-year veteran of Scientology (10 in OSA) who left the church in 1991. Here was the whole track experience he shared with me...

"It was trillions of years ago, before the universe we know it was in its present form. Somebody had made a planet -- I didn't like it or I was jealous, or they beat me to it and I was going to make one of my own. So I just blew that other one up. I had come up with some kind of technology, a super nuclear bomb," he says. He added that he didn't actually set off the bomb, but left it at the planet he wanted to get rid of so that someone else coming along would trip it.

Dan tells me that it was very unusual to be asked about this. I told him that I was surprised that it took me this long to question people about their whole track experiences. For some reason, it's not something that comes up often, even among ex-Scientologists.

Claire Swazey gives us a glimpse from the other side: It was 1976, she was only 19, and she would later go on staff at the Albany mission. She was helping another Scientologist do self-analysis (a light form auditing), when he went whole track on her.

Claire says that she never really went space opera in her own auditing, but when she was auditing the young man, he started talking about space ships.

"He was on a space ship, looking down at the planet below, and there was all this carnage, people killing each other with ray-guns," she says.

I asked her what went through her mind at the time. "I remember that I had to keep my auditor's hat on and not show any surprise, and I encouraged him to say whatever he wanted to say. A 'holy shit' might have crossed my mind," she says.


Inside Edition Debunks the E-Meter

"It has nothing to do with spirituality. It has to do with sweat, salt, and grip." -- electrical engineer Steve Fowler.



More from Narconon in Oklahoma from Fox's Marisa Mendelson

Another great report by Mendelson, following up on yesterday's news about the death of Narconon patient Stacy Murphy: a parent frantically tries to get her own daughter out of the facility.

In this story, like so many others, a concerned parent put her child into a Narconon center with no idea that it was connected to Scientology. When are state officials going to realize that playing down that connection is part of Narconon's shady ways?

See also:
Scientology's president and the death of his son: our complete coverage
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
Scientology leader David Miscavige's vanished wife: Where's Shelly?

Please check out our Facebook author page for updates and schedules.

Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.

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Im pretty sure that, now a days, one certenaly does not need ""dianetics"" taken from various researchers of the 1930 and not only,  by the  war hero wanna be Hubbard in order to understand ones inner dynamics, ones inner internal dialogue social conditioning programming, media manipulation, ones relationship of symbiotic existence wiht our cellular universes that, more often then not, are by far more inteligent, in terms of its actual Innate DNA and not only, profound inner mechanics...indeed, the indweling life, by far is, extremely more stupid,(STUPID indeed!!) then the cellular universe that we exist upon. Along the lines of inner micro ecosystem. Self organizing systems, etc. or that we are a deevolved species.

Reading the Rig Vedas, written devil knows how long ago, might share some interesting light on just how old certain ideas are. 

Im relativily certain that ones does not need to pay "300 000" dollars to a bunch of ,what can only be quite respectfully called, abusers and gestapo indoctrinaters, to learn what ALREADY, is within and IS, our shared experience has human beings. 

Yes, you derseve to be abused if you entered this ""church"" of igno-rance and science fiction, with out any responsibility for your own freedom. Its YOUR freedom. Its YOUR responsibility to take care of it. Not to give it away to a bunch of salesmen energy mood oscilators manipulators. 

the FYI end. 


Some time ago I got a 100% satisfactory anwer to my question: “If mental image pictures of past lives are not true, but they are pictures which people ARE seeing, WHATARE THEY SEEING??” In two words I could give you the answer right here, but some background information is needed to understand them.If you google A Trip Into The Supernatural Part 1 and listen to all 6 parts (it's a video), you'll not only get the answer to the question but probably be OMGing for quite a while due to all the cognitions (insights) you get.

I didn't do much OMGing myself, as I never got that kind of mental images (at the time I thought something was wrong with me, that my mind was 'blocked' or something. Now I know better!). 


It offends me when a person (such as the writer of this article) who was not in the cult tells me why I was.  Or why I believed this or that.  Or assumes that I really did believe something or not.


Or that It is so simple "that your critical reasoning was eroded”


Also I think this writer is too simplistic in thinking that everyone who was ever involved in Scientology was in it for the same reason or believed the same things.


I do not have a big enough ego to tell others what they believed but here is what I thought of when I did the OT levels.


By the time I got to OT3 and was told about the Xenu story I had done a lot of auditing.  Now I still think that auditing was beneficial.  It may not work for the reasons Hubbard said and not nearly to the extent that he said but I think it can help in this way.


When you receive auditing there are several beneficial things going on.

1)     Someone is really listening to you and not evaluating you.  It feels really nice to be able to say anything.


2)     You eventually assign your problem to something that has happened in your past (either real or imagined) you then go over that enough times until it stops bothering you and I really think it helped me in the long run. 


To me it is a form of creative visualization or hypnotism.   Could you be contacting real past lives or other beings or entities?  No one really knows.  But the idea that you mentally confront something and in your mind make it go away can empower you in some way and make you feel better either in the long term or short.  I think there is some benefit to the processes but no one can really study the outcome because there is no truthful calculation of any results.


Now to the OT levels


By the time I got to OT 3 remember I had spent a lot of money and a lot of time learning how to audit myself.  So here I am being presented with the Xenu story.  The funny thing is that I did not really think about it logically. “Was the Xenu story really true or not”.  


I had gotten some good results on the pre OT levels the grades and dianetics (not what was promised but I was pretty happy and doing well in my business and in life).


So I was more interested in getting the results of OT3 and not about the story.  I had wanted to be more able, more productive and successful.


Xenu story aside, you have to remember that the idea that people can be possessed by spirits is in many cultures and religions from Shamans to Christians.


In OT 3 "you think" you are essentially getting rid of other spirits that are near you.  The idea that they got attached to me per the Xenu story was not so important to me.  I just wanted to see if I felt better from the auditing or not.


I do understand that many people in Scientology do believe that they were intergalactic warriors and did believe the Xenu story.  But please do not generalize for all of us.


Personally I did the OT levels as a sort of word association. Find the area of the body that made the meter read, then run the incident and see if the meter stopped reading, see if I felt better.  Often I did feel better.  But I never stopped and thought “What about that Xenu?” and we never talked about it with each other.


Again think how you might feel if you spent 3 hours a day visualizing success or doing some self hypnosis on ”Freeing yourself” from human constraints.  The mind is powerful. 


To me that is why some people get results on these levels.  If you spend 3 hours a day telling yourself you are an immortal spiritual being capable of anything, that could be quite empowering. 


On these levels you are doing that in a way.  Which in my opinion is why people may get some results.  The same thing goes for the football player who thinks that “God is on his side”.


Here is something that you should know if you were never a scientologist.  When doing these levels I audited myself 5 hours a day for about 7 months every day (3 months to a year was common).  So about 4 months into this I read the Xenu story.  Up until then I was doing well and happy with my subjective results.


 Now I could have complained at that point and said “Wait a minute what is this ridiculous story”  but then I would have had to write up my disagreement and send my folders somewhere and talk to someone and waste time.  They would have wanted to do extra auditing on me to find out what I did wrong to be having these disagreements and that would have cost me even more money.  In the end it was either do the level or quit. 


By that time I had spent so much money and time and truthfully I was pretty happy and was doing well in my life and work so I just didn’t want to waste time.   I just wanted to see what I would feel like on the other end.  Also, I just wanted to be finished.


So I can understand how the outside observer could focus on the Xenu story but I for one was focusing on the outcome of the auditing not so much the story.


To me auditing is like praying to the Baby Jesus (an equally ridiculous story in my opinion).  Imagine you pray to the Baby Jesus for a new bicycle and then next Christmas you get one! 


The prayer may not be what got you the bicycle, but you prayed and you believed and your belief made you happier and you didn’t complain as much and your parents thought “What a nice boy” and they bought you the bike. 


Then you grow up and have a family and you read the ridiculous story of the Baby Jesus to your kids and you think “What a bunch of craappoollla” But the prayer worked for you so you continue. 


Your believing and your family believing makes things work better, there are rules to follow some good, some bad but these beliefs and rules make everyone believe that they are playing on the same team.


The prayer may have done nothing, it was your belief in the prayer and following some common sense rules that made you act differently and get better results in life.


I wonder if I would have just let myself imagine my so-called "past lives" while in $cn. I reckon I was on the edge of doing so at times. If I did that enough, I may have even believed it more and more.


As an auditor I heard people discuss past lives, most did what they were suppose to and manifested the appropriate VGI's, (when someone looks happy and appears to have some sort of win, we write VGI (very good indicators on the auditor notes) at the right time.


Did I believe them? Certainly at times, I did not, just like any story--some are just hard believe, but perhaps at times I did believe, after all I believed I would one day be able to recall my so-called past lives.


There is this placebo effect. Psychiatrist, David Burns says this happens in 35% (or so) of depression cases. You can perform some half baked therapy (we did that) and 35% of people will improve. The skeptic dictionary notes research indicating at times even higher rates of observed placebo effect. Burns also noted there have been documented physical side effects occurring from placebos--inert medications. So our minds can play games.


In $cn, most of the people who don't believe drop away quickly, and most who are in for a while know the drill, they find something to be happy about or they will be asked to discuss and earlier _____.

I think that at times people discuss really upsetting things, and actually sort through them in some way, perhaps just talking about upsetting things is beneficial (there is some evidence that keeping a journal can be beneficial), and perhaps $cn public and staff generally know that at some point they are suppose to have a "win" and be happy (VGIs) so they do. Looking back, I knew I was suppose to manifest a win and VGI's and I did.


Write a bloody success story, or you will wind up in ethics again doing some sort of "PTS" handling, or worse. This is where you are a potential trouble source (PTS), and you have to do some crap (handling) to deal with it. If you are a $cn public, it generally costs money and time.


I will add an amusing thing about self delusion, I  saw George Baillie talking to anonymous on youtube. He is quite amusing, this dude really believes what he is saying. He appears to have erased all doubts, all questions, and he just knows. He then does the famous $cn laugh, to use $cn lingo, I would call this the service facsimile laugh.


Xenu needs to be put out to pasture, that would be space pasture. However, NOT ON MY PLANET! 


I had recalled two past life experiences and I thought they were real at the time. Turned out that one was a recall of a twilight zone episode I had seen as a child and later forgot and the other was based on B rated science fiction movie that I had seen and forgotten. I discovered these facts some twenty or so years after I quit and made me laugh/cry that I had wasted all that money and believed all that garbage.


I was involved in $cn for a few years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I was young, and perhaps in vulnerable place.


I joined staff at a small organization, and I was sent to Florida to train as an auditor. I left staff shortly after I returned and I basically was on the outskirts for a few years before I dropped away. I did not experience this so called "whole track." In fact, this was considered a problem that I had. I did try to remember past lives but I could not. I couldn't even imagine past lives that were similar to Monty Python skits.


I had auditors ask was there an earlier (insert random incident) and then indicate "that, that, that" in response to what they saw on the e-meter. However, other than random thoughts and odd memories from childhood I could not recall anything, It is odd that while I myself couldn't experience this "whole track," I listened to others discuss, at times famous, past life experiences. Also I was not the only one who did not have "whole track recall." At the time, I reckoned, I must be so screwed up because this works for "everyone" but not me. I found somewhere where L. Ron wrote that Australians do not get case gain. Not getting case gain is $cn speak for the "tech" not working on someone.




Certainly makes the previously difficult to believe you tube interview of STEVE FISMAN (fishman affidavit), more believable!!!


"It was a status thing", Hawkins explains. "I knew four or five Scientologists who told me confidentially they were Jesus"

-Tory Magoo tells a long ago story of meeting two different Scientologists the same day who both proudly  told her in confidence they'd been Julius Caesar in a prior life! Scientology seems to sometimes encourage or provoke delusions or fantasies of  grandeur.

-This reminds me, one time Scientology dabbler Charles Manson, prior to becoming a cult leader, had a life-changing LSD trip where he became Jesus, & felt himself being crucified. Then Charlie noted his surname "Manson" could be seen as a variation on "Son of Man", a description the Bible ascribes to Jesus. Charlie's transformative I'm-Jesus-(&-you're-not!)  trip apparently helped him to start viewing himself as extra-special, & worthy of attracting devoted followers to his violent & bizarre philosophy/cult, with Charlie as both prophet & guru.

Delusions of grandeur can be dangerous things!


I never got as far as the Xenu story in SyFytology. Pretty much knew I was getting ripped off from day one but took me months to admit it to myself and finally quit. It was really hard for me to quit because I had to admit to myself how stupid I had been and what I had wasted financially and emotionally. This coupled with the intense social pressures put you make it damn hard to quit.


May I ask a few questions of the ex-Scientologists here:


- If spaceships were flying around Earth long ago and if the solar system has been invaded again and again by various forces, how does the CoS explain why is there no visible alien presence anywhere in the solar system today or since LRH started teaching?  


-  Does Scientology have any teaching that would reconcile the known age of the universe (13.8 billion years) with the LRH timeline?  Does it attempt to theorize things like multiverses or perhaps a universe that continuously expands and contracts?  Or does it simply assert that the universe is trillions of years old?


- I saw the UK program Panorama in which several Scientologist celebs were interviewed on this subject.  Leah Remini was one.  When asked about Xenu, they all looked at the journalist like he was crazy and denied knowing anything about it.  Their denials seemed genuine, although they are actors.  Were they lying?  Even if they haven't reached OT3, it is inconceivable that they have never heard about this.


I give up.


I can't tell what is going on here.  I used to love this place.




Hi everyone.  I have never posted here before, and I am a newbie.  I stumbled upon this article online, and have been reading a lot of the comments.  My question is (in no insulting or condescending way intended whatsoever), many of you with personal knowledge of scientology speak of getting involved because of the need to fix something in your life, and the lies of the church of scientology that becoming a member of the church can fix it, or that you are helping others.  Why aren't you able to fix things in your life yourself, or help others without belonging to any church or religious organization?  I have read that many successful people have become members and later left the church, but I still honestly cannot understand WHY.  I can't seem to wrap my head around it.  Can someone please explain this to me clearly?  Thank you.


How ridiculous this is!  Let me get back to my wine that turns to blood, virgins that give birth, dead carpenters that come back to life, and my holy book that teaches me how to sell my daughter (but not my son) into slavery. 


Another reason for accepting the Xenu story is that by the time a scientologist has reached that level they have already spent a huge wad of money to get there. For most, it is incredibly painful to consider that maybe you were a fool all this time and you wasted all this money. Stack on top of that all your friends and family believing the same thing and the position it will put you in if you don't believe the story - if you can imagine yourself in that position, you will begin to understand why most scientologists would willingly buy into it.


Do all of the stories that are created for members tie in to each other? Do they all happen in the same universe with characters, plots, and places that are inter-related or are individual stories independent of each other? That would be like writing thousands, millions of different sic-fi stories for each cult member! I wonder how many members are Luke Skywalker? I wonder what stories/themes aren't allowed... 


John Duignan explained at the Dublin Offlines that the mental breakdown he had early in his $cientology career left him a different person. Starting at 15:30-ish in the video on http://exscientologistsireland.org/conference-videos/ . Maybe it's easier to believe stories that appear unbelievable to outsiders after the entire personality has been broken down and rebuilt into something more suitable for clam indoctrination.


There's an E-meter I can get my hands on, a Mark VI. I think I'll start out with power resistors, see how close Hubbard's subjective scale tracks for low-power, then high value resistors. In other words, what kind of Ohm-meter are we dealing with here? Is "Rise" 4 Ω? Is the ninth bar of "Fall" 100kΩ? Maybe after all of that I'll get's me some canned asparagus and play me some Screamin' Jay Hawkins records so's I can know what to expect.


But remember this: "By Itself, this meter does nothing." That's right—what you really need is a multimeter. Cheaper, more flexible, many more ways to deploy in your evil quest to take over the world. Or maybe get that bandsaw in the garage to stop killing people. Whatever. The something that the meter really needs is a "Psychic", a Cold Reader, someone who's really good at picking up the querent's low-level ticks. I'll bet the stuff the C.I.A. uses for their "Knowledge Reports" is light-years ahead of Hubbard's New-Age kludge of a lie detector. But as the Firesign Theater always said—"There's a Seeker born every minute."



When I was a child, I was told "when you grow up johnny-boy, you can be what ever you want to be. You can be a Painter, a Fire-Man, Doctor, etc.etc" . Not one time, NOT ONE FUCKING TIME was I told that I could be the pilot of a whizz-bang super-duper SPACESHIP !! Blowing up planets and leading million of minions across "gul-ax-ees" to some dump planet called Teeg-e-ack!!!

Now why is that ??

I will tell you why. I was brought up by Intelligent Anglo-Sax-Christians that new better and the 'diff' between Old School Religious beliefs (hyperbole and storied examples) and fucking fairy-tails !!!


You see this story from the great and wonderful TONY, is just more proof that those that fell into Scientology and those that are IN because they want to be (indies or churchies) that bought into the OT III GARBAGE,  or are just ramping up to the OT levels, have a little kink in their brain-stem to begin with. This kind of of fairy tale does NOT have a place in the BRAINS of normal (thats right, I said NORMAL) humans, like the 99.9% of us here on Teegeack. If you even consider you may have lived "Trillions" of years ago you need REAL HELP...I'm sorry Karen de La "alexaders Mom" but you are a nutter too, in fact, ANYONE buying in to any of HUBBARD'S garbage needs to get some real help because living in THAT KIND of fantasy land is extremely dangerous!!!     just check out the STATS!!!!


I'll say this for the Xenu story: in one way it's less problematic than Original Sin. 


In the Xenu story, everyone's cursed with Thetans because an evil Galactic Overlord screwed up.


In Original Sin, Adam and Eve had an error of judgement, and as a result the supposedly beneficent Creator cursed all their descendants, forever. To Hell, I suppose - eternal damnation.


That said, they're both crazy things I want no part of....


It doesn't really matter, but I'm pissed about this comment system.  I can't trust that I'm reading comments correctly, nor can I trust that my comments are being read correctly. The system is good in theory, though.


What many of your readers may not know is that during the 1980s all the Hubbard lectures were Bowdlerized heavily. There was a transcript project in which the tapes were all typed up. I was doing False Purpose Rundown (security checks that uncovered evil purposes) and listening to a tape of Hubbard sec checking Fred Hare. I believe it was Advance Clinical Course #1 (from the 1950s).


Hubbard's coaxing an "earlier similar withhold" (an earlier, more basic to the problem incident) out of Hare. Hare starts laughing and giving up his "overt" (anti-social act) of leading an invader force on the space opera "whole track" to take over a planet, and the first thing they did once it was conquered was to round up all the twelve-year old girls and rape them. Ha ha ha, he and Hubbard both had a nice laugh out of this - and this demonstration was done before an audience.


At the time you could still hear the full tape but the people working on the project had crossed out the part I just recited within the transcript, meaning they would then go on later and scrub that audio from the lecture for future packaging. 


$cientology - just fun times forever, huh?


Just a head's up....Tony has a new story up. I keep flipping back and forth.



The Whole Track. Trillions of years!


Another amazing thing about it.  It devalues one's life.  It devalues today.  50 years sacrificed to Scientology is nothing.  You, your family and friends are all insignificant UNLESS you are enriching and saving this doomed planet with LRH Tech. 


Hubbard was a very holistic brainwasher.  Everything works together to make for obedience and slavish devotion.


Why are my LIKES button not working anymore. It goes to unlike but it does Not even add a number to the likes. Must be quite busy? did I use a quota? My only change was go to Oldest.


Clever story, this. And I think it highlights the ridiculousness of following any of Hubbard's BS in a way that the Independent Scientologists don't like to address or even admit. I'd be very surprised if you could get Rathbun or any of his acolytes to be honest about this subject because they know it hurts the credibility of their fraudulent prophet. 


…. this post really explains a lot…. which leads me to my: 




Something I've been encouraged to do was to remember my bizarre experiences. I lived in Monaco during my teens and one of the locals let me in on one of the things he used to do from time to time. One day we drove our mobylettes to Italy and bought some cough syrup pronounced 'Rom-ee-la' - it was nail varnish sized bottle with a pipette, one drop in the back of your throat type thing. The reason we went to Italy was you needed a scrip for it in France. You were supposed to drink the whole lot in one go mixed with flat coke as it tasted foul. Boy, talk about out of body experiences!  To this day I can distinctly remember looking down on myself with perfect clarity. I looked at the packet the next day and saw that one of the main ingredients was opium.


I guess what I'm saying is all this exteriorisation bollocks is easily achieved with cough medicine.


I've never had any past life regressions but I did wake up from a dream convinced I knew the secret to the universe. It was totally mind-blowing in the sense I felt I KNEW the answer….. the answer was 'Electric Blue Jelly'… made sense to me at the time. Tried to persuade some friends who were in a band to rename to E J B…. no luck. 


Another thought I feel is kind of relevant here is another band name I came up with. This one was 'Suspension of Disbelief'… I was so happy with that one that I actually paid $20 to the official pop group name registering site and registered it…. wanna call your band 'Suspension of Disbelief' you have to ask my permission or pay me…. don't worry it'll be cheap, just enough for a case of fine Claret. 


As to why it's relevant here…. well, look at the definition:


"Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, science fiction, and horror genres. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person's ignorance or lack of knowledge to promote suspension of disbelief. 



….. it's what separates us from the animals, you know



I'm still surprised the media haven't picked up on the OT stories from Advance Magazine…. given all the eloquent explanations to the belief in Xenu above I always think asking someone like Marty Rathbun about the OT's talking to werewolves and doing life saving surgery from a few miles away would be far more interesting.


I know the webmaster's here are doing their best to get the new comments up to scratch but one thing that piqued my interest was in the iPad version. When I go to the page in Safari it automatically refreshes and I get a brief glimpse of 35, 47 (whatever number) points written next to each name. This bit of info disappears once the page is loaded. I don't see this in the desktop OS on my iMac.


Points?…. am intrigued. 



has any ex-member here ever heard a conversation between Miscavige and Cruise…. I just cannot get my head around on what they actually say to each other ("My turn to be top?", is my best guess)


…. Travolta's wife should definitely googled Mykonos before the holiday destination choice was made…. it's the No 1 gay tourist resort in the whole of Europe [not that there's anything wrong with that].



The emeter is an artifact all right -- an artifact of medical quackery from the 1950's turned "religious" for the purposes of money making and tax avoidance. A whole new generation of clam kids will learn how to beat the emeter so its effectiveness for interrogation and control will fade into the dustbin of silly devices.

Disclaimer: I still think Marty Rathbun should have his emeter regulated by a qualified Church technician, otherwise it constitutes sacred artifact defilement in addition to pure apostate squirrelry;-)


Yo, microphone clear 5 4 what is this

A five foot assassin with ruffneck business

I float like gravity, never lack depravity

Got more rhymes than Hubbard's got family

No need to sweat Cruise to gain some fame

I got so much dirt on his life so lame

The latest from Paris and Milan I have

You wanna diss Heber but you don't know half

New Balance sneakers keep me on the Bridge

I keep Santana champ chilled in my fridge

When we bomb the psychs, it sets me free

I'll never see the Hole, cuz it's all about me



if you listen to L. Ron Hubbard's lectures to auditors, he is telling the auditors what to expect UNIFORMLY out of individual pre-clears.  Then he teaches his auditors how to audit them into uniform. There is no actual discovery in auditing. There is a pre-ordained target for everybody. Individual details may be different, but not, too different.

He is training hypnotists who don't even understand that they are hypnotists. They lead everybody to a place of total openness, compliance and submission to Hubbard.


DC-8s and volcanoes, locomotives in space, ancient civilizations that look just like today's landscapes.  It makes hypnosis easier if the victims of covert hypnosis can just visualize familiar pictures. 

Hubbard would never attempt to explain the actual science behind any of this crap. His followers never dared to interrupt him in a lecture.  I listen to LRH lectures and I long to scream "hey wait a minute, LRH! what about..."   and "these Scientologists are fucking idiots for not asking questions."


THEN,  I remember LRH that cynical bastard, wanted worshipful, ignorant robots who mucked around in their trances and science fiction fantasy lands and confused it with gnostic truth.

I haven't stared at shit unblinkingly.  i haven't repeatedly followed absurd orders like touching walls and screaming at ashtrays.  I'm not subject to that peer pressure. I haven't obediently answered question for days on end.   I haven't put in hundreds of hours doing these things. I don't have Hubbard's picture on my wall.  I havent shelled out my cash, and I don't desperately want to believe Hubbard is smarter than every other human who has ever lived.


And every gambler knows that only a sucker bets with his heart.  So I vow to show more pity to these highly processed, highly invested slaves to Hubbard  hypnosis and Hubbard conditioning.  He put his big dick far into their ear.  It probably isn't coming out.  no matter who dies.

great article, Tony


Some relatively new people may wonder -- like I did when I was new to reading about Scientology, how do people get this far, that they believe in something like Xenu? There's an outstanding post -- among the best I've ever read -- on ESMB by Johnd that explains this process -- it's about a third way down the page, Johnd's story part 2:



This is a super interesting article. Tony, so glad that you thought to ask!  It's a nice time for people to  open up on this subject. I don't see any harm in it. If it's not real to others so what, can't hurt them. We all have imaginations at some point and who's to judge. It's also good for the public to see the sci-fi that's involved in this cult so they are prepared, should they choose to participate. I think it's called for warned!


I was in Scn many years and received many hours of auditing, though I did not make it to the OT levels. The first past life experience I had was with plain old Dianetics book auditing (no meter). We contacted an incident and as we went through it I had a physical reaction "turn on" related to the incident, and as we went through the incident, the reaction slowly went away. Afterwards I felt incredibly clear-headed and energized and alive. All I know is what I experienced, and that kind of experience is hard to deny.


As I got more metered auditing on the Grades or in confessionals, I contacted a lot of past lives. It's not like you suddenly remember all the details of a life. For me, it would just be individual incidents, one experience in a life. I never thought I was a famous person. Some were in earth history and some were farther back not on earth. It is a picture, a memory, just like you'd remember a vacation, high school, or anything from the past. Examples are incidents as a native american, as a cowboy, as a medieval warrior, an asian monk, and as a space ship pilot. Were they real? Only I can decide that. Remember something from your past that cannot be verified. How do you know it's real? You just do. You trust your memory. Or you don't.


Most people just remember incidents, not an entire life. But I heard two people say at one point their life just prior to this one opened up completely and they could remember the whole thing as well as this life. Names, places, jobs, etc. One verified his name in military records and that he was in fact shot down in a plane as he recalled.


Reincarnation is believed my millions of people (Buddhists and Hindus come to mind). Whether it goes prior to this planet and back millions, billions or trillions of years is unique to Scn as far as I know.


In the end, whether my memories were true or not can only be decided by me and what I experienced as a result of auditing them. The result is really what was important. As I no longer practice Scn, it's become irrelevant. I focus on the present and this life instead of the eternal past or eternal future. Whether the Xenu story is literally true is less relevant to me than the results one achieves or doesn't achieve in auditing the level. I have heard of both good results and of people who were entirely unimpressed.


Oh, and Tony, you might want to look into the Past Life Remedy. It is a specific auditing action for when a person does not contact past lives. At a certain point in auditing, that is required, and that remedy handles that ability, supposedly.


I think that scientolgy is batshit crazy but it seems that anyone can do this shit to people because of the laws in the U.S. TV preachers have been conning people out of money for years.James Randi exposed many of them and even exposed scientology as well as psychic's like Uri Geller and sylvia brown.The question then arises as to why this is allowed in a country that claims freedom even though every history professor that dares to speak out about the abuses in america come under fire.The school books are wrong and on purpose when it comes to american history and this should be a no brainer for anyone that has studied it.Yet anyone can give up all their money as well as loose all of their family simply because they are weak and have problems and can not cope with life at that point.All the taxes americans pay give them no protection from the religios cults like scientology.This really sucks.


In the end Scientology does actually involve curing neurosis through the eradication of implanted memories. Who knew!!!


Now when I click the new comments notice for the newest comments, that should appear at the top of the section, it takes me all the way to the top of the Voice page. Then that notice disappears, and only the newer comments at the bottom of the page are highlighted. Just letting you know, I'm sure I'll adjust to the weirdness


"NaN people listening". Is this a Scientology thing?

Just kidding.


Hey Tony,

Don't know if this is another glitch or not, but I have your page bookmarked (http://www.villagevoice.com/authors/tony-ortega/) but when I went there this morning to check out your wonderfulness, it did not have today's story. I thought you were taking today off (you have earned it, but I should have know better) but then I saw the link for this story on FB. So I went to the main page for VV and found it.  Anyway, just thought you might want to know.


The big question is of course did Hubbard believe it himself?


Possibilities: he believed it up to a certain point, but later he started to doubt and could not stop it because Scientology was already a church etc.

Or he never believed it, but thought it would be nice to sell and make a big thing (church) out of it.

So. was it a big con from the start or 'just' later on. Which in fact does not make a big difference.


Or he was a believer till the end. We know about his last years. There is no OT9. He died of a natural causes and did not leave his body of his own free will. Even if he did believe it till the end, it did not work. Then he must have been a very disappointed man. It might be speculated upon that he was not allowed to make his new viewpoint known, he was under surveillance.  Scientology made already too much money.


Somebody around who could shed some light upon this?


Do these people you ask about their 'whole track' auditing still actually believe these things actually happened? Or have they realized by now what auditing is really about and why such 'visions' seem real at the time?


I remember when I first read OT3 I did bust out laughing.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  Then seconds later I got very serious because I thought this is actually true, after all Hubbard wouldn’t lie about a thing like this, then I busted out laughing again.  I did this over and over again for maybe a couple hours.  Other Scientologists were looking at me in a strange way.  I couldn’t tell them why I had this odd behavior , that was a no-no.  You were never allowed to talk about these levels to others.  I eventually accepted it and did the OT 3 Level.  I also did OT 4, which is more XENU BT (body thetans) stuff.  It was almost 20 years later when I was all alone one day dreaming about exteriorization (leaving your body) when suddenly I woke up while standing on my feet.  It’s like some unseen hypnotist had clapped his hands together to wake me from a trance.  In this sudden flash of insight I fully knew what Scientology was all about.  I knew I had been conned.  I broke down and cried for hours.  Later I tried to explain all this to my Scientology friends and wife but I couldn’t get them to see what was so clear to me.  They eventually stopped communicating with me, and my wife and I got divorced.  Yes, I left Scientology and will never go back.  Scientology is a sea of deception and dishonesty, built on lies.

El Jeffe
El Jeffe

This is a very interesting topic (past lives) and was one of the lures that drew me to study Scientology. I could never buy in to the Christian belief system of "We only live once and now we are waiting to be called up to Heaven (or sent to Hell if you were a bad, unrepentant person)."  I never could reconcile that viewpoint even as a young child going to Bible School. But I went along with the crowd as questioning it got you in to trouble with the Elders (kinda like questioning the belief system in Scientology - Except in Scientology you REALLY got in trouble questioning it).


I always had the question in the back of my mind my entire life (yes, even as a child) - Am I living a life that I have lived in the past?  Are my interests and abilities a constantly evolving series of events that unfold lifetime after lifetime? Odd questions for someone to ask themselves even as a young child. I still experience deja vu moments when I travel to some place. Is the deja vu because I saw it on the Discovery/Travel channel or was I there before?


Along comes Scientology with all of its Space Opera explanations and past life theories that attempted to answer my questions and so I was hooked. Believe me it was not easy for them to hook me as I consider myself an eternal skeptic and questioner of any belief system.


So sitting in session after session of auditing and recalling past lives I constantly would ask myself, "Am I recalling this because I actually experienced it or is it based on what interests me the most?"


An example would be that I am a Civil War buff and enjoy studying everything about the Civil War. So it would come as no surprise that one of my deaths I recalled in session was dying during Pickett's charge at Gettysburg (I was a Confederate soldier). Now did I recall that because of the extensive study I had done on the subject or is my intense interest in the Civil War because I actually lived it?


I never came up with anything that indicated I was some famous person in the past. I was either being killed as a soldier or was a doctor/philosopher/teacher sort of thing. Was it real? I am still trying to come to grips with that question (but not through Scientology anymore). Each person has to come to their own conclusions and be happy with it. Otherwise, it becomes like an itch you cannot scratch.


I have always said that religions exist because mankind has always had the burning questions of, "Where did I come from?" "What am I doing her?" "What is my purpose in life?" "Where am I going after I die?" There are a lot of answers out there from many different groups. Again, you have to come to your own conclusion and be happy with it.


I really enjoy this community and this blog. It's refreshing to read a blog that doesn't contain flaming, non-sequiturs (well, not all the time). You are an intelligent, thoughtful group and I appreciate that.


Tony, thanks for bringing up a fascinating subject -- and one that many Scientologists will not talk about.


Another interesting facet to the whole "past lives" aspect is the Scientology viewpoint that, in auditing, you run whatever comes up. If an incident comes up in auditing, you run it. The auditor is forbidden from judging whether it is "real" or not. The person being audited is discouraged from wondering whether what he is running is "real" or not, but is encouraged to "just run it.:" The idea is that if it came up, if it "reads" on the e-meter, then there must be "charge" (mental trauma) there and one should just run it.


So when one gets to OT III and reads about Xenu, the attitude is "you don't have to believe it, just run it." One is encouraged not to judge the material on its content, but to run it and see if one experiences "case gain."


This is why, to a doctrinaire Scientologist, content doesn't matter. You can point out (as I have) that the specific volcanoes that Hubbard lists out in the OT III materials did not physically exist 75 million years ago, and they will still insist "but I got case gain from running it, so that doesn't matter." Hard to argue against as one is dealing with a very subjective and faith-based perception of self.


More than one Freezoner/Indie I've talked to actually says that they "independently" uncovered memories about something like Xenu/volcanoes/supercolossal 3D movies in their whole-track long before they got to OT3, so when they get there their reaction was simply "oh, is *that* what that was?"


"It was a status thing," Hawkins explains. "I knew probably four or five Scientologists who told me confidentially that they were Jesus."


LOL, just like every fucking Republican out there does. :)



Also note that you saw the scientific research in to why some people fall for the Nigerian scams even knowing that they're scams. Letting the marks know that what they're being sold is a fraud is a sure way to weed out those who are too smart to hand over their money, only the dumbest, the most gullible rubes will thereafter hand over their money once they know they're buying a fraud. It makes filtering out the weak non-payers very much quicker.


Man, one must be willing to swallow a metric ton of BS in order to belong to this cult.

Absolutely unbelievable.


Ok, for those who still claim that "I've experienced it, it's true, it feels real, I won't give it up". Do you know about sleepwalking? Why does it happen?

The first thing to know is that for your brain EVERYTHING IS REAL : your real life and what you experience while sleeping, it just makes no difference, at all. Still our bodies need to recover some energy and have a rest, that's why there is a mechanism that switches your vital organs to the off-mode so that they do not react. It happens when we are falling asleep. What about our muscles? You know if you are doing something in your dreams, like taking a cup of tea, your brain that takes this cup of tea for a real one will send signals to your muscles and order them to move : your arm should move to bring the cup to your muscles. This would be rather dangerous for our resting bodies, if it was so, that is why there is a mechanism which cuts this connection brain/muscles - you are still living a walk or a talk or a cup of tea in your brain and this is for real, but your muscles just don't do what they do when you are walking.

Now, for a couple of reasons this mechanism in your nervous system can been altered and often it can be cause by a stressful situation, so that your muscles can really recieve the order to walk while you are walking in your dream.


Why do I say this? Because your brain can live many things for true, it is possible and it is normal in certain situations. That doesn't mean that it is true. THERE'S NO CONFLICT between living something like it's real and the fact that this thing isn't real.


By way of comparison and contrast, there's a Four Corners program on a "counsellor" called Matthew Meincke in Australia who caused a whole group of people to "remember" that they had been raped and many were rapists and paedophiles.  The program included audio recordings from regression sessions.


Beware, some of the concepts and language are graphic.




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