So You Want To Be OT

Maybe Scientology is right for you. I grew up in Scientology and for a long time it was right for me. It isn't anymore. This article is written primarily for in-church scientologists who are breaking the rules by reading this. I applaud your courage. Live dangerously: Look and see for yourself. It really is better than the next best thing.

Whatís OT anyway?

In this short article, I use OT to mean "effective, able to make a decision, able to change oneís mind without being stuck in being right or investments in earlier behavior, able to * be cause * over a situation."

Some people want to do parlor tricks and violate physical universe laws. That might be possible - fakirs walk on hot coals, eastern metaphysics and such. But itís not an area that interests me except that it demonstrates that some non-scientologists are OT in even the most literal sense. More interesting to me are the people who are capable and effective in real life and what it is about them, or what they do, to be that way.

No OTs There

There is a saying among some scientology critics: No OTs There. It most commonly is used to mean that there are no scientologists in the church who can work miracles, perform feats of magic on demand, or prevent critics from creating an effect unwanted by church powers. That statement carries more truth than critics realize. You can become OT in the COS, but to stay OT, you have to leave.

To be OT, you have to see what you see, not what someone else tells you to see.

To stay OT, you cannot say that you see something other than you do see.

Fear and Survival

Why would someone say such a thing? There is no single answer. But I was not only a church member and staff member, I grew up in scientology. I lied to others and myself, saying that I saw something other than I saw. And I did it for several years. Here are some of my personal reasons:

- Iíve lived all my life in scientology and I donít know what Iíd do if I werenít in the church.

- The "wog world" is dangerous and full of false appearances and lies and I donít want to live there.

- What Iím doing [on my post, as a scientologist] matters and my life wouldnít have meaning if I were not doing that.

- Iíd lose all my friends and the people I love if I left the church. They would "disconnect" from me. Iíd be all alone.

- I would be doomed forever; Iíd never be OT and Iíd eventually become MEST. Hopelessness, as far as the eye could see.

- The only "tech" outside the church is squirrel tech intended to trap me and Iíd better not look over there.

- If I left, Iíd be * fair game* and an SP. Something bad might happen to me, or the people I love, or my children. And Iíd probably deserve it, because I wouldnít be deciding on the basis of "the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics".

- This is the best universe possible and if I just work hard enough at what I know is right, somehow everything will work out okay for everyone.

And then I went back to my office and hid behind a stack of PC folders.

If you are in the church, you do it, too. You say that you see something other than you what see - you say it to yourself, and you donít say it to others. You donít fully trust your partner or your children because you know that a Knowledge Report can come from there as easily as anywhere else. In session, you think of something else and you donít tell your auditor. You suppress disagreements so hard that you almost believe theyíre gone. You know itís true. Youíve given your power away and youíre controlled by your fears, fears for yourself, fears for your family and friends.

So What Do You See?

No, I wonít tell you what to see. Iíll tell you what I saw.

I saw scientology children living in the cadet org, with dirty clothes and hair, living with roaches, not ever being tucked in bed by their parents.

I saw people selling their homes and businesses for one more intensive.

I saw children disconnect from their parents, and parents from their children over scientology.

I saw staff members living below poverty level and eschewing such "MEST universe goals" as having a reasonable place to live because they had a "worthwhile purpose".

I saw those same staff members "servicing" the upstat public who had achieved the MEST universe success that the staff told themselves they didnít want or value.

I saw "scientology is for the able" in action. Downstats (and everyone is downstat sometimes) werenít helped. Upstats were helped.

I saw people punished with the tech that was supposed to help them: 7 and more drug rundowns, purif after purif - never making any progress on The Bridge that they believed would deliver them.

I saw someone with integrity broken by days and weeks of word clearing, only to have the "misunderstood" corrected as a typo six months later.

I saw people recruited for staff who never should have been, who were promised auditing and training but never received them, and in the end were offloaded as downstats "quietly and without sorrow".

I saw people come for help and be turned away because they had seen psychologists.

I saw pcs routed out to earn more money for services. Some I never saw again. Some, I only saw their pc folders after they died, or committed suicide.

I saw my father die, alone and abandoned by his church, out of money for more NOTs. A professional pc.

I saw PR instead of compassion.

I saw a world divided into upstats and disposable people called "suppressives", "DBs", and "downstats". And I thought it was the best of all possible worlds.

How Scientology Makes OTs - The RPF

Look around you in the orgs and tell me if this seems true to you: The most effective people in scientology arenít the public who paid for their auditing all the way to OT. And they arenít the students in the academy. The most effective people in scientology are those who survived the RPF.

What is it about the RPF?

It isnít standard auditing. RPF members donít get * standard * auditing. Theyíre told to "read it, drill it, do it" and then they co-audit. Their work hours and living conditions make it impossible to be sessionable, and yet they co-audit and get sessions.

It isnít standard training. RPF courses and auditing are often canceled for the sake of urgent projects. The "What Is a Course" PL is flagrantly out.

It isnít the safe environment. RPFers are ostracized, given substandard living conditions, invalidated and disconnected from their family and friends. They have only each other, and even then, confidences are dangerous (Knowledge Reports on the unthinkable thoughts).

So what is it about the RPF? As Job said, "The thing I feared has come upon me." Alone, ostracized from oneís friends, family, and group, stripped of position in the organization, hungry, exhausted, degraded with nothing to hold onto, a person is forced to recover her integrity and learns that she can survive on her will alone:

- Without an external reason to live
- Without a safe environment
- Without friends or family
- Without standard tech
- Without admiration
- Without hope

Thatís how scientology makes its OTs.

All You Have to Do Is Change Your Mind

I donít know how it would be for you if you left the church. I donít even know if you are considering it. Itís not an easy transition. I *can* tell you what my life is like now.

My life has all the meaning that I put into it. I have friends and family, no dearer to me than those I lost when I left the church, but no less dear either. All the "standard tech" (and any other kind of tech you want) is available in the Free Zone. I donít have to be scientologist to survive. My life doesnít have to be an amends project.

Most important, I am as OT as I want to be, something I could not do in the church.

I hope we can talk soon.

Welcome to the Free Zone.

Christine Norstrand, June 1998

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