Supernatural abilities in Scientology doctrine
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In the Church of Scientology doctrine, supernatural or superhuman abilities are a recurring subject, appearing throughout Scientology and Dianetics materials, from the most basic introductory texts to the highest-level Operating Thetan information. Virtually all of these concepts were authored by the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and have not been subjected to testing outside the Church. The Church of Scientology have never offered any externally accepted, empirical, peer-reviewed evidence that Scientologists possess any of these abilities.
MEST is an acronym Hubbard coined which stands for matter, energy, space and time, the component parts of the physical universe. It is claimed that by completing Scientology courses, it is possible to eventually attain "cause over MEST" — the ability to control matter, energy and spacetime in the physical universe, free of the encumbrance of the body.
According to the Church of Scientology:
In Scientology, a state of complete spiritual freedom is attainable. It has been achieved not on a temporary basis but on a stable plane of full awareness and ability, unqualified by accident or deterioration. And it is not limited to a few. It is called, in Scientology, “Operating Thetan.” The definition of the state of Operating Thetan is “knowing and willing cause over life, thought, matter, energy, space and time.— Church of Scientology, The State of Operating Thetan
Dianetics and Clearing
Hubbard first introduced Dianetics to the general public in April 1950, in an article published in the Astounding Science Fiction pulp magazine, and followed quickly with the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health that same summer.
Dianetics postulates that there is a part of our psyche called the reactive mind, and that most of our mental and physical problems are psychosomatic, thus they can be solved by eliminating this portion of our minds. This mental state of self-mastery is called Clear.
In the 1992 Hardcover edition of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard writes: "A Clear, for instance, has complete recall of everything which ever happened to him, or anything he ever studied. He does mental computations, such as those in chess, for example, which a normal would do in half an hour, in ten or fifteen seconds." (p. 214).
Exteriorization of energy
Speaking on the subject of "Exteriorization - communication in Theta and MEST", Hubbard said that an individual thetan (person) has the ability to generate electricity by putting a "beam" inside a vacuum tube, or a bell jar that has had the air evacuated:
The truth of the matter is an individual can activate a vacuum tube. By the way, he can activate a vacuum tube because he isn't trying to go through the terrific insulative quality of air. I've forgotten what an inch of air insulates, but it is something fabulous. An inch of air represents maybe a hundred thousand volts or something on that order. He would have to be almost as big as a lightning storm to get across any space of air. But he can do it in a vacuum tube, and he could do it in a bell jar from which the air could be exhausted, while he himself was outside the bell jar. He simply puts a beam inside the bell jar connecting two electrodes and you would get a registry on a meter inside the bell jar."— L. Ron Hubbard, 3rd ACC Lecture 35
Some of the miracles of life have been exposed to full view for the first time ever on the OT levels. Not the least of these miracles is knowing immortality and freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
The "immortality" referred to is not immortality of the body, but of the thetan, and Scientology does not claim that it causes the thetan's immortality, but makes a Scientologist aware of that immortality and alleviates the distress that might otherwise be felt at the prospect of death:
The subject of death is never a very serious one to a Scientologist beyond the fact that he feels kind of sorry for himself sometimes. ... [The deceased person] was thoughtless enough to dispose of his body and go out of communication. A person sometimes feels pretty unhappy about it and thinks it's a thoughtless thing for a friend to do.— L. Ron Hubbard, Have You Lived Before This Life?, 1977, Church of Scientology of California Publications Organization
Enhanced health and lifespan
On page 121 of the 1992 Hardcover edition of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard writes: "Clears do not get colds."
It is also hinted that achieving the state of Clear prolongs lifespan: "What the lifespan of a Clear is cannot be answered now; ask in a hundred years." (p. 384)
Increasing body weight
Hubbard has claimed on numerous occasions that it is possible for Scientologists to use mind over matter to increase one's body weight, although why someone would specifically want to do this is not explained. In his book Understanding the E-meter, Hubbard wrote that this assertion can be tested by "mocking up" mental pictures in one's imagination. "This test has actually been made and an increase of as much as thirty pounds, actually measured on scales, has been added to and subtracted from a body by creating 'mental energy.'" (p. 52)
In December 1954, Hubbard declared before a crowd at a lecture:
Just mock up something, pull it in, mock it up and pull it in, mock it up and pull it in. Mock up heavy planets, mock up dense things and pull them in. You shoot a person's weight up - if he's working pretty well, and you do this very insistently, and you insist on density and mass - you can put a person on a set of very accurate Toledo scales, have him do this process for a few hours, put him back on the scales and find out his weight has gone up about thirty pounds.— L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to 9TH ACC - Havingness
In 1957, Hubbard claimed that he was contacted by physicists from a scientific congress in Boston: "They wanted to know if I had any proof I could offer that thought created matter". Hubbard said he gave them all his data about using Scientology's mental "mock-ups" to increase body weight, and reported "I got back a highly enthusiastic wire saying that my data, as sent to them, had been of great assistance." (Ability Congress, 2nd lecture, December 1957)
Scientologists (especially Volunteer Ministers) are taught to administer the "Touch Assist", a procedure designed by Hubbard to help heal illnesses or injuries. The Scientologist touches the person's body in a set manner, avoiding sexual areas, and asks the recipient of the process, who is lying or sitting still, to "Feel my finger". This is continued until the recipient states that he feels better about what was bothering him and looks more cheerful overall. The process is claimed to help restore the spiritual being's (thetan in Scientology terminology) ability to communicate with the affected area and thereby to speed healing and reduce mental trauma.
The touch assist is not to be used to treat headaches, however: "Do not do a Touch Assist on a person who has a headache. Research has shown that headaches are often the result of mental phenomena that a Touch Assist would be the incorrect handling for." (The Scientology Handbook, 1994 edition, p. 218)
It is probably the most well-known of all Scientology Assists, which also include the "Nerve Assist" and the "Unconscious Person Assist".
Scientology promises the ability to hone one's "theta perceptics" (senses of the thetan rather than the physical "meat body") and promises "Communication with the theta universe" with enhanced 'perceptics' such as "hunches, predictions, ESP at greater and lesser distances, communication with the dead, perception of the Supreme Being, etc." (Science of Survival, 50th anniversary edition, 2001, p. 576.)
Hubbard claims that humans have precisely 57 of these 'perceptics'. The Super Power Rundown is intended to amplify these latent abilities of the thetan by way of becoming hyper-aware of the physical "meat body". These 'perceptics' are:
Time, Sight; Taste, Color, Depth; Solidity (barriers); Relative sizes (external); Sound; Pitch; Tone; Volume; Rhythm; Smell; Touch (pressure, friction, heat or cold and oiliness); Personal emotion; Endocrine states; Awareness of awareness; Personal size; Organic sensation (including hunger); Heartbeat; Blood circulation; Cellular and bacterial position; Gravitic (self and other weights); Motion of self; Motion (exterior); Body position; Joint position; Internal temperature; External temperature; Balance; Muscular tension; Saline content of self (body); Fields/magnetic; Time track motion; Physical energy (personal weariness, etc.); Self-determinism; Moisture (self); Sound direction; Emotional state of other organs; Personal position on the tone scale; Affinity (self and others); Communication (self and others); Reality (self and others); Emotional state of groups; Compass direction; Level of consciousness; Pain; Perception of conclusions (past and present); Perception of computation (past and present); Perception of imagination (past and present); Perception of having perceived (past and present); Awareness of not knowing; Awareness of importance, unimportance; Awareness of others; Awareness of location and placement (masses, spaces and location itself); Perception of appetite; Kinesthesia.
The Church describes the Super Power Rundown as "A super fantastic, but confidential series of rundowns that can be done on anybody whether Dn Clear [Dianetics Clear] or not that puts the person into fantastic shape unleashing Super Power of a thetan. This means that puts Scientologists into a new realm of ability enabling them to create a new world." (Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, 1982 hardcover edition) The exact nature of these "Super Powers" have not yet been enumerated, at least to the public.
Scientology researcher Martin Hunt says that the Super Power Rundown is "expected to make planetary clearing and the expanding of all service organizations to the size of old Saint Hill a reality". This refers to a directive issued by the Church that their primary goal must be to expand the size of all Scientology service organizations to the size that Saint Hill was in the 1960s - in other words, more than 200 staff members in each organization.
The Super Power Building is currently under construction in Clearwater, Florida for the purpose of administering this rundown. However, it has been plagued with construction setbacks since its initial groundbreaking in 1998.
Telepathy and remote viewing
Two Scientologists, Hal Puthoff and Ingo Swann, researched remote viewing at Stanford Research Institute for the CIA Project Stargate in the 1970s. Most of the SRI team, including project director Puthoff, and the CIA's star "psychic spies", Price and Swann, were Scientologists, a fact that skeptic Martin Gardner noted disparagingly. Puthoff and Swann were of the "original" Operating Thetan (OT) VII level (the Church has since 'changed' OT VII from the level these two completed), and credited Scientology with their success in the CIA remote viewing program.
From the book What is Scientology?: "Can OTs read minds? ...to answer the question bluntly - yes, with varying degrees of ability". (First printing, 1978, p. 215)
Independent creation of perception
In Scientology 8-8008, Hubbard states that Scientology training can make one aware of one's ability to turn illusions into MEST reality, and that even a preclear is "capable of producing illusions sufficiently strong to be observable by others". Hubbard speaks of "rehabilitating" the preclear so that he "begins to recognize that his viewpoint is expanding and that he is becoming all-pervasive", and then goes on to say:
"He is above the level of energy, if one can use the term, on the same wavelength with all other beingness, a condition which does not permit differentiation. As he rehabilitates his abilities in independent creation, he can change this wavelength at will, and can go in or out of agreement with all other points of beingness. The matter of perceiving, then, becomes a matter entirely of self-choice.— L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008, 1990 edition, p. 157.
Cleared Theta Clear
Beyond even the powerful Operating Thetan levels comes "Cleared Theta Clear," a state which Hubbard describes this way:
A thetan who is completely rehabilitated and can do everything a thetan should do, such as move MEST and control others from a distance, or create his own universe; a person who is able to create his own universe or, living in the MEST universe is able to create illusions perceivable by others at will, to handle MEST universe objects without mechanical means and to have and feel no need of bodies or even the MEST universe to keep himself and his friends interested in existence.— L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008, p. 114 (1st ed), p. 151 (1990 ed.)
- The L. Ron Hubbard Congress Lectures Archived 2006-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
- Hubbard, Scientology: A History of Man, chapter 5.
- Dianetics, Scientology & Beyond by L. Ron Hubbard
- "Touch Assist". The Scientology Handbook. Retrieved 2006-10-22.
- Farley, Robert (2006-06-06). "Scientology nearly ready to unveil Super Power". St. Petersburg Times.
- Atack, Jon. "The Hubbard Intelligence Agency". Essays on scientology. Archived from the original on 2006-06-14.
- CST and the CIA Archived 2006-05-02 at the Wayback Machine, Church of Spiritual Technology
- Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008, 1990 edition, p. 155.
Lectures by Hubbard
- 3rd ACC. Lecture 35
- 9th ACC - Havingness
- Ability Congress, 2nd lecture, Washington, D.C., December 1957
- Hubbard, Scientology: A History of Man, 1952 edition, New York: Church of Scientology. ISBN 0-686-30784-4.
- Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 1992 hardcover edition.
- Hubbard, Understanding the E-meter.
- Hubbard, Narconon Communication & Perception Course 4a, 2004 edition. (pp. 447–482)