Understanding Scientology, by Margery Wakefield - Next - Previous

Chapter 6

Grade 0 to Clear -- The Yellow Brick Road to Total Freedom

The E-meter is never wrong. It sees all. It knows all. It tells everything.
-- L. Ron Hubbard

A clear can be tested for any and all psychoses, neuroses, compulsions and repressions and can be examined for any autogenetic (self-generated) diseases referred to as psychosomatic ills. These tests confirm the clear to be entirely without such ills or aberrations.
-- L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health

Hanging on the wall of every Scientology organization around the world is a large chart, lettered in red ink, and boldly marked across the top: THE BRIDGE TO TOTAL FREEDOM. The chart lists the main courses available in Scientology, arranged in hierarchical sequence.

In the instructions at the bottom of the chart, Hubbard writes:

It is hard for Man in his present condition to even grasp that higher states of being exist. He had no literature about them, really, or any vocabulary for them.

Factually you've been traveling this universe a very long time without a map.

Now you've got one.

Below is a chart of the "processing levels" of Scientology. These are the levels through which a person will progress from first beginning in Scientology to achieving the celebrated state of "Clear."

Processing Levels of Scientology

LevelAbilities Gained
OT VIII Confidential
OT VII Confidential
OT VI Confidential
OT V Confidential
OT IV Confidential
OT III Confidential
OT II Confidential
OT I Confidential
CLEAR A being who no longer has his reactive mind
SOLO Freedom from dramatization and return of powers to act on own determinism
GRADE 4 (Abilities) Moving out of fixed conditions and gaining abilities to do new things
GRADE 3 (Upsets) Freedom from the upsets of the past and ability to face the future
GRADE 2 (Overts and Withholds) Relief from the hostilities and sufferings of life
GRADE 1 (Problems) Ability to recognize the source of problems and make them vanish
GRADE 0 (Communication) Ability to communicate freely with anyone on any subject
DIANETICS A healthy and happy human being
ARC STRAIGHTWIRE Knows he/she won't get any worse
OBJECTIVES In present time and able to control and put order in the environment

The lowest level of auditing in Scientology consists of what are called the "objective processes." These are often programmed for a newcomer to Scientology after he has completed the introductory course. The stated purpose of these drills is "to get the preclear more in touch with his environment (reality)." The hypnotic content of these drills, however, could indicate that they were conceived to do just the opposite.

One of the most frequently used of the "objectives" is a process called "Opening Procedure by Duplication," or, more familiarly, "OP Pro by Dup." In this process the preclear is taken into a room in which two objects are placed, usually on a table, several feet away from each other, so that the preclear has to walk to get from one to the other.

The commands of this drill are:

"Go over to the book."

"Look at it."

"Pick it up."

"What is its color"

"What is its temperature?"

"What is its weight?"

"Put it down in exactly the same place."

"Go over to the ashtray."

"Look at it."

"Pick it up."

"What is its color?"

"What is its temperature?"

"What is its weight?"

"Put it down in exactly the same place."

"Go over to the book..."


This drill may be done for several hours at a time, "until the preclear can do it without delay, without protest, without apathy, but with cheerfulness." (1)

Other examples of Objective processes include the commands:

"Spot some spots in your body," alternated with "Spot some spots in the room," and continued for at least an hour;

"Examine your chair," alternated with "Examine the floor," and continued for at least an hour;

"Where's your face," given continuously for at least an hour; and

"Start laughing," "Keep on laughing," "Laugh," and "Keep on laughing," given alternately for at least an hour. (2)

In another series of fifteen objective processes called the CCHs (abbreviation for the words control, communication and havingness, the last a Scientology word), a preclear is steered around the room for hours at a time with the commands:

"Look at that wall." "Thank you."

"Walk over to that wall." "Thank you."

"With the right hand, touch that wall." "Thank you."

"Turn around." "Thank you." (3)

In his book Creation of Human Ability, Hubbard acknowledges that some people might think these drills hypnotic. But in actuality, he states, these drills "run out" hypnosis. "(They) induce no trances. People who think so simply don't know much about hypnotism." (4)

In ARC Straightwire, the second level on "the Bridge," the emphasis is upon improving a person's ability to recall memories from the past. ARC is an acronym for "affinity," "reality," and "communication," which together equate to "understanding" in Scientology. The commands on this fairly innocuous level are:

"Recall something that was really real to you."

"Recall a time when you were in good communication with someone."

"Recall a time when you really liked someone."

"Recall a time you knew you understood someone." (5)

Dianetic auditing was originally prescribed in Scientology after a person had completed some "objectives" and ARC Straightwire, and before progressing onto the Grades. Currently, Dianetics is administered after a person has completed the grades.

Each Grade, from Zero to Four, isolates and addresses a different area of common life problems. On each grade there are hundreds of processes and commands, from which just a few examples will be given here.

On Grade Zero, the promised ability gained is an "ability to communicate freely to anyone on any subject." The commands: "What are you willing to talk to me about?" and "What would you like to tell me about that?" are given alternately and combined with other commands until the person has the promised revelation.

On Grade One, the focus is on problems, and the preclear will be asked questions like: "What problem could you confront?" and "What problem would you rather not confront?" until the person comes to realize that they "have the ability to recognize the source of problems and make them vanish."

On Grade Two, the preclear is grilled on questions such as:

"Tell me some things you think you should not have done to another;"

"Tell me what you've done to another that got you into trouble;"

"What have you done to another that you regret;" and

"What have you said to another that you wish you hadn't."

-- until he or she comes to realize that "I have attained relief from feelings of guilt or regret about past actions of mine, and do not feel I must keep secret anything that has happened."

On Grade Three, which addresses areas of past upset in life and the ability of the person to deal with change, the questions are:

"What do you want changed?"

"What do you want unchanged?"

The person is finished with this level when he feels he has "discovered through auditing the source of past upsets" and now understands and feels free of such upsets, and when he is able to face the future.

Grade Four deals with psychological strategies used by the person to make him right and others wrong. These are called "service facsimiles" in Scientology. The questions on this level are:

"In this lifetime what do you use to make others wrong?"

And then, for each answer given to that question, the following are asked:

"In this lifetime how would _________ make you right?"

"In this lifetime how would _________ make others wrong?"

"In this lifetime how would _________ help you escape domination?"

"In this lifetime how would _________ help you to dominate others?"

"In this lifetime how would _________ aid your survival?"

"In this lifetime how would _________ hinder the survival of others?"

When the person attests that he has been "released from fixed and destructive patterns of action and now feels free to do new things," he can go on to more advanced "processing" on the road to the state of "Clear" and above.

All levels above Grade Four are considered "confidential" within Scientology. The materials are carried about in locked briefcases chained to the preclear's arm with a dog leash. There is a great aura of secrecy and importance about these levels and the people who are on them.

On all lower levels in Scientology, the preclear is audited by another person, but on the secret upper levels he must audit himself, a skill acquired on the Solo Course which is a preparatory course for all upper levels.

On the Solo Course, Hubbard discloses the inner structure of the reactive mind. The core of the reactive mind, he explains, is called the "R6 bank." Surrounding it are the various engrams and locks which have been removed by earlier Dianetic and Grade auditing. The R6 bank is composed of what he calls "GPMs," or "Goals-Problems-Masses."

GPMs are electronic entities which the person has acquired through centuries of implanting. Each implant consists of electronic "charge" paired with verbal phrases which must be listed and audited in order to erase this part of the mind.

The "R6 bank" "has mass and weight and occupies a space roughly fifteen feet in front of the preclear," Hubbard reveals. And he continues, "When one stops to consider that none of this ever occurred to the psychiatrists, one wonders ... one wonders...." (6)

In order to audit on this grade, which is called Grade Six in Scientology, one asks oneself the following question while hooked up to the E-meter:

"What am I dramatizing?"

The person then marks down his answer, as well as its opposite on a list, then continues to ask himself the question until he can think of no more items. All the items must be in the form of nouns. So for example, a Grade Six list might look like this:

Girlness / Ungirlness

Smartness / Stupidness

Fatness / Thinness

Lateness / Earliness

Kindness / Meanness, etc.

It is widely believed that this level is dangerous, as you are dealing with the very core of the mind. It is, like the core of a nuclear reactor, "hot stuff." Hubbard stresses the danger of this level of auditing when he states in a bulletin, "Running a GPM badly can be quite deadly." (7)

The preclear is finished with this level "when he knows he is no longer dramatizing." The cost of this and the next level will be several thousand dollars.

The listing process on the Solo Course may go on for hundreds of hours, as the person maps out the phrases that he believes are contained in his reactive mind. The Scientologist on this level has by now a seriously endangered sense of reality. An example of this is a drill done on this level called TR 8-Q, a drill for Solo Auditor training.

In this drill the person is seated in a chair facing another chair on which an ashtray is placed. The drill is to train him or her to deliver thought into an object. He asks several questions of the ashtray, first verbally, then nonverbally, and then verbally but with nonverbal intention. The questions asked of the ashtray are:

"Are you an ashtray?"

"Are you made of glass?"

"Are you sitting there?"

"Are you a comer?" (asked of each comer of the ashtray) (8)

The voyage into unreality continues on the final course of the lower levels of Scientology, the Clearing Course. Attaining the level of Clear is a goal of every Scientologist, because, once Clear, he or she will be ready for the mysterious and exciting advanced levels of Scientology, called the OT levels (for "Operating Thetan"). On these levels the person will supposedly regain his long-lost powers of telepathy, telekinesis, etc., as well as the ability to travel at will outside his body, known in Scientology as "exteriorization."

On the Clearing Course, Hubbard gives the exact pattern of the core of the Reactive mind. It is:

Part A - The "7s"
Part B - The Basic End Words
Part C - The Confusion GPM
Part D - The Objects -- hollow
Part E - The Objects -- solid

Each set of these Parts A through E is called a "run," and there are ten runs to be completed in order to fully erase the reactive mind.

The preclear, seated at a table and hooked up to the E-meter, takes a series of prewritten lists by Hubbard and reads each item on the list to himself, watching the E-meter for "reads" (movement of the needle on the dial of the E-meter) as each item is read. He will continue each item until there are no more reactions on the E-meter.

Every so often he is given the instruction to "Spot the thetan," or "Spot the light," at which time he must look out in front of himself and "spot" a light in his "space."

Examples of the lists given in the "7's" are:

To be nobody - to be everybody
To be me - to be you
To be myself - to be others
To be an animal - to be animals
To be a body - to be bodies
To be matter - to be space
To be a spirit - to be spirits
To be a god - to be gods; then
To do nothing - to do everything
To do much - to do little
To do it all - to do not any
To do ambitiously - to do slightingly
To have nothing - to have everything
To have much - to have little
To have all - to have none
To have hugely - to have poorly
To stay everywhere - to stay nowhere
To stay here - to stay there
To stay near - to stay far
To stay up - to stay down

Why this particular procedure is called the "7s" is not known. In the next part of the Clearing process, the person is given another list of words by Hubbard which he must read off to himself while watching the E-meter for "reads." There are twenty-one items on this list:

The Now
The Past
The Future
The Time
The Space
The Motion
The Energy
The Masses
The Self
The Others
The Goal

To do Part C of the Clearing process, the person will add the prefaces "Creating to destroy..." and "Destroying to create..." to each of the twenty-one items of Part B. Again the person will audit himself on these new items with the E-meter.

In the fourth and fifth parts of the Clearing process, the person is given pictures of a series of objects, which include triangles, circles, squares, ellipses, tetrahedrons, boxes, cubes, eggs, prisms, etc. The person must visualize these objects either coming at him or moving away from him in space while he marks down the reactions on the E-meter.

The person must first visualize one of each of the given objects in front of him, then two objects to each side of his face, then three objects to his front and sides, and then four objects on each side and front and back.

It is a testament to the efficacy of the hypnotic conditioning and mind control in Scientology that thousands of Scientologists have spent hundreds of hours on these drills, blindly obeying Hubbard and disregarding any inner instincts warning them that they are engaged in the pursuit of folly.

The Scientologist will spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in this auditing, until such time as he has completed the "ten runs" necessary to "clear" him, or until he feels that his bank (reactive mind) has "blown." At that point he is checked on the E-meter by an "Examiner" to verify that he has, indeed, "gone Clear."

Hubbard once wrote out a sample advertisement for the state of "Clear":

Become a Scientology "Clear"
A Scientology "Clear" has:
  • Over 135 IQ
  • Creative imagination
  • Amazing vitality
  • Deep relaxation
  • Good memory
  • Strong will power
  • Radiant health
  • Magnetic personality
  • Good self-control
If you would like to have all these qualities
then look into Scientology.
Enquire today.

Today in Scientology organizations all over the world, Scientologists are sitting in small rooms, holding the two soup cans attached to their E-meter, and staring into space looking for the invisible objects which Hubbard has said are there.

Soon they will be "Clear."

And, if they have their way, so, one day, will you.


  1. Hubbard, Creation of Human Ability, p. 47
  2. Ibid, p. 269
  3. Hubbard, bulletin on CCH's 1-15
  4. Hubbard, Creation of Human Ability, p. 271
  5. Hubbard bulletin, "0-IV Expanded Grade Processes - Triples -- ARC Straightwire"
  6. Hubbard bulletin, "From the Inner Structure of the Mind", p. 2
  7. Hubbard bulletin, "Solo Auditing and R6 EW", p. 5
  8. Hubbard bulletin, "TR 84 Drill for Solo Auditor Training"

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