Scientology Auditing & Training
When dealing with or listening to stories about Scientology, one inevitably runs into a slew of confusing terms and acronyms. Where exactly does an “OT” place on the Scientology scale of spiritual awareness? What about Clear? And what’s the difference between “auditing” and “training”? Is being “on course” the same as auditing? This page seeks to explain.
An Overview of Scientology’s Training and Auditing
Scientologists refer to all Scientology doctrine – both auditing and training – as “The Bridge”, or more precisely, “The Bridge to Total Freedom”. Hubbard laid out two ways to go up the Bridge, one being auditing, the other being training.
In very simplistic terms, auditing is when one receives Scientology counseling from an auditor (someone trained to deliver this counseling). There are many, many different types of auditing, and auditing may include past-life recall, e-metered confessionals, so-called spiritual awareness processing, and other procedures developed by Hubbard. An e-meter is often, but not always used in auditing.
Training refers to studying the theory of Scientology, and learning how to become an auditor, and thus auditing other people up the Bridge.
The Bridge is set up so that one side cannot significantly surpass the other. You cannot be a high-level auditor without receiving the high-level auditing yourself. And you can only get so far with auditing without doing the requisite training to match.
Editor’s note: This article uses the word “PC” on several occasions. A PC, or Pre-Clear, is a person who is receiving auditing. Confusingly enough, people receiving auditing are still called PCs even after they have passed the state of Clear. When one is solo-auditing, one is both the auditor and the PC.
What are the different levels one can attain by auditing?
At the very beginning levels, we have introductory processes such as Dianetic Book One auditing, TRs and Objectives, Life Repair, the and the Purification Rundown. The Purification Rundown (also known as the Purif), doesn’t use an e-meter, but is rather run as a sort of body detoxification program / drug detox. The Purif is a prerequisite to many of the mid-level Scientology processes. Read more about the purif here.
The mid-level Scientology auditing processes are called the Grades, the highest Grade being Grade IV. The Grade processes are mid-level Scientology e-metered procedures that supposedly deal with such fundamental issues as communication, sin, spiritual abilities, and past problems. Scientologists feel that these basic processes are fundamental to the progression of the Bridge. Critics feel that these Grades are part of a larger mechanism that slowly indoctrinates the PC, preparing his/her mind to be willing to accept the oddities of upper-level auditing.
After the Grades, Scientologists begin taking the courses that are supposed to make them go “Clear” (explained below). One first does New Era Dianetics auditing. If one does not go Clear on NED, they may do Expanded Dianetics, the Clear Certainty Rundown, or Grade 5. Those who do go Clear on NED can skip Grade 5, Grade 5A and Grade 6. The point is that around here somewhere, a state of Clear is supposed to be attained.
There has been much media hubbub revolving around this word, “Clear”. People seem uncertain whether Clear is a high or low level state. Clear is actually a very mid-level state, which is defined in Scientology as: “a being who no longer has his own reactive mind. A Clear is an unaberrated person an is rational in that he forms the best possible solutions he can on the data he has and from his viewpoint. The Clear has no engrams which can be restimulated to throw out the correctness of computation by entering hidden and false data.” In actuality, though they themselves may tell you otherwise, Clears don’t have any greater rational abilities than anyone else. Clear is the last step before beginning the OT levels.
There are a few more minor steps in here, but after Clear, one generally begins the route up the OT levels, beginning with OTI and OTII. OTIII is called the Wall of Fire, and can be read about here. Then OTIV.
Up until this point, the PC is being audited by someone else, an auditor. After this level, the PC will begin auditing himself – this is called solo-auditing. Beginning on OTV, Scientologists use the e-meter to do their own counseling. They hold the emeter cans in one hand, and mentally ask themselves questions from the prepared auditing lists. Then they read the e-meter’s response, and write everything down. Everything they write down is sent to the org to be checked.
OTV can only be done at Advanced Orgs (high-level churches). OTVI and OTVII can only be done at FLAG, Scientology’s Clearwater, Florida headquarters. OT8 can only be done on the Freewinds, the Scientology cruise ship which sails around the Caribbean.
Though it is rumored that OTIX – OTXV exist, they have not yet been released to the public. No one has done these levels. Currently, the highest level you can attain with auditing is OT8.
What are the different levels one can attain by training?
One begins training by taking such basic courses as the Pro TRs course, where one learns how to control his/her reactions, emotions and responses, and also to physically exert one’s will over others. The problem with TRs, critics say, is that they are quack ‘science’ at best, and at worst, they teach people to deny their natural emotional responses, disassociating them from their own feelings. Hubbard, on the other hand, says these skills are necessary for an auditor, so that the auditor will not react inappropriately to anything the PC may say. The TRs also teach you to physically force PCs to stay in session, and to not leave the room in the middle of an auditing procedure.
One then learns the use of the e-meter, and learns about Suppressive People, and how to deal with them. One also learns the basics of Hubbard’s “study technology”. The e-metering course is called Pro-Metering, and the PTS/SP course is where one studies Hubbard’s doctrines about “evil”. The Student Hat teaches the “study technology”. After this, training to be an auditor begins in earnest.
Auditors are classed from 0-12. Non-Sea Org members may train all the way up to Class VIII. Only Sea Org members may train from Class IX – Class XII.
How Scientologists classify themselves
Scientologists above a certain level often describe themselves or others by both their auditing and training levels. You may hear someone say, “She was OTIV Class VIII”, which means, as you now know, that that person has attained an OT 4 auditing level, and is trained as a Class 8 auditor.
You will rarely hear lower-level Scientologists referred to in this way. Generally as a rule, people do not start referring to rank until they have attained the state of Clear. “I’ve gone Clear”, “I’m a Clear”, “I’m Clear” are all different ways of saying the same thing.
You will almost never hear someone say, “I’m a Grade II, Class I”, probably because these levels are fairly low on the totem pole, and it’s not considered really worth mentioning. Instead, people will say, “I’ve done Grade II”, or “I’m on my Grades”.
Other auditing & training
There are some training and auditing procedures that can be done at almost any point on the Bridge, and are considered optional to one’s progress up the Bridge.
Training Courses Include: Case Supervisor training courses, where one learns to C/S (check and correct) the auditing sessions of others by reading and assessing their auditing folders; The Key to Life / Life Orientation Courses; the Scientology Minister Course; and the Philadelphia Doctorate Course.
Additional Auditing Procedures Include: L10, L11 and L12 (only available to Clear and above, and only delivered at FLAG); False Purpose Rundown; the Happiness Rundown and others.