OT III Materials
Disclaimer: The OT3 materials are copyrighted by the Church of Scientology. We know that. In fact, we’re really, really, really sick of hearing about just how copyrighted they are. This page does not contain links to the actual OT3 materials, and does not contain any copyrighted material except that which is protected by the Fair Use clause. What you’ll find here is a synopsis of the OT3 basics in our own words, and a short discussion of how we feel about them.
If you’re dying to read the OT3 materials exactly as they were written, search for them online. There are plenty of places you can read them word for word. You can even read them in L. Ron Hubbard’s handwriting if it pleases you. To the Google mobile with you!
If there are any Scientology words in here you don’t get, take a look at the Simple Scientology Glossary on this site.
Anyway, on with the show.
What ARE the ‘OT3 materials’?
OT3 is one of major auditing steps in Scientology. Scientologists sometimes call it “The Wall of Fire”. All auditing up the point of OT3 is pretty laid-back, without too much weirdness. Even OTI and OTII are fairly boring as far as content goes. It takes years for a Scientologist to reach OT3.
When they finally do get to the point where they are ready to do OT3, they actually have to be invited to do the level. And before they’re allowed to look at the OT3 materials, they have to sign a waiver stating that they will never reveal the secrets of OT3 to anyone, and that they will not hold the CoS responsible for any emotional damage that may result from reading them. When they’ve finally jumped through all these hoops, they are led into a locked room and given a folder to read, which is said to contain some of the innermost secrets of Scientology. The contents of that folder are called the OT3 materials.
What do the OT3 materials say?
This may be really difficult for lower-level Scientologists to believe, but here goes: In the OT3 materials basically say that 75 million years ago, an evil being named Xenu decided to solve a population problem on his galactic colony by exiling a bunch of people to Earth. Xenu then did a ton of horrible things to these people, like drugging them, placing their bodies around a volcano, and blowing them up with H-bombs.
But that really only took care of the physical problem – Xenu didn’t just want the bodies gone, he wanted to make sure the ‘thetans’ (spirits / souls) of those people didn’t come back and reincarnate on his colony. So when the souls started leaving the bodies, he captured the souls and forced them into a huge implant station that was kind of like a movie theatre. There, he made them watch movies that ‘implanted’ them with false pictures of Christ, and other historical events that Hubbard says didn’t actually happen.
The souls were so screwed up from this implanting that they roamed aimlessly around Earth for millions of years. When human beings started evolving, the thetans started entering their bodies and inhabiting them, and thus these thetans are called ‘body thetans’. And body thetans, says Hubbard, are the source of all human misery.
But that’s just the theory portion of OT3. The practical portion of OT3 involves getting rid of these body thetans. The PC uses the Emeter to locate body thetans that are stuck to his body, and talk to them, auditing them until they blow (go away).
All subsequent OT levels after OT3 also deal with body thetans.
No, seriously. We’ve seen the evidence.
But if that’s true, why do ALL Scientologists deny that that’s what’s on OT3?
To be honest, we’re not totally sure why upper-level Scientologists insist on publicly denying the fact that the OT materials have anything to do with Xenu. I mean, c’mon guys. The cat is so totally out of the bag. I mean, the cat has been out of the bag so long that if you asked the cat about the bag, the cat would be like, “Oh, the BAG? That was forever ago.” And then the cat would roll its eyes and go back to being out of the bag. There are copies of the materials floating around in L. Ron Hubbard’s own handwriting, and let me tell ya, the guy had very distinctive handwriting.
But ESK believes the real reason for the denials is probably nothing more than severe group pressure. No Scientologist wants to be the first one to come out and say, “Yup. Xenu’s in there. Body thetans too. Deal with it.” Most likely because they’d be bringing all the wrath of hell down on themselves from CoS higher-ups, and they’d be declared on the spot and thrown out.
They can’t tell lower-level Scientologists what’s in OT3 – that’s a high crime, punishable by expulsion. And it’d be kind of weird to tell non-Scientologists one thing and tell Scientologists another, so the secrecy puts them in a bit of a pickle. They are essentially forced to lie.
Lower level Scientologists who have not yet reached OT3, however, deny it because they really, truly, factually, honestly, utterly don’t know. They’ve probably never even heard of Xenu or body thetans, or if they *have*, the only people they’ve ever heard about it from were non-Scientologists. Even if they are repeatedly told by strangers and non-Scientologists that Xenu is at the core of OT3, they think, “Well, that can’t be true. I’ve been in Scientology for years, and I’ve never heard mention of any ‘Xenu’. This guy’s not even a Scientologist – what does he know?”
Most lower-level Scientologists find reference to Xenu and aliens ridiculous, and they immediately think of it as obvious fallacy.
So what you end up with here is an entire society of people who will deny to the death that the OT3 materials contain any reference to Xenu – the higher-ups because they don’t want to get in trouble, and the lower-downs because they really don’t know about it.
Why are the materials so secret within the church?
Well, there’s the Scientologist answer to that question and the skeptical answer to that question. The Scientologist answer is that if you’re not spiritually ready to read the materials, and you look at them anyway, you could die, or at the very least, ruin your case (make yourself unable to have further Scientology auditing).
The skeptical answer is that if Scientology let people read those materials before they’re fully indoctrinated into the church’s ideology, they’ll leave.
How can anyone fall for that? Are these people all idiots?
No, they’re not idiots. They’re not idiots at all. A lot of OTs are really intelligent individuals. Please realize that by the time anyone is allowed to look at the OT3 materials, they’ve spent several years of their life in Scientology, and have spent tens of thousands of dollars on the CoS. Their friends and sometimes family are mostly, if not all, Scientologists. Everyone around them – people they love and trust – are often talking about how amazing the materials are, how life-changing they are, how brilliant it all is (without actually saying what’s in the materials, of course). That kind of environment can make anyone believe anything.
Not to mention the fact that if they reject the materials as false, they’ll be thrown out and separated from friends, family and loved ones.
The point has also been made that the OT3 materials aren’t any “weirder” than any other religion. We’ll leave the decision on that one up to you.
So that’s why critics and the media make fun of Scientology?
Well, yeah. You gotta admit, it’s kinda funny.
But personally, we at ESK think that making fun of Xenu all the time is really missing the point. If Scientologists want to believe in Xenu, they’re welcome to do so. What really ought to be criticized are the practices of Scientology management, such as physical abuse in the Sea Org, denial of basic medical services, disconnection, and other issues of malfeasance.