OT Powers: Jon Atack on Scientology's Promise to Make You Superhuman - 2013-06-15
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He now has a new edition of the book out, and on Saturdays he's helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
When L. Ron Hubbard introduced Dianetics in 1950, and then reorganized his movement as Scientology in 1952, the goal of his therapy was "clear" — a state that promised higher IQ, total recall, and immunity from disease. But it wasn't until 1966 that he said the first true clear had been produced, a man named John McMaster.
By then, Hubbard was proposing even higher states of being with even more superhuman abilities. He called these higher states "Operating Thetan" levels. Today, the highest state a Scientologist can achieve is OT VIII — and it takes years of expensive auditing, and something like $300,000 to attain. To outsiders, Scientologists usually deny that the OT levels bestow special powers on members, and some independent Scientologists tell us that these levels are just about "gaining confidence" or "knowing yourself."