A long conversation: Ariane Jackson talks to Roger Gonnet, 1996-1998
This is a new translation into English of the original French. New OT8 replaced the original course in 1986.
“When I look back, I wonder how I could ever have been so stupid as to let myself be manipulated in this way, to be so worried about ethics, to let them direct my life, to have lost my children for them, all of which I accepted to find that there was nothing at the end of the road. But if my experience can help other people to avoid making the same mistakes, it will not have been entirely in vain.”
Ariane Jackson, February 1998
Ariane Jackson was involved in Scientology for seventeen years and attained the highest available level, “New OT8, Truth Revealed”. She was also trained as a Class 6 auditor and studied the “technology” of Class 12. She was a staff member at Flag Service Organization, Inc., in Clearwater, Florida. Her husband was involved for twenty years, attained Clear, was trained as an auditor, and was also on staff. Her ex-husband [Albert Jaquier] was involved for fourteen years, attained “OT7, Cause over Life”, gave his fortune of several million dollars to Scientology, and died aged 59, within days of being audited at Flag! In December 1995 she and her husband approached the CoS and requested that steps be taken to repair the damage they had experienced as a result of their involvement. They were accused of attempted blackmail and extortion.
“Albert and I moved to Clearwater to be able to work intensively at receiving the auditing, to be free of distractions, to be able to follow the directions of the staff at Flag and to be available on a full-time basis to ensure that we did all we could to achieve the results. I went all the way to OT8 costing around $470,000, I did L Rundowns, I did almost 2 years of training as an auditor, I audited myself for 1,000 hours on OT7, I gave up the care of my children and more, so I could be more dedicated to Scientology. Albert went all the way to OT7, L’s, gave millions, gave donations, gave unsecured loans never repaid, and ultimately gave everything he had including his life.
“I came to Flag because in Geneva and in Paris, the orgs were not impressive, results were non-existent, few or downright bad. My ex-husband Jean-Francois Paris was convinced by “auditing” that he was Christ reincarnated and went around looking for his twelve disciples. He used to go to graveyards and speak with the spirits of the dead. He could not keep a job or support our children. Hubbard admitted that that this kind of situation occurred and said it was because the “tech” had been altered: “…in some local areas where verbal tech gets going and ethics is out, the quality sags. And there you have NCGs and slow pcs [preclear–person being audited] and failed cases.”
In other words if the courses they followed in places like Paris and Geneva failed to achieve the promised results because someone there had tampered with Hubbard’s “sacred scriptures” or had failed to apply the tech correctly. This supposedly is the only reason Scientology ever fails to produce the spectacular results promised and people do not become euphoric and claim to be “better” as a result of Scientology. The truth is that it did not work in their case. They did not achieve the results promised – the ability to control life and the physical universe with mental power alone, ESP, physical health and freedom from ever being sick, perfect memory, happiness, success in all areas of one’s life, prosperity, miracles, total freedom, and so on, and on. None of this happened.
Scientology was equally unable to resolve her marital problems. “My husband and I went through a total of four divorces and five marriages involving six children. To show this problem is not confined to us, a review of the marital experiences of all my ex-husbands and all their ex-wives gives the following statistics: six Scientologists were involved in nine divorces, eleven marriages and brought up thirteen children in broken homes. Of these six people only three are currently married; my husband and I are two of them. Only two marriages have survived and one of them is mine. (I have just heard that my 16 year old daughter, who is at the cult’s center in East Grinstead, England, is married!) This says something about the cult’s “technology” for resolving marital problems.”
Material success was also elusive: “During my involvement I was totally unable to achieve any success professionally. My ex-husband [Albert Jaquier] went from successful businessman and self-made millionaire pre-cult to a bankrupt with no career and physically incapable of working.”
Questions about OT8
Her account of her experience of “New OT8, Truth Revealed” takes the form of a long conversation with Roger Gonnet. Ariane talked freely and honestly. “You can put anything you want on the Internet; I have nothing to hide. My description is from memory but you will see that there is not a great deal to forget.”
Q1 What security checks were made before the course?
A1 Before beginning OT8 I underwent an enormous sec check at Flag. I was given the 3D sec check, the auditor’s sec check (because I was was a Class 6 auditor), and a tailor-made sec check. After all this I went through a B of I (Board of Investigation) with three ethics officers asking me questions. I felt like a criminal.
Q2 What kind of papers did you sign regarding confidentiality?
A2 The same papers that you sign before doing any of the other OT levels.
Q3 Were there searches during the course, if you went back to your cabin, for example?
A3 No, because on OT8 you have to ‘unplug’ your course and give it back to the security guard at the entrance of the course room. [Files are linked electronically to a security control so that no-one can remove a file from the work table.]
Q4 Any other information about the subject, such as price, number of hours, extra payments demanded before you could start, payments for FESs (Folder Error Summaries)?
A4 Before beginning OT8 I had to pay for the four intensive sec checks at Flag, plus another intensive on the boat before beginning OT8, plus the sec check that they do after you have finished OT 8. With the preliminaries and the FESs, OT 8 must have cost about $50,000 for one level.
Q5 Did you have access to your preclear or pre-OT folders? [from auditing]
A5 No. You don’t have access to any of your folders. The new OT8 is in two parts: A and B. Part A consists of drilling with the E-meter and other exercises defined in a CS/53 [see below]. This activity is supposed to find and “erase” mental trauma arising out of bad past auditing or life situations which could inhibit the auditing.
Q6 Were these drills done with auditing on the CS 53? Or were they done without auditing?
A6 In part A one has to repeat all the E-meter drills, correction lists and CS 53 with solo auditing before beginning the real OT8 auditing.
Q7 How do they justify taking you back to this lower level?
A7 Only that you have not yet finished the level.
Q8 Do you audit out BTs with CS 53?
A8 Yes. When I had audited my CS 53, everything was flat, so no new BTs. In part B you have to read “A History of Man” and check your comprehension very carefully, then you study and audit yourself solo on the New OT8. Quite!
Q9 What did you understand from that and its link with other old auditing? I can’t really see any reason to return to the clam and other Fac 1. This seems quite crazy and unrelated to the tech, a thing I did not expect to find in Hubbard’s progressive scheme. Did he explain it?
A9 You don’t audit yourself on the clams and all the evolution stuff. The only thing that you do in OT8 is to go back to your past auditing and ask yourself the question “true or false” when faced with the identities you came up with in auditing. For example, if you imagined that you had been Maupassant, you would then ask yourself the question: True or false.
Q10 Is this a kind of Listing and Nulling process which might help you to become aware of the absence of “identities” coming from lower levels, and which could therefore lead to the conclusion that those past lives did not exist?
A10 No. This is not Listing and Nulling. We had only to remember past identities that had come up in old sessions.
Q11 Is this supposed to handle BTs, or the identities of BTs, or simply to review lower level auditing sessions? If so, how can one verify from one’s own doubts?
A11 You are not allowed to look at your auditing folders to remind yourself of these identities. Some of the first people responsible for delivering OT8 were sent to the RPF for having suggested certain methods to the people they were supervising. Having no oral instructions we did not know what to do. The first thing was a CS 53. Then the CS instructions are to float a rud.
Q12 The ruds: are they on yourself or on supposed BTs? This looks quite daft, since your last involvement with ruds was OT2, or something of the sort, except on BTs.
A12 When you do the rudiments you ask if it is yourself or a BT or cluster. Put another way, you ask yourself if it is you yourself who is angry or if it is an attached BT who is angry. Here is an example from a genuine session, which I wrote down, since I had to write down everything that I did. I took the identity Beethoven, because I remembered believing I had been Beethoven in an auditing session. I looked at the E-meter I was connected to and I thought the question: True or false? to see if there was a reaction on the E-meter. Nothing happened. I thought “False” and the E-meter reacted. So I had not been Beethoven. I wrote: “Beethoven: true? X (no reaction). Beethoven: false? LF (long fall to F/N (floating needle, a sign that the action concerning Beethoven was finished and I was satisfied. Of all the identities checked on OT8 only one was confirmed. This is true.
Q13 Can you give us details of this identity and why it might be true technically or true according to your own judgment?
A13 No. You ask if the identity is true or false and if you get a reading then the identity is true. Nothing else. I was allowed to attest that I had finished when I had a major cognitition (a personal insight) on the subject of death. Previously I had been very frightened by the thought of death, a fear that earlier auditing sessions had done nothing to resolve. Doing OT8 I realised that I myself, as a being, would never die and that I was totally exterior, as Scientologists say
Q14 I suppose, perhaps wrongly, that you might very well have had the same insight on death and your immortality a dozen times already – one talks so often of previous lives! Did you get the impression that something radically different happened this time? that it was really different to the cogs you had already experienced in earlier auditing?
A14 No. The OT8 level really surprised me because everything was very vague, and I was not the only one to feel this.
Q15 Is it possible that this was a general cognition, or one specific to this level?
A15 I have no idea. My cog, which made me end the OT8 level, was on death, and I had a floating needle when I was with the examiner. So I was OT8, and when I went home I immediately fell ill. The cult boasts that its OT8s are considered to be demi-gods, so they must hide their problems and anomalies. In fact OT8s suffer from alcoholism, homosexuality (which Scientology considers a perverse and degrading activity practiced only by low-tone individuals with no human rights), extra-marital affairs, voyeurism, heart attacks, criminal activity and divorce.
I have studied a few individual cases and talked to them, and I became aware that I was by no means the only OT8 to have such problems.
Q16 Did you ever talk about being ill at this time to your C/S or a terminal?
A16 No, I did not mention it to the C/S. But shortly afterwards all the OT8s who had attested before the number 500 were called back urgently on to the ship because there had been an out-tech, which explained why so many of them were ill. I did not want to go back on board, but I was ordered to do so within 48 hours or have ethics problems. On the boat I made a list of reparations which consisted of a C/S 53. Back to Clearwater with an incredible headache. Frequently after that I such dreadful headaches during OT auditing sessions that I had to go and lie down.
Q17 Did they propose any other reparation or handling?
A17 Yes, the CS 53 that I should have gone to do on the boat.
Q18 Do you think that your illness was due to the false explanations and “indications” of the OT8 tech?
A18 For me it is a mystery. What I find interesting is that I did OT8 with three other people. I was the first to go home and fall ill. When they went home a week after me they also were ill, with a cold, flu, headaches and fever.
Q19 Did this reinforce or reveal other failings, as I saw myself many times in the case of people who had completed OT3 and NOTs? It is important. Do you think that Scientologists doing OT8 talk among themselves (perhaps without permission) about their progress, their cognitions, and so on?
A19 I cannot tell you. You know, OT8 was the super level. We were regarded as superior beings, so we hid our doubts and disbelief.
Q20 Have you seen any other reactions apart from those already mentioned?
A20 Yes. Did you know Véronique Pizzinat? When I came back to the boat I shared a cabin with her. She had been on Freewinds for at least three months to do her OT8 and was hallucinating. She wanted to borrow $10,000 for an intensive (auditing session), and she told me that with the powers she was going to get on reaching OT8 she could make $10,000 appear in front of the reg, just like that, but she wouldn’t do it because it would frighten him. I saw a lot of similar idiocies after people had done OT8.
Q21 Do you think that those who do not leave Scientology before they get to OT8 have had bad auditing at lower levels?
A21 It is difficult to answer this question. Maybe they are people who respond better to brain-washing, who do not think too much. One needs to be very courageous to leave Scientology and above all when you are well up the Bridge.
Q22 Or are they still trying to reach a standard that has never been resolved despite what Hubbard said.
Q23 Did you get the same impression of OT8 as earlier, when preclears or pre-OTs talked about their auditing; that they were afraid to speak frankly of their cogs, etc?
A23 Yes, I had that impression. When I did OT8 every morning we had to meet on the deck and talk about the cogs we had the previous day. I can confirm that for many of us it was not easy, or they had stupid insights, like having made it rain on the region when there had been no rain for several months.
Q24 Have you undergone, or seen other people undergo ethical handling before or during the OT8 process? Sec checks during auditing? People becoming ill during…
A24 Before beginning on OT8, on the ship, all the future OT8s go to see the ethics officer and if they think there is anything to handle before they start OT8, they do it then. There is another sec check before the actual start. You know, when I did OT8 we were very few, only 5 or 6.
Q25 Were there lists of repairs to be done by the auditors, instead of solo, for possible reversals, which were to be billed as extras?
A25 Yes, certainly. Véronique Pizzinat, wife of Dominique (now divorced) had to pay for several repair lists and hours of intensive auditing, as she got auditing from an auditor.
Q26 Have you any idea of the average time involved?
A26 For the theory, about a week. For the time taken by people to audit themselves, between one and two weeks. The number of pages of the theoretical part of OT8 – perhaps twenty. Every e-meter drill and repair list: 2 or 3 pages.
Q27 Taking into consideration all the things you have seen and lived through, do you really believe that Ron (or even Mayo) could have written something so much at odds with what went before? (I myself had expected that it would be another crazy thing like the Wall of Fire, or auditing the OT’s dreams with a new tech, or some other Hubbard or Mayo thing, but this search for false identities is unreal and contradicts all the previous techs. It suggests a source different from Hubbard or Mayo.)
A27 Difficult to say. The bulletins that I read on the OT8 course resembled Hubbard’s style. This is something you could ask Vaughn Young who worked with Hubbard.
Q28 Do you really believe that there are OT levels 9 to 15? Have you any idea when they might be? A28 I strongly doubt that they exist. OT8 saw the day ten years late and if we consider all the prerequisites needed to get to OT9, it is certainly more. I am certain that Miscavige has been trying to prepare an OT9 for several years but without success. >>
clams: in his ‘History of Man’ Hubbard famously explained that before this era we were clams.
cog, cognition: insight, realisation.
CS 53: a list of auditing ‘repairs’. It consists of numerous questions which one reads to see if they give a reaction on the E-meter, then one handles until the needle shows that the question has been cleared. This procedure is used in the lower levels of auditing, so it is very surprising to find it in OT8. A typical question: “In your previous sessions were you audited when you had a problem?”
BTs: body thetans, the alien beings that infest humans on this planet.
float a rud (rudiment): handle a situation on which one is focused.
RPF: Scientology’s gulag, a forced labour punishment camp.
SHSBC: Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, the biggest course in Scientology.