Clear (Scientology)

In dianetics and Scientology, Clear is one of the major states practitioners strive to reach on their way up the Bridge to Total Freedom. The state of Clear is reached when a person becomes free of the influence of engrams, unwanted emotions or painful traumas not readily available to the conscious mind. Scientologists believe that human beings accumulate anxieties, psychosomatic illnesses, and aberration due to receiving engrams throughout their lives, and that by applying Dianetics, every single person can reach the state of Clear.[1]

A Clear is defined by the Church of Scientology as person who no longer has a "reactive mind", and is therefore free from the reactive mind's negative effects. A Clear is said to be "at cause over" (that is, in control of) their "mental energy" (their thoughts), and able to think clearly even when faced with the very situations that in earlier times caused them difficulty. The next level of spiritual development is that of an Operating Thetan. A person who has not reached a state of Clear is called a "pre-clear."[2]

Dianetics states that a person's awareness is influenced by the stimulus-response nature of the reactive mind. Achieving the state of Clear means a person has overcome the reactive mind and is in complete control of their analytical mind. According to Hubbard: "A Clear is a being who no longer has his own reactive mind, and therefore suffers none of the ill effects the reactive mind can cause. The Clear has no engrams which, when restimulated, throw out the correctness of his computations by entering hidden and false data."[3] Sociologist Roy Wallis noted, “Being Clear meant being able to do all those things which one could currently not do, and to which one aspired so desperately.”[4] It is estimated that the cost of reaching the Clear state in Scientology is $128,000.[5]

Clear (Scientology)
DescriptionA condition in which Scientologists say a person is free of the influence of unwanted emotions and memories of trauma
Early proponentsL. Ron Hubbard
Key textsHubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950)

The state of Clear

In Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, states that becoming a Clear strengthens a person's native individuality and creativity, and that a Clear is free with his emotions. In The State Of Clear, a Clear is defined as "a being who no longer has his own reactive mind, and therefore suffers none of the ill effects the reactive mind can cause".[6] Hubbard states that merely knowing what the cognition is does not have the effect of realizing it for oneself:

Now, we've known for a long time that a thetan made up his own bank (reactive mind), but telling him so didn't get him over it. And we've just found out again that telling him so didn't get him over it, too. Even when he's almost Clear. We say, "Hey, you're mocking it up," and he'd say, "Hey, am I mocking it up? Yeah, I am mocking it up." And he'll go Clear — pshew! — and he goes off that bottom step that isn't there, you know? And he's got to go back on and finish it up the way he should. It's got to be his cognition.[7]

Hubbard described Clears as having "an awareness which can create energy at will, and can handle and control, erase or re-create an analytical or reactive mind". Hubbard claimed that Clears have complete memories and know why events in their lives have happened, which leaves them free to pursue their goals without hindrances (the "reactive mind") emanating from past experiences. Religious scholar Pat Cook compared being "Clear" to the concept of nirvana in Zen Buddhism: like nirvana in Buddhism, Clear is a state of being that is highly desired and respected in Scientology.[8]

The Clear state is said to be achieved through the Scientology practice of auditing. A person undergoing auditing is called a "pre-clear", often abbreviated to "PC", in Scientology terminology. The Church of Scientology claims that if all individuals in the world were “Clear”, the world would be “free of drugs, war, pollution, crime, mental illness and other ills.”[9]

Steps after Clear

After attaining the state of Clear, a person may go on to study the Operating Thetan levels, which are described in Scientology materials as states where the ability to operate outside the body via "exteriorization" becomes commonplace. Beyond that comes "Cleared Theta Clear", which Hubbard describes this way:

A thetan who is completely rehabilitated and can do everything a thetan should do, such as move MEST [matter, energy, space, and time] and control others from a distance, or create his own universe; a person who is able to create his own universe or, living in the MEST universe is able to create illusions perceivable by others at will, to handle MEST universe objects without mechanical means and to have and feel no need of bodies or even the MEST universe to keep himself and his friends interested in existence.[10]

Early Clears

There are several conflicting accounts of who first attained the state of Clear, and under what circumstances. In August 1950, amidst the success of Dianetics, Hubbard held a demonstration in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium where he presented a young woman called Sonya Bianca (a pseudonym) to a large audience including many reporters and photographers as "the world's first Clear." However, despite Hubbard's claim that she had "full and perfect recall of every moment of her life", Bianca proved unable to answer questions from the audience testing her memory and analytical abilities, including the question of the color of Hubbard's tie. Hubbard explained Bianca's failure to display her promised powers of recall to the audience by saying that he had used the word "now" in calling her to the stage, and thus inadvertently froze her in "present time," which blocked her abilities.[11][12]

Later, in the late 1950s, Hubbard would claim that several people had reached the state of Clear by the time he presented Bianca as the world's first; these others, Hubbard said, he had successfully cleared in the late 1940s while working incognito in Hollywood posing as a swami.[13]

In 1966, Hubbard declared South African Scientologist John McMaster to be the first true Clear.[14][15] McMaster had joined Scientology around 1962, having experienced relief of chronic stomach pain after his first auditing session. He became a leading public spokesman for Scientology and later a member of the Sea Org. He left in November 1969, expressing continuing belief in the Scientology Tech, but disapproval of the way Scientology was managed.[12]

See also

  • Going Clear (disambiguation)


  1. ^ Goldstein, Laurie. "Defectors Say Church of Scientology Hides Abuse", The New York Times, March 6, 2010.
  2. ^ Bromley, David G. "Making Sense of Scientology", in James R. Lewis. Scientology. Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 92.
  3. ^ What is Scientology web site
  4. ^ Urban, Hugh B. (2011). The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion. Princeton University Press. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  5. ^ How Much Does Scientology Cost?
  6. ^ The State Of Clear: Catechism of Scientology official web site
  7. ^ Saint Hill Special Briefing Course lecture # 434, 26 July 1966
  8. ^ Cook, Pat (1971). "Scientology and Dianetics". The Journal of Education. 153 (4): 58–61. JSTOR 42773008.
  9. ^ Newport, John P. (1998). The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802844309.
  10. ^ Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008, p. 114 (1st ed.), p. 151 (1990 ed.)
  11. ^ Miller, Russell (1987). Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. ISBN 0-8050-0654-0.
  12. ^ a b Atack, Jon (1990). A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed. ISBN 0-8184-0499-X.
  13. ^ Hubbard, L. Ron (October 1958). The Story of Dianetics and Scientology, Lecture 18 (Speech). by 1947, I had achieved clearing.
  14. ^ Levy, Alan (1968-11-15). "Scientology". Life.
  15. ^ Michener, Wendy (1966-08-22). "Is This the Happiest Man in the World?". Maclean's.

Further reading

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Alex Gibney

Philip Alexander Gibney (; born October 23, 1953) is an American documentary film director and producer. In 2010, Esquire magazine said Gibney "is becoming the most important documentarian of our time".His works as director include Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (winner of three Emmys in 2015), We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (the winner of three primetime Emmy awards), Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (nominated in 2005 for Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature); Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (short-listed in 2011 for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature); Casino Jack and the United States of Money; and Taxi to the Dark Side (winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature), focusing on a taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed at Bagram Air Force Base in 2002.

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Going Clear

Going Clear may refer to:

Going Clear (book), a 2013 book on Scientology by Lawrence Wright

Going Clear (film), a 2015 documentary by Alex Gibney based on the book

Going Clear (book)

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief is a 2013 non-fiction book about Scientology written by Lawrence Wright.

The book contains interviews with current and former Scientologists, the histories of founder L. Ron Hubbard and current leader David Miscavige, and analysis of the relationships of Tom Cruise and John Travolta to the organization. In an interview with The New York Times Wright said that "There are a lot of people out there who were very high up in the church and know a lot about it who have become outspoken... I'm very lucky to come along at a time when a lot of these people are ready to talk". Wright also disclosed that he has received "innumerable" letters threatening legal action from lawyers representing Scientology and celebrities who belong to it. Wright spoke to two hundred current and former Scientologists for the book. It was originally published in the United Kingdom by Transworld but is now being published by Silvertail, which may be because of legal pressure from the Church.The title of the book, Going Clear, is in reference to a stage of spiritual development in Scientology. In Scientology parlance, "Clear" means a state of having freed oneself from "engrams", which members believe are "subconscious memories of past trauma". Scientologists go through therapy sessions called "auditing" as part of the process of becoming Clear.Wright had previously written a profile of former Scientologist Paul Haggis for The New Yorker.

Going Clear (film)

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a 2015 documentary film about Scientology. Directed by Alex Gibney and produced by HBO, it is based on Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (2013). The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It received widespread praise from critics and was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, winning three, including Best Documentary. It also received a 2015 Peabody Award and won a Best Documentary award from the Writers Guild of America.

The film deconstructs the church's claims by presenting a condensed history of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, examining how celebrities interact with the church, and highlighting the stories of a number of ex-members and of the abuse and exploitation that they described seeing and experiencing. The Church of Scientology responded vehemently to the film, complaining to film critics about their reviews and denouncing the filmmakers and their interviewees.

Going Clear was released in a limited number of theaters on March 13, 2015, and aired on HBO on March 29, 2015. It was a major ratings success and by mid-April 2015 had attracted 5.5 million viewers, making it the second most-watched HBO documentary in the past decade. It was subsequently released internationally, showing in theaters and on television despite a sustained campaign by the Church of Scientology to block its release.

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