Scientology OT Levels

Reference: Scientology Grade Processes

There are eight OT Levels. These levels were researched and developed by Hubbard in the latter part of the sixties. These levels have been changed around a bit since their inception. I shall, therefore, be commenting on them in the order they were first issued. My focus shall be on what the OT Levels are all about and what techniques are used to handle it. 

The whole idea underlying the OT levels is to audit a person to bring him up to a point that he can be at cause knowingly and at will over thought, life, matter, energy, space and time, subjective and objective. When a person is fixated, he is not being cause knowingly and at will. Therefore,



OT Level I

The OT Level I comprises of closely observing bodies and tightly packed crowds, watching people and noticing various things about them, differentiating oneself from others, etc. The auditing technique is OBNOSIS (observing the obvious). A later version of OT Level I emphasized looking at upsets, problems etc., from the viewpoint of others.

Therefore, on OT level I, though not so specified, there is definitely an attempt to broaden the viewpoint of the person, so he is less fixated on himself.

Observing the obvious leads to the overcoming of fixations and a broadening of the viewpoint.


Clear and OT

On OT Level II one studies the Clearing Course Instruction booklet. At this time of development, the boundary between Clear and OT was blurred. A lot of work went into defining that boundary. It appears that,

A CLEAR is a person who has recognized that his reality is the product of his own considerations.

An OT is a person who can “mock up” and “as-is” any fixation on reality with equal ease. 

NOTE: To “as-is” a fixation means to see the fixation for what it is, at which point it ceases to be a fixation.

The Clearing Course techniques were very complex and required above average skills. Therefore, the Clearing Course was replaced when it was recognized that people could go Clear on Dianetics. However, these techniques were apparently retained on OT Level II. 


OT Level II

OT Level II uses the Clearing Course techniques. Using these techniques, the person looks at identities which he assumed, and acquired their goals. He then looks at identities that opposed those goals. He might have assumed these identities too. The auditing technique at this level allows a person to look at the “conditioning” that makes one oppose his own goals. In short, the person is looking at the possibility of being his own enemy.

Apparently, such conditioning is generated when a person uses unnecessary force to achieve his goals. A person need not use unnecessary force to achieve his goals when he is following the laws of nature. The use of force means that the person is ignorant of the laws of nature.

OT Level II attempts to clear up numerous permutations and combinations of basic concepts and their significances. It is basically a shot gun method to handle all possible reactions related to basic significances embedded in the psyche. It might find some success, but it takes a long time with the e-meter approach.

Apparently, spotting an e-meter read correctly is very important and critical in this technique, else you may get “trapped in the conditioning”. A fall in the e-meter needle indicates a reaction to some fixation. A floating needle on e-meter dial means freeing of some fixation. On OT Level II one goes over a significance again and again until there is no reaction. Floating needles may occur, but they are not given any importance. This is an anomaly.

What makes most sense about OT Level II is the following lesson:

Look at a situation from all points of view involved in that situation until it resolves. Don’t get fixated on your personal viewpoint.

I find Subject Clearing, without an e-meter, much easier and, probably, more effective in running significances of OT Level II. 


OT Level III

An “OT technique” was finally introduced at OT Level III. The new datum introduced was that a person is not a single being, but a composite being made of BODY THETANS (BTs). These BTs are to be audited, so that they become clear and go away to pick up their own bodies.

So, the pre-OT audits these BTs one by one through the earliest engrams called “Incidents I and II” to the state of Clear. Some BTs require Grade Chart auditing before these engrams can be run. Other BTs may be stuck together into clusters and need to be unstuck before they can be audited.

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, OT Level III became not only too long but it turned into “endless auditing”. The subsequent OT levels were developed to handle this problem. The inconsistency of OT Level III is that it is fixated on the first dynamic and does not expand the being on higher dynamics.

But the underlying effort on this level is to get rid of the fixations that have become part of the viewpoint, so that a being can expand on higher dynamics.

An example of this would be of getting rid of the first dynamic fixation on “eternal life”, to get back to expanding one’s goal to make this world a better place for everyone. 

The idea of expanding the person on all the dynamics is same as broadening the viewpoint to KNOW on the Know-to-Mystery scale. This requires acquisition of broader knowledge. This knowledge is to be found in the societies and cultures around the world, and not on the whole track. This is very possible today through Internet using the Subject Clearing process. 


OT Level IV

OT Level IV is about “freedom from uncertainty of self”. It follows OT Level III, which was about “freedom from overwhelm”. OT Level IV attempts to correct, rehabilitate, and stabilize earlier auditing levels, especially OT Levels II & III. Obviously, these earlier OT levels have been quite rough to run.

Hubbard’s theory is that the ultimate Clear state will be attained when the basic-basic engram on the whole track is erased from a person’s case. OT Level III takes the form of erasing “Incidents I & II” from each BT attached to the person. These incidents essentially involve thetans implanting each other heavily with all kinds of force. But underlying this theory is the implicit assumption that there existed an ideal CLEAR STATE before “Incidents I & II”.

Was there such an ideal state at the start of the universe? Did thetans in an ideal clear state implant each other just for fun? All we know is that this world, over millennia, has been undergoing evolution from minerals to plants to animals to humans. Before that there was raw energy condensing into galaxies, solar systems, planets and moons. This may be summarized as “order emerging out of chaos”. It seems that the farther you go back in time, the more chaos you will find.

There may not have been a CLEAR STATE at the beginning of the universe. We simply have to consolidate the evolution attained so far to evolve further.

We cannot endlessly keep going back on the track to find a Garden of Eden. The Fall of Man is the sum total of his doubts, perplexities and confusions on all dynamics. Once, a person has resolved his traumas, he simply need to resolve his confusions through continual acquisition of knowledge. Here Subject Clearing is the right procedure.


OT Level V

OT Level V is about “Freedom from fixated introversion into MEST”, but this level, like all earlier levels, is completely dependent on a MEST device called the e-meter. The dependency on a mechanical (conditioned) device for the freeing up of conditioned thought is definitely an inconsistency. In Scientology, this has led to desperate attempts like RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force), where a person is forced to work with MEST to his physical limit under stringent conditions.

Scientology is trying to handle introversion into MEST while being totally fixated on the “accuracy” of a MEST device called e-meter.

The rehabilitation of a person depends on resolving all fixations in his viewpoint. The effort throughout Scientology has been to “exteriorize the thetan from his body”, or to “resolve the fixation on the body”. When we consider “Freedom from fixated introversion into MEST”, it includes resolving the fixation on the e-meter that does not have much utility beyond the handling of traumas. See E-Meter and OT Auditing.

The correct direction is the clearing up of doubts, perplexities and confusions through the use of study and Subject Clearing.

NOTE: The original OT Level V was replaced by NOTs (New Era Dianetics for OTs), but that did not handle the inconsistency described above.


OT Level VI

The goal of original OT level VI was “Freedom from the inability to operate exterior.” It depended on going back to 1955 processes from the book CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY. The mid-fifties were a period when Hubbard was at the height of his intuitive faculties. His outline of Scientology as presented in THE PHOENIX LECTURES is a masterpiece.

But Hubbard could not fully differentiate the handling of traumas in Dianetics from broad handling of knowledge in Scientology. He kept going back to his original theory in Dianetics, which had some success in early fifties. That theory was based on the idea of a BASIC-BASIC—which is best represented by the fall of Man from the Garden of Eden (See OT Level IV above).

But traumas in humankind are few and recent. Beyond the traumas are doubts, perplexities and confusions only. There is no ultimate trauma that caused all of man’s ills. Hubbard kept looking for this ultimate trauma but failed. 

Freedom from the inability to operate exterior depends only on freeing the viewpoint from all its fixations.

NOTE: The original OT Level VI was replaced by NOTs (New Era Dianetics for OTs) which was basically an attempt to clean up OT Level III.


OT Level VII

The goal of the original OT Levels VII and VIII was “Freedom from inability to be totally free,” and at “Total cause as a being”.  The action at this level was later changed to going back to OT Level III type handling of BTs. This basically shows that OT levels went into a tailspin after OT Level III led to “endless auditing”.

It seems that solo auditing on OT levels turned into random auditing without any discipline, i. e. “self-auditing”. The cause of this is explained above as, (1) a flawed theory of “Fall of Man from the Garden of Eden,” and (2) total dependence on an unthinking device—E-meter.

The conclusion may be stated as,

There is no Garden of Eden to be restored. There are simply the gains from evolution to be consolidated.

Subject clearing is the current attempt to start rehabilitating the failure of OT levels.



On OT level VIII, Hubbard struggled with the question, “Why Thetans Mock Up?”

Well, Hubbard mocked up a theory that postulated that the universe started with an ideal scene from which a departure occurred. That departure was Hubbard’s basic-basic. Hubbard was unable to find his postulated basic-basic, and so his theory failed. There may not be such an ideal scene from which the universe started. The universe could simply be evolving toward an ideal scenepart of which is Man.

All we need to do is clean up the doubts, perplexities and confusions plaguing Man, while keeping the traumas resolved. That was the approach of Buddha.

Hubbard postulated that a fundamental separation between spiritual and physical characteristics existed. On this depended his concept of THETAN. But the spirit and body happen to be one integrated system. The spirit manifests itself as a VIEWPOINT and this viewpoint holds certain considerations. There is no thetan compulsively mocking up pictures.

A person is an integrated “physio-spiritual” system in which the state of awareness is represented by the VIEWPOINT.

Hubbard defines “power” as “the ability to hold a position in space”; and, therefore, according to him, a thetan must hold his position in space to be powerful. But that actually translates as the viewpoint becoming fixed; and a fixed viewpoint cannot think its way through situations. We need the individual to clean up all fixations from his considerations.

A person improves as fixations in his viewpoint are resolved.

Resolving of situations, anomalies, and confusions does not necessarily mean going back to some previously attained ideal scene. It could also lead to a new ideal scene that never existed before. This is evolution. It requires out of the box creative thinking and not a dependence on some existing viewpoint. The viewpoint itself must evolve and not merely “hold a position”.

There is no “salvation” back to some previous state. There is only evolution to higher states.

Hubbard never allowed anyone else in his organization to think creatively. He held fixedly on to his THETA-MEST theory and never questioned it. Scientology is currently “holding its position” and degenerating into a set of beliefs.

Total dependence on recall in auditing means there is no creative thinking and no evolution.

This rounds up OT Level 8.



The “OT technique” that Hubbard introduced at OT Level III was not based on a sound theory and, therefore, it failed. The few wins that one gets on OT Levels is through the resolution of cycles mishandled earlier on Hubbard’s previous techniques.

But Hubbard’s overall brilliance as a pioneer must be acknowledged without reservation. His research in Scientology has led to many new efforts to bring improvements in the field of mind and spirit.

Hubbard wanted to make an indelible impact in the field of both science and religion. I believe he has done so. It will be amply demonstrated as we go over all his research and consolidate the discoveries. For example, when we apply Hubbard’s discoveries in the field of Logic to his flawed THETA-MEST theory, it leads to great improvements in our understanding of this universe.

I thank Hubbard for his ample contributions to the field of Knowledge.


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  • vinaire  On February 15, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    NES (New Era Scientology) of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (LRH 2.0) commits the same two errors as Scientology.

    (1) Total dependence on an unthinking device—E-meter, and

    (2) a flawed theory of “Fall of Man from the Garden of Eden”.

    It even has an OT LEVEL IX with a creative “Incident 0” to explain the beginning of the universe. The Incident 0 follows the same fantastic pattern as the Incidents 1 and 2 discovered by the earlier Hubbard. It violates the datum that there is no fundamental separation between spiritual and physical characteristics of the universe.

    NES is faced with mystery of the creation of the PRIMARY CAUSE, just like any Western religion.


  • vinaire  On October 21, 2020 at 3:50 PM

    The difference between Scientology and Yoga is as follows:
    Scientology and Dianetics are trying to handle the earliest impressions in a person all the way down to the cellular level by attempting to discover them and bring them up to the awareness of the person. All kinds of tricks are used to reach these impressions that are buried beyond awareness.

    Yoga, on the other hands, ignores all impressions. Instead it makes concerted effort to touch that dimension beyond physicality, which is the basis of all life. When a person comes into contact with this dimension, everything about that person changes because the nature takes over. The whole physical and mental systems start to adjust and realign themselves according to the laws of nature at the deepest levels.

    Scientology approach works rapidly at the surface level, but then it stops. It cannot get to deeper levels as it does not have the reference point of all life. Yoga, on the other hand, goes straight to making contact with the very basis of all life.


  • vinaire  On September 5, 2022 at 5:55 PM

    The Ideal Scene of Man does not lie in the past. It lies in future evolution. There never was a Garden of Eden. Hubbard legitimized speculation through his flawed “OT Research” with an E-meter.


  • vinaire  On September 5, 2022 at 5:56 PM

    The MEST universe is not an agreed upon reality as asserted by Hubbard. It is simply what we perceive in our ignorance. The “physical” is just one dimension of the universe. Many people are very fixated on it.


  • vinaire  On September 5, 2022 at 5:58 PM

    The theta being (thetan) is an aspect of the body-mind system. It is not something separate and by itself.


  • vinaire  On September 5, 2022 at 5:59 PM

    There is no FAC 1 or BASIC-BASIC. The engram actually appears as a “set of anomalies” as awareness increases.


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