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Scientology/The state of Operating Thetan


I am given to understand that Scientology says, in at least one
place, that: "...The spirit alone can save or heal the body."

It would make sense that rehabilitating the spiritual abilities of
the being himself by doing the Operating Thetan courses and
levels would give one this ability.

And since he was the author and had done those levels and
courses himself, that L. Ron Hubbard would be the exemplar of
the highest attainment of these abilities.

Since L.Ron Hubbard died from a Cerebal Vascular Accident and
had the drug Vistaril in his body at the time of his death, as
recorded in the actual Coroner reports, death certificate and
toxicology screen available direct from the source in San Luis
Obispo, my question is: Why was L. Ron Hubbard not able to
save his body with his spiritual abilities?

I'd appreciate your candid answer.

Michael Tilse

Thank you for writing. I'm afraid this will be a bit long, as I want to be very clear about the issues you have mentioned.

First, how or when Ron passed away doens't strike me as relevant to whether Scientology is valid in my life or not.  For this reason, a preoccupation with such side issues doesn't seem to me to add to an understanding of the subject.  I am somewhat fascinated that some people (usually ones with no personal interest in the subject for themselves) find it an important issue.

"OT" Means "Operating Thetan," or that one is operating as a "thetan" or spiritual being, rather than as a body. "OT" does not mean "God" "Godlike," "Omnipotent" or "Omiscient." As one progresses in their education and development as an OT, they are expected to be more and more spiritual, more causative and less and less victimized by life; but for a person to be individually totally at cause over all matter, energy, space and time and yet be operating within the physical universe would be a contradiction in terms.

Physical "reality" as we know it is postulated by Scientology philosophy as being the product of agreement between all beings participating in it. As you and I and that guy over there must all agree on the existence of a tree in order for it to be "real," then in order to make the tree vanish, I would have to obtain your agreement and the other guy's agreement that the tree no longer existed, in order for the vanishment to be "real." So you see the problem.

In theory, no matter how "OT" someone gets, it could never be a given that he would possess essentially supernatural powers. By the same token, a person such as myself might no longer be subject to the ideas and agreements and emotional mindset that weaken one's immune system such that we are readily assailed by, say, colds. When it's "flu season," folks could be dropping like flies around me, yet I might not get sick. My operating state as an OT might be responsible for this. But if one is to participate in the game we refer to as the physical universe, then one must operate within it according to its rules. That which does not exist or operate according to the rules of physics would not be perceptible or comprehensible to human beings within the physical universe and so, by its terms could not be seen to exist. Do you follow this? In order to be seen and heard, Ron was obviously operating with a physical body. Therefore, we knew him.

What we know of Ron in this reality is an ordinary, garden variety human physical body, with its own genetic quirks, strengths and weaknesses, which Ron used pedal-to-the-metal 'round the clock for 76 years, if you're at all familiar with his biobraphy. No one who ever knew him could keep up with his prodigious energy and productivity. I think he wore the poor thing out.

Physics dictates the eventual decay of physical forms. There is no such thing as physical permanence. There is persistence, but not permanence. If one has a physical body, it will not be permanent. If it were, it would not operate according to physical laws and so by definition would not exist within the confines of the physical universe. Ron's physical body was not permanent, and it decayed and eventually, it failed. The laws of physical existence dictate this would be the case.

The value of Scientology is not in Ron, but in the teachings. No one should ever be a Scientologist because of the force or weight of another's personality, but only because of his own personal certainty on his own experience.  I'm continually amazed at the stuff he wrote and spoke, but never placed him on a pedestal. No one should have ever done that, but some did. People adhere to Scientology because they find the precepts, principles and teachings invaluable and indispensible in their lives for purely practical purposes. That the teachings do not result in Goghood, superhero status or magic is neither surprising nor important.  The Founder was mortal.  Well, he always said he was a man as others are men.

Yes, Ron died of a stroke. More than one, actually. After the first stroke, I understand his body to have been essentially debilitated, not useful for perceiving, speaking or moving about. There was likely some amount of physical pain and restiveness being exhibited by an otherwise unresponsive body. Ron may, by that time, have vacated the body. I don't know. I wasn't there. Ron himself, in more than one publication, stated that in cases of extreme physical pain or agitation, it might be necessary to administer a mild sedative in order to give the person the opportunity to rest and, for want of a better term, collect themselves so that they could be mentally present and available to be helped. He even mentioned morphine could be useful for this purpose.

My mother, also an OT, died of a stroke in a hospital. My perception was that she was absent from her body after the stroke, but well before body death was declared. If I have a debilitating stroke and have anything to say about it, I ain't hangin' around, either.

According to, Vistaril (Hydroxyzene) "is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties that is used to treat allergic reactions. Histamine is released by the body during several types of allergic reactions and -- to a lesser extent -- during some viral infections, such as the common cold. When histamine binds to its receptors on cells, it causes changes within the cells that lead to sneezing, itching, and increased mucus production. Antihistamines compete with histamine for cell receptors; however, when they bind to the receptors they do not stimulate the cells. In addition, they prevent histamine from binding and stimulating the cells. After ingestion, the molecule of hydroxyzine is changed slightly, and this changed hydroxyzine that also binds to cells. (This changed hydroxyzine-called an active metabolite--is cetirizine (Zyrtec), which is now an FDA- approved drug.) Though both hydroxyzine and cetirizine act as antihistamines, hydroxyzine causes sedation as a side effect, and cetirizine does not. Hydroxyzine was originally approved by the FDA in 1957." I assume it's gotta be a first cousin to Benadryl, (Diphenhydramine) because its biological action sounds identical. We use Bendryl on dogs to control itching and to calm them for travel.

The drug may have been administered for its sedative effect after the first stroke. This may have been with Ron's prior permission, or because he was in no condition to object. I don't know.

I don't know if Ron reached the top levels of OT. No one does.  Therefore, I don't know if it is appropriate to place any store in his physical course as being at all indicative of what being OT means to longevity, physical health or the ability to magically accomplish feats inconsistent with the fact of operating with a physical body.

All that said, NONE OF IT is relevant to whether Scientology works for you, or for me, or that guy over there, or not. If it works, it is worth attention. If it works better than anything else one has tried, it's worth a LOT of attention. If it doesn't work, it deserves to be ignored. If it clarifies the entire field of comparative religion and philosophy one has studied, and is helpful in handling life's upsets, raising kids, succeeding in a career, resolving conflicts and solving problems, and gives one a peace, insight and clarity of vision that one's peers envy, then it is valuable indeed. That is how I find it. I wouldn't care if I were to learn tomorrow it was developed by psychotic Martians with AIDS. I have proved its principles in my life.

I hope this was not too long-winded, and has been of assistance to you. Forgive any typos.


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Laurie Hamilton


I am able to answer questions regarding Scientology practices and procedures, religious philosophy, donations, religious rites, management, administrative and staff matters.


I am a second generation Scientologist whose parents began in Dianetics in 1950 and studied directly with L. Ron Hubbard. I have been personally active in the church for 44 years, have eleven years former staff experience in both technical and administrative areas, and extensive technical and administative training and counseling. I am "clear" and "OT." I come from an extended family of many religions, but my spouse and children are Scientologists, as are my siblings and their spouses, several cousins, nieces, nephews, an aunt, and an uncle. Between us we have had every good and bad experience one might go through in the church at every level.

International Association of Scientologists

Over six thousand hours of Scientology technical and administrative training. Fully qualified/certified for fourteen different organizational job descriptions. Ordained minister. Independent study of numerous religions.

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