OT Abilities (Oh, God, not *another* blog entry)

With Jeff Hawkins’ OT Abilities blog entry getting so much attention that Marty Rathbun felt he had to step in and do some damage control, I thought, what the hell, I’ll weigh in, too.

(Update: Jeff is keepin’ the pressure on with OT Abilities, Continued. Go Jeff!)

For those not familiar, “OT abilities” are the superhuman powers that Hubbard said would come with doing Scientology’s Operating Thetan levels. They include having out-of-body experiences at will, the ability to create and destroy universes, and complete control over MEST – Matter, Energy, Space and Time.

Do OT abilities exist?

I think that as we go through life, some really strange, often inexplicable stuff happens to us.

I also think that the human brain is an amazing organ, capable of creating some amazing effects and convincing itself of some pretty incredible things. However, it also has some severe limitations – and ironically, one limitation is its inability to accept that it has limitations.

But let’s go back to the amazing stuff the brain can do. And let’s start by throwing a ball.

It is possible to mathematically describe the path of a ball thrown through the air. If you know the size of the ball, the speed and angle at which it was thrown, and the prevailing winds, you can calculate exactly where the ball will land.

Or you can just stick your hand out and catch it.

So how is it that we can catch a ball? Are we all amazing mathematicians? Do we have a psychic ability that tells us where the ball will land? Is it an “OT ability?”

Of course not. Our eyes watch the ball, our brain works out the arc and tells our hands where to go to intercept the ball. It’s not psychic and it’s not magic — it’s simply one of the things our brain is hard-wired to do. And with a little practice, we can do it perfectly every time.

Standing up is another great example. Balancing a 6-foot 170-pound multi-jointed object on its narrow end is a difficult thing to do. And yet our brain constantly makes the minute adjustments necessary to compensate for our movements and maintain stability. An OT ability? Nope — it’s just part of being bipedal.

Catching a ball and standing up are truly amazing feats, and yet because they are so familiar, we hardly think about them. So why is it that when our bodies or minds pull off an amazing feat that we’re not familiar with, we rush to attribute it to the supernatural?

I think this has something to do with our culture of education. Learning has become such an integral part of the human experience that we even talk about natural abilities as learned, such as a baby “learning” to walk. A lot of this stuff is instinct, hard-wired into our brains, but we don’t see it that way.

So when we react in some unexpected way out of instinct – for example, when we have a sudden stressful event, like a car accident, and time seems to slow down, or when a dozen small hints too small to take conscious notice of suddenly coalesce into a notion that comes true, or when our mind simulates an experience so realistic that we are convinced it actually happened – we attribute it to something otherworldly.

It’s not. It’s just our brain – our amazing, spectacular brain – doing what it has evolved to do.

Now, I’m not saying that inexplicable stuff doesn’t happen; I’ve experienced it myself. But most of the time what we think is inexplicable – and I include “me” in that “we” – really does have an explanation. We simply don’t understand it.

The problem is that we have a hard time understanding that there are things we can’t understand. That, too, is hard-wired into our brains. Anyone of us can easily imagine a stack of 3 pennies or a stack of 10 pennies. But ask someone to visualize 10,000 pennies, or 300,000 pennies, or 33,487,562 pennies, and we just can’t do it. All we imagine is a huge stack of pennies. We’ve gone beyond the capacity of our brains.

And that doesn’t sit well with us. How is it that we can build magnificent cities, send human beings to the moon and back, catch a ball flying through the air, and yet we can’t accurately visualize a lousy hundred bucks’ worth of pennies?

So instead of simply accepting that there are some things our magnificent brains cannot handle, we invent solutions that fit the limits of our understanding: An omnipotent God. Psychic powers. Operating Thetan abilities.

I’ve wandered a bit from the original topic, so I’ll sum up: From what I have observed, Operating Thetan abilities don’t exist, in that there are no special abilities that people gain expressly and exclusively from Scientology’s upper levels.

So what about all the phenomenon that Scientologists describe as “OT phenomenon?” Are they delusional? No. They are simply experiencing the same phenomenon that other human beings experience, some real and some simply perceived, but all of it just outside of human understanding – not because they are simple, mind you, but because these things push the limits of what the human brain can comprehend.

And because L. Ron Hubbard conditioned them to credit all of their “gains” to Scientology – and because these people want to experience benefits from Scientology – and because these normal human experiences loosely fit the “gains” promise by Hubbard – they attribute them to “OT abilities.”


18 responses to “OT Abilities (Oh, God, not *another* blog entry)

  1. funny how they will boast the results of Admin Tech, Boast the results of Ethics Tech, boast the results of Student Tech and will not stop yapping like dogs about the purif.

    But then we have the stellar OT levels…oops…

    If Scn did ONE TV show that proved OT abilities, they would get about 500 Million Sign ups in less than 24 hours and become the most powerful religion on earth in less than a week.

    But they can’t, because they suck, and there are no results. Case closed, and no Scio can challenge that.

    I again state that if ANY INDEPENDENT or Scientologist can display OT Powers to me, I will have them paid $500,000 in 48 hours. Yawn, still no takers.

    Such suckers. Didn’t LRH say if you can’t deliver it when promised, then it is an Overt Product? Welcome to the world of Scientology.

    So Marty, at what OT level do we actually do more than think with our penis? At what amazing level, after millions of dollars do we finally evolve into a superior Human Being? Seen any Homo Novus of late? Didn’t think so, and it has been 60 years, God, hurry up would you?

  2. So the brain is not a “shock absorber” ???

  3. lurker(not the mostly)

    Wow, Jeff really nailed it, and it was exactly what I (as a wog) was complaining about from Martys blog. The constant moving of the goalposts of OT, the taking credit in OT for Beethovens symphonies (I think he was a wee bit before Lrons time), the “Oh you can’t comprehend because you are either A. a wog, B. not an OT (only us OTs have this, yet claiming long dead composers?) C. a horribly embittered SP who lost their abilities or lied about ever getting them (this is any OT that dares to mention they didn’t get the Superpowerz.)…

    I think he is right too, Scientology has to decide whether it wants to be a business or a religion, which screws it either way, because its not that great of a business model, and as a religion, you can’t charge people 500k to get to heaven…

    As you know, I am a christian, but I sometimes think I am a bad one. I see a lot of praising God for anything good, but you can’t blame him if something sucks…. I also see a lot of Christian sects who practice pretty heavy shunning, and rules (Amish for example)… Those sects don’t grow, and are actively losing members…

    I have even at times, wondered if religion is such a good thing. Dominionist Christians couldn’t care less about the environment (because they want to bring about the end of days), and often other religions that believe in reincarnation don’t put a lot of effort into THIS life, because they feel like they can fix it in the next…. I still believe in God, but sometimes I prefer to hang out with atheists because they seem to be more concerned about the here and now, and taking care of what we have…..

  4. lurker: Direct them to Isaiah 45:5. 🙂 It’s the most explicit explanation of what “monotheism” means in the Bible.

    Personally, I’m open-minded about some phenomena because there’s a lot about the brain and consciousness we don’t understand. Some of the quantum physics-based theories in this are interesting and while currently not sound they do have the possibility of filling in a lot of gaps.

    Quantum particles can get synchronized such that they effectively can instantly “communicate” their state over large distances in a manner not limited by the speed of light.

    Doesn’t mean I buy everything or think at all that Hubbard had any clue about it but I think there’s some wiggle room.

  5. lurker(not the mostly)

    lurker: Direct them to Isaiah 45:5. It’s the most explicit explanation of what “monotheism” means in the Bible.

    Gosh Special Frog, dontcha know? We Christians don’t bother with the OLD testament (its just so …. well…. Old!) we only read the new testament (unless we need a scathing fire and brimstone anti GAY speech)…. Sigh… I fear I am losing my religion sometimes… I love God, but his people are a pain in my ass….( its the politics of the religion that get to me, I am pretty cool with the 10 commandments even if I end up breaking a few of them)…

  6. Lurker, we look back on the ancient Greeks, with their multiple Gods and a temple in every house, and we think “How quaint.” In a thousand years (or maybe less), people will look back on us and our religious beliefs and think the same thing. And by then, we will have moved on to something else.

    Losing religion isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think a lot of people believe what they believe out of habit. Richard Dawkins wrote about this in The God Delusion – we believe what we are taught as kids, because that is our reality. Same thing happens with Scientology, by the way – and I think those who are born into it are a lot more likely to see how little sense it makes. When you read stories of ex-Scns coming out, be sure to pay attention to whether they joined as an adult or had parents who were Scns. You’ll see some patterns form, I’m sure.


  7. lurker: It’s okay. Christians don’t need to follow any of the Old Testament rules. But it’s considered a heresy to differentiate between the Old Testament and New Testament God. 🙂

  8. have fun with your brain! The genious shock absorber *looooooooool

  9. lurker(not the mostly)

    Now Marty explains Scientology like this “You ever hear the U2 song Stuck In a Moment? Goes something like this, “you’ve got to get yourself together, you got stuck in a moment and now you can’t get out of it.” Does that resonate with you? Well, Scientology is a pretty simple and effective method of getting you unstuck from those moments. And to me, that is the simplicity of it. ”

    Ok you brainiacs, how does this square with LRH… It seems to me that marty is backpeddling off the vaunted OT levels and powerz that LRH promised… How does he square that with calling LRH the true and only source, or is he really setting up his own Martyworld..

  10. lurker(not the mostly)

    btw, Ritalin has helped this ADD girl not to get “stuck in the moment” and let me tell you, it didnt cost 30k(what someone on jeffs blog said through OT4 cost him) or cost 500k…

  11. Has anyone seen Marty’s smalltalk on OT abilities?

    You got to laugh – this is the guy who tries to take credit for superpower – that quote “Unleashes the superpower of a thetan”. LOL

    What superpower would that be, Marty? Do tell…

    So let me get this straight Marty, an OT has no powers beyond a normal human being? Am I reading you right on that one buddy?

    The only parlor trick going on here is Marty’s dance for Scientology…and we all want a refund, it is lousy act.

    You see every time Scientologists get asked for a strange thing called “Evidence” from supposed programs, to supposed abilities or skill sets that Scientology apparently gives, there are no forthcoming answers.

    And yet, in every AO mag that Marty helped to edit, they spewed out thousands of tales of OT phenomenon, and so here we are today asking for the proof of all those claims.

    And none is coming forward. Because they do not exist.

    Marty is completely pathetic, and so are all the indis for that matter.

  12. Lurker,
    Now that you mention it, Marty consistently refers to song lyrics, books both fiction and non fiction, movies and music videos to ad emphasis to what ever point he is trying to make. Its as if Marty himself cant explain something so he will refer to someone else’s work or “artwork” in an attempt to make a parallel.
    It come across as somewhat lazy, and crass in my opinion, with all of the Rap and Hip-Hop videos he references.

  13. William Johnson

    You would think Marty would use his OT POWERZ to post the actual documents he like to quote. That is if he actually has them.

  14. OT powerzzzzzzzzzzzzz to gai are fiction.

    If you have to gain your OT powers, means you do not have ot powers now –
    OT ,being the spiritual being,
    is or os not.

    to me
    A spiritual being does not have a ”self” so doesn’t have any power or ability
    This is a scam from LRH to sell his stuff and the one carving for these powers are persuing an illusion and giving their freedom an money to buy an illusion.

    The zen masters used to say:

    ”If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him”

    Gaining powerzzzzzzzzzzzzzz or abilities has to do with mental and ego.

  15. Anyone hear about Marty giving dead people Kha-Khan status. Fat lot of good it does dead people. Another OT bites the dust due to cancer.

    $200,000 for fictional powers and $0.00 on medical checkups.

    Perhaps Marty will be next.

    And remember indi’s, cancer and HIV are only in your head…

  16. And what is all this ass-kissing about Richard for?

    He C/Sed to bankruptcy and complete delusion and insanity thousands of people. He should have his corpse hung up and hit with a god damn stick. And to top it off, he ensured his son (who I worked with) was trapped in the Cadet Org and became a cruel young messenger.

    What a fantastic fucking guy.

    Go fuck yourself, your death is well overdue.

  17. You know what is an idole Aaron???
    Scientology ca be of an idol
    Marty can be of an Idol
    LRH can be of an idol
    My own image in the mirror can be an idol

    My hate can be an idol
    My ressentment can be an idol

    Anything I hold to and do not want to let go is an idole
    and can’t be understood by another who bows to another idol

    Even my opinion can be an idol


  18. Yeah sure, but Richard was still as asshole…

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