Going Clear by Dan Koon

Going Clear by Dan Koon

The subject of Clear seems to have erupted lately. It has been extensively described, hotly debated, passionately sought and overtly and covertly invalidated since its first mention by LRH more than sixty years ago. The significances attached to Clear are nearly limitless.

The definitions from the Tech Dictionary alone are fascinating. Here they are in part:  CLEAR, n. 1. a thetan who can be at cause knowingly and at will over mental matter, energy, space and time as regards the first dynamic (survival for self). The state of Clear is above the release grades (all of which are requisite to clearing) and is attained by completion of the Clearing Course at an Advanced Organization. (Scn AD) . . .  3. a Clear is not an all-knowing being. A Clear is somebody who has lost the mass, energy, space and time connected with the thing called mind. ( SH Spec 80, 6609C08) . . .  6. the name of a button on an adding machine. When you push it, all the hidden answers in the machine clear and the machine can be used for a propoer computation. So long as the button is not pressed the machine adds all old answers to all new  efforts to compute and wrong answers result. Really, that’s all a Clear is. Clears are beings who have been cleared of wrong answers or useless answers which keep them from living or thinking. (Aud 4 UK) . . .  10. a person who can have or not have at will anything in the universe. (5412CM06) . . . 12. one who has become the basic individual through auditing. (DTOT, p. 33)

In the ensuing 15 years after the release of Book One, LRH did more research and made further discoveries about Clear. In an article called The States of Existence, LRH wrote: “Release, for years, was mistaken for Clear and it was even called Clear. But time has revealed that Clear was far above anything one had dreamed of previously.”

He finalized the Clearing Course and people began enrolling on it and Solo auditing to the State of Clear. For many years afterward progress up the Bridge was more or less straightforward. By the early 1970s a person did the Drug Rundown, Dianetics  to case completion, Grades 0-4 (Expanded), Power, Power Plus, R6EW and the Clearing Course.

September 1978

This was an amazing month in one hell of a year for tech. LRH got very, very ill in the middle of shooting a tech film, EM-1, Man the Unfathomable, and we didn’t see him for weeks. We had no idea what happened, but within days, David Mayo had arrived from Flag and the first NOTs bulletins drifted into Qual, soon to be pulled back and made confidential even to those of us who were OT III. The List One Verification Project debacle blew sky high and was resolved, Super Power research was continuing, a new Int Rundown was written up and LRH, now recovered, capped the month with the announcement on Dianetic Clear.

In a game changing issue, HCOB 24 September 78, DIANETIC CLEAR, LRH wrote:

“The state of Clear can be achieved on Dianetics.

“I have now determined there is no such thing as Keyed-Out Clear. There is only a Dianetic Clear and he is a Clear.

The state of Dianetic Clear means the pc has erased his Dianetic case or mental  image pictures; he has attained the ability to be at cause over mental matter, energy, space and time on the First Dynamic.”

In November 1978 I was posted as a Cramming Officer in the Qual Div at WHQ, Scientology’s Winter Headquarters. I fired on an Obs Mission to PAC to gather data on the effect of the Dianetic Clear announcement. I did another one about 14 months later in January 1980. The difference in  data gathered on the two missions was dramatic. From the first, most of those coming in to attest to Clear were Power Releases who had stalled on the Bridge or preclears who had had many, many, many hours of Dianetics. By 1980 the demographic had switched to public who had little Dianetics, or even much Grade Chart auditing at all. Quite a large number were asserting “Natural Clear” after mention of the state by LRH, though in a recorded remark to a Tech Messenger around that time he said there were probably 4 on the entire planet. I don’t think that was ever made known.

Clearly, things were a mess. C/Ses didn’t know what they were doing and Snr C/S Int Office was little help in straightening out the scene. The initial handling was the DCSI, the Dianetic Clear Special Intensive. This was developed by LRH in conjunction with the then Snr C/S Int, David Mayo. The DCSI was followed years later by the Clear Certainty Rundown, which itself was revised several years later. A NOTs handling was developed for cases who had gotten onto OT levels but whose Clear status was still in doubt. Each of these actions was ordered or supervised or approved directly by LRH.

Clearly, the truth of Dianetic Clear was simple to state in an HCOB but not so simple to translate to the real world of cases. Maybe it could have been effectively resolved had all comm to LRH not been filtered by DM. With a choke point on the line there is no telling what was forwarded and whether it was colored in some way.

But reports of DM briefing staff in management orgs that “some of you didn’t make it” is a bold move, hubris-driven for sure. And off-origin in the extreme. One could say, tongue in cheek, that If anyone from Int Management should stand before staff making sweeping case evaluations wouldn’t it be Ray Mithoff, Senior C/S Int? Such is the current state of affairs in the Church of Scientology. It is a far cry from what LRH researched and discovered about the State of Clear and the developments he originated to ensure that people attained it.

I came into Scientology around the time that LRH discovered that auditing on the Grades had been quickied and initiated Expanded Grades. Back then life was simpler: the auditor ran every flow of every process on the Grade. You didn’t even bother checking it for a read. Undoubtedly some unreading flows were run, but what the hell, in the end the releases were always attained.


What the Grades were designed to do is begin the process of separating out the individual from his bank. Between the mid-50s and mid-60s LRH made numerous discoveries about the mechanisms in the mind that he isolated as the super barriers to living. At one time or another his research focused on communication, problems, overts and withholds, ARC Breaks and Service Facsimiles. When he isolated these as THE key aspects that had to be handled on any case, and in this order, processes were gathered from the past 10 years of research and assembled for use on each Grade.

As LRH explains in the filmed lectures studied on the Clearing Course (or on OT II Theory for those who went Clear on Dianetics), The lower release grades are like taking the locks off the pain and unconsciousness that lie at the foundation of the bank itself. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fabulous in themselves. Though they were not intended to be more than way stops on the road to a more permanent goal it’s awfully, awfully nice to experience a huge increase on the ability to connect with life via Communication (Grade 0); or to experience the tremendous havingness afforded by the game of CCHs, Help and Problems (Grade 1); or to feel an overwhelming sense of relief about the past, present and future (Grade 2); or–following the Awareness Levels corresponding to Grade 3: Energy, Adjustment, Body–to become aware of one’s body and miraculously separate out from it for a period of two weeks (my own biggest change on Grade 3); or, on Grade 4, to gain a perspective of a whole new world opening up with an attendant capacity for new experiences (Grade 4). I’m speaking here from my own experiences. Everybody has their own. And they are spectacular.

LRH wrote a lot about the states of release and Clear in 1965 which is when he sorted out everything in the previous 15 years of research. For instance, in HCOB  2 APRIL AD15, THE ROAD TO CLEAR, he stated:

“There are about 3 of 4 intensives to a Grade (pc) up to Grade V. That’s perhaps 15 to 20 25-hour intensives.”

(I throw that in there only as an LRH comment about the “new, faster Grades” being delivered at Flag right now.  And remember that back in those days an intensive was 25 hours, not 12 1/2, so that meant 75-100 hours per Grade. Totally gratuitous addition on my part but it needed to be said.)

After the locks come off you tackle the secondaries and engrams. Today that is handled on New Era Dianetics. In earlier years it was accomplished by Power Processing, Grades V and VA. Many people will rave endlessly about how mind blowing the Power Processes are.

After Power came Solo Auditor training and then a level that is a tremendous amount of fun, R6EW (Routine 6 End Words) where you, as a Solo Auditor, fish around and find the significances in the mind that keep the basic core of the reactive mind in restimulation. It’s a way to find all the things you’ve been dramatizing in your life and cool them off. For me, R6EW was the most fun I ever had in auditing.

Then, finally, you come to the Clearing Course.

On 5 August 1965 (the day I believe that LRH himself attained the State of Clear), he wrote a bulletin entitled RELEASE STAGES. In it he compared the Reactive Mind to a tiger and how following the Grade Chart enabled one to get rid of the tiger bit by bit, beginning with the whiskers and snarl and eventually vanquishing the tiger in its entirety, forever. To quote:

“To obtain FIRST STAGE RELEASE, one must have had lower grade auditing of some sort. This removes the locks (the distressful moments of life) of the Reactive Mind. As these pinned one to it, one can now get out of it.

“To obtain SECOND STAGE RELEASE one must have been run on the highest of the Power Processes. This gets rid of the secondaries (misemotions and upsets) and the engrams (moments of pain and unconsciousness). And as these pinned one to the Reactive Mind one can now move out of it and isn’t so likely to go back into it as he has no secondaries and engrams to call him back.

“To obtain THIRD STAGE RELEASE one has to tackle the beings, places and subjects one has long detested. And when these are gone one isn’t likely to be called back into the Reactive Mind very soon as bits of his daily life don’t remind him of beings, places and subjects he once detested.

“To obtain FOURTH STAGE RELEASE one has to take the lock end words off the R6 bank. He has to be an R6 auditor himself to  do this properly. With these gone, the R6 bank is left on its naked basics and one can be very free of it for quite a while.

“To obtain a FIFTH STAGE RELEASE, one has to have run out the whole remaining Reactive Mind. We are lucky to  have the combination to the vault as it’s been shut thoroughly for the trillions.”

The Clearing Course

Later, LRH either discovered or realized that some pcs had been attaining the end result of this fifth stage of release on Dianetics over the years and announced the fact in 1978. Those of us moving up the Bridge before then did the Clearing Course where we, as he says, ran out the whole remaining Reactive Mind. LRH likened the job of auditing on the CC to digging a ditch. You just went at it with your pick and shovel day in and day out week after week or month after month, depending on how many hours you were at it each day.

Some days you hit a rocky patch. A wave of heavy, heavy unconsciousness could seemingly arise from nowhere and swamp you making it literally impossible to continue. Of course, the way out was the way through and you’d pick yourself up, keep swinging that pick and keep going.  But when you were done for the day, LRH said to lay it all aside and get on with life.

After 6 or 7 weeks of several hours a day of this routine, I could no longer just lay it all aside when through with soloing for the day. My perception of the physical universe began to shift. I began to see what appeared to be “cracks” in the physical universe. Accompanying this was a sensation in the center of my chest that felt like incipient bliss. These perceptions were with me wherever I went, riding on the bus down to the AO to turn in my folder, walking around the streets in the neighborhood where I lived at the time, playing golf in Griffith Park (one area of my life that did not particularly improve with auditing), wherever I went and whatever I did, I knew something was happening. Or was going to happen. This went on day after day for about a week, at least.

Then one day I was in session, auditing along. I looked down at my platen (the sheets  that had LRH’s handwritten auditing instructions on them) to find the next item to audit and . . . (cue sound effect of something you didn’t know was there suddenly leaving).  Silence.  Followed by a realization, “Hey! —” Followed by 15 minutes of audible and inaudible chuckling. Followed by “End of Session!”

It took about 250 hours of solo auditing to reach that point, but what happened during that last week, and particularly that last session, told me that I had dug my ditch and finished the job. What happened at that end point wasn’t a thought or a signifiicance, it was an experience. I’ve since talked to others who did the CC about what happened with them and everyone seems to have a different response to the event. Some cried tears of joy. Some felt they were way above the Earth and could look down on any place they wanted. The core of the Reactive Mind may be identical, but everybody is different and has their own responses. That was mine and I truly wouldn’t even today trade it for anything. Because going Clear isn’t a thing. It has nothing to do with the physical universe.

Not that it didn’t have some manifestations in the physical universe. In 1955, LRH wrote an awareness scale. The highest level was “Aware of being aware,” and the next level down from that was “Awareness of an environment as sufficient communication.” Just sitting in a room listening to a roommate chomping on a carrot was sufficient communication to keep me thoroughly interested in life. Wild!

A short while later some old guy walked up to me on the street  and went on a rant about how come other young people couldn’t look happy and healthy and be standing up straight and moving confidently through life like I appeared to be? I thought this was hilarious on his part though I didn’t say so. I thanked him for the compliment and we continued on our separate ways. To myself, I was still the same knucklehead I always was. Except I was now a cleared knucklehead. And boy, did it feel great.

Economics and all that

Later on in his RELEASE STAGES bulletin, LRH wrote:

“Now understand, at each of these stages one has to go unrelease to make it to the next stage of release.
This requires guts–and faith. One is feeling GRAND. The world is beautiful. The unbrave get nervous at
the thought of diving back into the asphalt or, to keep our metaphor, about deliberately whistling up the
Tiger–‘Here Tiger! Here Tiger! Come out wherever you are!’ So a way is cooked up to avoid this further
combat is to pretend an upgrade in number of release without the hard work and scratches necessary
to honestly achieve it.

“Add to all this that one has a present time, and a body to receive the slings and  arrows and one sees
that it is a complex picture.”

In the early 80s, when prices for services went up 10% each month, this further complicated the picture. Those 15 to 20 intensives for the Grades, not to mention one’s NED, Power and the rest of it, really started to add up. I’m just guessing that some people insisting that they had achieved Clear earlier in auditing or in an earlier life were doing so out of economic considerations. Some SP at some point pushed the line that OT III was where the action was and some people bought the BS. The fact is that if someone is being well audited at the actual level of their case, it’s the greatest thing in the world regardless of where that is on the Bridge.

I realize that is written through my own filter of what it took me to make it to Clear. As a mission staff auditor and staff member, I paid nothing for all my auditing below Power but instead co-audited with others. Power on up to OT III was pretty cheap in the mid-1970s and I paid for most of it with my staff pay.

I also realize that C/Ses and tech people in SO management, myself included, did not do a smooth job of dealing with the aftermath of the Dianetic Clear announcement. Of course, looking through the 1965 bulletins covering the different stages of release and all the material of rehabilitating earlier releases from 1950 onwards, one can imagine some of things that went on in those days too. But for David Miscavige, as The COB, to make a blanket announcement to CLO staff members that some of them aren’t Clear is like using a shotgun to remove a flea from your dog’s tail. It removes the flea but everything else, too. It shows a new level of frustration or desperation on his part, another example of his misadministration. Even if he were right, what’s the point of announcing it to one and all? Making oneself right? Being the guy who’s going to save your case? It’s kind of creepy, actually.

The attributes LRH ascribed to the state mostly come from his early writings on Dianetics. He didn’t particularly expand or revise or clarify anything in light of his 1965 discoveries, which, along with 1950 and 1978 are the watershed years of his research. But when you see Clear being attacked it’s usually on the basis of some objective manifestation based on something written in 1950 to help get the movement off the ground. No one mentions a word about the research breakthroughs from 1965. (By the way, these bulletins are all available on Wikileaks. Search “Scientology.”)

However, none of that changes the fact that there is a State of Clear and it has been attained. And while the event is subjective nature that doesn’t mean it isn’t the most transformational experience imaginable. Perhaps that’s why it is so profound.

There are places on the Advanced Courses where LRH talks about having “gains  beyond your wildest dreams.” Well, for me, the Clearing Course was one of those times. I often dream about people  having similar gains to mine. What a world it would be.

Written by Dan Koon



  1. This is one incredibly awesome write up!
    “The fact is that if someone is being well audited at the actual level of their case, it’s the greatest thing in the world regardless of where that is on the Bridge.”
    I wholeheartedly agree with that statement and experienced that as an auditor AND preclear/pre-OT.
    I experienced it because as an auditor, I really didn’t care what the cost of auditing was…only that I delivered it 100% the way LRH expected me to, thus getting the wins my PC expected. But I audited in a time where crush regging wasn’t in fashion just yet. I also often regged the PCs I would audit and expected to deliver exactly what I was promising to that PC as a registrar.
    Being one of those last-lifers who did the CC and returned, I wasn’t quite sure what should be done this time around. Well, the Expanded Grades were the PERFECT fix for this lifetime! I spent hundreds of hours on them and wanted everything I could possibly get and everything LRH talked about from them. I wanted to run every single process. Money was no object because I was getting staff auditing from a Class 8 field auditor who got paid the same for auditing me as any other PC… and I made the auditing schedules too. So everybody got auditing, public AND staff! 🙂

    None of this is supposed to be about money anyway!

    Thank you so much for sharing this in such a Clear way!

  2. Silvia, I LOVE the new layout!

  3. […] Going Clear by Dan Koon The subject of Clear seems to have erupted lately. It has been extensively described, hotly debated, passionately sought and overtly and covertly invalidated since its first mention by LRH more than sixty years ago. The significances attached to Clear are nearly limitless. The definitions from the Tech Dictionary alone are fascinating. Here they are in part:  CLEAR, n. 1. a thetan who can be at cause knowingly and at will … Read More […]

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