ESMB has entered archive mode. All posts and threads that were available to the general public are still readable. The board is still searchable. 

Thank you all for your participation and readership over the last 12 years.

If you want to join in the conversation, please join the new ESMB Redux at

Vinaire's Story

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by Vinaire, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

  2. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    Thank you all for your encouragement. I may write more in addition to what I wrote last time.

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 11/26/02 4:40 PM]

    I went through the Training Routines (called TRs 0 – 4) quickly and thought I had completed the course, when the course supervisor told me that the first round was merely to get some familiarity with the drills. Now I must sit down and do them for real. For example, I was required to do TR0 (the confronting drill) for 2 hours without moving or doing anything except BEING THERE.

    That was tough, but I did it and that really got me involved in the course. I became less shy. I particularly liked “bull baiting.” BULLBAITING was a term that had to do with BUTTONS in a person. BUTTONS were actions or phrases to which the person reacted willy-nilly in a stimulus-response fashion. To get some reality on BUTTONS you may notice that the subjects that become taboo in a society happen to have many such buttons. The society handles such buttons simply by avoiding them. For example, you are not supposed to discuss religion and politics in a polite gathering, as it, more often than not, leads to heated discussions.

    In all subsequent drills after TR0, the student was first allowed to do the drill with his twin simply helping him along. When a student acquired a reasonable mastery on a drill, the gradient of difficulty was increased. Now the twin was supposed to distract the student from doing the drill by subtly throwing in actions and phrases to which the student might react. It was to be done on a gradient and never to overwhelm the student. The requirement was to find the BUTTONS to which the student reacted, and then to keep on feeding that button again and again exactly in the same way until the button was flat (the student stopped reacting to it). Then you found another button and flattened it the same way. You never introduced a new button until the existing button was flat. You never introduced a button that overwhelmed the student. The purpose of the drill was to be kept in mind at all times. The idea was to help the student do the drill exactly in spite of distractions that may commonly be encountered in an auditing session.

    I still remember a funny incident. I was coaching a student on TR3 as his twin. The drill was to repeat a question until you got the answer to it. The question used for the drill was, DO BIRDS FLY? The student was a thin, young man with thick spectacles. He was very shy. He mostly stayed by himself. I suspected that he was so introverted because of drugs. He was asking me, “DO BIRDS FLY?” and I would sometimes answer the question (which he was supposed to acknowledge), and other times I would say something to throw him off, such as, “You should know that.” (to which he was supposed to repeat the question).

    I was bull baiting this student as his coach. I was acting out as a bird by flapping my arms and so on, but I could not get him to react much. He kept on going like a machine. So, I knew there was something not right about him. Once, in answer to his question I said, “Let me show you how birds fly.” I picked up his two arms by the forefingers on his hand and started to flap them. Still there was no reaction. But, then when I let go off of his fingers, he kept on flapping his arms while his face was totally serious and his mouth was asking me the question. It was the most amazing sight I saw. I could not laugh or cry. For a moment I just sat there with my mouth open.

    I was on this course for several weeks and was enjoying it. I was observing all kind of human phenomenon that one normally does not encounter in a social setting. But then something happened and I didn’t feel like continuing with the course. My attention went back on my condition. I got depressed. And I stopped going to the course.

  3. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Your picture is freaking me out, Vinaire.

    The way the light shines so brightly on your forehead, and the way your eyes penetrate through your glasses. It's like you can see right through my soul!

    It produces a wild, animal reaction in me!

    Stop staring at me!!!
  4. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    I'm struck by the similarities between Vinny's 'avatar' and mine; as far as eyes and brow-glow go...

    Naturally, he's doing more grinning, and, he doesn't have a volcano (with or without H-Bomb) but, still...

    Separated at Birth?

  5. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

  6. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 11/27/02 1:36 PM]

    I soon found out that I had “blown” from the course, and that I needed “ethics handling.” I was called back to the Cambridge Center. This was my first encounter with Scientology ethics.

    The Ethics officer was a lady in her late twenties who has recently completed her OT levels. Other staff appeared to be in awe of her. This was the first time I heard of these OT levels. To me OT was probably like being a Yogi, except that the yogis in India led the life of a hermit.

    I was quite respectful of the OT status when I met the Ethics Officer (EO). She sat down with me and explained to me the definitions and phenomena of “overts” and “withholds” (O/Ws). Overt was something you did (or failed to do) that resulted in some harm. Withhold was being secretive about it. She asked me to write down all my O/Ws for her as part of the ethics handling.

    Nobody had ever asked me to do anything like this. The idea was to “cleanse oneself.” I could see its benefit. I sat down and wrote some things that were bothering me, and then took the sheet to the EO. She was very polite and nice. She read what I had written and then looked at me. “You have more O/Ws to write, don’t you? Go and write all of them down.” I was in awe. “How did she know?” I asked myself. “No wonder she is an OT. She can look straight through me.”

    This time I took a bit longer and wrote more O/Ws. I felt better while writing these O/Ws because I could explain to myself why I did those things, and no longer was there any need to feel guilty or ashamed about my actions. I wrote down those explanations too. But when I took them back to the EO she was still not satisfied. I learnt about what justification meant. For each incident that I recalled, I was supposed to write down WHEN, WHERE, WHAT and WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT in a systematic manner. I was supposed to write down all the O/Ws as far back as I could remember.

    Boy, it was a much tougher challenge than I thought. So, I gritted my teeth and went back to it. I think it took me more than a day. As I wrote down all the transgressions that I had ever committed I felt weight lifting off my chest. “Now it is past, done with, I have learnt my lessons, it is off my chest, and it is no longer a secret that I have to keep.” I thought, “Good riddance.” When I went back to the EO, I handed her a thick sheaf of papers. She smiled at me and then asked me to pick up the cans of an E-meter.
  7. rifleman56

    rifleman56 Patron

    Vinaire, your story is bringing back a lot of memories. Please continue.
  8. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Don't rush him, rifleman. It takes a lot of time to cut and paste. :)

  9. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

  10. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 11/28/02 9:02 AM]

    I had come to know about this device called an E-meter on my earlier visits, but it was the first time that I found myself connected to it. Being an engineer it was easy for me to understand that the E-meter was a Wheatstone Bridge. The person holding the “cans” made the fourth resistor in that electric circuit. A needle on a dial reflected the resistance offered by the body as compared to other resistors in the circuit. A similar circuit is used in a Lie-detector. However, the needle motion of the E-meter was made to be highly sensitive to the slightest changes in the resistance of the body.

    I wanted the function of the E-meter to be explained to me. The EO gave me a demonstration called a “Pinch Test.” She pinched me on my arm while I watched the E-meter dial. The needle suddenly dipped to the right as I felt the pain. She started to talk about other things. A minute or so later she directed my attention back to the E-meter dial and asked me to recall the pinch on my arm. The needle suddenly dipped to the right again but not as sharply as when I was pinched. I then learnt that a person thinking emotionally charged thoughts translated into suddenly dipping motion of the needle. Such needle reactions were used to track down emotionally charged thoughts in a person’s mind. Such thoughts were not necessarily lies. Such thoughts were simply charged with pain and emotion when recalled.

    The EO then turned the E-meter dial toward herself so that I could not see it. She went through the sheaf of papers on which I had listed all my O/Ws that I could think of. I had come pretty clean but I knew I had assiduously avoided writing down about this one incident when I was 12, which I felt most ashamed of. Nobody ever had to know about it. It won’t do any good telling it anybody.

    The EO then looked at me. She made sure that I was holding the cans properly, and that the sensitivity on the E-meter was set correctly. She asked me if I was still holding something back and then she looked at the needle on the dial. I cringed mentally. I could not see the needle and I hoped that the needle would not react. But the worst of my fears were realized. My mental reaction was exposed on the E-meter. She looked at me and waited for my response. And I spurted out the incident when I was 12 with my face all red.

    But that’s all the courage it took. The EO simply smiled and said, “Thank you. That is all.” And I was suddenly washed with an immense feeling of relief. It was over. I felt almost giddy with relief.

    But then I was then told that I was required to go at a street corner and distribute Dianetics fliers to make amends what I had done in the past. I was mortified. I could not imagine me, a student on MIT’s graduate program, distributing any kind of fliers at a street corner. It directly hurt my status.

  11. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 11/29/02 8:55 PM]

    The idea of me distributing leaflets at a street corner did not fit with the image I had of myself. I had always strived to meet the expectations of my parents by being a straight-A student. In spite of my physical condition I was able to maintain A’s in all subjects during my first semester at M.I.T. To be distributing strange fliers at a street corner was way below my dignity. What if somebody from M.I.T. saw me doing this strange thing? I was at first horrified at this thought.

    But somewhere buried within me was a streak of rebellion that surged now and then. I was always a very obedient son as was required by my culture. I used to get praised for that by my relatives. But I had also felt a growing feeling of suffocation within me. Once there was an incident when, in India, we were all sitting at the dinner table and my father tried to micromanage something simple that I was doing. All of a sudden something snapped, and I told my father not to interfere and that I was capable of thinking for myself. He was stunned and so was everyone else at the table. Nobody opposed my father. I left the table very surprised at my own self. It was like committing an OVERT. I went to my room. Nobody followed me. I was a near adult.

    It created a great mental turmoil for me. I sat down at my desk and wrote the following poem:


    Is a jigsaw puzzle,
    Made of a number of pieces
    There are pieces -
    Oblong, and
    Of all sort of weird shapes.
    It is time's gradual task
    To fit them together
    Right pieces at right places.

    As a jigsaw puzzle,
    Am scattered all around.
    Whatever is assembled,
    Is forced into places
    By inhibiting forces
    Which shielded my eyes
    With an affectionate but strict hand
    Assuming me to be
    Too young and incapable
    Even to recognize those pieces.

    I was not misjudged completely
    By those inhibiting forces
    For, I was too young
    To know their shattering influence.
    My opinion
    I wonder if it could exist!
    For the balance to judge them
    They themselves provided.
    Thus, they went on fitting pieces
    Just as they wished
    And I was happy
    In my ignorance.

    But a jigsaw puzzle
    Has only one solution.
    A misfit at one place
    Causes many at others.
    And too many misfits when forced
    May shatter the whole assembly.
    A misfit far away
    When forced into the puzzle
    Shattered my assembly,
    Making me realize
    The obsession created out of affection
    Which was guided by a stubborn will.​

    Now I was faced with a dilemma. I was required to do something that did not fit with my image of myself at all.

    But that old rebellion streak surged in me again. Did I like myself the way I was? Not really. Why not then I do something that was totally out of character for me. I decided to distribute the fliers, but at a street corner in Boston, far from the M.I.T. campus.

    That was a momentous decision for me. It changed the subsequent course of my life.

  12. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    :confused: ...
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2007
  13. rifleman56

    rifleman56 Patron

    OK, I wasn't rushing him. I just enjoyed reading his story.
  14. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    See what happens when you rush me! :eek:

    Now how do I delete the duplicate post? :eek:

  15. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    Best bet is don't even try :)

    Nobody cares about *one* slip like that; just bury your mistakes in unique wonder..

    Otherwise who knows what might happen?
    Otherwise who knows what might happen?

    Am I duplicating you?
    Am I duplicating you?


  16. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 12/1/02 8:07 AM]

    So, I went out to a street corner in Boston one afternoon and start distributing the fliers. It is hard for me to describe my emotions of the moment. The motto of Star Trek (my favorite show) may describe it somewhat. I was stepping into a territory where I had never gone before. I used to be very afraid of what others might think of me. I was very concerned about my reputation.

    At that moment I was being very daring. In a strange way it gave me a taste of freedom. Reaching out to my environment was not as a dangerous activity as I had thought. Nobody criticized me for handing them those fliers. I did not come across any adverse reactions. People were polite. I was not struck by any lightening. By the end of the afternoon I was feeling exhilarated.

    I went out to that street corner one more time to meet the quota of fliers that I had to pass out. I was then back on the HAS course with a new sense of freedom. I completed the HAS course and then started on the HQS course that was $80 at that time. The HQS course consisted of TRs 6 – 9. It was a lot of fun. There were some great students on that course. Cultural differences no longer seemed to be a barrier. I was feeling quite at home in the “American culture” by this time.

    Interestingly enough this helped me with my life at M.I.T. as well. I felt more at home there too. I earnestly started to plan how I am going to put money together for my auditing. $1000 was a lot of money when translated into Indian rupees. Was that worth the gamble?

    So far I seemed to have benefited from Dianetics and Scientology. So I approached my M.I.T. counselor and told him that I needed a loan of $1000. I did not tell him anything about Dn and Scn because I was sure that would not be acceptable as a valid reason for a student loan. So the pretext I gave was that I had to visit my family in India.

    More than thirty days had gone by. I had not taken any aspirin or any other medication. I had survived and I was in much better spirits. But I was not out of the woods. I still desperately felt the need for freeing myself from my horrible predicament of being completely bedridden within two years.

    I obtained the loan of $1000 from M.I.T. I went immediately to the Cambridge Dianetic Center and signed up for 2 intensives (25 hours) of auditing. I could hardly wait to start. But I had to go through a whole battery of psychometric tests.

    Finally the day arrived for my first Dianetic auditing session.

  17. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 12/6/02 3:45 PM]

    I want to let others know that obtaining the loan of $1000 on a knowingly false pretext was entirely my own idea. Nobody from the Dianetics Center even suggested it. They didn't know enough about me to have thought of that excuse.

    I also want to let others know that I paid back that loan fully with interest without causing any concern to anybody.

    That was the only loan I ever took for Dianetics and Scientology services.

  18. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 12/7/02 8:21 AM]

    As I walked toward the Dianetic Center at Central Square in Cambridge, I was literally shivering with excitement. I had already taken all the required psychometric tests. I had already paid $1000 for 25 hours of auditing.

    I now sat expectantly in a chair waiting for my auditor. My auditor arrived. She was a young, pretty girl with rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and a bright, friendly smile. She motioned me to follow her to the auditing room upstairs.

    There were two auditing rooms. The access to them was through the stairs built to a side inside the main hall itself. One climbed up the stairs to a low ceiling balcony. One had to cross the length of the balcony to the farther auditing room. A thick, metal hook protruded from the center of the low ceiling of that balcony.

    I became aware of that metal hook only after my head struck it as I followed my auditor to the auditing room. I was stunned for a moment and stopped in my tracks. The creaking of the boards under my feet stopped and the auditor turned around to see what happened. She came and held me by my arms and waited for a moment. Somebody else came running up too.

    My forehead was not bleeding. The auditor gently pushed my head forward to contact the metal hook again. I was told to let my head contact the metal hook several times exactly the same way that my head struck it the first time, except in slow motion. I had to move back and retrace my steps several times as part of this exercise.

    Soon the pain of the impact receded and the fascination with this bizarre exercise captured my attention. It was explained that this action was called CONTACT ASSIST. It helped eliminate the after affects of an injury due to impact. It was same as the Dianetic principle of re-experiencing traumas to eliminate their influence upon oneself. CONTACT ASSIST helped an injury heal much faster. I was given a short description of this procedure to read.

    I recalled this Dianetic principle from my study of the book DMSMH (Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health). It was a principle similar to the principle of de-hypnotizing a person. Say, a young man was hypnotized and told by the operator that whenever the operator touched his tie, the young man would feel as if his feet were on fire. The young man was then told that he would not remember this suggestion after he was brought out of hypnotic trance.

    Later, let’s say, both the operator and the young man went to a party. Everything was going just fine until the operator touched his tie. The young man immediately started to feel as if his feet were on fire. He had seen the operator touch his tie but did not pay much attention to it as anything significant. However, that feeling of discomfort subsided as soon as the operator took his hands off the tie. But it would come back again whenever the operator touched his tie. Unbeknownst to him, this was a purely stimulus-response type reaction.

    Now, let’s say, the operator takes the young man aside and shows him how it is the stimulus of touching his tie that causes the response of discomfort in his feet. As the young man observes this reaction happen again and again in a mechanical way in response to the same stimulus he may suddenly recall this association being established in the hypnotic session he had. At the moment of that realization, that hypnotic suggestion will suddenly lose all its influence to affect the young man. This phenomenon may be called de-hypnotizing.

    Dianetics had found that injuries and losses that one suffered in life created traumas (engrams) that had the power to influence the person the way this hypnotic suggestion did. Such engrams created a condition for the individual that was much less than optimum both physically and mentally. A realization of the exact time, place, form and event of the moments of such injuries and/or losses then relieved a person of their adverse influence, thus restoring the person back to an optimum condition. This was the DIANETIC PRINCIPLE.

    After completing my contact assist I proceeded to the auditing room. My first auditing session was a short one. I was asked to hold two cans connected to an E-meter. Then I was asked some questions about my present condition. I was allowed to speak all my concerns without interruptions or evaluations. I had the feeling that what I was saying was understood fully by the auditor. It allowed me to look deeply at my condition. The time passed swiftly. When I was done saying all that was on my mind about my condition, the auditor indicated, “Your needle is floating.”

    In my naiveté, I understood that to mean that all my problems were now resolved. That was so quick, I thought. At that moment, I felt that way anyway. I went down the stairs with bouncing steps and announced to all the people in the room, “I have a floating needle.”

    I was walking on air. But little did I know what was to come next.

  19. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 12/8/02 7:08 AM]

    The next session involved doing TRs 0 to 4 briefly with the auditor. I was being trained into being a preclear. A preclear is a person who is being audited toward a CLEAR, the goal of Dianetics.

    Dianetics assumes that the mind is inherently free of making errors in its computations. However, like a held-down seven in a calculator, externally enforced data may get lodged into the circuits of the mind. This creates errors in computation. The process of auditing is designed to CLEAR the mind of these “held-down sevens.” Hence the term CLEAR is used for a mind from which all the “held-down sevens” have been removed.

    I learned that the auditing process was made up of the auditor asking the preclear certain questions. These auditing questions evoked a certain response in the mind. I was required to simply look at that response and report it to the auditor.

    TR0 was very important in facing whatever appeared in the mind in response to the auditing question, and not to get scared. The way out was the way through. However bad the reaction was, it would go away if I simply confronted it. If nothing appeared in the mind in response to the auditing question then I was supposed to report just that. TRs 1 to 4 were there to communicate clearly to the auditor what I was observing in the mind.

    The auditor then picked up the book SELF-ANALYSIS and went through a series of auditing questions from it. The idea was to understand the process of RETURNING. This was a very important concept in Dianetics. It was different from remembering. The mind simply returned to a past event and you observed that event somewhat like watching a movie. For example, one could have a general memory of sleigh riding in one’s childhood. But if one really went back to a moment of sleigh riding, one could really experience the snow getting down one’s collar and the motion of the sleigh and so forth.

    To me auditing appeared to be like sitting back and enjoying the ride. This was real to me because, being a Hindu, I looked at myself as being different from the body and the mind. To me, my mind was like a personal computer, and the body was like a peripheral.

  20. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    [Previously posted on Beliefnet 12/9/02 9:38 PM]

    My first few auditing sessions had to do with learning to be a preclear. I approached it with same alertness as I approached my engineering subjects at MIT. I made sure that I understood every action to the finest detail. Then I was ready for the “roller-coaster” ride.

    Those were adventurous days for me. I kept jumping into the most bizarre situations with both feet first. I remember going to Connie Island with my friends who encouraged me to try out a Roller Coaster ride. I had no idea what I was getting into. They arranged me to sit in the front seat of the first car. The ride started slow and I sat with a smug smile on my face, but as the cars plunged downward my stomach rose to my mouth. I was holding hard to my glasses to prevent them from flying off into oblivion. The cars kept plunging downwards for the longest time. I remember thinking, “When will this downward plunge end.”

    The auditing started slow. Once I understood the commands of the updated procedure of Dianetics called R3R we started straight looking into incidents of injury to my back. It was easy for me to recall the incident that happened just before my back pain started. It was in the fall of 1964 when I was in my second year of the five-year engineering program at IIT, Kanpur.

    IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Kanpur was one of the most prestigious Engineering schools in India. (It still is.) It was set up in 1960 by a consortium of nine American Engineering Institutions. About 90% of the faculty at that time was made up of Americans. The whole curriculum was American. All the textbooks were American. The school campus was like a mini-America. It boasted the first ever computer in India, an IBM, that occupied a huge room. It had colored lights blinking on the consoles, huge tapes rotating back and forth briskly, sorters feeding punched cards data into the computer memory, and printers hammering away cryptic data onto reams of wide green-striped paper. The computer building was the only place that was air-conditioned on the entire campus. It was very inviting for us students in that hot Indian climate. I used to spend most my spare time there and got really hooked to computer programming.

    Anyway, the incident took place at a tennis court. I was hitting hard while I was being heckled by boisterous students on the sidelines. All of sudden the ball of my left foot landed in a crack in the side of the cement court as I was peddling back to hit a backhand. It was a funny angle and a shock went through my body starting from the foot through my spine all the way to my head. I was stunned for a moment. I shook myself out of it, didn’t think much of it and continued with the game. I still felt dazed after I finished the game, but I thought it was temporary and didn’t think of that incident again, until that Dianetic session in late 1969.

    Well, it was interesting to recall that incident and many others but there was no relief to my painful condition and I started to feel more and more anxious as the sessions grinded away. I could recall no further incidents of injury to my back and my physical condition was still pretty much the same as when we had started.

    Soon we completed an intensive (12 ½ hour) of auditing, and started on the next one. I had expected some positive results by then but there were none. I started to think where will I get more money from if this second intensive was over without any relief. Thoughts started to cross my mind that this was just a scam after all. I had just gambled away $1000 (a big sum of money for me) for nothing. It was useless. I was now stuck with loss. My earlier euphoria was all gone. I was rushing headlong into apathy.