What’s Good In Scientology: The Early Emphasis on “Present Time”

The technology at the end of the Bridge to Total Freedom in Scientology is very different from the technology at the beginning.

L Ron Hubbard said that the difference had to do with “gradients”. No. The character of the technology, and the goals of the technology at the beginning of the Bridge are completely different from the character and the goals of the technology at the end of the Bridge.

I’d always said that when I first got involved in Scientology, it changed my life massively for the better. And I’ve asked myself to examine what is different about Scientology when you are first getting involved?

Present Time.

Besides Book One Dianetics, almost all the services I took in training and auditing were designed to put me, and to keep me, in present time. TRs, Locationals, CCHs, even the Purification Rundown, all have as their goals to put you and keep you “IN PRESENT TIME”.

One of the LRH books that had the biggest and best effects on my life, believe it or not, was “The Problems of Work”. It had processes in it like “Take a Walk” and “Locationals”, ideas about SPACE, and other tech I could use to change my own mood and state of mind.

That was a huge discovery for me when I was first getting involved in Scientology. And one that I really needed.

I was a bored, drunk, stoned drummer-type musician guy who hated college and was still totally, painfully, and tragically in heartbreaking love with my first girlfriend from high school. I walked around for YEARS pining for her. I could not get rid of the horrible feeling of having lost her – even though I had been the one to break up with her. I’d many girlfriends after her. I had even backpacked through Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Morocco for over a year trying to forget her.

But still, the pain of losing Julie was my constant companion from the time I was 17 years old until I was 23, when I walked in the doors of the Champaign, IL Scientology mission on John Street.

I’d read Dianetics, and the simplistic model for the mind which was presented to me there was ANALYTICAL MIND, REACTIVE MIND and SOMATIC MIND. I knew that if I was pining for Julie, then I was “keyed in” from the past bad experiences of my REACTIVE MIND, and I needed to get myself more into my ANALYTICAL MIND, and into present time – and not wallow in my bank so much pining for Julie.

Pining for Julie!

Pining for Julie!

Really – it was like that.

I soon quit smoking pot to be more in present time. I quit drinking so much to be more in present time. And I started doing more processes from Scientology to get me, and to keep me, in present time.

And I finally quit pining for Julie!

These ideas, and the processes that were given to me to manage my own moods were a revelation in my life. They worked like a bomb. And were one set of experiences that made me “reach” to get ALL of this Scientology stuff as soon as I could.

I figured that if this worked as well as it did, then the rest was going to work EVEN BETTER!

Scientology technology that is devoted to putting a person into Present Time is part of what’s good in Scientology.

That “present time” as a goal is abandoned fairly quickly on the Bridge to Total Freedom as the dominant case-improvement technology is an outpoint worth noting for anyone who seeks to analyze Scientology.

And when you do, try not listening to what LRH says about why that is so.

You’ll get farther.


15 thoughts on “What’s Good In Scientology: The Early Emphasis on “Present Time””

  1. I am not sure why “Letting go” seems to be confused about this subject; but I suspect it is because he has not had any personal experience with this. So I will try to explain this, from my own perspective.

    It should be rather obvious that, simply because our BODIES (being composed of “physical energy”) are always in the PT (present time), does NOT mean that our MINDS are always in the PT. And, in my opinion, the ability to be in the PT (mentally) is an amazingly good thing I learned from Scn that has resulted in incredible successes in my life.

    Specifically, I discovered that, during certain physical activities, I would ONLY make mistakes, when I was OUT of PT. And, to the degree that I learned to keep my MIND focused in the PT, I did NOT make those kinds of mistakes.

    Even more specifically, what tended to occur is that, while attempting some physical activity, something would distract me (even if only momentary). My mind would suddenly be focused on the distraction. But the distraction (as soon as it occurred) was suddenly part of the PAST. So, if I continued to focus on that distraction, I would, by definition, go “out of the present time” (mentally). And, inevitably, I would make some greater or lesser mistake, or even have some kind of physical accident.

    The reason is obvious: ALL action occurs in the present time; and all physical action is directed by the mind. Therefore, one has to be in the present time [mentally; NOT just physically] in order to act COMPETENTLY.

    Having explained that, I can say that Scn offers various techniques that tend to take one’s attention off of the PAST, or that tend to get one to focus on the PRESENT. And, again, I have achieved amazing success with these simple techniques. Such techniques include Objectives, Locationals, TR-0 and most auditing actions (which are often focused on addressing the past, with the idea of becoming “freed” from that past – meaning those past events stop absorbing so much attention and, therefore, stop dropping one out of the present time).

    In my opinion, if Scn only focused on these simple (but potentially powerful) techniques, they would be better off than promising things they cannot deliver. In my opinion, getting one into the present time IS something that Scn can deliver.


  2. The present moment, as a construct, is gone as fast at it appears. Why is there so much emphasis on being “in” something that by its very nature is impermanent? It makes some sense against Hubbard’s vast backdrop of past and eternal future, and perhaps against a canvas of karma and spiritual “evolution”. But what, exactly, makes it the most valuable place to observe from? And what is it, really?

    I am still waiting for something good to arise. My scientology experience consisted mostly of the culture, and only very little and haphazard tech application.

    • I mean, when you are thinking about the past or the future, it all still happens in present time. One never really is anywhere but in the present. So what is the concept describing? A focusing and holding of awareness on only those objects in one’s immediate vicinity?

      • For me at that time, it meant that the constant harangue of the past in my mind would be quieted, with a resultant feeling of relief from chronic moods and emotions that I had been plagued with, and which I had no idea I could do anything about.

        And as I practiced TRs and got stronger and more skilled at staying in that state, my productivity and emotional stability increased as well.

        Because of this tech of reaching and staying in “Present Time” Scientology, at first, made me more stable, happy, and productive than I ever had been in my life.

          • This slice of time in my life still means the same for me.

            What this led to in my life could not have been predicted by me with the information I had available to me at the time. That information is intentionally withheld from you by both the structure and the function of Scientology.

            So there are later associations, connections, and causes and effects, and all their consequences which can cloud my vision of this slice in time.

            But this slice is good.

            And this slice is true.

          • I should have been more clear, sorry. I meant, what does being in the present mean for you today?

            Actually, there is something good I got from scientology – I guess. In doing O/W write-ups I learned to face the truth, however uncomfortable it might be. Unfortunately, I did not learn to question critically whether the truth presented to me could also be viewed differently, but it gave me an opportunity to practice courage, which came in handy when I decided to learn the truth about scientology.

            • Today, I have much more experience with Present Time and with techniques outside of Scientology used to produce an awareness of it.

              Today, I associate being in present time with being in a trance state. CLANG! CLANG!!! L RON HUBBARD SAID THIS MEANS I AM MORE UNCONSCIOUS!!!

              CLANG! CLANG!!

              But no. I am not more unconscious, as L Ron Hubbard lied to Scientologists about.

              My knowledge of trance states has changed, as well. Trance states are very therapeutic states of mind which have nothing to do with being more unconscious. Trance states are simply more FOCUSED onto one thing to the exclusion of other things.

              So to me now, being in Present Time is a state I achieve by bringing my attention into NOW and NOW and NOW and by keeping it focused there to the exclusion of thoughts and other distractions. It’s a skill. And it is a skill that can be practiced without any of the other trappings of any kind of ideology like Scientology.

              That’s what I think about it now.

          • You describe that shift beautifully. Thank you 😀

            I had to laugh at the warning bells clanging. Perfect – it is exactly what happened in me as I read the word trance, so thanks for pointing it out!

  3. What worked for me was the study tech, Even if you apply it lazily as I do it is still incredibly helpful looking up words and applying what you are learning about (get mass). I had a real problem with grammar too, it still isn’t perfect but spending hours and hours looking up grammar terms and actually using them worked wonders.
    The problem is precisely that you think there are far better things to come later on so you stay there and stay there until they bleed your bank accounts dry, convince you to throw away your freedom (join the SO) or become a penniless slave on staff, this is partly why people stay even though they have already realized somewhere in their mind that they are not getting anything more out of the subject.

  4. I agree absolutely with what you described. It is “present time” at the beginning and then going back more and more into the past.

    But there is also another point. Some people are getting involved into Scientology because they are seekers. I had no crises when I walked into a Scientology Org. I was curious and saw a way to find out more about life. Also the presentation of ‘to think outside the box’ was appealing to my mindset. With the establishing of the direction of my life that I needed ‘to go up the Bridge’, there came the addiction to find out more. Who am I, where did I come from, why am I here? – the old ”riddle of life”. I was hooked. When the first discrepancies appeared, I brushed them aside because I wanted to find out more. Big mistake! In the pre-Internet era there was little information available, and every doubt and warning from the outside was appearing narrow-minded then.

    The whole structure of Scientology is set up that you will “find out later” (“To keep a person on the Scientology path, feed him a mystery sandwich.” – L. Ron Hubbard) .The communication about the subject is controlled and compartmentalized. Even the thoughts get directed into specific channels (verbal tech forbidden) and controlled (thought-policed). This process is more subtle at the beginning and ratchet up the more one is involved. I was addicted “to find out more”, otherwise I would not have stayed as long as I did. Even if the mystery is containing lies, it is still a mystery.

    The irony is that when the parishioner has managed to reach the top of the bridge, then he is send to the beginning where he was starting his search. From Geir Isene’s article “OT 8 – follow-up”:
    “All the way to the top you go. To OT 8. Each level has its own specific end result. On OT 8, it is:
    “I now know who I am not, and am interested in finding out who I am“
    And that is the end of the road. You don’t get to know who you are, what you are or anything positive. You get to know who you aren’t – and you are interested in finding out who you are. That’s it.“
    (See also “The circular Bridge” – an article by Mike Rinder: http://www.mikerindersblog.org/the-circular-bridge/)

    • The truth about Scientology is BOTH the good and the bad.

      Sure, I accept that, sort of. In terms of understanding rather than describing Scientology, I find the Good/Bad model lacks the insight other models offer. The ever-wonderful Veda over at ESMB, for example, employs “The Old Glue Analogy” . . .

      . . . using the old glue analogy, IMO, Scientology, as designed by its founder, consists of two main aspects: the solvent (truths, abreaction/catharsis/”key-out” etc.), and the lacquer (the sea of words, half truths, falsehoods, smoke and mirrors, gimmicks, tricks, manipulation, etc.) In the proper ratio, these combine to make a mind-glue that sticks a person to Scientology . . . “

      . . . which, I think, delineates the constituents and describes their effects more clearly.

      Its not that I can’t bear to accept there is some “good” in Scientology; its just that the Good/Bad model is so nebulous and applies to everything – (eg: there are some good things about being a herion addict) – and so isn’t particularly helpful in a quest to specifically end Scientology’s abuses. in fact, I have seen the Good/Bad Model used as a platitude to explain away some of the abuses.

      There is some good in Scientology but, I suggest, it exists despite Scientology. For me, one of the greatest goods of Scientology is that it can demonstrate the power of the human spirit to live on, even if it is only a flicker, and bring light to the darkest of places. With this in mind, the good within Scientology is delivered by those who experience it yet maintain their own inherent goodness. The fact that Study Tech or Present Time or whatever else procedures deliver a benefit seems more a reflection of the individuals experiencing it rather than the tech itself. I base that on the observation that whatever WINS are received seem so subjective rather than uniform and measurable. And lets not forget, there is nothing of value in Scientology that cannot be found elsewhere and which is also more effective, longer lasting, cheaper, and far, far safer. How much greater would a person’s “Present Time” WINS have been if they had used non-Scientology techniques? Sure, keeping a horse housed, fed and watered is a “workable” way of ensuring a person always has a means of travel should they need to get to the hospital, but a wog would most probably just call an ambulance.

      • I’m not saying that you are employing these, necessarily, but there are a lot of cognitive distortions used to think about Scientology on the Internet.


        See specifically “catastrophizing” and “maximizing and minimizing”.

        When you are an Ex-Scientologist, and you are trying to work out exactly what you experienced when you were in Scientology, and what explains the good things as well as what explains the bad things, sometimes the idea that “Scientology: It’s always worse than you think” is not helpful.

        That’s a good protest sign for the general public, to let them know that Scientology isn’t just about Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch.

        But when you are an Ex, and you are trying to come to terms with having had your spiritual and emotional vulnerabilities exploited, it is important to not use cognitive distortions when thinking about Scientology. It is very important to work out exactly what was dangerous and what was not. What was actually helpful and what was not, and when and how did something helpful turn un-helpful, why, and in exactly what way. And in what way did the good stay good and never turn bad or unhelpful at all.

        Often, when someone talks about the good in Scientology, others get a feeling of danger that Scientology is being promoted and trying to be spread to the weak and vulnerable.

        That is not happening here at AlanzosBlog.

        It isn’t the bad that sticks a person to Scientology, it is the good. It is the real “wins” they had. Without fully realizing those wins as entirely real and exploring them as such, no one will ever get any where in understanding what happened to them. No matter what outlandish space opera belief was going on at the time, the exalted feelings of relief and spiritual ecstasy and other positive states of mind that Scientology produced WERE REAL.

        Deep down, a person who has experienced this in Scientology knows this is true. You must recognize all the good to be as GOOD as it actually was. And you want to fully mine and extract the spiritual value that was really produced in Scientology as you graduate from it, fill up your truck with it, and move on down the road with all that you gained there.

        So there will be talk of GOOD in Scientology on Alanzo’s Blog.

        Real GOOD.

        I hope The Internet will be able to handle that.

  5. . . . Scientology technology that is devoted to putting a person into Present Time is part of what’s good in Scientology . . .

    Is there such a thing as Scientology technology devoted to putting a person into “Present Time” (what ever that is)? It seems to me that the entry-level technology is devoted to achieving multiple things, some more obvious than the other. I mean, what else does that “Present Time” technology teach a person and how many “agreements” have been reached involving multiple “understandings” with illogical, contradictory and cognitively debilitating concepts along the way? While a neophyte is ostensibly being conditioned to experience “Present Time”, the consequences of that conditioning involve the assimilation of a parade of dodgy ideas and the development of an instinctual resonse to comply with commands. TR0, for example, can hardly be said to induce a state of hyper-awareness. And look at OpProByDup(e). Ostensibly, its devoted to helping a person gain and maintain the focus being in “Present Time” supposedly delivers. Yet, when you look at it objectively, it also appears to be training the PC to repeatedly follow instructions regardless of how inane those instructions are. If anything, doing the same mundane task over and over again seems more likely to send a person off into some sort of reverie rather than a more acute consciousness. Bullbaiting probably helps keep a person awake yet to pass the trial a person has to ignore what is actually happening by learning to tolerate verbal abuse. Sure, its supposedly about learning to control one’s response but just look at how that tolerance and those “understandings” are exploted after a person joins the Sea Org or staff?

    Far be it from me to trample on anyone’s WINS, but what sort of consideration has been given to a causitive vs correlation analysis before Scientology Technology is credited with being the cause of any amelioration of existing conditions? Then there’s the replacement factor whereby the (typically) love-bombed whirlwind ride of Scientology recruitment so swiftly and thorough fills a person’s life that they no longer have time to dwell on past agonies and so credit the deliberate “overwhelming” with having “fixed” some sort of maudlin pre-occupation? Scientology, after all, is very, very good for re-purposing a person, only the purpose becomes Scientology’s and not the person’s.

    But, hey, I’m a wog so what would I know. Perhaps Scientology’s definition of “Present Time” can be explained to me as being anything other than “living in the now” and, sure, perhaps there are some Scientology drills which can help be become more aware of how to make use of such a concept. I’m not so dismissive a critic as to ignore that there are some benefits to be accrued from the Scientology experience, especially in the beginning. The best long-cons have an early pay-off of some kind. I just wonder if the “part of what’s good about Scientology” isn’t better described as “bait”. I was intriqued to read here of the “hay fever” success story experienced as a result of a dodgy purif. There’s a few such stories around and I can’t explain any of them except to adopt the standard fall-back position of “it was a fluke”. If, however, the results were common and repeatable, a person could set up shop just doing that part of non-Standard Scientology. They’d be onto a goldmine. I don’t know that I would want to go on to engram-chasing afterwards, but if some simple process borne of L Ron Hubbard’s imaginings could stop me sneezing and sniffling every spring and autumn I too would have to call it a WIN.

    • Crepescule wrote:

      “But, hey, I’m a wog so what would I know. Perhaps Scientology’s definition of “Present Time” can be explained to me as being anything other than “living in the now” and, sure, perhaps there are some Scientology drills which can help be become more aware of how to make use of such a concept. I’m not so dismissive a critic as to ignore that there are some benefits to be accrued from the Scientology experience, especially in the beginning. The best long-cons have an early pay-off of some kind. I just wonder if the “part of what’s good about Scientology” isn’t better described as “bait”.

      Yes, “present time” in Scientology does mean “living in the now”. And when you are given this tech right at the start of Scientology, you are convinced that you know what Scientology is all about. And how helpful and practical it is. And how unique it is.

      Everything else you said is ALSO a factor in Scientology.

      When you are just starting out in Scientology, and others try to warn you away from it, you know that they are full of crap because you have not experienced any kind of abuse, but only this kind of practical common sense help that really works.

      It is possible to use Scientology – especially this present time tech – for good. I used it that way on myself, and the people at the Champaign, IL mission used it that way on me. And I used it later on others for good, as well.

      If you want to see how far that present time tech can be taken for the good, read my “Charles Lakes: Olympic Thetan” post. It can be taken pretty far. I have seen it with my own eyes.

      The truth about Scientology is BOTH the good and the bad.


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