Mr. Swann, you are both a famous new-age artist and a psychic of international renown. We would like to discuss aspects of being a psychic. In this regard, how would you describe your work in relationship to your OT abilities?
I always make it one of my first duties to make a disclaimer on the word psychic. It's a word that I've become saddled with, and I've protested that for quite a while.
But in the historical sense of the word psychic, I'm not a psychic at all since I know where my abilities come from and most psychics don't, or have not had opportunity to find out as yet.
So I don't refer to myself as a psychic.
There were two parts to that question. What was the other part?
How would you describe your work in relationship to your OT abilities?
Actually it's not work, it's play. Somewhere along the way I got the idea that if one is an OT one should start being an OT. I've always been interested in science and
parapsychology and I started to play around with various laboratories in New York. And pretty soon we had theta interaction with Mest which has attracted the interest of official researchers all over the world now, I think.
What demonstrations have you provided which you feel were successful or convincing?
Well, I think it's a matter of who's looking at the data.
You see, it's not a matter of producing demonstrations which I
feel are convincing because in science, especially in this parapsychological realm, personal claim is not what scientists are looking for. They are looking for something that they themselves can observe, which is real to them. And they have every right to do that, since that's the purpose of science.
So I have worked with several famous parapsychologists together and I have explained what I felt I could do in the realm of demonstration, and they have explained what they felt they could do to support the existence of this kind of phenomena should it occur. And we've made compromises about how to get the demonstration.
One of these has been the increase of temperature in a small distant object, which we've replicated many many times, and it looks like a rather convincing demonstration. This was at City College in New York.
And then at the American Society for Psychical Research, although I don't have absolutely perfect perceptics while out of the body, I have enough to have demonstrated that that does exist and when statistics were judged, when statistics of the experiments were judged by independent researchers they said that apparently perception had taken place and that the chance of the statistics was only once in every forty thousand. So it was a pretty good start.
Now these two things are published data which have been accepted more or less by the scientific establishment. It was reasonably good experimentation.
How would you describe the abilities in Scientology terms which you have had occasion to publicly demonstrate?
Thetan interaction with matter, energy, space and time; bypassing the body.
How did these abilities develop with relationship to your auditing on the OT Levels?
They are solely the result of auditing. Not particularly even the OT Levels.
I had extremely good gains from lower grades. And some had developed certainly by the time Power Processing took place.
But steady good control over them, the control I have now — which is not perfect by the way — occurred after the completion of OT III Expanded, and is even better than ever now that I have finished OT VII.
So they are solely the result of auditing.
Why have you chosen the particular circles you are working in, as very often they are formed of persons with committed materialist views, who have a definite bias against the traditional idea that Man is a spirit, not to mention the concept of OT?
It's true that in science there is a healthy majority of professional people who will not publicly support the concept of a spiritual being.
But in parapsychology, most of the people who are in parapsychology have had, at the subject and the research level both, convincing personal experiences of things beyond ordinary explanation. And I find that this attitude is not there amongst most of these people.
In fact, I know now, since I've done my own surveys that many of these people agree with most of the precepts that Scientology holds philosophically. And they don't understand the technological aspects of it. Of course, too, they've not yet taken the opportunity to study and read it.
I chose this field because it was the natural place to go poke around — and since I felt I needed respectable witnesses to these kind of phenomena and I found them amongst parapsychologists, many of whom were very skilled.
The people you work with in parapsychology, have you explained to them the concept of OT?
I have a pretty good standard operating procedure to answer questions that I'm asked. And I have, to the degree that there has been interest, answered questions.
Also I have standard policy not to force on them data that I don't feel is wanted. That would not be the purpose there.
But as you know I gave a presentation on Scientology at the Congress in Prague. The paper was extremely well received and there have been several requests from participants there to have the paper and I've sent it. And I'm getting very nice comments back on it, too.
I sort of felt that being a Scientologist by exemplary attitude and work capacity, I would probably do a great deal there. Whereas, it's not within the scientific paradigm to try to convince each other of something, since they take their data by observation, usually, and not by talking.
So I wondered if within the field a good convincing demonstration might be the appropriate thing.
Ron has said “Your biggest forward menace in Scientology is that the world becomes too terrified of an operating thetan.” Do you feel there is a way to handle that?
I don't know.
One of the biggest problems I faced, right at first in October, 1971 was this: I was sitting in a lab with something in front of me I knew I could effect and I said, “If I effect it I've changed history, if I don't effect it I'm invalidating myself.” So what was it going to be? And I chose not to invalidate myself.
Now it's probably quite true that convincing OT demonstrations do stir up a lot of apprehension but I have been very careful to observe if this occurs and to try to handle it.
If I feel that this kind of demonstration is creating more negative feelings than good ones then I would, of course, cease to do it.
However, I don't have any direct evidence now that I should stop since the interest is growing right and left.
What goals do you have as regards your general activities?
We have many OTs who are contributing to strengthening the concept of Scientology in churches and in building missions where people can come get auditing and things like that.
I often wondered that the time will come when OTs must step into the public domain and begin to contribute their weight. It seems like a logical step and many OTs are doing that.
And I thought I would like to be one of them and see how far I could go.
The goal I've been working on was to see if a Scientologist, an OT, could work in cooperation with the scientific establishment.
This means to create a body of work which is equally respected by their criteria as it would be by ours. And this means from getting the approval, or at least the attention of the Academy for the Advancement of Sciences on down through research establishments and educational institutions. It seems like there is such a need there for the data that Scientology can bring.
What goals do you have as regards your future Scientology training or auditing?
I'm doing Expanded Dianetics now, I've just finished Integrity Processing.
And I don't have much doubt before long I will want to do the Class VIII Course. I'm a Class VI Auditor.
Are you looking forward to OT VIII?
How would you express your greatest wins on the OT Levels?
My greatest win on the OT Levels I think was the ability to separate myself with great conviction from matter, energy, space and time. To have gained the ability to hold my viewpoint without quivering. To have gained the ability to be appreciative of the need for an ethical, philosophic philosophy and to want to help produce towards its fullest use.
And to have the great pleasure of being at home in the universe, in which I used to be very uncomfortable.
I would like, of course, to express my appreciation to L. Ron Hubbard for making all this possible. ■