Google Ninja asked several questions. I'll answer them in several posts. Here is the first:
I find Scientology fascinating, and have been reading quite a bit about it recently.
That's cool. I'll do my best to answer your questions.
I have a few questions. First of all, since we are talking about scientific technology, why is the results so varied? I mean, some people will say they LOVED OT3, and that it completely changed their lives, but others will say they didn't get much from it? By definition, a science has reproducible, provable results.
Although Scientology is a religion and not a science, its principles and how to use them are very exact. Like any other technology its results depend upon it being applied correctly. As a software developer you will understand that two people can write a program using the same language and one program can run great and the other can be a piece of @#$#$%. Does that mean the language is invalid? No. It means that one of the developers didn't apply it correctly.
Same goes for Scientology. When I did OT3, I applied the technology correctly and I got a fantastic result. The Church does everything possible to make sure the technology is correctly applied. We call it "Keeping Scientology Working" and it gets a tremendous amount of attention. But in the end it comes down to the individual.
When you complete a course of study in Scientology you get tested to make sure you got it. This is objective: you answered the questions right or you didn't. When you complete Scientology Auditing (counseling) it is a more personal and subjective thing. So the end product is named very clearly and the individual is asked to sign a statement that he or she has achieved that end product to his or her satisfaction. We call this attesting.
When you attest, you state very clearly that you got the result from the action and that you are very happy with it. If someone says "it was okay" or "it sucked" then actions are taken to correct whatever went wrong so that the person is "over the moon" about the action. No one is allowed to complete a major auditing action unless they are "over the moon" about it. What this means is that anyone who says they "didn't get much from it" was either lying at the time they attested or is lying now. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but that is the logical conclusion. (See this article: Any Reasons For Difficulties And Their Correction.)
Secondly, why has nobody been able to pass OT8 in over 13 years? Is it another "Wall of Fire" like OT3? Because by all accounts, it is pretty much the same kind of thing as most of the other levels.
I don't know where you got that data from, but Scientologists have been completing OT8 since it was released in 1988. In fact several of my friends have finished it in the last few months. They all rave about how great it is and how much of an impact it has had on their lives. I guess the place you read that was not a reliable source of information.
I'll answer more of your questions tomorrow.