Hi Debbie: I sympathize with your wish to brighten up the old 60's style 'dark oak' paneling.
If you wish to paint with a lighter color paint, you will need to rough up the paneling first with a 220 grit sandpaper. Using a palm sander or random orbital sander will work best. Then you will need to scrub the wall with a good cleanser. A 50% dilute solution of Tris Sodium Phosphate (TSP), available at most hardware stores, works great. Remember, sanding does not clean the years of oil, dirt and smoke off of the wood. Be sure to rinse all cleanser off and be sure the wall dries thoroughly before applying paint.
You will need to apply a good latex primer before applying the final paint coat. These two coats should be enough....but be prepared for a third if the darkness still shows through.
Most importantly, don't be in a hurry. Take your time and do a good job. Remove all hardware rather than trying to paint around it and replace hardware (for example, door knobs and escutcheons, switch plates, plug plates, door strikers, etc) that have been painted over in the past (tacky).
Best of luck
PS...might want to take your caps off when typing a post.....reads like you are SHOUTING.....(smile)