I have observed, over my entire experience in my journey, from “KSW Standard Tech Auditor” trained and interned through Grad V in the Church of Scientology ® and having accumulated thousands of hours “in the chair” as “Lead HGC Auditor” of the New York Org and at Celebrity Center NY in the 1980’s, through my continuing (and I expect, never-ending) evolution of growth of perspective, knowledge, approach and techniques in the direction of greater accomplishments of spiritual liberation and reconnection, that there are major elements of auditor training and PC indoctrination, as practiced in (and out of) the C of S that get in the way of smooth and effective processing.
There are presumptions, practices and attitudes that, observably, are obstacles that restrict the being’s addressing and processing what is manifesting for them, that restrict the being’s “Itsa line”, that is, the being’s communication channel with the counselor, essentially, by misdefining what the counselor should (and should not) be doing, and what the client should (and should not) be doing.
This is evidenced by how frequently I have found it necessary to convey to the client that they should not, for any reason, fail to express any and all answers they are finding, anything that is manifesting for them, and any amount of answers that they may have when given a question or processing instruction.
It can (and does) even reach the degree of the PC declining to express that they aren’t sensing any connection to or with the subject or material being addressed by the process or the counselor. It’s amazing how much earlier inappropriate “processing” experiences emerge to be unburdened when an experienced PC is brought up to understanding the freedom inherent in being granted the power of their correct and appropriate role as the client in processing! This is something I encounter frequently in sessions.
There are those who will argue that these errors of failing to convey, grant and assume the correct roles in processing are not due to inherent flaws in the training materials, but I disagree, and in the examples I give, this will be self-explanatory. I don’t mean to say that everyone who would argue that “Hubbard explained it all correctly, but lesser minds just didn’t get it” is just dramatizing their “KSW circuits”, because I think that there are those more enlightened people are of sufficient awareness to instinctively not make these errors, or impose this incorrect indoctrination on their clients.
Let me start with the following principle, which I consider to be the backbone of successful processing:
The client must be absolutely granted not only permission, but absolute encouragement to express anything and everything that comes to mind in the session.
In session, a client may sometimes think that they shouldn’t say something, for any number of reasons, including the following considerations:
*“I don’t want to waste your time going on too long about this”
*“I thought of something, or I got an image, but it doesn’t seem to answer the question”
*“I have more items coming to mind, but I should wait until you repeat the question, before I give another answer”
*“If I were to say what I’m thinking, you might get mad at me, or disappointed with me, or think badly of me”
*“I already F/N’d on this item, so I don’t want to be troublesome by bringing it back up again, and invalidating your previous handling of it, or my previous win on it”
*“I already said something about this, so even though more about it is coming to mind, or its still coming to mind, I don’t think you want me to give something like the same answer twice”
*Here’s one from a client of mine, in describing auditing sessions in the C of S: “I wanted to please the auditor”!
All of these examples of ingrained ideas and patterns that, to whatever degrees, degrade the necessary free flow of expression from the client to the counselor, can be traced to flaws in both concept and execution of Scientology’s core counselor training material, TR’s (Training Routines).
The fact is, ANY denial of expressing what comes to mind in a session is, to some degree, a blockage or inhibiting of the flow that allows for the processing of case material, and it is the counselor’s full responsibility to genuinely create, and exude, an aura of absolute freedom and safety for the client.
This is why, while I don’t find it necessary to engage in a long indoctrination procedure (as done in the C of S with things like doing a “Scientology CS-1” in session) with any PC, one thing that I do emphatically convey to every client, whether experienced or totally new to processing, is:
“We are a processing team, and a fundamental part of your role is to express absolutely anything and everything that comes to mind. I couldn’t ever not want to receive anything that comes to mind for you- if it was otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting here with you, doing this. I not only could never have a problem, or not want to hear something that comes to mind for you, but I’m completely eager to know every idea, every thought, every image or feeling that emerges or manifests for you- don’t ever think otherwise, and if for some reason you do, please just let me know!
Sometimes, you may have a thought, an image, idea, and/or incident pop up that does not seem to answer the question, or relate to it, but nevertheless, always do tell me about it, and as we continue, the relevance will emerge for you.
If you have more than one thing come to mind, then tell me all of them, give every answer that is popping into your mind- don’t hold it in and wait for the question to be repeated- always give the answers when they emerge for you”
The above falls under the important category of defining the role of the client.
This is inherent in the basis of processing, and the subject of this discussion: the basic roles of the counselor and the client:
The basic role of the counselor is, contrary to “standard training”, not to control, which means to enforce and/or inhibit, but to instead work from the basis of EMPOWERING THE CLIENT. “Bank” is masses of enforcements and inhibitions. To inject forcefulness, in the form of enforcements and inhibitions, is to further solidify “bank”. In my observation, in Scientology, counselors are largely indoctrinated in the attitude that they are “handling the bank”, and in effect, to regard the client himself as a “bank” to be “handled”, this despite a fair amount of training material, such as the explaining of the auditing communication cycle, which states otherwise. The role of the counselor is to facilitate the client’s handling of his items of interest, positive and negative.
In subjective processing, no matter what was said in one’s training materials, the processor is not there “to control” the client. On the contrary, the processor is there to grant the client the freedom and undistracted focus to process and express what manifests, and what manifests is what emerges when the client addresses the material that relates to their own goals for the processing, and for their life. The auditor’s basic role is to grant those things.
John Mcmasters expressed this basic truth wonderfully well in one of his lectures on Power processing, wherein he explains how he was asked what this “special knack” was that he had for giving such great sessions; he had to think about that for a moment, and spotted that it was what he wasn’t doing, as well as what he was doing: he wasn’t evaluating, judging, computing, or in fact, generating any thoughts, let alone verbal expressions, after giving the command and while waiting for the PC to complete their answer to their satisfaction; he was, simply and only, being present with the PC, and completely interested. He was not evaluating, silently or otherwise; he was not entering any sort of distractive thoughts or attitudes that would otherwise taint and compromise the pure spiritual co-existence that is perfectly creating a processing session. The role of the counselor, demonstrated; that was his “special knack”.
Mike Goldstein shares how John Galusha, the great auditor, researcher and father of the identity processing called “Idenics”, embraced and demonstrated the same principle and quality as a processor:
“John wrote up these initial mechanics (of Idenics) for the other practitioners, yet these other practitioners were unable to get the same quality of results. After some inspection, John’s secret of success was finally revealed. This secret turned out to be the most valuable contribution that John ever made to the subject of therapy or auditing. In my humble opinion, it is the greatest contribution that anyone has ever made to these subjects…the application is completely non-judgemental, non-evaluative, and devoid of any suggestion, advice or opinion….no preconceived agenda for people, or ‘levels’ that they must do. We work only from the agenda of the client. In Idenics, the only source of information about a client is the individual client. In Scientology we prided ourselves on not evaluating for people. But all that really meant was that the auditor did not VERBALLY evaluate for the PC in session. The registrars and ethics officers evaluated for the PC. The case supervisor evaluated for the PC, and the field auditor who case supervises for the PC in the chair is evaluating for the PC in his head. The Scientology Bridge is extremely evaluative and judgmental…At first, we chalked up the difference in results to John’s improvisational skills and experience. However, upon further investigation, specific factors came to light…It was not a matter of what he WAS doing that the other practitioners weren’t, but rather what he WASN’T doing that they were….His numerous unusually successful auditing practices were a subject of Flag’s attention and evaluation. Anyone who had ever seen John audit could not help but notice a unique quality in his auditing.”
The client’s basic role is to be there with the purpose of moving in the direction of their spiritual goals, and to freely and fully express and experience whatever manifests for them in answering the questions and executing the instructions in the processing.
People experience many things in life that bring about a reluctance to fully take on the role of the client in processing, and/or a tendency to do otherwise. This is something to process as needed.
But also, people frequently have prior experience and/or indoctrination in auditing/processing which, in some ways, and to some degrees, actually misleads them into attitudes, ideas and behavior patterns that prevent the full realization of these roles, and so they will tend to inhibit the expressing of what comes to mind, as in the examples given above.*
The first, and perhaps foremost examples of mis-indoctrination leading to less than completely smooth and effective sessions, can be found in certain aspects of the training routines, or “TR’s”:
“TR’s” are often a person’s first, or at least early, experience in Scientology, and while I will go on to explain what I see as the flaws in concept and practice, nevertheless, tend to be greatly therapeutic, done as they are given (Hubbard insists that “TR’s are not processing, they are training”, but factually, they are both processing AND training). Hubbard’s first (known) son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr, who has been described by some as a worthy contributor to Scientology himself, imported these techniques, redefined and somewhat reconfigured, from eastern meditation techniques. These involve two people sitting in chairs facing each other, working their way up in a series of steps, to increase their abilities, from being able to experience another’s presence, to being able to smoothly and effectively conduct processing sessions with them. Each sequential step in the series has a numbered designation, from “OT TR-0” through TR-4; there are also “Upper Indoc TR’s”, which involve aspects of controlling the client and his body for the running of objective processes, which involve increasing one’s awareness and control of the body and the physical universe.
The liabilities of TR’s, in concept, and/or practice, include the following:
(1) While the instructions for the “0” series of TR’s, namely “OT-TR-0”, “TR-0” and “TR-0 Bullbait”, do stress the achieving of “being there comfortably”, in practice, this is frequently reduced to suppressing all outward reactions, such as any body motion, blinking, swallowing, etc. Any of these, by the instructions, is met with an emphatic “flunk” by the coach or supervisor, putting pressure on the “student” (remember, the assertion is that “this is training, not processing”), sometimes intimidating and overwhelming the student into forcing himself still, and putting effort into creating and maintaining the façade that will get them through their “blinkless TR-0”, which has him focusing internally, and thus limiting their ability to “be there comfortably” with the person sitting across from them.
Alan Walter made similar observations, and improved on these with his “Presence Processes”. There is no “flunking”, and no denial of the fact of this being processing. The focus, as it should be, is on experiencing the other person’s presence. All the manifestations which get a “flunk” in doing “TR-0” are simply the being’s efforts to resist the other person’s presence, and rather than being harassed and badgered with “Flunk”, which imposes “failure!” on the being, one merely needs to be encouraged to “stick their feet in the water a little deeper”, to increasingly rehabilitate their ability and willingness to fully share and experience “being here”, or “presence”, with others.
Having the benefit of my own experience with, and observation of, TR’s, in concept and practice, along with Alan’s material, I developed my adaptation of these. When the person manifests some resistance to fully being present with the other person, I ask them what’s happening, have them view and run out whatever was manifesting, acknowledge their answer, and instruct them to “now return to fully experiencing” the other person’s presence; no “Flunk!You blinked!” or some such. The process is considered completed when the person, myself, and depending which step we’re on, the other participant sitting across from them, are all satisfied that the intended result has been well accomplished, and is a meaningful accomplishment for the client. One actual example of results achieved: Client A expressed having so completely experienced client B’s presence that they “actually felt left-handed”, like client B.
The failure to achieve this level of ability and willingness to experience the other’s presence, in Scientology auditor training, results in many instances of the auditor resorting to various mechanisms to resist what the PC is manifesting, and so the client is imposed upon by what the counselor is manifesting, which presents as counter-efforts of force, emotion and/or thought defensively cast out at the client. If there’s one thing that any counselor needs to understand, its that the client, on some level, is sensitive to the attitude(s) of the counselor, and that anything less than the genuine, exuded desire to have the client fully and openly express what is manifesting for them is, functionally, an inhibiting influence on the client, and thus a diminishing of the effectiveness of the processing. A client should not be presented with a counselor who is efforting not to blink, not to react, and/or not to experience what the client is manifesting!
(2) Another unfortunate misdirecting flaw in TR’s is that both auditors and PC’s frequently turn out to be indoctrinated into a cadence pattern that is akin to participating in a game of ping pong, a session process pattern of one question over the net, one answer right back, one question over the net, one answer right back; the key liability here is that the PC rushes to give that one quick response to “put the ball back in the auditor’s court”, and thus the PC’s allowing the material to complete emerging is cut short, and also the auditor can become more focused on delivering that command to keep up the pace, than on experiencing and fully “getting” what the PC is offering up to be “gotten”. This is not merely theoretical, not at all- I see the manifestations of this frequently, and exclusively in clients with previous experience in TR’s drilling and auditing sessions with Scientology trained auditors. When you are fully experiencing the client, this sort of thing is quite striking, because although the client is giving answers, they are doing it somewhat mechanically, and so little processing is occurring. When this manifests, what I do (and what I recommend other counselors also do) is newly explain or remind the client that the processing we are doing is beyond and outside of the framework of TR’s drilling, and that it is very important that they feel free to take all the time they may need to fully “flesh out” whatever is coming to mind in every answer, and to give all of every answer that comes to mind, without waiting for the question to be repeated, that they do not need to wait for that to “have permission” to give more answers.
Another important related point: As a rule, do not assume the client is finished answering because they completed a sentence and did not immediately begin another one. I wait until the client looks at me as if to say “I’m done answering, over to you, what’s next?” As long as the client is looking elsewhere than back at the counselor, they are still processing the question or command. Remember “a silent auditor invites itsa”; the client is still processing, until their attention clearly returns to the counselor. They will frequently, but not necessarily have more to say, but they are still processing, and the signal that they have completed processing the question or command is that their eyes indicate that they are now “back with you”. Wait for this before giving the next question or command, and the increase in effectiveness of the processing will be observable.
(3) The drilling of “TR-3”, in which the auditor is trained to say “I’ll repeat the auditing command” when the PC is judged to have diverted from the process has liabilities. Firstly, it tends to inject an unnaturalness into the communication line between counselor and client with the set patter, and for the most part this is built into the drilling; it also, all too frequently, imposes a certain pressure on the client not to “get too comfortable” in expressing or doing whatever is manifesting for them, to “follow commands”, “stay with the program”, “don’t disrespect, upset or waste the auditor’s time with irrelevant comments”. Often, clients, having previously drilled TR-3, develop considerations and self-imposed inhibitions based on “Being a good PC”. These manifestations have turned up quite frequently with those clients of mine who have a Scientology background. One can argue that it isn’t meant to be drilled that way, or cause those issues, and/or that they didn’t fall into those flaws, and these may very well be the case, but nevertheless, I have frequently found I’ve had to “un-indoctrinate” clients to liberate them from these concerns and attitudes, in fact, from their “good PC identity”, which is a substantial obstacle to, and diminishment of, the quality of the processing. We want to be processing the being, not an artifice of attitudes and/or collection of behavior pattern circuits.
I think the factors voiced here go a long way in explaining why usually, when I process a client who has no previous experience with processing, and I just refer them to a few of my own files and videos and have a short conversation with them about what we’ll be doing and how it works, they tend to process better than those with a background of “Standard” indoctrination. Half the time, they have such a spiritual liberation after their first one or 2 sessions, that for weeks, or even months afterward, they are still talking about how wonderful they’re doing from that processing.
The processing can only run, and accomplish something worthwhile to the degree that the being himself feels free to be present, and freely experience and express whatever may manifest over the course of the session.
That is most easily accomplished with the practitioner’s complete interested acceptance, absent of any and all forms of resistance, including any evaluations/judgments, verbal or otherwise, and any and all other distractions, and impositions.
The goal is always in direction of empowerment of the client, and so the client is always encouraged and granted to find their own answers, trust their own perceptions and concepts, and not to diminish self through accepting or submitting to those of the practitioner.