By Jim Logan

In 1957 research and discovery had determined the definition of Operating Thetan that gave clarity to continued R&D to attainment of this state in Scientology. This is published in HCOB, Clear Procedure, Definitions, Goals, 3 December 1957:

“An Operating Thetan can be at cause knowingly and at will over Life, Matter, Energy, Space and Time, subjectively and objectively.

 “This action definition of Operating Thetan is the true goal of the auditor and if followed with complete understanding will achieve the best possible results.”

This term “cause” comes up in the definition of “responsibility”.   So, OT/cause/will-ingness/know-ingness/responsibility are all of a piece.

In 1959 research and discovery leading to recovering the state of OT went searchingly into the area of Overts – that is, actions caused that were somehow harmful to one or more Dynamics. One of the methods of handling these at that time was the simple question “What have you done?”

The idea extends to causing a “withhold” too, in that one is doing the action of withholding. The simple question here was “What have you withheld?” So, cause is embracive of both overts and the subsequent withholding of having done the act.

In order for an overt to hang up on the person, they must in some way avoid responsibility for having caused some effect. Denial of self causing some action when self did the action is a denial of one’s state of operating/causing – that is denial of responsibility. These terms all relate and are describing the same thing – the ability to be Cause over knowledge, action, MEST, life, the Dynamics.

A thetan will restrain themselves if they consider and do something they aren’t willing to do or have done and deny responsibility for having done – a “discreditable act”, in their own estimation. Something they couldn’t or wouldn’t experience easily is a way to evaluate this type of act.

A thetan will allow themselves power to act when they trust themselves to act.

As a being lives life, they do things. If that doing is denied, as in overt acts against one or more Dynamics, the being lessens their responsibility for their own acting and a dwindling of ability occurs as they seek to restrain themselves more and more.

Along with doing something discreditable goes the effort on the part of the being to “not-know” they did it. They try to get the target of the act to “not-know” about it also.

For example; a person steals another person’s I-pad. They don’t want the target of the overt to know they did it. They don’t want that person to know where the I-pad got to. This effort to “not-know” recoils on themselves and they try to bury the fact they stole the object from themselves along with the other person.

All this “not-knowing” lessens knowledge along with a lessened responsibility for doing and the being ends up less able to control their own actions, objects and life as they are restraining themselves from knowing what life is. They get dumber and less able. Their memories of living aren’t easily recoverable. They “forget” their own tracks of existence. They get less and less aware of things, objects, people and they themselves are the one’s lessening the awareness.

In 1961 research and discovery led to the fact that as one gets gains in auditing one’s responsibility for having done things rises. The buried knowledge comes back as one takes off the “not-knowns” of their living and along with that recovery of knowledge, the overts one has done and withheld come back up to awareness.   Enter the art and therapy of the “sec check”, the “confessional”.

A fundamental rationale behind a confessional is to enable the being to again “know” and help them take the “not-know” off of their own track of life.

You are helping the being find out what it is they don’t know since they’ve “not-known” whatever it is. It isn’t to “get the goods” on a person and hold it over them for control or punishment, but is a means of recovering the “not-know” off the case and return to a state of knowledge, able to control action and responsibility for life and living. (Ref. SHSBC tape of 15 June 1961, Not-Know.)

All aberration has an unknowness to it – and it’s a maxim that if the guy knew all about it then that isn’t the thing that’s troubling him.

Willingness to know goes with willing to have caused goes with willing to have acted and recognition that one is Cause. It goes along with any OT ability that exists and is there to be recovered and for which one is willing to assume responsibility.

What happens to a being that has made gains in auditing, even gone Clear, for them to sink back, relapse, lose gains? What makes a case stable in its gains?

The same thing that paves the way to the state of OT.   Willingness to assume the status of Cause. The honesty with oneself about what one did and does. The as-isness of things, the knowing of what’s going on.

As one progresses on the Bridge one’s cause level rises and with that one’s awareness of what they’ve done begins to come back.   At various points it is a good idea to review one’s track and either by assuming responsibility with honest inspection, get your “rudiments” in or even a good confessional at appropriate times, one relieves the “not-know” and recovers the ability to assume Cause over acting. As one approaches higher states of existence then one is more and more able to own their acts and the responsibility for having done something can be taken and the shutting down of ability ceases. One is responsible, can know, and is able to reach and be cause, effect and truly attain the recovery of the ability to operate as a thetan.

The road to OT is paved with truth. The whole idea of OT is the recovery of the ability to be Cause and if one isn’t or denies themselves causing and not-knows on various flows then one will either not attain or will slump back from approach to this state – Operating Thetan.

Please note: none of this involves blame, shame or regret. Responsibility is a whole other deal. If you crossed the road, you crossed the road. If you made supper, you made supper. If you smacked the dog, you smacked the dog.   It’s a fact that you end up on the other side of the road, have something to eat, and Rover is now growling.

106 thoughts on “Secrets of OT

    • Jonathon,
      I’m not quite sure what you are saying, so if I’m mistaken please disabuse me right some quick.

      It is my experience that there are terms bandied about among those involved in Scientology in the various ways people get involved. In many cases these terms are not fully understood or are mis-taken or they go through some sort of cultural warping and come to mean something by agreement that isn’t the actual concept the term is supposed to embrace.

      I think one of the tougher parts about this subject, Scientology, is that is describing things that we actually are in the midst of and it’s a bit tricky to see what you are in the midst of when you are in it. Add to that trickiness this idea of purposely “not-knowing” and you’ve got quite a task in both gaining understanding for yourself as well as helping the other fellow gain the recovery of knowing, willing, source for the various manifestations of a long, long track of existing.

      I think you are talking about the recognition – the re- cognition – of just what is what about both sides of that dichotomy – intention/counter-intention.

      • It’s like those old cartoons where the angel sits on one shoulder whispering, “Be good.” while the little devil sits on the other shoulder whispering, “Be bad.”

        No matter how hard we smash their little heads together, the GPM doesn’t resolve.

        Likewise, someone doesn’t go Clear by simply invalidating existing Clears.

  1. JL:

    Okay okay. Look, Jim, I didn’t realize it was your iPad, okay? I just saw it sitting there and, well… 😉

    This post is also a reminder that your abilities as an OT can go away as easily as they did the first time. Your continued existence as an OT is predicated on your continuing to adhere to a reasonable facsimile of ethics and morals. Decades ago, when a pre-OT (before NOTs and OT VIII) failed to do this, we called it, “hitting the banana peel”. And it wasn’t pretty to watch.

    The best reference I know of regarding this is An Open Letter To All Clears, where Ron talks about taking unnecessary liberties, etc. Which means it also applies to Clears as well. You have a responsibility to keep your nose clean on all the dynamics. Going Clear and/or OT does not absolve you of that. If anything, exactly the reverse.

    This is also a plug for training. Training helps you see this in others and correct or notice it in your own life.


    • Now that you mention it, this whole area of O/W research led directly to the study of “goals” and the taking on of identities/valences to achieve the goal. A valence/identity has this aspect of “survival” to it whereas the thetan can’t do anything but. So with the idea of protection, care, persistence of the identity (which by definition implies someTHING the thetan has decided to be) and its survival toward the attaining of the goal and in the struggles with things that oppose that surviving of the identity come the problems of life and overt acts as “solution” to those problems and those opposing – the other identities/valences.

      At one point in the research (SOP Goals) there were lists of actions, all the various ways of doing that we could do, and in the chasing down of a central goal, the central identity that was involved in the thing you’d hit the various points of action that describe all that identity could do in trying to have some thing, some goal, some whatever.

      Ron had this uncanny ability to observe the “obvious” which is not so obvious to me until he says “hey, look at this!”

      This scale of doingness, the Pre Havingness Scale, is one of those things that if you look you’ll see the key “buttons” of doing that an identity would engage in in trying to Have some goal.

      He kept refining the methodologies of address and eventually you get one that you mention, L10. It’s one of many effective means of helping a being unsnaggle from all this snaggling.

  2. Jim, it’s late and I want to finish reading your article tomorrow, but having read just a few words it struck me that when you said,

    “One of the methods of handling these [overts] at that time was the simple question ‘What have you done?’ The idea extends to causing a “withhold” too, in that one is doing the action of withholding. The simple question here was “What have you withheld?”

    that these two commands are almost the exact same commands that Ron gave for marriage auditing…..
    “What have you done to me?” and “What have you withheld from me”.

    What a powerful one-two punch to the reactive mind this basic process is!

    • Espiritu,
      Yes, it is an address to the Reactive Mind and he makes it very clear in the materials of the time that these things are “not-known” by the being. In other words, you’re chasing down things the being themselves isn’t actually aware of – that’s the Instant Read which is reading just below the awareness of the person – and helping them recover from the self-imposed fog.

      In other words, auditing address the reactive, not the “analytical”. If the person “knows what’s wrong” then that isn’t it or it would as-is and wouldn’t be aberrative.

      • On this “knows what’s wrong” that is not the aspect of the cognition or recognition of the thing that occurs as the fog is lifted. As soon as the thing is as-ised and the person actually does realize and know what’s what, then the area is no longer capable of aberrating the being and he’s recovered from that not-know.

        On the other hand, “knows what’s wrong” that doesn’t actually resolve the issue is part of this whole maxim of it isn’t what you know that bites, it’s what you “not-know”.

      • Not just the reactive, as in the “Reactive Mind”, as these things rise above the bank as well, perpetrated – and perpetuated – by the beings themselves. Restoration of awareness of full responsibility (a la AP&A) brings about a resolution and recovery of one’s true beingness. A bit of finding out what the left hand is doing as well as the right hand, as you’ve pointed out. O/Ws fit hand-in-glove with responsibility. They are good traveling companions. 😉

        • I suppose I should have written “reactive mind” as in a stimulus- response area on auto with as you say, the thetan making sure the right hand dun’t know what the left hand be up to, or have been up to :-O

            • Sorry Chris, I’m not quite tracking with you. Can you expand on this with the material you’re considering? Cheers 🙂

              • Maybe my turn to apologize, Jim. When you said (above) that it is an address to the Reactive Mind, and that auditing addresses the reactive, I assumed you meant it (O/W) applied to the RM, not across the boards, which is why I said “not just the reactive, as in Reactive Mind”. O/Ws can be quite senior to the bank and held in place by the thetan, much like ev purps. That’s all. Sorry for any confusion. 😀

                • Thanks for the additional data, Chris.

                  The reference I was making on this “reactive/analytical” differentiation is one made in a couple of the recent BC tapes I’ve studied. One on the E-Meter where students on the course were taking Latent Reads i.e., what were actually conscious thoughts of the preclear as opposed to Instant Reads which are reactions below the full conscious awareness, that is, “reactive”.

                  He’s also discussing this on a tape, Wrong Target- Sec Check, where he is pointing out that the person is not sitting there fully conscious of his withholds and simply not telling but is in a state of “not-know” about them as they have been not-known and buried.

                  You are helping the person find these things, taking the Instant Read and bringing these things back to conscious awareness, through the fog sometimes, including the obfuscations, mis-direction justification no responsibility, blame, shame, regret and various manifestations that go along with this whole business of O/W, as they come back to the person.

  3. Since, unlike some commenters here, I’m not an expert on LRH’s writings, please correct, validate or expand my understanding. I think the following is implied in Jim’s dissertation.

    Besides recognition, responsibility also involves correction and prevention of what is wrong or a past wrong doing.

    Once the un-not-knowing has been done, one is able, and should take the appropriate corrective and preventive steps. If one is still unable or unwilling to take the appropriate corrective and preventive steps, then there has not been made enough un-not-knowing done.

    If a harm has been done, one should make up the harm to the appropriate terminals, otherwise there is a constant present time omission overt (non correction of the harm done). Making up to a substitute terminals or entity (e.g.: making a donation to the IA$, as sometimes(?) practiced in the Co$), is not a way to make up the harm done.

    After the overt has been spotted, one also has to spot the not-known why the overt has been committed (possibly, there are some chains), so to prevent to commit a similar overt again due to not-known case still remaining there. Once this correct why has been resolved, one does not need to aberratively restrict oneself. This aberrated restriction is a broad way mechanism to prevent future overts due to not-knowing how to correctly prevent it.

    In a past life overt, probably correction is not possible or practical, but the prevention (spotting the correct not-known why) is what would de-aberrate that case.

    • Mabu,
      Well, along with responsibility as a thetan goes awareness of the Dynamics. That includes survival along all those lines.

      Taking ownership for the ramifications of one’s acts and with the impulse to survive across the Dynamics, one would see this natural urge to address adverse effect and right the situation to the extent possible.

      The whole theory of O/W lies on one of the key assumption points of Scientology:

      “The entire secret of all overt-withhold mechanisms is valences.

      ” I have known for a long while that a profile on our tests is a picture of a valence.

      “If the preclear were in no valence, but was himself completely, he would have a perfect test response and would be wholly Clear. In this statement we have one of the background structure points of Scientology.”

      “That a being, without aberration, would be good, ethical, artistic and powerful is still a basic assumption in Scientology. It has just been demonstrated as factual for our practice.” HCOB 9 June 60, Basic Assumption Points of Scientology Versus Overts.

  4. “If a harm has been done, one should make up the harm to the appropriate terminals, otherwise there is a constant present time omission overt (non correction of the harm done).”

    I don’t know about this, MaBu, because then I’d be running around the universe for the next endless millennia trying to find everyone to do one of the Twelve Steps on. I think that’s why confessionals (both Scientology and otherwise) work. Conditions like Liability, on the other hand, well, that says what it says.

    As to spotting “why” one has committed the overt (the “not-known why”), that would be getting into significance and not just removing the charge from the case. Ron says, pc search is for significance; the C/S goal is to remove the charge. (C/S Series 6) Once the charge is removed, the being comes upscale and is a better and more ethical being. (HCOB 9 June 60, The Basic Assumptions of Scientology Versus Overts)

    Getting rid of the false valences that prompt one to commit the overt acts in the first place is what “de-aberrates” the case.

    (Same HCOB as reference: “The mechanism is exposed. And as it is exposed, we find it is not needed, since a being without valences is basically good. Only a being with valences has his overts recoil upon him. Only a being with valences commits overts harmful to others, as he is behaving as he supposes the “evil” valence would behave but as no unvalenced being does.”)

      • Don’t. It’s in you, too, MaBu. We all are re-learning and remembering what we forgot. Besides, I admire who you are and have a lot of respect fir you, so we’re even-steven (whoever the hell he is!). 😀

      • P.S. The secret, notwithstanding knowing where to look, is like the saying “Google is your friend”. In this case, the subject index is your friend. 😉

      • Probably, I use the world “why” in a broader sense than you. The way I see it, then, the “false valence” is the “not-known why”.

    • Exactly Chris, the ethics formulas enter as an additional tool for survival across the Dynamics.

      P.S. the same issue I was thinking of and posted before I read your response, the Basic Assumptions HCOB 🙂

  5. Not to knock what you’re saying here Jim but only to enter my own caveat here.

    In my opinion the Orgs went crazy with O/W and conditions in the early ’80’s to the point where practically everybody including their dog was getting some kind of sec check or confessional or was doing some lower condition.

    You look at the Reform Codes which have been posted earlier and one will find the policy Sec Checks Abolished.

    Why were they abolished at the time?

    Probably because as currently. They were over used and abused.

    Also it became a way of shifting the blame away from out-tech and blame the PC for not making gain.

    You know because they must have overts or are out-ethics etc.

    In fact back in the day when I was working in the FES Units of both ASHO and AOLA. There were certain “FESer” who spent as in wasted their time exclusively noting down “natter areas” instead of the auditing error that preceded it. So the “C/S” could write up some kind of Tailored “Sec Check” to nowhere instead of handle the actual error such as an out list, overrun or under run, some kind of inval or eval not reported in the Auditor’s W/S or if noted, noted as “TR 4” or something like that.

    Get the fact here that I’m not trying to discredit the power of Confessionals or of doing ethics conditions when correctly and properly done.

    • Confessionals are awesome and a necessary part of the tech.

      But the current management has taken the purpose of ethics to the reductio ad absurdum that anything a Scientologist does that isn’t a direct benefit to organized Scientology will be viewed as looking for bigger fish to fry or, in extreme cases, the church will attempt to interfere with a Scientologist’s work.

      I don’t think LRH intended for the church to micromanage people’s lives while calling it ethics.

      Withholds, especially missed withholds, are different because it is the person who gives value to it, so it has to be addressed for further progress to be possible. If the church alone is judging the withhold or overt, then how can someone progress over that?

      • Very true Jonathon.

        I’d just like to add that what is an overt or withhold. Just like as in the “wog world” has become so arbitrary these days that most Scientologists don’t know where they stand with the Organization.

        It used to be that the only reason for any Ethics and Justice which included HCO Confessionals was solely to get tech in. Now it seems that it is just used to get people and in many as in most cases drives tech out instead of in.

        What I call “reverse ‘ethics'”.

        Fortunately Ron developed Repair of Past Ethics, the Ethics RL and the Confessional Repair List to handle all the upset and BPC in this area.

        • I believe HCO Confessionals (“NAY”), as well as Justice actions (ethics is something the person undertakes themselves to better their conditions in life) are for the purposes of investigation or justice. True, they follow the rules of auditing, including following the auditors code (or they should), and it does help the pc to be relieved of his or her overts and withholds, having clean hands and all, but the purpose is not to get tech in but to get data:

          “Confessionals done for investigatory or justice purposes (generally called “HCO Confessionals”)….

          The usual circumstances under which an HCO Confessional is done are that the person is already undergoing a Comm Ev or other ethics investigatory action or is working through lower ethics conditions, and the Ethics Officer has requested that the CIS order an HCO Confessional done.” (HCOB 7 Jan 85, HCO Confessionals)

          Got it on their abuse. One day, perhaps we’ll have the opportunity to cram and correct that outness in the church, hey? 😉

          • Yes but the point I was making here that Ron himself personally abolished sec checks after seeing how they can be abused.

            True sec checks for investigatory purposes should be done when needed but it also doesn’t mean that a C/S especially has to do one when ordered by HCO especially when there is some technical reason the person is in ethics like flubbed power, missed S&Ds or possible out int.

            Also there is nothing in the HCOB on HCO Confessionals that says that the C/S and/or Auditor can violate the C/S Series by say doing a Confessional or Sec Check over a high or low TA or over rudiments that won’t fly or over Out Int or Lists.

            • Robin, there you go bringing in the kitchen sink again (your last two paragraphs, adding data not applicable to the original point and my responding comment). You said that it used to be that the “only reason” for any ethics or justice, including HCO confessionals, was “solely to get tech in”. That’s incorrect and I merely corrected that incorrect statement. Justice – including investigatory processes – have their own purpose as laid out in various policies and HCOBs (one which I quoted). This doesn’t mean that any of the other points you brought up latterly don’t apply; they do. But that’s a given, common sense, and wasn’t part of your original comment. That’s all.

              • No I am not.

                You just seem to be being obtuse.

                As Ron states in the HCOPL Processing:

                Auditing at all levels works well when it is done by the book.
                The purpose of ethics is to open the way for and get in tech.
                Then we can do our job.

                He also says this in A Talk to Review Auditors plus various other references.

                In fact it also says in the above that continuing any ethics action beyond this point is suppressive.

                In other words ethics does not exist for its own sake but to get tech in which is covered in the RED How To Raise Stats.

                Personally I think the Org has gone down the dark road it has gone down is because of a fixation on ethics for the sake of ethics and keeping everybody in line.

                • “Personally I think the Org has gone down the dark road it has gone down is because of a fixation on ethics for the sake of ethics and keeping everybody in line.”

                  Without a doubt. Yep, that’s nailed it.

                • As I said Robin, if you could stop for a sec and see, I don’t disagree with all these other points; but in regards to justice and HCO confessionals, they don’t exist solely to get tech in, having their own purposes as shown. And by their purposes being accomplished, they do allow for tech to occur as they remove stops to it being practiced. Ok?

                  • Yes I see your point Chris.

                    Maybe I’m confusing your comments with someone else’s in my deep dark past 😉

                    Hey it’s possible 🙂

                    But anyway even if the Sec Check is used to uncover a plant or suppressive or some corrupt exec. It’s overall purpose is to remove barriers from getting the Tech in and standardly applied.

            • Ron didn’t abolish sec checks Robin. Read that material again. “Lists of withholds” and keeping them as they were at that time was what he was talking about, mate, not the entire body of work on the subject of responsibility for one’s acts.

              Besides, it may very well be possible that they were abused so badly to discredit the data and make the whole topic a point of BPC rather than the relief and recovered ability to reach that a well done confessional affords.

              Chris is right on the use of them for justice/invest etc., and what they are meant to be in that regard. Again, abuse of this body of work is something that goes on the list for the Data Trail on what’s been goin’ on.

              • Jim,

                Read the following PL again:

                HUBBARD COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
                HCO POLICY LETTER OF 26 AUGUST 1968
                The practice of security checking from security check lists like the “Joburg” has been abolished. There are several reasons for this:
                We have no interest in the secrets and crimes of people and no use for them.
                Security checking is often done without regard to the point where the person feels better and so became overrun.
                Security checking is often done in disregard of the state of a person’s case.
                Low level cases do not react on actual crimes and so the “security” furnished is often a false security. There is public criticism of security checking as a practice.
                The existence of lists of crimes in folders often makes it necessary to destroy the folders which may contain other technical data which is constructive and valuable.
                If a person is a criminal or has overt acts which affect his case, and speaks of them to an auditor of his own volition, the auditor is bound by the Auditor’s Code not to publish, use or reveal them.
                Nothing in this policy letter alters standard grade processing or rudiments.

                L. RON HUBBARD
                LRH:js.cden Copyright© 1968 by L. Ron Hubbard
                ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

                As far as I can see he made it pretty clear that he was abolishing sec checking for the above reasons.

                Also the policy is part of the original reform code.

                  • Good point my man.

                    Especially since Confessionals are part of Grade II processing.

                    (Ref: C/S 93 and any later revision of the HCOB The New Grade Chart.)

                    Also as we both know overts and withholds are considered rudiments 🙂

                    I think Ron was trying to prevent continuous and endless “Sec Checking” which is what is occurring in the Orgs these days.

                    • I think I should have said something like “the technology of responsibility raising” or ” how to get and keep a case winning in auditing” or some such instead of “sec checks” as that term had a specific meaning originally which is covered in the PL you referenced. My bad.

                      Basically, he didn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. We have sec checks today, but they are more properly called “confessionals” as that’s what they are mainly used as, with the exception pointed out when done as part of an invest/justice type action.

                    • That’s probably why they started calling them “Integrity Processing” and the Board wrote a whole bunch of squirrelly BTBs and related BPLs to get around Ron’s policy.

                      Anyway I thought Ron tidied up the subject nicely when he issued Tech Correction Round-up and included the tech on “Sec Checking” as part of Confessionals and later added the Power to Forgive.

                      Making it an auditing action instead of a Security Check.

                    • I always felt that the Proclamation To Forgive a bit “odd” in that it violated LRH in the issue he wrote on granting beingness, where he says that “forgiveness is rather censorious”. Plus it seems to go against all that he had written and spoken about in the 50s and 60s about getting off overts and withholds. Just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s LRH I’d love to see the original proof or hear the original transcription tape. May have just been some advice like BFO 46. Or perhaps it was to become “mainstream”. Nah, not Ron.

                    • I don’t know Chris. Worked for me. Every time I gave the proclamation according to the HCOB and later as part of Confessional Procedure I always got the result expected.

                      Also Ron included it with the Tech advances mentioned in RJ 30.

                      It also beats the hell out of having the PC do a bunch of Hail Marys or Pater Nosters or whatever 🙂

                      And is an intricate part of Amnesty Policy.

                      Not to mention the fact that what you quoted here is part of the Article entitled What is Greatness and the action you seem to be in disagreement with is HCOBs and LRH ED and *is* part of what is considered Standard Technical Procedure regarding confessionals and most importantly the original regarding PTF was originally signed by Ron.

                      See the following HCOB:

                      HUBBARD COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
                      HCO BULLETIN OF 10 NOVEMBER 1978R Issue 1
                      REVISED 3 DECEMBER 1978
                      (Revision in this type style)
                      (Also issued as an HCO Policy Letter under same date and title.)
                      A Scientology minister who has been duly trained and certified in the Confessional procedure of the Church of Scientology and is in good standing with the Church with his certificates in force, is invested with the power to forgive the admitted sins of an individual to whom he has administered full Confessional procedure.
                      Confessionals have been part and parcel of religion nearly as long as religion has existed.
                      It has been broadly recognized down through the ages that only when a person has owned up to his sins can he experience relief from the burden of guilt he carries because of them.
                      In Scientology we have had, since the early years, procedures whereby an indi- vidual is able to confess his withholds and the overt acts underlying them. We have long known that confessing one’s overt acts is the first step toward taking responsibility for them and seeking to make things right again.
                      The acknowledgement that follows each confession in Scientology procedure is an assurance to the person that his confession has been heard.
                      Such assurance helps him to end cycle on the bad things he has done and unsticks him from a preoccupation with his guilt over them to where he can then put his attention on constructive activities.
                      That is the purpose of any Confessional.
                      There is another element that further helps the individual to accomplish this, and that is forgiveness.
                      Thus, at the end of a Confessional, when it has been fully completed, the Scien- tology auditor who has administered the Confessional must inform the person that he is forgiven for the sins he has just confessed, and that he is cleared of these sins and free of them.
                      The statement that is used is:
                      “By the power invested in me, any overts and withholds you have fully and truthfully told me are forgiven by Scientologists.”
                      A special certificate is to be issued to each Scientology minister who has been trained and certified on the Level II Course or the Confessional Course to administer Confessional procedure, and who is in good standing with the Church with his certifi- cates in force, investing him with the power to forgive the sins confessed to him by an individual in a Confessional session.

                      Any auditor who is trained to deliver the Ethics Repair List has priority in the issuance of such certificate.
                      Copyright © 1978
                      by L. Ron Hubbard
                      ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

                      L. RON HUBBARD Founder

                    • Hi Robin,

                      As I stated, I “felt” it was a bit odd, and that it was “just my opinion”. I’m well aware of the issues I referred to and don’t need to have them cut and pasted back to me in full (unless, of course, you’re doing it for the edification of some other audience). And I’m not in disagreement with the issue “What Is Greatness”; as I said, the HCOB “Proclamation, Power To Forgive” seems contrary to Ron’s earlier viewpoint on O/Ws and confessionals – it just seems more like someone else’s think.

                      What would help is if you have any of these other references (the HCOB and LRH ED where it states that it is considered part of standard procedure in regards to giving confessionals – date and title would suffice) you are referring to where LRH explicitly states that one give a proclamation of forgiveness after auditing a confessional. And it sounds like you have – or have seen – the original signed by Ron? Is this correct? That would help, too.


                    • Chris,

                      First of all I don’t see where it is “contrary” to any earlier issues on Sec Checking or Confessionals.

                      Do you have a specific reference or references that it allegedly “contradicts”?

                      Please give the appropriate quote along with the title and date of the HCOB(s) or PL(s) that it allegedly violates.

                      The article you’ve cited isn’t even an HCOB. Thus I suggest you apply the PLs on Seniority of Orders and Issues- Types of in this regard.

                      What I have cited as you can see has Ron’s name at the bottom and no other. Not only that but it was issued after the HCOB Tech Correction Round-up thus the likelihood of it being written by somebody else is very slim.

                      Also as I wrote earlier it *is* part of standard Confessional Procedure as given here:

                      25. When the Confessional is fully completed, the auditor who has administered the Confessional informs the person he is forgiven for the overts and withholds he has just confessed, using the following statement:
                      “By the power invested in me, any overts and withholds you have fully and truth- fully told me are forgiven by Scientologists.”
                      The usual response of the pc is instant relief and VGIs. On any adverse reaction to the Proclamation of Forgiveness, get the rest of the withhold or repair the Confessional session at once.
                      (Ref: HCOB 10 Nov 78 R. PROCLAMATION: POWER TO FORGIVE HCOB 10 Nov 78R-1, Addition of 26 Nov 78, PROCLAMATION: POWER TO FORGIVE—ADDITION.)

                      Also as per the HCOPL Amnesty Policy:

                      AMNESTY: A general pardon for past offenses; the granting of such a pardon; a forgetting or intentional overlooking; the rendering of punishment null and void for offenses earlier than the amnesty date, known or unknown; forgiveness of past criminal or anti-social actions. The removal of criminal names from police wanted files.


                      “forgiveness of past criminal or anti-social actions.”

                      So I can’t see why granting amnesty in a session is any different then the above except only in degree and scope.

                      Also I never said I saw any handwritten issue in this regard or if one exists. Especially since Ron when he left Saint Hill would record many of his issues on a dictaphone or in some cases dictate them directly to his typist (the initials that you see to the right of his usually in lower case) thus the likelihood of finding a handwritten issue is about as likely as finding the Holy Grail.

                      Again as I wrote earlier I have given many Confessionals which included the Proclamation and I’ve always gotten the result as expected. So as I said it worked for me and never found the PC or Pre OT to consider it censorious in any way.

                      But let’s look again what Ron says in What is Greatness:

                      If there is any saintly quality, it is not to forgive. “Forgiveness” is a much lower level action and is rather censorious.

                      Maybe so but it seems PC’s and many Pre OTs like to be
                      forgiven for past transgressions no matter how “censorious” it may seem.

                      Also even after stating the above there was no change in amnesty policy which was issued the year before.

                      So you are entitled to your opinion but it doesn’t change the fact that the Proclamation to Forgive is part of Standard Tech.

                    • There’s a big difference between a general pardon in an amnesty and the proclamation to forgive after a confessional, Robin; they are not identical nor the same thing. But I understand. Anyway, I’m not going to go round and round with you again. There were a lot of shenanigans when it came to issues coming out “supposedly” by Ron, more since the early 80s and especially after his death, but even before then in the 70s. You’ve done the BC, you should know where the data is. Take it as my opinion, then. It’s nary a mote of concern for me. I certainly hold yours in the same regard. 😉

                    • Chris,

                      As I wrote. The only difference is in degree and scope.

                      I suggest you look over the definition of amnesty again as given in the Amnesty Policy.

                      Sure they are not the same but are similar.

                      Also saying: “You’ve done the BC, you should know where the data is.”

                      Is not only a cop-out since I asked you for a specific ref but also a covert implication that I supposedly missed something on the BC.

                      Again if you know of a specific HCOB or PL that the Power to Forgive allegedly violates other than in your opinion a MA then I suggest you post it.

                      as Ron says in C/S Series 43 under Auditor Inval:

                      HCO Bs and Tapes are the stable data that form the agreement between the auditor and the C/S. “If it isn’t written (or spoken on tape) it isn’t true.”


                      There were a lot of shenanigans when it came to issues coming out “supposedly” by Ron, more since the early 80s and especially after his death, but even before then in the 70s.

                      Chris that is a generality and in my *opinion* is the false impetus behind RTC’s efforts to “correct” the Tech.

                      I know for a fact that Ron personally studied the galleys for the original Tech Vols, the Tech Dictionary and the Admin Dictionary because I personally knew people who were on those projects.

                      The only ones that were a miss were TV 11 and 12 because Ron turned that hat over to David Mayo.

                      Even so. There are very few HCOBs in both those volumes which had to be corrected and revised.

                      You make it seem that the Orgs were flooded with false HCOBs and PLs which wasn’t the case.

                      Again as I wrote earlier you’re entitled to your opinion as long as it is stated as such according the DAB Education and the Auditor.

                      As long as that opinion doesn’t prevent the standard application of Tech per the HCOPL Safeguarding Technology meaning telling other auditors from your position as a C/S to not include PTF as part of a Standard Confessional just because you are not convinced that Ron wrote it based on your opinion which is also a Tech Degrade and Downgrade.

                    • Also Robin, I wanted to bring up the essential nature of this area of Scientology as in its positive aspects and the real aim of this body of work.

                      That is is abused, grossly, is a fact and a sad one at that since it tends to invalidate what is really an OT gaining part of the research and discovery contained in this theory and practice on the subject of responsibility.

                      Sort of put attention on the positive flow and the negative will discharge to some degree. At least that is my intention 🙂

                      I’ve had a gazillion “sec checks”, confessionals, done the full gamut of every published FPRD list and in all that I have experienced real gains. True, there were several in there that were this other thing, the “beat the crap out of him till he confesses since we know he’s did it” type. I weathered those and haven’t any dregs of BPC left on the area.

                      It’s now as I gain truly OT levels of view and awareness that this material on the area is taking on a whole new light.

                    • Roger that Jim.

                      Actually I wrote that comment as a caveat.

                      Fact is that there are many gains to be had by standard Confessionals. More pros then cons for sure.

                      But like listing actions which according to the Laws can produce the highest gains attainable. There is also a down side when the action is flubbed or intentionally misapplied as in the case of any usage under what is called Black Dianetics.

                    • JL: “It’s now as I gain truly OT levels of view and awareness that this material on the area is taking on a whole new light.”

                      That’s what it’s all about, Jim; that’s what it’s all about.

                      Oh, and “reality is proportional to the amount of charge off the case.” 🙂

                    • Robin,
                      LRH was very much overseeing that Integrity Processing material on the ship. Brian Livingston compiled the issues, including direct transcriptions of Ron’s briefings on the technology. Those BTBs and BPLs from that time still retain some very valid data.

                    • True. Many still apply. One exception is probably Integrity Processing Procedure which was later revised and the Integrity Processing RL which later became the LCRD.

                      But that seemed to be a problem with BTBs and PLs is they’d occasionally get carried away. Like the one for R3R which had the PC scanning through the incident on the second run through and the one that placed the PTS RD after Grade IV which in a word was totally insane 😉

                    • JL: “Those BTBs and BPLs from that time still retain some very valid data.”

                      There’s a lot of valid data in BTBs (and BPLs) as well as some issues written by others but approved by Ron, like Eastment’s data on erasure on Dianetics. Not all were hogwash, although it is demonstrable that some were.

                    • RV: “Especially since Confessionals are part of Grade II processing. (Ref: C/S 93 and any later revision….)”

                      Robin, could you clarify this for me, as I don’t see where Ron says that confessionals form a part of Grade II. It just says that withholds and overts form part of Grade II.

                      Hoever, in regards this thread, he does say this in C/S Series 93RA, section “Grade II”:

                      “This does not mean you must never sec check. It does mean that Sec Checks are no substitute for auditing or guarantee of innocence.”

                    • Go with what Ron says big buddy instead of what I say here.

                      Though I get the idea from the above HCOB that sec checks or confessionals would probably be more effective after Grade II then before Grade II.

                    • Yup, he does say that, just not that they necessarily form part of it. I agree with your point, and as always, we program – and audit – the pc in front of us. If he or she had a lot of life troubles, after Grade II would be a great time to throw in some confessional processing (as per HCOB Formulating Confessional Questions). 🙂

    • Robin, out-lists, overrun, underrun, inval, eval, etc. don’t generate MWH phenomenon, nor is it the cause for O/Ws. Noting areas of natter is a valid function if the C/S wants data on areas of trouble per the HCOB Formulating Confessional Questions. Sure, it can be overdone, but it’s not always a prior “tech error”; sometimes it is what it is: just plain natter and overts and withholds. The problem, as you seem to be aware, is then generalizing that to every case. Which is what has been done now in the CoS.

      • “Robin, out-lists, overrun, underrun, inval, eval, etc. don’t generate MWH phenomenon, nor is it the cause for O/Ws.”

        Sure they can. A missed item can act as missed withhold. Also there can be an inadvertent withhold or a missed withhold of nothing which can act as a missed withhold.

        I’m sure you are as familiar with the references such as The Cause of ARCXs, the SH lectures relating to R2-10/12, C/S Series 78 etc as I am.

        True it may not always be a prior tech error but in many cases it is.

        Also as you say. Sometimes it is what it is and the PC is simply a withholdy PC who ARCXs a lot. Though you wouldn’t know for sure unless you reviewed the folder and that particular session.

        To *assume* that the PC just has “withholds” and try to handle that exclusively is just asking for trouble.

        • HCOB Missed Withholds
          HCOB Withholds, Missed And Partial
          HCOB Sec Checking – Generalities Won’t Do

          When talking about MWH phenomena, the above HCOBs apply, as well as other lectures and issues. If you were alluding to something else, perhaps you could clarify what you meant for me. And going into session with the pc will determine if there is a tech error or not. Assuming it is without knowing is just as gross as assuming the pc has withholds. At least in my books.

          • Actually you missed HCOB ARCXs and MWHs. Also ARCX MWHs.But there are also others relating specifically to the subject of By Passed Charge such as the ones I cited earlier HCOB Cause of ARCXs, C/S Series 78 and the BC Lectures on R2-12/10 listing. Not to mention earlier lectures on listing Goals etc. Not to mention the ’63 issues on doing BPC assessment and what do we have here the instructions on the LIC:

            Used by Auditors in session when an upset occurs, or as ordered by C/S.
            Handles ARC Broken, Sad, hopeless or *nattery pcs*(emphasis added).

            Then there is C/S Series 19 regarding Folder Error Summaries which is also mentioned in C/S Series 1 and 2 respectively which is used to find errors in auditing the case.

            So a competently done FES should tell the C/S and auditor what errors were committed prior to the PC’s “natter” etc without having to “assume” what they are.

            As they should be quite evident if the Auditor’s Report and W/S are honest. Even if they aren’t one is not stymied because one can get data by other means per C/S Series 62 Know Before You Go.

            Instead of just *assuming* that a PC has withholds.

              • Well OK.

                Now that I’ve beaten you into submission 😉

                The only point I was trying to make was that the tech on Sec Checking or Confessionals just like any other Tech can be over-used, abused and misapplied.

                Problem when it is as Ron says in Tech Correction Roundup we end up repeating history which is pretty much what has happened with the Church of Scientology.

                I mean we even got a guy who thinks he’s the pope.

  6. Hi Jim,

    I finally got to reading the rest of this article, and then I got to read all of the very informative comments and references and viewpoints on these subjects of O/W, M/W/H, Justice, conditions, sec checks, rudiments, etc.

    On the subject of the source of O/W I would like to mention that, per an FPRD bulletin that I have read, the sequence goes like this:
    First there is a basic confusion.
    Then there is evil intention.
    And then there are overts.
    Of course these are handled in reverse order as a gradient using E/S and earlier beginning. But, when the prior confusion is as-ised and blows….. there goes the whole mess and what we are left with is a Being who is just his (or her) basically good self!
    Responsibility, ethics conditions, honesty, whys, etc. all come into play as these basic confusions are examined, unravel, disappear, and are converted to Theta .
    At least that’s what I got out of reading this amazing bulletin:

    REVISED 3 MAY 1985
    False Purpose Rundown Series 5R

        • Exactly Jim 🙂

          Actually though I seem to be the Devil’s Advocate at times. I’ve audited and received many hours of FPRD and have gotten spectacular results.

          Also I’ve had and given various Confessional actions and gotten incredible gains.

          My only problem with sec checking or confessionals in general is they become a panacea for many so called “C/Ss” and “Auditors” who use them to cover their own technical flubs.

          Also as I wrote earlier. They have a tendency to be over-used and abused.

          What’s needed is a happy medium 🙂

    • Espiritu, here’s a point to ponder upon: What would a being with no charge, no lies, no false valences, be like? Would they – could they – commit overts? (Hint: Scientology Basic Assumptions Versus Overts) 😉

  7. I will do my best to answer your question, Sensei.

    I would think that such a being would not be “like” anyone or anything. They would simply BE who they are.
    I suppose that this hypothetical being could commit overts by “mistake”, but, since he is basically good, to do so it seems that he or she would first need to not-know things that were already known.
    OR, they could Decide to commit overts in order to create and have a game. An overt is a contra-SURVIVAL act ….which is weird for a thetan who can’t really cease to BE.
    …..Probably because he is a BEing. 🙂

    Please forgive the esoterica, Sensei. I realize that it was unnecessary. As I learned when I read A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxie, the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42.

    • I don’t think it is a hypothetical being. I think it is what it is.

      “OR, they could Decide to commit overts in order to create and have a game. An overt is a contra-SURVIVAL act …”

      Contra-survival is only possible in a game which includes survival. Before a game which includes survival is created, it is not possible to commit contra-survival overts.

      So, from an esoteric viewpoint, I think it’s better to define overt in a broader sense as something harmful (instead of just contra-survival).

      In a game that doesn’t include survival, an overt may be entrapping a being in the game itself.
      An overt also may be creating a game (which may or not include survival) which will entrap a being.

      • If you do a whole track(s) regression you may find that in the earliest track(s) “survival” doesn’t make sense. You may also find that “earlier” doesn’t make sense, probably because it has a “time” connotation, so may have to use “previous” or something like that to be able go even further “before” on the track(s).

      • Roger that MaBu.

        Actually what is considered good or bad. Is a matter of consideration and opinion.

        (See Scientology axioms)

        What are considered “overts” is what the Group or 3rd Dynamic considers an “overt”.

        Lecture Moral Codes; What is an Overt which is part of the SH lectures series.

        One agrees to follow a moral code of some kind. Say a doctor pledges to abide by the Hippocratic oath which includes “To do no harm” and then begins working for some Intel Agency that has him utilize his medical skills to inflict harm via torture on various subjects.

        That’s an overt in the basic sense of the word and will eventually recoil on the good doctor.

        See the HCOPL Ethics, Justice and the Dynamics.

        In other words its not just survival but also the person’s integrity that is being violated here. In fact in many cases the person’s survival may in fact be threatened by not going along with what the person considers an overt.

        Many such examples exist on the tract and unfortunately in the Church of Scientology itself.

      • MaBu, from HCOB Basic Assumptions of Scientology Versus Overts:

        “An overt recoils upon one because one is already in a valence similar to that of the being against whom the overt is leveled.

        The mechanism is exposed. And as it is exposed, we find it is not needed, since a being without valences is basically good. Only a being with valences has his overts recoil upon him. Only a being with valences commits overts harmful to others, as he is behaving as he supposes the “evil” valence would behave but as no unvalenced being does.”

        This is what I was referring to when I originally asked the question (which I got wrong as I put “46” down on the term paper) and which I alluded to in my “hint”. 😉

  8. If improperly done, the O/W Write-up is an invitation to more missed withholds. Based on my own experience in the church, the closing rudiments (same as given at the end of a confessional to check for half-truths, etc.) were never given after an O/W write-up.

    (Confessionals were rarely available due to the time needed by a qualified auditor. They seemed to be reserved for the investigations after a flap.)

    A half-confronted O/W written up and submitted to an ethics terminal could then become a missed withhold in the sense that it is still being withheld plus it was nearly found out.

    • Good point Jonathon.

      There was an HCOB written exclusively by Ron back in ’84 on how to write up O/Ws which has since been altered as in “revised” by RTRC which is very different from the original that I remember reading.

      At one point RTRC added end ruds as part of the procedure then later removed it for whatever reason.

      In my opinion RTRC’s revisions are much more panglossian then the original almost giving the impression that writing up O/Ws will make the lame walk, the blind see, and virtually resurrect the dead.

      In other words all hype and hyperbole.

      Whereas the original by Ron was more factual and matter of fact about the whole procedure.

      That said there are earlier references such as the original First Dynamic Danger formula, included as part of LRH ED 309 Int which was the International Amnesty declared back in ’79 and other amnesties since. Also several policies that were written after the release of the HCOB Casualties back in ’61.

      Originally as remember. What was originally requested as part of an O/W write up were any violations of the Ethics and Justice Codes.

      That is those things that were considered misdemeanors, crimes and high crimes against Scientology and Scientologist.

      In the case of a danger write up any penalty for whatever of the above was revealed and increased for any that were withheld.

      For Amnesties the person accepting the Amnesty was forgiven or absolution for any of the above revealed.

      As far as I was concerned this made O/W write-ups pretty simple and straight forward since it was basically based on those things listed in the Ethics and Codes which included any violations of the Auditors Code, the Code of a Scientologist, the Supervisors Code and any other ethics code pertaining to Scientology.

      For instance an auditor code write down how he or she violated the auditors code, the specific clause, when and on what specific PC.

      So not only did it give relief to the Auditor writing it up but would also inform the C/S that possible correction was needed on the case audited.

      Therefore it had more practical application beyond merely being some feel good action.

      That was then.

      Now “O/W write ups” have turned into some kind of fishing expedition with no guide line whatsoever on what is an overt or withhold. So naturally they’d have a tendency to Miss Withholds on the person writing them up and tend toward to a never ending action. Restimulating more then they’d destimulate whether end ruds are run or not.

      • I was a Director of Training at Flag in the late 70s and when the pilot on O/W write-ups from that time period came down, End Ruds were definitely a part of the procedure. I did them throughout the pilot. As well, the write-ups were embracive and included each Dynamic.

        • Jim,

          Was the pilot ordered by Ron or David Mayo?

          I mean I was on the original HRD pilot supervised by Mayo which included a mind numbing 99 page HCOB of various squirrelly “C/S” actions ordered by Mayo personally and it was about as out-tech as it could get.

          I was also on the original LRH pilot for the CCRD ordered and supervised by Ron that was as standard as standard could get.

          So you could say I have a datum of comparable magnitude here 🙂

          The difference was that much of the time on Mayo’s pilot I was going WTF?

          And on Ron’s pilot everything we were ordered to do made perfect sense.

          Was that the same for you or was it the former?

          • This was all part of the LRH string pulls, evals and such that led to the handling of TRs, came up with the stuff on Super Power, and eventually he summarized in various issues, including of course the materials on KTL/LOC.

            It was definitely coming from LRH as Melanie Murray was on the scene and there was traffic that I every once and again got to read. He had traffic TO my course as well, which I definitely read.

            • Thanx Jim.

              I remember Melanie 🙂

              Used to hang with her brother Andy. Good people 🙂

              That makes sense. Since most of the students on KTL/LOC wouldn’t be auditor trained and couldn’t co-audit a sec check or confessional.

              Also the Dynamics would act as a limiter and is less general then having them “write up their O/Ws”.

              Of course I shouldn’t complain too much about some of these rogue “O/W write-ups”. Usually ordered by some MAA or EO without bothering to inspect the person’s folder or even some squirrel bait over at some squirrelly WISE company because they gave me many hours of review that I could add to my WDAHs 🙂

  9. RV quoted: “What are considered ‘overts’ is what the Group or 3rd Dynamic considers an “overt”.

    However, I think that there can also be overts which are overts simply because the individual (first dynamic) considers them to be overts without regard to what anyone else thinks. For example, someone deciding that it is contra-survival or “wrong” to have more than one spouse at one time and refusing to do so, even though this is OK and laudable to other members of his or her group or culture.

    Also, t would seem to me that overts resulting from 3rd dynamic considerations also are 1st dynamic overts only because the individual shares those third dynamic considerations.
    Obviously, there is a potential for difference of opinion or conflict in this arena which can only be aligned with honest communication and ARCU.

    • You also have to take into account the whole idea of “victim”. This is covered in the 59 materials of the ACCs. “Overts” involve “victims” and in that we’ve got quite a scene going now, don’t we just 🙂

      Without a thetan claiming victim, well…it would be an interesting difference in the track and pile up of case. Entire industries would fail and if that occurred there’d be more victims making for more victimdustry and around and around she goes.

      • Jim,

        Lest we forget those people who spend their waking hours making others guilty of overts. A greater sin in many cases then the overts themselves.

        Covered in various lectures on the SHSBC.

        Not to mention those fun spooks connected to various Intel Agencies and various other criminals who use a person’s overts to gain leverage by extortion and black mail.

        This is where the HCOB Clean Hands Make a Happy Life plus the Two Rules for Happy Living comes in.

        Aside from that is the HCOPL Counter-Espionage making whatever crime the plant or infiltrator tries to use forgivable if the person turns in the name of the extortionist or black mailer originally to the GO or in the later revision RTC Rep.

    • Hell who would pass up the opportunity to have more then one wife?

      (Pause for careful consideration)

      Yeah I can see some potential drawbacks there 😉

      But anyway.

      Espíritu I think this is crossing the line from morals to one’s personal integrity which is covered in the Code of Honor. Different animal since it is not an enforceable moral code but one a thetan can chose to follow.

      The code is covered in COHA and a lecture by that name given in the Phoenix Lectures ….I believe.

      But anyway we were fortunate in Scientology prior to what I call the coup, putsch, mutiny, take over, seizure whatever. In that we pretty much had moral codes that made sense such as the Auditors Code, the Code of a Scientologist, Students Guide to Acceptable Behavior ,various credos and the Ethics and Justice Codes before it all became the arbitrary flavor of the month.

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