Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 24 from the book THE PHOENIX LECTURES by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Church of Scientology (1954).

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the understanding from Buddhism.  Feedback on these comments is always appreciated.



There is a subject of considerable interest to us, which is quite a remarkable subject, and that is group auditing. There are a number of things to be known about this.

A group auditor is one who stands in front of, sits in front of, or relays by loudspeaker system to a group (and a group consists of two or more people), auditing, so as to improve their condition of beingness as thetans. That is a full, complete definition of a group auditor.

The above is the definition of group auditor.

If he’s there to improve their condition, he will of course do his group auditing well. If he is simply standing there giving rote commands, he might do something too, because the mechanics of auditing will carry forward a great distance. But if he really wants to make people more cheerful, better, put them up into an operative band, change their condition, make the able more able, then he recognizes as he audits a group that he is auditing a number of preclears and he is auditing them collectively and individually all at one time, and a good group auditor recognizes that this is not unlike driving a twenty-mule team — it’s a trick. So, some people are good group auditors. They recognize what it takes to do it, they don’t flinch, and they can do it. And there are some who stand up at the front of a room and give auditing commands, but whom you’d hardly call group auditors. Now what are the conditions under which group auditing is best done:

Certain conditions are required under which group auditing is best done.

First, the atmosphere should be quiet. And the methods of ingress into the group auditing room, such as doors, windows, chimneys, and skylights, should be to some degree policed so that we don’t get people walking into the session. And this would include, under a sub-heading, the fact that people don’t come late to a group auditing session. A group auditor who knows his business simply follows that as a rule. He doesn’t let people come late. They just don’t come. When they get there they will find the next group auditing session is next Thursday, which fact might be announced on the door. He impresses this upon his people and upon his group, that people mustn’t come stumbling in fifteen or twenty minutes after the group auditing starts, fall over a couple of chairs, fall over a couple of preclears, drop a couple of ashtrays, step on a couple of ashtrays, and then drop their pocketbook, upset the chair nudge the fellow in front of them so they can say “excuse me”, and, in other words, interrupt the session. That is because of the things that can happen by reason of that. You might have somebody sitting there in the back of the room where these people came in and sat down, who was just at that moment getting into something that was pretty darned hard to handle and was having to wrestle it with himself. You were there helping him as a group auditor, true, and your next command would have a tendency to straighten this up, but this individual has started to flounder, and all of a sudden somebody comes in and helps him out by falling all over him. This introduces a randomity of unpredicted motion into the environment which is not conducive to that person’s case improvement.

So, the Group Auditor has a Code all of his own which happens to be the Auditor’s Code, but the Group Auditor’s Code has some more things to it. And amongst those things is: People don’t ever come late to a Group Auditing Session.

No interruptions should be allowed once the session begins.

Just to give a few other little items on this Code — he doesn’t audit with processes which establish long comm lags. He avoids processes which do this on individual preclears. If he knows that a certain process produces a long communication lag on individual preclears here and there, he certainly avoids it in auditing a group. He audits primarily with techniques which will discover every person in the group alert at the end of an hour’s processing. And that certainly doesn’t include anything that will give somebody a twenty-two hours’ comm lag.

He doesn’t audit with processes which establish long comm lags.

Another part of his Code is: He must be willing to grant beingness to the Group. He isn’t a lion tamer sitting up there with a bunch of lions about to pounce on him. He is somebody who is standing up in front of a group willing to grant beingness to that group. And as he grants beingness to the group, so the group recovers. If he is willing to grant beingness to a group, a great many things immediately fall into line. And these things follow: He gives his commands in a clear, distinct voice, and if he notices that people in one part of the room or another look at him suddenly after he has given the command, or look at him questioningly, he simply repeats the command for the whole group. In other words, his mission is to get that command through and registered.

He must be willing to grant beingness to the Group. His mission is to get the auditing command through and registered.

He recognizes and must recognize, that the people to whom he is talking in this group are not an audience. They are a number of people who are in a greater or lesser degree involved in recognizing looking at or resolving problems relating to their beingness, and as such, of course, are slightly out of communication with him. He must recognize this just as in an individual session he has to give his commands clearly, distinctly and get them answered. In a group auditing session, he doesn’t have the answer. He doesn’t get that answer that says, “Yes, I’ve got that.” Yes, I’ve finished that, and so forth. Therefore, he must do all of his auditing on such a basis that it obviates those answers. You see, he gives a command, and he’s not going to get a reply from his preclear, and so he must therefore take enormous precautions, actually very exaggerated precautions, to make sure that every word he says is clearly registered to the most anaten (Anaten: an abbreviation of “analytical attenuation”, meaning a diminution or weakening of the analytical awareness of an individual for a brief or extensive period of time) person in the entire group. His words must register. He must also be careful to give his commands in such a way as not to give a number of failures to one or more individuals in the group. For instance, he says, “Now get a place, get a place where you are not… Just contact that place.” And he shouldn’t give another, contradictory command until he’s sure that everybody in the group has found at least one location. Let’s take an example of that. He says, “Get a place where you are not.” And he waits for a moment, and several people in the group already have spotted this place with accuracy, and so he says, “Get one place certainly, and then some more.” Now, what he has done is to take those five, six, eight people in the group who did not find that one place right now right away, and he let it be all right for them to go on and comm lag on it. And he still made it all right for the remainder of the group to go on and get other places.

One does not need to have a stylized patter in order to do this, but that does happen to be a very stylized patter. “Get one place, one place for sure … and when you’ve got that one place, get some more, and get some more places.”

He is facing people who are interested in finding out about themselves rather than just an audience. He must take enormous precautions to make sure that every word he says is clearly registered. He must also be careful to give his commands in such a way as not to give a number of failures to one or more individuals in the group.

Now, if the auditor is willing to grant beingness to the group, he’ll be heard all the way through the group, and if he’s not willing to grant beingness to the group, he won’t be heard all the way through the group.

Furthermore, if he’s not willing to grant beingness to the group, he’ll find himself, willy-nilly, shifting processes halfway through. He suddenly decides he’d better run something else. He’d better run something tricky. He’d better run something that’s very stunty. We were doing all right, we were spotting the walls of the room, we were doing Group Opening Procedure which, given in the Group Auditor’s Handbook (Group Auditor’s Handbook: This was a 1954 compilation of group auditing sessions resulting from the Advanced Clinical Courses of that year), is a very precise process. The auditor got that going fairly well, had just gotten that well started — and he decides — Well, let’s shift off to some… Ah! Duplication by Attention! All right. Look at the right wall, look at the left wall, look at the right wall, look at the left wall, look at the right wall, look at the left wall… uh… I don’t know, that doesn’t seem to be getting very far. Let’s see — what really should we do. And he switches to another process and another.

The group by this time is getting sort of restless. What’s basically the trouble here? Is it the fact that the man doesn’t know what he’s doing? Well, it could be to some slight degree. But why doesn’t he know what he’s doing? Every single one of those commands and theory behind it can be found in the publications of Scientology. What’s he doing not knowing what he’s doing? Well I’ll tell you what he’s doing. He’s trying not to grant beingness to that group. And there will be people in that group who are worried about granting beingness to the group and all these people getting bright and improving and becoming thetans and flying around and demoniacally attacking people and “You shouldn’t make everybody free like that, you know.”

And these people will step on ashtrays, upset chairs, come late, get up in the middle of a group session and open and close windows, open and close doors, and then we discover, of course, that they don’t want to have beingness granted to them. But particularly, they are worried about the group session going on with this individual granting all that beingness to all these people and improving all these people, and if all these people improved, why, goodness knows what would happen — something horrible would happen, competition would get too high or something of the sort, or something dreadful would occur. That’s the computation that it’s running on when bad auditing commands are used, and don’t ever think otherwise. No, don’t say, Well, he just doesn’t know. Every one of those homo-sapiens, individualized the way he is to an Only-One computation, has some facet of his beingness which is refusing to grant beingness. Every man alive has it to some degree, otherwise he’d never have a game or a contact. There’s always “the other side”. He isn’t going to grant any beingness to the Princeton football team — that sort of thing. And when you exaggerate this consistently and continually, you’ll get somebody who doesn’t want to have any beingness granted to anybody anywhere, and so before he does some group auditing, he won’t bother to read over the way you do it. And if he does, he’ll do something else. And he won’t study up on his subject, he won’t look over his people, and he won’t audit in such a way as to make them improve or win, and you will find, by the way, that his group session will not be well attended. A group auditor’s group session cannot be anything but well attended. They will be continually well attended, and they will increase in their attendance, to the degree that the individual is willing to grant beingness to people, in other words, do a good job.

If you are willing to grant beingness to the group, you’ll be heard all the way through the group. You will take a process all the way through to the end and not be shifting processes halfway through.

That’s the long and short of it, and that’s a very uncompromising statement, and one could say that there are a lot of things which mitigate this statement, but I’ll argue you out of them. The truth of the matter is that it comes down just to the granting of beingness. He will or he won’t.

Now, can that be remedied with him? Yes, when he has a little more freedom. Just a standard auditing session as given in the Group Auditor’s Handbook will bring him up to a point where he will grant more beingness to people. It will do this.

You could run this as a straight process, as a group session — just “grant some beingness to the front walls”, “some beingness to the back walls”. You could do this if you wanted to. But again, this is putting too much significance into the process.

The reason anyone is not granting beingness is that he himself is enchained and enslaved and he feels himself attacked to some degree by the environment, and you’ve got to get him up to the point where he has a little more operating margin in his own survival, and if he has a little survival margin he’s willing to let somebody else survive. He begins to treat survival as a commodity. There are only five quarts of it in the world, and he’s darned if anybody’s going to get any part of those five quarts, because he knows he needs it all himself. Right on this point you can tell immediately a good auditor and a bad one. So, there is a case computation at the bottom of group auditing ability.

The reason anyone is not granting beingness is that he himself is enchained and enslaved and he feels himself attacked to some degree by the environment.

An individual who is afraid of effort is an accurate measure of this. People recognize instinctively, that a fear of effort, an unwillingness to put out effort, goes right along with “bad off”, “won’t grant beingness”, “got to slow other people down too”. So, do we have a group auditor who sits back and puts his feet on the desk and audits a group? Oh no, we don’t. The group won’t get better, won’t recover, won’t do anything. Why? They’ll sit there and run the commands because they’ve heard that Scientology is a good thing, but they will say, This guy doesn’t care. He isn’t interested.

There is no necromancy involved here. We don’t have a beam of energy coming out from the group auditor settling like a little star over the head of every person. That is not the case in point. But there’s another case in point:

There’s the simple matter of duplication of the communication. Why do people recognize this rather instinctively, that a person doesn’t care, if he hasn’t energy or effort? Well, here’s this individual. He seems to have some vitality. The communication line has as its Source Point VITALITY. And whatever there is at Effect point at the beginning, it will at least wind up at the end with vitality. If you’ve ever talked to somebody for a while in a rather bored tone of voice, you found them after a while getting bored. This is just “Q and A” (Q and A: From “Question and Answer”. This term originally referred to the fact that the answer to the question is the question. Q and A has been used as the term for “changing when the preclear changes”. It here refers to the preclear duplicating the beingness of the auditor). Have you ever listened to somebody who was very electrifying — a William Jennings Bryan sort of a speaker — pound and howl and so forth — and when you look at an audience that’s been talked to this way — they’re aroused, they definitely are aroused. The man didn’t say anything logical at all at any time during the whole time he was talking, and yet just simply the fact that they are duplicating a speaker who seems to have some vitality comes on through to the audience and seems to give them some vitality. But does it give them some vitality — no, they are simply duplicating it.

Audience duplicate the effort and vitality of the speaker.

Now a group auditor could sit down and talk to the group. As a matter of fact (this is a very dangerous thing to tell a group auditor) this actually brings about a little bit better duplication, because the group is sitting down. But if he is sitting down, think of how much now his voice has to do. He can’t depend on anything else to do anything for him. Everything he does must be contained in his voice. Everything he THINKS must be contained in his voice. Oh, you say, this then requires an actor. Yep. If you’re not willing to be various things, and if you can’t be various things at will, you actually haven’t even got any business auditing. Why? Because in that case you’re trying to keep things from being. And the first person you’re trying to keep from being is you. And if you’re trying to keep you from being, to any marked degree, you will, on a duplication basis, restimulate this fact on the other end of the line. You’ll keep others from being. So a group auditor could sit down. I don’t mean he should or must.

A group auditor could sit down, but then his voice has to do a lot more work.

As a matter of fact the best results I have ever gotten in group auditing sessions was actually walking up and down in front of a group and picking them out every now and then singly — “Did you get that all right?” etc. And the group tone just starts going up, and then the fact that they are doing drills which are just dynamite of course in themselves will just practically lift them right straight out of their heads. In one of the last broad group auditing sessions I did I came away from the mike and I was simply talking to the crowd and I was really trying to do something for their cases and so forth, and I was quite interested because it was getting on down toward the end of the series of group sessions. And I got the report afterwards: that there were more people exteriorized during that particular session than in any other single session I had given. Well, here I was feeling more alive, interested, urgent about what was going on and that in itself was communicating, and it was communicating very strongly.

The beingness of the group auditor communicates strongly to the group.

A group auditor who has no wish to have anything happen, however, will be disappointed if he sits there and reads the commands in a flat dull dead voice out of the Group Auditor’s Handbook, to a crowd of people. He will still get some results. This has been tested out. We took the worst group auditor you ever saw or ever heard of and gave him some commands that were not too well written, and we sent him out to audit. His style was, “Well, I’ve got some commands here now… I’ve got some commands… let’s see now … uh… let’s see… hum… uh… look at the front of the room… it says here… lookattherightwall …” And this guy still got some results!

So, what we’re doing with just the processes themselves is fabulous.

Something important to know about group auditing is this: If you’re afraid of a crowd, you won’t want to grant beingness to them, because that’s why you’re afraid of them. You’re sure that they’re about to interrupt you. You’re sure that they’re about to jump over the seats and attack you. If you’re in that frame of mind toward a group, you will not be heard clearly through the group, you’ll have a tendency to change techniques, and your attention hunger will probably cause you to drop ashtrays, lose your place, and other wild things.

If you’re afraid of a crowd, you won’t want to grant beingness to them, because that’s why you’re afraid of them.

Now let’s look at this thing called “stage fright”, and how a person could resolve it. One way he could resolve it is simply by some kind of creative processing. Just do mockups on being scared to death — body reacting, jumping, and so forth — but that’s a very crude way to handle stage fright.

The best way to cure stage fright is to walk up on a stage before a vast number of people and do your best, and after you’ve done that a few times you recognize that this is an As-is-ness, this condition and generally everything connected with it, the strain and so forth, will blow. You just recognize clearly that you’re under strain when you talk to this audience. You’re just under strain and so what. “So I’m under strain when I talk to the audience” — and you won’t be. All it is is fear of what you will do, that you might do something unpredicted, or something strange might occur, and after you’ve done this a few times you discover that no strange things occur, that you get away with it every time. You survive, and you become quite accomplished.

The best way to cure stage fright is to walk up on a stage before a vast number of people and do your best.

There’s something else that you could do to improve your capabilities as a group auditor. And that is beingnesses. If you could just practice beingness. You could be actors and be therapists and be swamis and be this kind of thing and be that kind of thing, and just work on it on kind of a gradient scale until you got the idea you could be anything. You could have this run on you, you see, in processing, and this would handle stage fright too, because a person with stage fright is being somebody who has stage fright. That’s all there is to it. The answer to the problem is the exact problem.

You may also practice beingness to overcome stage fright.

The whole subject of Group Auditing, then, involves itself today not so much with a knowledge of technique, but involves itself with a stage presence on the part of the group auditor and his command over the group itself. If he’s willing for the group to make gains, they’ll make gains. If he’s interested in giving them wins, they’ll have wins. If he’s interested in having a group, he’ll have one. It’s a very odd thing, but the best auditors have no difficulty in collecting groups.

Now, you can’t have a feeling of embarrassment toward your fellow man actually and be able to walk up to him on the street and tell him anything or get him to do anything. As long as you have an embarrassment toward people, you’ll have difficulty collecting a group or running a group or anything of this sort. Well, what is this quantity called embarrassment? It’s a matter of exhibition.

As long as you have an embarrassment toward people, you’ll have difficulty collecting a group or running a group.

Here we have appearance and disappearance as a dichotomy. And a group auditor is somebody who has to be willing to appear, and if one has been compulsively made to appear many, many times against his will — one of his mother’s favorite phrases might have been, “Look at you. Here you are dirty from head to foot and I just cleaned you up. Look at you! You’re appearing, you little swine!” — some gentle upbringing of this character will tend to promote embarrassment. But you shouldn’t go looking, for the answer to embarrassment, into deep-seated significances. The embarrassment is that the fellow is there, kind of apologizing for his presence, and trying to disappear, at the same time. That’s the As-is-ness of embarrassment. And that’s just an As-is-ness. We don’t care where it came from. He’s apologizing. So, one of the first things you could do is simply not apologize for your presence. You might expect people to apologize for theirs, but don’t you apologize for yours. You’re here, and their hard luck they’re there too or their good luck that they’re there.

But if a fellow’s in really good shape, why this is the sort of an atmosphere that goes around a group session — this atmosphere says: “I’m here and you’re right there and I’m real glad to see ya and you’re sitting there and that’s awful unlucky for you if you’re sick because you’re going to get well anyway and you could come in and sit down and not run any of the commands at all and you’d still improve, naturally. That’s a matter of course. And I’m sorry you’ve got some things to be ashamed of, but you know, I haven’t got a single one” — that sort of an atmosphere. A fairly calm atmosphere rather than an excited, ecstatic atmosphere. But even an excited, ecstatic atmosphere or a swami atmosphere or an Amie Semple McPherson atmosphere is better than somebody standing there and saying, “You know I’m sorry I’m up here visible.”

One of the first things you could do is simply not apologize for your presence.

So the best way to get into the groove of group auditing is to get your case in good shape just exactly as you would get your case into good shape, just with standard processing — nothing peculiar, nothing slanted, nothing odd or unusual run on it, just get in good shape. You’re a little freer, and as you become freer then you are more competent to let yourself appear.

And the other thing that goes right along with that and is not at all dependent on you getting your case in good shape, is the fact that you just go on making public appearances and group auditing people with this postulate: Everybody’s glad to see me, they’re very happy to hear me talk, and I’m here and I know at the same time I’m scared to death and that’s the As-is- ness of it, so what, but I’m putting on a good show anyhow — and the next thing you know, why, all of that is gone, all that feeling of strain and tension is gone, and you’ll go on and give the group a session.

Be positive in your thinking.

But you give sessions to people to make them better, not to be somebody standing on a stage running off a set of words. You have reason, purpose and meaning in what you are doing and consider it a personal affront if somebody in this group did not immediately get totally improved after a couple of hours’ processing. That’s a personal affront, and you treat it as such when they tell you about it. “You mean you’ve come to one of my sessions and not gotten big gains? Humph!” and, “Well I’ll let you come to another session but don’t pull this again.”



Be willing to grant beingness to yourself, to others, and to the group.


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