It’s SaTerraDay — this one is going to provoke some reactions…
L. Ron Hubbard’s Obsession with Instant Reads
A read—very basically the movement of an e-meter needle from left to right—is what auditors use to determine whether an item in their PC’s mind is “charged” and should be addressed.
LRH wrote in HCOB 5 Aug 78, that “the correct definition of instant read is that reaction of the needle which occurs at the precise end of any major thought voiced by the auditor. All definitions which state it is fractions of seconds after the question is asked, are cancelled. Thus an instant read which occurs when the auditor assesses an item or calls a question is valid and would be taken up and latent reads, which occur fractions of seconds after the major thought, are ignored. Additionally when looking for reads while clearing commands or when the preclear is originating items, the auditor must note only those reads which occur at the exact moment the pc ends his statement of the item or command.”
He defined major thought as “the complete thought being expressed in words by the auditor. Reads which occur prior to the completion of the major thought are prior reads. Reads which occur later than its completion are latent reads.” Prior and latent reads are not taken up.
How does an auditor know what the precise end of the major thought is? And when it occurs? Does he have some special insight into the mind of his pc? And why at the precise end voiced by the auditor? Because LRH said so? Why not half way through the question at the “exact” time the answer to the question pops into the mind of the pc? Why not a half second after the “major thought” has been voiced? Didn’t LRH write that all pcs have different comm lags? Might not their answers occur at different times?
LRH liked to think we were all exactly the same. Or should I have said, he liked to think we were all exactly like him?
What is the “exact end” of a major thought? At the last letter of the last word of an arbitrary question? How can an auditor know exactly when his pc has received, wrestled with, and understood a major thought?
And what about the time factor? We’re not machines. Shouldn’t fractions of seconds be figured into the equation? In other words, the “exact end” voiced by the auditor might be plus or minus .25 seconds. Which means if the needle fell .30 seconds after the auditor’s last sound, the read—as well as the PC’s thought—would be invalid. Likewise, if the needle fell .369 seconds before the end of the question—or expression of the major thought—the auditor would move on to the next item on his list. I realize such fragments of time are impossible for homo saps to determine…but LRH did write “precise.”
Who’s to say what constitutes a “major thought?” In a pc’s minds, such a thought could occur anywhere. My major thoughts did. I used to think of perfectly valid answers to questions from lists all the time. Well over ninety percent of the ones that popped into my head, though, were never taken up by the auditor because apparently they didn’t occur at “the precise end” of the “major thought voiced by” the stoic guy sitting across from me.
Terra Cognita: The Science Guy
As far as I know, LRH never explained why only those items that read “instantly” at the precise end of a “major thought” should be addressed. Did I miss one of his bulletins in which he explained the science behind this “tech?” If I did, I’m sure someone reading this will set me straight.
There is no science behind this theory of “instant read.” There is no proof. And there isn’t a person who’s ever gone in session in which “major thoughts” haven’t occurred outside the arbitrary boundaries of what his or her auditor considered “the precise end of a major thought.” Or what LRH considered was a “major thought.” Trying to define what constituted this type of thought—and when it occurred—has perhaps led to more failed auditing sessions than anything else. Is anything more evaluative in session than telling a PC which of his thoughts are significant and which aren’t?
Even if we accepted that e-meter reads indicated areas of emotional charge in people, trying to establish exactly when and where these occur in the mind of a PC is just plain wrong. Trying to separate real reads from false reads due to the movement of a needle on a machine is not only completely arbitrary and wrong, it’s harmful.
It’s also never been scientifically proven that an e-meter reads on thought. Can it be proven that an e-meter reads on body motion? You bet.
The human body is always in motion. Always. Until we die, different parts are moving, doing whatever millions of years of evolution have programed them to do. Hearts beat and blood flows through veins and arteries. Lungs expand and contract twenty-four/seven. Within the alimentary system, food and drink is broken down and digested. Bladders expand. Large intestines fill. Livers and kidneys filter. Muscles twitch involuntarily. Synapses fire. Billions of cells divide, preforming those tasks for which they’ve been designed. Eyes move back and forth. Bodies grow. Every organ is in motion. Always. All the time. Until we die. It is impossible for us to be still.
The chemistry of the body changes, too. One minute our saliva is more saline than the next. One minute a piece of litmus paper is darker than the minute before.
Assuming the human body can hold a pair of cans without moving is asinine. It can’t be done. The fall of an e-meter needle can be attributed to any number of the thousands of moving parts within the body.
The Repair Shop
Since the e-meter rarely performed as LRH said it was supposed to, as usual, he was forced to invent solutions to solve the problem. He created “tech” to handle “false reads,” “no reads,” “missed reads,” “other’s reads.” And if that didn’t work, he “discovered” that auditing wasn’t working because PCs were sitting on “ARC breaks,” “present time problems,” or “overts and withholds.” Or the auditor’s TRs were “out.” LRH always had a reason for why auditing didn’t work. The percentage of sessions that happen without an auditor having to apply some sort of remedial action must be astronomically low.
As evidenced by how he ended up, LRH couldn’t even apply the tech on himself. And yet…disciples of his, swear the tech “works.”
False reads are a hoax dreamed up by LRH to explain phenomena that didn’t fit within the parameters of what he deemed “workable tech.” There is no such thing as a false read. Why? Because the e-meter doesn’t read on thought. It reads on body motion.
Since people’s minds are always churning and their bodies are always moving, the two actions are inextricably linked. And thus, it becomes easy to believe that an e-meter is reading on thought when in fact, it’s reading on body motion—because the two actions—thought and body motion—are always happening at the same time. Thoughts and emotion certainly influence the body, but it is the body that makes an e-meter tick.
Before the official start of most auditing sessions, an auditor will ask his pc if he has any ARC breaks, present time problems, or overts and withholds. These are called rudiments, and according to LRH, must be addressed and “cleaned” before a pc can be “in session.” Just like in the regular session, the auditor only takes up those rudiments that “read” on the e-meter. That’s where the similarity between “instant reads” and “instant rudiment reads” ends.
LRH said “instant rudiment reads” were different: “the instant read can occur anywhere within the last word of the question or when the thought major has been anticipated by the preclear, and must be taken up by the auditor. This is not a prior read. Preclears poorly in session, being handled by auditors with indifferent TR-1, anticipate the instant read reactively as they are under their own control. Such a read occurs in the body of the last meaningful word in the question. It never occurs latent.” Tech Dictionary.
This contradicts what he wrote about the “instant read,” which must occur at the “precise end of any major thought.” Apparently, pcs are allowed to “anticipate” thoughts in rudiments, but not later in session. I’m sure diehard followers of the tech can tell me why the difference, but as far as I’m concerned, “thoughts” are “thoughts” and “charged items” are “charged items” and differentiating an “overt” that came up in rudiments from one that came up in session is ridiculous.
Then again, as you may have gathered, I’m not overly fond of the whole “meter reading on thought” theory.
Instant reads are meaningless. As far as I’m concerned, a person can talk to his therapist about whatever he wants to.
Still not Declared,