From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 4 - December 1991

Technical Evolution
By Mike Wray, Scotland

Having read many independent magazines over the years I notice that
many of the articles mention "applying standard tech". I'm sure we
have all heard this phrase used many times in the last few years and
more so while in the C of $. But what exactly constitutes "standard

Some people would argue that what we used to do in the old days was
standard tech. Yet having had to deal with disenchanted people who
were on the receiving end of such actions it certainly made me wonder.
For example, it was not unusual to take someone new to the subject and
have them sit for hours opposite another on a comm course. Everybody
needs it, don't they? And besides it's on the grade chart, and it's
"standard tech". Anyone who worked in the Orgs will tell you that the
percentage of people who blew the comm course was embarrassingly high.

"Standard Actions"

The same goes for auditing lines. The "standard action" was to give a
metered interview, be told the data would go to the C/S and then be on
the receiving end of some "standard grade chart action" as decided by
the C/S. Many people were subjected to objective processes they didn't
under stand, or run on things they didn't want handled. Worse still,
it could be dished out by someone raw, inexperienced and rote. This
meant that the comm level in the session was poor, the auditor was
scared to say one word more than allowed for fear of being crammed. As
a C/S I saw many, many failed sessions due to this blind adherence to
the accepted code of practice. However, I got good at running
correction lists!

It was not uncommon for the general public to pay full rates, yet be
audited by Interns who were still learning through their mistakes.
Again this passed as "standard tech".

There was also great emphasis placed on object ives and drug rundowns
which you got whether you liked it or not. Then there were hours spent
at the person's expense clearing words. All these actions were often
done while not addressing the person's real problem.

Over many years of auditing the best successes I had were in doing
Life Repairs (comm course or no comm course, drug rundown or no drug
rundown, word clearing or no word clearing), yet why was Life Repair
not even on the grade chart and why was it so poorly covered in the
training courses? Having had the responsibility to get people winning
and cases moving as soon as possible (i.e. the first session!), I had
to make very certain I was starting off with something the person -
was- interested in and -could- run. I was lucky in a way (though I
didn't see it at the time) that due to staff shortage I was C/S,
Interviewer and auditor. I became experienced in doing the interview,
the C/S and the session! If I got it wrong I would get full knowledge
of this during the session! Over the years I had to deal with a
variety of people, form a good comm line, do a thorough interview
which left me in no doubt as to what the matter was and what I could
do about it. The C/S who is isolated in his ivory tower with his grade
chart doesn't get a full reality of where this person is at and can
and often did miss the mark.

Rote Processes

Looking back on the quality of sessions over ten years, because we
were so restricted into rote processes I feel that access to peoples
cases was severely impaired. Too many auditors were thinking and
"applying" the tech (e.g. R3RA) rather than counselling the person in
front of them.

One of the great benefits of life repair was that the degree of two
way comm was so high that the auditor could understand the individual
much better and hence did more for him. This meant that the recipient
opened up to the auditor significantly more. These people soon learned
how to make auditing work. The result was -real- access to the case
and -real- counselling gain. I also found that those who were run well
on Life Repair or other set-up actions involving lots of two-way comm
had no problem with other actions - a great relief to any auditor I
should think, it used to amaze me to take over cases who had perhaps
gone through many steps on the bridge, had no life repair, just the
usual rote procedures. Their level of comm in session was often poor.
Instead they waited for some rote repetitive process to be thrown at
them. As a result of this practice I have come across many people who
didn't want more auditing. They thought they had experienced auditing,
when in fact I would call it very poor non-counselling. I think many
people expected the process to solve things for them, which is not the
same as really confronting your case and your condition in life.

As a long term result of my experiences I find that, whether someone
is entirely new to the subject or received services previously, I have
developed the knack of knowing what questions to ask. This means
quickly establishing just where they are at and what would best help
them, rather than blindly following the written word. Nowadays my
approach with new people has changed even more. I don't spend ages on
word-clearing. I have information sheets in plain English which
explain everything. Interviews are done in depth, and I give them my
professional opinion of what is charged and what areas need to be
addressed. I also take this opportunity to answer their questions, and
explain further what is expected of them in session. By the end of the
interview we understand each other very well, and auditing can begin
from this point of understanding. The sessions have more two way comm
and the real everyday problems are -confronted-. I avoid the mistake
of trying to solve it all with some process or other, or always
finding something earlier to explain it all.

The knack of knowing

To me standard tech is like music, it's not just the written music but
the way you play it. And the way you play it is the result of years of
hard work, dedication, getting it wrong, re-doing it all until you
have perfected your technique. And even then you are looking for
improvements. There were many other things which passed for standard
tech which I certainly would not do nowadays. I think you could call
this a kind of evolution of the tech.