From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 20 - January 1995
See Home Page at http://www.ivymag.org/
A View from the Bridge
By Eric Townsend, England
Grade Three - Freedom release
GRADE THREE achieves the state of Freedom Release and the ability
to be gained is 'Freedom from the Upsets of the Past, and Ability
to Face the Future'.
Upsets and ARC breaks
So what are these upsets of the past that a thetan needs to be
free of' Simply stated these are fixed attention units, still stuck
at times when sudden change took place in the past. It is very
to look at the definition of CHANGE in the Technical Dictionary.
Change is defined as being 'a shift in location or the redirection
of energy'. It also says that a thetan experiencing too rapid change,
or too little change, experiences a reduction in beingness and
So it would appear that a thetan needs a certain level of change but
too much can cause an upset.
The word 'upset' is used sometimes by Hubbard but he does not define
it or accept it as a useable term. This may be because it is not exact
enough. A person who is upset by some sudden change in their life
may be left with attention units fixed at that point of time, but
it is not always true. Also the usual understanding of the word upset
implies emotion, which is another confusing factor.
It may be helpful to contrast two situations. Suppose someone, who
you know doesn't like you, does something which causes you difficulty.
You may become annoyed and emotionally upset but you could have
that if you know that if that person had the opportunity to do
against your interests, he or she would do it. Now suppose someone
else, who you consider a friend, does something to harm you! This
time the response is deeper because you didn't expect it and you
don't understand why they did it. This unpredictable action can be
too high a level of change for you to absorb. This is the level of
upset that can fix attention units and hold them at that point in
time. As we shall see later the key ingredient is a failure to
You may well have observed that in these circumstances a person
often does not become emotional! They often say 'I was too shocked
to say or do anything'. Sometimes there is a delayed emotional
and sometimes there isn't.
We are here concerned with a difference in viewpoint, between the
body/mind on the one hand and the thetan on the other. The effect
of what has happened on the body/mind is an emotional upset and on
the thetan it is, or may be, an ARC BREAK. So we arrive at the basic
issue that Grade Three is all about, ARC Breaks.
Getting a clear understanding of what exactly is an ARC Break is
hurdle for newcomers to Scientology. Many an old hand would also be
hard pressed to give a clear idea of what an ARC Break is. Before
we look into the definitions of an ARC Break, it may be helpful to
look a little more closely at what is going on in an emotional upset,
which as we have said is often confused with an ARC Break.
Emotion and misemotion
Emotion is a characteristic of the human organism not of a thetan.
A thetan cannot cry or laugh. Only a body can cry or laugh but the
thetan can derive some satisfaction from the body having these
We can only judge to a limited extent the effect on a thetan of an
emotional experience. An experience can be emotionally upsetting,
as indicated by the outward physical signs, but still not be an ARC
Break. We must remember that one of the reasons a thetan is with a
body is to gain some vicarious (secondhand) thrills from the sensual
and emotional responses of the body!
Scientology distinguishes between EMOTION (desirable emotion like
laughter, joy, and love) and MISEMOTION (unpleasant emotion like
anger, grief and fear). But these categories are both parts of the
same spectrum, known as the Emotional Tone Scale. If a thetan cannot
get the higher emotions, he may be willing to content himself with
In case this seems a bit unreal here is something which you may
and find helpful. Many people say that when they get highly emotional,
or misemotional, they suddenly find themselves outside the experience
and able to observe themselves being in the emotional experience.
At this point the thetan is aware of having the experience and can
derive some pleasure, as a spirit, from it. Sometimes the experience
may not be very pleasant for the body! We know that sometimes
can actually be a pleasant release, such as of pent-up grief or
anger. There are grounds for considering that if the thetan cannot
get up the Tone Scale to contrive pleasant emotional experiences,
he may bring about a situation that will cause Misemotion. The
of misemotion, from the thetan's viewpoint, is after all better then
no emotional experience!
All of this can go on quite separately from the ARC Break. There is
no emotion in the ARC Break itself. An ARC Break is primarily
and is a failure to understand something.
So let us look at the interaction of ARC in greater detail. These
initials of course stand for AFFINITY, REALITY and COMMUNICATION.
The term ARC is often used incorrectly in conversation among
to the extent that it has caused the term to change. As it says
in the Tech. Dictionary 'It has come to mean good feeling,
love or friendliness, such as He was in ARC with his friend'.
Initially these three terms were defined as the constituents of
It is therefore more accurate to say that a person has a 'good
understanding' with his friend.
The mechanism of how these three ingredients interrelate is described
in the definition of the ARC TRIANGLE. This triangle shows Affinity,
Reality, and Communication, one at each corner. The theory is that
one improves or raises the triangle by doing something to one of the
three corners. This will automatically improve or raise the other
two corners, and thus increases Understanding.
And what is UNDERSTANDING' The definitions in a larger everyday
give a lot of examples of the different ways this word is used but
not much on its underlying meaning. Probably the best is one of the
simplest 'to know the meaning of' (Chambers Universal Learners
Dictionary). There are other implications, such as knowing thoroughly
and being able to discuss and apply. These are valid of course but
they move away from the simplest proposition of 'knowing the meaning
In the Technical dictionary, this definition is expanded
as follows: 'Understanding is knowingness of life to a certain
and object and thing or action. The understanding is knowingness in
action. We break this down and we get affinity, reality and
How do the three ingredients of Understanding work' AFFINITY is often
equated with LOVE but that term 'has too many meanings' and is open
to wide interpretation. The definitions in the Technical Dictionary
make fascinating reading but for our purposes it is better to stick
to the simplest meaning which is 'liking'. The proposition is that
one is more willing to listen sympathetically to a statement from
someone one likes, than from a person one dislikes. You can confirm
this if you can remember having a message from someone but then
it was from someone else. You probably will have observed that your
attitude to the same message changed when you realised it was from
a different author!
REALITY is a term which is often made easier by substitution with
the term AGREEMENT. This is helpful but for anyone who doubts how
Reality, as we normally use the word, equates to something as
artificial as an agreement, then the essay on Reality in the Volunteer
Ministers Handbook is well worth reading. In this context we can
take it that if two people already agree on some basic issues,
then communication between them will be easier. If you have two
Ministers and two members of the Communist Party all travelling
in a railway carriage, you would expect that communication would
be easier between the pairs with similar basic beliefs than across
the two pairs. It can be seen that each pair will have basic
on how the world is and should be treated. These shared agreements
will facilitate communication on other issues.
The third ingredient is COMMUNICATION. This is the actual mechanism
of getting the message across. The best analogy would be a telephone
line. If you wish to communicate with someone who is physically some
distance away, you need a communication line to do so. A telephone
connection is a good practical way of seeing what is needed. When
there isn't such a big distance, or even a very small distance, the
same elements must still be there. There must be some attention going
both ways, there must be intention to communicate and intention
to receive communication. All this can be seen in the telephone
The phone rings and is answered. The caller identifies himself and
the other answerer expresses some willingness to receive the
Then some communication must pass along the line and be received
and duplicated. Most readers will recognise the elements of the
Communication Formula (Axiom 28 Amended). These elements must be
present in any form of communication, of which there are very many.
The subject and formula of Communication is given so much attention
in Scientology because all spiritual life is dependent on the ability
to communicate. Many beings in human form have forgotten the
of doing it properly. Even after being reminded in the Axioms and
other writings on the subject, many people still couldn't apply the
principles. So the TRAINING ROUTINES(TRs) were evolved to practice
these skills and thus rehabilitate the ability of people to
These were substantially revised and updated as recently as 1979 &
All of this, however, is concerned exclusively with getting the
line connected, that is giving the people at each end the skill and
confidence to get their message through and duplicated at the other
end. Whether the message is understood or not will depend as much
on the other two elements of Affinity and Reality. These last two
elements have been downgraded in the minds of some people, probably
because Hubbard said in one of the definitions of ARC (Def.3) that
communication is the most important. The definition refers to
as being 'the operation'. This could be interpreted as meaning, if
the telephone line is down then no communication can take place.
high the Affinity and Reality between the parties at a human level,
they cannot make up for the absence of an operating communication
line. In Scientology the first step for achieving understanding was
always stated as 'Get in a communication line'.
Having given due importance to Communication, the need for Affinity
and Reality is unavoidable to achieve Understanding. A useful way
of seeing this could be to relate it to making a stew. The main
would be the meat. To this must be added water and seasoning. They
could be said to be less important but without either we would not
have an edible stew. Another point is that once the stew is made,
it is then impossible to see or separate the ingredients.
A good example of communication without affinity and reality is
In an authoritarian country with government controlled media, there
is a predictable diet of uncriticised policy statements by the rulers
and impressive sounding statistics. The messages are communicated
forcefully in the papers and on radio and television but most of the
population do not have sufficient reality and affinity with the
to accept their messages. The exceptions are the supporters of that
political regime. For whatever reasons, they have sufficient affinity
and reality with the government to accept and understand these
As well as the limitations of Communication on its own, there has
been another misuse of the term that has caused confusion. The skills
of the TRs were offered in courses called Communication Courses and
the promise was 'learn how to improve your communication'. These
rarely gave much attention to affinity or reality so that while a
student would finish a Communication Course with a better ability
to get communication flowing, he would usually have an incomplete
understanding of the whole subject, which is not Communication but
The beginning and end of this subject is Understanding which was
earlier as 'knowing the meaning of' or more deeply in the Tech.
Dictionary as 'knowingness of life'.
Further study of Understanding in the Technical Dictionary,
shows that it is also defined as 'knowingness in action' and in
three it says that its function is as 'a universal solvent'.
What does this solvent solve' Presumably it solves the unknowns and
illogics (secrets and mysteries) of the MEST universe and replaces
them with knowingness and logic. That is pretty important since it
contributes to our major purpose of mastering, which could be said
to be understanding, the Mest Universe!
Now that we have some idea of the mechanics and purpose of ARC, we
can look at what is an ARC Break. We have established that ARC is
primarily a spiritual formula and thus any break is primarily going
to impinge on the thetan. The body may exhibit signs of this but
up the body will not handle the underlying cause.
We have said earlier that an ARC break is a failure to understand
something. So let us suppose the thetan we are auditing has an ARC
break which reads on the meter. The read means it is available to
be handled. The PC will be able to find what it is about and tell
the auditor. Just from that recognition, the ARC break may blow (or
as-is) and the PC's needle will start to float. It is the recognition
that there is an ARC break that is required, not an understanding
of the original proposition which was not understood. If the thetan
can spot at the time of happening that there was a failure to
something, then there will not be an ARC break.
Now let us suppose the ARC break does not blow. The auditor assesses
the constituent parts of Affinity, Reality and Communication to help
the PC find out more about this ARC break. He also includes
because there is a possibility there was not enough data or incorrect
data. A person may be told something which contains a word that he
has never encountered before. The whole statement may therefore be
incomprehensible and can thus lead to an ARC break based on a break
One of these categories assessed will read and the auditor will ask
whether that was where the break was. At this point the ARC break
may blow but if not the auditor will assess the type of break found
by a scale known as the CDEINR scale. It equates to the Tone Scale
and is explained in Scientology 0-8, The Book of Basics
Pp. 111-114. It is also useful to look at the Scales for each of the
three elements, Affinity, Reality and Communication, in relation to
Emotion Tone Scale, Pp 102 -104.
The theory is that Affinity, Reality and Communication can be
or present in the incident at some point equivalent to the Tone Scale.
This further direction to the detail of the circumstances should blow
the ARC break. If it does not, then the auditor asks for an earlier
similar ARC break and repeats the whole sequence.
No attempt is made to run ARC breaks as incidents, even though they
run in chains. The procedure used to handle the ARC break is for the
auditor to use the meter to find it and then indicate it to the PC,
at which point it will disappear and the PC will feel and look much
better. In the definition of ARC break in the Technical Dictionary
it says 'It's called an ARC break instead of an upset, because, if
one discovers which of the three points of understanding have been
cut, one can bring about a rapid recovery in the person's state of
We are back at the distinction between an ARC break and an upset.
It takes time for a person to recover from an emotional upset. They
may receive consolation and assistance from others but it always
takes some further time for them to get over it. The ARC break is
a theta phenomenon and is outside time. Therefore it is now. One
has an ARC break always in the present tense. It holds up time
forever or until it is handled. When it is handled the effect is
If you help a person by finding and indicating the ARC break, it will
blow and the person will lose its effects immediately. Technically
this is because an ARC break is basically By-Passed Charge. This is
charge that has been restimulated by some event or earlier auditing.
The auditor is using the 'Find and Indicate' technique to key-out
again the restimulated charge without going back any further than
necessary to knock out the restimulator, which was the ARC break.
There is no intention to handle the charge that was restimulated.
You may ask why this is. The answer is that we are dealing with a
thetan's bank, which goes a long way back and has some very heavy
incidents on it. These the thetan is not yet ready to confront as
a thetan, and still less ready as a human being. Fortunately this
does not matter as we have a reliable means of keying-out the charge
again if we help the PC find exactly what keyed it in. Sometimes this
was quite an insignificant event but the results were considerable
because it restimulated major charge for the thetan. This can drive
the thetan into a dramatisation of rage or other misemotion out of
all proportion to the event that restimulated it. Finding and
the ARC break that caused the restimulation will have an effect that
seems nothing short of miraculous.
An even deeper explanation of an ARC break is a troublesome incomplete
cycle of action. Some attempt was made to give or receive
and it failed to achieve what was intended. If it restimulates
deeper charge in the thetan's bank, then an ARC break has been brought
The subject of ARC breaks has been covered at some length here because
it is fundamental to understanding what is wrong with thetans and
what they have to deal with on the Bridge. It could be said everything
to be dealt with on the Bridge are various forms of ARC breaks.
they are all basically ARC breaks but some have particular overlaying
forms and features that lend themselves to being audited by different
Result of grade III
In Grade Three we are not aiming to run down the major chains that
have been restimulated by the ARC breaks. Instead we are aiming for
'Freedom from the upsets of the past and ability to face the future'.
In view of what has been said earlier in this chapter, we may quarrel
with the word Upsets but the principle of Keying-Out can be seen
The full Ability Gained goes on to say 'ability to experience sudden
change without becoming upset'. This implies that the level of key-out
achieved is such that the thetan is now able to undertake the the
full rigours of daily life and the Bridge without fear of frequent
or serious restimulation.
Flow Two is concerned with a rehabilitated ability to grant beingness
to others and no further need to change the reality of others to
with ones own. Flow Three is granting that beingness to others
in their relations with each other. Flow 0, which comes fourth, is
freedom from the upsets one has caused oneself and freedom to cause
and experience rapid changes in the future.
To bring about these major key-outs in the thetan's bank, the Grade
includes processes covering Change wanted in self and others,
Alteration, and processes related to 'Change-No Change-Failed
Change'. More and more the PC starts to identify the items that need
auditing by means of Listing questions. When the PC reaches the End
Phenomena of this Level they get an immense surge of certainty in
their ability to face and handle the future.
Before concluding this chapter, it would be appropriate to give
some attention to the subject of Rudinemts. These were described
briefly in Chapter Two as the steps that an auditor takes to get a
PC set-up for the auditing session. The reason for mentioning them
here is that we can see that they use the same technique as has been
outlined in this chapter for handling ARC breaks. In Rudiments however
this technique is only used to get the PC to be 'In Session', which
means 'willing to talk to the auditor and interested in his own case'.
What has to be handled to get the PC to be 'In Session'' What has
to be handled are key-ins that have occurred in everyday life since
the last session.
Exactly which Rudiments routine should be used is determined by the
Case Supervisor. In normal circumstances the action will be based
on six topics that may have been restimulated. These are ARC breaks,
Present Time Problems, Missed Withholds, Overts, Invalidation, and
Evaluation. The same key-out technique of getting the PC to as-is
the key-in, earlier similar if necessary, is used. Special breakdown
questions are used for ARC Breaks and Missed Withholds but otherwise
the pc just goes over it until the charge blows. The PC then brightens
up and his needle starts to float.
The Case Supervisor may ask for just one Rudiment to be 'flown'
to achieve an F/N, if the needle was not already floating. He may
ask for the first three to be checked and run to F/N or he may ask
for all six to be checked and run to F/N.
If the PC has not been audited for some time or has been subject to
doubtful auditing or incomplete auditing cycles, then the Case
may order a more thorough clean-up. This may include a variety
of lists to find areas of by-passed charge in previous auditing. These
areas have to be found and handled because logically, if an ARC break
occurred in auditing, more auditing is likely to restimulate even
more charge. While this may still be technically a Rudiments action
it can extend over several sessions and is often referred to as a
Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary:
CHANGE, ARC & ARC TRIANGLE, UNDERSTANDING, AFFINITY, REALITY,
ARC BREAK, CDEINR + SCIENTOLOGY 0-8 Pp 111 - 114, BY-PASSED
CHARGE, RUDIMENTS, IN-SESSION,
HCOB 5.4.73R (Rev. 24.9.80) 'Axiom 28 Amended'
HCOB 16.8.71RA (Rev. 5.7.78 & 4.9.80) 'Training Drills Remodernised'
HCOB 24,12,79 'TRs Basics Resurrected'
HCOPL 23.10.80 'Chart of Abilities Gained for Lower Levels and
BTB 15.11.79 O-IV 'Expanded Grade Processes'
Volunteer Ministers Handbook - ARC Pack, Pp 52-54 'Reality'
Scientology 0-8 1970 CDEINR Scales Pp 111 - 114,
and Scales of Emotion, Affinity, Reality & Communication Pp 102-104
Fundamentals of Thought 1956 p 40-44 'The A-R-C Triangle'
The Problems of Work 1957 p 72 'Affinity, Reality and Communication'
Note: The book A View from the Bridge can be obtained
from Anima Publications, PO Box 10, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 2QF,
The price is 10 english pounds plus postage (surface mail). Postage 1
english pound United Kingdom, 2 english pounds rest of Europe,
3 english pounds rest of the world.
(1)Earlier chapters of this
book appear in the following Ivy's: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19.