Note: This is one chapter from Clearbird's manual Ethics and Auditing, giving the auditor the basic concept of how the use of Ethics fits in with auditing. The full 'Ethics Dictionary' is also included for additional information.
Ethics and Auditing
With auditing we seek to bring about higher awareness and increased ability in the individual. We seek to make the person more rational and more self-determined. This is a safe activity as higher awareness and less reactivity makes the person more responsible and more ethical. We are not releasing the powers of a monster that would dominate all around him and make them miserable. We believe Man is basically good and it proves out in auditing. When we audit a person we are removing the things that possibly made him feel and act like a monster. With auditing we are restoring responsibility, awareness and ethical conduct. Pc's increased awareness and responsibility makes him capable of caring for more of his Dynamics and see the viewpoints and vital interests of others and respect them.
A person with bad impulses tends to hold self back and reduce his own power and influence. Criminals routinely make sure they get stopped. This speaks to the basic goodness of Man as well. He is trying to reduce his reach and awareness so the unethical behavior won't bother him. He may passionately try to explain his behavior away. He may develop all kinds of medical and psychological symptoms in a reactive attempt to stop himself. He may become deaf and blind to what he is involved in. "If I just close my eyes, don't think deep thoughts, take my medication and avoid exposing myself to others I'll be fine". You will also see this attitude when a person is out of his element and involved in a group or company that does questionable things. The person knows something is wrong but is on the other hand not willing to give up the security the group offers. Solution: "I'll just close my eyes, shut my ears and keep quiet"; "I'll wash my hands". Here we have an Overt of omission which is out-ethics as well. It is much less than the greatest good for the greatest number of Dynamics.
Closing one's eyes, etc. to what is going on is certainly
We all have a built-in sense of what is ethical and what is not. The relatively unaberrated individual who is his own good self will seek to do the right thing. That is what we call a social individual (see Level 4-Pro). Situations in life can of course be complicated and it may not always be obvious what the right thing to do is. The social individual, however, is engaged in an honest effort, limited by his viewpoint and ability, to predict long range consequences and based on that do what he considers right, just and fair.
A person can however be out of valence and have lost his own good self and become thoroughly evil and inhuman. That is what we call an anti-social personality, a suppressive person. A suppressive person is completely stuck in some hidden conflict of the past. He is stuck in a life-threatening conflict where the choice was, "It is him or me!" He had to wipe out the other guy to survive. Maybe he got wiped out, but the lesson he learned, and now is stuck in, was to try to wipe out the other guy first. This is discussed at Level 4 Pro in some length. A person can be addicted to things, not only drugs, but to food, sex, work, power, money, etc., etc. Any serious addiction or obsession will lead the person down the wrong track and cause severe problems in other areas and for other people and Dynamics.
Auditing as governed by the Auditors Code is not designed to deal with individuals who are hostile to the activity. Nor are the Grades and other Major Actions designed to deal with ongoing out-ethics situations that the person is creating, is part of or covering up. In the section "Who can the auditor help" we pointed out that auditing is a very permissive activity. The Grades are designed to be applied to people who have a self-determined desire and willingness to improve. Out-ethics goes right up against this. The person is engaged in the opposite activity. This does not mean that out-ethics people can't be helped. It means that physical and ongoing situations have to be addressed by physical and direct means, not Grades auditing.
Shortsighted interests, desires and
An Ethics action is a disciplinary action. A police action if you will. It is an intervention to call a person to order and tell him to change his behavior, turn his life around in some area, and consider and respect the vital interests of others and sometimes his own vital interests as well.
When we talk Ethics action versus auditing we use the auditing technology as much as we can and keep intervention with Ethics actions to a minimum. It is however a technical fact that auditing will only be effective if Ethics is in. The auditor has to be ethical and well intended to apply the technology correctly. The preclear has to have his or her Ethics in to a point where the pc isn't engaged in activities he feels he actively has to withhold from the auditor. Nor should pc be engaged in ongoing battles that make him roller-coaster and loose gains between sessions. For auditing to work we need a safe environment. We need a pc and an auditor working together on the same goal. Sorting out practical and ongoing matters and situations is not what Grades auditing is for. If it doesn't resolve by flying the rudiments it has to be done outside session. When practical matters interfere with auditing they have to be addressed directly and with the right tools such as an Ethics action. Ethics is thus that additional tool needed to make auditing work.
Ethics Actions take care of ongoing
life-situations that interfere
So we have Ethics actions as different from Ethics. An Ethics action is an intervention by a person in charge. Ethics by itself is a self-determined activity. Ethics as a self-determined activity can be taken a lot further. Ron Hubbard has developed Ethics technology that can bring about improvements in persons' lives. These methods work very well when the person's basic Ethics is already in. It tends however to go into self-help methods and management tools, if only to improve ones own affairs, and is outside what we try to cover here where the subject is to get the pc in shape to receive Grades auditing and effectively benefit from it.
By Ethics situations that need
attention we thus mean ongoing situations in pc's life, including PTS
situations; Withholds and messy circumstances that make it a waste of good
auditing time to ignore. We mean pc is engaged in groups and activities
that are contrary or hostile to the activity of auditing. Such situations and behavior tend to be the pc's biggest
problems and upsets in life and will routinely surface each time the auditor flies
the rudiments. This behavior makes the person
hard to audit as it makes him unwilling to be in-session and freely look in his Bank. He routinely
have life throw these out-rudiments situations at him. The
technical side of this is: a person with a Present Time Problem or Withhold won't
auditing. A person audited over an ARC Break will get worse. In the case of
missing Withholds the pc may blow up in the auditor's face and refuse further
auditing (see Auditor's Rights). Also, a pc who is not with the activity but
somehow in a games condition with the auditor won't be in-session and won't
When to Use Ethics Actions
There are some maxims on when and how to use Ethics actions and discipline as tools:
Ethics is that additional tool necessary to make it possible to get technology in. That's the whole purpose of Ethics. When you've got technology in, that's as far as you carry an Ethics action.
The purpose of Ethics is to remove counter intentions from the environment. And having accomplished that the purpose becomes to remove other-intentionedness from the environment. What we have with Ethics is a system of removing the counter-efforts to the activity.
An ethics situation is an ongoing situation that exists in real life. It is not just one random incident. It's a non-optimum situation that the pc is creating or at least is part of in an active and real way. The pc is in some area of his life going in the direction of self-destruction or destruction of others. This is in direct opposition of the course the auditor is seeking to take him. Thus it is a real and present time problem preventing gains in auditing.
In practice a pc who has an ethics situation is sent to an Ethics Officer - or Ethics Counselor - to have it discussed and handled in in a direct way in the real universe.
The Ethics Officer counsels the pc to sort out his or her life on a practical level. Ethics Officers routinely handle pc's who have a PTS situation of one kind or another. In the practical definition of Ethics above we had that, "the purpose of Ethics is to remove counter intentions from the environment". That is exactly what the Ethics Officer does, when he handles a pc's PTS situation. The pc is PTS due to these counter-intentions from Antagonistic Terminals. The Ethics Officer will interview the pc to find out what is going on paying special attention to what the pc does to invite the situation or make it worse. This was discussed on Level Four Pro in the chapters about PTS.
The Ethics Officer deals with a number of practical problems and situations. This can include schedules, troubled relationships, unethical habits or routines, bad situations and involvements, involvements with groups hostile to auditing, and down the list of human weaknesses, addictions, temptations, misbehavior, vices and outright laziness and ignoring basic duties. The whole purpose of the Ethics handling at this stage is to educate the pc and use enough discipline in order to make the pc straighten up and stop the out-ethics behavior for the time being. In other words, bring about a change of behavior in the pc.
After interviewing the pc the Ethics officer will usually work out and write up an Ethics program for the pc to do. The Ethics Officer makes sure the pc carries out the steps. When this is done to a good result the pc can go back to auditing. The Ethics program has enabled the pc to overcome the out-ethics for now and pc can be fully in-session. Ethics has to be in for auditing to work. Ethics' job is to 'hold the fort' until tech can go in and the pc realize why he was doing what he was doing. Once he realizes his own built-in sense of Ethics will do the rest of the job. He will realize it was irrational and counter-survival behavior and now simply know better than falling in the same trap again.
Gradient of Ethics
Ethics actions should always be done on a gradient. It may be enough to tell somebody what he is doing is wrong. Have him consider the consequences and apply reason. After all, one of the definitions of Ethics is 'Reason'. A person in good shape, with no criminal type of out-ethics situation, will most likely realize his mistake and change his behavior. As discussed under 'False PTS' there is a whole class of situations the pc is getting himself into out of mere ignorance and lack of knowledge. This should always be looked into and be remedied as an important step where it exists.
It may be enough to tell somebody
The permissive in-ARC approach is however not always enough. For one thing, the out-ethics behavior can be deeply rooted in the person's way of life, his habits, way of thinking, or to his immediate advantage. The out-ethics behavior is how he 'solves' problems and is rooted in his reactive Bank. You can't always convince the pc with arguments to change. A cannibal feels it his right and a moral action to eat missionaries. A criminal may consider it his job to be the best criminal he can be. Yet it isn't exactly ethical behavior.
A criminal may consider it to be his
The Ethics officer in relation to pc's is not a moralist. But he is enforcing the natural law of the greatest good for the greatest number of Dynamics up to a point. He is trying to get a job done so the pc can be audited and sort the whole thing out in session on a self-determined basis.
The basic maxim the Ethics officer operates on here is:
The Ethics officer has to exert more authority and pressure on the pc than the pc's Bank or bad habits do.
Even though the tools are different the basic equation he operates on is very similar to Auditors Trust. Auditors Trust says, "Auditor plus pc is greater than pc's Bank". The skilled Ethics officer works with and appeals to the basic good self of the person in front of him. He uses enough authority and pressure aimed at the Bank to get the person to straighten out and turn things around. So we have:
The pc's built-in sense of Ethics plus the Ethics officer's authority is greater than the pc's Bank and bad habits.
The pc's built-in sense of Ethics plus the Ethics
officer's authority is greater than the pc's Bank.
In other words, the pc's Bank, convenience, or grown in habits may tell the pc that such and such an action is desirable or OK. The Ethics officer has to make the pc understand in no uncertain terms that this interferes with his auditing and he has to change his behavior, life style, way of handling things, or whatever, in order to benefit from and be acceptable for auditing. The pc may have to do educational steps, including coaching on how to go about handling a situation. He may have to reconsider with whom and how he does his business of life.
There is an element of old-fashioned
A good Ethics officer understands exactly how much pressure and authority he has to apply in order to overcome the out-ethics situation. He understands that reason in form of educational materials and hatting goes a long way, but also that it does not go all the way. Discipline and toughness and being unreasonable about pc explaining it away are routinely required. A tough no-nonsense attitude and ability to cut to the bone of matters in a disrespectful and factual way is what a good Ethics officer does. He looks at the facts rather than listens to the longwinded explanations. He may very well have to invalidate the practices the pc is involved in. He is not bound by the Auditors Code. But he acts in a professional and factual manner. He looks at the evidence and investigates when needed. If you want to compare it with technology it is more related to coaching and instructing than auditing. A good coach will always hold his twin to an acceptable standard before giving a pass.
The Ethics officer looks
He may have to go as far as denying the pc
auditing until such time the pc can demonstrate that he has turned his life
around. In the case of hard core suppressive persons this may not be this
lifetime. It may take major events of death and rebirth, complete change of the
political situation or system the suppressive person depends on, etc. for a radical change to
happen. Although this is extremely rare the Ethics officer should realize that
if any and all well-intended attempts to set the person straight fails he may be dealing
with an individual that just doesn't want to change. Had he been caught as
a young bully there would still have been time. Now the bully's whole existence depends
on preying on others or holding them down. In such a case
the person will be denied auditing until he has demonstrated a radical change of
We don't owe to audit everyone just because they want auditing and pay for it. We can only help people who honestly want to improve. Getting more aware and improve as a thetan go hand in hand with a higher Ethics level. A person who is unwilling to see that and want auditing for the power and glory and the control over his fellow Man he sees himself achieving is going in a completely different direction. Such a person should be given a refund and be told why. He should be told that he is not acceptable for auditing at this time. Auditing works very well when Ethics is in. Ethics has to be in in the auditor as well as the pc. They have to work towards the same goal. Auditing does not work when Ethics is out. This is an almost divine safety mechanism in the subject itself. It makes it very hard to misuse the subject for unethical reasons or purposes.