Internet Auditing

(Updated! See below)

Internet auditing is to me the same as internet surgery. Even in cases of remote surgery, you have someone local who has skills wielding the knife while the expert walks the TEAM through it from afar.

There is no model session in internet auditing. The “A” in ARC is strained because of the distance between auditor and PC. The “R” is strained because your interaction is in 2 dimensions (at best) rather than three, and the auditor can not see the entire auditing environment, or the PC. The “C” is strained because of the inherent lag time that absolutely exists between auditor and PC, the reduced number of perceptics that are available to the auditor to communicate with the PC, and the lag time and vias between cans and “e-meter”, and the lag inside the software-based, one-of-many-processes-running-on-a-Windows-computer “e-meter” when your read is forced latent because of lack of real-time processing capability of Windows (Windows will assume that processing an internet packet or mouse movement is more important than processing the translation of a digital impulse to a fake-analog output meter dial). Result is there are NO instant reads captured. Internet auditing makes that an impossibility.

There is no real session control. The PC can just up and walk out at any time. So, the auditor’s TR4 is forced out. The auditor’s 8C is forced out. The auditor is not really there, so there is no real “Auditor + PC > bank” factor there. The bank can up and walk away with the PC and the auditor is there staring at a Skype screen. So, sure, if the PC is not running anything real, internet auditing could be somewhat workable. But you are left with your dick in your hands the moment you hit something that requires auditor skill.

I know some people are in love with this crap, but get cussing over it. Either get the PC to show up at your door, or show up at the PC’s door, and do it right. Internet auditing is an excellent example of “just because you can do something does not mean you should.

UPDATE: November 8, 2012. This post started as a comment on Marty Rathbun’s blog, and I had a follow-on that I should add here that expands on the reasons why internet auditing should be avoided. Note – I am not picking on people who advocate this. I understand people are trying different things to get the tech out there, and I do not have the opinion that people who engage in this are evil people at all. And I understand the appeal – using high-tech to deliver the tech, expand your reach to the planet, etc. However, there are fundamental problems with auditing delivered remotely that are systemic to the medium, and I consider advocates misinformed and/or lucky.

(Additional comment inserted below:)

I use Skype/GoToMeeting/WebEx and internet technologies on a daily basis for my work – I could not live where I live and do what I do without it. I get being in love with the technology, and it is really cool that you can video call people on Skype or Google+ or Facetime or whatever and have great conversations with people, and when you go high-end, like HALO and the Cisco teleconferencing tech, it is fabulous.

But it does not replace physical co-location. It can only work where the ARC is already there, and the discussion is straightforward. As an example, daily Skypes to the significant other is a great way to stay in touch over long distances, but only a heel would break up with someone over Skype. Why? Because physical co-location matters.

I know my parents would rather have my son in their lap in the same room than have a call over Skype. They love Skype calls, but they would rather we be there in person. As I noted, there are 53 perceptics. Skype cuts off most of them.

I am sure people who engage in internet auditing mean well. But compare what is happening in a Skype situation with the five Gross Auditing Errors (HCOB 12 Sept 65, “Out Tech”):

1. Can’t handle and read an e-meter.

Your meter is by definition faulty over any kind of internet connection. Therefore, you have no meter, and if you try to use an e-meter remotely, you will miss reads, F/Ns – pretty much everything.

Technically, what is happening with an e-meter when you have a real e-meter is:

Cans -> wire -> e-meter circuitry -> needle movement.

A software-based e-meter Over the internet, on the other hand, is:

Cans -> wire -> A2D translater -> USB bus -> communications processor -> emeter capture app of some kind -> TCP/IP stack -> network card -> wire or air packets -> router (packet assembly) -> modem (packet assembly) -> router (packet assembly) -> [router router router router…] -> modem (packet reassembly)-> router (packet reassembly) -> air or wire packets -> network card (packet reassembly) – TCP/IP stack -> E-meter app -> D2A translater -> graphics code -> screen.

As bad as the above looks, it is worse than that, because the apps and network cards on both PCs involved are being preempted and scheduled by consumer-grade operating systems (usually Windows). And, there is nothing that can be done about it, because physics is what it is in this universe.

3. Can’t get and keep a pc in session.

You may be able to get a PC in session, but not keep him there when the going gets rough. You really can’t rely on the willingness of the PC to play along. Everythings cakes and roses until you hit a real engram or GPM or Missed Withhold, or out list. There are many, many times when you have to be there physically with them. One time missed in an internet session is a GAE.

2 out of 5 GAEs is pretty bad. All five need to be in all the time.


11 thoughts on “Internet Auditing

  1. statpush

    I totally agree. It breaks so many core principles of auditing that it should not even be called auditing. It is something, fer sure, but auditing it ain’t.

    1. Grasshopper Post author

      No. Nor would I want to. I understand that since processes are involved that sometimes people could have wins doing it. That is not a reason to do it. Things happen in session, and the auditor needs to be there to get the PC through it. This cannot be done remotely.

  2. Ronnie Bell

    Thank you for compiling your excellent comments about this subject on Marty’s blog into a stand-alone post on your own blog. I’ve posted this article to the Indie Scientologist Facebook group.

    Much appreciated, mate!

    1. Grasshopper Post author

      Thanks, Ronnie! I appreciate it. I think it is important to know that there is a reason behind our position on this, rather than “well, Ron never did it, so it must be squirrel.” Not that anyone I ever knew said that specifically, but flat-out condemnation can come across that way.

  3. Michael Moore

    Skype and/or phopne auditing is for those auditors who cannot confront a preclear in front of them and for pcs who are too lazy to get off their bottoms and go find an auditor.

    LRH did not advocate phone auditing as a standard, He recorded using it once in an emergency. Auditing up the bridge is not an emergency. Differences, similarities and identities.

    Life cannot be run in front of a computer screen.

    There is nothing like standard technology auditing, by the book, exactly as LRH laid out in his issues, books and tapes.

    Skype auditing is like riding a push bike with a blindfold on when you have the Rolls Royce of standard tech available.

  4. David St Lawrence aka oldauditor

    Gentlemen, I am sure you mean well, but you have left out the most important aspects of getting a pc in session and that is granting beingness. If you feel that tech development ended with Ron’s death, I can understand your dismay with those of us who have lived with technology all our professional lives and treat the technology of Scientology as a basis for further development.

    Rest assured, I audit the pc in front of me and apply all that I know to help him solve his problems. My practice consists almost entirely of those the church could not help and it continues to grow every week.

    While the church of Scientology stalwarts stick with and practices, the rest of the world has moved on. There are hundreds of thousands of counselors delivering counseling over the Internet today and the demand is still growing. Google Spiritual counseling and you will get an idea of the current state of the art.

    I suggest you continue to deliver the tech that you know and understand and we will continue to develop improved services and delivery methods that our preclears want. Your public is probably happy with what you deliver. Our public is very happy with what we deliver.

    I do not see that they are overlapping groups and I do not wish to take any business away from auditors who are delivering good service. I have my hands full keeping up with demand and am looking to help other auditors develop the skills required for effective auditing over the internet. It does take superior presence, but that can be learned.

    1. Grasshopper Post author

      David, I understand your position. Some things to consider. First, my profession is Information Technology, so I understand the Internet very well as a communications medium. Second, I do not consider Scientology as complete. It is not. The very fact that the church is in the situation it is in now is proof that Scientology is not perfect, and is not complete. I know Scientology cannot be frozen in time. However, the core, the basics, will always be in place. ARC, the axioms, the communication cycle.

      In this post, I posited reasons why internet auditing is sub-standard, and why the meter is effectively useless. These are technical reasons. I am not interested in putting anyone out of business, and this has nothing to do with dogma. Rather, it has to do with practicality and reality.

      From an IT perspective, any metering done over the internet has to be, basically, worthless. There are no instant reads. The latency that exists on the communication channel is significant, and it varies. The best you can hope for is a 1/20 of a second delay (50ms). More likely you will see delays of 1/10 of a second or more, and it goes up and down. So, the meter will never read what is happening now with the PC.

      In addition, Skype and another other IP-based telecom system (actually, any telecom system) will introduce similar delays. You say something to the PC, it is delayed by 1/10 or more of a second, and the same is true of the return. Add video, and the latency is worse. You do not see the PC in PT. It just is not so.

      I no beef personally with practitioners of any kind. But I do have valid concerns about internet auditing. Since you have been doing this for a while, how do you address my concerns? Not that you have to, but I am curious, and I am sure others are as well.

      “Superior presence” does not remove packet latency, and will not make reads instant. How do you deal with that?

      How do you deal with a PC who is upset and leaves session? Who clicks the “end call” button?

      How do you read all of the PC’s indicators if all you see is a head-shot video? How can you control the PC’s environment?

      I truly am curious. I don’t expect you to change your mind about this, so this is not a back-door way to try to get you to agree with me. I am truly curious.

      I am glad your PCs are getting wins and doing well. That is always good.

  5. idealgoal

    Hi Grasshopper, I Very Agree with your Technical Analyses.

    Another point to add, looks to me, is that, if the datum is true, in the perfect model session an auditor should place the chair for/// the PC and if the PC just moves it even of 1 mm, the Auditor has to place it back where it was ; do you confirm that? because if it is true, this is really another proof that internet auditing is only “phony auditing”, right?

    Exponential Happiness, Love, Prosperity and Fun For Ever,

    1. Grasshopper Post author

      There is an HCOB on Model Session that was cancelled a few months later that said the auditor should adjust the PC’s chair. So, it could be argued that everything referenced in the HCOB was cancelled, including the chair adjustment. But, there is no doubt that the auditor is to be in control of the session. Auditor’s Code #9 is clear: “I promise not to let the preclear end session on his own determinism, but to finish off those cycles I have begun.”
      Number 10 also applies: “I promise never to walk off from a preclear in session.

      Internet auditing prevents the auditor from asserting session control. I have run so many sessions where the PC was frustrated with dealing with their case to the point where, if they could have, they would have thrown down the cans or got up and left the session – when, just a little persistence, they found what was bugging them, as-ised it, and left the session VGIs instead of red-tagging. I mean, if you are not hitting case that upsets the PC occasionally, what the heck are you doing? Having a gab fest?
      In the case of #10, power goes out, internet goes down, something happens to interrupt the session, and it might as well be that the auditor rabbited from the session.

      What is interesting is that I have good friends who have benefitted from internet auditing. So, sure, when all is smooth sailing, and you hit a hot item with lots of interest, good things can happen that might not have happened due to distance, because there is auditing happening. There is also some stuff going on where the auditor is on the cans, and they apparently can see the PC’s reads via their own shared theta-space, or whatever. I have not tried that, so I have no comment.

      But, I will not alter my POV because I like my friends. The fact is that having the PC and auditor in different spaces opens the door wide to auditor’s code violations and Gross Auditing Errors. It’s not worth it, _to me_.

      1. idealgoal

        Hi Grasshopper,

        So Very Thanks for your very Complete answer, the Time and Attention you Granted me in this purpose.

        Imho, you have have said all has to be said about the subject of “remote auditing”, and I do agree that only in case of true (not imaginary) “There is also some stuff going on where the auditor is on the cans, and they apparently can see the PC’s reads via their own shared theta-space, or whatever”, to which we should add, as I compute it: the ability to Theta-8C the PC’s body, it doesn’t worth the risk if it’s not Self-Analysis auditing, or any that the PC would be allowed to pratice by himself as per the Standard Orginal Tech.

        For we, without the previous proved Theta and Technical Conditions, it is like to conduct a car without security belt for our passengers, or worse: when “remote auditing” is done for many people as a job for a living, it like driving regular big “Airbus” (I’m European ^_^ ), having 300 passagers and counting on only and always automatic pilote to care of the safety of the trip; it is SO irresponsible about “the passengers”!

        Sure, many nice trip may occur but there are still accidents too; and personally, I wouldn’t like to be responsible for a crash, even if I know “good surgeons” (like Pierre Éthier 😉 ) still exist to fix those who wouldn’t die.

        Ideal Exponential Happiness, Love, Prosperity And Fun For Ever,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s