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Auditing depends on preclear’s ability and willingness to communicate so when the preclear becomes unwilling or unable to communicate something that is in the way of auditing progress, it can obviously become a problem. This problem is covered under the phenomenon of a withhold.
The withhold is resolved by contacting and resolving the REASON WHY the preclear may be withholding something and so restore preclear’s freedom of choice with respect to the communication in question.
WITHHOLD means unwillingness to do or to communicate – basically something that is being held back by the preclear for whatever reason.
There are usually two reasons that could prevent someone from fully engaging in the process of auditing:
- Unwillingness to cause harm (within preclear’s notion of what that entails).
- Unwillingness to cause or experience unwanted consequences.
The purpose of addressing these areas, which is a form of auditing in itself, is to liberate preclear’s ability to freely communicate.
Resolving unwillingness to cause harm:
Here is a simple example from the Liberation Rundown. An auditor can ask: “What statement can you not make?” or “What thought can you not express?” The preclear identifies a thought of something negative, critical or what preclear considers could be damaging or somehow harmful to the auditor: such as, the preclear could have a thought that the auditor is ugly or something of the sort and that this thought should not be voiced because it will “harm” the auditor. This will hang up and become a “withhold” unless resolved. In this instance, the preclear is unwilling to harm the auditor which can be resolved through Creative Processing by having the preclear liberate one’s own freedom of thought and imagination with respect to harming the auditor. The auditing command to resolve this would simply be: “How could you harm me?” – posed by the auditor allowing the preclear to come up with various ways he/she could harm the auditor. This is why to have real, successful auditing, the auditor must be a trained professional unfazed by anything the preclear may communicate during the session, including toward the auditor him or herself.
A more general question could be: Who or What are you unwilling to harm? and once the target is identified, the same type of Creative Processing can be applied.
Resolving unwillingness to cause or experience unwanted consequences:
First, the consequence itself needs to be identified apart from the specific action or communication that the preclear believes could bring it about.
What do you think could happen as a result of this communication?
… could be a simple question if some specific area of withhold was identified such as when the preclear states that he/she is unwilling or finds oneself unable to voice something.
Once the unwanted consequence is identified, the next step would be to motivate the preclear to envision that it had already occurred. For example, if someone says “I don’t want my spouse to divorce me,” an auditor could ask the preclear to image that he/she is already divorced.
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The emphasis should be on handling (auditing) the REASONS WHY someone may be withholding something not on WHAT they may be unwilling to communicate.
What do you feel you cannot talk about?
Is there anything you do not want known about you? or Think of something you do not want known about you.
Once the PC gives a confirmation “okay,” ask:
WHO should not know about it? Who else should not know about it?
If the PC doesn’t brighten up on this, ask:
WHAT do you think could/would HAPPEN if this was known?
The aim is to bring the PC up to a state of increased responsibility for the people that he or she is withholding from and/or whatever events the PC thinks may take place if the withhold was revealed. The aim is to make the PC more self-determined with respect to withholding, not in somehow forcing the PC to share the information despite his or her considerations that he or she should not. The purpose of auditing should be rehabilitation of PC’s self-determinism, not breaking it.
Most likely the PC will start sharing the withhold upon addressing (auditing out) the reasons why he or she shouldn’t and that’s okay, but the goal, again, is not to get the PC to share but to help the PC recognize and get at cause over the reasons why he or she needs to make an effort to withhold something.
Depending on what happens, you can also ask:
Get an idea __the named person(s)__ already know(s) about it. Or
Get an idea __the named event(s)__ already happened.
This is an additional step to place the PC at cause over the reality he or she is trying to prevent.
Another good question that could be asked is something like:
What do you NOT want to happen as a result of this being known (or __the named terminal__ finding out)?
The PC could say something like: “I don’t want to be judged.” or “I don’t want to be beaten.” or “get fired from work.” or even “I don’t want to be killed.” or “executed.”
Then this should become an area of address:
Could you recall a time when someone judged you?
Could you recall a time when you judged someone?
This is on Confront and Create alternating basis.
You basically run (audit) what presents itself just as was recommended in Book One (Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health).
If someone says “killed” or “executed” – you would obviously be stepping into a past life situation, and that’s okay. If the charge presented itself, it is ready to be addressed.
The danger of “pulling withholds” without handling the reasons why the preclear is withholding, that is, simply persuading or somehow pressuring the preclear to just confess:
– The charge is likely to collapse on the PC. So say if a PC thought he was going to be killed if the withhold was revealed, the PC may begin struggling with an acute sense of apprehension or paranoia about someone coming after him and may get symptoms of “keyed-in” (restimulated) past death incidents such as struggling with somatics where he was shot or stabbed or poisoned or whatever it was that killed the PC in a past life.
– The PC may indeed feel “liberated” but that sense of “liberation” will get attached to the recipient(s) of PC’s communication as the only person(s) with whom the PC can truly be oneself and communicate since the reasons why the PC was withholding with respect to other persons outside of the “communication cycle” were not handled. This could lead to a sense of greater alienation from those “on the outside” and spiritual isolation into a cult-like atmosphere.