DEFINITION: AN ASSIST: An action undertaken by a minister to assist the spirit to confront physical, difficulties which can then be cared for with medical methodology by a medical doctor as needful.
An assist is not normally done in a formal auditing session. The way the term has been used is a very simple processing activity to relieve an immediate troublesome difficulty.
An assist is much more specifically and definitely anything which is done to alleviate a present-time discomfort. It is differentiated from auditing at large by defining auditing as an activity directed toward the rehabilitation of the entire individual.
The first moments of every formal session are an assist. Before you undertake further auditing you usually perform an assist. If you are a very clever auditor you do it by scouting what has happened between sessions, or if the person has a present time problem, for the handling of a present time problem in an auditing session is really not auditing because it is addressed to a surface difficulty.
You handle the difficulty which is uppermost and foremost in the preclear’s mind. A preclear may say, “Well, my wife and I had a fight last night. She threatened to commit suicide, and now she has a violent headache.”
The wrong way to look at what he is saying is to think that it is her headache that is causing the trouble in the session and that you cannot cure her headache as she isn’t present. The actual trouble in the session is his concern about her headache. So you run Problems of Comparable Magnitude to relieve his mind to a point where he is quite comfortable and you can get on with the auditing. And that is actually what an assist is.
Since you really do not have the preclear under good control, nor well orientated in the environment, you have to answer this technical question: When does an auditing session begin?
The answer to that question is: An auditing session begins when you have a preclear, and when he knows he has an auditing environment and an auditor. There is auditing which is done on a relatively loose basis, which might be out in the street, in the kitchen, or anywhere. An assist could happen almost anywhere. But at the
beginning of the session, no matter how formally this session is constituted, you are running an assist.
You have an auditing room. You have a preclear, and you are the auditor. You know all these things, but the preclear doesn’t. As far as he is concerned, there isn’t a formal session taking place. Don’t call it a formal session. Call it an assist. Tell the preclear that it is an assist and that you are not intending anything very strenuous. In rendering an assist you should tell the preclear that “this is just an assist” to try and ease the pain in his hand a little, after which you are going to stop.
The handling of an assist as an auditor is different than the handling of a formal session since the factor of control is notably slackened, sometimes almost completely missing.
One of the factors in assists is that an assist has as a large part of its anatomy, “trying to help.” Just remember that you are only trying to help and don’t get your heart broken by the fact that the fellow’s broken spine doesn’t heal instantly.
Another factor is that an assist is differentiated and defined as addressing the game someone knows he is playing.
What techniques would comprise an assist? Anything that would help. And what are these? One of the easiest ones to render is Locational Processing. You tell the person, “Look at that chair. Look at that ceiling. Look at that floor. Look at that hand” (the auditor pointing to the objects), when he has an injured hand and the pain will diminish. This is a very easy assist.
For example, a person has a bad shoulder. You touch his hand of the same arm and say, “Close your eyes and look at my fingers.’’ Make sure that he keeps his eyes closed. You then touch him on the elbow and say, “Look at my fingers.” Do this anywhere on his body. Just touch him and say, “Look at my fingers.’’ This is a communication process which eases his attention over from a concentration upon the injury to something else which is quite near the injury and thus doesn’t result in too much of a shock. It reduces havingness but it is positive and gets positive results. It can be done by an untrained person.
You can teach this assist to anybody. You say, “If somebody has a bruise, injury, a burn, a cut, the way to handle this is to tell the person to close his eyes, and then you touch the area near and distant from the vicinity of the injured area, asking them, with their eyes closed, to look at your fingers. You contact them this way many times. They will experience sudden pains in the area, and you will discover that the ‘psychic trauma’ has been discharged.”
You will find that people do not have any upset about physical contact. Most people think that this is the thing to do.
Say you wanted to render an assist on somebody who had a very indefinite difficulty. That is the hardest one to render an assist on. The person has a pain but he cannot say where. He doesn’t know what has happened to him. He just feels bad. Use Locational Processing as such. You will find out that this process will work when other processes fail.
An assist carries with it a certain responsibility. If you give an assist casually to somebody out in the public and do not shove a professional calling card in his pocket, you are making an error. The reason for this is that he will not know from whom and where help came. Therefore, an auditor walking around without a pack of cards is doing a foolish thing. An auditor goes through life and he casts his shadow upon many people and they have really no cognizance of what has happened at all if he is rendering an assist. He says, “Do this, do that”—maybe he wins, or maybe he loses because this is the type of session least calculated to procure orderly results. But in the main these people have been helped. They don’t know really by what, except some word that the auditor kept saying. They don’t even know that he is an auditor. They don’t know anything about it at all. Show a person where he can obtain further assistance, and by whom the assistance was given.
Be yourself. Be positive. Be professional and definite. Have a card and make sure the card is easily enough understood. Don’t ask them for permission. Just do it. No reason to wander around and give them funny notions. If you are going to help some stranger out, help him out. Don’t explain to him or any bystander, otherwise you are likely to stand there explaining, waiting for somebody’s permission. Don’t bother with that. You act as though you are the one in charge and you will be in charge. And this is part and parcel of the knowledge of how to do an assist. You have got to be the person in charge. This has to be so good, as far as you are concerned, that you overcome the informality of the session to a very marked degree. If you do it extremely well, the assist will amount to auditing.
Say, for example, there is a big accident and a crowd of people are pressing around. The police are trying to push the people back. Well, push the people back and then push the policeman back. Say, “Officer, keep these people at a distance.” Then you lean over the victim and snap him back to rights. If you are enough THERE, everybody else will realize that you are the ONE that is THERE. Therefore, such things as panic, worry, wonder, upset, looking dreamily into the far distance, wondering what is wrong or what should be done, are no part of your make-up if you are rendering an assist. Cool, calm and collected should be the keynote of your attitude. Realize that to take control of any given situation it is only necessary to be there more than anybody else. There is no necromancy involved. Just BE there. The others aren’t. And if you are there enough, then somebody else will pull himself out of it and go on living.
Understand that an auditor when rendering an assist must make up with presence what he lacks in surroundings and agreements. It all comes under the heading of willingness to be there and willingness to control people.
One of the ways of convincing people of beingness and of being there is to exercise control—positive, undeniable Tone 40 exercise of control. Start to control the situation with high enough ARC, enough presence and factuality—there won’t be anybody present that won’t step back and let you control the situation. You are entitled to it in the first place because of senior “know-how.” The control of body attention or thought comprises the majority of your knowledge. The majority in Scientology simply points in this direction. The observable thing is control of attention, objects and thoughts. When you have good confidence of being able to handle these, and when you positively know how to do these, then you can make sure that everybody else knows you can do this, and you make them realize this by doing it. You have all of these things available in rendering an assist.
You might never think of a riot as being a situation which necessitated an assist, or an assist as applicable to a riot, but a riot is simply a psychosomatic momentary injury or traumatic condition on the third dynamic. Could you settle a riot? Well, if you can settle a riot, you can certainly settle one person who is in a riot. The antithesis of any pain, disturbance or tumult is order. The thing which controls tumult is order; and, conversely, the thing which controls order is tumult. You need only bring order into a confused situation and bring confusion into an orderly situation to control everything in the field of motion, action and objects.
This is a fantastic simplicity and one which takes some grasping. Conceive as order, merely a fixed position, idea and attitude. A policeman knows what he is supposed to do. Maybe he will put on a tourniquet or maybe he won’t. Keep the people away and stop everything is his idea of how it should be. Now you can aid or abet the order he is creating, or cancel the order by creating a confusion which he cannot handle. Of the two, the first is the best in that situation. You aid and abet and cap the order he is creating. If you were to accuse him of having a confused accident scene, which is by now not at all confused, and ask him to straighten it out, you would channel his attention in the direction it is already gone, and so you control his attention.
Remember, those people are still moving a little bit; they are still breathing. There is still a tiny bit of motion going on. If you were to ask him something on the order of “Can’t we have it a little quieter and more orderly here?” he would at once perceive that there was far too much confusion and motion, and he would simply come under your direction because you have simply channeled his attention in the direction it was already going. Therefore, you have taken control.
If you ever want to overset a fixed order, create a confusion. If you want to overset a confusion, create a fixed order. Pick out of the scene those beings in the scene whose attention is channeled in the direction you want attention to go, and you aid and abet that attention which already exists. Or, where you have too many fixed positions and fixed ideas to overcome, you simply take those turbulent individuals in the scene who are creating the confusion against those fixed ideas and channels and you make their confusion much more confused, at the same time yourself imposing another order in another direction.
The mechanics of taking over any confused scene are simply the mechanics of trying to get a preclear to see through the morass of cross-purposes, commands, ideas and environments in which he has lived. And whether that applies to the third dynamic or otherwise, the laws are still there and it tells you then that the imposition of order on a preclear comes foremost in an assist.
In an assist you always count on the fact that the thetan himself would, if he could, do the right thing. If you work on that postulate you will never be wrong. Get the idea that it is something else trying to do the wrong thing. The keynote of a thetan is order.
Where you are giving an assist to one person, you put things in the environment into an orderly state as the first step, unless you are trying to stop a pumping artery— but here you would use First Aid. You should understand that First Aid always precedes an assist. You should look the situation over from the standpoint of how much First Aid is required. Maybe you will find somebody with a temperature of 106 degrees. It may very well be that he needs to lie down and be covered up, and though antibiotics are much overrated, he might be better off with a shot of one of these than with an assist at that time.
Auditing will not shut off a pumping artery, but a tourniquet will. If you are going into the zone of accidents, you are going to be in the vicinity of a great deal of destruction and chaos, and you are very foolish not to have your Red Cross First Aid Certificate. You may often have to find some method of controlling, handling and directing personnel who get in your way before you can render an assist. You might just as well realize that an assist requires that you control the entire environment and personnel associated with the assist if necessary.
An assist is auditing on several dynamics. It is, therefore, much harder to do than auditing in a formal room as it requires presence. You must bring yourself to face the fact that you have to give enough presence and enough control to enough dynamics to bring the environment into a compliance with your postulate. If you postulate that somebody is going to pick up his bed and walk, then you have to be willing to move and be capable of moving around the people who are going to watch him pick up his bed and walk.
A good example of an assist would be when somebody is washing dishes in the kitchen. There is a horrendous crash and the person comes down all over the sink, hits the floor and as she is going down, she grabs the butcher knife as it falls. You go in and say, “Well, let me fix that up.” One of the first things you would have to do is to wind some bandage around the hand to stop the bleeding. Part of the First Aid would be to pick up the dishes and put them back on the sink, sweep the pieces together into a more orderly semblance. This is the first symptom of control. She becomes introverted into the cut to the point that she wouldn’t particularly notice what you were doing. But you relieve the anxiety that all her blood is pouring out; your first attention to the case is attention to the environment.
Next you would make her sit down. To remove her from the scene of the accident is not as desirable as auditing her there. That is directly contrary, perhaps, to what you believe, but it is true. That is why you bring a little order into the environment. You position her and then you are ready for techniques. It is quite remarkable for you have manifested order in a much wider sphere than a cut hand in order to bring about a healing of the cut hand. If you understand that your responsibility always extends much wider than the immediate zone of commotion, you never miss. If you bring order to the wider environment you also bring it to the narrower environment. If you bring it into the narrow environment, you also bring it to the wider environment. It is a gradient scale of how much order you can bring.
In processing, you have to control or direct attention, objects, person, or thoughts of the injured person. If you are really good on the subject of assists, you will direct an additional thing: his knowingness. You can control a man’s knowingness rather easily, but it is hard to see it. About the first thing that you can observe about somebody is his person. You are trying to straighten it out. Don’t think that, even though you have this person sitting down, you have straightened it out, because it is still messed up. But there is something that you can straighten out easily—and that is his attention. If you could heighten his attention and his knowingness at the same time, you would really be in wonderful circumstances. You always shift and direct his attention, hence Locational Processing. If he was a Scientologist, with his case in pretty good shape, you could run Trio with considerable success by directing his attention. But you wouldn’t run Trio with the command “Look around the room and find something you could have, “ You should say, “ You look at that chair.” “Now decide you can have it. “ That is a very low order of the Terrible Trio.
You could run the injury out in this fashion: “Look at that chair. “ “Decide the injury cannot have it.” This is directed attention, positively controlled. There is no permissiveness connected with this in any way whatsoever.
Because he is injured you are not going to move his person around. You have got his attention. Don’t try to shift his thoughts around at first because they are dispersed and chaotic. This leaves you his attention only.
The above assist is quite satisfactory, but a later development in the line of assists which included the significance of “Keep it from going away, “ is much more powerful. In one case a bruise, turned utterly black, and covering this person’s entire hip, passed away in 45 minutes of good auditing by “Keeping the right hip from going away, “ and then “Keeping the left hip from going away. “
If you run the right eye, you run the left eye as well. If you run one thing, you run another. If you run his head, run his knees as well. The master of all these is the direction of attention. “Keep it from going away” is tremendously workable.
You don’t run “Keep it from going away” first, because you are partially controlling his thoughts and this is not possible in the early stages of an assist. If someone is in terrible condition and he is really writhing around, and you want to render an assist, you don’t wait until he stops writhing. He is liable to stop writhing dead. What you do with him is to direct his attention. You tell him, “Shut your eyes and look at my fingers. “ You press your fingers hard enough so that he can’t help but put his attention on them.
If you want it to come out with no bruise, then you would get him to a point where you can control his thoughts, which are chaotic enough. Have him “keep the left ankle from going away, the right ankle from going away,” etc. If the process doesn’t seem to be flattening, direct his attention somewhere else because he is not keeping it from going away. In this wise you can always have a successful assist, because assists all come under the heading of control. The beingness of the person and his presence makes the control possible. So part of control is always presence, identity, person, the one who takes charge and has things under control. When you are able to control his attention, his body and thoughts, then he will be in session and you are no longer doing an assist.
Assists dominantly require that you direct the attention of the preclear and dispose his person one way or the other and eventually take over control of his thoughts on the subject. But by the time you have all these three in line, you are no longer doing an assist.
So what you really do is do an assist up to the time the person can handle the incident or pain, put him in a more favorable environment and give him auditing. So the assist is what you do on the street, and auditing is what you do in the auditing room when he comes to you after your assist has been successful.
AN ASSIST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION AND DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO CURE INJURIES REQUIRING MEDICAL AID. FIRST, CALL THE DOCTOR. THEN ASSIST THE PERSON AS YOU CAN.
[The above was edited and issued under the same title in Ability 154, October 1963, which was further edited and issued as HCO B 21 October 1971, Volume VII, page 415.]