Dummy Auditing, Step Two, Acknowledgment, is the second part of the communication cycle. Now the actual fact is when you have gotten a thought over to a preclear it is customary to prove it. The whole stress of acknowledgment is entirely and completely upon making sure that the preclear receives the auditor’s acknowledgment. That is the entire stress.
Now why all this stress on acknowledgment? Well, acknowledgment is a control factor — I’ll just let you in on a secret right here at the beginning. If you acknowledge a preclear well, you will have the preclear under much better control. Now, why? The formula of control is Start, Change and Stop. And that’s just it — an acknowledgment is Stop. If you said to him “Keep going” or “Keep talking,” you would not be acknowledging him. The perfect acknowledgment communicates only this: I have heard your communication. That’s all there is to it — I have heard what you said. It signalizes that the preclear’s (or person’s, since Scientology applies to life, not just to an auditing room) communication to you has been received. But when you use it as an auditor you use it also as a control factor. And it says this: Your communication has been received — and that is all there is to it, and that is the end of that cycle of action, thank you. That’s what it says, and you have to put that whole intention into a “Yes” or an “Okay” or anything else you use. It isn’t the word, it’s the intention that ends it. Your communication has been received and I have now decided to stop that cycle of communication and your communication is therefore under my control. Those things which you stop, very crudely, are things which you control. You have to be able to stop things if you control them. If you cannot control a preclear’s communication line you can’t control the preclear.
I’ll give you an example of this. Let’s say we’re auditing Mrs. Gotrocks, the wife of the executive manager of Fleabite Dustpowder or something, and she is bored (the only thing wrong with her), and she’s crazy (that’s the only other thing wrong with her), and she never had anything to do, and she’s just been Lying around, and she has ailments. She comes into the auditing room and she starts to talk to you. She says, “Oh, I’ve been to this specialist and that specialist and it cost this much money and that much money and I’ve been here and I’ve been there and what’s really wrong with me and what you really should take up is so and so rah rah rah ....” It’s none of your business. The longer you let such a person talk, the less havingness they have. You can watch them go straight down the ARC tone scale if you keep on letting them talk. Obsessive communication — obsessive outflow. And the first major use that you will
make of this, the first time you really understand what this acknowledgment is all about, is when somebody starts this on you and starts talking, talking, talking, talking, and you want to get a session started, and you get the intention real good and you say to them, “Good.” And they stop talking. Your intention was such that they knew that you had received their communication. And if you can do this very well, if you can get that acknowledgment just right and if it does exactly what it is supposed to do, very often the person will look at you fixedly and say, “You know, I don’t think anybody has ever heard me before.”
Why is this person talking obsessively? They are trying to make up in quantity what they lack in audience. There’s nobody listening to them. They are not talking to anyone. And you all of a sudden come up with an acknowledgment and say, “Hey! I heard you. I heard that. You have communicated to me, and that’s it, now.” And they say, “Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anybody before.” It’s quite amazing. I have seen an auditor on an obsessive outflow case get down in front of the preclear, fix him with an eye, move his finger back and forth just in front of the preclear’s nose and say, “Good; I heard that,” and have the preclear all of a sudden say, “Ooooh. Geeeeee. You are there, aren’t you!” So a good acknowledgment can actually wind up the entire goal of the process and find the auditor — that’s how important it is.
Now, that is a specialized use, stopping a compulsive outflow. Its general use is putting a period to the communication cycle. It ends the moment of time in which you gave the command you learned how to give, we hope, in Dear Alice, part A. You said something, the preclear heard it, and we understood then that the preclear had heard it, and we said, “Good.” Now the exact way Dear Alice, part B (which is Dummy Auditing, Step Two), is done is this. The coach — or a person acting as a preclear — takes Alice in Wonderland and reads random phrases out of it. And, reading the phrase in any old way, we don’t care how (we’re not disciplining the preclear, you know; we never do that, we merely control them within an inch of their lives), in this particular case this person says something out of Alice in Wonderland and the auditor has to say, “Good,” “Fine,” “Okay,” “I heard that,” anything — in such a way as actually to convince the person who is sitting there acting as the preclear that he has heard it.
Now there is a specific way to do this. That is to intend that the communication cycle ends at that point and to end it there. Anything that you do to make that come about is, of course, legitimate, unless it utterly destroys ARC. But it finishes a cycle of communication. So what could the auditor in this case do? You see, there sits the auditor, no book; there sits the preclear with a book; and the preclear is reading, “And the Mad Hatter dipped his watch into the teapot,” and the auditor says, “Good.” But that ends that, you see. Now, in view of the fact that the preclear is reading a continued story which goes on sentence after sentence after sentence, the auditor will have a tendency to treat this as “in passing,” and that is not an acknowledgment. The auditor could say, “Well, read some more.” That’s not an acknowledgment — it didn’t stop it, did it? “Continue, go ahead” — no, that’s not an acknowledgment at all. An acknowledgment says, “Stop” — ”Whoa” — ”Air brakes” — ”Period” — ”End” — ”Heard you” — ”You’ve communicated” — ”That’s the end of that moment of time” — ”Final cycle” — ”That’s it” — ”You’ve had it.” You get that?
So the auditor has to say “Good,” “Fine,” “Okay,” in such a way as to receive the communication in the preclear’s eyes. The preclear has to know that the auditor has received the communication, and that’s the only point on which they are coached — at first.
Then we could start to bear down and say, as an instructor, “Well, did you acknowledge that preclear’s communication? Did you?” And the auditor says, “Well, uhh....” “Did you do a perfect acknowledgment?” “Well — certainly.” And the answer to that would be “No.” The preclear is still reading, still got the book in his hands, still going on with it, still sitting in the chair, and he’s still not in this universe.
What is this all about? What are we actually trying to do? Well, we’re not trying to reach the ultimate in an acknowledgment because that would be the end of the universe. If somebody could say “Yes,” “Good,” or “Okay” with enough intention behind it, all communications of this universe from the moment of its beginning would then be acknowledged, totally. (Except that this would violate the communication formula because they weren’t all addressed to him, although lots of people think they were.) But what does the auditor actually feel called upon to do? Well, he feels called upon to put a period to that cycle of communication. It actually started, you see, with the auditor’s phrase to the preclear, then the preclear signified with some kind of wince or grunt or something that it had been heard, and then the auditor says, “Well, that’s the end of that. Good. Fine. That finished that.” You see?
But an acknowledgment ends the cycle of the communication which you read about in Dianetics 1955, and that is the Bill-Joe cycle. “Good,” says the auditor. This is fantastic. If you got good enough at this, a traffic cop would drive up and say something to you and you would acknowledge the fact that he had spoken and he would simply get back on his bike or go back to the station house and turn in his badge and retire. You see, that would be the end of that. That would be it. As a matter of fact, it actually staggers people to have an acknowledgment come to them — it staggers them, really to get it through. People who are having a hard time, particularly. It’s a good thing, and it’s very therapeutic for a person to know that he has been acknowledged. I know that you will be around in the local stores, maybe stopping a pedestrian on the street and suddenly looking at him and saying, “Good” — acknowledging him. And you will have some fantastic things occur if you do. An acknowledgment is a very, very powerful sixteen-inch gun in the communication formula; and you shouldn’t use it sparingly, you should use it to end cycles of communication. I hope you learn to do that very, very well.