Home Blogs Joe Howard LRH Talks to Qual WHQ
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Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:05
The central building at WHQ was called Palms. It was a Spanish style two story house, nothing remarkable about it at all. Kitchen, dining area and living room downstairs, two bedrooms and bathroom upstairs and a basement. The living room served as mess hall and course room for the crew. The messengers ate in the dining area and studied there. Qual was in the basement.

A couple days after our chance meeting with LRH, we were alerted that he was coming down to Qual to talk to us. We got word through the messengers that he'd met a couple of the new auditors and they didn't look too bad so he was coming down to see who had been assembled. None of the other recruits had run into him despite having been there for a few weeks already.

We spent the early part of the morning making the basement look as presentable as a basement can be made to look. It was large enough to hold a desk and three 6 foot folding tables and a few filing cabinets. The furnace room served as the Qual Sec's office and folder storage. I mean, this was the Qual Division of LRH's personal org and it was situated in a basement and not a large one at that. I don't think LRH gave a rat's ass what a place looked like so long as it was clean. So, we neatened the place up and got rid of the dust. LRH definitely didn't like dust.

About 10:00 that morning we heard the door at the top of the stairs open and that unmistakable voice commenting to someone about something and down the stairs he came. Assembled were us new recruits and the existing Qual staff: Rick Merwin, Qual Sec; Paulette Cohen, C/S and LRH Tech Expeditor (precursor to the Snr C/S Int post); Rich Cohen, Cram Off; Justin Stratmanm, Medical Liaison Officer; and the newly recruited auditors: Sue Koon, Waldo (Bob Waldmann, but no one ever called him Bob, not even LRH; he was and always will be Waldo); Chuck Holloway; Nancy Rhodes; Dick Stratman, Justin's father; Blake Huffam, an engineer from the Apollo days; Pam Daugherty; Carol Spurlock (Lyman's wife-Lyman wouldn't arrive until later that year), myself and I think that was about it.

LRH came in and we all stood up and applauded. He still had that incredibly cool mock-up with the hair, goatee and cowboy hat. Maybe someday some photos of that period will emerge.

He sat down on a credenza and said he thought he would come down and say welcome to the club. He said hello particularly to Blake who he knew from the ship. He talked about wanting to make some auditors and said that he always had to keep a few sharks around to keep tech standards in line. As I recall, he said we were going to be getting the crew, which contained a bunch of fairly raw recruits as part of the Estates force (we were at least trained auditors; these other guys were newly off the street drug cases some of them), through their Objectives and Drug Rundowns.

That was the gist of that first talk. We were of course thrilled, and a few days later, he came down and talked to us again. This time he talked about research he was doing on the E-Meter. He had found some problems with the old Delta American Mark V meters and mentioned a paper written by Peter Cook on the meter. LRH said that the American Mk Vs didn't F/N and that work was beginning on the Mark VI which was going to have a built in tone arm counter, clock and all sorts of goodies. He proceeded to talk a bit about TRs and metering and how these relate to a pc's case gain.

As I mentioned in the first article, LRH's default tone seemed to be a kind of serene amusement. His voice was deeper than you'd recognize from Briefing Course lectures and, it seemed to me, even richer. I noticed that his voice had changed after his research on OT III in early 1967. He must have been 66 or 67 at WHQ and some of the vitality from earlier days seemed to have been replaced by a less animated, but still very, very large, beingness. He was definitely pushing around an older body and so seemed a little slower in movement but was still as sharp as ever mentally and seemed awfully at ease.

The following week he gave a third and final talk and this was his talk on auditor beingness which we later issued as a bulletin. Over the years, LRH had talked about what makes a good auditor but he'd never approached it from the angle of the auditor's beingness and how the auditor's attitude toward the session or the pc would color his TRs. In that talk he gave us the assignment to sort out our beingnesses as auditors and once we had that sorted out to begin recording sessions and sending these along to him so he could give us critiques on our TRs. We were more or less in a constant state of electrification being directly on LRH's lines and now sending session tapes to him. We began getting critiques back which were enormously helpful, except for my first one, which simply said, "No voice." I was nervous sending a tape of my session to LRH and the nerves showed in a really messed up renditon of TRs. Naturally I took some crap from other auditors who began calling me No Voice until I got another critique back which was more along the lines of what was expected.

LRH had an incredible knack to cut directly to the most fundamental departure in an auditor's TRs and session presence. Ordinarily, the assignment consisted of an instruction to review one's auditor beingness to discover what was still awry that was influencing the TRs one way or another. We all made some really good progress and the session critiques were improving on an almost daily basis (the story of which LRH wrote into a Tech Film, TR 16, Auditor Beingness).

And then in July 1977, the FBI raided the Complex in LA.

--Joe Howard


# Fellow Traveller 2010-06-24 07:47
There are no words really to describe this.
Thank you for sharing Joe.

I am all in tears to realize that LRH's legacy has been really butchered by the institution which should have properly and accurately built and maintained it. Truth, mechanical definition: exact time place form and event. Your stories, this one and the last one, are like an assist; hopefully an assist on a number of flows.

Bruce Pratt
# George 2010-06-24 12:48
Please continue ........... George
# Virgil Samms 2010-06-24 13:44
Dan, this is like sipping on a chocolate milk shake at the foot of the master. Keep em coming from the beaches of Sweden (isn't that an oxymoron?).

ML Tom
# Sinar 2010-06-24 17:00

Hope you're spending more time at the beach as it's pretty constructive and very good for us!

I love getting reminded of those great friends we had in those days - most of all - the Boss!
# linda mcginley 2010-06-24 17:36
Dan, what a wonderful story! Thanks so much for this. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you about LRH. Wonderful respite from what has been happening in the C of S these days.

# Kingair350 2010-06-24 20:08
What you write about are the times and moments of our real history which will
be recorded and passed on forever. This is what Sherman should
be documenting AND releasing. You, and folks like you must keep
writing and writing. LRH lights up newly when we get to read your
All the rest has that we've been going through has the substance and
theta of a third rate secondary.
Many thanks for keeping the ol' man mocked up.
# Thought provoking 2010-06-26 08:53
Oh Joe...please tell us more!

I am so glad that you are taking the time to share some of LRH with us. I have always loved hearing the personal stories as they generally jive with my own experiences of who LRH was.

I loved the Auditor Beingness film! As a reg, I got to see the tech films and so was then able to extrapolate that data to my own post. It really helped me a lot.

After reading your two short encounters my heart soars with affinity, such a dichotomy to the effect DM creates.

Sorry, but you do not have the right to post comments.


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