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Saturday, 21 August 2010 21:46
The subject of Floating Needles has undergone some “fine drubbings” in the Church of Miscavige.  Much like “disconnection”, “security checking” and “fair game”.  However, the drubbing of this one meter phenomenon, the “free needle” is an egregious attack on the technology of auditing that in some ways outstrips any other single alteration, perversion and outright reversal of L. Ron Hubbard’s body of work that has been perpetrated by David Miscavige in the past three decades.  That is because this hits at the heart of results.  For any person familiar (or not)  with the policy Keeping Scientology Working, this assault on results is essential to subvert the entire subject.

I am not attempting in this article to present every single piece of information on the meter or its manifestations and their use in Dianetics and Scientology. This is not a substitute for a full study of and practice with the meter.

I will present the several issues that define and describe the manifestation of a Floating Needle.  They are few and the topic was completely covered by LRH with no need of interpretation or refinement by David Miscavige.


The first thing I’d like to do is provide some clear definitions of terms used to describe the meter manifestation of an FN.

Float: to drift on or through or as on or through a fluid. Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.

Drift: to move or float smoothly and effortlessly. Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.

The first instance I have found where this term appears in a Hubbard authored issue is HCOB 30 June 1960 CREATE AGAIN with this section of that Bulletin: “I would advise help and not help on creations until the needle is floating with no reaction to questions of any kind on them.”

Prior to this occurrence of the term “floating” and subsequent to it, to this day in fact, the needle manifestation of a “float” was referred to as “free” and the earliest description of it was “idle”.

Free: not obstructed, restricted or impeded; not hampered or restricted in its normal operation. Merriam Webster’s Online.

Idle: as an adjective; not filled with activity. As a verb; to move slowly or aimlessly. Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition.  And in context from the original E-Meter Essentials of 1961; “The needle just idles around and yawns at your questions on the subject.”

The first description I found of this type of needle phenomena is from Journal of Scn Issue 1-G ca. mid-Aug 1952, Electronics Gives Life to Freud’s Theory:

“An idle needle, one which is drifting slightly to the right and slightly to the left very easily and gently, denotes a comfortable status of mind on the part of the patient, and tells the practitioner that he is nowhere near any subject that distresses him, or, if it follows an emotional outburst, tells him that the outburst itself is spent, and that the subject now can be abandoned for the moment.”


“If the meter is “Stage Four” [idle swing, not clear but pc can’t affect meter, which only swings up, sticks, falls and so forth on same pattern—a Stage Four needle has a stick in the top of its oscillation, a clear needle doesn’t]...”

(Note: this is an instance of a “free” needle being referred to as a “clear” needle. LRH compares a Stage 4 needle to a free needle again in HCOB 19 July 62 CLEARING – FREE NEEDLES “A free needle is not a stage 4 needle or an inverted stage 4. It is floating and free.”)

On 21 October 1968 the Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin (the main means of communication in written form of technical data authored or approved by LRH) FLOATING NEEDLES was published. This bulletin was revised on 9 July 1977 however the revision did not include any changes to the description of a Floating Needle. In fact, that description is completely valid to this day, having never been changed, cancelled, limited or altered, by any LRH authored or approved bulletin up until his death in January 1986. A brief excerpt, to include the description of the needle in a “float” is as follows:

“It is the idle uninfluenced movement of the needle on the dial without any patterns or reactions in it. It can be as small as 1” or as large as dial wide. It does not fall or drop to the right of the dial. It moves to the left at the same speed as it moves to the right.”

One year later, on 21 July 1978 another issue describing and defining a Floating Needle was issued over LRH’s name, with the title WHAT IS A FLOATING NEEDLE? This was two paragraphs long, consisting in its entirety as follows:

“A floating needle is a rhythmic sweep of the dial at a slow, even pace of the needle.

“That’s what an F/N is. No other definition is correct.”

Eight months later, on 21 Feb 1979, with the final correction and re-issue on 6 May 79, E-Meter Essentials Errata, an HCO Bulletin over LRH’s name added more description to a the section on Free Needles:

Page 17, Section 41:
Delete: “It means an idle, uninfluenced motion, no matter what you say about the goal or terminal. It isn’t just null, it’s uninfluenced by anything (except body reactions).”

The entire section is replaced by: “It means the same as a Floating Needle, which is a rhythmic sweep of the dial at a slow, even pace of the needle, back and forth, back and forth, without change in the width of the swing except perhaps to widen as the pc gets off the last small bits of charge. Note that it can get so wide that you have to shift the Tone Arm back and forth, back and forth, to keep the needle on the dial in which case you have a floating tone arm.”

In case it appears that the description “idle, uninfluenced” for a Floating Needle is somehow or other “cancelled” or nullified by the above E-Meter Essentials Errata, it is to be noted that an LRH HCOB written on 3 May 1980, titled PC INDICATORS, refers to HCOB 21 October 1968R (revised on 9 July 77) FLOATING NEEDLES,  mentioned above, and that the Oct 68 definition of an FN, Floating Needle, Free Needle, is still valid.  THE DESCRIPTION HAS NEVER BEEN CANCELLED OR ANNULLED BY L. RON HUBBARD.

A subsequent issue, HCOB 2 Dec 80 FLOATING NEEDLE AND TA POSITION, reiterates the validity of the Oct 68 issue as follows:

“modifies but does not cancel all HCOBs that mention having to have the TA between 2.0 and 3.0 before the F/N can be considered valid, including: HCOB 21 Oct. 68R FLOATING NEEDLE”

(Note: for non-Scientologists or those unfamiliar with a meter, “TA” refers to the “Tone Arm” one of the operational parts of the meter, on its face, that is a small “arm” or lever, that is adjusted by the auditor to move the needle when it is displaced from a “set” position by a reaction, body or mental, of the preclear. A reading between the marked numbers between which this Tone Arm is moved,  of between 2.0 and 3.0 was up to that time thought to be necessary for a valid Floating Needle. That was found to be an arbitrary requirement and hence is changed in all issues that mentioned it).

There are many issues that have “definitions” of a Floating Needle in them, none of which are cancelled, and all of which describe in various ways, the needle manifestation of a “free” or “floating” needle.  For example, one issue HCOB 10 AUGUST 1976R REVISED 5 SEPTEMBER 1978, R/Ses, WHAT THEY MEAN states the following:

“…the ‘slam’ is a description of the needle violence, meaning it ‘slams’ back and forth. For a time all left-right motions of the needle were considered and called ‘rock slams’ until it was found that a smooth left-right flow was a symptom of release or key-out and this became the ‘floating needle’.”

By defining clearly in the 21 July 78 issue WHAT IS A FLOATING NEEDLE?, a Floating Needle, LRH did not state that every other description or piece of valid data relative to the needle manifestation was cancelled or invalid. Indeed, he refers to various other references, describing the Floating Needle, following this 21 July definition and none of these valid LRH issues cancel or nullify these various descriptions. They remain valid. They ARE valid. In fact, LRH wrote every one of them.  

There is however one issue he DID NOT WRITE on this subject.


“HCOB” 21 July 78R, (revised and rewritten) was compiled by Sue Koon of LRH Research and Compilations, a division of the senior management organization of Scientology, Commodore’s Messenger Organization International, for David Miscavige, who was the final authorization for its publication.  This issue was put out on 8 October 2000, some 14 years after LRH died, and some 9 years after the same David Miscavige issued the final collection of all LRH authored bulletins, the Technical Volumes of 1991.

This issue, NOT WRITTEN AND NOT APPROVED by L. Ron Hubbard, is prefaced with the following:

“(Revised 8 October 2000 to include the full LRH definition of floating needle. LRH originally wrote this HCOB on 21 July 1978. In February of 1979, when updating the book, E-Meter Essentials, he augmented the definition with additional text. The full text, as it appears in E-Meter Essentials, is hereby issued in this HCOB. Revisions in script.)

The text from E-Meter Essentials that is interpolated by Sue Koon/DM, is the description of the needle as it widens in its float during the attainment of what is technically referred to as an End Phenomena of a process or the running of an Engram chain in Dianetics. It is however only part of that specific End Phenomena, and the remainder of the EPs (there are several items to look for when determining a valid EP, and for various processes or actions taken in an auditing session), are covered fully in several applicable LRH authored bulletins.

In other words, a description of an EP is interpolated in a definition of a Floating Needle.  These are two distinct technical points that are NOT the same.  Else, LRH himself would have said so, and he would have written the original HCOB to state as much. He didn’t.

(LRH did write HCOB 20 Feb 1970 FLOATING NEEDLES AND END PHENOMENA which describes in full the complete End Phenomena in Dianetics and Scientology processes along with HCOB 21 March 1974 END PHENOMENA, which further clarifies these EPs and distinguishes clearly the various different EPs of the various actions taken in Dianetics and Scientology.  For instance, the EP of handling an ARC break or Present Time Problem, as addressed at the beginning of an auditing session, or in a Cramming session, is specific and different than the EP of a major Grades process or the running of a Dianetic engram, as is the manifestation of the Floating Needle for each one of these actions relative to its intended result and EP.)

L. Ron Hubbard DID NOT write HCOB 21 July 78R.  He DID NOT ADD the material he wrote to replace the material of the 1961 edition of E-Meter Essentials to the issue he did write and then state: “That’s what an F/N is. No other definition is correct.”

By doing so, placing this data OUT OF CONTEXT, David Miscavige has re-defined a Floating Needle in an issue David Miscavige directed to be written, and approved over L. Ron Hubbard’s name.  LRH did not direct, nor approve any such issue dated 21 July 78, revised/rewritten on 8 Oct 2000.  L. Ron Hubbard NEVER defined a Floating Needle as described in this fraudulent 8 October rewrite of his bulletin.  IT IS NOT LRH’S DEFINITION OF A FLOATING NEEDLE.

It is therefore, by definition, NOT A PART OF VALID SCIENTOLOGY TECHNOLOGY.  To qualify for that it would have to have been written and/or personally approved by LRH.  He categorically did neither on the 8 Oct 2000 issue David Miscavige ordered and approved.


To appreciate just how potentially catastrophic this non-LRH definition of a Floating Needle is it will help to understand WHY the needle floats in terms of mental/spiritual phenomena AND technically in terms of electro-magnetic manifestations. That is, what is happening with the person on the cans and the meter that results in the manifestation of a Floating/Free needle?


“The basic freeing action of auditing depends upon the separation of thought from form,  matter, energy, space and time and other life.

“We see in “science” as currently practised a nearly total identification by the “scientist” of mass with thought. “Man from mud” is a natural conclusion by anyone
who has all his thought bound up in mass.

“The reason a clear’s needle is so free (and you’ve seen, certainly, how an E-Meter needle gets sticky, then freer and freer) is that his thought is separated from a matter,
energy, space, time consequence.

“The “dead-in-’is-’ead” case is totally associating all thought with mass. Thus he reads peculiarly on the meter. As he is audited he frees his thinkingness so that he can
think without mass connotations.

“What auditing is doing is making the preclear think key thoughts until they can be thought without creating or disturbing matter, energy, space and time.”

HCOB 30 April 1960 ACC TRs, which states:

“6. Free Needle: A needle which shows none of the reactions described above. It floats back and forth easily, registering only the body, its breathing, heartbeats, etc. While needle free, no facsimiles are being impinged on the body.

“Note: All movements may vary in amplitude (width of reaction on dial at given sensitivity) and velocity (speed of needle movement — units if dial/instant of time) from pc to pc, or from time to time on the same pc, particularly under processing.”

The above clearly describes what occurs with the person on the cans and the meter when the needle “floats” or is “free”.  Read it again.  THAT IS WHY THE NEEDLE FLOATS.

(NOTE: Why does an ARC Break needle float? HCOB 5 OCTOBER 68 ARC BREAK NEEDLES: “A real F/N means the pc is out the top, an ARC Br needle means he’s out the bottom. He ceases to mock up, through grief.”)


If you have clearly understood the foregoing, in particular, why the needle floats, then adding the following LRH authored HCOB should help to point out the fallacy of requiring a specific number of swings back and forth, or any arbitrary number of oscillations of the needle to have a “real FN”.

HCO BULLETIN OF 21 MARCH 1974 END PHENOMENA (Ref: HCO B 20 Feb 1970,“Floating Needles and End Phenomena”):

“Different types of auditing call for different handlings of End Phenomena.

“End Phenomena will also vary depending on what you’re running.

“The definition of END PHENOMENA is “those indicators in the pc and meter which show that a chain or process is ended”. Misapplication of this definition can
result in underrun and overrun processes or actions and the pc snarled up with BPC.”

(BPC; by-passed charge. Charge that has been restimulated but not disclosed.)

The issue goes on to state:

“In Dianetics, the EP of a chain is erasure, accompanied by an F/N, cognition and good indicators. You wouldn’t necessarily expect rave indicators on a pc in the middle
of an assist, under emotional or physical stress until the full assist was completed though. What you would expect is the chain blown with an F/N. Those two things
themselves are good indicators. The cognition could simply be “the chain blew”.

“In Scientology, End Phenomena vary with what you’re auditing. An ARC Broken pc on an L-1C will peel off charge and come uptone gradually as each reading
line is handled. Sometimes it comes in a spectacular huge cog and VVGIs and dial F/N, but that’s usually after charge has been taken off on a gradient. What’s expected is an
F/N as that charge being handled moves off.

“In Ruds it’s the same idea. When you’ve got your F/N and that charge has moved off, indicate it. Don’t push the pc on and on for some “EP”. You’ve got it.

“Now a major grade process will run to F/N, Cog, VGIs and release. You’ll have An ability regained. But that’s a grade process on a set up flying pc.”

Further the issue says:

“OTs and EPs

“An OT is particularly subject to F/N abuse as he can blow things quite rapidly. If the auditor misses the F/N due to too high a sensitivity setting or doesn’t call it as he’s
waiting for an “EP”, overrun occurs. It invalidates an OT’s ability to as-is and causes severe upsets.

“This error can also stem from auditor speed. The auditor, used to auditing lower level pcs or never trained to audit OTs, can’t keep up with the OT and misses his F/Ns
or reads.

“Thus overruns occur and charged areas are bypassed.

“This could account for those cases who were flying then fell on their heads with the same problems that blew back again.”

(Note: L1C is a prepared list to handle preclear upsets. Also note, the meaning of “fly” as in “fly a rudiment” is covered in the Tech Dictionary under “flying needle”; “So it’s just a colloquialism; fly a needle, float a needle, F/N, that’s all.” LRH, Class VIII tape #2.)

From HCOB 20 Feb 1970, Floating Needles and End Phenomena, referred to in the above issue one will read:

“The reason this subject of floating needles gets into trouble is that the auditor has not understood a subject called END PHENOMENA.

“END PHENOMENA is defined as “those indicators m the pc and meter which show that a chain or process is ended”. It shows in Dianetics that basic on that chain
and flow has been erased, and in Scientology that the pc has been released on that process being run. A new flow or a new process can be embarked upon, of course,
when the END PHENOMENA of the previous process is attained.”

“Floating needles are only ONE FOURTH OF THE END PHENOMENA in all Dianetic auditing.”

“If you watch a needle with care and say nothing but your R3R commands, as it begins to float you will find:
1. It starts to float narrowly.
2. The pc cognites (What do you know—so that’s . . .) and the float widens.
3. Very good indicators come in. And the float gets almost full dial, and
4. The picture, if you inquired, has erased and the needle goes full dial.

That is the full End Phenomena of Dianetics.”

NOTE: now compare the above description of the End Phenomena of Dianetics with the materialfrom E-Meter Essentials Errata of Feb 79:

“It means the same as a Floating Needle, which is a rhythmic sweep of the dial at a slow, even pace of the needle, back and forth, back and forth, without change in the width of the swing except perhaps to widen as the pc gets off the last small bits of charge. Note that it can get so wide that you have to shift the Tone Arm back and forth, back and forth, to keep the needle on the dial in which case you have a floating tone arm.”

AND this additional data, from that exact same section of E-Meter Essentials Errata:

“It can occur after a cognition, blowdown of the Tone Arm, at a release point, or on the erasure of a Dianetic chain.”

Each action has its own result. Not all actions have the same result. Not all actions have the same EP. To define a Floating Needle as David Miscavige has defined it in his 8 October 2000 “HCOB” he has collapsed all EPs with all EPs in an A=A=A.

How many swings back and forth does a Floating Needle have to have to be an FN on “flying” or “FNing” a Rudiment such as an ARC Break? Does it have to go “back and forth, back and forth” and “widen as the pc gets off the last small bits of charge”, as described in the LRH authored HCOB of 20 Feb 70 FLOATING NEEDLES AND END PHENOMENA and the EP of a Dianetic chain?

Is a Rudiment the same as a Dianetic chain? Is it the same as a Grade Process in Scientology? Is a Cleared Word, which has an FN that indicates it is clear to the person, the same as a Dianetic chain, a Scientology Grade or a rudiment?

Is there an arbitrary minimum number of back and forths or swings that an FN has to have to be a real Floating Needle? Can this be “derived” from any statement such as “back and forth” as LRH writes in the issue R/Ses, What They Mean above or “back and forth, back and forth” as he describes in the section replaced in E-Meter Essentials and the CONTEXT of that section itself and what it actually replaced? (and that’s a direct suggestion to read the ENTIRE issue E-Meter Essentials Errata to see exactly what it did replace).

Is it possible to have a one swing FN?

To answer that question one must consider ALL the data on the meaning and significance of an FN including what happens electronically as described above and all the parts of the specific End Phenomena of the specific action being accomplished.

A person could have a “fleeting FN” as per HCOB 23 Nov 73RA DRY AND WET HANDS MAKE FALSE TA.

He could have an FN that was so brief that whatever charge there was there moved off, the needle floated, and almost as quickly another charge/thought/mock-up that results in “creating or disturbing matter, energy, space and time” and thus affects the FN so that it quits after one swing.

How would one know this was an FN and not a clean needle? WELL? To answer this, I will invoke the Supervisor’s Code, HCO PL 15 September 1967, Issue II, point 19:

“The Supervisor will never give a student opinions about Scientology without labeling them thoroughly as such; otherwise, he is to direct only to tested and proven data concerning Scientology.”

It is MY opinion that it would be difficult to tell a one swing FN from a clean needle, moving left or right, however it is not impossible and one would have to pay attention to the person’s indicators, state of case, and the exact result one is seeking to achieve on whatever action one is taking, considering the HCOBs on End Phenomena.

Other than that, I have not found and there does not exist any LRH data or reference in any materials that assigns an arbitrary number of “back and forth” for an FN to BE an FN.

I won’t venture to guess how some people came up with a “three swing” arbitrary minimum for an FN to be an FN any more than I will venture to guess what exact incident David Miscavige is stuck in to qualify him as a Suppressive Person.


There are several references that I did find in my study of FNs that are of interest. These are by no means all of the references that refer to this needle manifestation

HCOB 5 May 1960 HELP

“The first thing to do is to put the preclear on a meter. If you don’t have a good meter, and you don’t know what a meter does, order one fast and get instruction. Discuss help with the preclear, and note the needle reactions. If the needle tended to stiffen and stick on any discussion of help, then you have your work set out for you. If the needle remains free and continues to be free on the subject of help, no matter what you run or how you discuss it, of course the button remains free.”


“I would advise help and not help on creations until the needle is floating with no reaction to questions of any kind on them.”


“And a person’s Cause Level will rise. Their psychosomatics key out (for what is a psychosomatic but an inability to hold life off?). They feel better. They begin to live. Their needles get floppy.”


“People have been unable to define release to their own satisfaction. I find now a RELEASE is a person who has been able to back out of his “bank”. The bank is still there but the person isn’t sunk into it with all its somatics and depressions. The E-Meter reads at the Clear read! The needle of the meter is floppy. This is a simulated clear. We called it a “keyed out clear” quite properly. But it isn’t a clear I know now, it’s a RELEASE. The person has been released from his reactive mind. He still has that reactive mind but he’s not in it. He is just released from it.”


1. Overrun

The first goof relating to Releases is the one done for 15 years—running past a free, floating needle on any type of process. THIS is the goof that held back all Scientology. And if it continues to be done, known as well as it is now that you mustn’t, one can only consider it suppressive—not just ignorant—as who now doesn’t know you wreck a Release by running past the floating needle?

“5. Not Recognizing a Floating Needle

Floating needle, free needle are the same thing. What does one look like? Once you’ve seen one you’ll never make a mistake on one again. For it floats. It ceases to register on the pc’s bank. It just idly floats about or won’t stand up even at low sensitivity.”


“An F/N speeds up or slows down or does different things while still remaining an F/N...”


I suppose I couldn’t leave this topic without a comment or two on the apparent interpretation that abounds of the LRH definition of a Floating Needle.  Again, this simple statement is one sentence long: “A floating needle is a rhythmic sweep of the dial at a slow, even pace of the needle.”

What about this meaning of “rhythmic”?

The American Heritage Dictionary online defines “rhythm” as: Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions.

“Rhythmic” is defined as: Of, relating to, or having rhythm.

If the needle moves in one direction and alternates its direction, it, by the above definition has “rhythm” and is “rhythmic”.  The direction is a “quantity or condition”.

I have offered my OPINION, and labelled it thoroughly as such, on the potential difficulty, but not impossibility of a “one swing FN”.  In order to grasp this fully, one would have to study and understand the references given herein.  Other than that instance, I can’t for the life of me understand how anybody can interpret the above definition to require an arbitrary number of swings to be “rhythmic”.

In that light, the following reference by L. Ron Hubbard, in full.

Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex

Class VIII

Any arbitrary entered into any line is a way to stop that line.

An auditor doing a job of auditing suddenly enters an arbitrary such as “The pc now has a grief charge so he must have a withhold as I’ve just cleaned up ARC breaks.” Or any such wild think. This arbitrary would stop that pc’s case right now.

You get all there is to know about tech from HCOBs, tapes, books.

This is all.

Here’s one—when the needle on an E-Meter read in the response to an auditor’s question, all you know is that the needle on the E-Meter read. That’s all you know. Now in the next few seconds you will prove out, as to whether the read was to the question or to something else like a protest. To assume anything else in regard to meter reads is an arbitrary and will close up that pc with a bang.

That’s the data. Knock off all the arbitraries NOW.

Punch in hard standard tech. Standard tech is that tech which has absolutely no arbitraries.



Using a section from HCO POLICY LETTER OF l0 FEBRUARY 1966R, ISSUE II, REVISED 22 FEBRUARY 1979 TECH RECOVERY revisions in script, (Ref: HCOB 7 Feb 79R, E-METER DRILL 5RA—CAN SQUEEZE), there is a drill any person can do to aid them to see the character of the needle when it is floating.

“Note that a meter run with too high a sensitivity setting does not give a marked change when the needle floats. A meter cranked up to 128 sensitivity looks like a floating needle all of the time at a casual glance on most pcs. On the other hand, if the sensitivity is set too low then the free needle may not be seen. Thus the sensitivity must be set for 1/3 of a dial drop on the can squeeze for each session. Then a free needle will be plainly visible.”

The Book of E-Meter Drills also has material on applicable drilling to ‘spot an FN’.  

ALSO, as mentioned by LRH in HCOB 2 Aug 65 RELEASE GOOFS : “Floating needle, free needle are the same thing. What does one look like? Once you’ve seen one you’ll never make a mistake on one again. For it floats. It ceases to register on the pc’s bank. It just idly floats about or won’t stand up even at low sensitivity.”

Jim Logan


# Geir Isene 2010-08-22 03:38
Impressive piece of clarification.
+1 # Paul Adams 2010-08-22 06:30
Jim, you quote: The American Heritage Dictionary online defines “rhythm” as: Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions.

I think that definition means exactly and only the same as "Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or [regular] alternation of different quantities or conditions." Thus I disagree with your opinion in this area, which depends on "alternation" and not "regular alternation."

# Jim Logan 2010-08-22 16:58
Rhythmic has been interpreted according to some sort of musical definition in the 'three swing' arbitrary. I'm a musician and have studied rhythm. I play drums, it's my thing.

I can tell you from a musical perspective there is 'regular', as in metronomic and there is 'regular' as in say, rubato. Music, if it's alive, 'breaths'. Just like the FN.

What would constitute regular? Is two enough to be a pattern? It certainly is musically if you know anything about music. You've missed the whole point if you are going to quibble over the meaning of 'regular'. Read the LRH refs again, especially Arbitraries.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-22 17:03
What constitutes 'regular'? How many swings establish a 'pattern'?

As a musician, I can play a bar of two, three, four or eighty seven. It's still 'rhythm', no matter the duration and 'regularity' of alternation.
# Obnosis 2011-10-26 20:55
Hey Jim,

I'm a drummer too and when I was trying to sort out F/N's and cleared "rhythm" I came to the same conclusion. It only takes two beats to establish rhythm. I couldn't start a band off on a song if I counted just "1" but I could certainly start a band off by counting "1 . . . 2". If they're listening, they'll know where the 3 is. Rhythm has been established.
+1 # Plain Old Thetan 2010-08-22 10:03
I had the opportunity this week to sit across from a preclear on the cans.

Without the duress and arbitrary application of the DM-altered definition of Floating Needle, I found it surprising EASY to recognize and call F/Ns.


All I had to do was LET the preclear get the charge off.

And the needle would float. All by itself.

If the needle isn't floating, something or someone must be suppressing it.

Pretty damn simple, in my reckoning.
+1 # Joe Howard 2010-08-22 11:04
Great job, Jim. This article should be shoved in front of every auditor and preclear affected by the DM bastardization of F/Ns (and cases). The number of sessions that have been driven off the rails because they never got beyond rudiments must be humongous.

In three years after this revision was issued and Sue and I were still living together, she never brought up this change to the LRH bulletin. I don't think she was proud of it!

By the way, Merrill Mayo was the one working with LRH on the 1979 revision to E-Meter Essentials.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-22 17:09
I worked with Sue on the Method Two Word Clearing issue. That was a great cycle. I've seen her, under whatever it is she is experiencing now, go 'off', like this FN issue and the one on Fast Flow Training.

Sue did a Board of Review on an RPF cycle of mine. She was brilliant. I gotta say, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for her. Always.
+1 # Pericles 2010-08-22 12:16
Being one of the first ones here makes one blush down to the toes. I know I'm talking to the choir here, but I'll say it anyway as I am sure it has been said in a myriad of different ways. If one needed to find a very simple way to close the route to total spiritual freedom this is it! CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF A FLOATING NEEDLE!!!!!!!!!!! Jim is so correct here in outlining the whole history of the floating needle. Makes me want to drop a smart bomb on the whole lot. Jim's point is well made here. Shoving aside all the other out tech that DM is responsible for this is the key to the gatehouse, the key to the route, and when the key doesn't work, you can't get in or out. LRH is the Key Master...DM is not! He is a wanna be and will always be a wanna be no matter how hard he tries to beat the tech to death. David Miscavige is the epitome of the glib student, the provisional auditor who hasn't got the balls to sit down and audit anyone. It takes guts to audit someone, and it's a coward who can't or won't when he has the availability of LRH's precious technology available to him. The gnome can't see through his MUs and he has a passel of them. I remember a quote from the study tapes, " The degree of ethics that has to be applied is directly proportional to the number of MUs." Does an ethics gradient even exist to cover the ethics gradient that needs to be applied to DM.
We will have to apply standard ethics tech to this guy 'not very far' down the road. I remember LRH saying somewhere that the only processing that works on an SP is Power Processing.
+1 # Plain Old Thetan 2010-08-23 01:17
Pericles: I don't know which reference you're referring to, but my tape notes have Power Process references here:

HCO B 6 August 1965

(5) A pc who makes no case gain is suppressive (and can only be handled by
Power Processes and a Class VII auditor).

TAPE 2 August 1966 SHSBC 436

The last Power process can make an SP a non-SP.

TAPE 25 August 1966 SHSBC 441

You can blow up a suppressive with Power processes.
+1 # Freedom Fighter 2010-08-22 13:39
Awesome work, MOQ!! Thanks for doing this! I honestly think this is, by far, the single biggest crime perpetrated on Scientology and Scientologists by the Vertically Challenged One.
# Toby Jugg 2010-08-22 17:21
I have a friend still in the CofS who finished OT8 recently. The F/N redefinition issue has been one of the things I've raised with him. He reckons that the three-swing requirement for an F/N was just some verbal tech that was spotted and knocked out some years ago.

They haven't had to watch for the 3 swings since he got onto Solo NOTS 8 or 9 years ago (according to his statement to me).

This would makes the year they changed back to the LRH version 2001 or 2002. However this doesn't jibe with another report which shows the three-swings rule still in full effect in about 2006 according to this writeup:


It would be good to get data about the issue in PT as this kind of information has to be spot-on in order to impinge. Is it possible some tech departments in the church have independently gone back to the proper definition? Or has the church now totally gotten rid of the three-swings ruling?

It's important to have the proper data otherwise it just gives the on-lines Scn a point to ridge up on and also an excuse to avoid considering the other issues.
# Plain Old Thetan 2010-08-23 01:23
I haven't seen a cancellation of the DM bulletin redefining an F/N. That'd be a key indicator that this stuff has really been "knocked out". I know that 5 years ago, the SHSBC auditing supervisors at ASHO were still enforcing the DM alteration. Anyone?
# Jim Logan 2010-08-23 12:23
Perhaps Tody could produce one.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-23 06:48
T Jugg,
Fascinating comments Tody.

I'm afraid you've may have missed the intention. If FNs are called accurately and according to Standard Tech, that's the point then in'it.
# Plain Old Thetan 2010-08-22 18:18

This is an excellent summary of the actual tech of the situation. But in addition to this, there is the politics/ethics of the situation. The heavy hand of ethics was applied to auditors and examiners who failed to properly "adjust their thinking" and miscall or no-call F/Ns per the DM definition. I know one Class VI intern who quit the internship in tears because there was no further ways she could think of to do lowers on her F/N calling. The politics/ethics of the situation have wasted good auditors and good examiners who were only trying to help. HCOB 22 January 77 IN-TECH, THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE IT has been continuously violated in the "new F/N campaign". And it's wasted perfectly good Qual Secs and Cramming Officers on the way.

Some day you and I must confab on whether or not the redefinition of "instant" caused similar collateral damage.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-23 06:50
Plain Old Thetan,
Can you elucidate on the 'instand read' redefinition? Or anyone else for that matter.
# Plain Old Thetan 2010-08-23 13:37
Okay, we can start the confab now, I guess. I didn't want to divert attention off the F/N fiasco until everyone had their say.

Anyway, if I recall correctly, I was C/Sing the Briefing Course at the time and a video came down from uplines showing what an instant read was and wasn't. The HGC C/Ses and auditors all had to watch the video and attest that they could tell the difference between an instant read and a not-an-instant read. The video was "hosted" by Senior C/S Int (John Eastment or Ray Sharkey, if I recall).

The focus of the video was on where the exact end of the last syllable spoken by the auditor was.

Anyway, I watched the video, did the attest, and then cross-flowed the other tech staff having "discussions" like we're having on Floating Needles.

You know: "That was prior" "No it wasn't" "That wasn't the exact end" "Yes it was" "The read was latent" "No, it was prior" ad infinitum.

This got really ingrained into people and shook their certainty.

A few years later I audited an emergency repair session in the SHSBC supervised auditing room. There was a read just microscopically latent on a question, and I didn't take it up. But the FLAG-TRAINED SHSBC supervisor wrote me a pink sheet for missing a read. So I re-did EM-19 in the metering course room (passed first time, of course). Then I took the pc back in session to take up the erroneously missed read.

When I did, however, the pc looked at me quizzically and said "nothing like that happened". So I F/Ned it False and ended the session.

I attributed it to the confusing "what is an instant read" indoctrination a few years before.

There wasn't anything in writing, per se, other than the order to do the study on the video. Unfortunately, I did not nab a copy of the video, either. Nuts.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-23 14:41
Plain Old Thetan,
Thanks for the write-up on the read situation. I've never seen these videos. I have heard on the blogs that the 'instant' reads aren't. I'd do what you did, go back to the drill, EM-19 as I recall, and drill it. If that doesn't sort it out then there is a panoply of tools; FDSing, W/Cing, Hubbard Consultant tech and so on, to get anything out of the way, then back to the drill, EM-19.

There are the assessment drills too, calling for Instant Reads. Again, I've heard only, since I've not seen them, that these videos are 'out-of-sync' and I can see a guy going into session trying to achieve a false facsimile, rather than having his TR 1 in and actually communicating to the preclear and seeing an actual Instant Read at the precise end of the Major Thought voiced by the auditor.
# Plain Old Thetan 2010-08-23 21:29
Let me clarify further. I didn't have any uncertainty. I saw a latent read, didn't take it up, and got "corrected" for it. When I did the drill, I did know what an instant read was, so no problem.

HOWEVER, the SHSBC auditing sup needed the correction. I wondered how many other BC candidates had their certainty shaken on instant reads because of it.

I unfortunately had no video with which to correct him. Sigh.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-25 09:21
Plain Old Thetan,
Got it. Thanks.
# Me 2010-08-22 19:00
Thank you Jim for all the time you put into this. It is very valuable and I hope that others lurking understand what has happened to them as a pc or what they are doing to a pc as an auditor with this altered definition.

I always thought that this definition was changed to purposely overrun pcs and throw them back into what they came out of which meant more auditing time and money with no consideration of the damage to the pc's case.

Again, thank you.
# Maria 2010-08-23 06:13
Weren't there videos that showed the various needle manifestations, including the F/N? And if there were, when were they made and what did they show?
+1 # Thoughtful 2010-08-23 09:30
The meter reads as shown in the films currently being shown in orgs were made by machine (computer) and are not real. Miscavige couldn't find anyone who's FN looked "good enough" so he used a fake. The same computer program was used to create the Drills Simulators that are used to train "the blind" on what a "real meter reads" look like. - Steve
# SS 2010-08-23 16:52
Correct me if I am wrong. I do think that the revised HCOB is indeed a wholly unnecessary thing to release ... the interpretation someone had on an F/N only adds to what a new auditor may have (confusion) on an F/N. I don't think a needle needs to swing 3 times to be an F/N but per the 1979 data "without change in the width" ... and you cannot tell the width until it turns the corner on at least the second swing. Ie., starting from left swing to right, back to left and if it reaches that width or greater and turns the corner, heads back, its an F/N ... I say "or greater" as the full quote being "without change in the width of the swing except perhaps to widen ..." Of course, not calling it until it goes from left to right back to left back to right would of course fit the definition of an F/N but not the only stipulation for an F/N. The major error of the revised HCOB is that it seeks to group together more than one definition into one reference ... just my two cents.
# Jim Logan 2010-08-24 07:35
That seems to me to be the figure-figure on the 'three swing'. Thanks for clarifying how it came about following DM's squirrelling of the actual LRH definition. 'Distance' is being taken as the 'regular' alternation. My, how arbitrary. I suppose if DM could, he'd require a micrometer and every being to FN exactly the same as his robotic machine.
+1 # Virgil 2010-08-24 16:08
Jim, your labor on this write-up is a labor of love. I want you to know that you are indeed MOQ above anyone else on the planet and I appreciate you completely.

ML Tom
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-08-24 17:00
When I read of this 'three swing' arbitrary and the grueling 'sessions' people were going through, relayed on various blogs and personally to me, I was more than aghast. I was steamed. This suppressive alteration of an LRH HCOB riled me more than alot of things can.

It is my intention in this article to recover case gain denied by getting back to actual Scientology.

This SP, David Miscavige, is a scourge on our planet. I aim to de-scourge in any way I can.
+1 # Obnosis 2010-08-25 02:44
Jim, like you, I am a musician. How anyone figured out that 3 swings are needed to establish rhythm boggles my mind. If I count "1" and nothing else, I have not established a rhythm. If I count "1," "2," I have established a rhythm, an amount of time between the two from which I could continue counting at the same speed. Alert musicians can easily start a song with just a "1 . . . 2." You don't need a "3."

I also agree there could be a 1 swing F/N, it's just a matter of an you spot it with certainty.
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-08-25 07:34
It appears that when DM altered LRH's def and interpolated the data from E-Meter Essentials, then instead of the simple def people were coached to establish 'width' of swing as the same and waited for the third movement of the needle to see if it was the same width. This 'width' was taken to be the 'rhythmic' aspect. The 'regular alternation'.

The way to get this as an arbitrary is to in fact interpolate this data from one issue into another. What about the Dianetic EP issue, it says it starts narrowly and widens. What if it 'widens' on the return swing? Ooops. What if it starts out swinging 2" and goes back to 1" and then goes to 3" 'as the pc cognites'? Ooops.

What if the sensitivity is too low, as in the pc's havingness in a negative gain session has gone down? Then you'd quite possibly get a smaller manifestation?

Arbitraries - let's stamp them out and get back to Standard Tech. Heck, there's not that many issues on this and then there's actually seeing the needle do what it does and THAT certainty.
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-08-25 13:21
Looking over again the comment by SS above and the waiting for the needle to swing back on the third swing to check and see if the needle is moving the same distance one way as the other to qualify to be a DM version Floating Needle, I think I finally get how this 8 Oct 2000 perversion of the LRH definition of FNs came to be the source of the 'three swing' minimum arbitrary.

It has to go to the third motion in order to tell whether it is the 'same distance' (i.e. from the E-Meter Essentials Errata section, later interpolated into the LRH defintion).

Whew, that took some 'think like an idiot' to come up with and for me to grasp.

From the Art Series #4, RHYTHM, of 25 April 74:
"RHYTHM: Any kind of movement characterized by the regular recurrence of strong and weak elements. Rhythm denotes the regular patterned flow, the ebb and rise of sounds and movement in speech, music, writing, dance and in other physical activities. METER basically means measure and applies to a system or pattern of measured recurrence of length, beat or numbers in poetry or music."

Further in this HCOB, Art Series 4, LRH defines types of 'rhythm'. He goes on to say: "Any and all rhythms are made up of the six basics above. One, two or more can be employed in complex patterns."

So, is it possible to have say a 2" swing left, a back swing right of 1/2" and a swing left of 2" and be an 'ebb and rise' of movement? Is this a movement with 'strong and weak elements'?

What if it only went left and right? Is that an 'ebb and rise' as in a 'two-beat' rhythm, a very common rhythmic movement?

Would that constitute a 'rhythmic sweep of the dial at a slow even pace'?

What if the 'needle speeds up or slows down and does different things and still remains an FN' as in the above referenced issue DRY AND WET HANDS MAKE FALSE TA?

By arbitrarily entering in the data from the E-Meter Errata sheet to the definition of a Floating Needle, one has entered in the arbitrary of 'same distance' and the 'three swing' in order to determine if the distance is the same. This ALTERS the LRH definition and is commonly called an 'additive' in Scientological parlance. It also enters in an arbitrary to the E-Meter Essentials Errata description by arbitrarily defining how many times the needle has to be 'without change in width' to qualify as an FN.

In short, ARBITRARIES have been entered in to the technical area of Floating Needles. They have no place there, or anywhere else. ALL of the LRH references on Floating Needles are valid. ALL apply.
# Roy Selby 2010-09-13 19:01
Hi Jim and all, Very Well Done on this excellent article. Research is excellent and very thorough. Worth every letter.gxjx
# Old-Man-Fan 2010-10-18 05:35
Hello. I am probably not in the know but there is lots of mention in the comments about "three swings" requirement for valid FN. However in your main article you did not seem to cover how that came about (assuming it somehow is a "requirement"). Is there a DM issue that said it's required or is it just something being bought about by verbal dictat? Can you help on this? Thanks.
# Jonathon Barbera 2010-12-31 16:49

Is it possible the F/N would be better understood in the context of a waveform?

If an oscilloscope was connected to the meter, would the F/N appear as a sine wave?

# Dave 2011-11-16 11:54
Here's a rough analogy of this sit :

A very out ethics, glib, control freak manager in a construction company decides to bypass his juniors (who have a LOT more experience than he does).

He starts to take over a job, and grabs a red handled tool and goes to work. He blunders totally, and ends up messing up the project. The customer gets severely injured, and the relatives sue the construction company. (Sound familiar ?)

Then he beats up several juniors because they didn't handle the media and law suit to his liking. And tries to get donations from other customers to help fight the "Suppressive" law suit. (Sound familiar ???)

Then he backpeddles and goes into the company to blame others for their "out tech".

Then he decides to gather information about the color red, as it must be the other workers' M.U.

So he gets different definitions for - "RED", and compacts them into one big one.

New def of red - "That color of the spectrum that is the same as blood, or ketchup, and a person who is of communistic, marxist beliefs, and - a member of the Cincinatti Reds baseball team ".

This new defn is then FORCED onto every single worker who wonder WHAT the hell is going on !!!!
# dave 2011-11-16 12:36
And of course, since -"No other definition is correct", all workers are forced to believe that in order to use the red handled tool again, they must all become communist baseball players from the Ohio team. And if they don't like it, they'll be terminated.

But a small few who are high enough I.Q. and responsability level realize that the best solution is to get the "Manager" and dump him in cement, and drop him in the lake, so they can go on with the project the way that the company owner would have wanted. To the benefit of the other 80 percent.
# Frecciarossa 2012-01-16 15:05
I remember during my Class IV Internship at Flag in 2006 the Intern Supervisor (She was an Hungarian girl about 30 ys old) kept flunking my EM Drill 16 on f/ns. I had the false data that the f/n had to have 3 swings, but she had the false data that the f/n had to have 4 swings (back and forth, back and forth) and that each subsequent swing coulnd't be smaller than the previous one. ahahahhahahaha ... that was not cool. Once I de-implanted myself during the last 2 years out of the Sea Organization I just left the robotism. I mean how does the mind create a 3 or 4 swing to be free of the charge, it doesn't make any sense. Thanks Jim for this gathering of useful data.
# bb 2012-05-24 14:08
Hi Frecciarossa!

I was also on the Internship at Flag in 2006. (I was on the TTC) I remember the Supervisors and the drills as well. Good you could overcome on this robotism :)
Would be good to be in comm with you, maybe we know each other :)
# Class IV Auditor 2012-04-30 15:54
When I did my Class IV Internship at Flag last year, I was sent to Ethics and then to Cramming because the Intern Sup determined by look-in that I "mis-called" an F/N. Of course, my PC was VVGIs and had a loose, floppy needle, but it didn't look like the metronome on the E-meter film.

After getting yelled at and forced to do lower conditions, I was shown the "new" definition of a floating needle (HCOB 21 Jul 78R, Rev. 8 Oct 2000.) I then had the Intern Sup standing behind me coaching me on F/Ns. It was very thoroughly drilled into me that an F/N must go "back and forth, back and forth, without change in the width" no matter what before I could call it.

I was forced to accept this even though it went against everything LRH had previously said about F/Ns (including the original version of the HCOB.) If I didn't abide by it, I was threatened with being declared if I "miss-called" even one more F/N. And I always have someone looking over my shoulder with the look-in systems, even in the HGC at my org.

That's how auditors are treated in the current Church, and that's how they are forced to follow this re-definition of the F/N and watch all their PC's gains go down the drain.
# Thoughtful 2012-04-30 16:10
Good lord, Class IV. This is a total horror. You are being threatened for practicing standard Scientology and doing what LRH says, living proof that "helping people is an activity that drives David Miscavige wild."

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