Summary of Scientology
Part/Chapter IIc
3rd part of chapter entitled

Communication Lag
Here should be front cover (NZ printing].  Click link at top to see it
Above is a photograph of the front of the fourth impression June 1957.
It was printed in New Zealand, because at the time New Zealand had regulations restricting sending money abroad, which HASI  got round by printing books in New Zealand and sending them to England for sale. For some reason it's not the standard Scientology colours. You can see these in the picture on Scientolipedia at the following link:

The Communication Lag

Of all the phenomena which can be observed concerning communication, the communication lag is one of the most fascinating. A communication lag is the interval of time between the origination of a communication and the answer to it. Radar is an example of this. When the radar unit functions, it emits a signal which hits something and then bounces back. From the moment the signal leaves the transmitter until it begins its bounce is considered a communication lag. In Scientology the exact definition of a communication lag is : " The length of time intervening between the posing of a question, or origination of a statement, and the exact moment that question or statement is answered ".

Whatever occurs between the origination and the creation of the answer is still a lag. Whether the person asked climbs the wall, writes a letter, screams, says nothing or smiles, there is a communication lag until he answers the question. Whether there is complete silence or whether the person talks excessively about other things, until he answers the original question he is in a communication lag.

A communication lag might go like this : John : " Where are you going? " Mary : " There is a tea party at the Wilson's." The question asked by John has not been answered, so actually a lag still exists. Until Mary states an answer to the question the lag will exist and it may even last forever.

Another example is where John says : " Where are you going? " Mary waits for three minutes and then says; " To the store ". The three-minute period is the communication lag. This last type is the most common though the time interval varies considerably. A firm may ask an accountant how long it will take him to do the books and he might not answer until he had gained sufficient information. His lag might be several days long. The firm might commission him to do the books. From the time they commission him until he finishes is also a communication lag, whether it takes a day, a year or forever.

Typical of certain types of people is the following kind of lag. John says, " Where are you going? " Mary replies, " Why do you want to know? " Again, until Mary does answer the question specifically there is a lag.

The following type lag makes some people frantic. John says,

" Where are you going? " Mary says, "  . . . ." and never answers. As Hubbard points out in Dianetics, 1955, this is dramatized when people inquire of some unconscious person how he is and get no answer. They quite often become frantic. They possibly fear the lag will become permanent and the absence of an answer merely re-stimulates previous failures to obtain answers, and also creates greater mystery.

Then there is the noisy type of lag where John says, " Where are you going ? Mary : " You know, the other day I saw Mary Jones and she looked positively awful in that dress of hers . . . of course, I couldn't tell her so, poor dear, but I really felt sorry for her . . . that husband of hers should be ashamed . . . what did you say, dear? " This is still a lag because Mary hasn't answered the question.

Then there is the lag where the originator never gives the other person a chance to answer. John : " Mary, where are you going? I think you should stop over and see Helen Jones. She hasn't been feeling well and I think it would be very nice of you to see her and you should stop at the store and pick up some meat. Today at the office, I was talking to Bill and he said the price of meat is going up . . . " and on and on.

Actually, in the cycle of communication there are two lags. The time between John's statement and Mary's answer, followed by the lag between her answer and its receipt and acknowledgement by John. The communication lag is used in Scientology to determine a person's relative communication ability on any given subject. If we ask him how old he is and it takes him five minutes to answer, we do not consider him very able to communicate about his age. The lag is also used as a means of determining change. If the person did take five minutes to answer, we would acknowledge his answer and then ask the question again. We would continue to ask the same question and get an answer until the person asked could answer immediately or the lag was consistently, for example, two minutes. This is called flattening a communication lag. When there is no longer change in the lag, then the lag is as flat as it will be for that particular time.

For processing purposes, the lag exists between the time the auditor issues a command or question and the time when he receives the answer. There are actually five lags in one-half of the cycle; between origination and receipt, between receipt and answer, between answer and its receipt by originator, between receipt of answer and acknowledgement, between acknowledgement and its receipt.

Of course, John acknowledges, but this lag is not as important.

People undergoing processing are called pre-clears. This is a term used in early Dianetics (the earlier part of Scientology). It comes from the idea of computing machines which have to be cleared before they can be depended upon to give accurate solutions. So, any person who is not clear is a pre-clear. Communication lags can be cleared. From this point, pre-clears refers to anyone undergoing processing.

Another way in which lag is used in Scientology is in the use of commands. The auditor (Scientologist) tells the pre-clear to touch the wall. The pre-clear takes five minutes to walk three steps and touch it. This is a physical communication lag. The auditor possibly may not continue to have the pre-clear touch the wall until he does it in a minimum of time, but, even if he doesn't he certainly will observe the fact that the lag exists and knows that some progress has occurred when the pre-clear can touch the wall with a minimum lag. Actually, the auditor could have the pre-clear repeatedly touch the wall until the lag had at least become consistent. For instance, until the pre-clear took thirty seconds to touch the wall for at least three consecutive times.

The auditor might ask a pre-clear, " Is there a wall? " If the pre-clear said " Why? " this would still be a lag. So, the auditor would give some answer and ask again, " Is there a wall? " The pre-clear might then take some time looking at the auditor, then at the wall and after thirty seconds reply, " Yes, there is a wall ". The auditor would then ask again and he would continue to ask until the lag was constant. The pre-clear might want to know why and he might sulk or argue or do many things but the auditor would still continue until the lag was flat and the pre-clear's emotion was fairly constant; in other words, until there was no further change.

If a person really can do something or if he really knows the answer to a question he will not mind duplicating an action or duplicating the answer again and again. It is only when a person is uncertain, unable, distrustful, without time or without space that he objects to duplicating answers or actions.

In the case of a question, the person might take a long time to answer because his own communication lines are tangled, confused or inadequate. It may be that he requires more information to answer the question and yet this is still lag. Long communication lags are only bad when they are compulsive or unknowing. If the person does not realize that he has a long lag or if he cannot prevent himself then this is aberration. Perfect communication would, in theory, be instantaneous and without lag. Cause and Effect would occupy the same space and there would be mutual duplication. People who are very " close " to each other sometimes approach this when they are both aware of thinking or feeling the same thing at the same moment. However, the material universe is composed of communication lags. The distance factor always enters into communication in this universe and so there is always some lag no matter how short. Nonetheless, a person is relatively sane on a given subject when he is capable of answering a question on that subject with a minimum of communication lag. This is one of the reasons why auditors ask the same questions repeatedly when processing.

Life experiences many communication lags. Lag is the introduction of Matter, Energy, Space and Time into communication. The more time is introduced into communication, the less communication there is. When John picks up a telephone and dials a number, there is a lag until the party answers. When one mails a letter there is a lag until it is received and two further lags follow until the letter is answered and, in time, acknowledged. This is a type of lag which many people have had. Another example of lag is when one orders a meal until the time he gets it. You might look around in your own environment to find examples of communication lags; this will enable you to understand and gain better control of them.

Some people, upon learning about communication lags, start obsessively trying to answer all questions instantaneously. To repeat, communication lags are not necessarily bad. A person might not know the answer in which case his answer could very acceptably be, I don't know ". There is no need to become frantic if one has a communication lag; it can easily be solved through processing. However, lag could be bad in the sense of reaction time. If a person driving a car fifty miles an hour saw a dog on the road 200 yards away and it took him four minutes to put his foot on the brake, this would be bad for the dog. Processing will improve a person's reaction time; processing will slow reaction time down if it is too fast, and it will speed reaction time if too slow. Being aware of communication lag, one can begin to improve on his own lags and he can also measure other people's ability on a given subject more easily through the knowledge. There is much more which could be said about communication lag, but other publications cover it more thoroughly and this is only intended as an introduction.

Communication is the most important side of the A R C, and yet to gain more understanding of this triangle requires knowledge of affinity and reality. So, at this point, we will go on to the reality side af,the triangle.


Note from Ant: I've made an even smaller portion this time. This may be bit of a drag for the more adroit experienced Books Weekly members but I'd like to feel that everybody with us. I don't think that looking at the basics too much can do a lot of harm — that's just my opinion. There was also a difficult bit which I couldn't "MailChimp-ize". I managed somehow to put in a "screenshot" of the PDF file with a bit of waggling. 
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All best wishes, Antony.

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