This is an analysis of Ron Hubbard's GPM tech. Where did it go wrong? Why was this promising tech abandoned?


GPMs: Adventurous Routine 2-12

A Study in the 1960s GPM Tech
by Clearbird

Routine 2-12 was intended as a beginning level process for handling Actual GPMs. It was introduced at Saint Hill in November of 1962. It held a lot of promise and led to gains of great magnitude. It was, however, not possible at the time to find an approach that could be executed uniformly by auditors; nor was it that all preclears could run the process. Consequently R2-12 led to several disasters. Untimely death and insanity are reported as the grim “side effects” of running the program inexpertly in the field. This article is based on reviewing relevant lectures and HCOBs from 1962-63 and from  first-hand accounts found in internet newsgroups and elsewhere. My hope is that the article is understandable to readers not trained in tech.

In the Technical Volumes you will, under the date of 23 November, 1962, find the principal bulletin that covers the process R2-12. It begins this way: “This Procedure is to be done on every HGC preclear, every course student of every course as a preclear, as early as possible and definitely before Prepchecking or CCHs. Done correctly it will end the no-results or slow result case and guarantee faster gain to the fast case. ALL Cases must have this done at once.”

The Rationale of R2-12

The idea of the process is to handle long term problems that the preclear is sitting in. The apparently biggest problem of all, is when the preclear in present time is opposed by persons or identities he perceives as hostile or antagonistic to him. If this sounds familiar to today’s Scientologists it is no accident. That cases wouldn’t advance in the presence of major problems had been known since the 1950s. After the short reign of R2-12, the same datum of “cases won’t advance in the presence of major present time problems” became an intricate part of handling suppression and feeling suppressed in the PTS/SP tech. According to the PTS tech, the handling of major problem-relationships is priority number one. But usually “the problem” is identified by proving “the other guy” completely wrong and designate him/her a suppressive person. This oftentimes has puzzled people and caused them to reject the PTS tech. Truth told, it is an over-simplification of what is going on as only one side of the problem is taken into account.

The theory of R2-12, it seems, is more to the point. It clearly addresses the preclear as the other, and often hidden, side of the problem. This theory is more factual, although it may not be a truth all preclears are ready for. R2-12 addressed both sides of the problem. It takes two to tango; it takes a clash of personalities to create a problem of magnitude as a problem is intention versus counter-intention; goal versus counter-goal; or identity versus counter-identity. What 2-12 sought to handle, was to fully identify the two identities in conflict and have them discharge against each other in session. In a lecture called “R2-12, Theory and Practice II” (SHSBC 621129) Ron covers the basics. Here is his explanation of how it relates to GPMs:

“Now, why is it called...a goals Problem Mass? It is a mass which is composed of identities which oppose identities. And they are so delicately faced against each other on the track that they don't slip. They're right there and they finally compose a great big, gaudy, black mass.”

Also, the R2-12 bulletin says: "The Goals Problem Mass consists of Items (valences) in opposition to one another. Any pair of these Items, in opposition to each other, constitute a specific problem.”

In other words, the perceived suppressive person comprises the one side of the problem and is corresponding to a valence, identity or so-called Reliable Item in the preclear's mind. Opposed to that is the preclear's own perceived identity. It is, in principle, a very old conflict that has been restimulated by present circumstances. Ron goes on giving an example where a person in the valence of an arsonist is clashing with The National Insurance Company:

”If this fellow has his attention, his overtness, fixated on any present time thing, then we assume that that present time thing represents a piece of the GPM. And that, hidden and out of sight, is its opposing piece. This person never asks himself, Who or what would oppose the National Insurance Company. That he never asks, because in the first place he is Joe Jones and he is opposing the National Insurance Company and he has keyed in the terminal ‘arsonist’ and the opposition terminal is ‘insurers’. See, it's a nice game and it's buried right there in the GPM. But this thing is so keyed in in present time that this individual is being audited continuously with a present time problem. In session he always, some part of some session, his thinkingness will fixate on the National Insurance Company. He'll compare all this as to how it relates to the National Insurance Company. He will want to get well so that he can be powerful enough to blow the top of the building off. All of his auditing is being coned in toward this. In other words, his fixation on present time is such that he never goes backtrack. He's trying to audit himself up to something or other. In other words, he's dramatizing the companion dumbbell, see? The other ball there that is opposing that thing, ‘insurers’. Now, the National Insurance Company is not part of the bank. It is a key-in. It is a substitute for, a lock on, this GPM thing that keeps it in continuous restimulation."

The Dumbbell is a graphic illustration of the two sides in opposition that make up a dichotomy in the GPM. It also illustrates the equal size and strength of the opposed identities that is needed for the GPM to remain an equilibrium of forces.

In the quote we have: Opposition terminal: Insurer.
Own terminal: Arsonist;
two natural enemies that are combating each other.



In other words, R2-12 gives the underlying reason why some persons have a DEEP suppressive effect on a certain case while other apparently equally bad persons have little or no effect on the same case – as the preclear simply can brush the last ones off. It all comes down to the identity the preclear is operating from and the goal he reactively is pursuing. In modern PTS handling, the things that R2-12 attacks head on, are gently taken to key-out and the preclear is instructed to stay away from the suppressive terminal as he/she walks around in the flesh. But this key-out handling misses an important point and tends to make preclears see themselves as innocent victims. It’s a limited tech.

Auditing R2-12

The process was a Routine 2 process because it was designated to be done by Class II auditors at the time. It had 12 steps and thus it was R2-12. In contrast to R3 processes (such as R3 Criss Cross* or R3GA*) the procedure did not look for the major goals behind GPMs that outline the games and wars going on inside the GPM and is the basis around which the whole GPM is built. One only looked for opposition terminals (valences) in present time and matched them up with own terminals (valences). Once these were matched up, the process was complete. Nothing was done in session to further discharge the pair.

As mentioned, R2-12 is one of the roughest processes that you can find in the Technical Volumes. Don’t try to run it at home. Years later, you would meet old timers that proudly would brag “I was audited on 2-12 and I survived!” It was seen as a badge of honor and proof of toughness to have gone through that. How come the process was so rough? A good part of the explanation lies in that auditing at the time only was partly codified. Things that auditors later got to respect as basic laws when it came to programming and doing actions, such as listing, were lessons Ron learned the hard way from research auditing, including R2-12. In other words, the way R2-12 was executed was in blatant violation of the C/S Series of the 1970s and of Laws of Listing and Nulling of 1968.

The full title of the HCOB also gives a clue: “R2-12. Opening Procedure by Rock Slam.*” The thing the auditor was primarily looking for was a rock slamming identity (Reliable Item). And once a rock slamming opposition was found, one would look for a rock slamming valence the preclear occupied. The significance of the rock slam is today “evil purpose” or area or character of extreme destructive nature. In 1962 rock slams were (correctly) seen as the extreme games-condition that would exist on the two sides of the dichotomy. It was the hallmark indicator of the war zone that exists between the terminal and opposition terminal. There was little thought of the havoc that was stirred up by assessing for the war zone. Once the rock slams were turned on, the process was complete; “the preclear could be sent to the examiner” (there weren’t any in 1962).

A dichotomy in a GPM typically consists of two identities that are natural enemies.

In looking for rock slamming identities, the auditor tried to locate two terminals in an extreme games-condition -- enemies that were at each others'  throats. The preclear may have a long history being one of them and opposing the other. Oftentimes, the preclear has been occupying both identities at different points of his whole-track history.


Also, the main way valences were discharged in R2-12 was through listing. The idea was, once the preclear was listing, locks would be peeled off the core item, the core valence the preclear was either occupying or opposing. The bulletin furthermore states: “Complete the list as in any listing. Don’t stop just because the preclear nattered or wept.” Apparently, the Listing done on R2-12 could be a brutal affair of “forcing the preclear”. Doing listing like that today, is obviously a “no no” and a “technical high crime” according to standard tech rules. In hindsight from the Laws of Listing and Nulling (1968) this was an endless action of overlisting by forcing the preclear. It was prone to restimulate all kinds of other things in the bank. Other identities, other conflicts, other GPMs.

Alan C. Walter, who was a research auditor in the 1960s, put it this way in a net newsgroup (ACT 2002):

“The reason [for the problems] was the way listing and nulling were done. In those days we listed DEEP and long. It was nothing to list 2 or 3,000 item lists. And this was long before any form of correction lists. Only the fittest survived.”

Following the Laws of Listing and Nulling of 1968, an auditor usually finds the right item on a list within 10 items. Going beyond finding the item is considered overrun.

In 1962, according to the quote above, lists with thousands of items were not uncommon. It wasn’t seen as out tech but as a way to discharge and establish the Reliable Items, the core identities at war. Some auditors that didn’t follow these, in hindsight, horrifying instructions to the letter actually had better success. Listen to this story by “Huggie”. “Huggie” is the screen name of an old time field auditor from New Zealand. His initial experience with R2-12 was posted to news group ACT in 2002:

“I was a field auditor about 500 miles from the HASI (nearest organization). I had to get it right or starve. I had just about reached 'burn out' from listening to all the messy muck of preclears lives, and sometimes helping them see it in a more causative light, but often just stuck to Hell and unable to see where it had gone wrong.

“I loved it when R2-12 came out. Now, I didn't have to trace up those jungles of sh*t anymore and listen to them indefinitely. Just get the item, terminal and balance the oppositions. (That's getting into the dichotomies which rule this world). I had nobody to tell me not to evaluate a wrong item. I wasn't going to tolerate a rising, dirty needle when I figured that I must have done something wrong in the last minute or so. You didn't have to have a rocket scientist’s brain to figure that out.

“I had a BALL with it. I called in one failed preclear after another and between October and February I made enough money to go to Saint Hill.

When I got there, I was shocked to find they were not doing R2-12 any more. When I started boasting about it, everybody told me about their failures and ‘don't you know it ploughed in everyone who has run it; so you better stuff up.’ Hell I was just ignorant I had NOBODY to tell me how BAD it was so I just ploughed on making good results and money. I looked at some of the students who had been bugged up by R2-12 and bit my lip to keep from betting them that I could have straighten it all out. But this was a good lesson in my first few days.” Signed Huggie.

Apparently, Huggie could make R2-12 work and we can only guess how he diverted from the published version. Maybe he didn’t overlist. Maybe he was more careful when he matched up antagonists. Maybe he simply let the preclear talk it out, discharging the restimulated case by letting the preclear itsa about what he found.

Another preclear, audited on R2-12 by an expert auditor in California, had these less dramatic comments:

“I was audited on R2-12 and it wasn't bad. I got some charge off. But I had been running hot GPMs with R3M or some such process, and it seemed to me that R2-12 was a downgrade -- too shallow a gradient for me.”

Huggie of New Zealand later had some very negative experiences with GPM auditing which he summarized this way in a blunt post to ACT:

“I have always said, ‘the simpler the better.’ You can stuff your complex GPMs which killed my lover and sent my best friend insane.” (Apologies for the blunt language).

Obviously, this wasn’t necessarily his own doing but what happened around him at the time. For obvious reasons, casualties and incidents like that were intolerable and resulted in R2-12 being discontinued after a few months. Around 1965 all research into Actual GPMs was discontinued as horror stories continued to accumulate. Instead, Implant GPMs were pursued where the auditor would have a fully mapped series of goals he could follow. Implants are incidents of overwhelm, usually by electronic means, where a long list of artificial goals would be “implanted” in the person’s bank by an “implant crew”. Implants tend to imitate actual GPMs but have not come about as a result of the preclear living his own goals and all his experiences and conflicts the goals led to. One can assume, all GPM research was abandoned after numerous incidents of high liability to Ron personally and to Scientology in general. It was, indeed, a group engram of magnitude. Although these stories have been suppressed ever since, it makes the tragic death of Lisa McPherson in the mid 1990s seem bland.

The Power of GPMs

It seems obvious that the use of R2-12 and other GPM processes hit some high voltage on cases. It is charge of a magnitude we don’t hear about today. According to a Ron Hubbard lecture “The preclear's own GPM has the power and velocity, over an implant GPM, of somewhere between a thousand or a hundred thousand to one” (SHSBC 630811).

In HCOB 9-28-63, Hubbard puts it this way: “The actual goals and items of the preclear are several thousand times more aberrative than Implant GPMs. It is almost amusing to note how hard Implanters work and what overts they run up, and to note as well that if it were not for a thetan’s own Goals Problems Mass, they could effect nothing harmful. How hard they work. And all for nothing. They are not the source of aberration. They merely make the universe seem more unpleasant. As for creating aberration, they could not. Sleep lights, Screens, False picture projectors, Goal implants alike are wholly innocuous compared to the thetan’s, own Goals Problems Masses. One aberrates himself. And if he did not, nobody else could. Anything worrying the preclear or reducing his capability or life potential is to be found in Actual Items or Goals, not in engrams or implants. These are not primary causes. Only the preclear’s own goals and items are capable of basically causing the trouble. The Pc's own goals and items are the final road to O.T.”

Obviously, it is worth taking a closer look at such areas and find out if there are safe ways to access and discharge this the GPM case. It seems the repercussions the research had on the group during the 1960s made everybody gun shy, including Ron. Ron never revisited the area but took another route of auditing implants and entities that seems a rather pale way of taking charge off the case by addressing other factors than the person’s self-determined bad choices, postulates and aberrated games and wars going down the eons of his time-track.

R2-12 and Beyond

One reason why it’s worth giving R2-12 another look, is that it is dealing with “clear and present danger”. It does not deal in goals nor line plots. It deals with the GPMs’ impact on daily life and relationships.

The rationale the process builds on can be used in skilled PTS handlings, if not already done. Skilled PTS handlers can query to what the preclear does in order to bring about the SP conflict. That is addressing the other side of the problem. One could also address the preclear's own beingness, say, by applying ethics conditions and the like.

I don’t see any technical problems with finding the two sides of the PTS situation, using modern Listing and Nulling skills. It may not be called for until existing PTS tech has proven insufficient over time. It is a next level up. You find the opposition, the enemy, the SP, the antagonist; then you find what beingness the preclear is in that is in opposition to that and you could discharge the two sides using modern processes, such as running confront and responsibility, etc.

At some point the preclear should be able to take responsibility for both sides of the conflict. Completely omitting looking at own side of such a conflict actually leads to games-conditions of its own. One could theorize that one reason Church of Scientology has become so combative and isolated is due to the one-sidedness of their PTS handlings. Also, since many freezoners have charge on CoS as it exists today, it may even be beneficial in some cases to treat the church as an opposition terminal and take it from there.

One thing that seems to have been learned by several researchers in the freezone, is that it’s unwise to try to tackle the different layers of the GPM head on (the line plots) and all at once. There is real charge in the GPMs! High Voltage! Instead, one can deal with one conflict at the time, using this definition from the R2-12 bulletin: “The Goals Problem Mass consists of Items (valences) in opposition to one another. Any pair of these Items, in opposition to each other, constitute a specific problem.”

Using that definition, one can tackle a GPM by dealing with one well-defined problem at the time. That’s the right gradient. Once one dichotomy is fully discharged, it’s safe to look for the next related one. If one tries to follow the line plot right away, there are too many forks in the road to find one’s way safely.


The discovery of the GPMs was an original discovery Ron made around 1961. In my opinion, it ranks with discoveries such as engrams and the grades. Actually, I rank it above that. The masses and significances in the mind, called the GPMs, are the compressed recordings of persistent conflicts the person went through and lost. They reflect what the person has been, done, and had since the beginning of time. When you begin to take these masses apart, you parallel (in reverse order) what the preclear has been doing for the duration of this universe and even before that. The discovery of the GPMs came out of processes addressing goals, like SOP Goals mentioned in the TRs bulletin. Goals were found to be red flags sticking up on a case. They led to major areas of conflict, charge and aberration. (Goals can still be used as a low end entry point to cases, by the way. There is a whole lost tech of using goals as entry points.) From auditing goals, the whole anatomy of GPMs was discovered piece by piece. Yet, the basics of the tech were not up to handling the charge encountered. In Alan Walter's words, "we were spiritual illiterates" during that research. "We couldn't handle the ascensions". In the pursuing years the research group of the original Saint Hill Special Briefing Course went through numerous engramic incidents (such as blows, suicides, and serious illness). It eventually resulted in that the whole research was abandoned.

It is time to try to tackle the area with what we now know. I see GPMs as the real barrier to OT. The next real barrier that is known. The conflicting goals and identities at war, the aberrated games they resulted in, are the elements that make up the GPMs. The answer to how and why we went down the dwindling spiral are found therein. Auditing the GPMs is to "parallel what the mind is doing" and has been doing for eons. Paralleling the preclear's mind is a basic rule for successful programming and auditing of cases. Today, we have the rules of standard tech as the basic rules you follow to get the best results with processes. We have "F/N everything", "the laws of listing and nulling", we have "end phenomena of a process", etc., etc. From the C/S series we know the importance of set-ups and repairs. Taking all this into account makes it quite possible to develop the tech as it was intended. The downward spiral the GPM track describes, is how we got less ambitious, less powerful and lost parts of ourselves. It is time to turn around and confront what happened and step by step take the long road back to our true beingness. That was my original dream when I came into Scientology and still is. Maybe it is yours too.


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This page last changed on: 2012-02-17 14:50