HCO Security Checks

In Ron’s Journal 68, LRH announced the following to his crew aboard the Apollo:

You probably read something about the Reform Code, ah, the Reform Code of Scientology, we sent out actually, I think, oh I don’t know the total international figure. I think in England alone it was a hundred thousand mailings and we received back anything that the people thought should be corrected. And, this resulted in the Reform Code in which the Sec Checks were canceled and all old folders on this have been burned….

What LRH was referring to was HCO PL 26 Aug. 1968 “Security Checks Abolished” in which he stated:

The practice of security checking from security check lists like the “Joburg” has been abolished.

He gave the following reasons for this:

1. We have no interest in the secrets and crimes of people and no use for them.

2. Security checking is often done without regard to the point where the person feels better and so became overrun.

3. Security checking is often done in disregard of the state of a person’s case.

4. Low level cases do not react on actual crimes and so the “security” furnished is often a false security.

5. There is public criticism of security checking as a practice.

6. The existence of lists of crimes in folders often makes it necessary to destroy the folder which may contain other technical data which is constructive and valuable.

7. If a person is a criminal or has overt acts which affect his case, and speaks of them to an auditor of his own volition, the auditor is bound by the Auditor’s Code not to publish, use or reveal them.

It should be noted that at this time “sec checking” was being used for two distinctly different purposes.  Sec checks were used in HCO in order to qualify staff, etc. prior to employing them. However, the same technology was also utilized as part of routine auditing (e.g. Expanded Grade II.)  This policy DID NOT forbid its use as part of a Standard PC program, which is why LRH added the following to this reference:

Nothing in this policy letter alters standard grade processing or rudiments.

Two years later this policy was reinforced by HCO PL 15 Nov. 1970 “Confessionals”.

HCOs may not do Confessionals or ‘Sec Checks.’

HCO may only do Meter Checks. This consists of putting the pc on a meter and noting down the TA, state of needle and attitude of pc.

The reason for this was given as the following:

Too many cases, too many case programs, have been fouled up by non C/Sed Sec Checking or Confessionals in the past for the practice to continue.

A couple months later this was reinforced again in HCOB 2 Jan. 1971 “Illegal Auditing”:

Lists of withholds required of a crew member or staff member without proper sessioning are now illegal.

In September 1974, this policy was reiterated by releasing a revision of HCO PL 15 Nov. 1970.  This revision added more specific data on HCO Meter checks, but it did not remove the ban on HCO Sec Checks.

Then in November 1974, HCO PL 13 Nov. 1974 “HCO May Do Confessional Lists” was released which canceled HCO PL 26 Aug. 1968, “Security Checks Abolished”. [Although, it did not cancel HCO PL 15 Nov 1970R]  It stated the following:

The right to do Integrity checks is given to HCO.

Any data, HCOBs, tapes relating to ‘security checking’ or ‘Integrity Processing’ may be done by HCO.

The practice of doing only meter checks is no longer required.

The reason given was:


Further discussion regarding this is found in HCOB 24 Jan. 1977 “Tech Correction Round-up”:

Sec Checking means, unfortunately, ‘Security Checking.’ That it was so misnamed in its origins obscures the fact that Confessionals have been part and parcel of religion nearly as long as religion has existed.

In an effort to get around what was thought to be a public relations scene, the name ‘Security Checking’ was changed to ‘Integrity Processing.’ This was also a PR error because the actual truth of the matter is it originated as ‘Confessional’ and should have simply been changed back to ‘handling of confessions.’

LRH then makes a curious note:

BTB 31 Aug 1972RA ‘HCO CONFESSIONAL PROCEDURE’ clarified the matter but this bulletin was on a very limited distribution and is not known. It contains the tech I developed on Sec Checking in the autumn of ’72.

It’s unclear what was actually clarified by this reference since the title would suggest it is discussing the use of Confessionals in HCO. Nonetheless, this was a non-LRH reference which was later replaced by HCOB 30 Nov. 1978 “Confessional Procedure”.

The key difference that should be noted between a Confessional or “Sec Check” done in HCO and one that is done in a regular auditing session is whether or not the information disclosed can be used for some other purpose than case gain.

HCO PL 15 Nov. 1970R – HCO and Confessionals made it clear:

Overts disclosed in sessions may not be used for justice purposes. Therefore only crimes discovered by routine investigation are actionable.

HCOs should learn investigatory procedures when looking for criminals. Confessionals and Sec Checks will fail them and they also mess up cases.

This is of course in alignment with the Auditor’s Code which says:

I promise never to use the secrets of a preclear divulged in session for punishment or personal gain. 

The reason for this is given in HCOB 23 Dec. 1959 – Responsibility:

Of course you will see that many people at first will not come near us for fear of what we will find out. But as this is better understood you will find that the people who come to us will come with a willingness to bare their guilt to us and get it sorted out.

As this is so much the case we must then therefore have amongst us none with undeclared overts against the dynamics which would prevent their getting gains in processing or who would render a person’s confidences liable to use for less pure purposes.

However, in May 1975, about six months after the right to do Sec Checks was given back to HCO, a way around the Auditor’s Code was introduced.  The non-LRH reference BTB 5 Dec. 1972RA – Integrity Processing Series 2 – “Procedure” was revised with the following statement:

When used as an ethics or security measure, Integ can be done as auditing in a session (and is therefore subject to the Auditor’s Code), or can be done as a straight security action, not “in session” In the case of the latter, the person must be informed that he isn’t being audited.

This was the first time that Confessional Technology was authorized (in writing) to be used for “non-session” purposes. However, a warning was given as to the misuse or abuse of this practice.

It is noted that use of Integ as a non-session security measure or in the case of severe out-ethics is rare, and nothing here condones misuse or abuse of Integrity Processing as a security or ethics action. Such misuse would be itself subject to immediate and severe Ethics action as it would constitute an extreme betrayal of trust.

It wasn’t until 1978, that we see the first actual LRH reference written on Confessional Procedure.  In this reference, HCOB 30 Nov. 1978 – Confessional Procedure, a similar clarification was made for Confessionals done for “justice” reasons:

The term ‘I am not auditing you’ only occurs when a Confessional is done for justice reasons. Otherwise the procedure is the same. (By “justice reasons” is meant when a person is refusing to come clean on a Comm Ev, B of I, etc., or as part of a specific HCO investigation when the person is withholding data or evidence from such HCO personnel.)

A Confessional done for justice reasons is not auditing and the data uncovered is not withheld from the proper authorities.

This practice was then expanded upon by HCO PL 7 Jan. 1985 “HCO Confessionals”:

Overts disclosed in the course of Confessionals done for investigatory or justice purposes (generally called “HCO Confessionals”) are always the subject of Knowledge Reports to HCO and are actionable on the person.

The usual circumstances under which an HCO Confessional is done are that the person is already undergoing a Comm Ev or other ethics investigatory action or is working through lower ethics conditions, and the Ethics Officer has requested that the C/S order an HCO Confessional done. Overts and out-ethics disclosed in such a Confessional are reported to HCO in Knowledge Reports and can be acted on by the Ethics Officer.

Today, the practice of doing HCO Confessionals out-of-session with Ethics reports written on all overts divulged is very common. The most likely reasons include: staff qualifications, leaves of absence, ending a staff contract, and eligibility for OT levels. 

The problem is that none of these could be considered “justice” reasons with the intention of investigating criminal or suppressive activity. And such practices are not for the benefit of the preclear’s case

HCO PL 15 Nov. 1970R “HCO and Confessionals” makes this clear:

Asked to do “Confessionals” or “Sec Checks” Tech may do them only as part of a C/S program with full knowledge that progress up the Grade Chart through Grades 0, I and II and ultimately ExDn is the only possible guarantee of increased responsibility.

An R/S still means crimes. All the other data is true and should be known but POLYGRAPHS, LIE DETECTORS, METERS ONLY REGISTER AT THE REALITY LEVEL OF THE BEING, and the reality level of a criminal is too bad for reads to occur in a majority of cases. Thus the guilty are falsely freed and the innocent are subjected to annoyance and upset.

Overts, crimes, etc., may come off first as a critical thought under which lies a harmful (overt) act. On such gradients one builds up reality and so releases overts.

No meter or Sec Check or Confessional is sufficiently valuable to use in detection of crime. The state of the meter itself is of value since it tells one whom to investigate. Thus neither Tech nor Qual should assist investigations but should work on the case against proper C/Ses to get off the overts and withholds for the case benefit.

Furthermore, utilizing Security Checks to investigate all staff and public would be a gross violation of HCO PL 6 Feb. 1968 “Organization—The Flaw”:

The basic flaw in organization is INSPECTION BEFORE THE FACT. That means inspection before anything bad has happened.

Violations are so harmful they destroyed every great civilization—the Roman, the British, the lot. For every flow is slowed or stopped.


In actuality, divulging the contents of a “confessional” for justice purposes is a violation of the common law of “confessional privilege.” This is a law that forbids any inquiry into the content or even existence of confessional communications shared in confidence between priests and penitents.  

And forcing someone to “confess” crimes that can then be actionable against that person is also a violation of the basic human right against “self-incrimination.” This is the right that allows a person to not accuse oneself of a crime for which the person can then be prosecuted.

The truth is that making a person answer questions of a self-incriminatory nature would be more appropriately called an “interrogation.” And although this may be necessary in certain extreme cases as mentioned in the references above, I think it is obvious why this practice was once cancelled and should be restricted far beyond what it is being used for today.

Of course, I am in no way implying that Standard Confessional Tech should not be used for its intended purpose (such as Grade processing and rudiments, etc.) Indeed, confessionals are extremely valuable and necessary for the advancement of cases.


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