Why is it that when an Auditor asks “Onhas anything been misunderstood?” he does not then actually find out what was misunderstood? Instead, if Misunderstood reads, the Auditor takes up the original question or item. That doesn’t make sense, right?
The reference that is used to justify this practice is HCOB 3 Dec. 78 – UNREADING FLOWS, which states:
So you must check questions, flows or items before running anything. If it doesn’t read, you just say “Thank you” and go on to the next one. You would, of course, use the buttons to ensure nothing was suppressed, invalidated or misunderstood before leaving an unreading item, flow or question.
It does imply here that the Misunderstood button could cause an item, flow or question to not read. That makes sense. However, it doesn’t say that one would not find out what was misunderstood before taking up the command. Indeed, it specifically says that the button should be used to ensure nothing was misunderstood.
Not finding out what is misunderstood could open the door to arbitrarily running misunderstood items, flows and questions. That is because the pc could actually have a misunderstood word.
This would be in accordance with basic word clearing technology, especially that given in HCOB 9 Aug. 78 – CLEARING COMMANDS, which states:
If it is evident from the pc’s answer that he has misunderstood a word as it is used in the context of the command:
(a) Re-clear the obvious word (or words) using the dictionary.
(b) Have him use each word in a sentence until he has it. (The worst fault is the pc using a new set of words in place of the actual word and answering the alter-ised word, not the word itself. See HCOB 10 Mar 65, WORDS, MISUNDERSTOOD GOOFS.)
(c) Re-clear the command.
(d) If necessary, repeat Steps a, b and c above to make sure he understands the command.
It is especially significant if you consider the fact that an Auditor may not always clear the words on a prepared list prior to assessing it, as LRH advises later in the same reference:
IF, HOWEVER, YOUR PC IS SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ARC BREAK (OR OTHER HEAVY CHARGE) AND THE WORDS OF THE L1C (OR OTHER CORRECTION LIST) HAVE NOT BEEN CLEARED YET, DON’T CLEAR FIRST. GO AHEAD AND ASSESS THE LIST TO HANDLE THE CHARGE. OTHERWISE IT’S AUDITING OVER AN ARC BREAK.
In this case you just verify by asking afterwards if he had any misunderstoods on the list.
This aligns with HCOB 15 Oct. 73 – Nulling and F/Ning Prepared Lists:
Putting in Suppress, Invalidation or Misunderstood Words on the list will either get a read or the list will F/N.
Notice that LRH refers to the button here as Misunderstood Words. This makes sense given the fact that the words on the list may not have been cleared.
A key datum that may be missing here is the correct method of how to “put in a button” which is defined in HCOB 30 Nov. 78 – CONFESSIONAL PROCEDURE:
Put in the button (simply get what the pc has to say and acknowledge), then take up the question.
[See “Use of Buttons” for further data regarding this.]
As long as one utilized the Misunderstood button in this fashion it would help close the door on running misunderstood commands. That’s because the Auditor would have a chance to actually help the pc find out what is misunderstood and clear it up before running anything that read on Misunderstood. This would make the most sense, would guarantee better results, and does not introduce any arbitraries.