Posted by: Edward | February 11, 2007

Dianetic Auditing as Recapitulation

The Scientology or Dianetics technique of auditing is the same as Castaneda’s technique of recapitulation. Both the method and the purpose of the practices are highly similar. The purpose is to release energy knots relating to past experiences or interactions. The method is to move backwards re-experiencing the past occurrences and releasing the energy that has remained stuck with them. The main differences in the methods is that recapitulation is more often done alone and concentrates on interactions with people while auditing is usually done with a specialist auditor and concentrates on experiences of pain.

In all likelihood the average Scientologist has no awareness of the pedigree of the techniques that they engage in and therefore now awareness of what could be added to them to make them more effective. Dianetics is firmly rooted in the European medical concept of vitalism. The preface of Science of Sanity even acknowledges the connection by referring to Henri Bergson. What is missing from L. Ron Hubbard’s formulation is the awareness that the energy is bodily. Scientology suffers greatly from the Cartesian error of mind-body dualism.

Castaneda’s Sorcery does not suffer from this difficulty, although the character of Carlos Castaneda as presented in the books does. Scientology recapitulates moments of pain to free the energy entangled in them and increase the person’s clarity of thought. Castaneda’s recapitulation frees the energy from social engagements under the model that it is our socialization that keeps us from meeting our potential. I personally suspect that the e-meter would be a very useful tool if used while auditing social interaction in addition to pain engrams.

There is also the question of the relative worth of solo auditing as opposed to being audited by another. First there is the concern that the kind of material it would be useful to recapitulate would be personal and sensitive necessitating a great deal of trust in who one shares it with. The potential for abuse or blackmail is significant. The second is the danger or power relations between the auditor and subject distorting the material or creating its own engram of entangled energy.

With a great deal of freed energy available it would be very easy for a strong connection to be created between the person who is recapitulating and the person assisting them. If this interaction is framed in terms of hierarchical power relations there is a distinct danger of cultic behaviour. I wonder sometimes of the similarity between auditing and catholic confession, particularly first confession that usually occurs in early adolescence. The potential for a confession or recapitulation of what one is ashamed of to free energy in the young catholic is encouraging. The potential of the power relation inherent in the confession context to tie that young catholic to the hierarchy of the church is, to me, rather disturbing.

It seems that partnered recapitulation is too powerful to ignore completely but too abusable to use uncritically. One possibility is to partner with someone and take turns auditing each other, thereby equalizing the relationship. This should guard against cultic abuse but it will probably leave you with very strong ties to your recapitulation partner. One way to minimize the impact of this is to partner with someone you are strongly connected to anyway, or would like to be. Alternately you could solo recapitulate your relationship to this partner later.

Recapitulation can be a powerful method but it should not be pursued exclusively, rather combined with other mind-body-energy practices.



  1. Mmmm, you’re correct in some ways but missing the bigger picture on some others. First of all, there are several forms of auditing in Scientology, which are different and separate from the cathartic type of auditing in Dianetics.

    Also, one of Hubbard’s main tenets was that spiritual energy was not physical, that it is apart and different from physical matter/energy (see “Theta/MEST theory”, in Science of Survival.)

    But some of your analogies are accurate, insofar as recapitulation, Catholic confession and, for example, Level II type Auditing in Scientology, which deals with purging guilt and regrets.

    Scientologist and proud of it

  2. I’ve noticed that these exercises are part of most esoteric training. I learned this from Yoga, which method is to enter mild trance and then go back as far as you can, free associating memories and exploring them.
    I find the rub is to examine closely both painful and joyful experience for the root causes.
    the base of the causal chain is not the releaser, as Scientology would assert, but I find that understanding why people do what they did in light of new information or new perspectives, as well as just forgiving them internally, frees the energy.

    I helped a women 15 years my senior to release child molestation and general abuse memory based energy ties that caused her current life problems through this method.

    in fact, it helped just to let her know that what had happened was wrong, but that she had the choice to remove that consciousness entanglement and put it towrd fixing her life now.

    however, the E-meter is essentially worthless.

  3. Much of Scientology is developed or stolen from Aleister Crowley, Gnosticism, and especially General Semantics and Freud/Jung.
    not to say it’s all bad.

    anything past the OTIII stage is crap tho’, sorry.
    what scientology doesn’t want you to read

  4. I am not smart enough for your blog friend. 😉

  5. You are very right. Carlitos (Don Juan) attributes all power and all wisdom to the “body knowledge”, as many other disciplines do. However, it is so easily demonstrable that the true boss is Spirit…. And yes, they ARE separate! 🙂 In the bottomline, it’s not about what Castaneda or Hubbard say. It’s about what YOU –the warrior– are able to achieve or where are you able to arrive at the end of each path. Good luck!

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