I got a chance to ask some questions of Scientology Auditor Jesse Riendeau, a fellow Maine native and a specialist in the auditing of children. (See this video for a visual description of what auditing is and how it works.)
He works for Mace-Kingsley Family Center, a facility with over 30 years of experience applying Scientology to children and the betterment of families & relationships.
ScientologyParent: From a parent’s perspective, what gains do have you seen children getting from auditing?
Jesse: Having audited hundreds of children, including my own, I have seen all sorts of wins and gains. They vary from kid to kid, but generally what we see happening with a child over the course of their Introductory Auditing is an increase in their ability to control their environment and think for themselves.
In other words, we get a big resurgence in their self-determinism. This oftentimes immediately handles underlying factors that contribute to what some parents may think of as “behavior problems”.
You see, as an auditor, I am in no way focused on a child’s aberrations and “odd behaviors”. That’s psychiatry. In Scientology, the accent is on ability. When you increase a child’s native abilities, the rest just falls into place.
ScientologyParent: What do you like most about auditing children?
Jesse: Auditing children on a routine basis when they are young, brings them to the understanding, for themselves, that they can better themselves, and that Scientology works for them personally and can help them.
And Kids are full of life and energy and so are their sessions! This is one of the greatest aspects to auditing kids.
ScientologyParent: You have an auditing room specifically designed for children. Tell me about that! What special features does it have that you’ve found useful?
Over the years, I’ve observed that auditing a child in an adult-sized room can be very unreal to them and it made my job as an auditor a bit more challenging. This is a very special auditing room in that the kids want to spend as much time in it as they can.
Since almost every auditing process that LRH designed for children is an “objective” type process (meaning one that deals with the person’s communication with the physical environment around them, as opposed to a subjective process where the person inspects thoughts, concepts or mental pictures), having a space that is interesting and playful enough to capture their attention and willingness to participate seemed logical. Everything in the room is child sized, even the chair used to deliver Scientology Assists.
Child sessions are lively, playful and fun because as a child auditor, I have to communicate at their reality or I lose their interest and willingness.
ScientologyParent: I’m sure you’re filled with cute stories from auditing little kids. Have one you’d like to share?
Jesse: There was one little girl I audited who was about three or four years old, whose parents had traveled from out of the country to receive auditing at the Church here in Clearwater. Unfortunately, their little girl had arrived sick with a temperature and so the parents were stuck in their hotel room tending to a sick child rather than going in session themselves.
I had already established great ARC* with this little girl and she was asking for me. The parents called Mace-Kingsley and requested that I come over to the hotel at Flag as they were having a difficult time handling her. I went over to their room, we played for a few minutes and then I ran a few basic Scientology assist processes with her. She popped right out of whatever illness that had turned on, got up and said, “Jesse look what I can do!” and started to show me her cartwheels around the room. That was a good spot to end the session.
She came to Mace-Kingsley for several more sessions that day and as a result, the parents got to go in session as well. I could tell scores of stories like this.
ScientologyParent: How have you been able to apply your skills as an auditor of children to your role as a parent?
My older son is four and my younger son is 6 months old. There is literally no end to the applicability of this Tech. LRH wrote and lectured extensively on the subject of raising children. As a child auditor at Mace-Kingsley Family Center, I have been required to become well-versed in this data. Whether I’m in session with a pc or at home with my own two kids, the same principals apply.
When you observe children, you can see that they are beaming with energy, creativity and imagination. But they are also very close to their banks in the sense that they can become keyed-in easily. Their reach can get cut and the adult world can be quite mysterious from their viewpoint.
It’s important as a parent to recognize this, handle it when it happens and prevent it where possible. In other words, I always try to enable my kids to think for themselves and I do all I can to foster their self-determinism.
Oftentimes my four year old will ask me lots of questions. I always try to get him to think about what the answer would be, for him, rather than presenting myself as an authority and the source of all answers. For example: “Dad, why can’t I play in the street?” Response (with no invalidation): “Why do you think it’s not okay to play in the street?” His answer (slight pause while he ponders this): “Umm, because a big car could go fast and squish me and that would hurt!” Me: “Okay. Sounds good, Hayden!”
The end result to this is that he has now come up with his own answer and established a new rule for himself. I didn’t have to do a thing. He got it on his own!
It’s vital to keep my Auditor’s Code in, especially when it comes to invalidation and evaluation. Children need to know that they are valuable and that their thoughts and ideas are valid and even helpful!
Being an auditor who has also been hatted to specialize in child auditing has made my job as a parent that much easier. I can see the products of raising my kids with Scientology and I get a lot of pleasure watching the Tech work and seeing them make gains with it.