Service Facsimiles – by David Mayo

From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 5 – March 1992

(First published by The International Society of Independents, 431 Burgess Drive, Menlo Park, CA, USA as Update Series 1 on December 16th 1986).

The term “service facsimile” originally meant a facsimile (or mental image picture) that was of service or use to the preclear. A key point made on this subject was that a service facsimile is a mental mechanism used by the individual to explain failure. Perhaps that is the main purpose of a service facsimile. That is a relatively simple and easily understood idea.


However, when running service facsimiles, auditors generally spend a lot of time clearing what is meant by “service facsimile” and “computation” and getting across the idea that the auditor expects the pc to give the auditor a computation in answer to a listing question (even though these listing questions do not ask for a computation). Despite the time and effort spent on such “clearing”, when listing to find a service facsimile, the pc very often doesn’t answer with a computation. As this is a listing action, the auditor is then in the predicament of either having to reject the pc’s answers (items) or risking ending up with an item that is not a computation.

But that isn’t all there is to it. The meaning of the term “service facsimile” has been changed over the years. There are at least two (and possibly more) different mental mechanisms referred to as service facsimiles. This has caused an inordinate amount of confusion to technical personnel. It has also resulted in at least one unusual solution in auditing. Possibly none of the versions of the service facsimile are routinely fully run out due to these confusions.

As a facsimile?

The first type of “service facsimile” discovered, described and addressed in auditing was a facsimile that the pc (reactively) thought was of use or service to him. Hence the term “service facsimile”. Injuries or illnesses, especially in childhood when an ally was present, can result in such a “service facsimile”.

Sympathy Engrams

Service facsimiles have also been called sympathy engrams. An example of this is an incident in which a child breaks his leg and is given sympathy, looked after and taken care of by an ally. If care and attention were unusual for that child or if the ally was not usually an ally, then the broken leg would seem to be valuable to the child’s survival and the facsimile of that incident would be kept around ready to be called into play in the future when there seemed to be a need for it.

No computation

One could then say that the facsimile in the example above, was “reactively computed” to have survival value. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there was an actual computation, just that the service facsimile seemed to have survival value. As such this would be more accurately described as a reactive assumption rather than a computation. The idea that a service facsimile is a “computation generated by the pc not the bank” is a later additive which is not correct. This, in itself, could explain why so many auditors have so often had to work so hard to get pc’s to answer with a computation when asked for a service facsimile.

Chronic disabilities – ally presence

The type of service facsimile described above is best found by asking for a chronic disability and then running out the incident of its inception. E.g., if the disability is a lame leg, one would run out the entire incident when the pc got the lame leg, paying particular attention to any ally present at the time and an “ally computation” in that incident or as a result of it. When that disability has been run, ask for another, as there may be more than one. (One could also ask for a “fixed condition” rather than a chronic disability).

This type of service facsimile is best handled by running it out – as a secondary or engram – since it is a facsimile.

Other tyes

Another type of “service facsimile” was mentioned by Hubbard. Hubbard stated that the present time “Term” and “Opterm” package were the pc’s service facsimile. It is not clear how or why he considered that to be so, nor did he make any further clarification of this. Furthermore, no technique was given to handle this phenomenon.

The next type of “service facsimile” is a computation or, perhaps more accurately, an assumption. It is not a “service facsimile” in the original meaning of that term and it is not a “facsimile”, by definition. This is what came to be called a “service facsimile” in about 1963, but it is really a computation or an assumption. This type of computation is illogical analytically, is considered sensible reactively and is considered essential to one’s survival or at least to enhance one’s survival. Such a computation was thought to have been formed during a period of confusion and low analytical ability. A well known (but unreal) example of such a computation is : “All horses sleep in beds”. It has also been described as an “idee fixee”.


There have been different methods of finding this computation type of “service facsimile” over the years. In my experience the most useful were released in 1963 (during the same time period that this computation “service facsimile” was being described, and shortly thereafter). Some could argue that these methods of finding service facsimiles do not always result in a computation as the item found. True. But running the item found by these methods usually gets enough charge off so that the computation comes into view and blows by cognition during the running of the process. At least this is an approach that adheres to the Auditor’s Code rather than evaluating for the preclear by “clearing” that a “service facsimile” is a computation and that he is expected to give computations as answers (even though the listing question does not specifically ask for computations).

The more recent method of finding service facsimiles by listing from each command of the service fac brackets is the least workable, in my experience. This is partly because of the excessive amount of “clearing” (evaluating) what the auditor is asking the pc to find in answer to the listing question, including having to explain to the pc that he needs to answer with a computation. The nature of the computation the pc is supposed to have is also “fed” to the pc by the wording of the bracket commands, used as listing questions. For instance, “What do you use to make others wrong?” really feeds the pc the cognition that he is using something to make others wrong. It’s like the question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” So, in a sense those listing questions require that the pc cognite on his service facsimile “in advance” i.e., while looking for what the service facsimile is and before having run the charge off it.

Then the change (circa 1978) of trying to run out the service facsimile dianetically after it had been run in the service fac brackets, is an unnecessary action. It probably follows from a confusion of the original idea of a service facsimile (sympathy engram) with the later idea of a service facsimile as a computation.

Method of handling

In my experience, the most effective method of handling a “computation” type of service facsimile is by using the PreHav scale. Start by assessing for a PreHav level (doingness) and then list from that as follows. Assess: “In this lifetime have you mainly__________(PreHav levels)?”

Then using the item so found, list:

“In this lifetime what have you__________(PreHav level found)?”

Example: If the PreHav level assessed out to “Failed to control” then the second question would be “In this lifetime what have you failed to control?”, which is listed to find the item. If the item was “My emotions”. Then the item to be run in the brackets would be “Failing to control my emotions”. (Yes, we know that that item is not a computation).

During the running of the item in the example above, as charge comes off, one or more computations will come to view and blow off.

Another meaning

There is yet another meaning that developed for the term, “service facsimile” which might be best described as considering a ser fac to be an impulse or an intention, e.g., to make self right, to make others wrong, to dominate others, etc. Al – though this is far removed from the original meaning of the term “service facsimile”, during the 1980’s the expression “make wrong” was used so interchangeably with the term “serfac” that the two became almost synonymous. This same concept was also referred to as an “evil intention”. Whether you consider these to be “service facsimiles” or not, they would probably respond best to expanded dianetic techniques.

Three kinds of serfac

So there are at least three different types of “service facsimile”, the facsimile, the computation and the intention. These different types of aberration require and respond best to different methods of handling.

Additional points:

Not everyone has a service fac. Making a pc look for one (or in some instances even asking for one) can start an endless search – for something not there.

It is noteworthy that over time there has been a shift in attitude that parallels the shift in definition of service facs. from a benign attitude toward the pc or the pc’s case to a more accusative attitude, one where in the pc (or his case) is accused of “willfully and knowingly making others wrong”, etc..

Not only individuals have service facsimiles; groups and organizations can, too. In fact, one of the characteristics of any cult or mass movement is that they are “service facy” – the more fanatical, the more “service facy” they are.

By David Mayo, USA

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  • Comments (3)
  1. Thank you very much for not only practicing the tech but actually analyzing the tech. I’ve often wondered weather anyone did this? There is a definite need of not only you but a group of others dedicated to this action at least in my opinion. An encyclopedia if you will of all the tech analyzed. The rest of the tech is already written up so need to re-invent that wheel unless you think that too is necessary. Have a great one Mr. Mayo.

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    • D. Spinoza
    • April 3rd, 2013

    A very nice article that points out why Service Facsimile as a concept was hazy for me.  Thanks David.

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    • another generation
    • August 27th, 2016

    Well done, David.
    One thing missed, the significance of these types. SerFac is so important, because it could prevent the moving on the Bridge (upwards).

    That is why I say that the facsimily-type and the intention-type are not the point. The point is the computation-type, which is like a mind, like a being. It thinks, “looks” for the thetan. The thetan would be not-there. In other words, potentially not be.

    The SerFAc makes the actual GPM swich on/turn on – or how-do-you-say – restimulate, anyway. That is why it is so important, too. This term-oppterm situation could be the fourth meaning. If I were a rabbit, and the oppterm would be a wolf, serfac could be: wolves are nasty/dangerouos. Or, because a serfac is a methode of surviving, could be: if any matter, running

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