1. Someone or something which sends, receives or relays communication. Every living being is a terminal. A job is also a terminal. Sometimes objects act as terminals.


Johnny is a receptionist at a construction office. As receptionist, he is a terminal. He receives communication from phone calls and emails. He receives communication from people who walk into the office. Johnny sends communication using email and phone calls. And he relays communication by passing along phone calls, forwarding emails, etc.

Johnny the person is a terminal too. If one of Johnny’s kids call, Johnny communicates as a dad, not as the receptionist. While talking to one of his kids, Johnny becomes the ‘Dad’ terminal. Communicating as ‘Dad’ is different than communicating as receptionist. Which is different from ‘Johnny’ hanging out with his friends.

Johnny has strong political opinions, but it’s not appropriate to communicate those opinions at work. Johnny’s kids are too young to understand politics. So Johnny mostly talks about politics to his friends. While ‘receptionist’ and ‘Johnny’ and even ‘Dad’ may sometimes overlap, it’s useful to realize they are not exactly the same terminal.

More Examples:

On the Organizing Board, each job (post) listed can also be referred to as a terminal. The person holding that post will send, receive or relay communication based on the duties of that post.

A dog can receive commands, give affection (with licks or nuzzling), and bark at perceived dangers.

A child can have a tea party with stuffed animals. The stuffed animals receive tea and listen to stories told by the child.

Satellites pass communication back and forth between cell towers so our smartphones can work.

A mailbox receives letters to be collected by a mail person later on.

(HCOPL 25 Jul 72) (HCOPL 28 Jul 71)

2. There’s an advanced auditing methodology that uses ‘terminal’ in a specialized way. In this case, it means identities a person has been in their past. This is not just any identity. It’s one where the identity has acted in strong opposition to another identity. The conflict between the terminals was so intense it created mental mass in the preclear’s mind. (HCOB 8 Nov 62)

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