Scientologists use a device known as an E-Meter which is actually a truncation of Electropsychometer which was actually a device invented by Volney Mathieson for Scientology counseling or auditing.
What this meter does is measure reactions to questions being asked by an auditor. These are usually recorded as “falls” meaning the needle falls from its position to the right of the dial.
What it doesn’t do is read the person’s mind. Yet it seems many who are connected what Mark Rathbun calls the Anti Scientology Cult claim Ron claim that it does. Yet there is no where in any of his lectures or writings where he makes such a claim.
This again is one of those straw man “arguments” that they use in order to discredit or invalidate the subject.
There is no question that the meter will react to a question that has charge related to it whether it is on the actual question itself or just being asked the question. This can be demonstrated by having one person hold the e-meter electrodes or cans and have another person ask them searching questions of one kind or other.
It basically works on the same principle as the lie detector or Polygraph only instead of using various measuring devices it only uses one which measures sudden changes in body density as he says in the
The E- Meter is a sensitive but sturdy instrument. You cannot do very much to harm one.
The principle on which it works is very simple. Electricity comes into the machine from the wall plug. It is cut down in intensity by the circuits and resistances in the machine. A very small trickle of this electricity is permitted to run down through the the terminal from one electrode (the can the pc holds) wire, into the meter itself, out through up the other wire to the second electrode through the pc’s body and so into the (the other can), first electrode.
In other words there is a very faint current of electricity, barely discernible by the most sensitive preclears, running through the body of the preclear during the entire time that he is holding the cans.
This current of electricity is a very constant flow of a very minute amount. This is the secret and the superiority of the machine. Any old fashioned galvanometer might work except that it varies wildly every time somebody turns on a light or retunes a radio or pets a cat. A hundred thousand dollar electroencephalograph also puts a current through the body that is faint enough to register the effects of different thoughts. But the patient has to be in a wire cage to cut out electrical fields which come from car generators or the nearby trolley line or the doorbell. And the current has to be graduated through fancy transformers, specially cooled and balanced. And this hundred thousand dollar wonder isn’t as much use to an auditor as his fingers on the preclear’s pulse.
The E- Meter floats one current in another current and stabilizes the flow so that the meter reads minute changes of thought, and it reacts to outside fields only when they are very heavy and sudden, and, such fields being rare, keeps an even needle reading.
The E- Meter’s trickle of constant electricity records on the dial of the instrument the relative density of the preclear’s body. DON’T MAKE THE ERROR OF THINKING THAT THE E- METER GOES THROUGH FACSIMILES. It goes only through the body.
The preclear, under the questioning of the auditor, pulls into present time, usually without much conscious awareness of it, old facsimiles. These, on a subawareness level, modulate or change the density of the preclear’s body.
The thought of the auditor translates into pc thoughts. These re- echo in the thought, emotion and effort of the preclear. The facsimiles of the preclear move into play. That is between the auditor and the pc.
The electricity measures density. This changes as the pc’s facsimiles change the density of the pc’s body.
Stress makes the pc’s body more tense. This tenseness makes the body more resistive to electricity. This change in resistance shows up in a needle reaction. The facsimiles usually can shift very rapidly while the questioning is in progress. Therefore the density of the pc’s body shifts rapidly. Thus the needle reads rapidly, following the changes very closely.
Any time a situation containing stress, whether it is the stress of emotion or pain or effort, comes into play under questioning, a reaction on the meter can be read.
One is interested in METER CHANGE. He is not interested even in which way the needle surges, but the usual charge shifts the needle to the left as you face the machine. Fear, being a dispersal of attention units, sometimes reads as an upsurge, but this is of no importance. The upsurge usually means a difference from unpleasant subjects shifting to pleasant ones. Or it denotes a pleasant experience, pleasure facsimiles being lighter than stress facsimiles.
All that you read from an E- Meter, then, is change. The amount of change tells you the amount of stress. Stress alone is aberrative (heavy emotion or pain or effort or thought). What the auditor wants to find is stress. The E-Meter tells him with accuracy where the stress is located.
So there it is!
It measures “stress” related to a subject much like a Polygraph does.
Of course there was further R&D on Emeters as time went on along with additional explanations and theories on why it works but I’d say the above as with many things in Scientology stands the test of time and in my opinion is the best explanation and theory behind it.
Unlike me Bruce Ploetz, the guest writer of Rinder’s hit piece doesn’t support his assertions with actual references but merely implies they exist because they had allegedly seen them once or so they say.
For instance he uses a paper he says exists of an “experiment” that an dearly departed friend of mine Don Breeding allegedly conducted as Ploetz says “in the 80s” as if the accepted degree of “accuracy” required for ASC was that used for horse shoes, hand grenades and nuclear weapons as in close enough.
Yet I know for a fact that Don Breeding was on the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course at the American Saint Hill Organization with me during much of the eighties so I wonder when he would have had time to conduct such an “experiment” and why would he conduct such an “experiment” since as Ploetz says he helped develop Scientology’s first solid state Emeter known as the Washington Blue Meter and thus was familiar with its capabilities and limitations?
Anyway as Ploetz should know being an electrical engineer in the “real world”. If he were to painfully insert a needle into his fingers or even simply attach the clips say to his testicles for example like they do with twelve volt batteries at the former School of the Americas that it would change the conductivity of the current passing through the body thus the Tone Arm reading which is basically a rheostat would change because there would be a change in resistance.
No painful experiment required! Unless say Ploetz was a masochist than I say have at it!