The E-meter Scam

Discussion in 'Scientology Technology' started by Etrawl, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. Etrawl

    Etrawl Patron

    I am amongst the people who never held e-meter in their hands, although I saw the photos of it and read the descriptions of its functions.

    I know that the e-meter measures electric current running through its cans and the person’s arms; the e-meter readings are in milli-amperes, at least this is what its scale markings look like on the photographs.

    I was racking my brain trying to figure out what the phrase “your needle is floating” means. To me it is equivalent of saying “your needle is moving”. But the needle is always moving due to the presence of electric current. Therefore, the phrases “your needle is not moving” and “your needle is not floating” refer to the events that cannot be observed.

    Supposedly the e-meter is used to determine whether the person is lying or not. But there are no instruction saying, for example, that the reading of 3 milli-amperes shows that the person is lying, and the reading of 4 shows that she is telling the truth. Without explicit instructions it is impossible to draw any conclusion. Perhaps, I am wrong -- Hubbard might have left such instructions, but I could not find them on the Internet.

    E-meter is also used during the Dianetics auditing, which is a mystery to me -- it is supposed to measure the presence or the absence of an engram because the engrams allegedly disappear as the result of auditing. But the engrams themselves are immaterial objects whose presence or absence does not affect the current measurements. Besides, there are no guidelines telling that, for example, the reading of 10 milli-amperes is an indication that an engram had been discarded.

    The worst part of the e-meter nonsense is that the e-meters are not calibrated because there is no acceptable standard to calibrate them. It means that different e-meters produce vastly different readings that cannot be interpreted.

    The most ridiculous part of the e-meter nonsense is that this devices are used to count the number of specters (we, the Marcabians, do not use the word “thetan”) that leave the body during the OT auditing sessions. Please, do not tell me that the e-meters are used to confirm that an implant was deactivated, which is even more ridiculous.

    It seems to me that the e-meter theory is just another grand-lie propagated by money-hungry LRH.
  2. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I have several meter videos in my ESMB YouTube channel at Videos show more than still photos. I also don't have an agenda of proving it's all bullshit. Most of those videos are experiments of one kind or another.

    This particular "underwater metering" video shows the meter reading where I have the electrode wires sitting in two cups of water, and I have placed my fingertips in the cups, keeping them as still as possible, and not touching the wires. That the meter reads like this shows that it is not reading on sweat/unsweat and muscle twitches.

    There are some F/Ns in there too.

    Check out some of the other videos to see the needle moving and not moving. Don't get the idea that the needle always flops around whoever is holding the cans and whatever is being thought of.

  3. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    Hubbard didn't invent the e-meter, first of all. Volney Matheson did.

    The Floating Needle is a specific read. It's not just any motion. I can't say I know how to spot one (not being professionally meter trained), but here's some info on it:

    As for the engrams having mass... Supposedly they do. Mass and electrical charge. That's the theory.

    Oh, and the meter is calibrated with can squeezes at the beginning of a session.

    I have no doubt that the e-meter is detecting something. I performed a lot of pinch tests in my duties in the Church, and received a bit of processing. The device is what it is, and it does seem to work. Why do you think Scientologists are so afraid of metered sec checks?
  4. Etrawl

    Etrawl Patron

    Did Hubbard say anything about direct measurement of the engram mass? If so, he should have submitted experimental data showing that they have mass.

    A person cannot be used to calibrate an e-meter. In order to calibrate an electric device, you must use another device which is considered to be a standard device, at least this is how electric devices are calibrated in non-Scientology world.

    The e-meter measures the current, I do not doubt that.

    I think that Scientologists are affraid of security checks because they know that e-meters are unreliable and capable of producing readings that are unrealistic. Another explanation of their fears is that they have bought the false idea that this is some kind of lie detector capable to detecting person's lies.
  5. SpecialFrog

    SpecialFrog Silver Meritorious Patron

    Surely all this shows is that it is not just reading on sweat and muscle twitches. It doesn't rule out those having a measurable effect.
  6. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Why don't you ask some (ex-)Scientologists here? It's not like asking a Roman gladiator what was going through his mind before he entered the arena (i.e., you don't have to theorise but can easily find out).

    Personally I didn't really mind the sec checks. The ones I received were done reasonably accurately, and I knew enough of the mechanics of what the auditor was doing to keep on top of it. It helps if you don't have any really bad things you're scared of disclosing. If the worst thing is that you jerked off while thinking of some other staff member then it's not a big deal. Well, not usually. Others had different experiences with sec checks, and had reason to fear them, whether because of actual crimes, knowing they were just an excuse for 10 hours of gruesome interrogation a day for weeks, having to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for them, or whatever.

  7. Demented LRH

    Demented LRH Patron Meritorious

    Although I spent 6 months in Sea Org, I have not had a single sec chech, which may seem strange, I still do not know how to explain it.

    I was not affraid of sec checks because I knew how to fool the e-meter, which I did on numerous occasions when I wanted to avoid word clearing procedures.

    I would say that if the e-meter could be fooled so easily, then it is a very inaccurate device.
  8. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I don't audit with one. I sometimes video experiments with one.

    With regard to being fooled, yes. In a real session, done for the person being audited and not for the cult's benefit, the person holding the cans is on the same side as the auditor and not trying to fool him or the meter. Even so, it is very easy to misinterpret what the meter is showing.

  9. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    I'm not sure of this, after thinking about it, Paul. If your fingers are sweating as an emotional reaction, they'll probably sweat underwater, too. Add a little bit of salt on the surface of your skin, even underwater, and it might considerably reduce the resistance of the circuit through your body. It might even be most important in the pores of your skin, for all I know, where the water outside would probably be kept out by surface tension anyway.

    Could you re-do experiments like this with your hands either dipped/soaked in salt water before dunking them in the pails with the e-meter wires, or not coated in salt water, to see how much effect skin saltiness has even underwater? Or what about even just tossing a few grains of salt into the water with your hands and the wires, and seeing what that did to the meter needle?

    I'm not particularly trying to shoot down the e-meter with these suggestions. I can see the results going either way, and there's nothing at stake for me personally, since I'm not going to believe the e-meter measures anything non-physical in any case. If it's not skin salt, then I'll just assume it's something else, like muscle tension in the whole body, or vasodilation. I'm just curious as to how much effect skin salt may be having.
  10. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I had actually dumped some salt in the water beforehand, and more than a few grains too, like half a teaspoon or something. Similarly for the other underwater metering videos there. I figured it would probably help with the conductivity. It was a real sloppy experiment, as you can see, but I was just curious as to what would happen. It's easy enough for anyone to replicate. Anyone with an emeter, or equivalent, anyway.

  11. Auditor's Toad

    Auditor's Toad Clear as Mud

    First off, I am NOT a believer in the E Meter although at one time I used 'em for, oh, 6 or 7 thousand hours .... nor am I a fan or believer in scn ( or any of its derivations ) although I did it for a few decades.

    That said, you are trying to talk about something you obviously know absolutely nothing factual about.

    Please, learn something about what you are trying to talk about.

    PS - I'm done with scn style auditing, but, were I to take it up again ( I won't ) I do any of it without any kind of meter. Hint : check out communication.
  12. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    What I meant was, to look at the before-during-and-after effect of adding a bit of salt. Compare before and after, you know. That's a crude version of the ideal experiment, since sweat would add the salt right where it's needed to help getting through the skin, but it would at least show something if the effects of adding a bit more salt were comparable to the effects you saw without salt, just by thinking different thoughts with your hands in the water.
  13. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I see. Well, it's unlikely I'll do it because I don't care that much and think the sweat/unsweat idea is too ridiculous for words. The thing is, I say it is easy enough to replicate the experiment, by which I mean it is a piece of cake (once you've got a meter) to drop the leads in two containers of water and stick your fingertips in and hold your fingers still. Someone else could add the salt and pepper and ketchup. But what is *not* easy to repeat is to produce the exact same reads more than once, especially repeatedly.

    There' s a drill, "Consider the events of today," where the coach holding the cans thinks of different things that happened that day, and when the student auditor sees a particular read he says "What was that?" The coach then thinks of different things and finally (maybe 5 or 10 seconds later) thinks of the same thing. The meter is supposed to give an identical read, and the student says "that!" It's quite an impressive drill when it works, and it works quite often. But sometimes the coach can't get the exact same thought, or the meter doesn't read exactly the same. Plus every time the coach thinks of the thing it tends to discharge a bit and the read gets smaller.

  14. NoName

    NoName A Girl Has No Name

    I saw a British documentary in which an investigative reporter was trained to fool a meter in order to be able to do a fair amount of lower bridge course work. All on camera.

    I've also read online where people got floating needles and/or passed sec checks only after they stopped giving a shit about the results.

    I've never tried to deliberately fool an e-meter. But given what I've read on the subject, it would probably be fairly easy. I've done enough biofeedback in my life to be able to change my autonomic nervous reactions mostly at will. The glaring exception that I cannot change is an allergic reaction, but that is not the same as fear / garden variety adrenaline.
  15. great work Paul!

    the idea that the meter was reading on sweat was always ludicrous but, so far as i know science still thinks GSR (galvanic skin resistance) has something to do with sweat.


    publish your experiment Paul!
  16. Smilla

    Smilla Ordinary Human

    Yeah, it's not sweat or the moisture of the skin that accounts for the readings that the meter shows. The moisture of the skin does have an effect, but that isn't the explanation of the various reads.
  17. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    As I said, I don't care that much. Those underwater metering experiments are very rough, and not in the least formal, or with controls, or written up, or anything. But anyone can repeat and vary the experiment, as long as they have an emeter or equivalent. One can be picked up from eBay for a couple of hundred bucks, and water is cheap.

    The experiments are on YouTube, freely available for 3 years now, and not just in text form, and that is about all the publishing of them that I am likely to do.

  18. Demented LRH

    Demented LRH Patron Meritorious

    "A floating needle is a rhythmic sweep of the dial at a slow, even pace of the needle. That’s what an F/N is. No other definition is correct.” HCOB 21 July 1978 What Is A Floating Needle? (Tech Vol. II, p. 204) this definition of FN is also in the Tech Dictionary.

    A rhythmic sweep? This definition does not say anything of value-- what seems "rhythmic" to some may seem unrhythmic to their peers.

    A slow pace? What seems slow to some may seem fast to their colleagues.

    This is a crappy definition, there is nothing scientific about it.
  19. Adam7986

    Adam7986 Declared SP

    You should note that emeter usage has been known to generate false memories because of Scientologists' utter faith in such a drastically inaccurate instrument. I would go so far as to say all Scientologists suffer from false memory syndrome. :thumbsup:
  20. Demented LRH

    Demented LRH Patron Meritorious

    I think that the e-meter is in part responsible for creation of false memories of the past lives. I am not sure if it generates false memories of events that supposedly occurred in present life.