A device used by the Scientology
cult in a process called 'auditing,'
The only apparatus used in scientology is a small electric meter, housed in a wooden box measuring about 10 in. by 6 in. by 2 in. On its top side is a dial with a moving needle, some control knobs and a rheostat control termed the ''tone arm.'' It has two terminals, to each of which is attached, at the end of a lead, an electrode which is a steel or tin can, resembling, and sometimes actually being, a soup can. Within the box are small batteries and a transistorized circuit. The circuit is simple and is appropriate for apparatus designed to record or register electrical resistance, It is a variant of the Wheatstone bridge.
The meter is called an ''E-meter'', which is an abbreviation of the ''electropsychometer'' or ''electrometer''. The E-meter has been improved and developed over the past fifteen years, and there have been five models, ranging from Mark I to Mark V. There is some suggestion that shortly there is to be a Mark VI model, and even another model which is to be used for auditing to OT.
When used in scientology auditing, the cans are held by the preclear, one in each hand, and the auditor, sitting opposite, faces the meter and records and interprets the readings on the dial, making various adjustments with the tone arm as the general level of resistance recorded by the meter rises or falls. The auditor writes down the various readings of the meter which are said to be correlated to whatever is being discussed by the auditor and preclear. The detail of such discussions is also written down.
It is claimed that emotions and emotionally charged thought can register electrically on the E-meter. When a preclear is ''in session'' and is holding the cans, questions which stir his emotions are said to produce a ''read'' on the meter. Hubbard and scientologists generally regard the E-meter as a most important adjunct to auditing, an almost indispensible tool.
According to the What is Scientology?
book, based on the works of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard
and compiled by the church's staff, ''a Clear is a person who no longer has his own reactive mind and therefore suffers none of the ill effects that a reactive mind can cause.''
Training levels are mostly attained by taking various courses through the church, which includes ''auditing,'' a type of therapy in which students have one-on-one counseling with a trained auditor. The auditing sessions range in cost from about $200 to several thousand dollars for 12 1/2-hour blocks, depending on the type of training, according to Margarita Davis, executive director of the Church of Scientology Ann Arbor.
The processing side of the bridge is based more heavily on auditing with a trained auditor using an Electropsychometer (known as an E-meter) that uses a small electrical current to measure the impact of different thoughts and emotions. The auditor then reads the change in the current on the meter to determine which thoughts and answers may cause concern for a person and should be addressed, according to What is Scientology?
None of the scientology theories associated with, or claims made for, the E-meter is justified. They are contrary to expert evidence which the Board heard and are quite fantastic and inherently improbable. Nothing even remotely resembling credible evidence was placed before the Board in attempted justification.
Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database
For newer items, see Religion News Blog
Secrets of Scientology: The E-meter
(Contra) Extensive collection of information