Secrets of the Scientology E-Meter

Secrets are the mortar,
binding lies like bricks together,
into prisons for the mind

Scientology E-meter

animated e-meter image (c) ethercat


In 1971 I was in Scientology, working for them in Los Angeles. Because of my technical background and that I had been a bench technician and service manager for Myer-Emco HiFi on Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington DC, the #1 hi-fi store in DC, I was asked to goto the company that produced Scientology’s E-meters, named Delta Meter Service run by Tom and Jaye Paige I think Tory Christman was a receptionist there. (pardon spellings).

My mission was to determine why the devices, E-meters, were not getting produced, and get the backlog of several hundred filled.

In the course of this I was shown some confidential “Board Technical Bulletins” “BTBs” issued by the corporate shell of Scientology in California.

Each one had C O N F I D E N T I A L across the top… I felt a little like James Bond…

The documents were taken out of a safe, that was under a workbench at the South end of the main E-Meter assembly room, at Delta Meter. on the corner at Beacon Street, PAC WUS was at 811 Beacon, and Celebrity Center was on the next cross street.(1) The BTB’s described the unusual specifications for the E-meter movement, which included how many times it was to swing back and forth once being turned on, to when the needle stopped moving. There was a time limit and number of swings. This specification is most unusual.

Author with E_Meter's from the production run at Delta

Author with E_Meter’s from the production run at Delta

An electrical guy wants a meter to measure a current. He wants the moving indicator to move to the proper value and not overshoot, and not waste his  time waiting for it to stop swinging…so he can read the value it indicates.

Those were type of meters that Volney Mathison used in his meters.


As a child I used to fall asleep reading through the Lafayette Radio catalogue.. and dreamed of one day having a short wave radio. I had built a full-wave crystal radio and liked making sparks and arcs, and spent considerable time mesmerized by plasma arcs, using wall line voltage and a toaster as my ballast with carbon electrodes to strike the arc taken from the center pole of a D cell battery…I liked reading Popular Science and Radio TV Magazine, and built many of their projects. This was how I had ‘fun’ if I wasn’t riding my bike in Montrose Park in Georgetown across the street.

Then I saw this advertisement:


I was perhaps 12 at the time, and I saving my paper route money delivering Daily News in my neighborhood in Georgetown, to purchase a “Become a Radio Television Technician At Home” course. It was called the Progressive Radio Edu-kit, Edu-kit. After leaving scientology I started a an electronics business on my own, took a dozen or so college electronics courses, and decades later ended up doing electronics for some hi-tech hi-end clients like IDA, The Institute for Defense Analysis, Lynda Carter, Wonderwoman, and the Crown Prince of Iran’s mansion in Great Falls.. .

At the time, when I read these secret scientology documents, I did not know one twentieth of what I know now.

I do recall wondering to myself “Wow, what an odd specification for a meter needle movement..”


Four decades later, just a few weeks ago, something occurred to me, something I did not know enough about to even consider possible nor know enough to consider that possibility to be of any significance:

The E-Meter movement electrically is a normal moving-coil design, with a standard 100 micro amp full scale meter movement that used a taut band suspension, which is like a torsion bar suspension on an car.

The E-meter movement’s design specs call for a rather loose needle, with less than normal damping. The documents I viewed specified that when you turn it on with 90 uA the needle will move past the 90 uAmp position (Scientology calls this the “Set” position) and it will swing back and forth a certain number of times, settling upon the true reading within a certain amount of time in seconds.

The number of swings was 4 to 7,  I believe. And it had to settle in 1, or 2 seconds. This is an enormous amount of time,  for a device  used to measure specific amounts of electrical current, compared to normal “volt-meters” or “amp-meters” or any thing with a moving needle where its final position is the data.

If I had purchased a movement for measuring current that worked this way I would send it back because it would take too long to see where the needle came to rest, to take my measurement.


I apologize to any fans I have left that actually understand what I’m talking about that it took forty five years  to connect these dots to try to describe the insight  below

The E-Meter movement has a resonance frequency, which if stimulated, might make the needle appear to do something that Scientology calls the “Floating Needle”.

If that floating effect were created when a low enough brainwave frequency was applied to the resistance measurement function that is the wheatstone electrical bridge circuit that is basically an E-meter, then the Scientology E-meter might actually be a sophisticated detector of the hypnotic, suggestible, trance state. MORE on Hypnosis methods in Scientology HERE HERE and HERE

Section of brainwave chart from THIS site for more information.

The needle would start to “Float” if exposed to a low frequency AC signal, at
near the resonance frequency of the needle itself on the spring of the taught band, and with the minimal magnetic damping at the resonance frequency for the needle…

And that frequency is same  brainwave frequency associated with the state of TRANCE, created by hypnotism!!!

Stimulate an E-Meter with 5-7 cycles per second and the needle tip wanders around the dial with a “floating” aspect.

“Hypnotic states are associated with increased theta wave activity. Hypnotically susceptible participants also exhibit hemispheric beta wave asymmetry, but non-susceptible participants do not (Sabourin, Cutcomb, Crawford and Pribram, 1990).”

Reference: Sabourin, M. E., Cutcomb, S. D., Crawford, H. J., & Pribram, K. (1990). EEG correlates of hypnotic susceptibility and hypnotic trance: Spectral analysis and coherence. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 10(2), 125-142.

Byte Magazine’s Steve Ciarcia ran a column called “Steve Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar” One of his articles was a plan for brain wave analyzer.  I purchased the kit and put this gizmo together and made it work.

Below, this is my 9 channel brainwave analyzer that I built.


From playing with a “HAL-200” brain wave analyzer hooked to my hands with tin cans, I learned that brainwave frequencies were displayed on the device. Google Steve Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar HAL 200 EEG.

When I used the analyzer above, I only used one channel and I used E-meter style soup cans, held in  each hand. What I found was that the predominant brain wave entrainment was creating a detectable signal when only hands were used as the input! This proved to me that the predominant brainwave frequencies exist and are measurable at the hands…

I spent great deal of time playing with this, and used it as a bio-feedback device to train my mind to find answers to a question. The pattern I noted will be covered in another blog posting someday, but at the end of each inward seeking effort, the answer,  was accompanied by a small frequency peak in one band of the upper part of the 2 to 20 Hz spectrum displayed, which would descend in frequency while growing in amplitude until it became huge, driving the display off scale at approximately 4-7 hz.. which also just happens to be the frequency of trance! Called “Delta Wave” frequency see chart above image of the HAL-4.

In other words the absolutely unique specifications for the E-meter movement itself, makes a simple wheatstone bridge into a TRANCE DETECTOR.. and this can be demonstrated in a court of law.

F/N = trance has been established* (Note4)

Which begs the question: Where in hell would I find someone that knows  how to do this, today, much , much less back in the 1950’s?  Volney Matheson, the designer of the first E-meter, who worked with Hubbard for a while before calling him out as a manipulating, conniving charlatan and con-man did not know this. Volney used off the shelf Simpson meters, which had ample damping.

These are dots that took me 45 years to connect.. L Ron Hubbard certainly did not figure this out, THAT is certain…. Boy, I sure would like to meet the man that thought this up. Wow… I am duly impressed.

The “End Phenomena” of a Scientology “Auditing Session”

The guys needle is “FLOATING”, the “Auditor” checks to see if he seems happy, now that trance has been detected they end off if he is smiling… then they get someone else to make sure that the trance is deep and stable enough, they call this clown “The Examiner who checks the guy is still entranced, deep enough in light trance, a more suggestible state, to get to the registrar’s interrogation chair, where he is asked for money by a person who has studied and practiced “Les Dane’s, Big League Sales and Closing Techniques”. He is told to write a check, (which get money out of his bank, his reactive mind, oops I mean his BANK), and when he walked in the door he was already convinced that: he needed to get rid of both!*

*Dianetics convinces people using various means of corecive persuasion, including covert hypnosis  and repetition of suggestion, to cause you to believe that you have an evil “reactive mind” and that you have to get rid of this evil, any any cost, and that Hubbard’s “technology” can do this…he also calls the reactive mind by the term your “bank”, and you have to get rid of that too, which makes emptying your bank account far easier!!

Any questions?

Thank you for reading
Arnie Lerma

Donate via Paypal to Support this effort LINK


Page 170 of “Operation Mind Control” about MkUltra describes using electricity to make a person more suggestible was a “secret weapon”

        Is it time to think about this?

Or this, page 395:

  The work of Bjorn Nordenstrom indicates to this researcher that the method used to apply to 90 to 100 uAmps from the scientology E-meter to the skin of the hands may direct the current to flow to, and then follow the first conductive pathways it encounters while traversing the relatively high resistance of skin – that is to the tactile nerves to the brain stem!

Star Magazine did a cover story on Katy Holmes when she was still in scientology, which she took issue with.

Legal papers exchanged over Star Magazine story about the E-meter are here. The lawyer wouldn’t touch my material, only Star Magazine’s cover characterization.

A comment by an engineer who actually read through it:

I love how they fully admit there’s endorphin stimulation and then deny that’s like taking drugs. That is LITERALLY like taking drugs, because many drugs work because they stimulate endorphin release!

PS: The reason there was a meter backlog to begin with was that the old meter man at Murcom that built Delta’s meter movement did his best to make our meter ‘better’… once I got it across to him that we did not want a ‘better’ meter, he made us hundreds of sloppy ones, and the E-Meter scarcity was solved!

PART2: Some Endorphins are stimulated by E-Meter use, (Morphine binds to same receptors as endorphins) so there is a morphine equivalent dose for exposure to the E-meter, it is likely subclinical, however there is no doubt, the science is there, that there is a time dependent morphine equivalent dose associated with use of the $cientology E-meter (blog coming soon) OLD page on this HERE

PART3: Because psychopaths have no stress response to wrongdoing, they can sail through “Security” tests that use either the Scientology E-meter or the Lie-detector. Their use therefore is useless for security, unless, what you are actually using them for is to find and utilize those same psychopaths, who will follow any direct order for which they will gain… without being troubled by having the conscience (and stress response) of a normal man to wrongdoing.

(1) These were the blue faced “Delta” meters around serial number 3100…that had meter movements produced by a meter movement manufacturer called Murcom who had a small factory on the south side of Rosecrans Blvd.

(2) Another Brainwave chart from this site LINK brainwave2

(3) L.E. Young’s Lessons in Hypnotism (c) 1899 LINK

(4) I preformed a simple experiment and using a frequency generator and an actual Delta era E-meter movement, I drove the e-meter with an ac signal, with enough DC offset to hold the needle at midrange. The output of my laboratory frequency generator only went down to 8 Hz, however the amplitude was constant. What I noted was the lower I went the wider the needle started wagging, and dang if at 8 hz it did not resemble a floating needle. If I could have gone down to 4 or even 7 Hz I bet it would have looked “perfect”. I need to get a frequency divider and run this again.

From Blacks Law Dictionary:

Fraud: An intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing or to surrender a legal right; a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words ot conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal inquiry; anything calculated to deceive, whether by a single act or combination, or by suppression of truth, or suggestion of what is false, whether it be by direct falsehood or innuendo, by speech or silence, word of mouth, or look or gesture; fraud comprises all acts, omissions, and concealments involving a branch of legal or equitable duty and resulting in damage to another.


27 comments on “Secrets of the Scientology E-Meter

  1. Richard D says:

    Hello Arnie – I left scn in 1982. I decided to reexamine my scn experience after watching Going Clear. It’s been an interesting and worthwhile adventure. I read a few of your topics on your old(?) blog. I came here by way of your comment on Marty’s post.

    My dad took a mail order electronics study course way back when. He became the go to guy when the neighbors needed a tube replaced in their tv or radio.

    I have no background in electronics so just a comment. Elron said he was de- hypnotizing people when in fact he was using hypnotherapy. In well intentioned hands I believe this a valid field of exploration.

    Some people say the e-meter just works on sweaty hands. I did not find e-meter reads to be invalid. For example; “Locate an incident of . . ; (item) The preclear looks, the meter reads, and a few seconds later the pc has an incident. Also on a random read in session I might have asked “Did you just think of something?” This kept the pc in session and it might have just been “I need to use the bathroom” – lol.

    I have no desire to ever again pick up the cans and if the CoS disappeared today that would be a great thing.

    Best, Richard

  2. I sure liked your description toward the end of your article in which you liken the “F/N,” or Floating Needle, to a trance or hypnotic state. Yes, scientology’s Division 6 Examiner makes sure the “Pre-Clear” (“PC”) stays in that state. Shortly after that, the PC is whisked away to a Div 2 Registrar who talks the PC out of their life savings, or their next paycheck, or the children’s College Fund. Sometimes, the PC (in that hypnotic state, of course), has balls enough to call a friend, a co-worker or even his boss and ask them for a loan.

  3. Arnie Lerma says:

    “Everything said to a hypnotized subject is true for them” said George Estabrooks (mentioned by Hubbard in one of the PDC tapes, where he said mockingly, and as a bluff “And if you think Dianetics has anything to do with hypnosis, read good old George Estabrooks”

    Compare that first line by Estabrooks (the father of weaponized covert hypnosis for The office of Strategic Services” in 1943 to Hubbard’s lie:
    “What is true for is true for you”

    Also see One Secret Method of Covert Hypnosis

      • Arnie Lerma says:

        It’s good to know I still have a few fans, willing to express themselves in spite of the immense degree of demonization I have been subjected to over several decades. I just keep going like the everyeady bunny, even when things get **really** weird as they do from time to time, when one has faced off against a dwarf oligrach of a mind control cult, that admitted spending 1,740,000 trying to silence me by 1996!

        Please share this stuff with other ex’s still under the influence, who think that something in $cientology WORKS! It is true something does work.. it’s called hypnotic suggestion…

        Also google “The Confusion Technique” and note how they use trance methods disguised as training routines in the beginning courses…

        This is page 45 from a once SECRET CIA Interrogation manual.. remind you of anything?

        PS: My license plate in Georgia reads XENU 45
        Arnaldo Lerma’s photo.

      • You’re an original together with a handful of the early apostates. Maybe only Paulette endured worse treatment. Today it’s not a cakewalk but the tiger has been declawed and the little guy can thumb his nose at COS and go about his business without fear. That tide has turned. Thank you and Gerry for having enough fight in you for all of us.

      • Arnie Lerma says:

        Thank you for the kind words. Anything you can do besides inheriting a fortune, like spreading this page around the net helps. Many hands make a lighter load…

  4. I’ve read “One Secret Method of Covert Hypnosis,” which reminds me of almost all of the auditing I’ve ever had. Especially when the auditor asks the PC to remember such a time, then to remember another time (as in “earlier/similar”), and then to remember the earliest time. Your essay also reminded me of the calming affect writing gives me; it’s almost a self-hypnotic effect (or it is such an effect).

    Wow, it’s like, where have you been those 37-years I spent in scientology? I’m glad to have found you via your writings. I have a WordPress blog, too. Are you familiar with “JennyAtLAX”?

    • Arnie Lerma says:

      Re writing, and hypnosis

      Hypnosis is part of life, and it is not evil. In the hands of a psychopath, any ‘tool’ can be used for evil. In society there has been created a controlled and conditioned ignorance of it, which allows it to be abused.

      In writing, YOU are the one controlling your own trance. In deprogramming I will use the methods to take control of a persons trance state, and then return them to the control of that person.

      it is important to note that the answer to WHO is running your trance? Must be changed by whatever means from Hubbard and his minions to you, yourself…and only you, and if it be anyone else then only by your informed consent and with ethical supervision and/or regulation.

      re where have I been, google arnie lerma + xenu below from 1997

  5. I Googled just that; so you’re (I’ve heard of it, but have not yet visited that site. I escaped scientology in Aug. 2014). By the way, Wikipedia says we have something in common: one day separates our birthdays. Hello, fellow Scorpio!

    • Arnie Lerma says:

      cool, Lermanet and Arnie Lerma were amongst the keywords blocking net access on the first edition and since then, of scientology’s “Net Nanny”

      I need to wander off, send a Friend invite we can chat, but read the blog pages, then read the hypnosis index on center top link

      Without truth all is delusion….

      Also join FB channel scientology deprogramming and you can read a lot of this stuff and more in MY comments to posts there…I have been trying to explain this stuff in various ways for 25 years, and though I failed many times, I keep trying to explain it again, and again, and if you do anything a thousand times you will get better at it…

  6. Arnie Lerma says:

    From a conversation with Gene Trujillo:

    $cientology had a Dead agent web site a while back and they said that I hacked Direct TV access cards to steal their product and watched it…and implied that I sold it…

    Compare that odius claim above to the TRUTH

    Since I was a little kid I’ve always taken things apart to see how they worked. I bought a pc run programmable Eeprom reader/address poker for the DTV access card and proceeded to take it apart to see how it worked. Never watched it, my company had a bleedin’ service contract to service their installations through “VIATECH”. I never sold their product or watched it, I was just STILL being that same little kid in me, the inquisitive little kid psyche that normally gets killedin most people by the pressures of living in conformist, big brother ruled society, the one that used to take everything apart to see how it worked. That little kid psyche is still alive and well in me.

    The guy that made the EEPROM reader/address poker got raided and everyone who bought one of these incredibly cool little gizmos got sued as a”theif” including me, and it got settled..wiped out the petty cash fund, again… DTV are a bunch of NAZI’s not unlike $cientology…

    ALL $cientology’s LIES and ACCUSATIONs are in the IDENTICAL style and CHARACTER as the above…

    And speaking of taking things apart, I believe I have done the exact same thing to $cientology….- eg took it apart.. heh and they also accused me of “using” and “selling” their OT crap also during RTC vs Lerma.. only thing I have used OT crap for is warming hands in front of the fireplace on a cold day, and as a license plate for my truck,…… and funny how similar Direct TV was to Scientology in this respect..

    And here in this blog above I believe I have done the IDENTICAL thing to $cientology, take it apart, as a hardware hacker to see how it “works”….

    Now demonize THAT!

  7. “I spent great deal of time playing with this, and used it as a bio-feedback device to train my mind to find answers to a question.”

    Without your electronic expertise but with a similar flaming curiosity, I spent a year solo auditing in order to comple my Bridge. Once both the meter and cans were under my control, my findings, discoveries, and opinions about the working of the meter, what it reads agree with your article and comments here. Thank you. ~Chris Thompson

  8. […] Hubbard made a big deal about “End Phenomena” and “Floating Needles” – the latter refers to the motion of their E-meter device.  The “F/N” is actually an indicator that a hypnotic state has been achieved. The evidence about that is on another page of this blog, HERE. […]

  9. Dice says:

    Reblogged this on Dice No More and commented:

    • Dice says:

      This picture of Page 45 “Alice in Wonderland” where is the rest of the manual? it is not found in the “Kubark”

      • Arnie Lerma says:

        Interesting, I would not be surprised if copies of this have been webbed with that page missing, in the spirit of Orwell…

        “”Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — George Orwell, 1984″

        Here is a copy at the National Security Archive

        And here is a copy on Lermanet.

        Hint: try searching for stuff with Lermanet before the search terms, there are 5000+ files there and after a while most of it was not indexed, I’d just web it and let google sort it out..

      • Arnie Lerma says:

        That manual is an absolute goldmine.. it was declassified in 1999.

        There is a book called Rape of the Mind by a Dutch Psychiatrist named Joost Meerloo. I stumbled upon a couple of chapters years ago and was blown away at how much it resembled the description of scientology’s policies. I bought a copy and then webbed the entire book, in a directory here < I picked this directory because of what it is about… it is a book about scientology…

        Years later I met a man who knew a bit more about scientology than i did. I mentioned Rape of the Mind and then he then pulled out his own copy, but his book was fat, being filled with post it notes, referencing different sections to Hubbard's written policy…

        The tactics Dr Meerloo was writing about were based upon his experience in Nazi occupied Holland…and AFTER he was detained and interrogated, members of the French Resistance’ broke him out of the prison and then transported him to allied lines…to survive and tell his tale. Interesting to note that his books were criticized by academics because they were written in plain English that anyone might understand, instead of esoteric psychologese for the elitists.. yet the CIA recommends it! (see below)

        Then, in the footnotes of the the declassified Kubark Manual… there is a recommendation for interrogators to read Joost Meerloo’s RAPE OF MIND, in order that they ” know themselves better “- WOW…

        So IF the US CIA tells its “auditors” to read Joost Meerloo.. perhaps victims of the Scientology MIND RAPE cult just might benefit from doing so?

        Arnie Lerma

      • Dice says:

        Yes i found the “missing” pages in your ftp listings and you ARE a sweetheart 🙂 I have circling around this Alice for years as i just knew there must be something about Following this white rabbit and all i got was some global conspiracy through the history ending up in Disney world of all places :-). So i will format this KUBARK and get it printed as i would like a functional Hard copy. I will also follow this white rabbit to the end to put the puzzle together around OT-TR1

  10. Arnie Lerma says:

    A Brief History of The Lie Detector

    This is a quote from a fellow named Larson, a forensic psychiatrist, who became interested in lie detection when he was a Berkley california Police officer, whose chief, August Vollmer, was profoundly affected by William Moulton Marston, a Harvard professor of psychology’s 1908 book “On the witness stand” and subsequent publications that earned him the title of the Inventor of the Lie Detector. Larson devoted much of his adult life to the pursuit of means to detect lies.. for use in criminal investigations.

    “Most recently, Larson has said:

    ” I originally hoped that instrumental lie detection would become a legitimate part of professional police science. it is little more than a racket. The lie detector, as used in many places, is nothing more than a psychological third degree aimed at extorting confessions as the old physical beatings were. At times I’m sorry I ever had any part in its development”

    “As the E-meter’s ‘reputation’ as a truth finder seems high inside scientology, the fact of Xenu story casts great doubt on Hubbard’s claims that the E-meter is good for anything at all, beyond being

    ” a psychological third degree aimed at extorting confessions as the old physical beatings were.”
    “After 30 years, polygraphers were coming to realize that questions like “Did you take the money?” or “Did you kill George Fisbee?” must sometimes generate stress or emotional reactions… even when the subjects are innocent.”

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