Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

5/23/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Citizen's Petition cites lack of compliance by the organization

The E-Meter is a common part of most Church of Scientology public exhibits, inviting the curious to take a stress test. This unit is used for what Scientologists call "auditing" and the validity of any actual measurement has been called into question since its inception in the 1950's. A primitive lie detector, the device, they claim, measures stress.

The E-Meter is one of the tools used by Scientologists in their 'counseling,' which they call 'auditing.' A primitive lie detector, the device, they claim, measures stress. Two cylinders that are connected to the unity are held in a person's two hands in order to measure electrical resistance of the skin.

Invented in the early 1950's by Volney Mathison, in collaboration with Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, it was first called the 'Mathison Electropsychometer.' Following a dispute between the two in 1954 the unit was not used again until 1958 when two Scientologists developed a portable battery-operated version.

The E-Meter is one of the tools used by Scientologists in their "counseling," which they call "auditing." A primitive lie detector, the device, they claim, measures stress. Two cylinders that are connected to the unity are held in a person's two hands in order to measure electrical resistance of the skin. Invented in the early 1950's by Volney Mathison, in collaboration with Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, it was first called the "Mathison Electropsychometer." Following a dispute between the two in 1954 the unit was not used again until 1958 when two Scientologists developed a portable battery-operated version.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/23/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Scientology, E-Meter, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, Scientologists, Randy Sly


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Brian Mandigo is a familiar face around the Washington, DC Scientology facility where he once worked. Now, however, he is not seen as a supporter but a protester with numerous videos posted on YouTube.

In March of this year he filed a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to "take enforcement action against the Church of Scientology and its affiliated entities for their unsanctioned use of the 'E- Meter.'" The FDA officially accepted the petition for further investigation.

The E-Meter is one of the tools used by Scientologists in their "counseling," which they call "auditing." A primitive lie detector, the device, they claim, measures stress. Two cylinders that are connected to the unit are held in a person's two hands in order to measure electrical resistance of the skin.

Invented in the early 1950's by Volney Mathison, in collaboration with Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, it was first called the "Mathison Electropsychometer." Following a dispute between the two in 1954 the unit was not used again until 1958 when two Scientologists developed a portable battery-operated version.

Not too long after that, the Food and Drug Administration took an interest, concerned that the group was using the unit to practice medicine. This early attention and a subsequent ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia formed the basis of the recent petition.

The grounds for the petition (which can be found here) state: "In the early 1960s, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) realized that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and his acolytes were claiming that "auditing" with a device called the 'E-Meter,' often described as a primitive lie detector, could help to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses. Auditing, one of Scientology's core practices, is based on the notion that the E-Meter can reveal a person's mental state, past lives, and other odds and ends of the unconscious mind.

"This is done through intensive questioning by an 'Auditor,' as the subject holds the E-Meter and the Auditor leads him or her through a sort of guided hypnagogic fantasizing. Because Scientology believes that illness is caused by the presence of 'suppressive persons,' and not germs, toxins, genetics or other causes, Hubbard and the Scientologists were spreading the word that the E-Meter could help root out the suppressive people in one's life, thereby curing a variety of illnesses and health conditions, raising IQ, and making one successful in every way. This, of course, was completely false."

The Food and Drug Administration seized more than 100 E-Meters from the offices of Scientology in Washington, DC in 1963 and sought condemnation of the units through litigation in U.S. District Court.

In his decision, US District Court Judge Gerhardt Gesell "ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that such condemned E-meters and literature shall be deemed to comply with the law if and only if they are used, sold or distributed in accordance with the following specific conditions:

"1. E-meters shall be used or sold or distributed only for use in bona fide religious counseling.

"2. Each E-meter shall bear the following warning, printed in 11-point leaded type, permanently affixed to the front of the E-meter so that it is clearly visible when the E-meter is used, sold or distributed:  The E-meter is not medically or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease. It is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone.

"3. Any and all items of written, printed, or graphic matter which directly or indirectly refers(sic) to the E-meter or to Dianetics and/or Scientology and/or auditing or processing shall not be further used or distributed unless and until the item shall bear the following prominent printed warning permanently affixed to said item on the outside front cover or on the title page in letters no smaller than 11-point leaded type:

"'Warning The device known as a Hubbard Electrometer, or E-meter, used in auditing, a process of Scientology and Dianetics, is not medically or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease. It is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone.'"

The petition goes on to explain that Scientology has failed to follow the instructions of the Court and continued to use the E-Meter in public situations that cannot be construed as "bona fide religious settings" and that the warning is placed on the bottom of the unit, out of sight.

After the initial response from the FDA accepting the petition, an interim letter was also sent indicating, "Because of the extent of the issues involved, your petition will require additional review. We expect to issue a final response in the near future." 

-----

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Captain James Cook wreckage discovered! Watch

Image of Legendary British explorer Captain James Cook's vessel is believed to have been discovered (John Webber).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Captain James Cook was a famous British explorer who commanded the HMS Endeavour from 1768 to 1771. Since it was intentionally sunk, its whereabouts fell into question - until now? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, researchers from  the Rhode ... continue reading


You won't believe why this ICONIC WWII image is being investigated! Watch

Image of Two amateur historians raised questions concerning a service member in the image (Corbis).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two amateur historians believe one of the men in the iconic Mount Suribachi image was misidentified, prompting a Marine Corp investigation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The image, taken by the Associated Press' Joe Rosenthal, reveals the struggle six servicemen ... continue reading


Puerto Rico drowns in debt - What is the U.S. going to do about it? Watch

Image of Puerto Rico missed its first nearly $400 million bond payment (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. territory Puerto Rico defaulted its first payment of nearly $400 million - so what is the territory going to do? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Puerto Rico has suffered a recession for the past decade, resulting in the government borrowing money from foreign ... continue reading


ISIS kills U.S. Navy SEAL in violent attack Watch

Image of ISIS breaks Peshmerga lins to kill U.S. Navy SEAL (navysealsmuseum).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in the line of duty when ISIS forces pushed their way through a Kurdish Peshmerga line. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss," U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said during an official ... continue reading


'It was an escape:' father of Scientology founder tells all Watch

Image of Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, opens up (20/20)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ron and Becky Miscavige escaped the California Scientology compound known as the "Gold Base" and have stepped forward to share their story. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientology is a quiet religion shrouded in secrets - many of which are believed to be ... continue reading


'Clown-in-Chief' Obama makes skit about retirement, but here's why we're not laughing Watch

Image of Obama thinks he's a comedian, but some matters are too serious to joke about.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama, in an act of self-depreciating humor, has made a SNL-style spoof about his retirement. While amusing at moments, we can't decide if the video is good, because to make it he had to take time away from issuing executive orders, or bad, because it must ... continue reading


CIA under fire for 'live tweeting' dramatic Bin Laden raid on 5 year anniversary Watch

Image of Though some patriots were pleased to see the tweets, several compared the CIA to ISIS and their propaganda videos.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The CIA celebrated the 5-year anniversary of Osama bin Ladin's death by posting "live tweets" of the raid that killed him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For those who don't have a Twitter account, the CIA posted a timeline of the raid on their website.The tweets ... continue reading


Athanasius, Defender of the Incarnation: Defend the Faith! Watch

Image of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Incarnation

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Bishop and Doctor of the Church whom we honor today in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar was called the Defender of the Incarnation. This title summarizes a life given over to defending the central Christian claim - about who Jesus is and who we can be - ... continue reading


No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Florian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • St. Matthew HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: I fear no evil!
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 HD Video
  • WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - Terrorists behead Canadian hostage, release ...
  • You won't believe why this ICONIC WWII image is being investigated!

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2016 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first ... Read More