Photo: WikiMedia Commons
In her 2011 book Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion
Janet Reitman talks about the history of the E-meter and what happened if it detected something church leaders didn’t like.
The machine works by measuring a person’s Galvanic skin response and resistance to electricity. Trained Scientologists allegedly use these measures to determine whether a person has been rid of negative experiences, like memories of a drug addiction, or bad thoughts about the church.
One former Scientologist, Mark Fisher, tells Reitman how the machine was used in the early 80’s:
“….The E-meter, now serving as a true “lie detector,” proved to be a remarkably efficient, if biased, judge. Almost everyone who went out in front of one of these tribunals, said Fisher, was found guilty and denounced as a traitor.”
And what would set the machine off:
“Just a single negative thought about (founder) L. Ron Hubbard, (leader) David Miscavige or anything else that might be viewed as critical of Scientology would be discovered by the e-meter and ‘boom, you were denounced and out of there,’ Fisher said.”
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