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Ant's personal experience with E-meter's over the years

This, written in 2023, supplements and to some extent duplicates the earlier article entitled ”Historical – e-meters”


I first heard of Scientology when I visited my parents in London in Easter 1954 (I worked in Cambridge at the time). I had two problems which I asked my father for help on. He put me on an E-meter and asked me some questions. The E-meter that he used is pictured at the following link (2nd 3rd and 4th picture). It had a 24 V battery and there were no valves "tubes" in Americanese (this was before transistors were invented /developed). He referred me to an auditor in central London (Maida Vale), Dennis O'Connell. I had a two hour auditing session in the evening once a week when I came up to London for further training as an optician. Dennis didn't use an E-meter, running me on 8C and ARC straight wire. In the middle of 1954 he seemed to think that I needed training rather than auditing, I went to a conference in London and there I enrolled in the evening HPA course (Hubbard Professional Auditor, in the USA known as Hubbard Certified Auditor, HCA) and I continued on the day course the first 4 weeks in 1956. E-meter's were not used.

From September 1957 I worked on staff at HASI London. After a while I became staff auditor where we gave a 25 hour intensive in one week (3 hour session morning and afternoon, with testing Monday morning and Friday afternoon). At the beginning of that time E-meter's were not used. However transistors came onto the market and two models of E-meter were made using transistors, one in the USA and one in Great Britain. The British E-meter we referred to as the green and gold, which were it's colours.

In the middle of one week, in the morning, I was called into Nibs' (L.Ron Hubbard Jr) office, given a green and gold meter and told to use it on my preclear. There was no training or even explanation. We recorded very little of what happened in session, usually just the beginning and end and the process used. There was microphones in each auditing room and the director of processing or L Ron Hubbard could listen into the sessions.

I remember that on the Academy (training) people brought in old E-meter's. They worked off the mains electricity (240 V in England), had valves (tubes) and I remember some of them had a separate transformer. [Possible reference to Volts page]

In the literature of the time, which I received as a staff member, new terms appeared without being defined. Examples are "free needle", "floating needle". Also the term "instant read" came up and I remember that being defined as read which occurred as a definite period of time after the item/question was given. At one point we were encouraged to buy part of an old camera, the part where you would adjust the exposure time, and practice looking at the meter through it and practice seeing instant reads, something I found very difficult.

At one point Hubbard realised (or feared) that a government could cripple Scientology by banning the production, use or import of E-meter's and he gave an order that every country should produce its own E-meters, though I never heard of them being made in any other countries than USA and Great Britain.

Since that time there have been other models of meter but these are well documented elsewhere [link to Volker site in English]

As an auditor I personally have never been happy with an E-meter. Having and E-meter sitting there and trying to fathom out what it meant certainly inhibited my confronting the preclear. When I did the Happiness Rundown Course and Internship in 1981 I had to do a video of an auditing session on HRD. On these videos the camera was aimed so that you could see the E-meter dial and the PC. When I did my video I wasn't really much aware of the E-meter, and called the floating needle when I got good indicators. I passed the video so I presumed that there was a floating needle there. I was thrown out of the church in March 1983, and after I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and made contact with other FriScientologists, I did a fair amount of auditing, between 20 and 30 preclear's. Some of it was co-auditing. All was done without an E-meter.

There was also something else that popped up in my "post-church" era, and that was a bilateral E-meter. I got much of the data on it and reality on it from Gregory Mitchell, but the basis was that at that time there was quite a lot of material coming out on the left and the right brain, that they were specialists in different areas and details of what those areas handled or specialised in. In the standard E-meter you hold an electrode (Scientology called a can) in each hand. In doing solo auditing, where you needed your right hand to write and adjust the E-meter, a so-called "solo can" was used and with this the two electrodes were held in one hand with insulating material between. With the bilateral meter you held a so-called "solo can" in each hand. I think there were two dials but I have forgotten the details.

I found much later the reason why I am different than many other peoplein the matter of "seeing mental pictures and memories".One of the other differences I have from "standard Scientologists" as well as the difficulty with the E-meter is that I am a black case. That's to say a person who doesn't "get pictures" and sees only "blackness" with his "mind's eye". This caused me a lot of difficulty in the early days when one was expected to do mockup processes. Indeed at one point the only procedure for clearing involved mocking up so I realised I could never be clear (!) It is a larger subject then I can take up here. If you are interested I would refer you to

I'm very enthusiastic about Scientology auditing, and the loads of data Scientology gives on life, but my experience with E-meters is somewhat negative.