Today would be L. Ron Hubbard 100th birthday. Who is L. Ron Hubbard? He's the dude who invented Scientology. Yup, that same kooky scientology that turned Tom Cruise into a joke.
Do you know how to start becoming a scientology member though? You have to pass an auditing process and go through this e-meter, a lie detector that Scientologists believe can "see thoughts". But what is it?
Officially, it's called an electroencephaloneuromentimograph and measures the galvanic skin response of a person. Which sounds a lot like science! Which makes it believable! Which makes it Scientology! The E-Meter induces a electrical current through the body and back into the device to measures the changes in the electrical resistance of the human body.
But what the hell for? Well, Scientology members treat the E-Meter as a device that can see the 'static field' surrounding the body. Basically, for Scientologists, it's supposed to tell the auditor whether or not the person has been "relieved from spiritual impediment of past experiences" or in layman's, ready for bullshit, er I mean, Scientology.
How's it used? During the auditing process, a person holds cans attached to the E-Meter and is asked a series of questions. When answering back, the auditor will note the activity on the meter (needle movement basically) with each movement holding a unique significance in the Scientology world. The auditor reads the results and interprets it as he so chooses. Think of it as a lie detector, only shrouded in mystery and faux science. Or a high tech tarot card, I guess.
Here's what a judge had to say about the E-Meter:
Hubbard and his fellow Scientologists developed the notion of using an E-Meter to aid auditing. Substantial fees were charged for the meter and for auditing sessions using the meter. They repeatedly and explicitly represented that such auditing effectuated cures of many physical and mental illnesses. An individual processed with the aid of the E-Meter was said to reach the intended goal of 'clear' and was led to believe that there was reliable scientific proof that once cleared many, indeed most, illnesses would successfully be cured. Auditing was guaranteed to be successful. All this was and is false.
It's treated as a religious artifact by Scientologists but in reality is their money printing machine. E-meter tests are terribly expensive and can only be handled by "trained professionals" and used to answer a lot of practicing Scientologists problems. Here's to hoping none of you ever run into one of these in your life.