(Investigator 164, 2015 September)

Dianetics was developed by science-fiction writer L. Ron. Hubbard, (1911-1986).

It is promoted by the Church of Scientology as "an exact pastoral counselling technology for the location and elimination of unwanted emotional conditions and physical problems that are of spiritually induced origin".

According to Hubbard, "engrams", a word used to describe painful past experiences, are the cause of neuroses, psychoses, and psychosomatic disorders. The goal of Dianetics is to "clear" (erase) all engrams through a procedure called "auditing," in which the auditor may use an "E-meter" to help the patient recall traumatic events and "drain" them of their "charge" so that they "no longer have power over the person". Substantial fees are charged for the sessions and use of the meter.

The E-meter is in fact a simple device that measures changes in skin resistance to electricity.

In 1963, the Food and Drug Administration in the USA seized more than 100 E-meters at the headquarters of the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington D.C, and during the lengthy litigation that followed, a judge concluded:

"They (Scientologists) 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 automatically be cured. Auditing was guaranteed to be successful. All this was and is false".

The judge further ordered that the device be prominently labelled with this notice:

"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."


Cooper, Paulette, 1971, The Scandal of Scientology, Tower Books, New York.
Evans, Christopher. 1973, Cults of Unreason, Harrap.
Gardner, Martin. 1957. Fads and Fallacies in the name of Science, Dover Publications, New York.
Garrison, Omar V. 1957, Hidden Story of Scientology, Arlington Books, London.
Hubbard, L. Ron. 1987. Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, New Era Publications, U.K. Ltd.
Kaufman, Robert. 1972, Inside Scientology, Neville Spearman, London.
Miller, Russell. 1987, Bare-faced Messiah, Michael Joseph.

From: Edwards, H. 1999 Alternative, Complementatry, Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc.