Activist Arnie Lerma once posited a theory concerning the e-meter, in that perhaps its low voltage current it runs through a person’s body, is not as innocent as it might appear. While this theory has been often maligned, usually by various internet shills and uninformed individuals, as it turns out?

Arnie may have been onto something.

In the recently declassified FDA records – courtesy of a FOIA request by R.M. Seibert, there is a whole series of very interesting and probably overlooked documents concerning the e-meter.

It’s a heck of a story, if you ask me.

Let’s get started.

Come with Me


Roy Moshier, sends into the FDA, a letter he had written on 4 September 1962, to Mr. Oliver Field, Director Department of lnvestigation.

Roy’s letter starts on p. 484, Folder 1 PDF, CD #1.

Here are images of all 6 pages – click to enlarge.

moshier ama letter 1

moshier ama letter 2moshier ama letter 3 moshier ama letter 4 moshier ama letter 6 moshier ama letter 7

In it, he says (referring to auditing) –

[…] an electric current is passed through the subject while the confession is being made. The procedure is called “clearing”, and extends as long as the subject can pay for it. During the clearing, the subject experiences hallucinations of reincarnation; this may be a neurophysiological effect caused by the introduction of small amounts of electrical current into the body over long periods of time.

That’s quite an eye-popper, and he actually does successfully back up what he is saying with some very interesting documentation.

Mr. Moshier’s son had been recruited for auditing in 1961 by Dr. Dwight Wayne Batteau, the director of United Research, Cambridge Mass. (His son was working there).

It’s listed in Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States. It also comes up in combined Defense Department and Office of Naval Research (ONR) documents, such as this one.

United Research appears to have had some kind of role with the covert experiments of Project Bluebird, initiated in 1950 by the CIA.

The stated purpose of Bluebird was to develop “the means to control individuals through special interrogation techniques”, “way[s] to prevent the extraction of information from CIA agents”, and “offensive uses of unconventional techniques, such as hypnosis and drugs”.

The purpose of the project by 1952, when it was renamed Artichoke, was outlined in a memo dated January 1952 that stated, “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self preservation?” The project studied methods of producing amnesia and other vulnerable states in subjects.

Dulles directed Artichoke’s principals to collaborate closely with Army and Navy research projects, plus exchange information with British and Canadian scientists (such as Ewen Cameron). The Army did much of the drug testing, the Office of Naval Research (the ONR) directed the behavioral experiments.

In 1953, the CIA placed several of these interrogation and mind-control programs under the direction of a single program, known by the code name MKULTRA, after CIA director Allen Dulles apparently complained about not having enough “human guinea pigs to try these extraordinary techniques”.

That’s certainly where Scientology would come in handy – lots of guinea pigs.

The MKULTRA project was under the direct command of Dr. Sidney Gottlieb of the Technical Services Division. MKULTRA activities continued until 1973 when CIA director Richard Helms, fearing that they would be exposed to the public, ordered the project terminated, and all of the files destroyed.

By the time poor Mr. Moshier’s son was dragged into Scientology by the head of United Research, MKULTRA was well underway.

Who was this Dr. Batteau that brought his son in?

Check this out –

The next stage of Neurophone research began when I went to work for Tufts University as a research scientist. In conjunction with a Boston-based corporation, we were involved in a project to develop a language between man and dolphin. Our contracts were from the U.S. Naval Ordinance Test Station out of China Lake, California. The senior scientist on the project was my close friend and business partner, Dr. Dwight Wayne Batteau, Professor of Physics and Mechanical Engineering at Harvard and Tufts.

In the Dolphin Project we developed the basis for many potential new technologies. We were able to ascertain the encoding mechanism used by the human brain to decode speech intelligence patterns, and were also able to decode the mechanism used by the brain to locate sound sources in three dimensional space…

The Neurophone by Patrick Flanagan and Gael-Crystal Flanagan


In his late twenties, Flanagan began training dolphins for the US military, teaching them to recognize the sonar signals of steel alloys used in ships and submarines. He and Dr. Wayne Bateau built a new Neurophone that translated 30 human words into dolphin clicks, a device that was so successful that the US Defense Intelligence Agency declared it a state secret for several years.

Far Out: 101 Strange Tales From Science’s Outer Edge by Mark Pilkington


Sounds like an MKULTRA project to me!

This fascinating neurophone/dolphin project looks to have been camouflaged under this generic (but heavy ties to ONR) company United Research Inc. – looks like I just found another puzzle piece in the scientology intelligence ties picture.

So, apparently Moshier’s son was maybe involved with this project too?

He was – I just found it.

Man to Dolphin Translator (1967): Stephen L. Moshier, Technical Manual MDT-5.
Final Report, Appendix A, U. S. Navy Contract N00123-67-C-1103.
Listening, Incorporated, Arlingon, MA.

Apparently it was all rather hush-hush, because there is no mention of United Research in his NY Times obituary, 30 October 1967, says:

Dr. Wayne Batteau, a researcher in underwater communication, died of a heart attack in Honolulu on Thursday.  He was 51 years old. For the last eight years, Dr. Batteau served as president of Listening Post, Inc., of Arlington.  The organization conducts experiments with dolphins at Sea Life Park near Honolulu under a Navy contract.

Eight years, that’s since 1959 basically.

Dwight was also featured in NEWSWEEK, 4 December 1961, pp. 80-81, “ACOUSTICS: The Ears Have It.”

His final report, just before he died, was Man/dolphin communication (Final Report Contract N00123-67-1103, 15 Dec. 1966-13 Dec. 1967). China Lake, CA: U.S. Naval Ordinance Test Station.


That was interesting, I wasn’t expecting this to yield so many surprise connections.

Now back to Ross Moshier’s letter, guess what Dr. Batteau had done?

Constructed an e-meter for scientologist Andrew Bagley!

When I rebuked Dr. Batteau for advising the boy to take the auditing, he stated that he did so because he believed it would benefit Stephen. When I asked Dr. Batteau to tell Stephen that it was all a joke and that there was nothing to it, Dr. Batteau stated that he couldn’t—for now that Stephen had been audited he no longer would believe that there was nothing to it. Dr. Batteau said he had constructed an E-meter for Andrew Bagley of the New York scientology establishment.

He received a very nasty letter from Bagley (which he included) when he wouldn’t pay the bill Bagley sent him.

.moshier_billsHere’s some excerpts of that letter:

Rather than let my lawyers have “all” the fun, I will write to you this once and straighten you out. I have a great urge to beggar you to your last pair of socks, but I will curb the desire a little longer. If you had the wit of a demented swineherd you would have read those pieces of literature I so graciously had sent to you…do not judge people by yourself.

Not everyone is a mass murderer like yourself. Yes, I know quite a bit about you and your various projects during the war. And how do you sleep at night? I hope tis ill…I am expert at harassment, try me and find out.

You are not strong enough. You are not smart enough. You haven’t the funds to go through long lengthy court battles. We have.

Bigger men than you have done their best to stop us. They failed. So will you because you are a blatant moron in comparison. We joust only with our peers, others – like you – we will simply gobble up…one more word out of you and I’ll have you investigated. I might anyway.

I have never seen one person yet that resisted Scientology who didn’t have a great deal to hide.And you evidently won’t look at free books sent to you, so you must, perforce have a great deal to conceal.

[…] If you want to start a Donnybrook, Buddy, wail away; to use the argot of the streets I’ll just start my people to work on you and then before long you will be broke, and out of a job and broken in health. Then I can have my nasty little chuckle about you and get back to work…You won’t take long to finish off. I would estimate three weeks.

Remember: I am not a mealy mouthed psalm chanting preacher. I am a minister of the Church of Scientology! I am able to heal the sick and I do.

But I have other abilities which include a knowledge of men’s minds that I will use to crush you to your knees. You or any other wretch that stands in our way. Cause the list is long, but their careers are very short of those that have jousted with us.

[…] P.S. Don’t reply to this letter. If I want to get in touch with you, I’ll be able to find you. Anywhere.

What a lovely example Bagley was setting there.

Mr. Moshier continues on a bit, and says how his son is in Washington checking out the e-meter supposedly.

He has now completed his fourth week of auditing at the Washington scientology place and plans to take courses there for the next three months. He insists he is doing it to find out how the E-meter works. He has traced the electrical circuit and says that the current output is only about l/15 of that of the lie detector, and that the curious effect it has on him is something that can’t be explained by the circuit.

He even lays out which government laws, exactly, that could be used to nail the e-meter as a deceptive device!

He finishes that part by saying:

The F.D.A. has suppressed the sale of anti-radiation_pills by the scientologists. This, of course, merely involved loss of profit. But suppression of the E-meter would strike at the vital core, since the “religion” can’t be practiced without the meter.

Perhaps he is where the idea for the raids came from.

He worked on the Manhattan Project, by the way.

In case you wonder about me: I am a research chemist at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and as inferred in the Bagley letter, I worked on the Manhattan Project and subsequently for the A. E. C. – I am listed in American Men of Science.


Now, one of the things he mentioned in his letter, was an article by a Dr. Uttal.

You will note that in the Uttall article, a copy of which is inclosed, psychophysical effects are remarked upon. I have talked by long distance phone with the Dr. C. Pfaffman mentioned in the Uttall article, and he states that very careful supervision must be employed whenever the person is employed as a guinea pig in studies of the neurological effect of electric current.During the last few weeks I have made several trips to Washington and .have talked to numerous U.S. government personnel. In each case, I was told that they had been trying to get something on scientology which would make it possible for them to step in, but that the religion part of it hampered any closing down of activity. Commissioner Larrick and Dr. Millstcad of the Food and Drug Administration were very courteous in giving me their time. But they were not encouraging.

The report by Dr. Uttal, is actually earlier in this same PDF, it starts on p. 452.

This is titled: Computers and Sensory Neurophsyiology, by William R. Uttal of the IBM Research center, given at the 1960 Proceedings of the National Aeronautical Electronics Conference, sponsored by Institute of Radio Engineers, Dayton Ohio.

Uttal and Computers and Sensory Neurophsyiology - FDA emeter files

Psychologists….Neurophysiologists…Both have longed for the possibility of comparing neural responses with psychophysical responses when all conditions of stimulation and subject were held constant. Two difficulties….the other, the inviolate sanctity of the healthy human skin.

It has thus been necessary to wait for the technical developments which now make it possible to record these neurophysiological potentials through the intact human skin.

In the past ten years […] these techniques have become available.

Page 2 –

Page 2 - Uttal 1960

Thus, we had made another step toward the ideal experiment — a direct comparison between the neural response and the psychophysical response.

Let us now turn to the details of this series of experiments. The peripheral nerve volley initiated by the electrical pulse stimuli could be picked up by another set of hemispherical button electrodes at the elbow where the large nerves of the arm are also superficial.

To exemplify this approach, in one of our experiments three 5 millisecond, 10 milliampere pulses were conducted to the stimulus electrodes in variable patterns of timing.

Per Arnie Lerma, the scientology e-meter can expose the human body with a left hand to right hand current up to 300 Micro Amps, which per an online conversion table is equal to .03 milliamperes.

Obviously quite a bit less than ten milliamperes, less than 1/10th – if I’m reading that right.

Apparently though, some of the experiments were started lower and then slowly increased to 10 milliamperes.

On the 3rd page of this report, the person submitting it to the FDA (I presume) had drawn attention to these two parts.


[…] the sensory experience reported by the subject. Both….show, for all subjects, a monotonic increase in magnitude as the stimulus current increases up to 10 milliamperes.


[…] When the peripheral nerve response is twenty percent of the maximum, the evoked cortical response is one hundred percent.

Thus, the central synaptic connections are acting as amplifiers and divergers of the incoming signal. This is exactly the function as produced by experimenters recording from the exposed cortex of the cat.

Well, I’m no electrical engineer, but that strikes me as very interesting. I think I see why somebody singled these out, the person is pointing out that the e-meter’s low voltage could be being amplified by the central synaptic connections and reaching 100 percent cortical response!

Little did Uttal know that at the time, the CIA was secretly working on very similar theories in testing, regarding skin electric current transfer, bio-feedback, and effects of electricity on the central nervous system – for use in both interrogation of unwilling prisoners and in possible mind-control arenas.

Subproject 101: MKULTRA: Biophysics of Central Nervous System, from Black Vault MKULTRA CD #3, Folder 17357.

Document 12 on the list, is dated 23 September 1959 and talks about “the transfer and storage of energy in organic systems”, like…electricity, for example.

0000017357_0012 - mkultra subproject 101

Sounds awfully similar to some of what Dr. Uttal was doing, actually.

Meanwhile, on p. 468 of this PDF, is a letter from Ross. W. Moshier to Dr. Dr. Milstead, the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Enforcement, FDA, October 31, 1962 – before the actual FDA raids seizing the e-meters.

Moshier - emeter current dangerous

He includes two rather interesting articles.

You will note that in the Hirschfeld paper, a semi-conscious state is induced by application of current for two to five minutes, using total energies of only about five milliamperes.

That’s half of what Uttal was doing, and we already know that small percentages can equal 100 percent cortical response.

Also, according to the Tietz article, electro-narcosis, without tetanic contraction (muscle contraction) is induced when the current is raised gradually from zero to 150 milliamperes over a period of one to two seconds, instead of practically instantaneously as in shock treatment.

In the hands of unscrupulous persons, an instrument delivering extremely small amounts of current can thus be very dangerous.

The first one is:

Observations with Non-Convulsive Electric-Stimulation, A New Method of Therapy in Certain Mental Disorders, by Gerhard R. Hirschfeld, M.D. – Psychiatric Quarterly (Supplement) Vol. 24, 1950, read at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, May 5, 1950.

The second one is:

The Suppression of the Motor Phenomena of Electroshock and Electronarcosis by Modification of the current level, Esther Bogen Tietz, Clarence W. Olsen, and William R. Rosanoff – Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Volume 109, 1949

I have created an OCRd PDF of just these two articles.

Hirschfeld and Rosanoff articles, low current treatment – emeter files FDA


The first article starts out talking about the diencephalon, and that it is “is considered to be a center for emotional integration, and many investigators believe that certain mental disorders may be associated with dysfunction in the diencephalic area.”

That’s right out of the opening publication of the Society for Biological Psychiatry!

In my article, The Covert Origins of Dianetics: Biological Psychiatry I discuss that the very foundations of Dianetics and all of its main principles come from psychiatry.

And not just any psychiatry but biological psychiatry.

In 1946, a small band of psychiatrists formed the Society of Biological Psychiatry allegedly in response to the “U.S. infatuation with psychoanalysis”, advocating the development of neuroscience in consideration of psychiatric conditions.

So, who are these people, and why did they found this Society of Biological Psychiatry?

Briefly –

On January 27, 1946 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, two California neurologists—Johannes Maagard Nielsen (1890–1969, professor of neurology at the University of Southern California) and his student George Newton Thompson (chief psychiatrist at the Los Angeles General Hospital)—organized a meeting of a select group of investigators interested in “the biological basis of behavior”; from this meeting emerged the Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Among those chartering the new society were:

  • Percival Bailey (1892–1973), a Chicago neurologist who had studied in Paris and was among other things attending neuropsychiatrist at Presbyterian Hospital;
  • Karl M. Bowman (1888–1973), on staff at the Langley Porter clinic in San Francisco and professor of psychiatry at the University of California;
  • Stanley Cobb (1887–1968), professor of neuropathology at Harvard University and psychiatrist-in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital;
  • Roland P. Mackay (1900–1968), attending neurologist at the Neuropsychiatric Institute in Chicago;
  • Harry C. Solomon (1889–1982), medical director of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital; and
  • Samuel Bernard Wortis (1904–1969), professor and chair of psychiatry and neurology at New York University School of Medicine.

This was the “elite” of the U.S. neuroscience establishment.

In 1947, it was Nielsen and Thompson that published what is now called “the first textbook of biological psychiatry in the United States” – The Engrammes of Psychiatry, available to view at Hathitrust.

Note: Engramme is a German word, first coined by Richard Semon in 1904, engram being the english version. Yep, the very same term Hubbard used in Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health.


From the book –

It is also known that one’s instincts are inherited behavior patterns which exist as engrammes…

…Motivation is in fact, largely unconscious.

The steps in making up one’s mind, i.e. in determining one’s will to act are as follows:

  • An instinctive drive and its accompanying emotion consists of activity of engrammes in the diencephalon…
  • He gathers all the information which is stored as engrammes in his brain.
  • By means of engrammes in his frontal lobes he forms a judgment of the entire situation and by this judgment he attempts to evaluate future results on the basis of past experience.
  • With all this cerebration he draws a conclusion of what to do.

The crystallization of this conclusion to act in a certain way is his will.


Did you happen to notice that name on the second article Moshier was recommending to the FDA?


Well, one of the people chartering the new biological psychiatry Society was Karl M. Bowman, he was staff at Porter-Langley.

Porter Langley was the first psychiatric institute in California, conceived by Drs. Robert Langley Porter, Aaron J. Rosanoff, and Walter L. Treadway. They wanted to use the 29,000 patients in the nine California state hospitals as guinea pigs for “clinical experience” combined with the “expertise” of the staff of a medical school.

In other words, they wanted to do all manner of experimentations on the hapless mental patients in places such as Camarillo State Hospital, for example.

Rosanoff, a Russian immigrant, was also mixed up with this new Society.

Coming back to the Hirschfeld article again, now you can see part of why he said what he did about the diencephalon, and that it is “is considered to he a center for emotional integration, and many investigators believe that certain mental disorders may be associated with dysfunction in the diencephalic area.”

Engrams, in other words.

After applying this lowered voltage electrical stimulus Hirschfeld speaks of, look what happens!

Immediately following stimulation, emotional outbursts of various patterns are observed, most frequently weeping and rage reactions. During this time, a great amount of repressed hostility is discharged; and the experience may, therefore, be compared to an abreaction.

This is desirable in bringing about clinical improvement. Often, old traumatic experiences (such as battle panics) which had been completely forgotten, are brought to the surface and re-lived.

Emotional excitation subsides in about 20 minutes. The writer believes these responses are due to increased emotional pressure and not to a lessening of repressive factors.

The severity of emotional outbursts is directly related to strength and length of stimulus.


That’s downright creepy. Anyone who has ever had “auditing” using an e-meter routing low-voltage through their body for prolonged periods of time, ought to be going…


Right about now.

Damn that man (Hubbard) – look at what he was covertly doing to people! And don’t think he didn’t know it either, he did. Sure as the sun’s gonna rise tomorrow – he knew.

Hirschfeld usually added sodium pentothal into the mix (the OSS truth drug idea), which, so did Hubbard experiment with that in his early days.

When Hirschfeld did not use the sodium pentothal, he noted that:

A patient will report, however, that he experiences an increasing hostility following treatment and finally will break through with typical rage reactions. After this he will report a marked abatement of tension and hostile feelings. Gradually, as Patients improve, emotional outbursts decrease in severity.

This part is also rather scary.

Electric stimulation is exceedingly painful, necessitating administration of sodium pentothal prior to treatment.

The pain is localized deep within the head. Normal individuals and psychoneurotics begin to describe this pain as unbearable when an average current of one-half milliampere is sent through the brain. (No pentothal was used in this investigation.)

That’s only two hundreths more than what the e-meter puts out!


  • Meter = .03
  • Hirschfeld test = .05


Schizophrenics, however, show a higher threshold for such pain, and it requires two to three milliamperes before unbearable pain is experienced. Most persons with flattening of affect have a high pain threshold, or even complete insensitivity to the current.

Psychologic tests, done on a series of 20 patients receiving stimulation, showed that the majority gained on tests of memory and cognitive functions. Tests were given before and immediately following termination of therapy. Patients report an increase of initiative, an ability to think more clearly and improved power of concentration; they often state that the outside world seems more “real” and that they are again able to enjoy life…

…the most significant change experienced, however, is an abatement of tension.


Dang-it-all now, doesn’t that “the world seems more real” part sound like half the Scientology stories you’ve ever seen?

Again, wow.

By the way, Hubbard administered the same type of comparison tests in his earliest days of Dianetics.

See Dianetic Processing Case Histories and Test Results – January 1951

There’s a very specific contraindication here, that might explain some scientology suicides or strange and sudden “breaks”.

If a depressive element or marked agitation is present, electric stimulation appears contraindicated. In such cases, the patient’s condition becomes aggravated.

The same holds true of purely depressive reactions, which become worse with electric stimulation.


And probably the most important line in this whole article, in respect to Dianetics and its “engram running” is this:

Only anxieties which might be called “unattached”, or where the causative event lies in the past (as, for example, in battle) respond favorably to stimulation.


The Rosanoff article starts out talking about that Grand Mal seizures can be induced with lower currents than are ordinarily used in elctroshock therapy if the current application is prolonged.

It rapidly progresses into truly horrifying treatment details, however, causing any even half-sane person reading it to wonder just who should be the patient in this scenario. One of the most stomach-turning details was the deception angle of this research. They were experimenting with how to do this to someone without them knowing about it. They were worried that if you were not gradual enough about it, the shock would be felt, and worse, remembered by the patient.

The incredibly important thing about these two articles Moshier submits, besides especially the first one’s content  – which is scary enough – is just how close they both are to when Hubbard brought in his own low-current device into the whole auditing equation, in 1950/51.

Note: Actually it wasn’t his, it was Volney Matthison’s.

Volney Mattison and a Dianetic patient – 1951

Volney_mathison 1951

After hooking up with L. Ron Hubbard, John Campbell Jr., and Charles Parker Morgan at the Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation in 1950 (Elizabeth New Jersey), to get some Dianetic therapy, Volney was so pleased with the results, that when Hubbard tasked him to invent a device for him to “assist” with Dianetic auditing, he jumped on it.

He then invented (or rather updated an earlier device of his) called the Mathison Model B Electropsychometer. After a falling out, in 1958 Hubbard had a modified meter made by Don Breeding and Joe Wallis, which was thereafter sold as the Hubbard E-meter.


Well, that all certainly puts Hal Puthoff’s letter in an even more interesting context now, doesn’t it?

From a more technical viewpoint, the use of the “E-meter” to measure physiological variables which correlate with emotional responses can be viewed as representative of a large-scale innovation in medical analysis and computer education known as “physiological feedback”.

These techniques are currently being applied on an increasing scale by the medical profession in the treatment of physical and emotional ailments which require that a person learn to control high blood pressure, anxiety states, muscular tension, etc.

In the technical community here at Stanford, we have projects underway employing the techniques developed in Scientology, which techniques have been found to be quite advanced and practical.

– That letter was found in one of the files from the recently declassified FDA records – courtesy of a FOIA request by R.M. Seibert. The letter can be found in cd #1, Folder 3 PDF, on p. 217.
It was part of a document submitted by the Church of Scientology, called Evidence on Religious Bonafides and Status of the Church of Scientology, found on p. 144.

In summary, like I originally said in my Covert Origins of Dianetics article –

Sign up for YOUR electro-shock next auditing action now!


animated later model e-meter from lermanet.
e-meter lermanet animated

That was even more accurate than I realized when I wrote that article!

By Virginia McClaughry


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All that Spy Stuff, Historical Research


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