L. Kin: Language of the E-meter on the Web.



The E-meter (electropsychometer) is essentially a Wheatstone bridge. Much as itís a simple measuring device in principle, the actual building of it demands some skill - evidenced by the fact that there has been a sequence of seven models from the time it was first used (1953) until today, each being an improvement compared to the previous one. When you include the ones developed and produced outside the CofS - often of considerably better quality - they add up to about a dozen.

The E-meter isnít influenced by the sweat on the pcís hands but by the electrical resistance of mental masses around the PC. This is how it works: a battery inside it sends a very low voltage current (9 Volts) through a wire which is clipped to an ordinary tin can the pc holds in one hand. The current runs around his body and is picked up again by a tin can the pc holds in his other hand, and led off back into the negative pole of the battery inside the meter. Only 2 Volts actually arrive at the pc.

As the current "runs around the pcís body" it encounters a certain resistance due to the physical conditions of the body. As well it encounters the mental masses produced by the pc in the effort to not look at the terrible things in the engram. These masses add to the body resistance and make the needle rise on the dial. The needle goes to the left. In order to keep the needle on the "set"-position on the dial, the auditor would have to move it to the right. To do so, he turns a knob on the face of the meter clockwise. This way he "opens the throttle" and allows more current to flow out in order to overcome the increased resistance. This knob is called the Tone Arm (TA), indicating the "tone", the mental tenseness or relaxedness, of the PC. It has a scale around it and a pointer towards this scale. Therefore, when the PC starts encountering an engram, the needle "rises" to the left on its scale. The TA "rises" to the right on its scale, turned by the auditor in order to compensate for the rising of the needle.

When the pc has duplicated some part of the engram and managed to look at it as it is, his tension immediately relaxes. What he can "have", he wonít resist any more. Therefore the electrical resistance of his "mental defense shield" lessens, too, the needle falls to the right on the dial and the auditor has to adjust the Tone Arm to put the needle back on set. This is called a TA blowdown or BD.

The amount of charge "blown" can be told by the difference between the two positions of the TA. At session start the TA pointed at the 2.5 mark on the scale around it. At peak point, when the pcís resistance at looking at the engram was the highest, the TA had gone up to 4.6. Then, after the pc managed to look at and have that particular part of the engramís content, the TA shot down to 3.1. So the total charge blown at this point is the difference between 4.6 and 3.1, which is 1.5. As only pan of the engram was found, the auditor sends the pc through his recall again and again. Every time the TA will go up and come down in the manner described. At the end of the session, when the pc has seen and re-experienced the engramic incident in all detail and has nothing left he couldnít easily have, the TA will not move anymore. The process has gone flat. No further restimulation is possible concerning this engram; it has erased. Now the auditor adds up the individual downward motions of the Tone Arm and divides it by the number of session hours to get the average. Five units TA motion per hour - the TA-Action or TAA - would be quite effective and acceptable. The more the better. The correct TAA-value per session is brought about by the auditor keeping the needle on the "set"-mark as much as he can. This means that he has to compensate each needle motion to the left or right by adjusting the Tone Arm accordingly. When he does not do this, big reads the pc may have will appear only on the needle dial and not count on the TA-motion. Which makes the session look as if there had been very little TAA only. (See E-Meter Drill 6.)

This figure of "TAA per hour" is a valuable indicator for the progress the pc is making. When there is no TA action, the auditing process or even the program have to be changed because they are obviously inefficient.

Reading the E-meter properly takes quite a lot of skill and experience. Therefore a lot of emphasis in auditor training is put on the "E-Meter Drills,,. To the beginner the needle seems but a madly wiggling thingamajig; to the expert each needle motion allows exact conclusions regarding the flow of the pcís attention. The meter does not tell the auditor what picture the pc sees; it does tell him, though, when the pc is approaching a "hot area", when he is backing off from it, when he is right in it blowing it to pieces, and also when there is no charge left on an item and the auditing action is complete. The meter allows the auditor to steer the pcís attention exactly, and therefore makes for efficient and intensive session work.

Auditing happens between two thetans: the auditor and the pc. It does not happen between the auditor and his E-Meter. The auditor observes the pcís indicators, such as his fluctuations on the tone scale, his delay in responding or answering a question (comm lag), his blushing or blanching, smiling or crying, his change from brightness to dullness and back. As well he observes the needle reactions on the meter It gives him an additional indicator This is because some charge may be so minute that you, as the auditor, wonít be able to tell from the pcís face if there was a reaction to your question or not. But on the meter you get a small Fall (sF) and now you know there is charge on the process. The meter cannot replace the live ARC between auditor and pc, but it can add valuable information without which the process may come to a standstill or the session go off the rails. The meter is a steering device. Thatís its whole purpose.



A read means: a charged item was located and the charge reduced. How does charge come about? By the pc wishing to know something and not knowing it. Basically because he has postulated that he wonít know it or that he canít confront it. The harder the pc wants to know and the more difficult it is for him to find out, the more charge there will be. Consequently the reduction of charge sets in when the pc moves off from the point of not-know towards being willing to know

Not knowing something one desires to know creates tension -such as in the case of reading a thriller or wondering what one is going to get for Christmas. Finding out and knowing brings relief. Anytime the pc (or any person) experiences relief there will be a big read. For a little bit of relief only, there will be a small read. It all depends on the importance the pc puts on the item in the first place and on the amount of engram content he can confront at a time.

These are the most common reads:

Small Fall (sF): The needle moves 0.6 to 1,5 cm to the right.

Long Fall (LF): 3 to 4.5 cm.

Fall (F): 1.5 to 3 cm.

Long Fall Blowdown (LFBD): When the needle does a Long Fall and stays on the right hand side of the dial, the auditor must move the TA to the left in order to bring the needle back up to "set,,. This way the TA "blows down".

Tick (T): A Tick is smaller than a sF Usually it is not taken up as it is a sign of there not being enough charge to deal with the item successfully. It does not count as a read, strictly speaking, but just as a hint to a possible read. One pokes about a little in this particular area, but when there is not more than another Tick or two, one should leave it alone.

Dirty Needle (D.N.): It looks like many little ticks going left and right in an irregular fashion. It signifies that something goes on down below" which has not been voiced yet.

(References: "The Book of E-Meter Drills", "E-Meter Essentials", "Introduction to the E-Meter", by L. Ron Hubbard.)



Your E-Meterís language is simple: it can say either "yes" or "no". You ask a question and get a read: that means "yes". You get no read: that means "no". The pc says something; it reads:

"yes". It doesnít read: "no". (See CS-Series 24.)

The read confirms the auditorís question or the pcís origination as true. Why? - Because an as-isness occurs, however small it may be. "Truth is the exact consideration; the exact time, place, form, and event. Thus we see that the discovery of truth would bring about an As-isness by actual experiment" (From Axiom 38. The "actual experiment" is the session itself.)

Any partial as-isness reduces some of the charge, so you have less electrical resistance, so you get a read.


"Do you have a problem?" plus read: He has a problem. (Meter confirms the question.)

"Do you have a problem?", no read: He doesnít have one.

"Do you have a problem?", no read. Pc says, "No, I donít think so", plus read: He doesnít have one. (Meter confirms pcís answer.)

Pc says at session start, "I feel great today", plus read: He had a release, but there is some charge connected with it. Find out about the release and acknowledge it. If it F/Nís, great, leave it at that. If not, the read means there is bank accessible connected with it that should be dealt with while it is restimulated, to consolidate the win. Hence one should "rehab" the release pan. (See the section on "Rehabilitation" further down in the text.)

Pc says at session start, "Last night I had a terrible dream", with no read. So there is no charge. Acknowledge politely, but do not take it up. Go into the process you have a CS-instruction for. 


ĎAn instant read is defined as that reaction of the needle which occurs at the precise end of any major thought voiced by the auditor" "By major thought is meant the complete thought being expressed in words by the auditor" (HCOB May 25, 1962)

Precise as these definitions are, they still lead to confusion on the side of the auditor with the result of charge being stirred up and left on the case of the pc.

When is the instant read to occur? At the end of the last syllable uttered by the auditor or at the end of the major thought? Are we talking about auditing as a mest universe phenomenon or a theta phenomenon? If we were to say that the read has to occur at the moment the last soundwave has left the auditorís mouth we would be talking about a mest universe phenomenon. But auditing is an ARC game, not a mest game! It has to do with attention and intention, with the auditing comm-cycle (Tech Dict.). Which means that the pcís attention and interest count, not the sound waves of the auditor The pcís in-session-ness is the senior factor When the pc is on the line to his bank for one or even five seconds and then has a read and then originates an answer with read and interest and corresponding indicators, are you going to drop it because "it occurred too late"? He was on the line to his bank, he was on the major thought voiced in words by the auditor, he was in session on it, he found something which read and he was interested in talking about it, so there was truth, there was a partial as-isness - so of course you take it up! - If not you will have stirred up charge and left it unhandled, and very soon you will get a dirty needle, a rising TA, a stuck needle and all the other things no auditor really likes.

You have to get the pc to put a commline over to his bank, and therefore you must allow a communication lag - as long as the pcís attention is on the command! Only acute observation can help you through this. Four situations are possible: 1. Pc didnít pay attention when you gave the command and thought of something else anyway: prior read. 2. Pc got the command, has no interest, there is no read; no button was pressed at all. The pcís mind wanders off to something else and that reads: latent read. 3. Pc got the command, introverts, looks around in his mind, commlags, then gives a reading answer which makes sense regarding the command: instant read. 4. Auditor gives command, gets a read immediately, pc hesitates a moment, then gives a sensible and reading answer: the absolute model of an instant read! (See C/S-Series 24.)

Naturally, when you do a rapid assessment by instant read (i.e when you rattle off the questions on a previously prepared list), you take the read that occurs the moment you have finished speaking. (See E-Meter Drill 24.) This, however, works only when you have excellent duplication and understanding on the part of the pc! In order to live through a rapid assessment, the pc must have a conceptual understanding of what the auditor says. If not, you get the phenomena going along with misunderstood words, such as dirty needles, pcís face going grey, and other nasty things.

It takes a very well grooved in pc for you to just say: "Please lean back for a moment; Iím doing this assessment. You donít have to say anything whilst Iím doing it." And then it goes pakata-pakata-pakata (as Hubbard would say): thereís your assessment shooting off and there are your reads. - Itís true that the assessment goes "right to the pcs bank" (Tech Dict.), but the bank doesnít speak English! So of course itís a conceptual thing. If the pc has no concept of what you are talking about, there will be no reads. If the thetan (pc) didnít have to be involved during the assessment one should be able to do an assessment in a foreign language and still get reads. But try to assess an LiC (List iC, a repair list) in English on a Spaniard and youíll see that it wonít work! - So it only goes "straight to the pcís bank", IF the thetan acts as a communicator and opens the door to the bank. No magic involved, only the application of the communication formula.



The F/N is the most difficult needle characteristic of them all. This is because it comes in so many different forms and sizes.

"Floating Needle: die idle uninfluenced movement of the needle on the dial without any patterns or reactions in (. . .) It moves to the left at the same speed as it moves to the tight (. . .) It ceases to regjster on the pc's bank. It just idly floats about.(. . .) . (Tech Dict.).

Many beginning auditors think that an F/N ought to be perfectly symmetrical around the center of the dial, and at least as wide as a Fall. However, this is not implied by the definition given above. It may be a rhythmical motion to the right, like three large right-hand swings with smaller left-hand swings in between. It may just be one swing either side and not even symmetrical. It may be dialwide and of short duration, or only as wide as a third of the dial and last for minutes. Or any of the above combinations. - On a high TA, where you are battling away to get the TA down, it may not be more than the momentary easing up of a tight needle, with a corresponding brightening up of the pc. (See the chapter on "High TA" further down.) Some people really have trouble telling the difference between a sequence of sFís or Fís, and an F/N. -The best way to tell: look at the pc! If the pc were not released the needle wouldnít float. So itís not just the meter that shows an F/N, the pc does, too! The FIN, by the way, is the only meter read which is indicated by the auditor to the pc. Doing so, he acknowledges the release the pc has experienced. One has to be careful not to indicate the F/N too early as that may interrupt the pcís cognition and make the F/N cease prematurely

How does an F/N come to be? At the moment you give the auditing command the pc connects up with a ridge and a small as-isness occurs; you get a read. From this moment on the attention of the pc is on the GPM/ridge/engram/secondary/lock/ incident/picture until he has as-ised (blown) it fully. With an engram, this is called erasure; with a lock, itís a key-out. At this moment it goes "pop" and the compulsive commline to the terminal/item breaks. The pc has no more attention on the thing. And that is the moment the needle floats! Its importance is that it indicates when to stop, i.e when the particular auditing cycle is complete. When itís a big release it will keep on floating for awhile. When the pc is in the middle of a series of processes, though, which all deal with the same area of charge (e.g. "the 2nd dynamic"), then his F/N will not last long. It will stop as soon as the next ridge has attracted the pcís attention.

In detail: He has had attention on one particular bit of bank in this area; he has blown that, F/N. Now he is drawn back into the area by the next bit of bank. The F/N stops. You give the next command, get a read, work it over, F/N; next command, read, work it over, F/N, etc., till the whole area is discharged and the pc has a big release and a large F/N and VVGIs.

One may observe that there is a correspondence between the amount of TAA a process had, and the size and the duration of the final F/N. They seem to be in direct proportion with each other. So when you have run an auditing question which had a sF, and the pc has as-ised the charge rather briefly with no more than another sF, you canít expect to get a huge F/N. Donít try to get one - youíll end up in a stupid overrun! On the other hand, after a 2-hour auditing action on "my schoolteacher" with 22 divisions of TA-Action, you will see a big and lasting F/N as part of the EP.

F/Ns are usually "indicated" to the pc, which means one tells him that he just has one. This is a way of acknowledging (TR-2) that an auditing cycle has been completed, that a release was attained. The disadvantage of this procedure is that it may make the pc dependent on his F/Ns! In the end he will run the process only in order to get his F/N. Or he accepts the indication of an F/N (in case of an auditor error) without the feeling of having completed anything. In either case the pc is not properly in session. Hence it is much better to have him experience his F/N a few times until he knows what he should feel like when the auditor says: "Iíd like to indicate, your needle is floating". This way he learns to find certainty in himself and not in the E-meter.



What is a "high TAí? According to the Tech Dictionary itís a TA above 3.5 on the TA-scale. An F/N - again according to theTech Dict. - must occur between TA 2.0 and 3.0 to be valid. Years later, in C/S-Series 99, Hubbard revised this and stated that an F/N always is an F/N, no matter how high the TA.

High-TA F/Ns occur whilst you are working on something. Donít settle for an EP-F/N above 3.5. You may have worked on something, brought the TA down from 5.3 to 4.5 and got an F/N there; small and short perhaps, but an F/N. Thatís very good. But you want it down in the EP range below 3.5. This will make a lot of difference to the pc. So do find those last scraps of charge on the respective subject by all means, and end off with an F/N below 3.5. It will make quite a difference to the well-being of the PC.



There is the paradoxical phenomenon of an F/N occurring whilst the pc has very bad indicators (VBIs). How is this possible? Well, the answer is quite easy once you have understood what a read is and what an F/N is.

A read means "something there" (i.e. amass). The pc looks at it in auditing. At the end of the process you get an F/N. An F/N means "nothing there where before there was something". A read is the meter reaction to a somethingness; the F/N the meter reaction to a nothingness.

When the pc is totally ARC-broken he is totally out of communication, has totally no reality and no affinity with anything. There is no commline to the bank. Therefore, when you ask such a PC an auditing question, nothing will register. And thatís why you get an F/N. It means "nothing there where there may be something but Iím too hopeless to even look". -The technical term for this phenomenon is ĎARC-Break F/N".



Some auditors have come to believe that a Dirty Needle (D.N.) can mean one thing only: the pc has a mw/h (missed withhold). Dirty needle = mw/h. That simple. So there is something terrible and nasty the pc is hiding: letís get it out of him! (See C/S Series 1.) This is as oversimplified as itís unfair on the pc. It means putting the whole blame for the D.N. on him. But most of the time, in fact, the needle is dirtied by the auditor himself, i.e. by his bad TRís! - If you donít believe it, re-read E-Meter drill 20. It shows you ten ways of dirtying a clean needle by means of a bad comm cycle.

In the final analysis, the equation "D.N. mw/h" is true, though. Because the auditorís bad TRs produce a no-comm situation with the pc trying to say something without being listened to! The w/h is actually enforced on the pc. This is covered under "unintentional withhold" in the Tech Dictionary. (But never forget: It could be a real nasty withhold, too!)



As long as a thetan cannot have the is-ness of a certain charge it will not read on the meter, but there wonít be an F/N either The pc is blocking the access to his case. In order to find out what he is doing to hold the charge off his awarenes (not-is), you do this little assessment: "On this question, has anything been suppressed/invalidated/not-ised?" And that will read on the meter -when there is charge.

Supposing you had a read on one of the three buttons, e.g. on "suppressed", you do not ask: "What has been suppressed?", because you would go off the actual auditing question. Instead you keep insisting on the question you have started with. You could tell the PC whatís going on, by saying: "Iíd like to indicate to you that something was suppresed on the question ĎDo you have a problem?í What problem is that?" And now he will find one. (It could of course be a "false read"; see the next section.)

When you do not get a read on the initial question nor on the three buttons, you can be sure that there is no charge present. Actually, there ought to be an F/N now If this is not the case, it is wise to tell the pc that there is no charge indeed. This makes him relax and then there will be an F/N for sure. An auditor who is a real craftsman would only allow two possibilities with regard to an auditing question: a read or an F/N. To leave a question open, i.e. with no read and no FIN, would not even cross his mind.

The explanation for this phenomenon is given in Axiom 11. The buttons suppress, invalidate and not-is relate to the conditions of existence of alter-isness and not-isness.

In HCOB "Rudiments, Definitions and Patter" (Tech Vol.XI) only one button ("suppress") is mentioned. But, according to this Axiom, it is perfectly all right to use three.



You ask a question like: "Do you have a problem?" and get a read. The pc says: "No, not really" and has a read on that, too. That is a "false read", according to the hallowed rule which says: if there is any doubt, the answer of the pc is right. There was a read all right, but it did not relate to what you have asked. Itís on something else - after all, there was an energy which pushed the needle over. The energy didnít come from the thing you asked for; so where did it come from? If we exclude things like body motion and pc sighing or coughing right at that moment, then it must have come from the bank. So what button was pushed that caused the read? Simple: being asked such a question at all. "How dare you. . . !"Thatís the button.

Therefore a false read is the pcís protest against what you are asking him. And thatís why you handle a false read with the question: "Did anyone say you had a problem when you didnít have one? (read)". - Pc: "Yes (read), my mother always told me I was looking so confused when I wasnít confused at all! (read)".

So the pc felt evaluated for or invalidated, and he was protesting it then just as he is protesting it now What you are really running here is a chain of protests about inval/eval. Get all of the incident, when/where/what happened exactly; and then: "Is there an earlier similar time someone said you had a problem when you didnít have one?" At the end of the chain youíll get a key-out and F/N plus VGIs.



When you pick up an item or a question, it must of course have read. Either on the question itself, or on checking the three buttons mentioned above. One never takes up unreading questions and items as there is the danger that the pc starts imagining things or gets pushed into his bank. The read on the question or the item is the start of a cycle of action, the process its continuation, the F/N or the EP its end. You must end everything you have started, because if you donít, if you work on something over an incomplete cycle of action, there will be overrestimulation and the pc will feel overwhelmed.

As one asks an auditing question, one has to make sure that the read occurs not only on the question, but on the answer as well! Failing to do this may result in your running an unreading item -the one mentioned by the pc - although there was a read on the actual question. Example: "Have you committed an overt?" (F). Pc: "Recently, when I took a walk in the park, I threw an empty cigarette pack on the lawn instead of putting it in the nearest rubbish bin" (x, i.e. no read). lithe auditor were to take this up, had the pc tell all about it and then went earlier-similar on it, he would totally audit past the thing which actually caused the read. He would have taken up an unreading item - the one offered by the pc. And soon the usual trouble would follow: needle tightening up, TA rising, pc becoming disinterested, chain not coming to an end. Incomplete cycle of action. Very embarrasing!

The correct action in this case would have been to ask the pc: "Is there perhaps another overt?" (Again the F). "Well," says the pc, "When I drove my fatherís car the other day, I bumped against the garage door and didnít tell my father it was me who made the dent" (sF). That is the answer the auditor should take up. The read on the answer was smaller than the read on the question, yes, but that does not matter That is merely a matter of the pcís confront of his overt. The important thing is that there was a read.

The lesson to be learned here: the read on the auditorís question must be echoed by the read on the pcís answer When this happens one can be certain that the cycle of action of this particular auditing process can be taken to its proper end. (See CS-Series 89 in Vol.X.)



It is the purpose of auditing to re-establish the pcís certainty of self. "Certainty in all three universes must be regained, for certainty not data, is knowledge" (Factor 28). The only reason, then, why a person would want auditing, is his or her lack of certainty with respect to some areas in one of the three universes. To coax him into being more certain, the auditor indicates to the pc that there is charge on his origination or the item in question. This acts as a special kind of TR-2 (acknowledgement). This confirms what the pc has felt and thereby gradually increases his certainty

Examples: Pc: "I always had a problem with my uncle". - Read. (Pc isnít quite sure if this is important.) -Auditor: "Iíd like to indicate, there IS charge on this problem!" - Pc (certain now): "Well, you know - I actually thought so! This has bothered me for many years." Etc, etc.

In this case the indication has opened the pcís "outflow valve" (Itsa-line, Tech Dict.); he feels reassured that it isnít just an imagined problem but a real one and therefore is immediately in session on it.

Auditor: "Have you committed an overt?" - No read. - "On this question, anything suppressed?" - No read. - Pc says nothing and anxiously waits for the auditor to say something. ĎHe doesnít think there is any overt in particular but doesnít feel sure enough to say so. After all, life has been so long and one has done so many things which werenít ok. So who could safely say that he never committed an overt? - Auditor: "Iíd like to indicate, thereís no charge on this question". - Pc (relieved):

"Oh - good." - F/N. In this case there was nothing in the bank, so there was no read. Yet there was attention on the question itself; so there was no F/N, either The certainty created by the auditorís indication took the pcís attention away from the question so that the needle could float.

© 1992 by L. Kin
© 1992 by Edition ScienTerra

L. Kin: Language
of the E-meter on the Web.