FROM THE FILES OF THE FBI #68
[newspaper article, paper identified only as The Evening Star,
probably January 1963]
U.S. Acts to Stop Use of Cure-All Device
By MIRIAM OTTENBERG
Star Staff Writer
The Government today moved against a world-wide cult, centered
in Washington, which uses a sort of lie detector device to cure the
ills of mankind.
The legal action, started by the Food and Drug Administration,
was against the Academy of Scientology, the Hubbard Guidance Center
and the Distribution Center, Inc. They are located in buildings in
the 1800 block of Nineteenth street and the 1900 block of S street
District Court Judge William B. Jones signed an order directing
the United States Marshal to seize devices known as the "Hubbard
Electrometer" or the "Hubbard E Meter" and variously labeled "for
use in scientology" or "for use scientological processing."
The order also directed the marshals to seize copies of 21
different pamphlets, leaflets, charts and periodicals used to
promote sales and service of the "Hubbard Electrometer."
The Government charged that the device was misbranded in the
eyes of the law on the ground that the various pamphlets constitute
the "labeling" of instructions for use of the machine and fail to
bear adequate directions for its use for the intended purposes.
The court was told that the labeling "contains statements which
represent, suggest and imply that the article is adequate and
effective for diagnosis, prevention, treatment, detection and
elimination of the causes of all mental and nervous disorders and
illnesses such as neurosis, psychoses, schizophrenia and
psychosomatic illnesses, which psychosomatic ailments are
represented to include most of the physical ailments of mankind,
such as arthritis, cancer, stomach ulcers and radiation burns from
atomic bombs, poliomyelitis, the common cold, etc., and that the
article is adequate and effective to improve the intelligence
quotient and to measure the basal metabolism, mental state and
change of man."
Agent Poses as Student
These statements, the Government charged, are "false and
misleading since the article is not adequate and effective for the
diagnosis, treatment, prevention, detection and elimination of the
causes of the
diseases" nor to improve the intelligence quotient.
The Government action followed a month-long investigation in
which a Food and Drug inspector posed as a student of the Academy
of Scientology. FDA reported that the buildings used by the
organization are usually occupied by 100 to 150 people, including
scientology students, patients and staff.
The patients, however, are not called patients but "pre-clears."
As one of the seized publications explains:
"We have resolved healing. Clearing, of course, resolves it and
we can clear."
Another publication says: "There is no known way to clear anyone
without using a meter....The Hubbard Electrometer is an electronic
device for measuring the mental state and change of state of homo
The device was described by authorities as one-third of a lie
detector. It was described as a machine which passes a small
electric current through the body of the person from to the other
and measures the changes in the body's resistance to the flow of
"Sees All, Knows All"
The "clearing" process involves the practitioner - or auditor -
asking questions while the "pre-clear" or patient is on the
machine. As one of the pamphlets advises: "The E-meter is never
wrong. It sees all; it knows all. It tells everything."
The question-asking process is known as a "security check."
Before starting the eight pages of questions, the "auditor" tells
the "pre-clear" that "while we cannot guarantee you that matters
revealed in this check will be held forever secret, we can promise
you faithfully that no part of it nor any answers you make here
will be given to the police or state."
The "pre-clear" is told that he or she can pass the test by
agreeing to take it, answering the questions truthfully and "by not
being a member of a subversive group seeking to injure
The questions run the whole gamut of crime. The "pre-clear" is
asked if he has ever stolen anything, lived under an assumed name,
shoplifted, forged, blackmailed or been blackmailed, cheated,
smuggled, entered a country illegally, been in prison, embezzled,
told lies in court, peddled dope, divulged Government secrets,
murdered, kidnaped [sic], betrayed a trust, plotted to destroy a
member of his family.
Interspersed with the other questions are these: "Are my
questions embarrassing?" "Have you ever been a newspaper reporter?"
"Have you ever done anything the police may find out?" "Have you
ever done anything your mother would be ashamed to find out?" "Have
you ever had any unkind thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard?"
Science Fiction Writer
Mr. Hubbard, whose biography is included in the material listed
for seizure, is a former science fiction writer. He introduced
"dianetics, the modern science of mental health" in 1950 and moved
on to "scientology" and the electrometer two years later.
Subsequently, he established the "Founding Church of Scientology,"
which also has its headquarters here.
His Hubbard Association of Scientologists International,
according to the literature, has offices in Washington, Los
Angeles, London, Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand;
Johannesburg, Union of South Africa; Paris and Berlin.
In his biography, he reports that he attended George Washington
University, rose to command of a squadron in the Navy, had the
adventures reported in "Mister Roberts" and now disseminates the
latest "technical and training data he has developed in his
research" through Hubbard Communications Offices on all continents.
His publications describe the Hubbard Association of
Scientologists International as "the world's largest mental health
organization" with "a dozen practitioners for every one in other
As one of his pamphlets claims, scientology is "sufficiently
simple and rapid that where it requires 12 years to train a
psychiatrist, eight weeks of heavy training can permit a person to