Re: French trial: the media Le Figaro - France : «L'électromètre» au cœurdu procès de Scientologie Quick translation: The "electrometer" at the heart of the Scientology trial Angélique Négroni June 3, 2009 | Updated: 23:15 Billed at 5,000 Euros and supposed to explore the emotions of followers, the device is described as a "hoax" by specialists. "Here is the apparatus in question." With this introduction on Wednesday by the presiding judge of the 12th Chamber of the Paris Correctional Tribunal during the Scientology trial, the electrometer was placed carefully on a high desk, for visibility. This ochre-colored oval box equipped with two electrodes was at the heart of the debates on Wednesday. In the framework of this organized fraud affair, the purpose was to enable the magistrates to verify if this machine of modest size with pretty rounded forms possesses real powers, as claimed by Scientologists. Indeed, for Scientologists, the electrometer is essential to the progress of followers and is considered as a religious instrument imbued with scientific value. When a follower holds the two electrodes, the auditor measures his distress zones and emotional charge. It all begins with the auditor saying "Remember a time you were happy (or unhappy)". This continues for two solid hours of dialogue during which the needle swings from left to right. A charming ballet that sets a rhythm for what Scientologists consider similar to "a confession". "The electrometer allows tuning of the questionnaire," stated one member of the organization. "It also allows a member to better know himself, to improve, and to grow." A machine to explore personal emotions which has a real cost: nearly 5,000 Euros. "Lack of seriousness of this technique" Philippe Ripoche, a legal expert on electronics, approached the witness stand to give his opinion. "I observed things that surprised me," he began. One of the things he did to acquire a good understanding of the device's function was to try it on himself. While testing, he spoke out a recollection of an unpleasant moment and the needle fell to the right. For other test subjects, the effect was the same. "During recollection of painful memories, the electrical resistance fell by 10 to 30 percent," he explained. "When they relax, the resistance climbs back up." The specialist's verdict: "There is a correlation between painful memories and the drop in resistance. The measurements are perfect." Note that this expert was called by the defense. His conclusions are in total contradiction with those of other specialists who were interrogated in other cases and whose reports were reintroduced for this trial. One report emphasizes "the lack of seriousness of this technique". Another, more caustically, says, "It clearly appears that this device is nothing more than a hoax designed to give a scientific look to a procedure that has nothing scientific about it." Curiously, the former president of the Spiritual Association of the Church of Scientology in Paris, Sabine Jacquart, one of the six defendants, stated that she has never used it. She had indeed bought one, but the magical machine always remained in a closet.