Re: Cult memes and endorphins

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 02 Apr 2004 - 03:19:47 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "more on Jung, galvanometers and word association"


    How does a psychogalvonometer result in an endorphin release itself? I thought this was a more or less passive device for measuring skin responses during a given procedure such as auditing in the case of Scientology. Maybe the auditing methods themselves might help produce a release of endorphins. I dunno.

    During his experiments studying the "feeling-toned complexes" Jung used the psychogalvanometer as an index of hitting upon a complex. He also used reaction time to stimulus words. A delay in reaction time or a certain skin reponse were supposed to be cues that a complex related
    "resistance" was triggered. His association method used a word association test which might have been borrowed from Francis Galton. Bair's recent biography of Jung gets into some of this word association method stuff.

    In Jung's time the use of the psychogalvonometer may have been more cutting edge or hight tech than it is today, where functional MRI or PET scans are state of the art and I'd assume the EEG to be quite a step beyond skin response itself. I see nothing sinister in Jung's use of this galvanic measuring technique or the word association method. I'm not sure if endorphins were released when Jung conducted his experiments. If so, I wonder if the experimenter-subject rapport had more to do with it than the galvonometer itself. If Jung tapped into so-called feeling toned complexes via stimilus words, this might cause something internal for the subject which could be very crudely indexed by the galvonometer. Too bad Jung didn't have access to the neuroimaging technology of our time when conducting hs word association experiments. Unfortunately he'd probably have needed a heck of a lot more funding to use these modern techniques of psychological research.

    I'm not familiar with Hubbard's techniques for using the psychogalvonmeter as a measuring tool or what sort of process is involved in auditing. Whatever it is, it should not reflect negatively by retrospective association on Jung's use of a similar device roughly a century ago. Nonetheless, I wonder if it's something in the audting process that would trigger endorphins, if such is the case, instead of a relatively passive and innocuous measuring device that has probably been superceded by the EEG, PET and fMRI.

    Does Scientology auditing use word association methods?


    attached mail follows:

    There are dozens of these accounts on the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology if anyone ever wants to do a scientific paper on the subject. Keith Henson

    From: name deleted @yahoo 21 March 2004
    (posted with permission of author) Subject: Endorphins and emeters To:

    I would just like to confirm what you have hypothesized about emeters and endorphins. I was
    "into" scientology when I was 19 or 20 years old for about 6 months, and paid $2,500 for auditing and a course in "confront." (I quit scientology after 6 monts because I didn't like it, the threats, the weirdness, etc. And Hubbard, in his picture, to me it looked like he was smirking derisively after a while!)I didn't get much out of the confront course, but after about 15 hours of auditing I got a rather large "rush" which felt just like when I had been injected with a morphine based pain killer in the hospital some months before, durring my recouperation from a knee surgery. That was about 25 years ago now. But the thing is, I told them I felt like I was floating, but not "exterior". They told me that I was partially exterior. Interestingly, when they had their little public recruitment speeches, lauding scientolgy
    (and such) I recall a claim that drugs make one go
    "exterior." Apparently, they have overlooked the possibility that the emeter doesn't make you go
    "exterior" but only releases a drug into your body; endorphins. I would further hypothesize that the
    "processes" concocted by hubbard were designed not to enlighten or "clear" a person, but to keep the individual on the emeter until an endorphin rush was attained (along with providing some hocus-pocus effect to favorably impress the "PC"). And I further hypothesize that the processes were designed to elicit and synchronize an endorphin rush with a proper
    "finishing point" for the process. Diabolical! But how would hubbard have figured this out? Which I am confident he did. Have you looked into this? Sincerely,
    (name deleted)

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