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Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

Volney Mathison – Inventor of the electropsychometer

Willing to Confront Anything? :-[

The Internet is a great help for someone trying to recreate history from the sanitized version that is passed on to us by those who should know better.

I was active  in Scientology for at least twenty years and this is the image I remember from books and promotion on the history of the e-meter.

I always admired Ron’s calm and  compassionate expression and wondered who the subject was. What I didn’t know was that this was a complete fraud may have been an early “Photoshop” job.

If you look at the next picture, it appears that a photo of Ron had been carefully pasted over the image of Volney Mathison! (On the other hand, a very close inspection of some online images suggests that it might have been the other way around.) These images represent contrary facts, which always bear looking into.

Volney Mathison was demonstrating his Electropsychometer before his students and he had developed a significant body of work using this instrument before LRH ever entered the scene. This image can be found at http://www.lermanet.com/image/mathison.jpg

Ron Hubbard gave Volney Mathison credit for inventing an electropsychometer in the early days of Scientology as these letters to Matthison show Page 1, Page 2.

But it appears that Ron or his people appropriated some of Volney’s promotional material and did some early “photoshopping” to show Ron doing a demonstration that never occurred.

I have seen Volney mentioned as the developer of the early e-meters, but I had never seen any mention until now that Volney had already developed fairly detailed therapeutic techniques before LRH adopted the e-meter for scientology.

See this reprint from Fortnight. http://www.lermanet.com/exit/volney/Fortnight-Mathison-reprint.jpg

The Table of Contents for this two volume manual of Electropsychometry is also quite revealing as much of the material seems to have found its way into what we know as scientology technology.  http://www.lermanet.com/exit/volney/Electropsychometry-4%231AF837.jpg

Volney also developed and promoted Creative Image Therapy in 1954 as can be seen in this manual. http://www.lermanet.com/exit/volney/Creative-Image-Therapy-2.jpg

And it seems that Volney had developed a poor opinion of Scientology and of Ron according to this extract from the manual shown in the previous link.

There is an entire page of links on Lermanet.com devoted to Volney Mathison and his correspondence from LRH.  http://www.lermanet.com/exit/volney/

There is no question that Ron made the e-meter into a legendary marketing tool and found uses for it that Volney might not have considered. But it is also apparent that sharing of credit was not one of Ron’s strong points.

My interest is in getting down to the true history of the e-meter,  and seeing if anything useful was missed along the way.

Most of this research would not have been possible if it were not for the efforts of Arnie Lerma who has been battling the CoS for many years. There is a wealth of information on his website and every independent or ex-scientologist owes it to themselves to visit lermanet.com

(The above entry was modified on 3/18/10 to add more links and to be more precise about what information was found.)

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Paul Adams  on March 18th, 2010

It is always tricky to discover who is plagiarizing who when reliable publication dates are either missing or overlapping.


OldAuditor  on March 18th, 2010

I imagine that Volney learned things from LRH as well as vice versa. I am sure that there was an exchange of useful information while they had a business relationship.

I am not saying that Volney was righter or wronger. 🙂 But it does not appear that Ron gave him the ideas and Volney merely built a meter.

I am sure that there must be more people who had knowledge of that period and in time we will have some more information to add to what we have now.

Volney was into many different ventures. His crystal pendulum and Creative Image Therapy are just the ones I found so far.

He certainly had the viewpoint that some of Ron’s Objective processes were a form of hypnotism, although in my experience they actually ran out the effects of hynotism when properly run.

If anyone has any information on the relative integrity of the two images, I would be happy to post it here for all to see. A photographic image of Volney doing the demonstration would probably clear up any mystery on which image came first. What we can see from the images is that they present contrary data so one of them is a lie.

lunamoth  on March 18th, 2010

This kind of willingness to examine the data, wherever it takes you, is how you arrive at the truth. Thanks, David, for the research you’re doing,and for putting the quest for the truth above any ideology or the chance to be “right” and make others wrong.

By posting what you find, such as this photograph, you also enable and encourage others to engage in the search for answers, which is what this loosely associated network of individuals is all about. It’s something a hierarchy of power, an institution cannot afford to do, invested as they are in controlling information in order to preserve their own power.

As to the photograph itself, it’s truly intriguing. I’m very interested to know if there are other related shots available anywhere, and if so, when did the one containing LRH appear, and who was responsible for “finding”/creating it?

Paul Adams  on March 18th, 2010

This was discussed at length on ESMB on this thread: http://forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=3182

No firm conclusion was drawn. I’m inclined to think the Mathieson one is fake, based on his posture being one of standing rather than sitting, but this is hardly conclusive reasoning.


Marta  on March 18th, 2010

Lunamoth said it for me, to a tee. Looking, with “fresh eyes”, at the tech, policy, and the lore is a continual practice that we need each other to help with. thanks for this, Old Auditor.

AnonLover  on March 28th, 2010

For more general insight into Volney, check out some of his articles published in the Aberree Newsletters before him & hubbard went their separate ways:


I was shocked to read some of those works where it appears Volney was a true believe in the whole space opera cosmology, yet he still managed to hold his ground with LRH in regards to not giving away his invention.

AnonLover  on April 9th, 2010

More interesting stuff on Volney is leaking out of Mt Lerma vaults. Hivemind has harvested full image skin of the Creative Image Therapy book. I’d love to hear OldAuditor’s take and/or your analysis of this text

sauce – http://www.lermanet.com/members/volney/

PDF version – http://www.mediafire.com/?mero2mq2zxl

And More Volney dox compliments of Mrs Lerma coming soon here:

DFB  on June 13th, 2010

In early recorded e-meter demonstrations LRH has others operating and assisting with the meter. In one, I believe in the Milestone One lectures, he asks someone if the meter is setup or warmed up yet at the beginning of the demonstration or some such statement. I believe they are probably both real pictures. If Mathison was working with LRH at that time and he was desiging the meters it’s perfectly understandable for him to be seated there, setting up the meter, even demonstrating it to the audience. That event could have been an all day thing with lots of demonstrations and sessions going on.

DFB  on June 26th, 2010

I’m listening to the Technique 88 lectures again and LRH says there will be demonstrations on using the E-Meter from Volney Mathison. It sounds like Mathison was selling E-Meters at those lectures or something.

Magic Poet  on July 15th, 2010

Historians may care about such niceties. People seeking royalties may care. People or organizations who want to monopolize e-meter technology for their own nefarious purposes may care. I do not even particularly care whether Ron Hubbard wrote his own processes. A parrot could have written them for all I care.

What I care about is whether ‘scientology’, ‘hubbard-ology’, ‘mathison-olog’ or ‘witchcraft-ology’ … whatever name you want to apply to the processes and procedures Ron Hubbard claimed for his own … do they provide useful and helpful results?

The stuff Ron Hubbard wrote/published under his own name … well, it works … when applied diligently and honestly. That is why I’ve made my way to the independent scientologists. What they do with “Ron Hubbard’s works” work. Whatever the Church of Scientology is doing with Ron Hubbard’s works, doesn’t work. It’s that simple.

Independent Scientologist  on September 19th, 2010

I left the Church of Scientology a little less than three months ago, but I didn’t leave Scientology. I have experienced life-changing wins as a PC, I have created life-changing wins as an auditor. I KNOW the tech works when properly applied.

So I want to echo the thought that who truly gives a shit whether L. Ron Hubbard stole some of the material of Dianetics and Scientology or stole all of it? Or that he was a wife beater? Or that he was a braggart, and maybe even a liar? That many times in his life he seemed paranoid and vindictive?

You have to look at the tech on its own, and let it stand on its own. It works or it doesn’t – regardless of what kind of a man LRH was or wasn’t.

If somebody could prove that Albert Einstein was a known bed-wetter, relativity would still govern the cosmos.

The negative stuff I hear about LRH just makes me think – wow, how could a man with so many flaws have developed (or stolen!) such amazing technology?

Ron Matlock

freedomseeker  on October 14th, 2012

I looked at this picture real hard and here is what I see:
1. It is the identical photo. If you look at the body positions of the audience it is identical in both photos. Nobody moved a muscle, including LRH/Volney
2. The only difference (except for the “photoshop’ed” faces I can see is the top part of the head of a lady directly behind LRH/Volney. The picture with LRH you can also see a bit of the side of her face. Volneys head is blocking that part of the lady’s face.
3. You can also see a black line to the right of Volney’s head, it blacks out a piece of the photo that is not blacked out on the picture with LRH.

It looks like the blacked out piece is where LRH’s head started. It seems as if Volney’s face is a bit more to the left compared to LRH’s. The difference is that with the LRH picture there are detail around his face that is not there in the Volney picture. As written above it also seems as if the Volney picture was placed slightly to the left over the side of the girls face that can be seen in the LRH picture.

I conclude out of my observation of this photo that the Volney picture is a fake because of point 2 and 3. There is much more detail around LRH in the LRH photo that with the technology of that time were not possible to recreate.

One should also ask, why will LRH use a fake photo?, he did many metering demo’s himself in lectures. Did nobody own there own camera to take a photo?

It’s more sinister then that I am afraid as I also do not think Volney has anything to do with this. This was done simply to discredit LRH.

I do not think LRH were a saint but here I think he were screwed over. Make one wonder how many other thinks were fabricated to discredit him.

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