We Gave Bullshit E-meter Readings to Complete Strangers

By Rocco Castoro

VICE editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro heads out to Union Square to give strangers E-meter readings to determine their spiritual and moral fiber.

The Hubbard Electrometer, more commonly known as the E-meter, is a "religious artifact" used to measure the state of electrical characteristics in the static field surrounding the body. E-meters operate in a similar fashion to lie detectors, relying on a type of electrical circuit called a wheatstone bridge that measures the subject's galvanic skin response. The device produces a small electrical current and measures the subject's electrical resistance to that current. Auditors use the device to measure answers to various questions that can supposedly determine whether or not a person is spiritually pure. Basically, it's what it sounds like: a bunch of bullshit. And we made this video to prove it.

In honor of the release of Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film, The Master, VICE will be cherry-picking articles from our vault of the peculiar and grotesque that have to do with strange sects and cults. Keep checking VICE.com as we roll out more religious weirdness.