Proselytizing After All?

Self-Help Books WotF, Hubbard, and Scientology What I Got Out Of It

Back in Amsterdam after the second event, it wasn’t long before a very friendly local CoS rep contacted me, asking me if I’d like to do a reading for them. (I may have been introduced to him at the 2005 event in Seattle, I forget.) Doing a reading seemed an awesome prospect to me, so I readily agreed. I presented myself at the CoS building in Amsterdam at the agreed time, read my prize-winning novelette to a large, kind, and attentive audience, and answered a bunch of interested and perceptive questions.

Then my contact offered to show me around the building.

Rules of hospitality, I felt, made it impossible to refuse. Also, he was really a nice guy; I liked him. He gave me the entire tour: five floors of offices, classrooms, some guest bedrooms I think, and a few small rooms with two chairs and a strange device on a table in between. My contact gave me a spiel about the device, but what it boiled down to was that it was used to measure one’s spiritual health as one progressed through the CoS curriculum.

The device consisted of two metal pipes about six inches in length, connected by wires to a box with an electrical gauge. The subject was supposed to grasp each pipe with one hand, and the device would the measure current—and thus resistance—through the subject.

In other words, it was a very primitive lie detector.

My contact offered me a chance to experience this measurement first-hand. I’d come this far, and my curiosity was tickled, so I agreed. I sat down, my contact sat down on the other side of the box, and he proceeded to ask me a string of questions while gazing meaningfully at the dial. I hummed and nodded in ways that I hoped were appropriate as he indicated various microscopic movements of the red gauge needle.

I was strongly reminded of an incident about fifteen years earlier. On that occasion, a lady had accosted me on the street, and offered me a brief, interesting personality test. I had a day off and was in the best of moods, so I let my curiosity get the better of me. She brought me to what I now know were the Scientology offices, and gave me a questionnaire to fill out, bearing the reassuring name “Oxford Standard Personality Assessment” or something like that. When I’d completed the forty questions, she disappeared into a room, spent about 67 seconds analyzing my responses, and came back to tell me I was unstable, suffering from anxiety, and depressed. Of course, she continued, she was with the Church of Scientology, which offered all kinds of amazingly effective programs to save me from myself. The reliability of their test thus thoroughly debunked, I said my good-byes and went on to enjoy the rest of my day.

My contact didn’t come on as strongly as she did, but he did indicate that my results were reason enough to consider enrolling in one of Scientology’s self-improvement programs. I took my leave shortly after.

That was the full extent of the proselytizing I experienced from the CoS as a result of my WotF win and participation in the workshops. [read on…]

Self-Help Books WotF, Hubbard, and Scientology What I Got Out Of It

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.