The room was like Titanic. It was the building of dreams! Every inch was polished and immaculate. No dust to be found anywhere.
It was almost as if a huge crew of people came in every day and were forced to clean from top to bottom by gunpoint. Not literally, of course?
Everything looked grand in stature and expensive. World globes and pictures of L. Ron Hubbard were neatly placed to make the building look like some magnificent explorer or genius inventor had once lived there. Definitely not some paranoid brainwashing second-rate novelist.
After filling out our contact information we followed a lady up futuristic see-through stairs to a testing table. We were handed the personality tests and were told not to talk to each other for any reason because it could interfere with our honest answers. We agreed, smiled, and waited for the lady to leave.
I opened the test and there were 200 questions! I felt the urge to run away but I stayed.
There were three possible answers to each we could give to each question; positive, neutral and negative.
“What does effusive mean?” said me. “Just put neutral if you don’t understand the question,” said Jayde. “That’s what I’ve been doing.”
“For number 77, what do they mean when they say [“If you are financially capable to have three children would you choose not to?],” said Jayde.
Honestly, it was a weird question.
Other questions were, “Do children make you ill?” “Do you think people speak badly about you behind your back?” “Do you have many close friends?” “Do you prefer to have few close friends to many acquaintances?”
This is when the questions, in my opinion, started to take a turn. “Do you consider more money should be spent social security?” “Do you consider the modern prisons without bars system “doomed to failure”?” “Do you get occasional twitches of your muscles, when there is no logical reason for it?”
With 200 questions it seemed like they were asking the same questions, over and over again, but worded slightly different.
I finished my test, stood up, went down the futuristic steps, over to a man sitting behind a desk to ask him where I could throw away my gum.
As soon as I started to go up the steps again this tall man in glasses came over very hurridly asking me if I needed help. A shriek of terror went through my body like I had just been caught doing something wrong.
I told him, “Uh, I just needed to throw my gum away.”
I handed him my test as a peace offering, sat down with Jayde waiting for her to finish. What if cameras are everywhere in this building? What if there is a camera in this pencil? What if the brainwashers found out that I’m writing an article about them and now I won’t ever be able to leave the building?
Jayde stood up to give her test to the man at the main entrance when the same tall man from before got up from his desk, that was hidden from our view, and hurried over to Jayde to grab her test before she could as well make my mistake and go down the stairs to the man at the desk in the entrance. The tall brainwasher took her test and brought us to a small section with a couch and giant screen tv. Note, there were a series of rows with small couches and giant screen TVs that showed different videos on Scientology.
The video we watched was about our “reactive mind” and how every single negative experience we have ever had influences us in a negative way. No shit, Scientology!
First of all, there was more drama in this video than a telenovela. People in the video were hitting kids and pregnant ladies, eating spoiled sandwiches, yelling at old ladies screaming, “Get outta my way ya old Bitch!”
Reservedly, Jayde and I couldn’t help but laugh.
The tall guy came over and said he was ready for us. Jayde went over to another guy at a desk who was going to tell her about her results and I got the tall guy to tell me my results.
As soon as I sat down the tall guy started eye boning me (penetrating my soul with heavy eye contact). Did no one tell him? This is the year of “me too,” Sir! You need to ask me for consent before you penetrate my soul, goddamit!
He said to me that I was very depressed, unreliable, had problems focusing, problems with inactivity and problems with being too active (whatever that meant). He said more but I got bored and stopped paying attention.
There were these awkward pauses where he would ask for me to explain what happened to me in my childhood to make me be this way. Literally, looking me straight in the eye until I would answer.
“I mean everyone has some bad things happen to them,” said me. “I don’t think I’ve had any abnormal traumatic experiences in comparison with anyone else. I think of myself as a pretty happy person on average.”
“Yes, but what were the things in your childhood to make you have all these problems?”
(Pause + Eye Boner)
“Well, my Dad would constantly fight with my Mom,” said me.
And pop goes the dynamite!
As soon as I gave this guy a bone he just went with it. He kept digging deeper and deeper. I kept telling him more and more. I felt like I was at a therapy session with Oprah on live television.
I looked over to my right and saw Jayde sitting down on another couch. She was already done with her brainwasher and was waiting for me to finish with mine. I felt like I was invisibly strapped to my chair. I wanted to leave but to do so I needed to shut up.
I realized Scientologist use this trick that I’ve seen tv journalists in the past use. Basically, you ask a question and wait for a response. If someone gives you a simple answer you just stare at them until they elaborate more. By doing this the interviewer exerts an extreme amount of social pressure on the interviewee to give up more about them self than was originally planned. Plainly, this is a form of manipulation.
I knew it was manipulation but I was falling for it anyway because I’m a narcissist who likes to talk about herself.
With a frown, he pointed to my fucked up personality analysis and said, “Do you really think you’ll ever be able to be happy or successful if you stay this way?”
This was his segue to tell me about a $55 class I could take to be happy and successful. To finally stop being depressed, unreliable, overly inactive and active, and focus!
(Pause) Wait, what was I writing?
I told my brainwasher that I would come by in a week or so when I had the money.
Jayde and I got the hell out of there. We swapped personality test results and saw that we both seemed to have the same “issues” on our chart. She, a bubbly Canadian, who worked as an au pair, seemed to be just as depressed and unreliable as me.
Question: If I paid to take this bogus self-help class would I really be cured of all my so-called failings as a person? Would I in a sense become perfect and then immediately be successful and happy? If this were true, I would never have to take another class ever again at the center.
The Scientology Center definitely wasn’t as scary or as weird as I thought it would be on my first encounter. What I got from the encounter was that these guys are salesmen. They have an invisible “cure all” product and you keep paying to buy more and more of it till you get better from your emotional or mental ailments. Except you never get well because they’re selling promises, not guarantees.