Sussing Out Scientology - Part 2
Second Entry in Our Series Sussing Out Them Alien Loving, Tom Cruise Worshipping Scientologists in Firhouse
(this is not a work of fiction. All events described occurred. All words written were spoken. Read Part 1 to get the context for this encounter.)
Devonté came round the bend and immediately caught my eye. He confidently strolled towards me and engaged me in conversation, with the motions of man who was following a script. His timing here was eerily spot-on. The idea he was about to introduce was even weirder...
The Oxford Capacity Analysis Test
“Have you heard of the Oxford Capacity Analysis™ test?” said Devonté.
“I haven- “ I tried to say.
“It’s just this way sir,” he interrupted. “It’s our very own scientific personality test. Why don’t you give it a try? It’s totally free.”
I was more than happy to go along with this. The adverts selling their “self-help” guides had me snapping. I decided to channel this energy into exploration. I wanted to discover the depths of this shitshow. I was led to the desk I previously observed, and before I knew it I had the Oxford Capacity Analysis™ (which has fuck all to do with Oxford) in front of me. Here’s what I was seeing:
To start with, I actually had a go. I thought quite hard, was I... “often impulsive about my behaviour”.... or do I... “enjoy telling people the latest scandal about my associates”? Ehm, fuck knows... sometimes... I suppose? I was required to tick a Yes/No/Maybe box in response to each question. Some of them were good craic actually, ridiculously asking about my tendency to twitch. (Q6 and Q18). Then they became disturbing.
Nobody wants to answer a question about whether they sit and think about death and sorrow (Q71). I don't enjoy being asked if I'd use corporal punishment on a ten year old. I began to be quite troubled by the line of inquiry. In my mind, personality tests are not meant to be filled with leading questions. They are supposed to be as impartial and objective as possible. I got half way at Q.100 and decided to randomly answer the rest. Not arsed taking this bullshit seriously, I made sure my answers were highly contradictory in the second half. I wrapped up the “test” feeling pretty fucking strange. I was politely told to sit down and wait for...
“I’m Laszlo and I’m a Scientologist,” said Laszlo, who spoke as though he was in perpetual pain. I found myself sitting in a featureless office having been brought there by my newest Scientology acquaintance. He had grey, expressionless eyes and an anonymous European accent. He wore a black turtleneck and a black blazer. He did not smile. The so-called results of the test lay on the desk and he seemed ready to explain my personality to me. But first...
“So, basically, this is uhm, scientific test, which we put together based on your, your answers,” he said to me. “And uhm, just to understand, this is not our opinion of you. But of actual scientific analysis based on your answers. This is your opinion of you.”
Laszlo looked at me with these soulless eyes and opened our conversation with this vicious lie. He attempted to draw on the authority of science to make a claim about my personality, my experiences, my life. I did some research after all this was over and guess what? The Oxford Capacity Analysis is total bullshit, snake oil psychology, and has been rejected by all of modern psychiatry. It has absolute fuck all to do with Oxford. These are proven facts. I was obviously already suspicious, but now the sirens were screaming. I was in full undercover mode though, and I decided to see how far our dear friend Laszlo would go.
Take a good look at my results for yourself, and maybe cross reference them with this gentleman's test. They appear quite similar. Almost identical in fact. I found that odd, considering I randomly answered half of mine.
Laszlo informed me that a score anywhere above the first shaded area on my graph is satisfactory. Oh well would ya look at that, I have no personality traits in the satisfactory zone. According the Scientologists, I score -99 for stability, and -99 for happiness. The lowest scores possible. Keep in mind I answered half the test at random. What are the chances it would come out so strongly for those traits in particular?
As Laszlo kept pointing out every time he opened his mouth, the results said I was really low. He kindly went on to tell me that I am “very much in need of help”. It “seemed to him”, I had a “recurring problem.”
“Maybe it is depending on past failures or sadness?” he suggested.
Bollocks, I said to myself. I had a choice here. Let him know in the least polite way possible I thought this was a load of nonsense, or continue to con this bloke into saying more outrageous comments. I chose the con.
“Some things do stick with me, I suppose,” I told Laszlo.
“Stick with you? Uhm, like what?” At the mention of the troubled life of Cathal O’Doherty, his dark eyes lit up for the first time. I started to think this scumbag was like a parasite. Dead behind the eyes until I mention some despair or sadness, at which point he starts leeching off my imagined negative mental energy.
The tale I chose to tell him is a common story for many young people in Ireland.
“When I finished school, I didn’t get the points for the course I wanted. I had to choose another course and college, and I dropped out before I finished my first year and it has bothered me ever since... It frustrates me a lot, actually, and it makes life really difficult at times...”, I trailed off.
Laszlo, without hesitation, asked if I still had this feeling in me?
I dangled some verbal bait in front of his nose. “Maybe I do, you know. I feel like a failure at times...”
“Yeah, because it shows that you really, it’s actually, it’s really low. It’s actually the lowest point you can get based on happiness.” (For fucks sake, he’s even called Lasz-low).
Laszlo told me this as he pointed to low scores on the bullshit graph of my personality, visually directing me to focus on my apparent instability and depression. Although the embers of rage were burning inside me, at the same time, I was kind of enjoying this. If this was the extent of their persuasion tactics, I didn’t have much to worry about.