A girl has pretty high expectations when she works up the nerve to enter a church of Scientology. Anything that makes Tom Cruise jump on couches must be pretty intriguing, right? When my friend Emily and I braved the doors of Minneapolis’s very own Scientology church, this is what we knew about Hollywood’s favorite religion:
It was created by a 1950s Sci-Fi author who wrote short stories with titles like “The Automagic Horse.”
It somehow involves an alien ruler named Xenu
We have it to blame for the horror that was Battlefield Earth
Both Emily and I were genuinely nervous and spent a good deal of time discussing exactly how much we were going to lie to these people, how much time we’d be willing to devote to this attempted brainwashing and how neither of us were allowed to spend any money on oversized books featuring bearded wizards on the cover.
So we were oddly disappointed to walk into the Scientology center and found it well-lit, tastefully decorated and staffed with seemingly normal people. Apparently we thought it was going to be filled with people wearing body suits and attempting to levitate. I mumbled to the very nice man staffing the front desk that we were interested in taking the personality test and we were handed a long pink survey sheet and ushered to a quiet corner.All was progressing fairly normally until I encountered the question “Do you ever get a ‘dreamlike’ feeling toward life when it all seems unreal?” And then “Are you a slow eater?” followed by “Do you ever get disturbed by the noise of the wind?” and “Do you suspect that you are actually a reincarnated Egyptian queen?”
Okay. Not that last one. But the other ones!
Another perfectly nice and seemingly normal woman took our surveys and converted them into graphs which she used to illustrate our mental states. According to our graph interpreter, both Emily and I were crap at making friends, emotionally withholding and damn near unpleasant. In addition to this, apparently I had trouble accomplishing things in my life or taking action.
Friends. There is many a thing about me that is less than stellar. Anal retentive? Yes. Occasionally driven to the point of obsession? Check. Delusional about my dancing ability? Present and accounted for. However! I could make friends with a throw pillow. And accomplishing things? That’s what I dooooo.
And my friend Emily? The girl has, like, 3,000 Facebook friends. Friend-making is not her shortcoming, either.
So we developed a theory. These graphs must be skewed in an effort to give people a complex, thus making them easier prey for Scientology tactics. “Maybe you’re right! Maybe I am an emotionally vacant ice queen! Point me in the direction of your over priced wizard books!”
Sadly for them, Emily and I are both a bit too confident in our friend-making skills to fall for that tomfoolery. So we skipped happily out of the church, relieving them of two fat booklets which we then giggled over while drinking a bottle of wine. Awesome.
Final analysis: ridiculous and recommended. It’s kind of like a palm reading. Except free. And maybe less valid.
Have you ever taken any of the Scientology tests? Would you?