Mad vs. Scientology

With my first full day in Los Angeles at my fingertips, I had so many great and wonderful things planned.

Once again I caught the right train going the wrong direction so really made the most of my metro day pass #economy

I got off on Hollywood Boulevard to see the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. After ten seconds of walking it became apparent that it truly is just a bunch of names on the ground. But there was just one star with which I was willing to stop foot traffic in order to get a photo alongside;

Bill Cosby.

I had a great joke lined up and was so excited to share it. But now you will never know the joy of hearing it because, after far too long searching, a fat spiderman told me that they had removed his star because people kept painting 'rapist' on it.

So.

Feeling let down by the promise of Hollywood stardom, I navigated my way back through an asian tourist group of a solid 150 members and had a few unwanted encounters.

An amnesty international street collector talked to me for three minutes.

A Unicef street collector managed five minutes.

Both were unimpressed by my financial instability.

Then behold.

Scientology

STEP 1: THE STREET APPROACH

I thought they were just people who overcompensated for the weather (like my mum) and decided to wear suits in the summer. Turns out, the suits mean that they believe in the findings of the almighty L. Ron Hubbard.

They presented me with this:

Here's a tip: Use energy-efficient light bulbs to lower your power bill.

Here's a better tip: If you are going to ask poor people on the street to eventually give you money, at least offer something free first.

Scientology nailed that one and I went right in (mostly out of boredom but let's give them the benefit of the doubt).

It was so nice and clean and unlike outside that I was actually glad to be there.

STEP 2: SELF-JUDGMENT

I was required to fill out a personal info form and instinctively used a fake last name because #strangerdanger.

A small smiley woman led me to a 'testing area'. She looked like someone who would tell an okay story but then laugh all the way through it, immediately making it the worst story you have ever heard. Then she opened her mouth and greeted me with

“What part of your personality are you most ashamed of and would like to change?”

Huh.

I told her I actually didn't hate myself, to which she responded

“Everyone needs improvement.”

Speak for yourself Judge Judy.

I sat down and was given a personality test with 200 questions (a lot). I asked how long it would take and was presented with a chocolate chip cookie. These guys were good.

The questionnaire was pretty ordinary and included classic dis/agree statements like number 11:

STEP 3: AM I DUMB?

After finally finishing the personality test, I was then given a timed IQ test. The second-best way to my heart (besides free stuff) is some sort of timed puzzle. I love brain teasers. So basically I was in heaven, or in full thetan form, for any Travoltas or Cruises reading this.

The second IQ test (I was sick of it by then) was shorter and full of trick questions (ew).

STEP 4: WAIT

I waited for almost half an hour. While I was waiting, a man tried to leave because his parking was about to run out and was kindly but forcibly told to move his car to the church carpark for free parking. Then he said he was hungry and they didn't have any response because they had run out of cookies.

STEP 5: WORTH THE WAIT

After my nice long wait and reading each and every one of the pamphlets on display, I was summoned by a man who looked like he could comfortably lead an aryan nation. By that I mean he looked like Dolph Lundgren, not Hitler.

He took me to the famous machine that I was hoping I would see. It looked like this.

And yes, it feels as cheap as it looks. I held the two cylinders for no more than ten seconds and that was it. I was told that it can read 'mind thoughts vs body thoughts'. On the way out I had a look down at what Dolph was writing on his paper. This is a recreation of what I saw.

DL23? WHAT COULD IT MEAN?

STEP 6: WAIT AGAIN

I waited with a lovely girl about my age and we both questioned our decision-making abilities.

STEP 7: LET'S ANALYSE YOUR FLAWS

Another aryan man summoned me and we went over my test results. Here they are (at this point I was wishing I had used my real name for authenticity).

I will admit, it was a pretty spot-on personality test, though maybe a little exaggerated for self-doubting effect. I was listed as “dangerously withdrawn” because I answered negatively to “I greet people effusively” and “I display my emotions easily through gestures and facial expressions”.

Dolph #2 was extremely friendly with a firm handshake and a lot of eye contact. His analysis of my results graph was

“This here above the line is good. That means you are happy in your self. But this down here, this means you will always be alone.”

CHEERS MATE.

He offered a solution to my failings in the form of a seminar that night (or the next morning), conveniently in that very building (like I said, these guys are good). I would have happily gone if it were free because cinemas here only seem to play movies after 6pm so it would have been a great morning viewing.

I asked him how much it would cost.

He said it was 'barely anything' at $50.

Which was exactly when I remembered that sometimes it's better to be alone.

SCIENTOLOGY