Last night on my walk home from my dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, I passed the Portland Church of Scientology, and immediately knew what I was going to do with my day. So I woke up this morning and found my way back to this intriguing place. I always knew Scientology was a crazy religion, but I was not prepared for what I experienced today.
First, I walk into the building, and am greeted at the front desk by a man and a woman. The fact that a church has a receptionist is red flag number one. The receptionist was around my age, and you have to wonder what went wrong in her life for her to be in that position. Like is that her full time job? Or did she get into Scientology, and then get stuck being the receptionist? Both are equally sad.
Also everyone there was dressed very Mormonish in white shirts and black ties, but some of the guys were also wearing these weird vests like the one’s you wear to prom. I call it “Amish Flare”.
Anyway, I’m greeted by this woman, and she asks if I’m interested in a free tour that’s followed by a personality test. Obviously I am. “Tour” ends up being a generous term for this experience, because it basically consisted of me walking around this weird showroom made up of different stations that talk about the different aspects of Scientology.
After walking through the stations, I still have no clue what Scientology is, and I don’t think the Scientologists do either.
“Scientology is the study of knowledge” is such a bullshit phrase I have no choice but to respect it. It makes zero sense. Knowledge is something someone already knows, so how do you study that? Knowledge of what? My head hurts just trying to figure this out, and I love it. Fake it til you make it, I guess.
A big part of Scientology is about purification of the body, AKA, their sales pitch to recovering drug addicts. This was one of my favorite signs. I loved how they say there are 116 toxins, and then go on to list 6.
This is all backed up by absolutely zero science. I like how it’s just “drugs”. Just toss them all under one umbrella. From Advil to crack cocaine. Drugs. But then they feel the need to specify nicotine, which is also a drug.
Then of course you gotta watch out for “chemicals”. Which chemicals? All of them, I guess. Just keep away from objects with chemical makeups, which I think is….Everything?
This was the only explanation of this purification process:
Also not sure what the waterfall has to do with all of this, but sure.
Then they broke the different parts of a man:
Then there are the dynamics of existence, each it’s own level that needs to be unlocked (with easy one time payments). Eventually, if you pay enough, I guess you reach your supreme being.
But basically, these are all sale pitches for this guy’s books:
Which can all once again be purchased at the front desk. The place was basically a Barnes and Noble’s for cults.
So pretty run of the mill bullshit money making scheme, right? Wrong, because it got much, much weirder.
I finish looking around, then I’m asked if I want to take part in an evaluation, and of course I do.
They bring me over to a desk, and I’m greeted by this machine. Apparently, it’s supposed to measure my current mental state and level of stress.
I put a hand on each cylinder, and then the scale lands on an arbitrary number. It’s literally the same machine from Always Sunny when Dee gets into the pyramid scheme:
Like the exact same thing. I get my “stress level” measured, and it was 70. I’m not making this up. It is literally the exact same as an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. No units. No reference chart. Just “70”. Which was apparently bad, because I was then asked to take a follow up personality test.
I agree to take the personality test, which is conveniently a 200 question multiple choice test. At this point I’ve been here for like an hour, and I’m starting to get some kidnapping vibes. This is where things started to get creepy.
The test was basically the same five questions being asked over and over again in different ways. The questions are all written in a way that makes you answer them in a certain way. Things like “on a scale of 9-10, how much do you hate yourself?” Not that exactly, but those types of questions where you’re forced to answer negatively.
I finally finish the test, and hand it in to be graded. I’m called over to this cubicle where I meet with another guy to go over the results.
Once again, everything is measured in arbitrary numbers.
So I sit down with this guy to go over the results, and this is when shit gets really, really, culty. He starts going through my results category by category, and won’t move on from each until I agree with the results. He also keeps on saying “these results are based on what you think about yourself”.
Basically it was 20 minutes of this guy trying to get me to hate myself enough to sign up for this religion. Which is sort of fucked. But then also he would once in a while compliment me in a weird way. He said how I was really intelligent, but I’ll probably fail at everything I do without his help. Which, once again, a wild statement to make towards someone you just met.
He asked me if I was interested in taking the next step, but I said I had to get going, even though ten minutes earlier I definitely told him I had nothing to do all day. I expected him to make a last effort pitch, but to my surprise, he pulled a used car salesman move and let me walk. Maybe he’s smarter than I originally thought. I put down all fake info so that sucks for him.
Overall, despite Scientology being an obvious money making cult/pyramid scheme, I can see how people can get pulled in. The people there are salesmen, and they know what they’re doing. They profit off of vulnerable people, and convince people that they suck at life and this is the only way to help.
So yea, Scientology is pretty fucked, and if you take part in recruiting people into it you should kill yourself.
Also it’s a massive tax shelter.
Also I still might sign up.