On Saturday I found a Scientology stand in the Mall off Puckle St. They had a guy doing stress tests, a number of L. Ron Hubbard books, an explanatory DVD, and a lovely pink pamphlet that asks: Are you curious about yourself?
I found that I was curious about myself, so I picked up the pamphlet, which contained a Free Personality Test. It consisted of a number of questions that you answer as + (definitely yes), m (maybe or uncertain) or – (definitely no or mostly no).
I was still curious about myself, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Here are some of the questions:
3. Do you browse through railway timetables, directories or dictionaries just for pleasure?
A simple enough beginning. No. No, I don’t browse through timetables for pleasure. Easy. I feel good.
7. Would you prefer to be in a position where you did not have the responsibilities of making decisions?
Slightly more ominous. If I say yes, does that make me fodder for a cult where I am under your control? And I will like it, because of my answer here?
14. Would the idea of inflicting pain on game, small animals or fish prevent you from hunting or fishing?
Now I’m worried. What is it that we Scientologists will have to do in the new world? And if I want to get in, do they want pacifists? Or people who are willing to torture small animals for sport?
19. Are you normally considerate in your demands on your employees, relatives or pupils?
Ok, now I’m freaking out. How do they know that I’m a teacher? And how did they know I’d be on Puckle St at that time? I think my tin foil hat might be playing up. Or that I spend too much time on Foursquare.
26. Is your life a constant struggle for survival?
No. Should it be? Is it going to be soon? Will I be safe if I join Tom Cruise?
31. Could you agree to “strict discipline”?
Oh right. You have got to be kidding me. This is a question? Are they grooming me for the church or for a good spanking? But in all honesty, yes. I suppose I must answer yes.
45. Do you often feel that people are looking at you or talking about you behind your back?
WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD? Was it that bastard Dave? What did he say? Why did I make him best man? GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
Or, to be more honest, no. They might be suspicious and ramp up the surveillance if I said yes.
55. When hearing a lecturer, do you sometimes experience the idea that the speaker is referring entirely to you?
Isn’t it always about me? You just have to know how to read the codes. It was quite difficult getting Packed to the Rafters to be about me. It involved some seriously meta interpretation of camera angles.
61. Do you ever get a “dreamlike” feeling toward life when it all seems unreal?
No. Yes. Is that a walrus?
72. Are you perturbed at the idea of loss of dignity?
This is really a question. I am beginning to think that this might not be from the Church of Scientology at all, but rather a clever plot by the government to get us to answer questions they’re scared to ask outright in Herald-Sun polls.
76. Do you sometimes give away articles which strictly speaking do not belong to you?
Let’s forget about the fact that the Word grammar checker is having a spack attack over that sentence. This question was written on a very VERY old version of this survey and was intended to try and capture Robin Hood.
This, though, reminds me of a story that doesn’t necessarily put me in a good light. It may make it into the novel. I may have to change it a LOT.
I was living with a girl I’d met on RSVP. I keep wanting to call her Emma, but I’m pretty sure that’s not her name. I wasn’t dating her. We went out on a date, realised we had absolutely no chemistry, but she called me in a couple of days asking if I had a spare room. She moved in. But on the night she was going to move in, she called me and asked if I could be involved in a rescue mission for the new girl that had come down from Queensland.
I think I need some back story on the need for a rescue mission.
“Emma” (I don’t usually change names to save the innocent etc. but I really can’t remember her name) was moving in with me because the guy she was living was an absolute lunatic – scratch that, it’s judgemental. He tutored girls and told them that they had to do what he told them. He used spanking as a method of instruction. He made his tenants sign a document saying that he could spank them if they didn’t follow house rules.
And we’re back on track.
When this new girl moved in, on the first night, the man crawled into bed with her in the middle of the night. Hence the need for a rescue. Fair enough? I thought so.
So, we took my car and Emma’s and drove to his place on a night when we were pretty sure he wasn’t going to be there. We quickly packed everything we could into the car. Emma went through a room filled with books.
“Look at these books. There are so many first editions here! Want anything?” she asked, grabbing a signed Somebody Famous.
“God no. I’ve never even met this guy – is that the Egyptian book of the Dead?”
So, maybe I can’t give you a solid No on that one. But I didn’t give it away!
On with the questions.
88. If we were invading another country, would you feel sympathetic towards conscientious objectors in this country?
“…and if you say yes to this one, you will mysteriously disappear on the eve of our invasion, along with your objecting friends.”
More evidence that this is a government conspiracy.
92. Are you a slow eater?
This survey needs a fourth box: WHY?
98. Would you use corporal punishment on a child aged ten if it refused to obey you?
I laughed at this one. There are a number of questions that ask whether you hate kids, or are uncomfortable around kids. And now: will you give a child a good belting for the good of the group?
101. Does the youth of today have more opportunity than that of a generation ago?
Yes. Why did I put this question in? Oh yes, because this really deserves its own blog. Remind me.
110. Is your facial expression varied rather than set?
They really ask this. Are you already one of the pod people? Or should we send your free Quick-grow Audrey III by express post?
113. Would it take a definite effort on your part to consider the subject of suicide?
Well, it did. And then I read this question. Now I’m obsessing.
I’m always pulling my nose. Pulling my nose? Who pulls their nose? Are they asking me this so that the clones can imitate me without being caught? Who pulls their nose? I’m trying it now. It doesn’t seem like a nervous habit. It feels like a misguided attempt to pick it.
136. Do children irritate you?
They do. But I have a cream that clears it right up.
138. Do you usually carry out assignments promptly and systematically?
I mean, really. Yes sir! Mr Cruise, sir!
163. Would you take the necessary actions to kill an animal in order to put it out of pain?
This really should follow directly after 138.
170. Are you opposed to the “probations system” for criminals?
And this should follow directly after 163. “animal” yes indeedy.
181. Do you often ponder over your own inferiority?
I often ponder over other people’s inferiority. Does that count?
194. If you lose an article, do you get the idea that “someone must have stolen or mislaid it”?
Yeah. Blame the other guy.
195. If you thought that someone was suspicious of you and your actions, would you tackle them on the subject rather than leaving them to work it out?
If I thought that someone was suspicious of me and my actions, I think I’d have to make sure that they never told anybody else about it. . .
OK… So I am no longer that curious about myself, but I’m hella curious about Scientology! How is it that a science fiction writer writes a book, calls it real and suddenly some idiot makes Battlefield Earth into a movie??? And don’t tell me you liked it. I’ve said that myself. You just like the memory of it, now that it’s no longer tearing away at the walls of your intellect.
Why is it that I’m allowed to write Scientologist on my census form, but not Jedi? Or wizard? Maybe I can write wizard. I haven’t checked. But I know they don’t count Jedi. At least I can write Pastafarian, and they told everyone they just made it up.
Damn. The paranoia is kicking in. I should change some of these answers. You won’t take me alive! I sleep with a can of plant killer under my bed! Ha. Just read question 199: Do you tend to hide your feelings?
I feel kind of bad about picking on Scientology. I read the website, which is probably all they wanted me to do in the first place. It sounds quite mellow. I’m pretty sure it isn’t, but it sounds quite mellow.
Made up by a science fiction author. But mellow.
Next week: I’ll be married. I could write about that. Or I could write about bees. Let’s see, shall we?