AWSM Note: The following is from the NZ Skeptics Newsletter
Last week Mark wrote an interesting item in the newsletter around Scientologists using deceptive means to lure people in to their “courses”. We got some feedback from a reader in the US – we love getting feedback! – so I thought I’d share it. Ray from Philadelphia writes:
I live in Philadelphia. Many years ago in the early 1980’s, I was on a business trip to Boston. In the evening I had little to do and while wandering about the city I went by an old church that had a small sign outside advertising a personal communications course the next two nights for the sum of $25. I had never heard of Scientology before that time, so why not attend? It was something constructive to do.
So, the next evening I was there, paid the $25, and gave my name and address. Then it started. I am not sure exactly what “it” was. There was a very short introduction by a young “minister” after which people were instructed to face each other in pairs and stare into eyes and not to squirm. That went on for a while and then the small group in attendance was introduced to the E-meter. And that was about it. The e-meter revealed that I had personality problems. It was a crazy one hour adventure.
I did not go back for night 2.
Not long thereafter, perhaps a week, I began getting mail at home discussing my course attendance, my personality disorder, and how I might correct it. There was a mountain of propaganda pushing very expensive courses and books, tapes, etc. And the mail kept coming for the next 20 years. Finally I wrote to them requesting removal from the list. That worked mainly, but I still get occasional propaganda mail.
Scientology is as tenacious as it is crazy.