The free “Stress Test” you see everywhere is a gimmick used to get people introduced to Scientology. It uses Hubbard’s electropsychometer (E-meter) which is a device that measures electric current. He claimed that this device measures stress and can be used to aid in auditing. In reality, it will measure any changes in blood flow, hormone release, and neurotransmitters which occur all the time in normal people. A “counselor” will try to ask you questions about stressful relationships and situations in your life; then claim that the E-meter is picking up on the physical “stress” that this is causing your body. The counselor will then recommend that you buy Dianetics and a Scientology starter kit containing CDs and workbooks. For your own knowledge, the best physical measurement of stress is from the hormone cortisol, which increases storage of sugar, increases blood pressure, decreases immunity, and decreases inflammation. A blood test is needed to measure this, not some galvometer wanna be medical device.
In fact, in 1963 the FDA took this device to court because it was not a proven medical device. The judge ruled that the device must have a visible label on it saying: “This E-meter is not medically or scientifically useful for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of any disease. It is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily functions of anyone.” 50 years have passed, yet these stress test booths still claim that the E-meters are legit and fail to have visible labels. They also ignore providing warnings on their web sites, graphic materials, etc. This is simply a scam that targets the misinformed.The church
If you are wondering what would happen if you went to an actual Scientology church, here is what you can expect. First of all, they will present Scientology as practical self-help. Rather than talking about religion, they will say that Scientology has helped people with bad relationships, addictions, cured psychological disorders, and even cancer. They then will claim that Scientology contains all of the correct scientific and medical knowledge that the rest of the world does not know about. They will use videos and free seminars to tell you all of this. Then a greeter will try to encourage you with non-threatening questions like “Tell me about yourself, what made you interested in Scientology?” Then the greeter will then tell you about Dianetics and a starter kit that you can purchase. At some point they will ask you to take an Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) which is a 200 question Scientology personality test. Then they will offer you free auditing so that you will come back another day.
When you come back for auditing, they will say something like “based on your OCA you are far below normal and need Life Repair.” This involves blocks of 12.5-hour audition “intensives” which cost around $1,000 each. They will also recommend going through Purification Rundown which costs around $2,000. This program combines exercise, supplements of vitamin B3 (Niacin), and long sauna sessions for a period of five weeks.
You can see how this may be very appealing to people that are looking for some kind of meaning in their life. The staff will come off as very warm and friendly, if you look past the big price tag.
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