Friday, July 08, 2005

Scientology

Prior to my recent readings, I had known very little about Scientology and cared even less. It seemed harmlessly goofy and if some people got some comfort from it, so be it.

I'll tell the story of my one run-in with Scientology, though.

I was probably 20 and hanging out in the U-District and one of those dudes came with Oxford Capacity Analysis. Well, I find personality tests, bogus or not, pretty irresistible to this day - so, yes, it's good that I don't read women's magazines. I was into a variety of New Agey crap at the time, to one extent or another. I'll confess, too, that on the increasing rare occasion or belief that I lean away from agnosticism, it's towards New Agey crap.

So, I go and sit with this guy, who wasn't particularly older than me, and he's going over my "results". It's all going fine in that banal way that results of personality test inevitably have. Then he comes to the word "malicious", as I recall.

I question him on this, because every way in which I am a bad guy - and really even less so the ways I was a bad guy then - don't fit under the category of "malicious".

Anyway, he point to an answer I gave - I can't find it on the test, after a semi-careful look down the list - that I had given a weird answer to. Now, I understand the English language better than most - depressingly, probably a lot better, if I may toot my own horn for a moment - and I had some drippy New Age reason for twisting the obvious meaning of the question around, which, if I found the question itself I could probably remember and explain now.

I look at this guy and start explaining, in some detail, how I interpreted the question and why that led to the answer I gave in a way that didn't make me malicious, but rather a pretentious nitwit. He stammered and stared and said, "But... but..." and repeated his own interpretation as the only possible way to read the words presented. I tried again briefly before sighing and deciding I really didn't need to be taught the meaning of life by a guy who was so much stupider than me.

Maybe that's why I've never stayed long with anybody's kooky superstition.

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