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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Undercover reporters visit the Church of Scientology

The Norwegian newspaper VG lists today on its web version an article about three reporters who went to the Church of Scientology in Oslo, and took their personality test.

Read the whole article (in Norwegian) here.

I will summarise it for our international readers.

Three reporters filled in the test on the Scientology website. They used their real names but did not specify that they were reporters. All three consider themselves normal, healthy, fulfilled persons. Two of them filled in all the answers truthfully, while the third took a role and filled in everything as depressing as he could.

After submitting the test, they were informed that they had to show up in person to receive the results. They did so, with concealed cameras.

The result was that they were all, individually, told that they were mentally unstable, unreliable, introverted and depressive people. (The reporter who fibbed his answers to appear depressive, even more so. "On the same level as an inanimate object" was his diagnosis.)
The way to fix this was of course courses and counseling which the Church of Scientology would be more than happy to oblige with, for a small fee of course.

You can see pictures of their scoresheets in the linked article.

One of the reasons that this is relevant in Oslo is that about a year ago, Kaja Ballo, the 18-year old daughter of politician Olav Ballo, committed suicide after having had her personality analysed by the Church of Scientology and came out negative.

Olav Ballos book about his daughter came out this week, I have not read it yet but now I intend to.

Olav Ballo says to VG that these tests are "destructive, depression-causing and pure scams" when shown today's article.

The "Church of Scientology" creates a false depression in people, and then tells them that they are the only cure available. If you have even the slightest doubt about yourself they will grab that and spiral it downwards until you truly are depressed. The way Scientology acts is not helpful to being human. They are, until Dianetics can be proved correct using proper peer-reviewed processes, replicated experiments and good Science, frauds, hucksters, quacks and downright dangerous to people who would need psychiatric help.

I am quite happy to see media focus on Scientology again. Every time we hear some of their claims it just reinforces to me how ridiculous they are. The ball's in the media's court right now. I hope they run with it some more. VG asked some good questsions to the CoS, but the response was vague, generic and unsatisfactory.

Every couple of weeks I see a stand just outside my office with a big sign saying "Free stress-test." (I cannot remember seeing them recently, but that may be coincidences depending on when I leave work from day to day) Sometimes I even spot an E-meter on their table. If I go closer I can see that they have a big stack of Dianetics books there. There is usually a person sitting there talking with them. Probably listening to what they have to say.
I have never bothered to actually go and talk to (or troll) them, as usually I have had a greater interest in getting home for dinner. One of these days though I am going to take Marit with me and, armed with a copy of Operation Clambake, talk to these people.


  1. Something CAN be done about them. Learn more about what we can do about Scientology's fraud and abuse here: anonnorway.ning.comIf you need help, you can get that from your local police or health services, or from FRI NorgeI think it's time we banned some of Scientology's recruitment practices and deception.

  2. I can't understand WHY the government and such haven't taken care of this useless decepting society already. The only thing they really do, is making their clients depressed, and then sells the said client the "Only available cure".. Fraud? By far... Murder? Considering Kaja and her suicide? Yes, by far they are murderers. This house of lunatics should of been closed ages ago already.