PUT TO THE TEST. Just in from Jane Fallon Griffin, Senior Staff Writer at the University Times, the student newspaper of Trinity College Dublin.
Scientology in Ireland has a little different look and feel than in other parts of the world.
… Church of Scientology has succeeded in extending its influence to Ireland. Here, however, it has the status of a mission, rather than that of a religion which it holds in America, Australia and Argentina. Abbey Street is home to the Irish branch of the church, with its office located above a hairdresser, flanked by a traditional Irish music shop and a travel agent. The attention received by Scientology in Ireland is very much confined to its testing in its Dublin headquarters and the protests of those who aim to restrict any further influence by the Scientologists: Anonymous Ireland.
Jane moved into temporary quarters next door to a Church of Scientology while working in Boston, MA here in the U.S. and became a little curious about the organization.
During my three months living next door to the church, there was a constant flurry of activity in the adjoining house. Curious, I often stood outside contemplating investigating this free personality test and the Dianetics book which was sold alongside the People and O magazines in our local newsagent. I wanted to go in. My travel companions were vehemently against the mere thought of it.
When she returned home to Dublin, the urge to check out the CoS was just too much for this budding investigative student journalist.
While I waited to be presented with the 200-question test, the Scientologist asked me what I was doing. I answered I was a student but he proceeded to enquire about what job I had, which I found a little bit unusual. When it came to the test, some questions became more thought provoking and frankly somewhat disturbing … I began the questionnaire considering carefully each sentence yet as I progressed through the sheet I found myself more uncomfortable.
Perhaps we should yell, “Jane, get out now before it’s too late!” But she would have none of that. And, of course, this is what you would expect when the results of the “Test” were presented.
In categories such as “happiness” I didn’t fare well, nor in “organisation”, nor “criticism”, nor much else for that matter. In many of them I was below the dotted line which, according to the chart, indicated that my need for attention was “urgent.” I looked at the sheet while he read out each individual result and couldn’t help but think that this personality must belong to someone else. He stopped talking and asked me if I agreed. I tried to be polite, saying that there may have been a few inaccuracies, but on further prompting I told him I disagreed with most of it.
We can report that there is a happy ending to the story, as Jane escaped with all of her senses. This is how the final chapter should read for ANYONE interested in the cult of Scientology…
Interesting as I found the experience, my gut feeling descending the stairs was not to attempt any further research into the next stages of membership.
Nicely played Jane … nicely played.
Related stories about Scientology in Ireland:
- Here is an interesting collection of media articles, historical documents and other references detailing the activities of the Scientology organisation in Ireland over the years.
- Anonymous has a presence in Ireland, from which protests continue.
- From Marty Rathbun’s blog, a story from 2011 reporting of Mike Rinder’s trip to Ireland to speak at Trinity College.
- Story from the Belfast Telegraph where David Miscavige takes bogus credit for the 85% drop in drug-related crime.
- A report from Tony Ortega when he was Editor in Chief of the Village Voice, on the condition of the Church of Scientology in Ireland (2012).
- A 2012 report in the Irish Examiner revealing how badly the Scientology organization is financially … interest free loans from outside the country are propping up the Irish branch.
- A disturbing 2011 report about Former Scientology leaders in Ireland which describes psychological manipulation, spiritual abuse and exploitation.