Surrey Comet: Scientology Survey Blasted as 'Misleading'

Source: Surrey Comet
Date: July 27, 2006

Residents in New Malden have expressed concern after personality questionnaires originating from the Church of Scientology dropped through their letterboxes.

Several questionnaires offering a cost-free personality test with the word Scientology only appearing in the small print were received on Selwyn Road about two weeks ago.

The questionnaire asks recipients to answer 200 questions such as "are your actions considered unpredictable to other people?". They can then post it to the London-based Hubbard Dianetics Centre.

The sender will then be contacted for a "confidential test analysis", it states. An advertisement for L. Ron Hubbard's book, titled Dianetics, also appears on the reverse of the form.

One resident, who asked only to be mentioned as Barbara, said she was very worried that people without a general knowledge of Scientology or less aware people might be misled. The religious organisation was founded by L Ron Hubbard, a former science-fiction writer and famous followers include Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Typically new subjects are "audited" and then encouraged to invest in courses designed to help them progress to higher states. It can cost thousands of pounds to climb the levels. Due to the requirement to spend money at every stage, Barbara was angry that the questionnaire does not identify its aims more clearly.

She said: "I'm all for free speech, but this just sent up a red flag. I resent this sort of thing being delivered to my home. I want to stop them going further with vulnerable people who have nothing better to do than tick some boxes."

Michael Burns, 64, a filmmaker form Selwyn Road, said: "The questionnaire might be misleading. I mentioned to my wife and she didn't know the connection between Dianetics and Scientology."

A spokesman for the Scientologists said evaluation of the questionnaire results was free, adding: "People generally find this extremely useful."

He said it would allow people to isolate their problem areas, adding: "The Church of Scientology has available various life improvement books and inexpensive courses. Many people have taken these courses, have improved that particular aspect of their life that they wanted to improve, and have no further need of contact with the Church."

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