An elderly man named Louie approached me there. He used to play drums, but retired from it because of a back problem. He then explained what had helped to improve his back condition: His practice in the exercise of Scientology. He showed me the Dianetics book and explained that "science" and "-ology" means "know", and scientology meant knowing how to know.
He said that his achievement of knowledge through Scientology improved his back condition, and that it would help restore my hearing. He had noticed my hearing impairment (i.e. my wearing hearing aids and needing to move away from the noise to hear him).
I gave him my number, which resulted in a call and appointment set up by someone called Barbara at the Church of Scientology in Washington, DC. The guitarist in the band told me, "Don't worry about him, he means well".
Just a few days after my conversation with Louie, I showed up at the Church of Scientology and met Barbara in person. She appeared to be in her 40's and was very friendly. She offered me their personality and IQ test. I declined the latter.
Barbara told me in a warm, reassuring voice that the personality test was just meant to get an idea, not an absolute finding, or something like that.
The test showed me to be very critical, according to Barbara, as the type to lash out at others, although I had only confirmed myself as being occasionally a little bit critical through one answer in the test. She told me this in a very rigid, scolding way--scowling, bending forward, almost face to face, as I leaned back in my chair, appearing to be afraid.
"It says here that you are VERRRRRY CRITICAL!" Barbara said.
"Really? How is that?" I questioned.
"That you lash out at others, that you don't care about them!" She sharply retorted.
"I have never had anyone tell me that I didn't care" I pointed out.
Her face tightened up, as she shook her head vigorously. Then she took me to the next room where we talked more. She went back to her friendly stance.
"Well, I guess I'm evil" I apologized.
"No, we are all good by nature" she said with a warm smile. "You need to take one of our courses."
She spoke to a man at a desk sitting behind me. "Talk to his man", she said in a firm voice, "he lashes out at people". Then she left the room, with me alone with him.
He sat there with his hand over his chin, covering his mouth between sentences. Why would someone sincere person need to hide his mouth?
"It says here that you lash out at people. Do you believe everyone to be evil?"
"Well, I don't think of people as being TOTALLY evil, do you?" I responded.
"One group. Psychiatrists." He exclaimed.
"Yes. They tie you up and zap you with electricity" He ardently pointed out.
No documents, any mention of WHOM did what in the field of psychiatry. Just general unsupported statements. And nothing specific as to about what I had done wrong.
"Can't you come up with $75 to take our course? You need it badly, to do better in life, because of your depression, to improve your hearing" He pleaded.
"Really?" I sat there the whole time pretending to be afraid and giving that reaction "maybe you're right," as I did with Barbara.
"May a talk to some of your graduates?"
That's when he showed me the door.
This is a pattern of force I was familiar with, that is often used in politics and personal manipulation:
Pressure, withdrawal, and more pressure. Barbara was very friendly the first 10 minutes, then scolding in explaining the test results, then that warm smile in explaining that I am basically good, then a few minutes later, sending me to the man who pressured me for money to be saved from my tormented condition.
Soon after, I talked to Louie in the parking lot outside at the Inn where we had first met.
"I want to talk about the Church of Scientology. Their philosophy doesn't bother me, but I don't agree with their tactics."
"Your thinking is f--ked up! A subconscious part of you wants to be hard of hearing!"
I wasn't about to point out the faults of this philosophy, but Louie kept on interrupting and cursing so much that I couldn't say any more to him.