common recruiting methodS
Followers of Dianetics and Scientology are very sly about how they seek new members. They don't ask prospective recruits if they're interested in being in a bogus self-help cult that could cost millions of dollars and end up separating them from their family. Instead, they prey upon the curiosity, weaknesses, or good nature of the newcomer.
the fraud of the "stress Test"
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The background of the test-givers is questionable, because the vast majority has no experience in real health science. They are not qualified to identify stress, let alone treat it, in complete strangers. Typically, they are careful not to mention any connection with Dianetics or Scientology unless they feel the timing is right.
In countries like the United States, using the E-meter in these types of public stress tests is fraudulent use of the device. Following a raid by U.S. marshals on the Founding Church of Scientology in 1963 , every E-meter produced afterwards was ordered to have a prominent label stating that it is “not medically or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease." In addition, court orders restricted the E-meter's use to “bona fide religious counseling” only, and it was constrained to religious settings.  Anyone who wished to use the E-meter was ordered to file an affidavit with the Secretary of the Food and Drug Administration. As Judge Gesell wrote on the court order, “The effect of this judgment will be to eliminate the E-meter as far as further secular use by Scientologists or others is concerned.”  Yet the unlawful use of the E-meter continues in ordinary places like public sidewalks and university campuses.
a typical stress test sales pitch
(Credit: Public domain photos)
The person administering the Stress Test tries to find out what is bothering someone. This process may seem scientific, because it uses the E-meter. But no matter what the problem is, Dianetics will be pushed as the solution. Weight issues? Difficulty talking to girls? Worries about school studies? Dianetics supposedly handles it all.
After the weakness in the test-taker has been identified, the push to sell a Dianetics book comes hard. Getting these unscientific, self-help theories into the hands of the recruit is the first step in hooking them on the Dianetics scam and then leading them into the Scientology cult.
the danger of the free personality test
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The test contains a set of 200 questions, many of which are very strange:
- 3. Do you browse through railway timetables, directories, or dictionaries just for pleasure?
- 18. Does an unexpected action cause your muscles to twitch?
- 59. Do you consider the modern "prisons without bars" system doomed to failure?
- 69. Does emotional music have quite an effect on you?
- 88. If we were invading another country, would you feel sympathetic towards conscientious objectors in this country?
- 92. Are you a slow eater?
- 105. Do you rarely suspect the actions of others?
Needless to say, the survey is completely unscientific, and it lacks any kind of independent validity.  It has been alleged by numerous psychology groups that the survey is used in a "highly manipulative"  and "manifestly unethical"  manner.
Upon completion of the survey, typically someone from the Church of Scientology organization returns with an unscientific "grading" of the results. Usually an official-looking graph of these "scores" is produced to aid the appearance of legitimacy. The administrator of the test speaks to the person who took it and (eventually) concentrates on areas that supposedly indicate weaknesses in personal ability. Additionally, there are often areas of this credible-looking test result that are alarmingly marked as "attention urgent."
This combination of deception and crafty sales tactics can convince test-takers that they really do have a problem. Then the process of selling them a book or a course becomes much easier, and they are unknowingly drawn closer to the cult of Scientology.
 "Court Order - FDA - Scientology Dianetics Hubbard E-meter." Scribd.com. 25 Aug. 2008. Web. 29 Jan. 2013. http://www.scribd.com/doc/5024758/Court-Order-FDA-Scientology-Dianetics-Hubbard-Emeter
 Sommer, Mark. "Scientology Tests' Purpose and Validity Are Questioned." Buffalo News 2 Feb. 2005. Web. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/JeremyPerkins/Articles/buffalo-news-2005-02-02-a.html
 Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London. Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology. By Sir John Foster, K.B.E., Q.C., M.P. December 1971. Web. http://www.xenu.net/archive/audit/foster05.html#recruitment
 "Woman Says Her Sister Was Changed by Scientology." Irish Times 30 Jan. 2008. The Mary Johnston – Media Articles. Dialogue Ireland. Web. http://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/the-mary-johnston-media-articles/
 Professor Gudmund Smith. Granskning Av Oxford Capacity Analysis. University of Lund, Sweden. Municipality of Huddinge, Case No. 150.82 000.285, 1981. Print.