The Scientology sect, which boasts of such members as Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta, has set up a recruitment site in the Spanish city of Castello, offering a free stress test to those passing by in an attempt to gain new members.
With a large sign reading, “Do you want to know if you suffer from stress?”, two members of the sect offered passersby a copy of Dianetics—the foundation of Scientology’s doctrine—and a stress test for $12.
The “E meter,” the machine used for the test, indicates whether the stress is a result of work, health or relationships. For greater comfort during the test, members provide volunteers a futuristic looking couch on which to lie down.
“This is not a machine that measures tension, like others, but rather is based on complex mathematical operations too long to explain right now,” said Enrique, a local recruitment leader.
According to a pamphlet recruiters distribute, a course in dianetics costs $36, while continuing on to study how to become a dianetic auditor costs $135, and further studies at the advanced level cost an additional $241.
Ron Hubbard, author of the book Dianetics and founder of Scientology, maintains that individuals can free themselves of mental disorders and phobias by facing the traumatic incidents or “engrams” that block one’s mind.