Dubious mail-out blitz by Church of Scientology

The Herald Sun, Australia/April 29, 2011

The Church of Scientology has been blitzing Melbourne with a personality questionnaire.

The high-profile church recently sent 200 personality tests to homes throughout the state. But experts have queried the credibility of the questionnaire, saying it has no scientific basis.

The test, called the Oxford Capacity Analysis, is used worldwide in scientology recruitment and contains a number of bizarre questions, including:

WOULD it take a definite effort on your part to consider the subject of suicide?

DO children irritate you?

DO you get occasional twitches of your muscles when there is no logical reason for it?

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon slammed the group, saying it had no shame when it came to trying to lure unsuspecting people to the church.

"If this is a free public service, then L. Ron Hubbard must be Santa Claus," Senator Xenophon said.

"This is a completely cynical marketing exercise but the product offered can ruin lives."

Church of Scientology's Melbourne spokeswoman Mary Anderson said they were not doing anything illegal.

"People like to learn about their personalities and how they relate to other people," she said.

"The personality tests have nothing to do with recruiting new members."

Prof Nicholas Haslam, of the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, said the Oxford Capacity Analysis test was not an accepted personality test.

"It is a tool associated with the Church of Scientology that has no standing in the professional community of psychology practitioners and researchers, that lacks basic evidence of validity, and that often has been criticized for how it is mis-used," he said.

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