Post Thu May 20, 2010 5:31 am

What does Scientology say about your personality?

Bruce Schneiderman, supervisor of the Church of Scientology's Elgin mission and Dianetics center, first came across L. Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics: The Science of the Mind" on the job.

A pipefitter, Schneiderman dropped by a company that was going out of business to pick up some equipment. He ended up picking up a copy of "Book One," as it's known in Scientology, while he was there. His interest piqued, he took the church's Oxford Capacity Analysis personality test at another area mission. He said he felt like that test knew him so well, he wondered what else Scientology might know.

What is the Oxford Capacity Analysis?

Well, while I already was at the Elgin mission to interview Schneiderman for my Readers' Reporter column "That's just science" -- on the job, as he had been -- I decided to go ahead and take the test and see what it might say about my personality. You can take the test online at, and the website will forward your results to the nearest mission. In my case, that was the Elgin mission at 66 S. Grove Ave.

What Scientology says about your Readers' Reporter and more links about the religion, after the jump.

According to the website:

The Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) is a self-report test used in Scientology Churches since the 1950s to measure changes in how people feel about themselves. It is one method used to introduce people to the spiritual gains available in Scientology, as well as to measure how people feel about themselves before, during and after auditing programs.

The test includes about 200 questions, including:

* Do you browse through railway timetables, directories or dictionaries just for pleasure? (No.)
* Do you sometimes feel that your age is against you (too young or too old)? (No.)
* Are you friendly in voice, attitude and expression? (Yes.)

Their answers plot different traits on a graph, higher if they fall within a "desirable state," lower if in an "unacceptable state" and through the center off the graph if about normal. Those traits, from left to right as they're plotted on the graph, are stable, happy, composed, certainty, active, aggressive, responsible, correct estimation, appreciative and communication level and their negative counterparts.

Most people's graphs look like an upside-down "V," according to Domenic Cusano, who shared my results with me at the Elgin mission. They lean toward unstable and depressed, jump up to active and aggressive and fall off again toward withdrawn.

Mine makes more like a "W." Stable, happy and high in communication. I dropped off toward nervous and critical.

Cusano pointed out those two traits and said, "You know what can help there? Dianetics."

Dianetics really is the focus of Scientology and of "disseminating" the religion, he said. For one, it's hard to disagree with the idea that there is a link between mind and body, that what happens in the mind affects the body, or even that man is a spiritual being. Also, Cusano said, Scientologists believe Dianetics' process of auditing - basically, talking a person through negative experiences to relieve their affect on his or her mind and body - truly can help a person.

And it can bring up some of those negative traits..........
"Be the change you want to see in the world."