those wacky scientologists
Mr. Carmichael said that the $8 donation was not a requirement. Indeed, a sign sometimes displayed on the table near the books says "suggested donation: $8."
But when a reporter presenting himself as a stressed-out New Yorker took the test and suggested a donation of considerably less than $8 for the book, the tester, a young man in a striped tie, balked.
"It's a fixed donation," the man said. "The money is just to recover the cost of producing the books."
A saleswoman at a major paperback-book printer in the Midwest, who asked that her firm not be identified, provided an estimate for a book with similar specifications to "Dianetics," which has 700 pages, a black-and-white photo insert and a four-color cover. The price: $1.58 per copy for 50,000 copies, not including. distribution and delivery. The church says it has published more than 20 million copies of the book.
But this is even better:
"Even if the guy doesn't buy a book, we've gotten him to take a look at his life and see what's troubling him," Mr. Davis said. "That's a service in itself. "We've had guys sit down who are thinking of committing suicide. I've had people who killed other people. Just by doing the stress test they realize, 'Hey, this is something I need to handle.' "