By Chad Leigh Kluck on

For the second time in my life, the first being a year ago in a psychiatrist's office, I had to go through an evaluation, These things are nothing to laugh at. They are very tough to deal with. You learn your strengths, weaknesses, and the fact that you can sweat a gallon of water in only half an hour. You can take them very seriously and develop a smoking habit, or if you already smoke, you maybe lighting many small oil lamps, incense burners, and who knows what other combinations just to relieve the stress, as I have seen happen in my neighbor across the hall.

I think that the best way to get through with as little stress as possible is to have a little fun, I'd like to think that, as I did last year, I won this round. I am a tough nut to crack. Their sole purpose is to put you under a light, strap you to a chair, spit in your face, and make you denounce your government. But this has nothing to do with the time I spent as an undercover sweat shop worker in 1986 in some South American country, which I can not mention here because--well, I can't tell you. My boss is very particular about what I tell people.

In evaluations here at the seminary, the evaluators go over what they have seen you do over a period of time. Their observations come from informants, hidden cameras, satellite photos, and the one-way mirrors they put in your room. The informants are not that hard to take care of. just talk the lingo and they will think you are one of them. Make use of the phrase "Do you have a light?" often, as that will lead to a discussion of smoking, which, with the right decoding skills, you can crack. Using the education I received from the CIA Internet site http://[REDACTED] [REDACTED][REDACTED], I once found out about an assassination attempt on my life just by saying, "Did you hear the Minnesota Twins won?" You see, informants use sentences that are rarely used in society.

One technique I've learned while dealing with evaluations is to come up with totally off the wall answers, theories, and humor. They will think you are a nut and you will be better off. Tell me the truth, when people come up to you talking about their JFK-alien-CIA-Communist-Grassy-Knoll theories, what do you do? You back off and leave them be. People don't mess with you when they think you are a lunatic. You see, the government knows this and that's why some of their best-kept secrets are out in the open.

For fear of losing my readership right now because you all think I am a lunatic, I will switch away from the informers and conspiracies and now focus on the games you can play with your evaluators. Show up dressed like a member of KISS, or better yet, dress as the transvestite from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also, be one step ahead of them and answer their questions before they have a chance to ask them. Smile constantly. It annoys them when they know you are enjoying yourself. Do not just answer; answer with absurdity as in the following example:

EVALUATOR: Do you get a lot of physical exercise?

WRONG ANSWER: I run every day.

RIGHT ANSWER: I feel that mugging people can give you the best workout. You are constantly playing tug of war, pushing people, jumping fences in alleys, and the occasional run up the fire escape and jog across the rooftops can't be matched in any gym.

As you can see, long absurd answers are better than short boring ones. (Note: For some this may not be an absurd answer.)

Act as paranoid as you can. When you come in, ask to sit in the corner so that you can see everyone in the room. During the evaluation bite your nails, sweat up a flood, and shift in your seat. Constantly ask: "What are you getting at?" "What do you know?" "What are you writing?" "Did that mirror sneeze? I really think someone is behind that mirror."

Know what your evaluators want to hear and don't say it. Know what your evaluators don't want to hear, and say that instead. Pretend like you are living your darkest fantasies. I by day am Chad the innocent seminarian from Nebraska. By night I am Raul the dancer from Delaware. I stay up late, party all night, gamble big, and talk to the women. I've married in Vegas, played in Reno, cruised on the Mediterranean, and won big at bingo in the church halls. Though I have an active nightlife, I am always back in time for seven-thirty morning prayer. I live the life every man envies and every woman adores. I am Raul.