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A science fiction writer, Hubbard created Scientology in the early 1950s. He taught that a person is a spiritual being called a Thetan, whose mind has a "reactive" or subconscious side that stores mental images and is not under a person's control. Through spiritual counseling called "auditing, " he taught, a person can solve personal problems by locating these images and addressing them.
According to Scientology literature, Hubbard began researching the barriers to learning when he noticed some Scientologists struggling with their courses.
Hubbard released his "study technology" in 1964, touting it as a way not only to help Scientologists, but also to solve the world's struggles with education.
In 1972, Scientologists founded the nonprofit Applied Scholastics to advance Hubbard's "study technology" outside Scientology. Nothing in its literature notes any ties to Scientology. Nor should it, they say; his study curriculum is secular and, therefore, appropriate for public schools.
It's used in hundreds of after-school tutoring programs, but perceived ties to Scientology have slowed its expansion into the core curricula of public education. School districts in San Antonio, the St. Louis area and Nevada backed off the program after parents or educators voiced concerns.
In 2001, Applied Scholastics bought and renovated a former retirement home of the sisters of Notre Dame outside St. Louis. The building, on nearly 100 acres, became Applied Scholastics' headquarters.
Watching from afar was Clearwater's most prominent Scientology parishioner, Bennetta Slaughter. Time and again, the savvy coalition builder and respected community volunteer persuaded members of Clearwater's civic establishment to be accepting of volunteering Scientologists.
To Slaughter, Applied Scholastics' purchase of the St. Louis property signaled a commitment to serious expansion. She became chief executive in 2001 and in the years since, Applied Scholastics recorded dramatic growth. [...]
L. Ron Hubbard's study skills program is advanced worldwide by Applied Scholastics, a nonprofit organization that Scientologists created in 1972. It has racked up impressive growth since former Clearwater businesswoman Bennetta Slaughter became chief executive six years ago.
- Hubbard's study tech now is licensed for use in 738 private schools, community centers and after-school or tutoring programs, more than twice the participation levels from when Slaughter took over (many other programs use its ideas). Florida has 24 such programs, 23 of them in Clearwater, the church's worldwide spiritual headquarters. The other is in Miami.
- Applied Scholastics has significantly increased its training of private and public school educators. It reports training 45, 000 since 2001 at its headquarters outside St. Louis, compared with 50, 000 trained in the three previous decades.
- Applied Scholastics has licensed 112 private schools to use study tech. Another 3, 500 schools use study tech in some way, Slaughter said.
- Globally, Applied Scholastics has made its biggest strides in Africa, where it claims to have taught thousands of educators who are exposing study tech to hundreds of thousands in Nigeria, South Africa and other nations. Slaughter said 2.6-million worldwide were taught study tech last year.
- Source: Robert Farley, Scientology makes it in classroom door, St. Petersburg Times, May 20, 2007
On Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, Montreal TV network TVA broadcast a hidden-camera investigation into Scientology -- the result of 4 months of research. The exposé was broadcast in a program called JE (Journalisme d'enquête = "Investigative Journalism"), which is dicated to exposings scams and injustices.
Scientology's front groups were addressed as well, including Applied Scholastics:
With Uncle Sam's help, underprivileged kids across the country are being exposed to the ideas of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Scores of public school districts are using a tutoring program with close ties to Scientology, according to tax documents filed by Applied Scholastics International, a nonprofit that promotes Hubbard's teaching methods. The group has government approval to provide federally funded after-school tutoring in 12 states, including California, Texas and Florida.
On its most recent IRS records, Applied Scholastics reported that 248 public schools purchased its services in 2010. The group claims to have provided tutoring to more than 1,600 students.
Applied Scholastics gained a toehold in public education a decade ago through the No Child Left Behind law, one provision of which requires failing schools to offer tutoring to low-income students. Federal funds are used to pay tutors who meet criteria set by each state.
- Source: Federally Funded Tutoring Program Has Ties to Scientology, Newscore, April 9, 2012
Representatives of Scientology are attempting to deny any religious content and insist the mission of Applied Scholastics is "purely secular," (Education Week, September 17, 1997, p. 1). … However, Scientology's literature (Scripture) constantly and clearly teaches that Hubbard "technology" is their "applied religious philosophy." According to internal material and Scientology defectors, "Scientology has worked hard to shore up its religious profile for the public, the courts, and the IRS" (Ibid.).
Now when it suits them, they want to be able to assume a secular profile again through Applied Scholastics and ABLE. But there is too much inviolate "scripture" which teaches that Scientology's aim is to "clear the planet" to spread Scientology into every sector of society, "to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology... Scientology is the only game on earth where everybody wins" (HCO Policy Letter, August 15, 1960, emphasis added; see also "Opinion Leaders," HCO Policy Letter, May 11, 1971; and "Special Zone Plan," HCO Bulletin of 23 June AD 10). They can't have it both ways.
The purpose of this website is to help explain the conflicts inherent within Scientology's efforts to forge relationships with education communities. We also want to equip parents, educators, and media with the tools to not only spot these front groups when they creep into town, but to question politicians, school boards, and pricipals who might knowingly or unknowingly support such intellectual fraud.
This site will soon grow to explain in detail the myriad of Scientology front groups whose aim is recruiting your children. Groups like ABLE, HELP, and Applied Scholastics attempt to distance themselves from Scientology in order to claim secular status. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the meantime, we've compiled a slew of articles from various sources and incorporated CMU Professor (and studytech.org domain holder) Dave Touretzky's definitive essay on Study Tech.
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