190A.r.s Week in Review - 7/27/2003
- Jul 27, 2003Alt.religion.scientology
Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 15
7/27/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
in the newsgroup before expiring them.
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> Applied ScholasticsThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on July 25th that Scientology has
opened a new headquarters for the Applied Scholastics program.
"In a multimillion-dollar complex overlooking the Mississippi River, a
company called Applied Scholastics International has opened its national
headquarters - a training center for teachers, tutors and business
trainers. The center uses methods developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the late
science fiction writer and founder of Scientology. The company has moved
to north St. Louis County from Los Angeles because of Missouri's central
location and the area's rich history of education, said Bennetta
Slaughter, chief executive officer of Applied Scholastics.
"Leaders of Applied Scholastics say their organization is separate from
Hubbard's Scientology, that it is based on his educational techniques. 'We
are strictly an educational organization,' said Slaughter. 'We are not
part of the church,' she said.
"Applied Scholastics paid $2.9 million to buy the complex and 55 acres two
years ago from the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The company also bought
an adjacent 45 acres and plans to expand, Slaughter said. St. Louis County
lists the property as taxable, a county spokeswoman said. Applied
Scholastics spent about $2 million on renovations.
"The company says it trained 6,000 teachers last year. It employs about 45
people at the center. On the front wall of the complex's former chapel are
panels describing Hubbard's 'three barriers to learning.' The barriers
arise when a student: Cannot visualize an object, such as a combine when
the student is studying about food production. Fails to master all the
steps in a concept. Doesn't understand a word. Hubbard's solutions: Have a
student use a dictionary. Provide a student a picture or model of
unfamiliar objects. Review concepts students fail to understand.
"Applied Scholastics was at the center of a debate in California six years
ago when some teachers proposed that the state buy the group's books to
supplement school textbooks. State officials approved the purchase after a
review group found the books did not appear to advance Scientology.
"Applied Scholastics employees have begun to introduce themselves to
school districts, churches and other agencies in the St. Louis area,
Slaughter said. She said several local school districts were considering
using ASI's training.
"Scot Danforth, who oversees teacher education for the University of
Missouri at St. Louis, said he searched a database of four decades of
published educational research and could find no study on L. Ron Hubbard's
instructional techniques. 'In my opinion, they are involved in the worst
kind of deception. They make grandiose claims about the effectiveness of
their methods and materials with data that has never been published in a
legitimate educational research journal,' he said.
"Greg Jung, president of the Missouri National Education Association, is
cautious. 'We don't know if the people who are providing training are
qualified and if the teachers providing the tutoring are qualified,' Jung
From the Associated Press on July 27th:
"Executives with Applied Scholastics International say the center is
completely secular, licensing educators and schools in the learning
methods Hubbard developed, known as study technology. 'We have no
religious materials. They are separate organizations,' chief executive
officer Bennetta Slaughter said.
"Use of Applied Scholastics materials raised questions in Los Angeles in
1997 and in Boston in 2001, when some educators expressed concern that the
program could have links to Scientology. J. Gordon Melton, director of the
Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, Calif., has
written about Scientology and visited Applied Scholastics centers. He said
Applied Scholastics presents itself as separate from Scientology, and from
everything he's seen, that's the case. Applied Scholastics isn't licensed
to use any Scientology materials. 'It has to be separate, or it would just
be too controversial,' Melton said.
"The Rev. Alfreddie Johnson Jr., a Baptist pastor in Compton, Calif.,
founded a literacy program that uses Hubbard's methods. He compared the
current state of education to a house on fire - he doesn't care about the
religion of the firefighters. 'You want trained individuals who will pull
your kids out of the burning house safely,' he said.
"The new campus can train about 700 educators at a time and has rooms to
house about 180. Prices range from $125 for a weekend workshop to roughly
$13,000 for a semester of study and accommodations in a suite.
"A county economic official said it's always good to see a new development
come into the area. 'We're not endorsing any particular teaching or belief
system. That's not our business. We also don't want to be disrespectful of
any beliefs,' said Steve Anderson with the St. Louis County Economic
Council. 'It appears it will be good for the neighborhood.'"
> Tom CruiseThe Irish Examiner reported on July 21st that the International Dyslexia
Association has criticized Tom Cruise for his promoting Scientology to
help with learning disabilities.
"Tom Cruise has upset members of the dyslexia community by claiming in an
interview that Scientology had cured his dyslexia. Cruise, who is a
founder of the Scientology-based Hollywood Education and Literacy Project,
told People magazine that after he read The Basic Study Manual by L Ron
Hubbard, his dyslexia disappeared.
"'There is not a lot of science to support the claims that the teachings
of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard are appropriate to overcoming
dyslexia,' said J. Thomas Viall, executive director of the International
Dyslexia Association. 'When an individual of the prominence of Tom Cruise
makes statements that are difficult to replicate in terms of what science
tells us, the issue becomes what other individuals who are dyslexic do in
response to such a success story.'"
> Gold BaseThe Valley Chronicle reported on July 26th that residents in San Jacinto
are unhappy with the closure of a highway through Scientology's Gold Base
for the purpose of making a time-lapse film.
"San Jacinto Mayor Jim Ayres said it reduces the number of entrances to
San Jacinto to one at time. The city and Eastern Municipal Water District
are involved in a two-pronged plan to lay a wastewater line under the
road, and repave and widen the road when that is finished. 'It was built
and paid for with taxpayer dollars,' he said and should be available to
"Riverside County Supervisor Jim Venable acknowledged that the timing of
the closure probably wasn't the best, but said it is neither the first
time it has been done, nor the longest closure. 'We closed Domenigoni
Parkway for three weeks,' he said. 'People didn't like it but they got
used to it.' That closure was to film the movie 'The Fast and the
"Muriel Dufresne, public relations director for Golden Era Productions,
the Church of Scientology's in-house movie production company, said the
reason the road is closed for two weeks is that cameras have been set up
in the road to capture changes in the sky above San Jacinto. 'They are
doing time lapse photography,' she said. 'We apologize if it's caused any
inconvenience,' she said. 'It's not going to happen that often.'
"Ayres believes it shouldn't happen at all. 'Maybe they picked a poor spot
to build a studio,' he said. The closure has also revived a rumor that the
road will be closed but Venable said that will not happen. 'I will
guarantee that road will not be closed off,' he said. 'It is one of the
major arteries in that Valley.' Venable said he has heard the rumors about
closing the road and is aware that the Church of scientology would be
happy if it were closed, and he has even discussed it with the church
representatives, but that the only way that could happen is if the church
builds a road to replace Gilman Springs."
> Protest SummaryJens Tingleff reported a protest at the Birmingham, England org on July
"Six of us had a very nice and productive afternoon out protesting in
front of the body-routing grounds of the Birmingham, UK, shop of the
criminal organisation known as the 'church' <spit> of $cientology. Dave,
John, Hartley, Neil and myself started off somewhat apprehensive.
Waiting for us was a police van with three friendly police-persons in it.
They wanted us to be nice and would expect the clams to be nice. It also
turned out that no clams came out to play, so we had a clear run to do our
"Dave had new balloons (larger, clear, single two-toned image) and a lot
of balloon gas. I was basically busy for one and 3.4 hours handing out
balloons and ended up giving away everything we brought - roughly 250
balloons festooned with Xemu's friendly face and the message '$cientology
Sucks!' We were joined later by a local parent and a friend of the parent,
bringing our total number to a very healthy seven. The leafletters managed
to pretty much give away all the five hundred leaflets we'd taken along."