Presenting Rod Keller's
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 8, Issue 15 - July 27 2003

Applied Scholastics

The 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 said." 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.'" Message-ID: Message-ID:

Tom Cruise

The 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.'" Message-ID:

Gold Base

The 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 the public. "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 Furious.' "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." Message-ID:

Protest Summary

Jens Tingleff reported a protest at the Birmingham, England org on July 26th. "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 $cientology. Dave, John, Hartley, Neil and myself started off somewhat apprehensive. Waiting for us was a police van with three friendly police-persons in it. They wanted us to be nice and would expect the clams to be nice. It also turned out that no clams came out to play, so we had a clear run to do our thing. "Dave had new balloons (larger, clear, single two-toned image) and a lot of balloon gas. I was basically busy for one and 3.4 hours handing out balloons and ended up giving away everything we brought - roughly 250 balloons festooned with Xemu's friendly face and the message '$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." Message-ID:

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