Scientology school gets close study

A Boston city councilor is raising concerns about a pilot school’s proposed curriculum and its ties to an arm of Scientology, while a prestigious Hub charitable foundation is taking a second look at its grant to help launch the controversial school.

“We’re reviewing the grant proposal in light of new materials,” Boston Foundation spokesman David Trueblood said of the organization’s $20,000 gift to the proposed “Cornerstone for Success Academy.”

Consumer Alert: Scientology vs. Education
Applied Scholastics claims that it is wholly independent of the Church of Scientology. Its chief executive officer Bennetta Slaughter says that “they are separate organizations … We are strictly an educational organization. We are not part of the church.” (St Louis Post-Despatch, July 27, 2003). Taken literally, this is true. Applied Scholastics is indeed a legally separate corporation. However, it has so many ties to the Church of Scientology and its corporate alter ego, the Church of Spiritual Technology, that it cannot be regarded as being anything other than a Scientology subsidiary.”
Scientology vs. Education

The Herald reported yesterday that the proposed taxpayer-funded high school would base its curriculum on a model created by Applied Scholastics International – the educational arm of the Church of Scientology. Applied Scholastics officials, however, say the program is not religious and is run separately from the church.

The grant will be used as seed money by a group of Hub teachers pushing for the new pilot school, which needs approval of Boston school and union officials. Trueblood said the Boston Foundation did “no evaluation” and didn’t know of the Scientology link – despite references to Applied Scholastics in the group’s application.

Scientology is a federally recognized religion but has been widely criticized as a destructive, mind-controlling cult. A national anti-Scientology campaign was recently launched by Anonymous, a group of computer hackers and protesters who have blasted the church’s teachings.

Boston Teachers Union spokesman Richard Stutman criticized the Boston Foundation grant as “irresponsible,” in light of financial woes facing existing city schools.

L. Ron Hubbard: Charlatan
Hubbard, the man who created Scientology in 1952, has an unusual CV for a religious and spiritual leader. As well as being a writer, he was a congenital liar: quite simply a “charlatan”. That was the view of a High Court judge in 1984, who said Hubbard’s theories were “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”.
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“The $20,000 could be far better used in any of the 144 other schools,” Stutman said. “To them (the foundation), $20,000 is not a lot of money. Tell that to a school suffering hardships.”

City Councilor Sam Yoon has called a hearing on the plan, citing concerns about a taxpayer-funded school with a “hidden agenda.”

“It’s about full disclosure,” Yoon said. “I would want to know if a school I’m considering is basing its entire curriculum on something that comes out of the Church of Scientology and what that connection is.”

In a statement, Boston Church of Scientology spokesman Gerard Renna said the teaching methods pioneered by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard are “tremendously effective.” He added that the curriculum “is entirely secular and recognized throughout the world.”

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Boston Herald, USA
Apr. 16, 2008
Dave Wedge
news.bostonherald.com

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This post was last updated: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM, Central European Time (CET)