Scientology worms its way into schools

Former teachers and administrators are concerned that at-risk students at the Phoenix-based Career Success charter school district have been exposed to teaching methods tied to the Church of Scientology

But upon reviewing the material DeAnna Rowe, executive director of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, says she sees no problem.

“Overall it appears to promote the need to respect another’s religious beliefs,” Rowe wrote in an email.

The Scientology cult uses various front groups in its attempts to both market its views and gain respectability.

One such groups, Applied Scholastics, promotes the use of study techniques created by L. Ron Hubbard, the fantasist who created Scientology, and whose ludicrous medical claims form the basis of treatments at Narconon — another of the cults’ fronts.

As we note at Apologetics Index, there are three major criticisms of Applied Scholastics.

  • The Church of Scientology and Applied Scholastics describe Hubbard’s Study Tech as ‘tremendously effective.’ However, no studies on the approach have appeared in educational journals or other third-party publications, and the approach has found little acceptance among educators and scholars of education.
  • L. Ron Hubbard was known as a fantasist, and his theories have been widely discredited as pseudoscience and quackery.
  • Critics view the marketing of Study Tech through such front groups as Applied Scholastics as an attempt to help legitimize (and/or recruit for) the Church of Scientology.

Arizona radio KJZZ reports that teachers at the school were also encouraged to distribute booklets called, “The Way to Happiness.”

The booklet consists of a compilation of widely agreed upon moral values that Hubbard put into writing (and many which he didn’t follow too closely).

According to the Los Angeles Times, in an article titled, Scientology and the Schools,

Scientology publications have called the [Way to Happiness] campaign “the largest dissemination project in Scientology history” and “the bridge between broad society and Scientology.”

Meanwhile, its should be noted that Scientology’s own ‘moral values’ leave a lot to be desired — given that it has frequently put Hubbard’s encouragement of unethical behavior into practice.

Investigative Report on Applied Scholastics

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:

Applied Scholastics Exposed
Scientology vs. Education
Research resources on Applied Scholastics

What do American Catholics Want?

A graphic by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), “shows that majorities of Catholics — including those who attend church most frequently — believe that in its statements about public policy, the Church should focus more on social justice issues, rather than abortion and the right to life.”

Catholic views on church practice and policy

Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, in his Washington Post column looks at the shifts and tensions among American Catholics, at look which provides a “microcosm into the larger global dynamics at play:”

  • First, the Catholic Church has been experiencing significant demographic and geographic transformations over the last century.
  • Second, a central question facing each new pontiff is how the church engages the broader culture
  • Third, the new pontiff will likely determine which of two major streams of Catholic theology will be dominant for the foreseeable future: “Catholic social teaching,” which is focused primarily on economic justice, or Catholic teaching about “a culture of life,” which is focused largely on abortion
  • Finally, the new pope will continue to face questions about the church’s stands on the legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships, amidst rapid shifts toward more acceptance in the broader culture.

Fact Sheet | American Catholics in 2013
Catholic Church At Crossroads: Demographics, Social Issues Pose Challenges

What you want to know about the Pope’s retirement

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday February 28, 2013.
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