Cults and Corporations: in our schools, and brainwashing our kids

Children, by their very nature, are stupid and easy to manipulate… which is why, over the years, we’ve seen corporations so aggressively pushing to increase their presence in our schools. It’s just good business. If you’re a company selling something like soda, it makes a lot more sense to target impressionable young kids with your advertising dollars than it does adults, who have likely already made up their minds as to which brand of brown, corn syrup-sweetened water they’ll be guzzling right up until the point when their flabby, carmel-colored hearts stop beating. You’d probably have to spend upwards of a thousand dollars to convince your average 50 year old Coke drinker to make the switch to Pepsi, whereas all you probably need to convince a 10 year old is a sexy ad or two delivered by way of the corporate-sponsored, in-school, current events television network Channel One. Not only does Channel One reach approximately 5 million American students a day, but it reaches them in an environment where they’re not able to walk away or turn the channel. They’re trapped. And, if you believe the research, it works extremely well for advertisers. According to the New York Times, “In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that research indicated that children who watched Channel One remembered the commercials more than they remembered the news.”

So it really shouldn’t be any surprise that we have corporations tripping over themselves to get at our kids, offering pay struggling school districts for the right to on-bus advertising, or offering free “sponsored educational materials” to those schools that can no longer afford books. (Subway has a great series of brochures about healthy eating featuring a giant, talking submarine sandwich.) Every big company you can imagine is getting in on the action. According to Corporate Watch, Kellogg’s, McDonalds and Nabisco Mars candy all sponsor K-12 nutrition curricula in our schools. And, as you might expect, these materials slant the facts in order to promote corporate agendas. “McDonald’s,” says Corporate Watch, for example, “teaches about deforestation, without mentioning the ‘burger connection’ to rain forest destruction.” As for the impact, it’s hard to say at this point. One would suspect, however, that kids receiving their environmental education, for instance, from the likes of Dupont, Dow Chemical, Proctor and Gamble and the Polystyrene Council, might be less inclined as adults to protest these corporations and demand action on global warming.

And, here’s the best part. It looks as though America’s cults are getting in on the action as well. The following comes from Tampa Bay Times.

Screen shot 2014-09-08 at 9.13.03 PMOne Friday afternoon in December, leaders of a tax-funded elementary school called Life Force Arts and Technology Academy shepherded students into a Scientology church in Tampa’s Ybor Square.

The children were fed candy and pizza, given Scientology books and DVDs, and shown a performance of a play written by Scientology’s late founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Some posed for photos with Santa Claus in front of a silver Scientology cross.

It was, as Life Force leaders had promised, a Christmas party, the school’s first since a small Clearwater company called Art of Management had been hired to reorganize the school as it filed for bankruptcy.

Though company president Hanan Islam was also executive director of the World Literacy Crusade, a California organization that promotes Scientology study methods, she had reassured parents then that her group would “not push any religion” at the school.

But as Life Force parents stood in one of Scientology’s newest churches, dedicated last year by Scientology’s worldwide leader, David Miscavige, some felt their trust had been betrayed.

Some parents and former teachers at Life Force, which receives about $800,000 a year in public funding, say the Pinellas County charter school has become a Scientology recruiting post targeting children.

Opened to serve a low-income Clearwater neighborhood and advertising classes in computers and modern dance, Life Force had begun pushing Hubbard’s “study technology,” which critics call a Trojan horse Scientology uses to infiltrate public classrooms…

And lest you think it’s just charter school teachers in Florida who are being handed copies of L. Ron Hubbard’s Learning How to Learn (seen above) or instructed on how to integrate the Scientology-created phonics program, Smart Way, it’s not. In fact, inroads are being made here, in Michigan.

According to an MLive report a few days ago, the Flint City Council is considering an offer to distribute L. Ron Hubbard’s The Way to Happiness to all of their school-aged citizens. The booklet, we’re told, seeks to convey Hubbard’s moral code by way of 21 principles. These include; “Don’t Be Promiscuous,” “Be Temperate,” and “Do Not Murder.”

“I think it’s a good deal,” Police Chief James Tolbert said of the program, according to MLive. “From the information I’ve seen, apparently it works. I’m for anything that works.”

As long as we’re willing to try “anything that works,” how about we roll-back the tax breaks on the wealthy, hire back all of the experienced teachers that we let go over the past decade, and begin, once again, to take the education of the next generation seriously? I mean, that worked for a hell of a long time in America, didn’t it?

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29 Comments

  1. Fred H.
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Check out Applied Scholastics.

    http://www.appliedscholastics.org

  2. Fred H.
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Federally Funded Tutoring Program Has Ties to Scientology
    April 9, 2012 under Applied Scholastics
    Fox News Detroit, April 9, 2012

    Link to original article: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpps/news/federally-funded-tutoring-program-has-ties-to-scientology-dpgonc-20120409-kh_19064491

    (NewsCore) – 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.

    Although religious organizations are eligible to provide secular instruction, Applied Scholastics maintains that its tutoring programs are not connected to the Church of Scientology and are based only on the educational theories of church founder L. Ron Hubbard — specifically, on a teaching method he developed called study technology, or “study tech.”

    According to study technology, three barriers prevent people from learning: not having the physical object of what is being studied, not having mastered prior skills, and misunderstanding words.

    “Study Technology has as its sole purpose teaching people how to learn,” said Christine Gerson, a spokeswoman for Applied Scholastics.

    On forms filed with the IRS, no mention is made of Scientology, though “study tech” is a founding principle of the religion.

    “I think that the school districts that are buying into this particular program may or may not know that the Church of Scientology is printing this garbage up,” said Christine Anderson, a San Antonio mother who got Scientology-linked teaching materials removed from her son’s middle school seven years ago.

    On a tax filing, Applied Scholastics said that in 2010, it took in $1.3 million from its education and literacy programs. Gerson said that a substantial portion of the $1.3 million was from tutoring. The average cost per student was approximately $680, she said.
    Critics discount any distinction between Applied Scholastics and Scientology.

    “The claim that they’re an independent organization is a fiction,” said David Touretzky, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who has written extensively about Scientology.

    Touretzky said Applied Scholastics is staffed by Scientologists; it familiarizes students with Scientology terms and allows them to become comfortable with its ideas. As an academic program, it lacks credibility, he and others said.

    “It’s garbage,” Touretzky said. “Kids benefit from adults who pay attention to them and are interested in seeing them learn, and so I can’t say that Applied Scholastics is worse than nothing. It may be better than nothing. But it’s certainly not better than other approaches that could be used.”

    Gerson responded: “In my experience, the few individuals who have opined against Study Technology do not know enough about it to render a meaningful comment.”

  3. Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Interesting.

  4. alan2102
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    … “Don’t Be Promiscuous,” “Be Temperate,” and “Do Not Murder.” …

    Frightening, the kind of stuff these weirdo cults are peddling.

  5. Demetrius
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Now that we, as a society, have largely abandoned the goal of universal, free, public education — is it any surprise that individuals, corporations, and cults of every kind are coming forward to fill the gap … in a mad scramble to gain influence, and grow their “market share,” by gaining access to millions of malleable (and potentially very profitable) young minds?

    As these kids grow up and “graduate” over the coming decades, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of our society, culture, and (what’s left of) our democracy.

  6. anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    You never start off by talking about Xenu, Alan.

  7. Eel
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Math problem: “If you’re OT 7 and you want to go Clear, and every level costs $20,000, how much will it cost you?”

  8. Meta
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Scientology’s Fraudulent Study Technology by David S. Touretzky, Carnegie Mellon University:

    In July, 1997, the Los Angeles Unified School District considered an
    application by public school teacher Linda Smith to establish a new
    charter school. Smith admitted under questioning that she and her two
    partners were Scientologists, and that the plans for their school
    included some unusual educational materials. Called “Study
    Technology,” they are based on the teachings of the late science
    fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the
    reincarnation/psychotherapy cult known as the Church of Scientology.
    The story was broken by Duke Helfand of the LA Times in an article on
    July 27, 1997.

    Also that month, the California state Department of Education gave
    preliminary approval (later withdrawn) for the use of five volumes in
    the Study Technology series as supplemental textbooks, meaning they
    could be purchased with taxpayer funds and used by schools throughout
    the state. (See second Helfand article, LA Times, July 29, 1997.)
    The books fall into two groups. The first three, Basic Study Manual,
    Study Skills for Life, and Learning How to Learn, cover Study
    Technology proper, but are targeted at different grade levels. These
    three books are the primary focus of this essay. The remaining two
    titles, How to Use a Dictionary, and Grammar and Communication for
    Children, are unremarkable introductions to grammar and punctuation
    that show only a few tiny traces of Hubbard’s influence, and thus are
    not really objectionable on anti-Scientology grounds.

    All five books are published by Bridge Publications and distributed by
    Applied Scholastics International (ASI). The latter is in turn part
    of the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE). “The
    Bridge” is Scientology’s term for its series of religious training and
    counseling courses; Bridge Publications is Scientology’s publishing
    house. And ASI and ABLE are Scientology front groups formed and
    controlled by the Church. This raises the question of whether Smith
    and the other supporters of Study Technology are attempting to use
    public funds for religious instruction. Smith and Applied Scholastics
    insist the books are non-religious in nature, and a spokesperson for
    the Department of Education said a committee that examined them could
    find no references to Scientology (Helfand, 1997b). It’s true that
    the word “Scientology” does not occur in any of these volumes. But
    Scientology jargon and religious beliefs appear throughout the three
    study skills books; they are inseparable from Study Tech. This should
    preclude the use of Study Tech materials in publicly-funded
    classrooms. A previous attempt by Applied Scholastics to infiltrate
    public schools in Calfornia was also rebuffed when it became clear
    that Applied Scholastics was a front group for Scientology (Myslinksi,
    1980).

    THE THREE PRINCIPLES OF STUDY TECH

    Study Tech is founded on three principles: (1) use pictures and
    diagrams to illustrate the concepts being taught, (2) break down
    complex concepts so they can be mastered in a series of simple steps,
    and (3) always seek definitions for unfamiliar terms. These rules
    make sense and are harmless enough when phrased in plain English. But
    the Study Tech books present them in a different manner. The three
    principles are called “mass”, “gradients”, and “misunderstoods”:
    special terms that are loaded with significance in the Scientology
    religion. And these concepts are presented in a doctrinaire manner
    that is also characteristic of Scientology religious instruction.
    Study Tech actually helps lay the groundwork for introducing
    Scientology into the schools.

    The three principles of study tech, including the peculiar terms and
    physical symptoms that Hubbard associated with violations of them, are
    laid out in HCO Bulletin of 25 June 1971 (revised 25 November 1974),
    “Barriers to Study”. The HCO, or Hubbard Communications Office, is a
    division of the Church of Scientology, and HCO bulletins, printed in
    red ink on white paper, are published by the Church in a series of
    hardcover books known as the “red volumes”, or “tech volumes”. In
    fact, the tech volumes are one of the major components of what
    Scientology considers its sacred scripture. The HCO bulletins on
    study technology are also reprinted in various Scientology course
    packs, such as The Student Hat, that are sold as part of the cult’s
    entry-level “religious services” (courses offered for a fee). A
    disclaimer at the front of each tech volume and each course pack,
    including those containing the Study Tech bulletins, states: “This
    book is part of the religious literature and works of the Scientology
    Founder, L. Ron Hubbard.”

    Read more:
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/StudyTech/

  9. alan2102
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    “Read more:
    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/StudyTech/

    I did go there and I did read more. And it seems to me that what the scien-whatever-ists are saying is, on the whole, pretty sensible. Even VERY sensible. Further, the entire writeup tries far too hard to portray these people as foaming-at-the-mouth religious nutballs, when it is not clear at all that that is the case. This piece is laughably prejudicial; note the “fraudulent” in the title, before the reader even has a chance to get his bearings. Nothing like putting a strident denunciation right up front, before even presenting an argument! Not to mention that he does not come even close to demonstrating actual fraud. To the contrary: most of the stuff in question (perhaps with a tweak here and there) is elemental, sensible, and should be non-controversial.

    This is not to say that the Hubbard-ists don’t have their neuroses, biases and whatever else, just like everyone else. It is only to say what I said.

    The agenda is transparent. The jerk who wrote this shit (cs.cmu.edu) is defending the lucrative monopoly that he and people like him hold over “education”. He MUST portray any and all competition as weird, non-credible, foolish, fraudulent, etc. — perhaps even criminal. 0 The reader MUST leave with the impression that The Experts (like him) are the only ones we can trust to defend us from all those terrible nutballs. So shut up, pay up (lotsa $$$, including his no-doubt six-column salary), sit down, and stop questioning authority, you ignorant little shit.

  10. Phantom 309
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, Alan!

  11. alan2102
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    “The jerk who wrote this shit…”, namely one David Touretzky, is a member of what Joel Kotkin would call the “clerisy” class. This class functions to defend the new oligarchs, but at the same time (of course!) to defend its own special privileges, perks and prerogatives and fend off any objections from the Great Unwashed (i.e. you and me, provided you’re not in the clerisy class yourself). The article below has to do with Kotkin’s new book — which looks like a winner — titled “The New Class Conflict”.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/09/09/middle-class-mobility-oligarchs-wealth-distribution-column/15249645/

    America’s new class system

    Glenn Harlan Reynolds 8:09 a.m. EDT September 9, 2014

    “Clerisy” class does the bidding of tech oligarchs to detriment of the middle class.

    snip

    In Silicon Valley, a group of super-wealthy tech oligarchs live lives of almost unimaginable wealth, while only a few miles away, illegal immigrants live in squalor.

    The oligarchs feel free, and even entitled, to choose the direction of society in the name of a greater good, but somehow their policies seem mostly to make the oligarchs richer and more powerful. Meanwhile, once-prosperous middle-class communities, revolving around manufacturing industries that have now moved overseas, either sink into poverty or become gentrified homes for the lower-upper class. The middle class itself, meanwhile, is increasingly, in Kotkin’s words, “proletarianized,” with security vanishing and jobs moving downscale.

    The oligarchs are assisted in their control by what Kotkin calls the “clerisy” class — an amalgam of academics, media and government employees who play the role that medieval clergy once played in legitimizing the powerful, and in implementing their policies while quelling resistance from the masses. The clerisy isn’t as rich as the oligarchs, but it does pretty well for itself and is compensated in part by status, its positions allowing even its lower-paid members to feel superior to the hoi polloi.

  12. John Galt
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I agree with Alan. Let’s get these scholars out of education!

  13. Eel
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I guessed earlier when I said that it would cost about $20k to jump from one OT (Operating Thetan) level to the next. I looked it up, though, and it would appear that I’m off.

    It costs $360,000 to get to OT level 8.

    http://www.xenu.net/archive/ot/

  14. alan2102
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    PS: I note that Kotkin has a regular blog here:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/authors/joel_kotkin/

    e.g.:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/28/dawn-of-the-age-of-oligarchy-the-alliance-between-government-and-the-1.html

    06.28.14

    Dawn of the Age of Oligarchy: the Alliance between Government and the 1%

    Thanks to their cozy relationship with the Obama administration, a new class of super-wealthy oligarchs keeps getting more powerful while the country’s middle class shrinks.

    When our current President was elected, many progressives saw the dawning of a new epoch, a more egalitarian and more just Age of Obama. Instead we have witnessed the emergence of the Age of Oligarchy.

    snip

    Despite this administration’s occasional rhetorical flourishes against oligarchy, we have seen a rapid concentration of wealth and depressed conditions for the middle class under Obama. The stimulus, with its emphasis on public sector jobs, did little for Main Street. And under the banner of environmentalism, green cronyism has helped fatten the bank accounts of investment bankers and tech moguls at great public expense.

    Wall Street grandees, many of whom should have spent the past years studying the inside of jail cells for their misbehavior, are only bothered by how to spend their ill-gotten earnings, and how not to pay taxes on it. The Obama Administration in concert with the Congress , have consented to allow the oligarchy to continue paying capital gains taxes well below the income tax rate paid by poor schmuck professionals, small business owners and high-skilled technical types.

    snip

    For the most part, the oligarchs have lined up with Obama from the start. Indeed, at his first inaugural, notes one sympathetic chronicler, the biggest problem for donors was to find sufficient parking space for their private jets. As an observer at the left-leaning Huffington Post put it, “the rising tide has lifted fewer boats during the Obama years -and the ones it’s lifted have been mostly yachts.”

    snip

    Among the .01 percent wealthiest Americans who increasingly dominate political giving, the largest contributions besides the conservative Club for Growth went to Democrat aligned groups such as Emily’s list, Act Blue and Moveon.org. Seven of the ten Congressional candidates most dependent on the money of the ultra-rich were Democrats. In 2012, President Obama won eight of the country’s ten wealthiest counties, sometimes by margins of two-to-one or better. He also triumphed easily in virtually all the top counties with the highest concentrations of millionaires and among wealthy hedge fund managers.

  15. alan2102
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Pardon: not a “regular blog”, but a list of links to his writings as they come out.

  16. alan2102
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Phantom: the kool-aid is all yours, my friend. The oligarchs and their minions are not going to save us, that is for damn sure. But, maybe I am including you in that “us” wrongly. Maybe you are yourself of the “clerisy” or new toady class — foot soldiers for the oligarchs. If so, congratulations! You’ll do well. Nice work, if you can get it.

  17. js
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    LOL at Alan’s Reynolds-Aid. Of course Alan’d be skeptical of critiques of brainwashing systems — he’s not just the president, he’s also a client!

    And please, no maundering about ad hominem attacks, since alleging the criticisms of Hubbard Study Tech are “clerisy” is a pretty textbook example of attacking the source rather than the arguments. Likewise, “trying too hard.”

    The Touretzky identifies multiple pedagogical problems with the ST bushwah, from hermetic jargon/dogma to unsupportable insistence on word definitions as the “only reason” someone would stop learning.

    If you’re unable to understand why these would be a bad thing to have in schools, well, congrats, you lack the critical thinking skills to determine what should be in schools. I’ll avoid laying the blame with your teachers, as self-directed idiocy can trump most institutional attempts to impart critical thinking skills.

  18. Taco Farts
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    What’s going on in here? I thought we were going to get free personal pan pizzas.

  19. alan2102
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    js:

    “alleging the criticisms of Hubbard Study Tech are clerisy”

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? No particular arguments “are” clerisy; that’s incoherent. Kotkin is a writer who has identified a “clerisy CLASS”; I contend Touretzky is member of that class, and that that colors his perception of things, and hence his (hysterical, overdone) critique.

    This “Study Tech” thing obviously has its quirks, as I pointed out, but none are evidently fatal, at least for the teaching of non-controversial facts. Their insistence on certain words, for example, is quaint, but no big deal; what the words represent is the important thing, and what they represent is obviously correct and useful enough. So why all of Touretzky’s hemming and hawing? The answer is in my first paragraph.

    I’ll give you one specific example. Touretzky writes: “There is nothing objectionable in the notion that complex ideas should be mastered by breaking them down into simpler steps done in a logical order. But Study Tech turns this sensible advice into rigid dogma, with a warning that violations can have unpleasant consequences. “If you have skipped a gradient you may feel a sort of confusion or reeling” (Learning How to Learn, p. 84.)”

    Now wait a minute. Where is the “rigid dogma”? That’s a ridiculous overstatement. The ST people simply asserted something; there is no evidence of anything having hardened into a “rigid dogma”. There is not even enough there to constitute any kind of dogma, rigid or otherwise. Further, what is claimed to be a “rigid dogma” is simple, obvious truth; if you skip a key step in the learning process you may indeed feel “confused” and you may even be sent (figuratively, cognitively) “reeling”. What the fuck is wrong with that? NOTHING. “Rigid dogma”, my ass. And the rest of the writeup continues in the same fashion. Touretzky is an hysterical asshole, writing a denunciatory rant. Which again is not a general defense of scientolo-whatevers; it only is what it is.

    I would agree with Touretzky on some of his points, especially when it comes to teaching of humanities or other areas in which ST’s mechanistic approach would be inappropriate or potentially harmful if not tweaked substantially. But Touretzky seems to be unable to make such a distinction — so rabid and anxious he is to rubbish the whole thing (again, see my first paragraph for the reason why). Touretzky is unable to distinguish much of anything, including such fundaments as ST versus Scientology as a whole. Actually, the piece in question is as much a critique of Scientology as it is of ST; for Touretzky, that master conflation is built right in, apparently, to his whole way of thinking, and he is incapable of addressing ST itself, a la carte. The bastard on a holy Jihad against Scientology, and ST is only an incidental target. Maybe he is right about Scientology, but there is no possible way that his “critique” (I am being charitable) of ST can be taken seriously.

  20. Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    We need more guns in schools.

    Every student should be given a gun upon matriculation and be required to carry it at all times while on school grounds.

    Teachers will be given bigger guns, of course.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I investigated Scientology when I was 20. I very quickly realized Scientology was very weird. I do remember Hubbard’s insistence that we must always look up words, in a quality dictionary, when we come across a word we do not understand. It worked for me! I went from approximately a 9thgrade reading level ( lacking the ability to read a simple novel without “blanking out”) to someone who scored in the 94th percentile on the English section of the GRE.

    Touretzky does not seem at all interested in whether or not Hubbard’s learning tool has any merits.

    I beleive scientology is a self interested and potentially dangerous cult but I would encourage readers that are in the education field (I am not) to give Hubbard’s simple technique a try with your students, especially the ones with low reading comprehension and see what happens. I would also encourage you to scrap Hubbard’s jargon when explaining the technique–instead just explain the technique in plain English and strongly encourage your students to make it a habit to always read with a quality dictionary at their side. You might find it very helpful!!

  22. anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Anyone can say study hard, use a dictionary, be respectful to your parents and don’t murder. It’s great advice. It doesn’t have to be Hubbard saying it, though. Similarly, Mansin has some good stuff to say on the environment, but I don’t want my kids learning from him.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous,

    I don’t think schools should use Scientology books either. There really is no need because the technique of “word clearing” is so simple. You need a dictionary, self awareness to identify when you are “blanking out”, and a WILLINGNESS to take the time to look up words and go back to find the words that are unclear for you. I do think, speaking for myself, Hubbard’s emphasis on the absolute necessity of “word clearing” (perhaps an exaggeration on his part) was the key for me to actually try it. Putting it into practice over years helped me but I never would have put it into practice if I didn’t first beleive it was a powerful study tool. I wonder if there have been any scientific studies that show how effective word clearing is. I only know that I went through 13 years of public school and nobody ever suggested I do anything like word clearing. It was purely accidental that I even stumbled on the idea….The key factor in my mind is that the idea was presented as THE KEY ! to learning not as just some general advice as anonymous suggests…We all learn differently. For me it worked big time.

  24. God
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    (Cult): a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

    (Religion): the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

    There really is no difference. A “cult” to some (Scientology) is a religion to others. A “religion” to some (Christianity) is a cult to others.

  25. Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    You’ll get no argument from me, God. I also wouldn’t want the Catholic church providing sex ed materials, or the Mormons teaching my kids math. Educators should be educating.

  26. God
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    amen brother…

  27. Posted September 11, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    My ex wife and her friends were into Scientology.

    They saw it as a good way to get rid of their “hang ups,” whatever the hell those were.

    I thought they were fucking crazy.

  28. Meta
    Posted September 17, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Wait. It gets better.

    The Satanic Temple responded to a Florida school board and judge decision allowing the dissemination of religious materials in public schools by distributing its own Satanic literature to Orange County classrooms.

    “In response to a recent School Board decision in Orange County, Florida that allows for the dissemination of religious materials in public schools, The Satanic Temple will be distributing educational religious material to students,” reads a statement from the group.

    The Satanic Temple (TST) describes itself as a group that, “facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty.”

    Earlier this month, a judge dismissed a Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) lawsuit against the Orange County School District seeking to overturn a school board decision allowing for the dissemination of religious materials in public schools – a move viewed as a blatant breach of the separation between church and state. The ruling also left open the option that if Christian groups can disseminate literature – atheist groups will have the same right.

    Read more:
    http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2014/09/16/satanic-temple-distributes-coloring-activity-books-in-florida-schools/

  29. Ypsiosaurus Rex
    Posted September 17, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Peter, your ex-wife and my ex-girlfriend would have gotten along well. She believed that a jewish zombie was her personal savior! Furthermore, she believed that she was born with “original sin” because some some woman was tricked into eating an apple by a snake… Now that’s crazy.

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