LA Weekly ~ Letters to the Editor – December 12-18 issue

Dear Editor:

Sara Catania’s sarcastic piece about L. Ron Hubbard’s study technology ["The Learning Cure'" November 14-20] was a disgrace. As international spokesperson for Applied Scholastics, I have firsthand experience with the work that volunteers all over the world are doing utilizing Hubbard’s discoveries. These individuals devote hundreds of hours of time and heartfelt effort to help both young people and adults improve their study skills. Their work daily changes lives.

As a parent, I also have firsthand knowledge with the application of study technology. There is no question as to its efficacy. It works, plain and simple, and I have a terribly bright and terrifically competent son who reminds me of the fact daily.

There is no good reason to deny students in our public schools access to study technology. Millions of parents have become so desperate that they allow their children to be drugged in the false belief that Ritalin will succeed where the schools have failed. In such a context, how dare anyone suggest that using a dictionary or learning the correct meanings of words could be even slightly controversial?

-Anne Archer
Beverly Hills


Dear Editor:

Sara Catania’s cynical and cursory review of L. Ron Hubbard’s study technology was surprising above all for its naivete. The real problems of illiteracy and educational failure are a serious matter, not a joke, and any effort to remedy them deserves more than offhand sarcasm.

According to a recent report from the California Reading Task Force, a majority of California’s children cannot read at basic levels. These are our children. Yet rather than education, Catania seems fixated on the relationship between Applied Scholastics and the Church of Scientology. I can clear the matter up in one sentence. At Applied Scholastics, we are grateful and proud of the many years of tremendous support we have received from the Church of Scientology – and we will welcome that support for years to come.

Catania also apparently couldn’t find time to interview even one of the hundreds of Applied Scholastic’s volunteers who are working one-on-one with inner-city youth. Or the non-Scientology religious and community leaders who consider Hubbard’s methods a lifeline for underserved minorities.

If Catania had exhibited any real curiousity about how Hubbard’s methods benefit students, she might have had something substantive to discuss with the experts she interviewed. Instead, she presented speculative comments from individuals with almost no familiarity with them. Further, she chose not to interview any of the many experts and educators who do have firsthand experience with their efficacy.

But let’s get down to the real issue – our educational crisis becomes graver with each passing day. And the real story, which Catania chooses to ignore, is that L. Ron Hubbard’s study technology is making a difference.

Let’s face facts. If we do not solve the problems of illiteracy, we could be headed for a new dark age. Hubbard had the courage to provide revolutionary solutions to our 20th-century educational crisis – and we need to raise our sights to the level of a man of such vision.

-Rena Weinberg
President, Association for Better Living and Education
Los Angeles


Dear Editor:

I was surprised and disappointed at the poor journalism in your article “The Learning Cure.” I felt it was written to prove a point, not written from actual research.

I am the founder of a technology company that has grown from two employees to 800 in just over three years. I’m 26 years old, and have been written about in many national publications as a young success.

I never attended college, and I attribute much of my success to my education at the Delphian School of Oregon, which trains its students in the use of Hubbard’s study technology. This technology allows you to get the most out of the study of any subject. Knowing it, I was able to accomplish my post-high school education on my own.

Being able to thoroughly understand any subject you tackle is an invaluable skill, and Hubbard’s study technology made this possible for me. If Catania had taken the time to objectively interview several people who actually use Hubbard’s technology, she would have discovered that they were thriving in their studies, and actually studying faster than previously.

I walked away from that article with the feeling the author had an ax to grind. Why? The “crisis of education” is a national concern, and everyone agrees that our school system needs major reform. We need something that works in schools and makes universal education possible. If Hubbard’s technology is working, why attack it?

-Sky Dayton
Founder
Earthlink network Inc.


Dear Editor:

The answer to the question “Can L. Ron Hubbard’s study technology make kids smarter?,” posed and never answered, is an emphatic “Yes!”
It is very easy to be a critic. It is not so easy to roll up one’s sleeves and step in to help people who are having difficulty in literacy and learning, as the volunteers, parents, tutors and teachers involved with Applied Scholastics are doing every day.

Study technology is not an untried theory, but a proven system whereby a person can become self-sufficient in any learning environment using effective “tools,” including a dictionary. The result of this process is that one understands and can use the information being learned – a goal that education is seeking in our fast-paced techno-society. These tools for learning are not some new study aid or memorization technique or phonetic-reading program. Rather, these tools are part and parcel of the subject of how individuals learn, combined with actual procedures and methods of applying these principles on an individual basis, to give one the means to grasp any subject.

Central to Hubbard’s study technology is a delineation of the primary barriers to study that constitute the underlying reasons for most educational failures. Educators may speak of “learning disabilities.” Their students are failing to learn because no one has taught them how to learn, how to identify the barriers to learning and how to overcome these barriers.

A few key symptoms that study technology overcomes include why a student gives up on a particular study (often after initially liking it), why they appear dull and confused after certain studies, and what is the primary reason that students drop out or lose interest in learning.

-Ian Lyons
President
Applied Scholastics International


Dear Editor:

Excellent article. I hope that you are left in peace after publishing it.
I am glad that word is getting out on Applied Scholastics, as it very much is a vehicle to get L. Ron Hubbard technology and ethics into the “WOG” world.

-Betty Rhodes
Los Angeles


Dear Editor:

I’d like to commend Sara Catania and the L.A. Weekly for publishing this article, and I hope you will stand up against Scientology harassment. Your article investigated the heart of the topic: whether this study technology has any educational value. The scholars quoted in the article confirmed my own opinions, based on my experience at university and at work.

I think that Word Clearing (looking up every word in the dictionary) is a thought-stopping technique. like counting sheep or saying “Hare krishna” 2,000 times. While such techniques are excellent to get to sleep or to get obedience, they are counterproductive in an environment where individual thinking is important. This certainly applies to all schools in the Western world.

-Tilman Hausherr
Berlin, Germany


Dear Editor:

Despite the plain-vanilla fluff and rather uninspired teaching techniques that Scientologists try to push into the minds of schoolchildren, there are really only three things that Scientology teaches well: manipulation, deception and the selling of $cientology.

Make no mistake about it – Scientology’s front groups, including those that purportedly offer “”earning technology,” are all pieces of bait on a large, aggressive and expensive hook. The organization itself was founded by a con man and continues to be led by those who will go to great lengths to silence critics and former members of the cult.

-Mark Dallara
Tampa, Florida


Dear Editor:

Fantastic, excellent work by Sara Catania. She and the Weekly should be commended for the production of such a frank and accurate description of Scientology’s study technology. As a mother and a taxpayer, I thank you. I shudder to think of my children being educated with such mind-controlling, thought-stopping material

-Sandra Jamison
Robins AFB, Georgia

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