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School Use of Hubbard Texts

July 30, 1997

Robert A. Jones' column, "Saved by a Rumor" (July 27) was filled with generalities, slurs (including one that equates the religion of Scientology with colonics) and inferences that the Church of Scientology somehow attempted to sneakily get some "gambit" past the Board of Education in an attempt to "catechize its students." It was also inaccurate in the extreme.

The fact of the matter is that L. Ron Hubbard wrote prodigiously in numerous fields. His books on the subject of study are not a part of the religion of Scientology any more than his prolific output of fiction would be considered part of the church's doctrine. Hubbard's study methods are used today in many countries by farsighted educators. Working on the front lines, they know that the train wreck has already happened in education and that this is a tool of immense value that will help turn the tide. They care, you see, and what is important is that these methods work, not who developed them.

Which is, of course, the only valid point. Not to Jones, though. Because it comes from Hubbard, it is, "not OK, of course." Really? Perhaps if Jones' sole intention was to create controversy then, of course, he would make this kind of assertion, hoping his readers were not intelligent enough to call him on it. Because the teacher who seeks to open Northwest Charter School is a Scientologist, Jones says the school "may never open its doors," and rejoices, adding, "We were saved . . ."

To once again use his own words, the "truly, horribly embarrassing" thing about his column is that he ignored the facts and instead engaged on a mission to malign well-meaning individuals who, no matter what their religious beliefs, do care about our society.

NORMAN STARKEY, Trustee

Estate of L. Ron Hubbard

Hollywood

* Re "Hubbard Teachings in Public Classrooms," July 27:

I'll give Hubbard credit for one thing; he was the master of jargon. When it comes to masking basic teaching techniques with complicated language, he outdid even the state Department of Education. As for his "empowering technology," perhaps I and all my fellow teachers have been unknowingly trained by Scientologists. We routinely help students relate classroom ideas to real life while presenting the material incrementally; vocabulary study is basic to most lessons. If I had thought to use terms like "lack of mass," "skipped gradient" and "word clearing," perhaps I could have had my name on the cover of a textbook, hopefully in giant letters like Hubbard's.

Scientologists fought long and hard to be recognized as a religion. Now it's time for them to sit back and count the money that their tax-exempt status earns them, and to keep their hands off of our public schools. They can't have it both ways.

SUZANNE MASTROIANNI

Hemet

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