Scientology “Study Tech”: Start the brainwashing early

The entertainment newswires have been buzzing recently with a story that is actually of some social significance. Hollywood movie star Will Smith is founding an elite new private school in the Los Angeles suburbs, to be called the New Village Academy (NVA).Among several other teaching methods, NVA will emphasize something called “Study Tech,” a mode of instruction developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology cult. Study Tech is nothing less than a way to make children think like Scientologists.

Scientology tries to give the impression that Study Tech is simply a hands-on, engaging way to inspire young minds. Also, of course, they insist that it is entirely “secular,” not related to Scientology teachings, etc. etc. etc. People who don’t know any better accept their assurances uncritically. The reality of Study Tech, however, is much more disturbing. There is a reason that Study Tech methodology and materials are used in no other schools than the Scientology schools managed by “Applied Scholastics,” one of the cult’s many front groups. The reason is that it has been rejected as “deceptive” and “garbage” by nearly every Board of Education in the United States and Canada.

David Touretzky, PhD, is Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. He is a long-time critic of the Scientology cult, and in 2003 wrote an exceptionally useful essay about Study Tech: “The Hidden Message in L. Ron Hubbard’s “Study Tech.” Touretzky’s analysis explains not only the hidden Scientology doctrine within Study Tech, but also addresses the question of whether or not it is effective. (SPOILER: It’s not effective.) Touretzky says that Study Tech “was designed for indoctrination, not education. While it may be good at producing obedient Scientologists, it is completely at odds with promoting the ability to think independently. It quite deliberately aims to reduce a student’s ability to think critically. Students are taught to distrust their own intelligence and background knowledge, passively and uncritically accepting whatever they are being told.”