A challenge: finding a fair review for L. Ron Hubbard’s educational books for kids

Over here I’m currently advising a local school on if we should use a good offer from their publisher.

Against them we have this harsh review from LA weekly:


Looking at Amazon we get glowing reviews:

But of course, one cannot check if Scientology people are posting.

Any fair reviews or comments from SDMB posters involved in education will be extremely appreciated.

For anyone wanting to tackle the “This is a Trojan horse!” angle I will open a GD thread soon.

I wouldn’t trust Amazon reviews whether or not I thought Scientology might be involved. Too many people thoughtlessly slap five-star reviews on that site.

What makes you think the review by the LA Times isn’t fair? Just because it is critical of the book doesen’t mean the reviewer is being unfair. Criticism isn’t the same thing as unfairness.

It wasn’t a review in the LA Times but LA Weekly, and entirely different newspaper. Doesn’t mean the review isn’t correct, however.

You will be safe in assuming that anything written by L. Ron is total and complete garbage.

I really don’t think there is such a thing as a “fair” review with books such as this. When a trained teacher or academic looks at this kind of BS they are going to be 100% negative, just as a biologist is going to be 100% negative if asked to review a book on creation science.

This site has a lot of good information on Applied Scholastics and other Scientology front organizations that are pushing these books on educators.

Looking at JohnM’s link and wanting to cut to the chase, I went immediately to the “definitive essay on Study Tech” sublink and then to the “Study Tech Assessed” sublink. Long story short: I would be very leery of incorporating textbooks that are relied upon by schools that are not accredited, like the Delphi Academies. If they are using appropriate texts, why aren’t they accredited?

Well, I agree, unfortunately you need to remember the old saying of “you go to war with the army you have” in this case I’m only an adviser to a commander that already mentioned that that cite against the books is unfair.

So, I need more independent reviews (very hard to do in a google search seeing how the opinions are so polarized) the decision makers are looking to avoid a “consider the source” fallacy, because the position they have is the bottom line question of an educator: are these books effective at teaching anyhow? (It is important to notice that budget reasons are a factor where I am, I have not seen the price for all the text books, but it seems that the S publishing group is making an offer that cannot be dismissed)

Once again, I would vote against their use, but I need other opinions or cites from educators to discourage the powers that be to not give the Scientologists any business.

You must “consider the source,” whether you believe it’s a fallacy or not.

What, exactly, were L. Ron Hubbard’s qualifications, that his books on teaching anything can be considered authoritative? (other than Scientology, which he was certainly an authority on)

You should also prepare your superiors for one hell of a backlash when the parents of their children find out that books by the founder of Scientology are being used to educate their children. I can assure you that if you were buying books for my kids’ school I would see to it that your superior lost his job, particularly if the opinions of the faceless patrons of Amazon.com had been weighed equally with the opinion of a professor of education at a well-known and prestigious university in a published review.

Because accreditation is a lengthy and very expensive process which many excellent small schools simply can’t afford, or chose not to do because it limits the ways in which they can administer and run their schools and classes?

Sorry, probably off topic, and possibly not even relevant to this discussion, as I don’t need much convincing that the Delphi Academies are religious weirdos. But as the former administrator of a very small, very good vocational school, the whole accreditation issue really gets under my skin. We couldn’t get accreditation not because we weren’t good educators, but because we refused to hire a full time registered nurse to sit and do nothing for 8 hours a day, when our adult students were there for 3 hours at night, and most of them in health care fields themselves.

Assuming that you’re working for a public school system, then I don’t see why you can’t make an argument that purchasing the books could put the school in violation of seperation of church and state (thus opening them up to a very expensive lawsuit they can ill afford). You could also consider taking your case directly to the parents. Photocopy a bunch of fliers with a picture of Tom Cruise perched on Oprah’s couch and point out to the parents that the school’s considering adopting textbooks by those wankers.

Another thing you might want to look at are some of the books from Dover Publications which are reprints of public domain works and thus relatively inexpensive. Certainly not applicable for a class like “Current Events,” but for something like math, it really doesn’t matter if the work was written 5 years ago or 50 years ago. (And yes, Dover does have books that are textbooks.)

Well, for one thing, it is the camel’s nose in the tent. First with the textbooks then they have an LRH management course that would be ever so helpful for the entire staff to take, etc. etc. etc. They will never leave you alone until they have “cleared the planet”. :rolleyes: Expect a LOT more phone calls and “special deals”. You are aware that at it’s heart, Scientology is a SALES organization and the primary reason for the church is (to quote Elron) “to make money, make more money, make other people produce so as to make money.”

For another thing, you would be helping an evil organization get it’s batshit crazy ideas into the impressionable minds of school kids. The textbooks contain lots of Scientology, although if you are not an expert you might not recognize it as such.

Aside from the fact that Hubbard was a lying con artist, and a complete lunatic, he was a dreadful WRITER. How in the hell can he teach something that he himself is not proficient in? Go to a bookstore and read some of his fiction. Pick up any volume of the idiotic and interminable “Mission: Earth” series and read any random page. The man can’t write, hell the man can barely SPEAK . Of all the places in the Gal axe eee you could buy texbooks, these absolute lunatics should be the last place on “the planet” that you go to. Scientology and anything associated with it is pure poison. Would you drink poison because you got a good deal on it?

And yes, the reviews on Amazon are all from sceinos. Duh. Read the reviews for this piece of utter garbage. The book is laughably unscientific, but if you read the reviews, you would think it was perfect. If some of the language in the reviews seems strange to you, it is scieno-speak. They are so brainwashed they don’t even realize how strange it must sound to a non-scientologist that might be reading it. :rolleyes:

It sounds to me like your school board is composed of gibbering poo-flinging chimps if they aren’t aware of this already. The fact that they are even CONSIDERING this stupidity should be grounds for them all being canned. Burger flipping would me more suited to their intelligence.

So, I hope you don’t order the books, and if you do, I hope the parents call for everyone’s head and you get the crap sued out of you.

I mean are you CRAZY? Are you INSANE? [/George Wallace]


First, I will not order them.

Second, I though it was going to be as easy as you said; but, remember the article I linked to in the OP from LA Weekly? It seems that the LA district in 1998 accepted the learning books (Not as required reading, but as secondary supplemental books) because even though they did notice the source, they reported not finding church material in the text books. (I have the impression this was not the last word on this, can anyone find a more recent cite?)

Once again, this is the reason why I insist that in this thread I need ammunition to show why ordering the books is not a good Idea, if over here the powers that be notice that another school district took them in, they might like the idea to order them.

And I noticed that in LA they took them in with a lot of reservations, and unless others can find a cite it is sad to say that they did not get the crap sued out of them because they did point at the lack of church material in the text books.

OTOH, The cites of districts like San Diego and Saint Louis dismissing them are great, Thank you **JohnM ** and Jodi!

For Scupper, WhyNot, Tuckerfan, **Happy Wanderer ** and others looking to deservedly kick Scientology for their “scholastic” effort here is the GD thread:

Well, speaking of poo-throwing chimps, I wouldn’t be looking to the abysmal LA Unified as an example of a well managed district. More of a “How not to” example, IMHO. I doubt if anyone sitting on the school board could come close to passing the GED. We get to see them in action on their undeserved and largely wasted public station and believe me, we are exactly dealing with chimps here. Same goes for every member of the city council, and the county board of supervisors. Utter morons all. Welcome to LA politics, where the lunatics genuinely are in charge of the asylum.

And yeah, I forgot, the only religion that the ACLU wants to keep down is Chrisianity, so maybe you won’t be sued after all, but the villagers will be coming with torches and calling for blood the moment they find out.

But I guess it is up to you. This is what Scientology does. They run a boiler room and call every school district in the world and try to worm their way in. Once in a while they find a district that is dumb and gullible, and they score a big “win”. :rolleyes:

This sort of idiocy makes me more sure than ever that there should be no such thing as a degree in education.

Oh, and believe me, there is scieno material in the texts, otherwise what is the point? Just because most school board members aren’t familiar enough with Scientology to spot it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

So go ahead, buy school textbooks from a man that has claimed to have visited the Van Allen Belt and Venus where, while visiting, was “almost run over by a freight locomotive.” :rolleyes: x 10 ^ 1000

More fun from Elron

So, would you buy a textbook from a babbling schizophrenic homeless guy? Because that is sure what he sounds like to me.

Download the mp3’s I linked, take them to the school board, say “ladies and gentlemen, I present your author” and then play the cuts. If they still want the books, there is nothing on earth that can fight that kind of determined stupidity.

One final point. The cult uses anything like this for PR out the wazoo to try and convince more potential victims of their legitimacy. So you will be assisting them in ruining (and sometimes ending) the lives of confused young people who with a little help could have lived normal and fulfilling lives. What you will be saying is, “I can save a few bucks and so what if other families have to suffer the nightmare that is having a loved one in the cult.”

The problem is that you are taking a poisoned apple. Do you know why there is a volcano on the cover of Dianetics? Most people don’t. Unless you are familiar with their vast and bizzare cosmology, (something only a scientologist, or an amateur expert on the cult such as myself :wink: , would waste their time learning) you won’t have an idea of what is in that textbook. The textbook is designed with lots of stuff that is intended to make the kids more susceptible to joining the cult.

Can you give me the name of the text under consideration? I will obtain a copy for my collection and send you cites of cult material and also why it is a crappy textbook.

Of course, but the point of this thread is to educate the masses, just saying “because I say so” does not help.

So, please give me the cites to then use to hit the powers that be on the head (and believe me, I do want to to that, but I need you to help me find the hammer)


Once again I can not and will not buy them, the problem we have here is that some educational groups (and the only thing I could say regarding my case is that it is a private school) are only considering taking a look now, I have then the perfect chance to influence their choice, I need help, and you are basically saying “because I say so”. That is not helping.

I already know Hubbard was loony tunes, but unfortunately this is not helping much, back in the GD thread **tomndebb ** reports that Applied Scholastics is incorporated separately from Scientology and claims to be an independent organization, so once again, I need to concentrate on items that can be pointed as deficient on their educational system, or items in the text books that show the connection to Scientology in this thread.

Pointing out to where the money goes can be a deal breaker for the powers that be (I will indeed make a point of it), but I need to show them how they do it, and I think that and other Scientology craziness is better to be posted in the other thread.



:sigh: one would think after being here for so long you would have guessed that I already know. Unfortunately I did not see images like that in the books being peddled.

:sigh: I already know that! The point now is to get evidence that will make it more clear to the management that even if this group is separated from Scientology (yeah, right) that these books are crap.

Finally, the point of all this! what took you so long? :slight_smile:

Learning How to Learn

(that by pure coincidence was linked to in the OP!) :smiley:

And get this: for more advanced classes they are offering the hard cover and a study guide for Battlefield Earth!