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Scientology-linked group sponsors student contest

Title: Scientology-linked group sponsors student contest
Date: Wednesday, 27 August 1986
Publisher: Clearwater Sun (Florida)
Author: Maggie Erickson
Main source: link (108 KiB)

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CLEARWATER — A local school student council could win $5,000 in a contest — if the school follows the offical guidelines outlined in Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's book "The Way to Happiness."

At least one Pinellas school principal received a flier advertising the contest sponsored nationally by the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, an organization that has been tied to the Church of Scientology.

School principals are asked to fill out a request form to enter their school in the "Set a Good Example/Drug Awareness" competition and mail it to an address in Los Angeles.

Included in the information packet mailed to teachers and principals is a flier from The Way to Happiness Foundation, which touts "The Way to Happiness" as "the guidebook for teaching common sense values." The address for the Way to Happiness Foundation is the same address as the one for the business group.

The flier reads, in part, "When you enroll your students in the Set A Good Example Contest you encourage them to think for themselves and help them begin developing practical application of values that can serve them a lifetime.

"And, we provide free copies of The Way To Happiness book for your students to use as a guide in clarifying values for themselves. The Way To Happiness book is the official guideline for the Set a Good Example Drug Awareness competition," the flier states.

Neither L. Ron Hubbard's name nor the Church of Scientology is mentioned on any of the fliers.

Sect spokesman Ludwig Alpers said Tuesday he is unaware of the contest. "This is the first I've heard of it."

Alpers said The Way to Happiness Foundation has no ties to the church, "It's a whole separate foundation."

He said he was aware the CBAA has been working on the national drug problem but the organization is "not Scientology."

Carol Stone, School Board public information officer, said all contests in county schools have to go through a committee and be approved by the committee.

"We will let all our principals know (about the contest) that it will not be approved because it's not on the list. It (the contest) will not be approved because it's not on the list, not because it's Scientology."

A spokeswoman at a toll-free number [?] listed on the flier advertising Hubbard's book, said "about 400" junior and senior high schools nationwide are entered in the competition. She said there are two contests — one for elementary students and another for junior and senior high students — and that direct mailing to school principals "began about a month ago."

Students earn points in the competition through a variety of in-school projects, she said.

Schools that participate receive a variety of materials, including a tape by lecturer John Duff, a list of tips from Hollywood celebrities about the dangers of drugs and a "white paper" on the subject of youth and morality, she said.

[Picture / Caption: L. RON HUBBARD ... his book is focus]