All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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The True School and the Jefferson Academy, two Clearwater schools that use educational methods devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, declined to allow the St. Petersburg Times to interview students, graduates, teachers, administrators or parents.
But the True School did provide what it said were testimonials from some of the school's students and staff members.
In addition, Church of Scientology spokesman Richard Haworth arranged for Scientologists to write letters and send them to the Times.
Here are excerpts from the testimonials and letters.
Their accuracy could not be confirmed independently, nor could the spelling of the signatures, which in some cases were hard to read.
"The data that L. Ron Hubbard has put together is so effective that students are happy and wanting to go to school. Just like me!! Some of the successes I have had I couldn't of had if I was in a school that did not use these methods.
"I can study without any problems and I get all the information. This school has changed the way I study, and that's good.
Becky Minkoff, 11
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"This is the best day at school I've ever had. It is a lot better than sitting and listening to those headache makers. All the math I did was good!"
Ryan Ellenberg, 10
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"I am extremely happy about passing the Basic Study Manual Course and the test. It feels good to complete a task and then discover that — IT'S TRUE!! — you did understand everything you read. This gives me extra desire to continue with my next task !!"
Anne Owens, 24
Letters from Scientologists
"I have two children that are in a school where Scientology study tech is being applied.
"With this study tech, both of them are really doing great.
"Their math levels have increased because they really know it; as well as their reading levels.
"As a mother, I very pleased and proud of what they have gotten with the Scientology study tech being applied at their school."
* * *
"When my son was in elementary school, he started to have problems in learning and he was very slow in understanding what the teacher was saying and I was very concerned.
"I heard about Scientology and its educational programs and took him to see if something could be done. Miraculously, he started to ask me if he could go to study on the weekends and on vacations too!! There was nothing that could stop him since then of wanting to learn and study. This made me want to investigate more about Scientology too and soon I found out it compromised a whole new and prosperous viewpoint in life and my life changed the same as my son's.
I don't know how to thank L. Ron Hubbard for this technology of his that gave me a happy family."
* * *
"I have been in Scientology for the last 14 years. I came into Scientology when I was 12 years of age.
"Before I started doing Scientology, I was an illiterate kid. I could not read well or write well. In using the study technology that I learned, I was able to catch up and do better in school.
"I am now 26 years old and I believe that if I had not learned Scientology, I would have left school not really knowing how to read and write.
"Due to my Scientology education I am leading a very happy and productive life."
* * *
"First, let me say that Scientologists children are not involved in drugs, even though they are smack dab in the middle of a 'drug culture.'
"Study Technology is the only workable system of education today. (Wish I had been brought up with it, how much easier life would have been!)
"The public school system today is infiltrated with 'psychology hog wash' which is responsible for the ever declining education level. Hubbard's study tech is the only hope, right now, for our future."
* * *
There are many wonderful teachers around in our schools however there are also systems of the schools the teachers have to abide to. Some of the rules that exist can send children to psychologists or psychiatrists who orders them on Ritalin, a very dangerous drug that can be fatal for a person, child or adult; the real cause for children being uneasy in schools are misunderstood words. And what I don't see done in our public schools is the children made to clear up their misunderstood words, helped to learn how to do it and then doing it."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of the letters reflect Scientology's longstanding war on psychiatry. Church founder L. Ron Hubbard, according to the April 19 issue of the Wall Street Journal, "harbored a profound and obsessive hatred for psychiatrists, who, he declared, were 'chosen as a vehicle to undermine and destroy the West.' "
The article notes that the church is leading the campaign against the anti-depression drug Prozac and Ritalin, a drug used to treat hyperactive children.
Ralph Bailey, who supervises psychological services for the Pinellas County School System, said school psychologists do not order children to take Ritalin. He said a child who exhibits attention problems may be evaluated by a school psychologist, who would work with the children's teachers. If the problem persists, officials may suggest a medical evaluation of the child by the family doctor or a specialist. The doctor coudl recommend the use of medicine lsuch as Ritalin. But it would be used only with the approval of the child's parents or guardians, Bailey said. In Pinellas County's experience, Ritalin has proved effective, with minimal side effects, he said.