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Teacher's link with Scientology probed by board

Title: Teacher's link with Scientology probed by board
Date: Wednesday, 13 February 1980
Publisher: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Author: Denys Horgan
Main source:

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A Metro Toronto separate school teacher who runs a Scientology-inspired night school in her spare time is being investigated to determine whether her belief in the cult is compatible with Roman Catholic teaching.

Betty Millen must persuade the separate school board that her connections with Scientology do not render her unfit to teach in a Catholic school. Miss Millen teaches at St. Francis of Assisi elementary school by day; by night she is principal of Education Alive, a reading school controlled by Scientologists, using methods devised by L. Ron Hubbard, the cult's founder.

Edmund Nelligan, MSSB's director of education, said yesterday that the investigation gives public notice that someone may not be in tune with what goes on in Catholic schools.

He said staff members brought the matter to the attention of the board's management committee on Feb. 5 as a result of newspaper reports connecting Miss Millen to the cult.

In a Globe and Mail article on Feb. 1 linking Education Alive to Scientologists, Miss Millen said she was not a Scientologist in the sense of going to church there every Sunday, but then admitted she could not deny outright that she was a member.

Mr. Nelligan said Miss Millen will be investigated by the local superintendent, who will report to regional supervisor Anthony Varone, who in turn will report to the board if necessary. If her views are compatible with the philosophy of a Catholic school that's the end of the matter, he said. If not, we will have a talk with her to see what can be done, to see if the differences are reconcilable.

He would not speculate on the outcome if her views are found to be incompatible with Catholic teaching, because speculation might prejudge the outcome.

Mr. Nelligan said he could not be sure whether a Catholic can be a Scientologist at the same time. I sort of look on them (Scientologists) as a pseudo-religion, he said. He described Miss Millen as an excellent teacher.

Mr. Varone said he is awaiting the superintendent's report and will not be making a statement until he has the facts and figures straight.

Bernard Pelliccione, principal of St. Francis of Assisi school, said in an earlier interview that he believed Miss Millen is not a Scientologist. There had been some concern last year about her connections with the cult, he said, but it was checked into thoroughly, and it was found there was no conflict involved.

Miss Millen said last night she had no comment to make on the investigation.

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