Scientology in school

San Francisco schools are using a Scientology-influenced drug curriculum, reports Nanette Asimov of the San Francisco Chronicle.

A popular anti-drug program provided free to schools in San Francisco and elsewhere teaches concepts straight out of the Church of Scientology, including medical theories that some addiction experts described as “irresponsible” and “pseudoscience.”

As a result, students are being introduced to some beliefs and methods of Scientology without their knowledge.

L. Ron Hubbard, the science-fiction writer and founder of Scientology, is the co-founder of Narconon.

Narconon’s anti-drug instruction rests on these key church concepts: that the body stores all kinds of toxins indefinitely in fat, where they wreak havoc on the mind until “sweated” out. Those ideas are rejected by the five medical experts contacted by The Chronicle, who say there is no evidence to support them.

In response to the Chronicle story, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said the curriculum must eliminate inaccurate and misleading information or be dropped by San Francisco schools.

Update: In Utah, Scientology has inspired a proposal for drug-sweating saunas for alternative high school students, reports Daryl Cobranchi.

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  1. What about eliminating all the rest of the “inaccurate and misleading information” from the public schools?

    Oh, that’s right. That would require a tactical nuclear strike.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Damn, damaged, you beat me to it!

  3. nobody important says:

    Not to mention the violation of *gasp* the separation of church and state!

  4. This reminded me of another drug-rehab cult: Synanon. I actually knew someone who was sent there, but later escaped.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Synanon used to shake down Frisco businesses regularly. There are probably a half million Synanon coffee cups still gathering dust up there.

  6. I wonder what they go for on EBay.

  7. Where’s that can opener? Oh, here it is: very little that is called “anti-drug education” relies on scientific truths and accurate information. It’s usually a combination of scare tactics, political do-nothingism, and what Jacob Sullum (Saying Yes author) calls “voodoo pharmacology”.

    Our own government can’t admit that smokeless tobacco is safer than cigarettes, crack and regular cocaine are equally addictive, and that tobacco is the most obvious “gateway drug”. Why the schools should be any different is beyond me. Drug education and the truth aren’t often in the same curriculum.

  8. Scientology keeps trying to creep into unsuspecting public school systems. San Francisco is just the latest.

    They have no qualms about making big promises and faking data; all it takes is a gullible teacher or administrator (which is what appears to have happened in Nevada).

    Other school districts include Utah and Pershing County, Nevada

    People and Organizations to Watch Out For:
    Ed Fila, jr
    Applied Scholastics: the official Scientology Site
    Applied Scholastics: a critical site;
    ABLE, a Scientology site
    Study Technology, a critical site
    Literacy, Education and Abilities Program (LEAP)LEAP (a critical site);
    Education Alive (Scientology site)

    Project Call

    People who are watching Scientology for improprieties:
    Dave Touretzky; Scientology and Racism writers; Rick Ross

  9. I think Scientology was also involved in the management of dental offices– providing management training, teaching dentists how to generate revenue, etc. I know it sounds bizarre, but I had a dentist whom I believe followed the program, 10 or 15 years back. Worst dentist I ever had.

    I don’t know what other industries they were similarly involved in.

  10. It is definitely troubling that scientology-driven doctrines are introduced into the schools. But there is another pretty disturbing point here as well: what about the fact that these scientologists are also trying to “help” drug addicts and alcoholics with their own baseless methods?

    Another serious problem is that we have this same group of people exploiting those who are at their weakest and most vulnerable states–i.e. addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, hoping that there might be some kind of solution to the problem.

    What else can be done to shed more light on what the sneaky scientologists are doing?