Within the lush forest setting of Sheridan, Oregon, about 50 miles south of Portland lies a boarding school that claims the lofty goal of creating a “civilization based in reason”.
Encompassing 700 acres of natural beauty, the school sits perched upon a hilltop overlooking its vast domain.
Yet it hides a dirty secret.
Welcome to the Delphian School, haven of superior learning based upon Applied Scholastics AKA “Study Technology”.
Delphian is extremely careful to describe itself as secular and inclusive of any and all religious faiths, a quick perusal of their website however reveals disturbing hints to the contrary.
Not only does this boarding school have firm unbreakable ties to L. Ron Hubbard, but so too is it irrefutably connected to Scientology.
“What is the relationship between Applied Scholastics and the Church of Scientology? Applied Scholastics is an independent, non-religious (secular) charitable educational organization utilizing Mr. Hubbard’s writings in the field of education. We are licensed by the Association for Better Living and Education International (ABLE) to use Mr. Hubbard’s educational methods and Study Technology in education-related fields. In turn, Applied Scholastics licenses organizations which directly apply the Study Technology in schools, training programs and tutoring projects in many countries and communities.”
How Applied Scholastics can be considered a charitable organization is up for debate.
High school aged students who attend Delphian can expect to be charged between $21,127 – $60,361 per school year as boarders, depending upon their household income.
Applied Scholastics, which is based on Hubbard’s Study Technology, was founded in 1972. Based upon the timeline of Hubbard’s whereabouts and activities between 1959 and 1975 it is impossible for him to have engaged in any legitimate educational research nor could he have undergone any scientific study that would have enabled him to discover “the laws on which learning is based.”
Certainly there are no published papers for peer review concerning such an important and history making discovery. No data that can be recreated and studied for accuracy, no descriptions of the children involved in such an undertaking. How many students were involved? What were their demographics? Was there a control group? How long did the research take?
That L. Ron Hubbard was a high school dropout who also failed out of college should in no small way contribute to the questionable circumstances surrounding his research.
Delphian School is only one of dozens of entities around the country utilizing Study Tech/Applied Scholastics to educate young minds and prepare them for adulthood. Parents searching for tutors or schools will have no idea that Scientology is at the heart of Applied Scholastics and this lack of transparency is concerning.
On the whole, religious schools are upfront about who they are and what core beliefs they espouse. This gives prospective parents the ability to make informed choices for their children which is their right as well as their responsibility.
Applied Scholastics’ distancing from Scientology by claims of having no religious affiliation is a deliberately misleading game of religious six degrees of separation. Not only does this take away a parent’s right to choose for their children but it smacks of an underhanded attempt to violate a person’s First Amendment right not to have any religion forced upon them.
Even more troubling is the claim made by Applied Scholastics concerning children with learning disabilities.
Scientology teaches that autism, ADHD and similar challenges are not valid medical conditions but rather behavioral issues that can be treated or even cured. Insisting that as there are no legitimate bio diagnostic tools currently available for these conditions (this includes mental illnesses as well) they therefore are not real.
This scorn for and dismissal of learning disabilities is hinted at on Applied Scholastics’ website.
“Because Study Technology achieves results across a wide variety of ethnic, social and economic lines, Applied Scholastics tutors are not ‘guessing’ about how to approach different learning issues. In fact, tutors trained in Study Technology have successfully helped students tagged as ‘learning disabled’ or even ‘dyslexic.’ This is because they understood that underneath all of those labels, those ‘problem students’ had the same malady—they were running into specific barriers to study and they didn’t know how to handle them.”
There is no indication of any specialized training or certifications for the instructors of Study Tech/Applied Scholastics who will be teaching children with these unique classroom struggles and one cannot help but wonder how forcing a dyslexic child to engage in word clearing might lead to more serious issues going forward.
Applied Scholastics is in turn part of the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE).
“ABLE is the umbrella organization that serves as a coordinating body, provides guidance, support and promotion and ensures that these programs are known, made available and reach entire communities and populations thereby improving the lives of people they serve.”
ABLE provides technical, financial and promotional support to the various Scientology front groups that fall under it’s purview. This oversight and support, including financial, was attested to by Church of Scientology International in their IRS tax exemption application, form 1023 attachment.
G. Craig Burton is listed as the CEO and Executive Director for Applied Scholastics International.
Burton is in COS’ 2004 Impact Magazine’s Patrons and Patron With Honors column. A Patron With Honors is one who donates at least $100,000.
Interestingly (coincidentally?) there is a Craig Burton who was part of the 1997 investigation of Lisa McPherson’s tragic death, having worked with her at AMC Publishing.
Under Burton’s leadership Applied Scholastics International has several other websites, Effective Education Publishing and Heron Books. Using creative Scientology semantics, Applied Scholastics announced a “partnership” with Heron Books to produce their various educational materials including a $200.00 Teacher Pack.
So much for a charitable, non profit organization.
All other religious denials aside, it is essential to understand that for Scientology all of L. Ron Hubbard’s material is considered sacred scripture.
In the same legal exemption application page 2, section 1, Church of Scientology International testified that “Scientology is a religion based on the research, writings and recorded lectures of it’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, which collectively constitute the Scriptures of the religion…The Scientology Scriptures are the sole source of all the doctrines, tenets, sacraments, rituals and policies of the Scientology faith. They encompass more than 500,000 pages of writings, nearly 3,000 taped lectures and over 100 films.”
By this testimony, the Study Technology allegedly created by Hubbard is ultimately considered Scientology Sacred Scripture. Study Tech is the same curriculum used by members within the organization they call their “Church” as that used in Delphian School and any other establishment offering Applied Scholastics/Study Technology.
At issue here is not the efficacy of the material, though it is controversial and unproven.
The question is the deliberate lack of honesty and transparency surrounding who and what Applied Scholastics really is.
Why hide the connection to Scientology if it truly is so exceptional?
Shouldn’t parents ultimately have the final say on who is helping to shape and influence the character and minds of their children?
On both July 20, 2020 and August 20, 2020 The Las Vegas Sun carried articles discussing back to school issues during the pandemic. Both articles included a local private school called Academy For Learning which is AKA Applied Scholastics Academy Las Vegas. According to one website tuition for Academy For Learning is $6,600 per year.
There is no mention of Applied Scholastics or a connection to Scientology in either article.
Any Las Vegas parent searching for a school for their child who reads these articles in The Las Vegas Sun will have no idea that Academy For Learning is in any way affiliated with Scientology, which is exactly the way Scientology wants it.