Will Smith's new private school to teach Scientology

Macquarie National News, Australia/May 19, 2008

Will Smith's new private school, on which he has spent over a million dollars, will have at least six Scientologists on staff and will teach "study technology" - developed by L.R. Hubbard.

Smith's New Village Academy of Calabasas will have a curriculum featuring elements from ten different strands of educational theory, including Montessori and constructivism, as well as Scientology's "study technology."

The school's website describes Study Technology as:

"An educational model developed by L.R. Hubbard, study technology focuses on three principles. First is the use of "mass" (manipulatives and hands-on experiences) to foster understanding - children need to see and feel what they are learning about. Second is the attention to the "gradient," which ensures sure students master one level before moving on to the next. Third is the "misunderstood word," in which students master word definitions and are taught not to read past words they don't know the meanings of in order to understand completely what they are reading and learning. NVA uses study technology as an umbrella methodology woven through the subjects."

Rumours have been swirling for months that Will Smith is now a fully-fledged member of the Church of Scientology, due largely to his close relationship with the cult's pin-up boy, Tom Cruise.

But in April Smith publicly denied the talk.

"You don't have to be Jewish to be a friend of Steven Spielberg. You don't have to be a Muslim to be a friend of Muhammad Ali. And you don't have to be a Scientologist to be a friend of Tom Cruise," Smith said.

"I am a Christian. I am a student of all religions. And I respect all people and all paths."

"I don't necessarily believe in organised religion. I love my God, my higher power, but it is mine and mine alone, and I create my connection, and I decide how my connection is going to be," he added.

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