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Scientologists In School Campaign

Daily Echo (Bournemouth) 17 April 1997

by Louise Isaacs.

Dorset schools targeted in a Scientology promotion will bin literature sent to then without hesitation, said the county spokesman for the National Association of Head Teachers.

Up to 15 headteachers across the conurbation have already received a Dianetics book and sales pitch letter, while the headmaster of a Roman Catholic school--one of those targeted - has condemned the campaign.

Headteacher Paul Gillings, of St Thomas Garnet's School, is aghast it was suggested he use Dianetics teachings in his Boscombe classroom.

"As soon as I realised it was a Ron Hubbard book I thought about putting it in the bin," said Mr Gillings, who then passed it to the Echo.

"They are trying to form a teachers' group to take part in a Dianetics education programme. This means they would be teaching Scientology in the classroom, which is just not on."

The campaign letter said: "Mr Hubbard's technology is becoming more widely recognised as providing a very effective solutions to problems in education."

Gary Batson, the letter's author and member of the Church of Scientology in Poole for 6 years, said he is part of a community group set up to tackle drugs, crime and education.

"We're not targeting any particular religion," he said, "I just looked through the telephone book to get the names and addresses of schools. People dismiss us before they know about us."

But Dorset spokesman for the NAHT, Sid Wilcox, said: "Every head teacher has one facility available to them at time like this. It's called a bin."

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