NSW Greens MLC Dr John Kaye has launched another attack on the Athena School in Newtown after he made a formal complaint about a leaflet from the school, which failed to fully reveal its links to Scientology.
“The leaflet has been distributed to homes in Sydney’s Inner West. It fails to warn parents that this is a private school that uses teaching methods developed by the Scientology organisation,” Dr Kaye said.
The Greens are asking the consumer watchdog to direct the school to correct the leaflet to show its links to Scientology. Athena should also issue a correction to all households to which it distributed the original leaflet, the Greens have said claim. The leaflet contains a logo linked to scientology and the words: “education services and materials based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard’’.
“The reference to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is in tiny unreadable text,” Dr Kaye said. “The only legible clue is a small mention of Applied Scholastics. Parents would need to go to Scientology’s US website to learn that this discredited teaching method was developed by the Scientology organisation.”
Fiona Milne, the principal of the school, which teaches 70 students in primary and high school, told media that the Applied Scholastics study method did not teach Scientology to students as a religion.
“We follow the Board of Studies curriculum. We use the study method of Ron Hubbard. It is a method of study, it is not teaching Scientology,” she said.
“The religion is something different to that.
“Our primary focus is the education of the children, it is not the church.”
Dr Kaye said the school needed to make its links to Scientology clear.
“By disguising its connections with the organisation, the school is trying to lure unsuspecting parents in order to prop up flagging enrolments.”
Dr Kaye said recent accusation made by former Scientologists and aired on the ABC’s Four Corners program should be a wake-up call to the NSW Government to take action.