Since Will Smith has breathed the same air as Tom Cruise there has been rumors surrounding where he stood on Scientology. Although both he and Jada have denied being involved in the religion created by L. Ron Hubbard, there’s another claim that’s about to expose their beliefs, and it has everything to do with their now defunct school.
In 2008 the Smiths decided to open up a school with unconventional teaching. The school was publicized as an established that would act as a revolution in the public educational system and teach children beyond the structural guidelines. Will Smith elaborated on the Calabasas, California school:
“There are just very powerful educational concepts that we believe in, and we feel like we want to design the system that revolutionizes public education.”
Now that the school has been shut down, the ex principal Jacqueline Olivier gave an insightful interview to Scientology expert Tony Ortega about what was really going on in Will and Jada Smith’s school.
“They had a home school. They presented it as an opportunity to found a school. They were going to spend a lot of money. It was going to be secular, and it would use best educational practices.”
When the principal heard the curriculum would be based on Study Technology, Olivier said she was naïve about what exactly that would mean when implementing the course work.
“I thought Study Tech would be easy to work around,” said Olivier, but here’s a bit about Study Tech — L. Ron Hubbard believed that children simply skipped over words they didn’t understand, and that “word clearing” was a way to understand these concepts. This is just one concept that goes into Study Tech. According to Former Scientology official Claire Headley, this entails, “meticulously looking up chains of words in dictionaries.” In addition children were encouraged to mold clay as a way to get around advanced concepts because they were believed to be “too abstract.”
According to Olivier, Will and Jada Smith’s school pushed this teaching tool as well as others that derived from Scientology. “I started finding out that everyone was a Scientologist, and what they were really up to. It was the basis for the whole school. That was the overarching reason for it.”
“All of them were Scientologists. They were doing ‘qual’ and ‘debugging’,” said Olivier. “They were doing word clearing. There was ethics.”
What about those teachers who weren’t Scientologists? Well, according to the former principal those teachers had their own studies to brush up on:
“All the teachers went over to the Hollywood Celebrity Centre every day for other courses. You couldn’t interact with the kids until you’d taken a bunch of Scientology courses. And they were still supervised by the Scientology teachers to make sure they didn’t make any mistakes using Study Technology.”
For Olivier it was a difficult job that went against the principles she believed in:
“In February, I told them I couldn’t do this. The parents were complaining that it turned out to be Scientology. A lot of them left. I kept telling them no, it’s secular. But then I’d walk by a room and see kids doing clay demos and I felt sick. Eventually, my professional integrity wouldn’t allow me to stay there anymore.”
Her differences eventually lead to Will and Jada Smith firing her, and five years later the school closed down due to outrage.