Confession: I spent 3 years in D.C. and while I was there I checked out Scientology. Please don't hate me now. I was curious. You could now call me an "off-lines Scientologist" I guess - I still get mailings from the church, and although the self-improvement part of the religion is amazingly no-brainer stuff that makes perfect sense, I can't get my head around the religious beliefs, and I found the religion very restrictive as far as time requirements for participation. It was also very expensive, and I was always in trouble with the "ethics" department because my life was very disorderly as far as the church was concerned. So I bought the self-help books and ditched the rest. But I wouldn't trade the valuable things I actually learned while I was there.
The church had classrooms and courses, and with the exception of some simple self-help public courses, study tech was the first course everyone had to take before they could go on to any other courses. The primary focus of the first course is to identify and overcome the barriers to learning, and the barriers to learning are no-brainer.
1. First and foremost, you can't learn something if you think you already know it.
2. Never go past a word you don't understand.
3. Make sure you start at the beginning and work your way toward deeper knowledge, ensuring that you understand what you have learned before moving forward.
4. Use physical objects such as game pieces, wood blocks, modeling clay, etc., to demonstrate a concept. This concept can be called "gaining mass". You transfer your knowledge into physical application using the small items that represent the different parts of the concept. This is not always as easy as it sounds, but when you finally figure it out, the light bulb turns on and you have a thorough understanding of the concept.
That's it. Those are the basics. It goes into more detail from there, explaining how to identify each one and how to fix it. If it didn't have the word "Scientology" associated with it, anyone could see the sense of it. But that requires an ability to set aside prejudice and actually exercise the brain to separate the disputable from the indisputable. If Albert Einstein was an atheist, for instance, would a person of faith just dismiss his theory of relativity out of hand? That was Einstein, right? You see what I'm saying.
The reason I'm posting this is because sometimes these debates lead to debates on religion, and while Jaden was attacked sideways concerning Scientology, I saw it as a distraction from the real issue of his absolutely ballsy tweet which spoke truth to power, as Beck says all the time, on the reality of our education system to over 4 million people. I think they called it irresponsible, ROFL. And the comments to the article in the link were quite telling of where the idiots of this nation stand on our crappy education system.
Jaden was right, and his words were monumentally powerful, IMO. I bet when someone says something he doesn't understand, he asks, "What does that mean?" I bet the kid's vocabulary is amazing, and I bet he doesn't read a book without a dictionary within reach. Those are unavoidable outcomes of study tech.
I was in my 30's when, after learning study tech, I started truly learning. It changed my view of the world, and I found out how little I actually knew and how much information I allowed to just slip by me. It also changed my expectations from college courses and allowed me to see the ineffectiveness of "memorize, test, dump, rinse, repeat", which is how too many college courses are structured. That is not learning, and it's surely not conducive to nurturing critical thinking skills, which are sorely missing from American society, as reflected in the comment section of the article linked to this post.
One more thing about the religion - what you hear about psychiatry, mood stabilizing pharmaceutical drugs, and an aversion to military intelligence is all absolutely true. If you have any of these things in your personal history, you have to have a waiver approved to be accepted into the church. Imagine that. The way things are today, I can't fault them for using their brains on those issues.
I don't know about Scientology. I know what I've experienced, and what I've seen and heard from the media. It has a hierarchical structure, and I was on the bottom rung. I'm pretty sure I'm breaking rules by writing this post, but I'm ok with that, because I want you to have enough information on the subject as it relates to the OP's post so that if you spend time speculating on the hazards of the religion, at least you can do it in an informed context.