Will Smith's Scientology donation
- Bang Showbiz
- 20 May 2008
Will Smith has spent nearly $1 million on a private school that bases some of its education on Scientology.
The 'I Am Legend' actor has funded California's New Village Academy of Calabasas, where the curriculum uses different educational theories including 'Study Technology' - a learning method developed by the bizarre sci-fi cult's late creator L. Ron Hubbard.
Sources also claim at least six members of staff employed at the £6,000-a-year private academy are members of the controversial religion.
Although the academy's website doesn't mention Scientology, it does speak about Hubbard.
'Study Technology' is described 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 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."
Last month, Smith - whose wife Jada Pinkett-Smith is a devout follower of Scientology - denied he was a Scientologist.
He said: "You don't have to be Jewish to be a friend of Steven Spielberg. You don't have to be Muslim to be a friend of Muhammad Ali. And you don't have to be a Scientologist to be a friend of Tom Cruise.
"I am a Christian. I am a student of all religions. And I respect all people and all paths."
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