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« on: June 02, 2008, 01:55:12 PM »

Will Smith Funds Private Scientology School
Friday, May 30, 2008
By Jana Winter

Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith have won critical acclaim for pumping nearly $1 million of their own money into a new private school that will offer organic meals, laptops for every student and an environment of learning based on "equity" and "respect" to create "citizens of the world."

Here's what the parents of the school's pupils aren't being told:

The New Village Academy plans to use some teaching methods developed within the Church of Scientology and has hired a team of Scientologists to put them into action.

Pinkett-Smith, who currently home-schools the couple's two children, has long been talking about opening up a school where Jaden, 9, and Willow, 7, can continue to receive an education in line with their beliefs, friends told

So she and her actor husband are bankrolling the pre-kindergarten through sixth grade school in Calabasas, Calif., and they have selected a group of Scientologists, including the Director of Learning, Director of Qualifications and Artistic Director, to create that atmosphere.

But you won't find references to the Church of Scientology on NVA's Web site.

Ron Reynolds, executive director of the California Association of Private School Organizations, a consortium of the state's private and religious schools, said it's not the actual teaching of Scientology methods that raises a red flag for him. His concern is the school's non-disclosure about its apparent religious affiliation.

"School should be forthright about its purposes. And if it's a religious school, I don't see why it wouldn't wish to announce its religious affiliation loud and clear," Reynolds said.

While the Church of Scientology is never mentioned explicitly, some of its teaching methods and terms are not hard to find on the site.

Under the glossary of educational theories, it lists "study technology," an "educational model developed by L.R. Hubbard." That's L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology.

"Study technology focuses on three principles," the curriculum reads. "First is the use of 'mass' to foster understanding ? children need to see and feel what they are learning about," reads the posting.

Scientology supporters say study technology can be beneficial because it is individualized and helps students overcome things they don't understand by building one idea upon another. But critics say its concepts can be overly simplistic and brainwashes students with its covert religious instruction.

The site uses other Scientology terms, such as "spiraling" and "gradient," to describe how students master a level of learning before moving on to the next.

Scientology already runs its own semi-official network of schools called Delphi schools, which employ Scientologists and use teaching techniques like study tech ? just like NVA.

While there has been much speculation about the couple's ties to Scientology, Smith has never publicly said he is a Scientologist.

Last month, Smith was quoted as saying, ?I am a Christian. I am a student of all religions. And I respect all people and all paths.?

In December, interviewed on "Access Hollywood," Smith said of his Scientology connection: ?I was introduced [to] it by Tom [Cruise], and I?m a student of world religion. I was raised in a Baptist household, I went to a Catholic school, but the ideas of the Bible are 98 percent the same ideas of Scientology, 98 percent the same ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism.?

In 2004 the couple donated $20,000 to the Hollywood Education and Literacy Program (HELP), the basis for Scientology?s home-schooling system.

Click here to read the FOX411 on Will Smith's contribution.

There was never any mention of faculty members? Scientology backgrounds on the school?s Web site. As if underscoring its secretive nature, the school's faculty member page on its Web site was suddenly taken down last week ? but learned at least three staff members have ties to Scientology.

Tasia Jones, NVA?s director of learning, graduated from the Scientologist Delphi School in Milton, Mass., according to her MySpace profile.

She was previously the Boston director of HELP, the same Scientology group to which Smith donated $20,000 in 2004, according to media reports.

On her Scientology Online blog Jones wrote, ?I am currently teaching in a small private school. I have inspirations in the arts, particularly movies/films.?

On a page entitled ?My Success,? Jones said, ?My success in Scientology has been I have hope for myself and others that life can change for the better, all is not lost. I have a much more optimistic look than many of my peers.?

According to, an online monitoring database that tracks the religion and its practitioners, Jones completed six Scientology courses between 2000 and 2006, including one entitled Hubbard Professional Metering Course. The official Scientology Web site wrote this about what skills are learned: ?It is not possible to successfully do anything in life if one cannot control objects, situations and communication. This course teaches that skill.?

Sigrid Burket, NVA?s Director of Qualifications, is described on the school Web site's faculty page as a ?Youth Specialist? and sports coach. In 2004, Burket was listed as the director of a school that practiced Scientology beliefs ? an official list compiled by the Church itself.

According to TruthAboutScientology, Burket has completed eight Scientology courses.

Sisu Raiken, the NVA's Artistic Director and performance teacher, is also a Scientologist.

From her Scientology Web site she writes: ?Without exaggerating, I can honestly say that Scientology has made EVERYTHING about my life seem better. I am more productive, making more income, have a happier family and doing EXACTLY what I want to do in life. When I first found out about Scientology I was a failed artist and about to give up. Today I am well-known in my field (performer and teacher), very well-respected and VERY happy.?

According to TruthAboutScientology, Raiken has completed 16 Scientology courses, including a course that teaches the evils of psychiatry and how to ?detect and handle suppressive persons,? according to the official Scientology Web site.

Numerous e-mails and phone calls for comment on the school's faculty by Smith's representatives and NVA were not returned.

Reynolds said people are certain to be curious about what Smith's new school has to offer, especially due to its name recognition. But he balks at why NVA wasn't more upfront about the school's Scientology connection.

"I fail to understand why you would hide what you are. How can parents make informed choices if they have to struggle to ascertain what the purpose and philosophy of the school is?" Reynolds said.


I know if i had kids I wouldn't send them there. The best quote in the qhole thing was the closing quote tbh.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 02:15:16 PM by whitedeth » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2008, 02:21:41 PM »

This is the article that follows on from this link: Click here to read the FOX411 on Will Smith's contribution.

Will Smith's Charities Include Scientology

Will Smith ? charismatic, friendly and polite ? is also very charitable. His Will Smith Foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to local civic organizations in the Baltimore and Philadelphia areas. Last year he was even one of the few clients of Creative Artists Agency to give money to the talent agency?s own tax-free fund ($2,500).

But here?s something you don?t know: After Smith?s wife, Jada Pinkett, made "Collateral" with Tom Cruise in 2004, the couple donated $20,000 to Scientology?s literacy campaign, called HELP, The Hollywood Education and Literacy Program, which is the basis for Scientology?s home-schooling system.

The 2005 contribution is listed in the federal filing for The Will Smith Foundation for the previous year. Since that time, Smith?s children have been home-schooled. This week, doing publicity for "I Am Legend," Smith reiterated his plan to start his own private school.

Cruise may be hopeful about bringing Smith?s deep, charitable pockets into Scientology, but it won?t be easy as the "I Am Legend" actor has varied interests that already command his dollars.

For example, in 2005, HELP was not the The Will Smith Foundation's top donation. That honor went to Yesha Ministries of Philadelphia. Smith gave them $140,000. Yesha, founded by Charles Coker, teaches Christian-based martial arts in Florida.

Smith likes Yesha so much he gave them another $125,000 last year. That?s a lot of money for Tae Kwon Do. Among his other charitable donations in 2006, Smith gave $7,500 to a group called Partners for Educating Actors, Composers and Entertainers, or PEACE. No listing could be found for the group on, where all U.S. charities are registered.

Cruise, meanwhile, will not leave Smith alone. He made a "surprise" appearance at Smith?s Walk of Fame installation this week, then flew to New York for the premiere of Smith?s new movie, "I Am Legend."

This is Cruise?s methodology from previous campaigns to anoint new "friends." His PR history is filled with "surprise" visits and stiff hugs for new "pals." He?s the only Hollywood star we ever see do this, and it?s not because he?s so gregarious. In every case some kind of story follows about Cruise and Scientology recruitment.

In this latest scenario, Smith seems somewhat won over after Pinkett already had taken the lead. Smith continues to defend Cruise and Scientology. Smith reiterated on "Access Hollywood" this week a similar idea he presented in a men?s mag this month: that Scientology and the Bible are pretty much the same.

He told "Access": "I was introduced (to) it by Tom and I?m a student of world religion. I was raised in a Baptist household, I went to a Catholic school, but the ideas of the Bible are 98 percent the same ideas of Scientology, 98 percent the same ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism."

On at least a basic level, Smith might be thought incorrect in that statement. Neither Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism nor, for that matter, Judaism espouse the idea of space aliens occupying one?s body.

Just for the holiday aspect, Smith added a line ? which can be seen on the syndicated show?s Web site, that should get everyone in the mood for rockin? around the Christmas tree: "How can I condemn someone for what they believe and I believe that God was born from a pregnant virgin?"
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2008, 07:29:24 PM »

That top article was excellent. I wonder if all that stuff about the teachers' scientology backgrounds was from anon's research sent out to the media.
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 07:56:39 AM »

                       Will Smith Invested $1.2 Mil Into School with Scientology Ties in 2010

I’ve reported before about Will Smith‘s donations to Scientology organizations in the past. But in none of the filings for the Will Smith Foundation was there ever listed a donation to the school he started with wife Jada Pinkett Smith in Calabasas, California. That school, New Village Leadership Academy, has been criticized in the past for teaching Scientology courses to its grade school students. For three years, NVLA never filed a Form 990 as a school, so it was hard to track their finances. But now a Form 990 Federal Tax filing has suddenly emerged on just for the year 2010. It shows a few things of interest. For one, Smith donated $1,235,00  to the school in 2010 from his WSJ Trust, not from his publicly scrutinized foundation. That’s why it never showed up before.

Basically, Smith’s donation almost covered the $1.4 million non specific salaries listed for the school. Under salaries, NVLA lists just two educators, both with Scientology backgrounds. The head of school is named Franca Campopiano, but the school confirmed that she is also known as Piano Foster. She was paid $200.000 in 2010. As Piano Foster, Campopiano has been listed as a past student of Scientology. She’s married to a Darryl Foster, also a past student of Scientology.Foster/Campopiano succeeded the school’s original head, Jacqueline Oliver, who left in a dispute with the Smiths over the Scientology teaching at the school.

The other educator listed is Carol McGuire, listed not as a teacher but “Technology Specialist.”  She was paid $120,000 in 2010. McGuire also goes by Carol Ann McGuire. On the NVLA website she’s listed as a “employee/teacher” but on the form 990 it’s quite specific. And that’s important because Scientology’s basic curriculum is something called Study Tech. On its website, NVLA stresses “technology” as one of the most important parts of its lessons.

Meantime, the Will Smith Foundation gave away $758,997 to other charities, schools, and foundations in 2010 including $20,000 to the ILM Foundation, a Muslim education organization that has since ceased functioning.

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