L. Ron Hubbard – Educator
During L. Ron Hubbard’s time at trying to teach others, he found that people were stopped by certain barriers of learning.
“I have been engaged in a study of applications of technology to illiteracy and illiterate or semi-literate populations,” declared L. Ron Hubbard, “and found some simple levels of approach.” If seemingly a casual statement, it is not. That study of illiteracy spanned at least thirty-five years, and culminated in a body of work that has changed the way in which we perceive language; while as for those “simple levels of approach,” we are speaking of the answer to all that comprises a twentieth-century educational crisis.
Consider the twenty million functionally illiterate Americans, and the unknown illiterate Australians. Approximately 13 percent of all American teenagers (and upwards of 40 percent of all minority adolescents) are unable to read a newspaper. As many as forty-four million American adults are unable to read the poison warning on a pesticide container, while only one in four young men and women entering the United States military can make sense of safety instructions on government hardware. Australian youth is not so different. Notwithstanding the billions now spent on education – and the commensurate one teacher for every thirty-five students – the reading, writing and mathematical skills of schoolchildren continues to plummet.
When speaking of L Ron Hubbard tools for learning, one is not speaking of some new study aid, a memorization technique or phonetic reading program. Rather, one is speaking of a complete technology for study, the means by which any subject may be grasped. Nor is one speaking of an arbitrary approach, but rather: These are the components of study, this is how we learn. And for all that has been prescribed in the name of education over the last ninety years (at least), this is wholly new.
Central to LRH Study Technology is a delineation of the three primary barriers to study, never before recognized and yet constituting the sole reasons for all educational failures. Educators may glibly speak of Attention Deficit Disorders or Learning Disabilities, but it is claptrap. Their students are failing to learn, because no one has ever taught them how to learn – how to identify the barriers to learning, and how to overcome those barriers.
No less all-encompassing, and even more fundamental to the process of education, is the second great LRH contribution, the Hubbard Key to Life Course. It is aptly named, and the title actually bears upon our last introductory point: If one truly comprehended what one read and heard, and was likewise comprehended by others, then the whole of life would open. Such is the subject of Key to Life – to strip away the reasons why one cannot comprehend and why, in turn, one cannot be comprehended. At the heart of the course lies a particularly equal view of language, not as an high handed subject for academic study, but a living, breathing vehicle for communication. To exactly that end, Key to Life further reshapes English grammar, away from a stultified body of rules to a real tool for meaningful expression. The result is a student who does not merely read and write as we generally conceive of it, but a student who is empowered with the language, adept with it and masterful. Although technically a remedial program, Key to Life ultimately advances our concept of literacy to wholly new and startling plateaus.
“Our intent is not to just salvage a few students,” Ron remarked some two decades ago. “Our intent is to reverse this whole decay.” As we shall see, he was absolutely serious, and if the general decay of twentieth-century education has latterly grown critical, the LRH solution is all the more potent. In the other pages we shall examine both the development of those solutions and their greater impact worldwide.