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"I should note that most teachers belong to a religion, and most textbooks and educational policies are developed by individuals who belong to a religion," Bagayoko said.

Study Technology as a Teaching Tool

While the educators ABCNews.com reached were not familiar with the ties between Study Technology and Scientology, they believe the methodology's barrier theories are flawed.

"Lack of mass doesn't make very much sense at all," said Willingham. "It seems to imply it's almost impossible to learn anything by reading or by listening, when obviously that's most of what we do."

He added that the data on "manipulables" is much more mixed than people think. "People think kids need to have concrete objects to manipulate. It's more complicated than that. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it hinders learning to have concrete physical objects."

McManus takes issue with the second barrier -- too steep a gradient. "The whole thing with gradients suggests that there is only one sequential pattern that any kid can use to learn something," he said. "Some kids will move from point G to point M, then get to Z. Some will skip the whole notion that there is only one sequence of thinking. Almost anyone that has spent any time in the classroom knows it just doesn't ring true."

Stephen A. Kent, a professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of Alberta who has spoken out against Scientology in the past, finds flaws with the way Study Technology handles learning disabilities.

"Scientology believes that these three techniques can overcome students' learning problems. The program excludes, however, any appreciation of medical or biochemical issues within children which may cause or contribute to learning disabilities."

Kent said Scientologists believe these techniques can overcome dyslexia, for instance, but don't advocate kids taking Ritalin and other learning disability drugs for other conditions.

Applied Scholastics did not respond to an ABCNews.com request for comment, but the organization's Web site features several stories championing children learning without the use of drugs.

The Web site offered other claims about the technique's effectiveness:

"In Los Angeles, Calif., students at a school which uses Study Technology throughout its curriculum regularly score 30 percent above the national average on pre-college aptitude tests," according to the Applied Scholastic Web site. "Their 4th grade students consistently score to more grade levels above the norm in reading, math and language on standardized achievement tests."

When asked for specific information about successes from the use of Study Technology, a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail that questions could be answered on the Web site.

Willingham says he is a man who appreciates data. "Unless I'm missing something, there is almost no info here [on the Web site] at all to tell you how these studies were actually done. Those are the details that actually matter."

On his Web site, Touretzky writes that Study Tech's promoters are "remarkably vague about its results. Applied Scholastics and its related organizations have publicized some claimed successes, but have provided no specifics, corroboration or even details of where the results were obtained."

He believes schools that use Study Tech are trying to putting a positive face on L. Ron Hubbard's teachings.

ABCNews.com was unable to reach students at NVLA, or their parents.

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