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Scientologists infiltrate private tuition market via franchising

In Germany, government officials are warning about the danger of the Scientology sect getting a foothold on the market by setting up businesses providing children with private tuition and homework support. Articles in newspapers have revealed that the sect has been increasing its activities in this area since the year 2000 in an attempt to enlist more young people into its sect.

According to the press articles, there are currently around 30 franchise companies in Germany providing classes run according to the learning techniques developed by the founder of the Scientology sect, L. Ron Hubbard. Such companies are said to include the business "Applied Scholastics" or the "Zentrum für individuelles und effektives Lernen" (ZIEL/Centre for individual and effective learning). Parents are being advised to check out the private schools carefully before sending their children to them and to have clauses included in the contract stating that the Hubbard method is and will not be used.

Those franchise systems offering private tuition who are members of the German Franchise Association (DFV) are not connected in any way to Scientology. According to the DFV, each system must undergo a detailed and strict assessment before being accepted as a member which also includes a signed statement in which the company must distance itself from the sect and its beliefs.

Torben Leif Brodersen, managing director of the DFV, pointed out that a mistake had been made in the newspaper articles. "Incorrect information was printed, he said. The newspapers state that there are 30 different franchise companies run using the Hubbard method. There are not 30 different franchise systems but around 30 individual schools teaching according to this method."

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