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Protest Shuts Down Scientology Elementary School

Mayor shuts down Atid School in Yahud after scientology cult connection exposed.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/21/2011, 8:17 PM

 (detail)Anti-cult poster in Yahud
(detail)Anti-cult poster in Yahud
Yad L'Achim

The new Atid ("Future") private elementary school in Yahud closed its doors this week after the city's mayor, Yossi Ben-David, gave instructions to shut it down. Anti-missionary and cult NGO Yad L'Achim reports that the school, which opened its doors in September, was Israel's first and only school run in accordance with the precepts of the scientology cult.

The schools' scientology connection was not known until recently. Yad L'Achim says that the father of a pupil in the school noticed that a schoolbook his son received was not recognized by the Ministry of Education. The father – who is an educator himself – turned to Yad L'Achim, which found that the book is based upon the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, scientology's founder. 

The initial suspicion was strengthened when the NGO discovered that the school's principal is an active member of the scientology cult's Tel Aviv center.

Once this became known, residents of Yahud began holding protests outside the Yahud-Monoson municipality and next to the school. At their request, the mayor convened an urgent meeting on the subject. In the meeting, residents reportedly showed him evidence of a direct connection between the school and a scientology front organization called "The Amuta [non-profit organization – ed.] for Advanced Education in Israel." 

Ben-David handed the matter over to the City Rabbi, Rav Shlomo Tuvim, who determined that the school was indeed connected to the scientology cult. Yad L'Achim says that the mayor issued an order shutting down the school this week, after the school's management was unable to provide him with necessary approvals from the Ministry of Education.