|Lecture: Education: Point of Agreement|
|The Old Man's Case Book|
Hubbard talks about geniuses he has known who were taught in some YMCA school, or by an Englishman who ran a little college for difficult children.
Now, I have known, been very fortunate to know in my life, quite a few real geniuses, chaps that really wrote their names fairly large in the world of literature and science, and I consider myself very fortunate because they are very rare. What made them so rare? I found something very peculiar about these fellows; they were for the most part taught in peculiar schools; they were taught in some YMCA school1, or they were taught by some Englishman that ran a little college that wasn't very big, for difficult children up the street up there. They were all taught, it seems, in some kind of an off-breed school. This is real peculiar. And because the school existed to a large measure to take care of people who were slop-overs from the usual educational system and so forth, there wasn't much "education" involved. The fellow would come in, he'd be interested in something, and therefore the headmaster would give him his head, that's all.
One chap, by the way, who gave us solid fuel rockets and assist takeoffs for airplanes too heavily loaded from aircraft carriers and all the rest of this whole panorama of rocketry, who formed Aerojet in California and so on, (the late Jack Parsons, by the way) was not a chemist the way we think of chemists. He was not taught in the field of chemistry beyond this fact: there was a little professor who opened up a school (and nobody could do anything with Jack, he was a pretty wild boy), and though, they sent him over there and this fellow found out that he was interested in chemical experiments, so he turned him loose in the laboratory and gave him a lot of encouragement. And this was quite a man.
Now, it was very interesting, very interesting: this completely sloppy method of education is apparently quite workable. Now, that doesn't mean that every man we have around who is a genius or is brilliant in some line or another has been educated in that fashion. Some have actually survived the other educational system! It does, however, take a high survival level. You have to really be a fighter; and these boys, many of them, bear the scars of this.
Well, now this becomes important to us today because we live in a complicated society which requires many skills.
— L. Ron Hubbard
Lecture 30 October 1956: Education: Point of Agreement
1 Hubbard went to a YMCA "crammer" in Washington DC.
While Ron was happily immersed in school life at Swavely, his father was in frequent contact with the Registrar at George Washington University to try and find a way of getting his son accepted as an undergraduate. Lieutenant Hubbard was advised that if Ron could earn sufficient credits at a recognized school - Woodward School for Boys, a YMCA 'crammer' in Washington DC, was mentioned - he would not be required to sit the College Entrance Examination for the university.2Possibly Aleister Crowley's A.:A.:, a training curriculum for magicians.
Accordingly, Ron was enrolled at Woodward in February 1930. At the beginning of May he took time off from his studies to enlist as a Private in the US Marine Corps Reserve, adding two years to his age and giving his occupation, for some reason, as 'photographer'. It seems he was unconcerned by such piffling mendacity, even on official documents, for his bold signature appears at the bottom of his Service Record, confirming both the errors and his physical description height 5'10½", weight 165lb, eyes grey, hair red, complexion ruddy. Six weeks later he was inexplicably promoted to First Sergeant, a leap in rank that was astonishing even by his own standards of self-regard.
See also: Hubbard's self-affirmation about Jack Parsons.
(d) Any distaste I may have for Jack Parsons originated in a psychic experiment. Such distaste is foolish. He is my friend and comrade-in-arms. —L. Ron Hubbard The AdmissionsSee also: PAB 110 Education
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