Will & Jada Pinkett Smith fire head of their school, replace her w/ Scientologist

Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Jaden SmithJada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Jaden Smith
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have insisted that their new private school, The New Village Academy, is not a Scientology school despite the fact that it uses some of Scientology’s unproven educational methods and textbooks, including “Study Tech,” a system developed by the cult’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Five out of seventeen of the teachers at the school are known Scientologists, and the language on the school’s website, including it’s motto “Spiral Up,” borrow heavily from the Scientology lexicon. Smith has consistently said that it’s not a Scientology school and has even spoken to protesters from the group Anonymous, many of whom were impressed by how approachable and earnest he seemed. According to Smith he’s just using a variety of educational methods and seeing what works. “You can take different parts of things you like and put them all together,” he explained.

Radar Online has an exclusive that Jada recently fired the head of the school, experienced educational administrator Jacqueline Olivier, primarily because she disagreed with the use of Scientology’s Study Tech. Study Tech has never been independently verified as effective, and many educational experts say that it teaches the basic tenets of the cult to unsuspecting children, and is essentially religious education in disguise. Olivier’s replacement, Piano Foster, has unsurprisingly taken Scientology courses and is not likely to question the use of Study Tech:

Jacqueline Olivier – the woman the famous husband and wife enlisted to set up their Calabasas campus – was axed from her $200,000 a year position via a telephone call from the Matrix actress.

“Jada phoned Jaqueline and told her that they had ‘decided to go in another direction’ with the school,” an insider told RadarOnline.com. “As head of the campus her position was becoming untenable as she did not agree with Study Tech and felt uncomfortable with it.” Olivier “thrashed-out” a severance package with the couple and “it’s understood that she signed a confidentiality agreement with regard to her time at the school.”

Calls to Olivier were not immediately returned but it is understood that she has taken-up another position within the educational recruitment field.

The school head and the superstar couple were said to have clashed about the school’s mysterious Study Tech curriculum which was devised by Scientologist founder Ron L. Hubbard. While the school’s official website simply reads “Coming Soon!” under Head of School, RadarOnline.com has learned that Piano Foster is the new woman tapped for the role.

“They have appointed somebody else who is more ‘in-line’ with their thinking as to how the school should be run,” the source added.

When contacted by RadarOnline.com, Foster confirmed: “I officially took over on July 1, 2009, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve been working in education for the past 20 years at various public and charter schools so I feel I’m ready for the job.”

Foster remained tight-lipped when asked about her famous employers or any other controversies surrounding her school.

When The New Village Leadership Academy opened last September it attracted several demonstrators who protested outside the main gates that it was a front for Scientology teachings. Will and Jada had previously been home-schooling their two children Willow, 7, and Jaden, 9, at their nearby $20 million Calabasas mansion. The couple signed a deal to lease the campus for $889,000 for a three year period while re-naming it and picking up all other additional costs. Both their kids attend the school whose motto is Spiral Up! – tuition ranges from $7, 500 to $12,500 for pupils from pre-kindergarten through grade 6.

[From Radar Online]

People have the freedom to teach their children any religion they please and to follow any educational method they deem appropriate. Educators and schools have an obligation to be transparent when it comes to other people’s children, and to let parents know if they follow a religious curriculum. There are sure to be parents who send their kids to this school thinking that it’s a secular school endorsed by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, a couple who has so far avoided controversy mainly because they deny having a connection to the “church” of Scientology. Now that they’ve fired the head of their school for disagreeing with those teachings and have replaced her with a Scientologist, I guess we know how central Scientology is to their school’s curriculum.

[Thanks to Greg for the tip.]

Will, Jada and their children Willow and Jaden are shown at the premiere of The Day The Earth Stood Still on 12/9/08. Credit: PRPhotos

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22 Responses to “Will & Jada Pinkett Smith fire head of their school, replace her w/ Scientologist”

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  1. BlueSkies says:

    Jada does not deserve to be in the public eye. We’ve all known people like this who got lucky because their husband owns a business & they get to tell others what to do, hire & fire on a whim. You know the type. They should never subject themselves to the public or should I say, inflict themselves on the public. Jada, stay home with a blunt & a cheap bottle of whine & check out!

  2. Jessie says:


    Great article about how Scientology is a fraud, and how L Ron Hubbard’s doctorate was faked.

  3. Jessie says:

    And who the hell names their kid Piano?

  4. Cinderella says:

    I can’t imagine any parent sending their child to this school and thinking there is no underlying scientology foundation. They surely know.

  5. Kaboom says:

    The idea behind the school is to draw people who want to rub elbows with celebrity into the cult. It’s basically a honeypot.

  6. Iggles says:

    Why don’t they come out and say that they’re Scientogolists? Also, celebrities who home school their kids are suspect. Kids need normalcy and interaction with others is part of that. Celebs already have unusual lives. Home schooling adds to more isolation and they reside even further into a bubble.

    To be clear, I’m not against home schooling. If I have kids, I’d love to home school them the first few years of primary school because 1) don’t want them to get mandatory vaccines when they are so young, and 2) to provide a solid foundation of learning and self esteem. School really doesn’t cater to holistic needs and little minds need a solid sense of self to be successful in life.

  7. Green Is Good says:

    Holy Space Opera Batman!

    Why would seemly intelligent people get involved with this CULT? A real church doesn’t require it’s members to pay to attend it.

  8. Feebee says:

    I don’t care if their school is a Scienwhatever or even if they are but not disclosing it is dishonest and potentially damaging to the pupils. I have no respect for them pulling this stunt and calling it a school. It’s a great idea to use all different bonafide teaching techniques (ie phonics and whole word) but Scientology crap is anything but bonafide.

  9. Bill Hicks is God says:

    I agree Jessie: ‘Piano’ is so frou…’Piana’ has way more juice.

  10. Jazz says:

    Please don’t become a $cientologist Will! I’ll lose all respect for you.

  11. Trillion says:

    Scientology is no less ridiculous than any other religion out there. It’s just newer.

  12. Obvious says:

    Scientology is a cult. As is every other form of organized religion. Others are more accepted.

    Besides that Private Schools do not have to conform the same way Public Schools do. They cant teach religion all day every day if they choose, and their standards aren’t regulated by the states (only subject matter really).

    It’s up to the parents to ask questions, study the curriculum and make the decision.

  13. Annie says:

    Oh Jessie, who needs to read a site to know that Scientology is a sham?

    I mean, just think of its origins: L. Ron Hubbard, Sci-Fi writer extraordinaire.

    I mean, he made his money from telling lies, he just got smart about it and disguised it as “religion”.

  14. Jess says:

    Saw that coming.

  15. Alice says:

    ::Why don’t they come out and say that they’re Scientogolists?::

    I knew a TON of Scientologists back in LA several years ago. I didn’t know any of them were even in it until years later. It’s very common for them to secretly practice, and if asked many will flat out deny their affiliations.

    ::Also, celebrities who home school their kids are suspect.::

    I don’t believe that at all. Having lived in Los Angeles for 5 years and working in the entertainment business, I’ve seen what celebrity children and celebrity offspring have to go through firsthand. Home schooling works fine for them, and it’s there for a reason. Their lives are already super complicated. It doesn’t mean they don’t get out and make friends elsewhere and have opportunities to socialize. Plus their parents can afford some great tutors.

  16. j. ferber says:

    Why would Will and Jada start a stealth Scientology school in the first place? What is Tom Cruise’s relationship with Smith? The whole thing is weird.

  17. lizzie says:

    If you are ashamed to tell others about your religion then doesn’t that tell you something about it? There are a ton of religions out there but at least most people stand up for what they believe in and don’t deny it. Maybe the fact that it came from the lucid mind of a fiction writer makes them a little self-conscious but not enough to leave the cult.

  18. M says:

    Scientology has (unfortunately) worked its way deep into hollywood/entertainment business and is actually a networking tool for people there.

  19. Shay says:


    “Jada does not deserve to be in the public eye. We’ve all known people like this who got lucky because their husband owns a business & they get to tell others what to do, hire & fire on a whim….”


    You do realize that Jada was a celebrity before she married Will? She had movie roles before Will.

  20. Shay says:

    When I originally heard the rumors I was shocked that Will would be a $cino. But not so shocked if Jada was one. I remember hearing that Jada was in a cult as a kid although one not as bad as $cientology. Can’t remember the name of it. I think Jada’s the one driving this not Will.

  21. Dorrie says:

    “…’lucid’ mind of a science fiction writer”? Surely that’s not the adjective you were going for. The whole “Xenu” myth, the foundation of Scientology, reads like the description of a psychotic episode! (Never had one myself, thankfully, but read a few accounts recently; they often seem to feature outer space folk.)

  22. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    I assume that since she has hiring/firing power, Ms. Pinkett has an extensive background in, and years of experience as an (early) educator?

    A whole education based on being vulgar and incessant with boastings about your sex life!

    Um, yeah. That sounds good. Light this candle!

    If you send your child to a school where this type of thing is present, you deserve the mouth-breathing, psychotic semi-literate that will result.

    Quit wagging your fingers, you know I’m right!