Longtime Fordham friend and acclaimed education historian Diane Ravitch, author of last year’s The Death and Life of the Great American School System, has agreed to showcase here a brief excerpt from her next best seller, Ravitching: Loving Myself as an Immortal, to be published by the L. Ron Hubbard Press in September.
In the fall of 2010, I decided to completely revamp my home-entertainment system. Best Buy was refusing to special order VHS tapes for me anymore, and I was starting to understand the benefits of surround sound and a speaker set. As part of that transition, I went through all of my old videos, boxing them up for storage and making room for the newer DVDs (of course, I couldn’t just get rid of them!). When I came across my old favorite, Risky Business, I had to pop it in the player and relive the joys. Watching the familiar plot unfold, however, I was struck by how unactualized Tom Cruise was in that movie. As I watched him slide across the screen, I wondered what had changed so much for Cruise in the past thirty years. What was the turning point in his life? And, more importantly, how could I have a similar conversion experience?
Then I got it: Scientology. That was—that is—the missing piece in my life, the truth I needed to see the world more broadly and understand the issues in our education system more deeply. In this book, I describe my path to discovering Scientology and making it part of me and me of it. And although I was not able to produce a silver bullet in The Death and Life of the Great American School System, I am confident that now, dear reader, I can offer you education-reform salvation.
Diane Ravitch, Ravitching: Loving Myself as an Immortal (Galactic Confederacy: L. Ron Hubbard Press, 2011).