The Student Hat is a Scientology course teaching Scientology approaches to studying and learning.
Interestingly, the 1992 edition of What Is Scientology? notes that it includes a dozen lectures by L. Ron Hubbard, while the 1998 edition says it includes 9 lectures. In 1999, a Scientologist going by the name of "Safe" posted about the omitted tapes on Usenet: 3 Missing Student Hat Tapes.
It also includes dozens of policy letters and bulletins written by L. Ron Hubbard covering Scientology concepts such as
- dinky dictionaries
- clay table training
- word clearing
- verbal tech
The Student Hat is a prerequisite for some other Scientology services, like the Professional TR Course, the Upper Indoc TR Course, and the Hubbard New Era Dianetics Course.
The 1984 Guidebook to Clear and OT Catalog contained the following information:
The Student Hat study course is FREE with the purchase of any major technical training course. (It is a prerequisite for the majority of Dianetics &, Scientology training and one of the requirements for student "Fast Flow" training.)
Prerequisite: None. (But Method One Word Clearing is recommended.)
Length of course: 2 to 2 1/2 weeks full time.
Where obtained: Missions. Orgs, SHs, AOs, FSO.
The 1998 Scientology Unmasked series in the Boston Herald noted that the Scientology Study Technology practices included in the Student Hat were the same as material taught to students at Boston public schools:
Scientologists say the literacy campaign is nonreligious, and therefore doesn't violate laws separating church and state.
But critics say the church plays fast and loose with definitions, calling identical programs "religious" in one context and "secular" in another.
Church documents and books show that Scientology clearly identifies Study Technology as a religious practice. It is taught at the church's local headquarters on Beacon Street in Boston in the $600 Student Hat program, as a first step into church membership.
Church keys programs to recruit blacks, By Joseph Mallia, Boston Herald, March 2, 1998, part of Scientology Unmasked
The Student Hat course covers the complete technology of how to study any subject effectively ...
A full understanding of the barriers to study and how to recognize and fully handle them is gained on the course. The student learns how to clear up a misunderstood word so that he fully understands it and can use it in his speech and writing.
One of the first items in The Student Hat course pack is a 1971 bulletin by L. Ron Hubbard called "Barriers to Study." In it, he says that there are three "aspects" of study (he calls them "aspects" in the introduction, not barriers) that produce biological and mental reactions:
He says that people facing these barriers experience physical reactions: