A senior Cisco official has lent her name to an article which praises training methods based on the teachings of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard.
In a publication called Government Technology Cisco's training manager for Worldwide Manufacturing, Peg Maddocks, enthusiastically backs Hubbardist training methods.
Maddocks is fulsome in her praise of the "100 per cent Proficiency Training" program she received from Californian firm Effective Training Solutions. The article makes clear this Web-based self-learning package is "based on research conducted by best-selling American author L. Ron Hubbard in the 1960s and published as a lecture series covering 'study technology'".
In the article Maddocks is quoted as stating: "We trained the 130 people, and we shut off the paper (process) within a three-week period. Now, when we do something new, people want 100% Proficiency modules. One group, which mostly focuses on IT processes, now trains everyone using 100% Proficiency."
The article, which was published in 1998 but has only recently popped up on Usenet, raises a number of questions: what is 100 per cent Proficiency Training and how is it related to the principles of Scientology?
We tried to contact Cisco's Maddocks who's now Cisco's manager of Internet Learning Solutions - without success. We also tried to speak to Effective Training Solutions, which is run by Scientologist Ingrid Gudenas, to ask whether it still did work for Cisco.
Again our messages and emails have not been answered, although when we phoned up the firm's offices a junior member of staff said she believed the firm still did work for Cisco.
Critics of Scientology have said that the courses offered by Effective Training Solutions are a re-branded version of Scientology teachings.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this interesting footnote is Cisco's apparent endorsement of Scientological training methods. We would welcome the company's comments. ®