By: David Rice Re: Scientology / Allstate NORTHBROOK, Ill. (ITN) Allstate Corp. acknowledg
By: David Rice
Re: Scientology / Allstate
NORTHBROOK, Ill. (ITN) * Allstate Corp. acknowledged
Wednesday that it hired a consultant who taught
"unacceptable" Church of Scientology management principles to
the insurance company's agents and supervisors between 1988
The company denied allegations some workers were hounded,
intimidated and wrongfully fired as a result of the training
Scientology is a religious-"scientific" movement founded in
the 1950s by the late author L. Ron Hubbard that recruits new
members aggressively. Critics contend it is a cult.
More than 3,500 Allstate workers participated in seminars
that taught them to disregard ethics in the quest for greater
productivity, the Wall Street Journal reported in a
front-page story Tuesday.
That component of the training "was wholly unacceptable and
inconsistent with our standards," Allstate spokesman Al
"We dropped the ball," he said. "We should have managed that
part of it better and didn't."
He said some other aspects of the training were valuable.
More than two dozen agents have filed lawsuits or Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission complaints alleging fraud,
harassment or discrimination by Allstate, often in connection
with wrongful-discharge claims, the Journal reported.
Orendorff denied the allegations. The company told the
Journal the agents' claims reflect their failure to prosper
under the more entrepreneurial system Allstate set up in the
In 1988, after that restructuring, some California agents
seeking guidance in business management hired a consultant,
Donald Pearson, who was a Scientologist, the Journal reported.
According to the Journal, Pearson was a top trainer for
International Executive Technology Inc., a firm devoted to
teaching Hubbard's management principles. The principles
include rewarding without question the most productive
workers and unfailingly penalizing the least productive, the
Journal reported, citing training materials.
Pearson's renown and influence spread rapidly within the
Allstate organization, and he was hired to present seminars
to company managers across the nation from 1989 to 1992, the
Word of his Scientology connection and complaints of
intimidation and harassment also spread through the
organization, prompting the company to drop Pearson's
services by 1993, the Journal reported.
The Church of Scientology, based in Los Angeles, said the
Hubbard management technology is a proven method for
clarifying business goals and increasing efficiency and
productivity that is used in more than 40 countries.
Allstate, based in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, is 80
percent owned by Sears, Roebuck and Co. Sears, which once
owned all of Allstate, sold a 20 percent stake to the public
in 1993. Sears shareholders are scheduled to vote March 31 on
plan to spin off the rest of the company in mid-1995.
 Since the Church of Scientology is a religion, it
therefore is a cult. --- drice
... "He ain't a fundi, he's a fungi!": Don Martin
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank