|Founder||William Benitez, L. Ron Hubbard|
|Type||Scientology front group|
|Headquarters||Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States|
Narconon International (commonly known as Narconon) is a Scientology organization promoting the theories of founder L. Ron Hubbard regarding substance abuse treatment and addiction. Its parent company is the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), which is owned and controlled by the Church of Scientology. Headquartered in Hollywood, California, U.S., Narconon operates several dozen residential centers worldwide, chiefly in the United States and Western Europe. The organization was formed in 1966 by Scientologist William Benitez with Hubbard's help. Benitez contacted Hubbard after reading his book, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought and Narconon was incorporated in 1970.
While both the Church of Scientology and Narconon state that Narconon is a secular program, that it is independent of Scientology, and that it provides legitimate drug education and rehabilitation, Narconon has been described by many government reports and former patients as a Church of Scientology front group.
The program has garnered considerable controversy as a result of its origins in Scientology and its methods. Its drug rehabilitation treatment has been described as "medically unsafe", "quackery" and "medical fraud", while academic and medical experts have dismissed its educational program as containing "factual errors in basic concepts such as physical and mental effects, addiction and even spelling".
Hubbard's writings, which underlie the program, assert that drugs and their metabolites are stored in the body's fatty tissue, causing the addict's cravings when partially released later on, and can be flushed out through a regimen known as Purification Rundown, which involves exercise, sauna and intake of high doses of vitamins. This hypothesis is contradicted by experimental evidence, and is not medically accepted.
Narconon's facilities have been the location of several deaths, some of which have been linked to a lack of trained medical personnel on site. There are no independently recognized studies that confirm the efficacy of the Narconon program.
- 1 History
- 2 Narconon and Scientology
- 3 Drug rehabilitation program
- 4 Education program
- 5 Deaths
- 5.1 Jocelyne Dorfmann, Grancey-sur-Ource, France (1984)
- 5.2 Paride Ella and Giuseppe Tomba, Valsassina, Italy (1995)
- 5.3 Federica X, Torre dell'Orso, Italy (2002)
- 5.4 Patrick Desmond, Norcross, Georgia, United States (2008)
- 5.5 John Cunningham, Watsonville, California, United States (2015)
- 5.6 Deaths at Narconon Arrowhead, Oklahoma, United States (2009–2012)
- 6 Controversies
- 6.1 State code violations
- 6.2 Investigation in Russia
- 6.3 Narconon Trois-Rivières closed by Quebec health authorities
- 6.4 Pur Detox suicide attempt
- 6.5 Arrest of Heber Jentzsch
- 6.6 Slatkin fraud
- 6.7 Head of Narconon deported from Kazakhstan
- 6.8 Accusation of website graphics design/layout plagiarism
- 6.9 Narconon Georgia closed amid investigation for insurance fraud
- 7 Narconon in California sued
- 8 Narconon in Nevada sued
- 9 National Association of Forensic Counselors lawsuit
- 10 Grand Jury in Oklahoma
- 11 Fort Collins Colorado
- 12 Spin-offs and related groups
- 13 Narconon and support from other religious groups
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
|“||Narconon, with the Scientology program, is another example of the workability of Dianetics and Scientology.||”|
|— Scientology and It's (sic) Applications, |
Narconon was established 19 February 1966 as a drug rehabilitation program based on the book Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought by L. Ron Hubbard and delivered to drug abusers in the Arizona State Prisons. The name "Narconon" originally referred not to an organization but to the program.
Narconon's creator was William C. Benitez, a former inmate at Arizona State Prison who had served time for narcotics offenses. His work was supported by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and in 1972 Hubbard sponsored the incorporation of Narconon as an organization. It was co-founded by Benitez and two Scientologists, Henning Heldt and Arthur Maren.
Even before Narconon became established, Scientology and Dianetics were promoted as providing a cure for drug addiction. In 1970 the Reverend John W. Elliot, senior minister of the Church of Scientology and chairman of its Drug Abuse Prevention team, announced that "Dianetic Counseling" had "completely cured 30 out of 30 people" who came to the Church of Scientology for help. Rev. Elliott also reported that Dianetics could cure hay fever, asthma and arthritis.
In the early days of Narconon, no distinction was made between Scientology's 'religious' and 'secular' branches; Narconon was considered by Scientologists to be an example of Scientology in action. "Narconon, with the Scientology program, is another example of the workability of Dianetics and Scientology", said an adherent in 1970. "The program has been expanded and is used in all Scientology churches and missions".
The Narconon website reports that the keynote of Narconon is that the “…individual is responsible for his own condition and that anyone can improve his condition if he is given a workable way to do so… man is basically good and it is pain, suffering, and loss that lead him astray.” It positions the program as an approach to rehabilitation without recourse to alternative drugs. This early program did not, however, deal directly with withdrawal symptoms. In 1973, the Narconon program adopted procedures to include drug-free withdrawal.
A number of celebrities have publicly attested that Narconon was helpful in their own lives. Musician Nicky Hopkins and actress Kirstie Alley have credited Narconon for their recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Alley has since become a public spokesperson for Narconon. The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project has used Hubbard's sauna detoxification regimen in an effort to improve the health of rescue workers exposed to toxic substances from 9/11, although the results are disputed. Toxicologist Dr Ronald E. Gots described the Narconon / Purification Rundown program in a 1987 report on its use by California firefighters:
The treatment in California preyed upon the fears of concerned workers, but served no rational medical function. ... Moreover, the program itself, developed not by physicians or scientists, but by the founder of the Church of Scientology, has no recognized value in the established medical and scientific community. It is quackery.
In 2004 and 2005, WISE at Work magazine and International Scientology News each published articles clarifying the relationship between Narconon and Scientology; each placed Narconon in Scientology's 'Division 6B', with responsibility for introducing the public to Scientology services.
By the end of 2005, according to the International Association of Scientologists, Narconon was operating 183 rehabilitation centers around the world. New centers opened in that year included Hastings, UK (now closed), and Stone Hawk, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Narconon President Clark Carr asserted that drug prevention lectures “have been given to over 2 million children and adults over several decades..and are currently being delivered across the United States, all New England States, Washington D.C., Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma and surrounding states, Michigan and Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and possibly others” in response to an inquiry from The Humanist.
On 17 July 2006, Narconon center, Narconon Trois-Rivieres (Three-Rivers) based in Canada, started a website at narcodex.ca. Narcodex was a wiki purported to contain drug information. The domain name of Narcodex.ca was owned by ABLE Canada, an organization under Scientology. The funding for the website came entirely from the Narconon Trois-Rivieres, which also controlled the content on the site. The center was closed by the local health authorities in 2012.
In July 2013, Narconon proposed to acquire the 150 acre Hockley, Ontario estate of Donald Blenkarn, who had died the previous year. Narconon planned to convert the estate into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, but drew widespread opposition from residents who were opposed to the presence of a rehab center, and to the presence of Narconon and Scientology specifically. The Blenkarn family ultimately chose to sell to an unidentified person within the community for below the asking price, and rejected a counter-offer from Narconon.
In January 2014, Narconon instituted a Hubbard-based detoxification program in Annapolis to treat veterans suffering from Gulf war-related conditions. The treatments were funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through a September 2010 grant for $633,677 given to University of Albany in New York State, where David O. Carpenter serves as the director of the school’s institute for Health and the Environment and the program’s chief investigator. As of December 2014, seven Gulf War veterans completed the program. It was administered on a 7-day per week schedule, with the regimen being completed in 33 days. The program’s purpose was to discover whether Hubbard’s program has a scientific basis for therapy and whether it was effective in reducing symptoms and improving the functional status of Gulf War veterans whose physical pain and anxiety improved upon completion of the program. Carpenter affirmed that the program was effective in his own treatment.
Narconon and Scientology
Its affiliation with the Church of Scientology has made Narconon itself a focus of controversy. The organization has never denied that many of its administrators are committed Scientologists or that its methods are based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard.
In its early days, Narconon used unaltered Scientology materials in its courses, and Scientology executives ran the organization (founders Heldt and Maren were high-ranking members of the Church's public-relations department known as the Guardian's Office).
In April 1970, Scientology spokesman Max Prudente described Narconon as, "Based solely on the philosophy and tenets of Scientology", claiming an 85% success rate.
However, as Narconon promoted its drug-treatment services to a variety of governmental jurisdictions within the US, the organization repeatedly found itself at the center of controversy when the Scientology connection was raised by journalists or politicians.
The link with Scientology raised questions about the constitutional appropriateness of governmental bodies sponsoring a religiously affiliated organization (see Lemon v. Kurtzman). These problems were further intensified by claims that the treatment program was medically unsound and numerous allegations that the Narconon treatment program serves as a fundraising and recruitment program for the Church of Scientology.
By the late 1970s, Scientology was keen to disavow its connection with Narconon. When the FBI raided Scientology offices on 8 July 1977, papers seized revealed that Scientologists were instructed to refer to Narconon and other "front groups" using code names:
Codes should be used for the names of front groups that we do not want connected with the C of S and for anything that gives specific and actual evidence that the C of S is in legal control of B6 groups [of which Narconon was one].
In the 1990s, Narconon was at pains to deny all links to Scientology; in 1994 John Wood, the head of Narconon UK, denied any connection between Narconon and Scientology, saying, "I know beyond doubt that Narconon does not recruit for nor promote the Church of Scientology", despite the final stage in Narconon's process for patients at that time being "Route to nearest Org (Scientology organisation) for further services", but by 2001 Scientology spokesman Graeme Wilson was describing Narconon as Scientology's "affiliate charity".
A 1–5 March 1998 Boston Herald series exposed how two Scientology-linked groups, Narconon and the World Literacy Crusade, used anti-drug and learn-to-read programs to gain access to public schools without disclosing their Scientology ties. Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, who said in an interview that the Purification Rundown saved his life, confirmed after the Herald report was published that the church's Los Angeles law firm had hired a private-investigative firm to investigate the personal life of reporter Joseph Mallia, who wrote the series. The Herald noted numerous other instances over the years where reporters were harassed with "noisy investigations" after writing stories exposing Scientology.
In Montreal, Narconon employees describe themselves as 'FSM's, a Scientology abbreviation for Field Staff Member, while in the U.S. state of Georgia a memo released under court order showed Narconon executive director Mary Rieser reporting directly to The Church of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs as well as to parent organization ABLE.
Drug rehabilitation program
|“||The treatment ... served no rational medical function. Moreover, the program itself ... has no recognized value in the established medical and scientific community. It is quackery.||”|
|— Toxicologist Dr Ronald E. Gots, |
Since its establishment, Narconon has faced considerable controversy over the safety and effectiveness of its rehabilitation methods and the organization's links to the Church of Scientology. The medical profession has been sharply critical of Narconon's methods, which rely on theories of drug metabolism that are not supported by mainstream toxicology. Narconon teaches that drugs reside in body fat, and remain there indefinitely; and that to recover from drug abuse, addicts can remove the drugs from their fat through saunas and use of vitamins. Medical experts disagree with this basic understanding of physiology, saying that no significant amount of drugs are stored in fat, and that drugs can't be "sweated out" as Narconon claims. In one 2005 report scientific experts stated that Narconon's treatment methods “does not reflect accurate, widely accepted medical and scientific evidence."
Particular criticism has been directed at the therapy's use of vitamins (including massive doses of niacin) and extended sauna sessions.
David Root, an occupational medicine practitioner and a member of the Narconon Scientific Advisory Board, defended the program’s validity. He told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1991 that drugs and other poisons “come out through the skin in the form of sebaceous, or fatty, sweat. The material is frequently visible and drips, or is rubbed off on towels.” This apparently explains the need for “daily doses of vitamins, minerals, and oils, including niacin.”
The "New Life Program" consists of two principal stages: 'detoxification' and 'rehabilitation'. The "New Life Detoxification Program", adapted from Hubbard's Purification Rundown, consists of six elements: exercise, sauna, supplements, sufficient liquids, regular diet with fresh vegetables, and adequate sleep.
Each U.S. patient spends an average of 3 to 4 months at Narconon, for a fee that ranges from $10,000 to around $30,000.
There are more than 200 beds at Narconon Arrowhead, according to John Bitinas, who is part of the public relations staff for the facility. Asked whether medications are used to help patients going through withdrawal, he said that "Narconon is drug-free, meaning we do not use substitute drugs as part of our rehabilitation process." All patients are assessed at enrollment to determine whether they are "psychiatrically or medically qualified for the level of care we offer here. If they are found to need a higher level of care then Narconon is qualified to offer at that time, they are referred to a more appropriate facility." If patients require medications to treat physical conditions like diabetes, infections, and so on, those medications are prescribed by the Narconon physician, who is part-time but available on-call on a 24-hour basis, according to Bitinas.
The detoxification program is based on Hubbard's theory that "small amounts of drugs [and their metabolites] stored in fat are released at a later time causing the person to re-experience the drug effect and desire to use again." According to Narconon, exercise helps to release toxins from body fat as fat deposits are burned for energy, while concurrently releasing chemicals via sweating, sebum (produced by the skin's sebaceous glands), and regular bowel movements.
Narconon is not a medical model. The Narconon program rejects the disease model of addiction, and its program literature has described the terminology used by that model as being disempowering to patients. The Narconon model is based on that idea that “when given efficient and caring help to learn new personal life skills and to raise his or her ability to solve personal problems, including physical addiction, the recovering addict can achieve true, lasting recovery.” It rejects the idea that addiction is an “incurable disease,” attempting to demonstrate that “with the proper rehabilitation and life skills education, an alcoholic or other drug addict can in fact permanently recover from the disability of addiction.”
The Narconon treatment program follows the "social education" model of drug rehabilitation. The program is four to six months long and includes a regimen of detoxification that includes "aerobic exercise, dry-sauna sweating, hydration and nutrition supplements; life skills trainings; and personalized plans for after-graduation living." The main premise of the detoxification regimen is that "the activation of drug residuals stored in the body can elicit drug cravings in the former drug user thus tempting relapse. The Narconon detoxification regimen is designed to eliminate drug residues from drug users' bodies and thus reduce the cravings that may be caused by these residues."
Experts from mainstream medicine and toxicology have repeatedly argued that Hubbard's method has no validity: "one may from a pharmacological point of view strongly question the idea of using enforced sweating to expel drugs from the body", says Professor Folke Sjoqvist in a 1996 report for the Swedish government, while an Oklahoma Board of Mental Health report from 1990 states that, "Although minute quantities of some drugs may be found in sweat the amount represents a small fraction of drug elimination".
Harris: And the sauna program, what Narconon contends is that in -- it in fact detoxifies your body. True?
Harris: But there's no scientific basis that you can point me to to support that contention, is there, sir?
Casal: You're correct.
Harris: So when Narconon states that the sauna program detoxifies its students, you're not aware, as a medical doctor, of any scientific basis for that contention?
Casal: I agree.
Harris: The vitamin regimen. You're familiar with the vitamin regimen?
Casal: Yes, sir.
Harris: What -- do you have an opinion about whether or not the vitamin regimen is effective at treating addiction?
Casal: I believe that it has very likely no bearing whatsoever on the treatment of addiction.
Narconon asserts that methadone, amphetamines, methamphetamines, morphine, copper, mercury, and other toxins, some consumed years earlier, leave the body by means of sweating. This contrasts with the view of the body's drug retention taken by mainstream science, which has found that most recreational drugs leave the body within a few days (with the exception of cannabis, which in the case of frequent use can remain in the body for up to a month).
According to Narconon, vitamin and mineral supplements are needed to address nutritional deficiencies and offset nutrient loss due to sweating. Other key elements in the program are the use of niacin, which Hubbard believed to increase free fatty acid mobilization, and the inclusion of polyunsaturated fats that he thought to increase the excretion rate of some toxin compounds. Together with a proper amount of sleep, this regime is thought by Narconon to mobilize and eliminate long-term stored toxins.
Narconon's "drug bomb" includes a niacin dose of 4000 mg/day. The risk to patients of taking high-dose niacin is one reason why medical experts assessing the Narconon program have found that it is a danger to patients; the Narconon program has been banned in a number of jurisdictions including France and Quebec.
Because Narconon doctrines dictate that patients undergoing its program exhibit physical symptoms relating to the drugs that are (supposedly) being 'sweated out', and because Narconon's staff are not medically qualified or typically qualified in orthodox drug rehabilitation, there is a risk that serious medical symptoms - from niacin overdose, or from other causes - may be misinterpreted by Narconon staff as the desirable effects of detoxification:
The Narconon Program exposes its patients to the risk of delayed withdrawal phenomena such as seizures, delirium and/or hallucinations. ... The Narconon program presents a potential risk to the patients of the Narconon program that delayed withdrawal phenomena such as seizures, delirium or hallucination that are occasionally seen several days after cessation of drugs such as benzodiazepines, may be misinterpreted by Narconon's non-medical staff as the effect of mobilizing the drug from fat during the sauna sweat-out procedure period. There is also a potential risk that the reported re-experience of the abused drugs' effect during the sauna sweat-out program may be the result of misinterpreted symptoms of hyperthermia or electrolyte imbalance...
The remainder of the Narconon course uses "Training Routines" or "TRs" originally devised by Hubbard to teach communications skills to Scientologists. In the Narconon variant, these courses claim to be designed to rehabilitate drug abusers. These training routines sometimes include TR 8, which involves the individual commanding an ashtray to "stand up" and "sit down", and thanking it for doing so, as loudly as they can. Former Scientologists say that the purpose of the drill is for the individual to "beam" their "intention" into the ashtray to make it move.
|“||There is currently no reliable evidence for the effectiveness of Narconon as a primary or secondary drug prevention program.||”|
|— Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services|
Narconon typically claims success rates as high as 75% of the graduates of the Narconon program remaining drug-free for the rest of their lives, and has in the past claimed "very close to a 100% success rate". However, these numbers are highly controversial, and there exist no independent studies that support these claims.
Independent researchers have found considerably lower rates of success. At least one website critical of Narconon cites a Swedish research study that gives a rate of 6.6%. Narconon has reported the same study's findings as being much more favorable, although its representation of the study is greatly simplified.
The Church of Scientology claims that "the Narconon success rate is not merely the world’s highest, it is four times better than international averages", while a systematic review of evidence regarding Narconon's efficacy conducted by the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services on behalf of the Norwegian Directorate of Health concluded that:
Collectively, one quasi-experimental and five non-experimental studies document lack of evidence of the preventive effects of these programs. Thus, there is currently no reliable evidence for the effectiveness of Narconon as a primary or secondary drug prevention program. This is partly due to the insufficient research evidence about Narconon and partly due to the non-experimental nature of the few studies that exist.
In April 2014, the town council of Wyong refused permission for Narconon to open a new centre at Yarramalong, New South Wales, saying that Narconon's method of treatment was a factor in the decision. Wyong Mayor Doug Eaton said:
To be allowed in the area it'd have to be defined as a hospital and there wasn't enough material to demonstrate it could be so defined because my understanding of the rehab process it that it is more of a religious process than it is a medical process.— Church of Scientology drug rehab centre rejected, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
In 1999, Scientologists from Clearwater, Florida tried to get a Narconon drug-education program installed into the Pinellas County school district. After a hearing on the matter, a school-district committee refused to allow students to participate in an anti-drug program based on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, citing that teaching students about the "tone scale" and other trappings of Scientology was inappropriate for a drug-education program for their schools.
In 2004, Narconon offered an anti-drug program to public schools in California, free of charge. A series of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle on 9 and 10 June 2004, resulted in California school officials investigating Narconon's claims. The study found that Narconon's program did not reflect medically and scientifically based practices and that it offered students misleading information about drug use and abuse.
As a result of the investigation, on 23 February 2005, the state's superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, officially recommended that all schools in the state reject the Narconon program. O'Connell's secretary announced that the school systems in Los Angeles and San Francisco had dropped the program. The president of Narconon, Clark Carr, responded that the study presented only limited information about his organization's work, and that those efforts were "accurate and relevant to the current challenges children face with drugs."
A May 2014 investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle discovered that some California schools were still using the Narconon program, in spite of its 2004 rejection by the San Francisco Unified School District. Steve Heilig, one of the experts who evaluated the Narconon education program on behalf of the school district, finding it to be scientifically unsound, urged schools to check the accreditation of drug education programs before allowing them access to students, saying "One imperative of drug education is that we not deceive students, as once they discover that you are not telling them factual information, they are likely to disbelieve everything you say".
The UK prisons ombudsman recommended to prison governors that Narconon rehabilitation programs not be used in prisons although some schools in the UK are using these programs; The Sunday Times said this was because schools are less aware of Narconon's links to the Church of Scientology.
In September 2012, the 149 Church of England schools in the Diocese of London were warned not to accept offers from Narconon to give lectures to their pupils, following complaints from parents.
On November 2016, Narconon was reported to have given talks on the dangers of drug addiction in two schools in Camden, London. Elizabeth Kitcatt, Camden School for Girls headteacher, said in a statement that the students found the talk “very useful,” while Harry Shapiro, Director of DrugWise, called out the schools for being unaware to the group’s ties to Scientology. A Brecknock Primary spokeswoman said: “The school’s deputy head was in the room for the whole drug awareness talk and at no point was there any mention of Scientology or any religious connotations. It was marketed as an anti-drug talk and that’s exactly what it was.” President of Narconon UK Noel Nile claimed that the group was “in the business of saving lives” and that their drug education initiatives were well-received by students and teachers alike.
In 2008, Narconon executive Marie Cecchini published, with Richard Lennox, a paper that claimed to show that the Narconon educational program reduced drug use among youths. However, the study was funded by Narconon's parent organisation, ABLE, and subsequent correspondence in the same journal asserted that the study's conclusions were contradicted by its own data: that the control group "were more likely to resist pressures to take drugs" than the Narconon group.
Jocelyne Dorfmann, Grancey-sur-Ource, France (1984)
In 1984, a 34-year-old French woman named Jocelyne Dorfmann died from an untreated epilepsy crisis while undergoing treatment at a Narconon center in Grancey-sur-Ource (near Dijon). The assistant-director of that center was convicted of lack of assistance to a person in danger and the Narconon center was closed.
Medical experts reported that her death was caused by "an epileptic seizure due to the absence of sufficient treatment at its beginning and of emergency treatment during the seizure". Narconon staff failed to call for medical assistance, as a result of which Dorfmann died.
Paride Ella and Giuseppe Tomba, Valsassina, Italy (1995)
In 1995, two young men, Paride Ella (22) and Giuseppe Tomba (26) died suddenly at the Narconon centre in Taceno, Valsassina. Paride Ella died of acute kidney failure (symptoms consistent with a niacin overdose), while the recorded cause of death for Giuseppe Tomba was heart attack.
Both patients suffered similar symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea, for days before their deaths. The young men died within a few days of one another, in the so-called 'detoxification' (ultra-high doses of niacin and other vitamins, multi-hour saunas) stage of the Narconon program.
The Narconon centre had no medical staff and was unable - in either case - to diagnose the seriousness of their condition. Before the deaths, the village's mayor had asked for the Narconon centre to be closed.
Federica X, Torre dell'Orso, Italy (2002)
In Italy, a 33-year-old Italian female patient of the Narconon center in Torre dell'Orso died under similar conditions in 2002.
Federica died from peritonitis, according to her autopsy. She first began to suffer from stomach pains on Monday 7 October 2002, and was driven to the first aid station at Meledugno, where she was given painkillers. She was driven to hospital the following evening, where she died soon after being admitted in a coma.
Narconon patient Giovanni Costa later stabbed staff member Rodolfo Savino, whom Costa claimed had ignored Federica's symptoms, and given her insufficient medical aid. Costa was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Patrick Desmond, Norcross, Georgia, United States (2008)
His family alleged wrongful death and filed a lawsuit against Narconon, claiming that Narconon's actions led to his death, and that Narconon falsely claimed to be a licensed inpatient program.
Atlanta's Channel 2 News said that:
The evidence includes documents with Narconon's letterhead with the word "outpatient" when reporting Patrick's death to state investigators, but letterhead on letters sent to Florida courts omitted the word "outpatient".
Desmond's family paid Narconon $30,000 for his treatment. Narconon Georgia director Mary Rieser commented to a reporter:
The settlement followed harsh sanctions against Narconon by the trial judge Stacey K. Hydrick, who said in a court order that Narconon Of Georgia had:
Intentionally, willfully and repeatedly provided false and misleading responses to plaintiff’s discovery requests regarding issues relevant to the resolution of this case
and that it had:
Repeatedly failed to produce, and on multiple occasions falsely denied the existence of clearly relevant, responsive documents and information.
Judge Hydrick withdrew Narconon's response to the Desmond family's allegations, meaning that if the case had not been settled then the Desmond family's claims would essentially have gone unopposed by Narconon.
Narconon International denied that it had any connection with Narconon of Georgia, although documents disclosed in the Patrick case showed that Narconon Georgia's executive director Mary Rieser reported to Narconon International, to the Church of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs, and to ABLE (Narconon International's parent corporation), describing in her reports the evening of Patrick's death:
On June 10th 2008 a student was watching a basketball game late in the evening with Brad in his apartment. They consumed tequila and the student gained access to his cash which was supposed to be locked in that apartment. A sad thing happened later in the evening. Two days later we tested Brad and he was dirty for methadone, PCP, cocaine and methamphetamine.— Mary Rieser, "Things That Shouldn't Be", 14 August 2008, Estate of Patrick Desmond v Narconon of Georgia et al)
John Cunningham, Watsonville, California, United States (2015)
In July 2015, a 58-year old Boeing employee was sent by his sister to a Narconon facility in Watsonville, California, Redwood Cliffs. Cunningham was addicted to Benzodiazepines. The staff at Redwood Cliffs sent Cunningham to be detoxed to Bright Futures Recovery, which removed Cunningham from medications he was taking for depression. Cunningham was sent to the "local ER three times in just five days for withdrawal symptoms". On August 22, 2015 he was left alone in his room long enough for him to "hang himself by a belt in his bedroom closet". Cunningham's sister did not know that Narconon was Scientology until after her brother's death.
Represented by attorney H. Gavin Long, the family sued Redwood Cliffs and Bright Futures Recovery for one million dollars each. The rehabilitation centers countered with an offer of "$100,000 and $350,000, respectively". The family refused and took the case to a jury in Santa Cruz, California. After a 12-day trial where Narconon tried to argue that they had not referred Cunningham to Bright Futures Recovery, the jury awarded the family 11 million dollars. According to journalist Tony Ortega it is very rare that one of these cases goes to a jury, and since this court case, "Scientology cut ties with its Northern California Narconon network, and the Redwood Cliffs facility has closed. But Narconon is still on the hook for its share of the verdict".
Deaths at Narconon Arrowhead, Oklahoma, United States (2009–2012)
In August 2012, Pittsburg County sheriffs and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, along with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation began an investigation of deaths at Narconon's Arrowhead facility, following the deaths of three patients in a period of nine months.
The investigation includes the recent deaths of four patients: Stacy Dawn Murphy, aged 20, who died at Narconon Arrowhead on 19 July 2012; Hillary Holten, 21, who was found dead at the facility on 11 April 2012; 32-year-old Gabriel Graves, who died there on 26 October 2011; and 28-year-old Kaysie Dianne Werninck, also a patient at Narconon Arrowhead, who was found dead on 3 March 2009.
Following media attention surrounding the deaths, the National Association of Forensic Counselors permanently revoked the Certified Chemical Dependency Counseling certification of several Narconon Arrowhead employees including director Gary Smith, and in August 2013 the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services permanently revoked the facility's permit for medical detoxification after Narconon had exhausted all avenues for protesting the decision.
In August 2013, Inspector General Kim Poff, and investigator Michael DeLong, of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, who had been investigating the deaths that had taken place at Narconon, had their employment terminated. No reason was given for the termination, but the investigators' attorney claimed (after the termination of their employment) that the two were wrongfully fired, saying: "Their termination, in part, relates to the Narconon Investigation".
Narconon in Oklahoma
|“||Something's terribly wrong there. We sent her there to get better, not to die.||”|
|— Robert Murphy, father of deceased Stacy Dawn Murphy, |
Narconon began operations in Oklahoma in 1990, as an unlicensed facility on the site of the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School near the town of Newkirk, claiming that it did not require a state licence, as it was operating on an Indian reservation. In 1992 it applied for a state licence, and was twice refused by the Oklahoma Mental Health Department, which found "no evidence that drug and alcohol abuse education was part of the program" and declared the program "not medically safe", a decision to which Narconon spokesperson Kirstie Alley responded, "The arrogance and irresponsibility of the mental health board will not survive the outrage of the many thousands of parents, graduates and supporters from the scientific community".
During the period 1989–1992, Narconon (through Scientology attorney Tim Bowles) filed lawsuits against the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, its members, and local newspaper editor Robert Lobsinger (who had written about Narconon's Scientology connection). Narconon contacted the Mayor of Newkirk's 12-year-old son at a library, and hired a private detective firm to research Narconon's opponents, leading residents to fear retribution if they spoke out against Narconon.
Narconon achieved exemption from the requirement for state licensing in 1992, as a result of approval from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Scientology leader David Miscavige commented on the case in an interview with ABC News Nightline, saying, "There are a group of people on this planet who find us to be a threat to their existence, and they will do everything in their power to stop us. And that is the mental health field. I didn't pick a war with them."
In 2012, a paid advert in the Oklahoma Gazette contained allegations from a previously unknown group named "Oklahomans for the preservation of homeland security and american values, (ohsav)" [sic]. The advert referred to recent TV news stories about Narconon and Scientology, named some of Narconon's critics in Oklahoma, and alleged those critics had "subjugated [their] individuality for [their] own thirst for hatred", had an "agenda of religious intolerance, racial discrimination or disdain for corporate America", and blamed them for "public disinformation hate campaigns against Blacks, Jews, Muslims and Scientologists". The advertisement showed the characteristics of a Scientology "DA flier".
Kaysie Dianne Werninck
The parents of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, who died at Narconon Arrowhead on 3 March 2009, filed a lawsuit against the center claiming her death was "a result of the defendant's [Narconon's] gross negligence". The case was settled.
Gabriel Graves, who died at the facility in October 2011, was the subject of an open records request made to the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health by the Tulsa World newspaper, which revealed reports of use and distribution of drugs at the centre. His autopsy recorded his cause of death as 'unknown'.
Hillary Holten, whose parents filed a lawsuit against Narconon Arrowhead, is alleged by her parents to have died due to lack of medical care. Their lawsuit states that she "had a history of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, a condition that required the daily administration of Dexamethasone and in extreme circumstances, an injection of liquid cortisone", and that Narconon Arrowhead did not properly manage her medical condition. Gary Smith of Narconon refrained from comment, adding that "there are federal rights to privacy laws which prohibit us from discussing anything about former clients."
Stacy Murphy's father said Narconon officials told him that when his daughter was found dead alone in the 'detox' room, she had not been checked on for two and a half hours. "That's too long, if they thought she was overdosed, why didn't they have someone with her the whole time?" he said, adding "We sent her there to get better, not to die". Gary Smith, director of the facility, responded in an email statement that, "It is always deeply saddening when drug addiction takes a life or destroys a family. ... For the family the pain of losing a loved one to addiction is unimaginable."
A patient who was resident at Narconon Arrowhead at the time of Stacy's death said, "There was no doctor there, no nurse on staff. There's nothing like that there ... The staff, they're all former patients. ... My understanding is that everyone there is pretty much a former patient. ... The drugs that would have saved Stacy's life were either not available or no one there knew how to administer it." Now he fears retaliation for talking to the police and media: "I'm afraid for my life."
Stacy's roommate, Destanie Ramsey, called police on the night of Stacy's death in order to leave Narconon Arrowhead, where she said she was being held against her will.
Public and media response
Protests over the deaths have taken place outside the Narconon centre; on 23/24 June 2012, a protest, planned to include bereaved family members, was disrupted by road resurfacing works outside the facility, paid for by Narconon. Pittsburg County Commission Chairman Gene Rogers explained that, "He (Gary Smith) called me and said they might be having a problem with the public that weekend and he wanted help policing the area and he asked about doing overlaying (of the road)".
Oklahoma State Senator Tom Ivester commented that, "Clearly something isn’t right and we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to end this predatory business being run by the Church of Scientology disguised as drug treatment", adding, "This is a disgusting business that preys on desperate family members and their sick loved ones, scamming them out of thousands of dollars with the promise of providing hope and new life. It’s a disgrace to have these people operating in the state of Oklahoma." In direct response to the Arrowhead deaths, Ivestor introduced legislation to expand Oklahoma's ability to regulate rehab facilities.
In response to an NBC Rock Center news report on the facility, Narconon President Clark Carr called its criticism of Narconon "bigoted", and described Narconon as addicts' "last chance for a decent, honest, drug-free life".
State code violations
Narconon facilities in California were cited repeatedly for violations by state inspectors. Violations included administering medication without authorization, having alcohol on the facility, and not having proper bedding for clients. Narconon has also attempted to silence opposition, including sending letters to neighbors of a proposed facility in Leona Valley, California threatening legal action for criticism. Residents of the Leona Valley were concerned that Narconon would increase crime. The local town council recommended an eight-foot security fence and independent security, which was objected to by Narconon officials.
March 2013, Narconon Arrowhead-  National Association of Forensic Counselors President Karla Taylor told The McAlester News-Capital that CEO Gary Smith and the employee's certificates were revoked earlier this month. Taylor said she can't say why the certificates were revoked.
In Clearwater, Florida, an endorsement from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, which Narconon submitted in support of its application for a state license to conduct anti-drug educational programs, was found to be a forgery.
Investigation in Russia
In April 2007, it was revealed that Moscow's South District office of public procurator had begun an investigation into Narconon's activities in Russia. The Moskovsky Komsomolets daily paper reported that legal proceedings were begun against the head of the clinic "Narconon-Standard", for violating bans in Russian medical practices. Russian law enforcement became interested after receiving many complaints from citizens about the high fees charged by Narconon. The Narconon office in Bolshaya Tulskaya St., Moscow was searched, and documents and unidentified medications were seized.
|“||[Narconon] may represent a risk to health||”|
|— Health and Social Services Agency, Mauricie Region, Quebec|
On 17 April 2012, Quebec health officials ordered the Narconon in Trois-Rivières to close, and relocate its 32 residents. After an investigation into Narconon Trois-Rivières' activities by the Centre Québécois d’Agrément (an independent body that monitors the quality of healthcare), the Mauricie Region's Health and Social Services Agency decided not to re-certify Narconon because of their concerns that its methods "may represent a risk to health" of patients.
The Agency's director, Marc Latour, said that Narconon Trois-Rivières was dangerous for patients, that it violated many of the criteria governing rehabilitation centres in Quebec, and that there was no medical supervision and no scientific basis to its treatment. He added that at least four clients had been hospitalized in recent months because of methods used at the centre.
Narconon Trois-Rivières issued a response, saying, "People with drug problems and their families should have a right to choose the program that works for them as these days there are many good alternative programs".
The closure follows a 2-year campaign by ex-Narconon patient and staff member David Love, whose negative experiences at Narconon prompted him to become one of its fiercest critics in Canada. While he was at Narconon Trois-Rivieres, Love reports that,
staff members withheld insulin from a diabetic patient undergoing the sauna treatment. That young man ended up in hospital for three days, Love said. In another [incident], it [Narconon] took away a patient's antidepressants. He jumped from a second-floor window in a suicide attempt.
Before the centre's closure, Narconon had alleged that Love's allegations were fictitious and that he had been bribed to make them; Andre Ahern, Director of Legal Affairs for Narconon Trois-Rivieres, said:
It strikes me most strange that Love is now attacking the very group [Narconon] that per his earlier statements saved his life. He changed his mind, apparently, after he began receiving payments from members of the Anonymous network.
Love is one of five former Narconon patients who have filed a complaint with Quebec's Human Rights Commission, alleging that their drug addiction was exploited by Narconon, in recruiting them into the program and making them do manual labour while taking part in it. Love also alleges that Narconon Trois-Rivieres earned around $16 million for Scientology between its opening in 2005 and its forced closure in 2012.
Narconon president Clark Carr stated that the facility closed because the province changed its stance on “what kind of drug rehabilitation it would tolerate” to “strictly medical, drug substitution, and so forth.” Narconon was informed that it had to re-acquire a license, but would only be approved if its method of treatment was changed.
Pur Detox suicide attempt
In September 2012, Pur Detox, a Narconon offshoot, was sued in Orange County, California for negligence, medical malpractice, and negligent supervision.
Arrest of Heber Jentzsch
In December 1988, the president of the Church of Scientology, Heber Jentzsch, was arrested in Spain after an investigation into Narconon that resulted in (later dropped) allegations that he and the Church of Scientology were defrauding Spanish citizens and running its centers with unqualified staff. The judge in the case said at a news conference after the arrests that the only god of the church of Scientology is money, and he compared the church to a pyramid scheme in which members pay increasing sums of money. He said that Narconon swindled its clients and lured them into Scientology. In 1989, 75 Scientologists in Italy were arrested and an investigation showed that "parents of drug addicts were paying heavy monthly fees to Narconon, which advertised itself as a drug rehabilitation and cure center, but getting nothing in return." By the end of 1991 the court found there was no evidence to support prosecutors’ allegations that drug rehabilitation and other programs sponsored by the Church of Scientology in Spain amounted to illicit gathering aimed at activities such as bilking people of money. In April 2002, the charge was formally dropped. The court also ordered that the bail bond deposited for his release in 1988 be returned to the Church along with interest, which nearly doubled the original amount.
On 8 November 2006, the Associated Press reported that Narconon was one of the Scientology groups that would pay back a total of 3.5 million dollars of illegal funds from EarthLink co-founder Reed Slatkin:
Slatkin, who was once an ordained Scientology minister, paid $1.7 million from his scheme directly to Scientology groups, while millions of dollars more were funneled through other investors to groups affiliated with the church, bankruptcy trustee R. Todd Neilson said in court filings. Among the church groups to receive ill-gotten gains from Slatkin's scheme were Narconon International, the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International and the Church of Scientology Western United States, the filings said. The $3.5 million being returned by the church groups was the result of a negotiated compromise, Scientology attorney David Schindler and Alexander Pilmer, an attorney for Neilson, said.
Head of Narconon deported from Kazakhstan
In July 2008, the head of Narconon in Kazakhstan was deported: Kazakh Justice Minister Zagipa Baliyeva announced that "foreigners from the USA, Georgia, South Korea and Japan have been deported from the country by law-enforcement agencies and in line with court rulings for violating the rules regarding the stay of foreigners and carrying out missionary activities without registration. In particular, with a further ban on entering Kazakhstan for five years, the head of the Narconon public foundation affiliated with the Church of Scientology has been deported," adding, "27 cases were uncovered where heads of non-traditional religious organizations violated the law on the freedom of conscience and religious organizations; in particular, materials propagating radical ideas and teachings of non-traditional religions were seized from them".
Accusation of website graphics design/layout plagiarism
Narconon Georgia closed amid investigation for insurance fraud
In April 2013, agents of the insurance commissioner of Georgia and the Gwinnett County, Georgia District attorney's office searched the group's offices in Norcross, Georgia, questioning employees as they arrived at work and impounding more than a dozen computers and boxes full of documents. The state Insurance Commissioner said during the investigation that "We have credible information that indicates that insurance fraud is taking place with Narconon".
The family of one patient said that the group was billing insurance companies for treatments that had never been given, and the doctors for whom the costs were being billed claimed never to have met the patient.
Narconon in California sued
In March 2014, attorney Ryan Hamilton filed two civil lawsuits with the State of California.
The first civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of Angelo Amato of Illinois who purchased Narconon's Purification Rundown at the Scientology facility known as Narconon Fresh Start (a.k.a. Sunshine Summit Lodge) In Warner Springs, California, after Amato searched the Internet for drug treatment facilities and believed allegedly fraudulent claims by Scientology that purported to be from an "independent consultant" web site. Amato claims to have been defrauded of $31,000 and began the Narconon program only to discover that it was actually Scientology being practiced, alleging that no actual drug treatment was offered at the facility.
The second civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Christie Estrada and Branden Chavez of New Mexico who also researched "drug treatment facilities" on the Internet and were allegedly deceived by Narconon Fresh Start in to paying $33,000 before Scientology's Purification Rundown process could be applied, with Narconon Fresh Start allegedly asking for $23,000 of that fee up front in cash. The defendants in this case are also Narconon Fresh Start.
The core plaintiff complaints cover a spectrum of allegations of criminal misconduct by Scientology that include insurance fraud, denial that Narconon is Scientology, fraudulent claims that Narconon staff were medically trained in drug treatment, and a number of other false claims.
Narconon in Nevada sued
In February 2014, attorney Ryan Hamilton filed an additional civil lawsuit with the State of Nevada.
Michael Tarr, a former heroin addict and Narconon client, and his mother Cathy, who borrowed the money to pay Narconon for his participation, sued Narconon Fresh Start (doing business as Rainbow Canyon Retreat) for fraud, breach of contract and negligence. The Tarrs claimed that while resident at Narconon, Michael Tarr did not receive detoxification treatment but rather indoctrination into Scientology, and asked the court to award them punitive damages as well as a refund of Narconon's $33,000 fees and their legal expenses.
The Tarr plaintiff's civil lawsuit followed closely behind a previous civil lawsuit filed by Hamilton on behalf of David, Stacy, and Jack Welch of Texas who also allege that Narconon Fresh Start committed breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.
In April 2014, Hamilton filed another lawsuit against Narconon Nevada, this time on behalf of Harry and Lauren Geanacopulos and their son Peter. The Geanacopulos family's complaint argues that Narconon's programme content and success rate were misrepresented to them and that it has no genuine medical or scientific basis.
Hamilton claimed to possess a Narconon internal document showing that Narconon was used as a "bridge" to introduce clients to Scientology.
National Association of Forensic Counselors lawsuit
In May 2014, the National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma, naming Narconon, the Church of Scientology and 80 other defendants. The NAFC is a body that provides certification to drug abuse counsellors. The filing sought an injunction to prevent Narconon from using the NAFC's trademarks, certifications or logos - it also sought punitive damages.
The filing alleged that Narconon and the other defendants conspired to:
willfully misuse the NAFC logos and trademarks and falsified certifications supposedly obtained through the NAFC or the ACCFC to misrepresent the credentials of their employees and volunteers to promote the Narconon Network.
going on to claim that Narconon:
willfully misused (and continues to misuse) Plaintiff NAFC’s logos, trademarks and false certifications to further the goals and purposes of the Church of Scientology International. Specifically, Plaintiffs claim that the misuse was calculated to increase the credibility of the Narconon Treatment Centers and the affiliated counselors, and to expand the reach and profitability of the Church of Scientology International to Plaintiffs’ detriment
Grand Jury in Oklahoma
On 5 June 2014, one-time Narconon employee Eric Tenorio was issued a subpoena to appear before a multi-county Grand Jury in the State of Oklahoma that is investigating alleged insurance fraud and credit card fraud being committed at the “Narconon Arrowhead” facility that Scientology calls “the premiere drug rehabilitation facility in Oklahoma.” The Grand Jury is empowered to hand down State and Federal criminal indictments and to subpoena current and previous employees, agents, and operators of the facility.
The Grand Jury investigation of Scientology's Narconon Arrowhead facility came shortly after Tenorino filed documentation with the State of Oklahoma and with the National Association of Forensic Counselors  that also investigated the claims being made by Scientology on their web sites that resulted in NAFC filing their own civil lawsuits against 82 named defendants working for Narconon.
Fort Collins Colorado
At the Scientology facility operating under the name "A Life Worth Living" there have been numerous law enforcement call-outs, medical emergencies, and other related requests for emergency services reported under a Freedom of Information Act request that has been made available to the public on the Scribd document server that details numerous recorded incidents of Scientology operatives refusing to allow customers to leave, refusing to return their property, and numerous incidents of customers making 911 calls to the police that are interrupted by Scientology operatives.
Narconon also market and operates Narconon facilities under other names, partly to hide they are part of Scientology. There are also other Scientology-affiliated drug rehabilitation groups that are based on the Purification rundown.
- Blue By The Sea at Emerald Coast, Florida, is the name of the former Narconon Gulf Coast.
- Drug Free Ambassadors is a Narconon program targeting schools and youth organizations.
- Fresh Start is a pseudonym sometimes used by Narconon's centre in Nevada.
- Get Off Drugs Naturally is a business name for the Australian branch.
- Israel Says No to Drugs is a Scientology-affiliated organization based in Jaffa.
- Pur Detox (also Pür Detox with an umlaut) is a Scientology-affiliated clinic in Dana Point, California. The clinic has come under scrutiny due to a lawsuit by one of the former patients.
- Rainbow Canyon Rehabilitation Center, Rainbow Canyon Retreat or just Rainbow Canyon is the name of a Narconon center in Caliente, Nevada.
- Say No to Drugs Say Yes To Life or Yes to Life, No to Drugs is a front group for Narconon and Scientology, organizing races and street festivals to support Narconon.
- Sober Living in Orange County is the purification rundown operated at the Orange County Scientology Org itself.
- Suncoast Rehabilitation Center is a trade name or subsidiary of Narconon Spring Hill Inc., Florida. The center has come under scrutiny from the local authorities for their patient housing. The nearby Novus Medical Detox Center, while not directly affiliated to Scientology, is operated by the landlord of the Suncoast center.
- Teen-anon or Streetcats is a Narconon program at the Narconon Vista Bay facility.
- The Truth About Drugs and Foundation for a Drug-Free World are slogans under which Scientology and Narconon advertise their programs while concealing their Scientology origins,
Narconon and support from other religious groups
Non-Scientology religious figures that have voiced support for Narconon have included Reverend Charles Kennedy of The Glorious Church of God in Christ, Imam Wilmore Sadiki, James Mclaughlin of the Wayman Chapel, Baptist pastor Alfreddie Johnson, Reverend Catherine Bego of the Word Evangelism Ministry, and Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam.
- Front organization
- Clear Body, Clear Mind
- Purification Rundown
- Narconon Day
- New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project
- Second Chance Program
- Project Chanology
- Association for Better Living and Education
- Phillip Charles Lucas; Thomas Robbins, eds. (2004). New Religious Movements in the Twenty-First Century: Legal, Political, and Social Challenges in Global Perspective. Routledge. p. 376. ISBN 9781135889012. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Narconon of Oklahoma, Inc Credentials". Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "10 News Investigators: Is the Narconon drug treatment program a Scientology front?". Archived from the original on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Duff, John S.; Clark Carr (21 September 1996). "Healing drug and alcohol addiction in the family". New York Amsterdam News. p. 24.
- "Narconon International Contact Info". Narconon. Retrieved 25 December 2010., "Narconon International 4652 Hollywood Boulevard Hollywood, CA 90027."
- Reitman, Janet (2011). "The Celebrity Strategy". Inside Scientology. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 257. ISBN 978-0618883028.
The use of social reform groups to spread L. Ron Hubbard's ideas had long been an integral part of Scientology, and was in fact one of the original objectives of the Guardian's Office. Since the late 1960s, the church has disseminated its philosophy through a number of organizations with hidden ties to Scientology, notably Narconon, a program that treats drug addiction and promotes Hubbard's holistic detoxification regimen, the Purification Rundown.
- Rachel Mendleson (2 September 2013). "Narconon meets fierce opposition in Hockley Valley". Toronto Star Newspapers. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- Bromley, David G. (1999). "Scientology, Church of". In Wade Clark Roof (ed.). Contemporary American Religion. 2. New York: Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 648–650.
- "Narconon and Scientology". Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Scientology Presents Narconon Program" (PDF). Westlake Post. 30 April 1970.
"The conference presented current programs effective in alleviating drug problems. No program which employs drug or electric shock therapy was presented, as it has been discovered that groups which condone these techniques have only been pretending to be effective in drug rehabilitation", said Max Prudente, Scientology spokesman. ... "Based solely on the philosophy and tenets of Scientology, the applied religious philosophy, this program has achieved new and dramatic breakthroughs in the field of drug rehabilitation. Its nearly 85% success ratio has earned high praise from Governors, state and federal officials and correction authorities across the U.S., " Prudente said.
- "Drugs charity is front for 'dangerous' organisation; Insight; Focus". Sunday Times. 7 January 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
Narconon's international website claims: "The ministry of health in England (sic) has also directly funded Narconon residential rehabilitation." But the Department of Health denies any knowledge of this. ... Professor Stephen Kent, a Canadian academic who is an authority on Scientology, said: "The connection between Narconon and Scientology is solid. Of course, Scientology tries to get non-Scientologists involved in the programme, but the engine behind the programme is Scientology." ... The British government expressed concern about Narconon as long as eight years ago. A 1998 memo from the Home Office's drug strategy unit warned that the charity had its "roots in the Church of Scientology and (is) not in the mainstream of drug rehabilitation". Tower Hamlets council in east London advises its schools against using Narconon. DrugScope, one of the UK's main drug charities, said: "We feel that the quality of Narconon's information is not objective and non-judgmental. It does not have any credibility." Stephen Shaw, the prisons ombudsman, advised that inmates in British jails should not receive drug education from Narconon because it is so "closely associated with the Church of Scientology".
- Malcolm Knox (September 2009). "Only Itself to Blame: The Church of Scientology". The Monthly. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
Though a master in using the media and the courts to protect and project its image, Scientology has not always been so ostentatious in its proselytising. The church is an umbrella for subsidiary groups, such as ... Narconon... these groups have been criticised for appearing at Australian schools, community open days, and even having police distribute their material, without declaring their Scientology background. In January 2007, NSW police withdrew anti-drug pamphlets from stations in the Hunter region when it was discovered they were provided by Scientologists. ... Drug Free Ambassadors were handing out their pamphlets on the Gold Coast last ‘schoolies’ week’
- Behar, Richard (6 May 1991). "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Time. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
DRUG TREATMENT. Hubbard's purification treatments are the mainstay of Narconon, a Scientology-run chain of 33 alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers -- some in prisons under the name "Criminon" -- in 12 countries. Narconon, a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult, now plans to open what it calls the world's largest treatment center, a 1,400-bed facility on an Indian reservation near Newkirk, Okla. (pop. 2,400). At a 1989 ceremony in Newkirk, the Association for Better Living and Education presented Narconon a check for $200,000 and a study praising its work. The association turned out to be part of Scientology itself. Today the town is battling to keep out the cult, which has fought back through such tactics as sending private detectives to snoop on the mayor and the local newspaper publisher.
- "What Germans think about their Narconon". Der Spiegel. 21 October 1991. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
The enterprising Scientology sect increases its profits thanks to the misery of addicts. The cover organization, Narconon, offers drug rehabilitation therapy that, in the opinion of experts and doctors in the field, is not only useless but also dangerous. ... Narconon closely follows the motto of the Scientology sect's founder, Lafayette Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986 at the age of 74. The discoverer of this pseudo-scientific hocus pocus, gave this advice: Make money, make more money, make other people make money. The disciples at Narconon follow this order. It is officially an independent subsidiary of Scientology. The Scientologists have developed countless supposedly humanitarian initiatives around their church. One example is the commission for the violations of psychiatry against human rights. Another is the organization for the furthering of religious tolerance and interhuman relations. In fact all these activities, like the drug rehabilitation program, are only to further the fame and increase the paying followers of the sect.
- "The Four Basic Social Programs". The Hawaiian-American. 17 December 1975. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
We talked with Rev. Diana Harris, Pastor of the Church of Scientology of Hawaii ... and she gave us a complete background on the church's social programs for those in need in our community. ... Another community program the church offers is Narconon - a program designed to assist persons to get off drugs and to keep off drugs. The program was utilized in Oahu State Prison for a while and enjoyed a very high rate of success, according to Pastor Harris. They [Scientology] have been asked to consider re-introducing the program to the prison at a later date.
- "NARCONON to give awards". The Phoenix Gazette. 19 May 1970. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
General information regarding the technology of Scientology, upon which NARCONON is based, can be secured from the Institute of Applied Philosophy
- Farley, Robert (30 March 2003). "Detox center seeks acceptance". St Petersburg Times.
When Narconon opened its Chilocco facility in 1991, the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health issued a blistering assessment in denying its application for certification. "There is no credible evidence establishing the effectiveness of the Narconon program to its patients," the board concluded. It attacked the program as medically unsafe; dismissed the sauna program as unproven; and criticized Narconon for inappropriately taking some patients off prescribed psychiatric medication.
- Kyle Smith (20 April 2007). "DON'T BE TRICKED BY $CI-FI TOM-FOOLERY". New York Post. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
Those who want a tan from his celebrity glow will urge a fair hearing for his quackery. Obscure City Councilman Hiram Monserrate suddenly finds himself talked about after issuing a proclamation of huzzahs for L. Ron Hubbard. Three: The Ground Zero maladies are so baffling that workers will try anything. Anyone who feels better will credit any placebo at hand - whether Cruise or the Easter Bunny. In 1991, Time called Scientology's anti-drug program "Narconon" a "vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult" - which the magazine said "invented hundreds of goods and services for which members are urged to give up 'donations' " - such as $1,250 for advice on "moving swiftly up the Bridge" of enlightenment. That's New Age techno-gobbledygook for advice on buying swiftly up the Bridge of Brooklyn. Scientology fronts such as the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project - its Web site immediately recognizable as the work of Hubbardites by its logo, which looks like the cover of a Robert Heinlein paperback from 1971 - hint that their gimmicks might possibly interest anyone dreaming of weight loss, higher I.Q. or freedom from addiction. And you might be extra-specially interested if you've faced heart disease, cancer, Agent Orange or Chernobyl. As Mayor Bloomberg put it, Scientology "is not science." Nope. It's science fiction.
- Robert W. Welkos; Joel Sappell (27 June 1990). "Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
A fourth article did not mention Hubbard by name, but reported favorably on Narconon, his drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, which is run by Scientologists.
- "30 arrested in Paris crackdown on Scientologists". Agence France-Presse. 14 January 1992. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
About 30 Scientologists were arrested -- and 19 of them later indicted -- between May and October 1990 on charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud and the illegal practice of medicine following the 1988 suicide of a church member in Lyon, eastern France. ... The sect has often found itself in trouble with officialdom the world over, accused of defrauding and brainwashing followers and, in France, of quackery at its illegal anti-drug clinics called "Narconon."
- Abgrall, Jean-Marie (2001). Healing Or Stealing?: Medical Charlatans in the New Age. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-892941-51-0. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
Narconon, a subsidiary of Scientology, and the association “Yes to Life, No to Drugs” have also made a specialty of the fight against drugs and treating drug addicts. ... Drug addicts are just one of the Scientologists’ targets for recruitment. The offer of care and healing through techniques derived from dianetics is only a come-on. The detoxification of the patient by means of “dianetics purification” is more a matter of manipulation, through the general weakening that it causes; it is a way of brainwashing the subject. Frequently convicted for illegal practice of medicine, violence, fraud and slander, the Scientologists have more and more trouble getting people to accept their techniques as effective health measures, as they like to claim. They recommend their purification processes to eliminate X-rays and nuclear radiation, and to treat goiter and warts, hypertension and psoriasis, hemorrhoids and myopia. . . why would anyone find that hard to swallow? Scientology has built a library of several hundreds of volumes of writings exalting the effects of purification, and its disciples spew propaganda based on irresponsible medical writings by doctors who are more interested in the support provided by Scientology than in their patients’ well-being. On the other hand, responsible scientific reviews have long since “eliminated” dianetics and purification from the lists of therapies — relegating them to the great bazaar of medical fraud. ... Medical charlatans do not base their claims on scientific proof but, quite to the contrary, on peremptory assertions — the kind of assertions that they challenge when they come out of the mouths of those who defend “real” medicine.
- Asimov, Nanette (2 October 2004). "Church's drug program flunks S.F. test / Panel of experts finds Scientology's Narconon lectures outdated, inaccurate". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
The program, Narconon Drug Prevention & Education, "often exemplifies the outdated, non-evidence-based and sometimes factually inaccurate approach, which has not served students well for decades," concluded Steve Heilig, director of health and education for the San Francisco Medical Society. In his letter to Trish Bascom, director of health programs for the San Francisco Unified School District, Heilig said five independent experts in the field of drug abuse had helped him evaluate Narconon's curriculum. ... "One of our reviewers opined that 'this (curriculum) reads like a high school science paper pieced together from the Internet, and not very well at that,' " Heilig wrote Bascom. "Another wrote that 'my comments will be brief, as this proposal hardly merits detailed analysis.' Another stated, 'As a parent, I would not want my child to participate in this kind of 'education.' " Heilig's team evaluated Narconon against a recent study by Rodney Skager, a professor emeritus at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, describing what good anti-drug programs should offer students. "We concurred that ... the Narconon materials focus on some topics of lesser importance to the exclusion of best knowledge and practices," Heilig wrote, and that the curriculum contained "factual errors in basic concepts such as physical and mental effects, addiction and even spelling."
- Tewksbury, Drew (2008). Scientology and the State: Narconon's Influence in the Prison System. Proquest. ISBN 9780549609377. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- Reitman, Janet (2011). Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion (Hardback). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-618-88302-8. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- California Healthy Kids Resource Center; Deborah Wood, Ph.D. (January 2005). Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Program Evaluation (Report). California, US: California Department of Education / California Department of Public Health. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
Some drug-related information presented in the NDAP [Narconon] and supplementary resources — although aligned with the Narconon drug rehabilitation methodology — does not reflect accurate, widely accepted medical and scientific evidence. Some information is misleading because it is overstated or a distinction between drug use and abuse is lacking. ... This information reflects hypothesized processes of drug metabolism, bioavailability, and psychoactive impact, and is the premise for the Narconon detoxification regimen. This theoretical information does not reflect current evidence that is widely accepted and recognized as medically and scientifically accurate. ... Inaccuracies and misleading inferences were not limited to a single material, but were evident in NDAP elementary, middle and high school presentation outlines and delivery scripts and in the supplementary drug prevention materials available to schools ... Narconon program materials were independently reviewed by fourteen reviewers and three CHKRC staff. Reviewers included five doctors (M.D.s), four board certified in pediatrics and adolescent medicine and/or with specific expertise in addiction and substance abuse; two doctors (Ph.Ds) with expertise in child and adolescent development; one doctor (Ph.D.) with expertise in prevention research and program evaluation of substance abuse programs. Reviewers also included nine school health education specialists (with teaching credentials and/or masters level health or education degrees) including elementary, middle, and high school teachers, university faculty, and school district/county office of education tobacco, alcohol, and other drug abuse prevention education coordinators.
- Mieszkowski, Katharine (1 July 2005). "Scientology's war on psychiatry". Salon.com. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
Narconon's discredited teachings include the pronouncements that drugs burn up the body's vitamins and minerals, that these vitamin deficiencies cause pain (which prompts more drug use), that rapid vitamin and nutrient losses cause the "munchies" among pot smokers, and that drugs build up in fat tissue and spur flashbacks and a hunger for more drugs. "This theoretical information does not reflect current evidence that is widely accepted and recognized as medically and scientifically accurate," the study found. This February, the California State Superintendent recommended a ban on Narconon in California schools, and San Francisco and Los Angeles school districts have indeed outlawed Narconon.
- Köhler, Nicholas (26 September 2012). "Scientology's plan for Canada". Maclean's. Canada.
Local health officials said Narconon Trois-Rivières offered clients little medical supervision and relied on Scientology-inspired treatments with no scientific basis
- Berg, Rigmor C. (September 2008). A brief summary and evaluation of the evidence base for Narconon as drug prevention intervention. Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Centre for the Health Services. pp. 19–21. ISBN 978-82-8121-214-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- Ernst, Edzard (17 August 2012). "Scientology detox programmes: expensive and unproven". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Scientology And It's (sic) Applications". Mercer Island Reporter. 8 April 1971.
Scientology claims to have the only workable technology to find the source of a problem and eradicate it. ... While everyone is looking for a solution to drug abuse, Scientologists have one and use it.
- Narconon The Origins of the Narconon Program. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
- Narconon "L. Ron Hubbard and the Narconon program". Retrieved 4 June 2006.
- Drolet, Eve (22 January 1970). "Dianetics Guarantees Victory Over Drugs". Honolulu Advertiser. p. A-2.
The Reverend John W. Elliott, senior minister of the Church of Scientology and chairman of its Drug Abuse Prevention team, announces that a technique called Dianetic Counselling has completely cured 30 out of 30 persons who came to his group for help. "Dianetic Counselling", says Elliot, "is a new technology which has resolved not only the craving for drugs, but also the after-effects. This will revolutionize the whole area of drug abuse, and the threat it poses to the mental and physical health of the State". ... Elliot feels the vast majority of people have some form of psychosomatic illness. Hay fever, asthma and arthritis are listed in this category by Elliot who says that Dianetics resolves all such problems
- Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (25 June 1990). "The Courting of Celebrities". Los Angeles Times. p. A18:5. Retrieved 6 June 2006. Additional convenience link at CMU.edu.
- Klotter, Julie (2007). "Hubbard's Drug Rehabilitation Program". Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
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- Crouch, Edmund A. C.; Laura C. Green (October 2007). "Comment on "Persistent organic pollutants in 9/11 world trade center rescue workers: Reduction following detoxification" by James Dahlgren, Marie Cecchini, Harpreet Takhar, and Olaf Paepke [Chemosphere 69/8 (2007) 1320–1325]". Chemosphere. 69 (8): 1330–1332. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.05.098. PMID 17692360.
- Welkos, Robert W.; Sapell, Joel. "Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "A Turning Point in our History". International Scientology News. 27 May 2004.
The answer is to make every one of our orgs a Central Organisation, a headquarters responsible for every sector of Scientology activity across its entire geographic zone - all of it! ... International Management bodies exist today for each sector of activity; including ... Social Betterment Activities which handle drug rehabilitation [Narconon] ... And each one now emanates from the Central Org into the environment.
- "Creating a New Civilisation: YOUR ROLE". wise at work. 2005. p. 14.
The Public Divisions ... are responsible to emanate [sic] every type of LRH technology ... “Since each Church will be the Central Organization for their area,” Mr. Miscavige explained, “there are displays encompassing every sector — with descriptions understandable by Scientologists and non- Scientologists alike. They both enlighten and generate new activities: from salvaging lives from illiteracy, addiction [Narconon] and crime; to programs for opening new groups to handle community ruins [sic]. It also includes everything to establish new missions, groups and VM chapters.” With such displays, the answer to questions on Scientology, LRH Admin Tech or LRH himself becomes just four words: Go to the org.
- "IAS 21st Anniversary Event, Impact 112, 2006
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- Mendleson, Rachel (2 September 2013). "Narconon meets fierce opposition in Hockley Valley". Toronto Star. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- Mendleson, Rachel (9 September 2013). "Narconon loses bid to buy property in Hockley Village". Toronto Star. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
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- Marshall, John (24 January 1980). "The Scientology Papers / Hubbard still gave orders, records show". The Globe and Mail.
A document with FBI number 7822, dated Nov. 5, 1976, and signed by Judy Taussig, a U. S. national official of Scientology, defined the correct use of the codes. They were to be used, the court learned, for groups or actions that we don't want connected to LRH or MSH. This is handled by coding their names. Also coding the group or action if it falls into categories #1-#8. That list included incriminating activities, unpunished crimes, and things like lobbying where this is prohibited in non-profit corporations, or money deals that might provoke government tax offices. The document also said the codes should be used for words of actions that could tend to dispute the fact that the C of S motives are humanitarian, i.e., harass, eradicate, attack, destroy, annihilate ... spreading a rumor, entrapment, stir up opposition. And codes should be used for the names of front groups that we do not want connected with the C of S and for anything that gives specific and actual evidence that the C of S is in legal control of B6 groups. These are groups that are separate legal entities to the C of S. An attachment to the document, listed in the prosecution inventory as item 104 in Box C16, said B6 groups include Narconon, a drug treatment organization staffed by Scientologists and using Mr. Hubbard's mental health techniques.
- Price, Marie (3 May 2003). "House nixes honor for substance-abuse facility". Tulsa World. pp. A19. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- Baca, Nathan (13 May 2014). I-Team: Lawsuits target Scientology rehab center in Nev (Television production). KLAS-TV. Event occurs at 2:45. Archived from the original on 13 May 2014.
Other documents obtained by Hamilton show Scientology calls Narconon its “bridge” to moving patients into religious activities.
- Kent, Steven A. (2017). "Narconon, Scientology, and the Battle for Legitimacy". Marburg Journal of Religion. 19 (1): 13–30. doi:10.17192/mjr.2017.19.6495. Archived from the original on 11 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
the front page of the newsletter, Narconon News, had an illustration of one bridge (labeled “Narconon Enter Here”) connected to another bridge (entitled “The Way to Total Freedom”). Scientology often described itself as “the bridge to total freedom,” and the text beneath the illustration read, “NARCONON is freeing people from crime and drug abuse with standard tech, and starting them up RON’S bridge to total freedom.... NARCONON IS THE BRIDGE TO THE BRIDGE.”
- United States vs. Mary Sue Hubbard et al. Archived 18 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine, 493 F. Supp. 209, (D.D.C. 1979) (hosted by the Lisa McPherson Trust)
- Asimov, Nanette. "Schools urged to drop antidrug program / Scientology-linked teachings inaccurate, superintendent says". SFGATE - San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 February 2005.
- Ortega, Tony. "The Underground Bunker".
- Charles Rusnell Experts challenge claims of Scientology's sweat-it-out treatment for addicts Archived 27 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine The Edmonton Journal, 23 May 2006 pg. A2
- Alan McEwen "Scientology-link group is banned" Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Edinburgh Evening News, 18 March 2004. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
- Bracchi, Paul (13 June 1994). "Secret of a drugs 'cure' / Scientology: The Inside Story". Evening Argus. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
Asked if it was simply a "front" organisation to recruit people into the cult, Mr wood insisted: "I don't know of many organisations more up-front than the Church of Scientology. ... I know beyond doubt that Narconon does not recruit for nor promote the Church of Scientology and I know that subject is not mentioned nor included in the Narconon syllabus". He said "no Church of Scientology staff members work for Narconon". A Narconon leaflet lists two names with telephone numbers. One is Mr Wood. The other is Peter Mansell - public affairs officer at the national headquarters of Scientology at Saint Hill, East Grinstead. ... We have a copy of the Narconon Technical Line-Up, the final of which led straight to the doors of the cult. The message on the chart reads: "Route to nearest Org (Scientology) organisation) for further services if individual so desires." The process is summed up in Narconon News. The headline and slogans speak for themselves: "Narconon is freeing people from crime and drug abuse and starting them up Ron's bridge to total freedom. Who can you start across that bridge."
- Mason, Tania (13 September 2001). "C of E blasts 'drug salvation' claims of Scientologists". Marketing. UK: Brand Republic Group. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
Scientology spokesman Graeme Wilson said the claims were based on rehabilitation programmes run by the church and its affiliate charity, Narconon.
- Mallia, Joseph (3 March 1998). "Scientology reaches into schools through Narconon". Inside the Church of Scientology. Boston Herald. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- Jim MacLaughlin and Andrew Gully "Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter - Investigation follows pattern of harassment" Archived 5 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine Boston Herald 19 March 1998 Pg. 004
- "Narconon Information Center of Montreal". Archived from the original on 17 July 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2006.
© Copyright 2006 Lafleche Dumais & Richard Kelly Narconon FSM.
- Fleischer, Jodie (3 October 2012). "Whistleblower, memo link Georgia Narconon to Scientology". WSB-TV2 Atlanta; Channel 2 Action News. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Peters, Paul (10 July 2008). "Scientology Nation". Salt Lake City Weekly. pp. 20–22, 24. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Inside Scientology's Rehab Racket". 27 March 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Woolsley, Leigh (6 November 2005). "Case for the Cure". Tulsa World.
- Knopf, Alison (30 July 2012). "Scientology-based substance abuse program investigated for deaths". Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly. Retrieved 11 December 2013.(subscription required)
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- "The Narconon Treatment Methodology". Treatment-Centers.net. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Folke Sjoqvist (26 November 1996). Expert advice on Narconon given to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Report). The National Board of Health and Welfare.
- Findings of Fact regarding the Narconon-Chilocco Application For Certification by the Board of Mental Health, State of Oklahoma Archived 14 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine, 13 December 1991
- Combs, Pete (1 October 2012). "Narconon Debunked by its own Expert". WBS Radio. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Center for Human Reliability Studies (May 2007). Drug Retention Times (PDF) (Report). U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Health, Safety and Security (Office of Security Policy). p. 4. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "First Step Program / The useful tool to help others be drug free, at your disposal / What is the Drug Bomb?". Narconon.
"Drug Bomb" consists of: 1000mg of [niacin]. This helps counteract any mental disturbance. ... The formula should be given four times a day.
- "Scientologist-run rehab centre ordered closed in Quebec". CBC News. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "The Narconon Therapeutic Training Routine course". Narconon Trois-Rivièrs website. Narconon Trois-Rivièrs. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- Church of Scientology The Fundamental Skills of Auditing: Hubbard Professional TR Course. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
- Hubbard, Narconon Withdrawal Specialist Course. Book 4b, 2004c edition. (pg. 221-236) Narconon Publication. Table of contents
- Hubbard, Narconon Communication & Perception Course Book 4a, 2004 edition. (pg. 447-482) Narconon Publication
- Joseph Mallia "Inside the Church of Scientology; Sacred teachings not secret anymore" Archived 30 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine Boston Herald 4 March 1998 p. 025
- Janet Reitman Inside Scientology Rolling Stone, Issue 995. 9 March 2006.
- "Results of the Narconon Program". www.narconon.org. Narconon International. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
The Narconon Program has one of the highest success rates in the field of drug rehabilitation, with outside studies showing 75% of the graduates going on to lead stable, ethical, productive drug-free lives.
- "1650". Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs: Evidence (Report). Parliament of Canada (37th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION). 30 May 2002.
Mr. Brad Melnychuk [(Executive Director, Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE Canada))]: You asked if we'd spoken or met with researchers coming up with this information. I personally have not. I also cannot say whether or not any staff from Narconon across the globe—because we have Narconons all over—have done that. I would tend to question it, based on the fact that our Narconons are improving, and some of them are very close to a 100% success rate.
- Szalavitz, Maia (31 March 2011). "Does Narconon's Addiction Rehab Really Work?". TIME Magazine. USA: Time Warner. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Peter Gerdman (1 May 1981). "Utvärderingen av Narconon del 1: En studie om och med en länkrörelse bland drogmissbrukare i Stockholm" (Swedish page scans). Retrieved 9 September 2006. (Scans hosted by David Touretzky)
- "Does Narconon work? - Studies - The Swedish Study". Narconon Exposed. 2 January 2003. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "The Narconon® Program - 40 Years of Evidence of Recovery" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2013. (1.0 MB)
- "Official Church of Scientology: Narconon, Arrowhead Center, Drug Rehab & Prevention, L. Ron Hubbard". Official Church of Scientology. The Church of Scientology. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Smith, Errol (6 May 2014). "Wyong Council rejects Scientology drug rehabilitation centre plan at Yarramalong". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Church of Scientology drug rehab centre rejected". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 30 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Shelby Oppel "School panel rejects anti-drug program" Saint Petersburg Times 13 April 1999
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- "Schools urged to drop antidrug program", The San Francisco Chronicle, 23 February 2005. Retrieved 4 June 2006.
- Roberts, Chris (26 May 2014). "Bay Area Schools Hoodwinked by Scientology-Related Anti-Drug Program". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Asimov, Nanette (25 May 2014). "Narconon: Misleading antidrug program back in public schools". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Lewis, Leo (7 January 2007). "Revealed: how Scientologists infiltrated Britain's schools". London: The Sunday Times (UK). Retrieved 7 January 2007.
- "Schools alert on drugs group". Church Times. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
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- Richard Lennox; Marie Cecchini (2008). "The NARCONON™ drug education curriculum for high school students: A non-randomized, controlled prevention trial". Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 3: 8. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-3-8. PMC 2330037. PMID 18348735. Retrieved 27 June 2011. Lennox and Cecchini's peer-reviewed paper in the journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy presenting the findings of a research study conducted with approximately 1,000 Oklahoma and Hawai'i high-school students to test Narconon International’s high-school curriculum efficacy. They evaluated students using the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Participant Outcome Measures for Discretionary Programs survey at three time periods: baseline, one month later, and six-month follow-up. Schools assigned to experimental conditions scheduled the Narconon curriculum between the baseline and one-month follow-up test; schools in control conditions received drug education after the six-month follow-up. The study concluded that at six-month follow-up, youths who received the Narconon drug education curriculum showed reduced drug use compared with controls across all drug categories tested; that the strongest effects were seen in all tobacco products and cigarette frequency followed by marijuana; that there were significant reductions measured for alcohol and amphetamines; that the program produced changes in knowledge, attitudes and perception of risk; and that the eight-module Narconon curriculum had thorough grounding in substance abuse aetiology and prevention theory, and reduced drug use among youths.
- "Tax declaration ABLE 2007" (PDF). August 2008. p. 37. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
ABLE funded a multi-year study of the delivery of the Narconon drug Education curriculum to high school students in Hawaii and Oklahoma, which was completed and written up in 2007.
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (1 September 2003). "Scientology: Religion or racket?". Marburg Journal of Religion. 8 (1). Retrieved 5 September 2012.
For Scientology, using fronts is one way of obtaining funds from government and charity sources (Mallia, 1998c). ... The so-called drug rehabilitation program known as Narconon has been an incredibly profitable front through federal grants and corporate donations (Mallia, 1998c). Fronts may help one another look respectable and make more money. Thus, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) may come out in support of Narconon
- Catt, David (11 June 2008). "Further request for clarification". Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 3 (8): 8. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-3-8. PMC 2330037. PMID 18348735. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
In Table 9, item D22 shows that a greater percentage of the control group feel they can easily resist pressures to take drugs than the drug education group (78.8% compared with 74.5%). The text on page 11 of the report states that “students who received the curriculum were more likely to say they could resist pressures to use drugs than those who did not receive the program”. Could I ask the authors to account for this seeming contradiction?
- County Court of Dijon: judgment of 9 January 1987 (No 118-87)
- Messrs. Alain Gest, president, Jean-Pierre Brard, Mrs. Suzanne Sauvaigo, vice-presidents, Messrs. Eric DoligŽ, Rudy Rooms, secretaries, Jacques Guyard, reporter; Messrs. Jean-Claude Bahu, Pierre Bernard, Raoul BŽteille, Mrs. Christine Boutin, Messrs. Jean-Pierre Brard, Jean-François Calvo, Rene Chub, Mrs. Martine David, Messrs. Pierre Delmar, Bernard Derosier, Eric DoligŽ, Jean-Pierre Foucher, Jean Geney, Alain Gest, Jean Gravel, Jacques Guyard, Pierre Lang, Gerard Larrat, Claude-Gerard Marcus, Thierry Mariani, Mrs. Odile Moirin, Messrs. George Mothron, Jacques Myard, Mrs. Catherine Nicolas, Messrs. Francisque Perrut, Daniel Picotin, Marc Reymann, Marcel Castlings, Rudy Rooms and Mrs. Suzanne Sauvaigo. (22 December 1995). Report of LA COMMISSION D'ENQUÊTE SUR LES SECTES (Board of Inquiry into Cults) (Report). ASSEMBLÉE NATIONALE.
Le Tribunal de grande instance de Dijon a, par ailleurs, été amené, dans un jugement du 9 janvier 1987 (no 118-87), à condamner le directeur-adjoint du centre Narconon de Grangey-sur-Ource pour non assistance à personne en danger. Ce centre, créé par l'Eglise de Scientologie, propose des cures de désintoxication en appliquant les méthodes de Ron Hubbard, à savoir la procédure de " purification ", fondée principalement sur plusieurs heures de sauna par jour, des " auditions " et une absorption importante de vitamines. En l'espèce, la victime était depuis longtemps soignée pour épilepsie et s'était adressée à cet organisme car elle souhaitait se " libérer des médicaments " . Le centre l'a, sans examen médical préalable, placée dans une chambre de " sevrage " . Or, les expertises médicales ont montré que le décès était dû à " un état de mal épileptique dû à l'absence de traitement suffisant à son début et de traitement d'urgence pendant l'état de mal. " Le jugement ne laisse aucun doute sur la responsabilité du centre : " Que si Jocelyne Dorfmann avait pris la décision de réduire sa consommation médicamenteuse, puis de l'interrompre au risque de compromettre son état de santé, les prévenus ne l'ont à aucun moment prévenue de la nécessité d'un examen médical d'admission, lequel aurait vraisemblablement permis de contre-indiquer la cure de sevrage ; qu'il est inconcevable que la victime ait pu être acceptée sans cet examen et sans entretien sérieux malgré ses déclarations sur son état de santé et son épilepsie, alors que les prévenus ont reconnu savoir qu'en cas de maladie grave, le traitement médical ne devait pas souffrir d'interruption ; " Que si lors de la survenue de la première crise, les prévenus ont pu se méprendre sur la nature exacte, la répétition des crises et leur intensité croissante devaient leur évoquer une origine distincte d'un état de manque qui, selon les médecins experts, ne peut être confondu avec un état épileptique ; " Qu'ils n'ont pas jugé utile de demander directement à la victime, alors qu'elle était encore consciente, si ces manifestations pouvaient correspondre aux crises d'épilepsie auxquelles elle avait fait allusion ou de faire appel au médecin le plus proche. (...) " --- Translation --- The County Court of Dijon, in addition, was brought, in a judgement of January 9, 1987 (No 118-87), to condemn the director-assistant of the Narconon center of Grangey- on-Ource for nonassistance to someone in danger. This center, created by the Church of Scientology, proposes detoxification by applying the methods of Ron Hubbard, namely the procedure of "purification," based mainly on several hours of sauna per day, "auditions," and a significant absorption of vitamins. In this case, the victim had been in long-term treatment for epilepsy and had addressed this organization because she wished "to be released from drugs." The center A, without preliminary medical examination, placed her in a "weaning" room. However, the medical experts showed that her death was due to "an epileptic seizure due to the absence of sufficient treatment at its beginning and of emergency treatment during the seizure." The judgement does not leave any doubt about the responsibility of the center: "That if Jocelyne Dorfmann had made the decision to reduce her consumption of medication, then to stop it with the risk of compromising her health, the defendants had not at any time prevented it of the need for a medical examination of admission, which would have probably made it possible to contra-indicate the cure of weaning; that it is inconceivable that the victim could be accepted without this examination and serious treatment in spite of her declarations as to her health and her epilepsy, whereas the defendants admitted knowing that in the event of serious illness, medical treatment was not to suffer from interruption; "That if at the time the first crisis occurred, the defendants could mistake its exact nature, the repetition of the crises and their increasing intensity were to evoke to them an origin distinct from a state of lack which, according to medical experts, cannot be confused with an epileptic state; "That they did not consider it useful to directly ask the victim, while she was still conscious, if these demonstrations could correspond to the epileptic fits to which she had referred or to call upon the nearest doctor (...)"CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Biglia, Andrea (20 February 1995). "Tragedia nella lotta alla droga [Tragedy while fighting drugs]". Corriere della Sera.
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- Fleischer, Jodie (2 October 2012). "State investigates Narconon Georgia after Channel 2 reveals new evidence / Investigation sparked after death at Scientology-linked facility". wsbtv.com / Channel 2 (TV news). Retrieved 3 October 2012.
ATLANTA — A Georgia drug rehab program with ties to the Church of Scientology is now under a state investigation after Channel 2 Action News showed inspectors new evidence. … a Channel 2 investigation found an outpatient program that posed as inpatient to bring in more money and showed state leaders evidence they have missed for a decade. … sparking new questions about whether Narconon of Georgia is running an illegal residential treatment program.
- "Patrick W. "Ricko" Desmond (1980-2008)". findagrave.com. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
Patrick W. Desmond died of a heroin drug overdose after receiving treatment at a Scientology drug rehab facility Narconon in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Narconon of Georgia, Narconon International, and the Narconon medical director Lisa Carolina Robbins, M.D.
- Christian Boone (7 October 2012). "Norcross drug facility under new scrutiny". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
Desmond’s death four years ago has focused attention on a decade’s worth of state investigations of the Norcross-based drug treatment program. Repeatedly, the state fielded complaints that Narconon, while licensed only for outpatient care, was illegally operating a residential facility.
- Fleischer, Jodie (1 October 2012). "2 Investigates: Patient death at Georgia Narconon / Death raises about questions about Scientology-linked program's license". wsbtv.com / Channel 2 (TV news). Retrieved 3 October 2012.
Colleen Desmond toured the classrooms in Norcross and visited the apartments at One Sovereign Place off Roswell Road. "We were assured all along the line, this was an inpatient situation," Desmond said. … The treatment plan was espoused by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. / Desmond's Death / Desmond told Fleischer that at the time, she didn't know anything about that plan, or that her son Patrick was drinking and doing drugs with students and staff in those apartments.
- Boone, Christian (11 February 2013). "Narconon settles wrongful death suit but legal challenges remain". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
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- Fleischer, Jodie (8 November 2012). "DeKalb judge sanctions Narconon of Georgia". WSB TV 2 Atlanta. Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Cox Media Group. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- Combs, Pete (9 November 2012). "Narconon punished, stripped of defense in civil case". WSB Atlanta. Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Cox Media Group. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
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Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, who died July 19 at Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian, Okla. ... Hillary Holten, 21, was found dead at Narconon Arrowhead in April, and Gabriel Graves, 32, died there last October, the Muskogee Phoenix reported. Another patient, 28-year-old Kaysie Dianne Werninck, died there in 2009.
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Narconon has been under investigation since the July 19 death of Murphy, 20, of Owasso. The investigation has expanded to include three other deaths: Hillary Holten, 21, of Carr, who was found dead at Narconon Arrowhead in April; Graves, 32, who died at the facility in October; and the 2009 death of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.
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Mental Health department staff member Dennis Lewelling testified at the hearing that in studying records of the center, he could find no evidence that drug and alcohol abuse education was a part of the program.
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They sent one guy around trying to talk to the mayor. He knew who the mayor's kid was, somehow. So he followed the kid into the library and told him he need to talk to his dad. Then he gave him his card," Lobsinger says. "It was just to let the mayor know they knew where his kid was.
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People who claim that I have conducted an improper investigation against them probably have so many things to hide," said Ingram. Church lawyer Cooley backed the investigator, saying: "I know of no impropriety that has ever been engaged in by Mr. Ingram or any other (private investigator) for the church. Mr. Ingram has done nothing wrong." ... Scientology attorneys in September mailed an "open letter" to many of Newkirk's 2,500 residents announcing that Ingram had been hired to investigate Narconon's adversaries. ... Ingram tracked down the mayor's 12-year-old son at the local public library, handed him a business card and told the boy to have his father call, Lobsinger said. "It was just a subtle bit of intimidation," he said. "It certainly did not do the mother much good. She was very unnerved." ... "They have a standard pattern," Bilger said of the Scientologists. "They try to be very aggressive. They try to intimidate. This is not the kind of atmosphere we need in the Newkirk community. . . . This tells me they are far from being harmless.
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several residents declined to be quoted, apparently fearing retribution from an organisation that remains mysterious to them. Some said fears were heightened when the treatment center hired a private investigator from Stillwater, Okla. to help them identify the participants in what Narconon's Smith described as a "whispering campaign".
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DAVID MISCAVIGE: You want... you know, if you... I could have been on here two years ago and you would have brought something up, and it's over now. There have been these cases, but in the end, we come out on top, and I'm telling you, Ted, there are a group of people on this planet who find us to be a threat to their existence, and they will do everything in their power to stop us. And that is the mental health field. I didn't pick a war with them. You can ask them if they feel this way, and they will tell you that.
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In and [sic] earlier case, Narconon Arrowhead settled a lawsuit filed by the parents of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, of St. Augustine Florida who died “as a result of the defendant’s gross negligence,”on 3 March 2009, according to the lawsuit.
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In his month there, he describes his observations about the death of fellow Narconon student Gabriel Graves. "I saw the 'nurse' of the facility crying, walking out of (redacted) room with another staffer," the complainant said about his experience on Oct. 26, the day records show Graves died. "I stood there, shocked and scared. ... It was, however, hinted to us that he may have died of a drug overdose because we were told by one of the staff that came to brief us that we might 'end up like him.' " Graves' autopsy report lists his cause and manner of death as undetermined and unknown, records show. "It should be noted that while I was there the use and distribution of drugs by 'students' ... and staff was rampant," the complainant wrote to Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services officials. "I was asked on numerous occasions if I wanted any drugs, but since I do not do drugs, I declined. I was offered many different types of drugs, ones I had never even heard of. By observation, no one was concerned about the drug use at this time."
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Hillary Holten entered in Narconon's Arrowhead facility for help with her prescription drug addiction in April. Less than 48 hours later she was dead. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, attorneys say Holton had a medical condition, but employees at Narconon didn't provide her with the care, or medication she needed.
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Rick says Stacy was sent to the "withdrawal unit" of the facility that night once it was discovered that she'd used. And it was there that her condition became grave. "There was no doctor there, no nurse on staff. There's nothing like that there," Rick says. "The staff, they're all former patients. The exception are the people who would drive you to the airport, or the security people. My understanding is that everyone there is pretty much a former patient." Rick says he doesn't hold the staff responsible for what happened. "You really can't expect them to be able to diagnose a drug overdose. I'm not upset with them. It's the direction from the top down that has to be illegal." The staff was just overmatched for what was happening, he says. "The drugs that would have saved Stacy's life were either not available or no one there knew how to administer it." Thursday morning, July 19, he heard that she was dead. "She died before 10 am. I heard about it pretty immediately," he says. His own tenure at the facility ended soon after. "I got kicked out because they found out I was going to the police and the media. That's how upside down the place is." Now, he's trying to stay sober on his own, and Rick says he is fearful after going to the authorities. "I have to pause multiple times a day because of Stacy's death. I feel sick about it. They should have saved her," he says. Instead, he fears that he'll suffer retaliation for helping with the investigation. "I'm afraid for my life."
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A young woman says she was held against her will at Narconon Arrowhead and had to be rescued by Pittsburg County Sheriffs officers late Thursday night. ... Ramsey said she wanted out because of the recent death of her roommate at the facility, Stacy Dawn Murphy.
- LeFlore, Jeanne (21 July 2012). "During a planned protest of Narconon Arrowhead, the facility spends $50,000 to work on county road where rally was to take place". McAlester News-Capital. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
The road work took place in June 23 and June 24 during a planned protest by Shirley Gilliam, the mother of Gabriel Graves, a 32-year-old man who was found dead at the facility in October, and Collin Henderson, a former Narconon patient. ... Pittsburg County Commission Chairman Gene Rogers said he was contacted by Smith for help the weekend the protest was scheduled — June 23 and 24th. "He (Gary Smith) called me and said they might be having a problem with the public that weekend and he wanted help policing the area and he asked about doing overlaying (of the road)," Rogers said. Safety, not the protest, was the reason the small section of county road was resurfaced, according to the Narconon director.
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Health officials have ordered the Narconon rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Trois Rivières to evacuate and relocate its 32 residents, citing concerns over procedures that "may represent a risk to health" and a lack of doctors on staff.
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Love also remembers a few who suffered when Narconon staff refused to give them their medicine. On several websites used to attract potential clients, Narconon boasts of its 70-to-75 per cent success rate and entirely drug-free program - which even excludes prescription drugs. In one case, staff members withheld insulin from a diabetic patient undergoing the sauna treatment. That young man ended up in hospital for three days, Love said. In another, it took away a patient's antidepressants. He jumped from a second-floor window in a suicide attempt.
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SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - A man tried to kill himself at a Scientology-affiliated detox clinic after its "purification rundown" took him off his prescribed medicines in a "quick taper," the man claims in court.
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Astana, 29 July: The head of the Narconon public foundation, along with several other foreign missionaries, have been deported from Kazakhstan, Kazakh Justice Minister Zagipa Baliyeva has said.
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Other documents obtained by Hamilton show Scientology calls Narconon its "bridge" to moving patients into religious activities.
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After citing dozens of misuses of the NAFC’s certifications and logos, the lawsuit then aims at the overall picture — that Scientology has conspired to misuse these trademarks in order to give Narconon a veneer of legitimacy, and, by extension, to Scientology itself
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The Spring Hill center's website instructs drug-dependent users to first seek treatment at a detox unit and then transfer in. It does not suggest a specific facility, but a Feshbach company owns one a few miles away — Novus Medical Detox Center in New Port Richey.
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Who else will be sad that the Olympics is over? Well there may well be a post-Games dip among members of L Ron Hubbard's Scientology organisation. For they seemed to be doing good business around Tower Bridge, handing out literature linked to the organisation. The little booklets promised The Truth About Drugs. Neither Scientology nor L Ron are mentioned. Just his Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the web address for which sits on the Scientology website. Everyone was fair game this weekend. Even a passing 15-year-old. That sort of opportunity might not come again.
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Official Narconon and Scientology sites