Scientology's Affiliated Organisations in the UK:
A Critical View

by Martin Poulter, with additional research by Steve A.

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Narconon

Claiming to be a effective way of curing drug addicts, Narconon is recognised as a charity in this country, and may even have qualified for Lottery funding. The regime involves very long periods in a sauna, and a special diet invented by Hubbard, which can involve medically dangerous levels of some vitamins. To support the programme, the Scientologists offer some dubious statistics and glowing recommendations from celebrities such as Kirstie Alley- a worrying cavalier attitude to take when lives might be at stake.

The critics' concerns about Narconon are explained very capably in another of Chris Owen's articles. Narconon claims to be both effective and independent from Scientology. The first claim has not stood up in court. In 1993, the VGH Stuttgart that not a single successful drug rehabilitation had been proven by the group. (10.5.1993, VGH Stuttgart, Az: 1 S 3021/92) (Here is the text of the ruling in German). The second claim is refuted both by the frequent propaganda for Narconon in Scientology publicity material such as the book "What is Scientology?", and by Scientology's submission to the tax authorities in the USA, which showed that Narconon was part of their corporate structure.

In a radio interview in December 1997, the head of Narconon UK, John Wood was repeatedly asked to address the allegations that the group is ineffective and that it is a front for Scientology. His response was merely to repeat again that drugs are destructive, that Narconon saves lives and that he was telling the truth. Apparently he did not understand that his own word is not good enough. He also used the interview to hysterically denounce the programme's researcher. A professor of human nutrition consulted by the programme said that there was no experimental evidence for the effectiveness of the programme. A forensic psychiatrist was also consulted, and said that she had known people "who've looked extremely ill" after taking the Narconon treatment. You can read a transcript of that radio programme or listen to it in RealAudio.

A variety of useful documents can be found on a separate page by Jeff Lee.

Since there is more concern about Narconon than about any other Scientology-related group I'm particularly keen on detailed reports of involvement with Narconon- from the UK or from anywhere else.



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