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Monday, May 10, 2010

Narconon (Scientology) Promo Piece Appears in Public Record

Last week's issue of the Philadelphia Public Record included an article about a club drug called mephedrone, toward the end of which it became apparent the article is meant to promote the Scientology-connected Narconon program. After doing a little homework I submitted the following letter.

Dear editor:

Your last edition features an article titled, "New Club Drug Endangers Many Lives," which promotes the Narconon organization and may be assumed to reflect its views. While I claim no expertise on club drugs, Narconon is not a credible source of information.

As discussed on Wikipedia, Narconon was founded by Scientologists and continues to be run by them. The Church of Scientology opposes all use of psychoactive substances, even those legally prescribed by psychiatrists or other doctors. They ignore or misrepresent any evidence that such drugs can be beneficial because it is an article of religious faith for them that they can't be.

Scientific and medical authorities have widely rejected Narconon's claims. In 1991, for instance, the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health denied them a license, saying that "credible evidence establishes Narconon's program is not effective," and adding that "the program offered by Narconon-Chilocco is not medically safe."

Similarly, in 2005 California's superintendant of public instruction "officially recommended that all schools in the state reject the Narconon program." Wikipedia also reports that Narconon has been linked to two deaths.

In addition to direct medical hazards from a program that is faith-based rather than evidence-based, Narconon is accused of being a front for recruitment to the Church of Scientology, a science fiction-based cult and pyramid scheme which many former members say has done them enormous financial and emotional damage.

It may well be that mephedrone is dangerous as the article says, but one must look elsewhere than to Narconon for reliable information on just how dangerous, in what ways, and under what circumstances.

For more information on cults and warning signs of a psychologically abusive or manipulative group, visit the International Cultic Studies Association at

Eric Hamell

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