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Anorak | The Church of England V Narconon and the Church of Scientology

The Church of England V Narconon and the Church of Scientology

by | 22nd, August 2012

HAS your school been visityed by Narconon?

Narconon provides drug information, education about the effects of drugs and effective drug rehabilitation programs for those already in the grip of addiction.

The site Naconon Exposed writes:

 Founded in 1966, the modern Narconon programme is the work of the late L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction author and founder of the Church of Scientology

This site is, likewise, no fan of the outfit. The Sun reports:

SCIENTOLOGISTS have tricked their way into primary schools posing as drugs campaigners, The Sun can reveal. Thousands of pupils have sat through classes inspired by the cult — while parents were kept in the dark. The Sun has discovered anti-drugs group Narconon has even claimed the backing of some of the UK’s biggest High Street names and bagged cash from the Queen’s bank Coutts.
Our probe found that Narconon — which is inspired by the work of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — been visiting schools in Newham, East London, and Islington, North London, for four years.

That report was based on a story in the Islington Gazette:

St Jude and St Paul’s Primary School, in Kingsbury Road, Newington Green, arranged for Narconon to come in to teach the Year 6 pupils about the dangers of drug abuse before the end of term.

Narconon offer drug and rehabilitation services based on the writings of L Ron Hubbard, the man who inspired Scientology – a religion famously followed by Tom Cruise. But critics claim Narconon’s rehab centres are used to help recruit people to the controversial church…

Michelle Davies, who works for Narcanon, said: “The main link with Scientology is they are both inspired by the work of L Ron Hubbard, and they advocate the same life skills. There is no spiritual aspect to Narconon whatsoever and the centres are completely separate to Scientology churches. In the whole time I have been with them I have only met two or three people who have become Scientologists.”

Complete separate? Narconon is run by ABLE: The Association for Better Living and Education:

ABLE’s mission is to rid the world of its most devastating social ills—drugs, crime, illiteracy and immorality—through the social betterment methods and principles of author and humanitarian
L. Ron Hubbard.

Research has shown links between education failure, substance abuse, moral decay and crime. To address the interrelated nature of these social problems, ABLE and the organizations under its umbrella offer:

• Substance abuse treatment and prevention services

• Ex-offender re-entry and mentoring programs

• Character and common sense morals education

• Community and family literacy

• Teacher training and professional development

ABLE International’s Headquarters, located on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA.

ABLE is a non-profit charitable organization that assists the implementation of social betterment programs in communities throughout the world.

These programs, based on breakthrough methodologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard, focus on core problems that stand in the way of individual happiness and social progress: illiteracy and educational failure; substance abuse; criminality and the pervasive lowering or loss of moral standards.

A London mum spoke out:

Amanda Steele, 30, found one of the group’s pamphlets in her son Vincent’s schoolbag. She said: “I couldn’t believe the school would get people like this in. All the parents I have spoken to are horrified — they want to know how this was allowed to happen. It’s a faith school, so why not get someone from the Church to do this?

“These aren’t the sort of people I want to come in to teach my kids about drugs. In fact I don’t want them to come anywhere near them.”

The Church of England has reacted:

THE 149 Church of England schools in the diocese of London will be warned next term to shun offers from the anti-drugs rehabilitation group Narconon to give lessons about drug abuse to pupils.

The action follows a complaint made to the media by the parent of a recent pupil of St Jude’s and St Paul’s Primary School, Newington Green, north London, who discovered that Narconon, which had been responsible for a Year 6 anti-drugs project, has connections with the Scientology …

The Mail has in sight into how Narconon works:

Narconon claims it is a non-profit, non-medical rehabilitation program with around 150 patients. Its methods include spending up to five hours a day in a sauna for 30 days straight and mega doses of the vitamin Niacin. 

But the three recent deaths of Stacy Murphy, 20, Hillary Holton, 21, of Carrolton, Texas, and Gabriel Graves, 32, of Owasso, Oklahoma, have attracted lot of negative publicity. Last month, the inquiry into the July 19 death of Stacy was expanded to include the April death of Hillary and the October death of Gabriel. The state district attorney has asked the sheriff’s department to deepen its investigation into the center.

Radar Online cites an email:

Before Rock Center broadcast its expose on Narconon, which is based on the teachings of Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, an e-mail was allegedly sent out to followers of the controversial religion, requesting that “We got instructions from up the line to have everyone call in and complain about this one-sided, biased show and say that they personally know people whose lives have been saved by NN (Narconon)”… recipients of the e-mail were asked to “Now comes your part, we need you to call  the station and leave a message for the producer. Anna (REDACTED). It is getting harder and harder to reach her (email full, voice mail full) so that is why I need someone like you, tone 40 who won’t back off by a couple of barriers.  You call 212-(REDACTED) ask for Rock Center (that is her show), you want to talk to Anna, she won’t be there, you want to talk to her secretary, you do not want to leave a comment in the general mail box, you want to talk to someone in her office…

This sounds not a lot unlike the practices of James Arthur Ray. The Fix claims:

… In 1973, Pieniadz, then a 19-year-old heroin addict, entered a Narconon facility in New London, Conn., for the modest sum of $50 a month. After several months, she successfully ditched her dependence on dope, but in the process replaced one addiction with another. “I finally was able to kick heroin,” she says, “but Scientology became my new obsession.” In short order, Pieniadz was hired as the New London facility’s “chief recruiter.” By age 22, she had become the executive director, tasked with securing government funding by promoting Narconon’s drug-free teachings in public high schools. By all accounts, she was a great success. “I personally brought in over a quarter million dollars,” Pieniadz recalled.

Undisclosed to students or clients was the fact that the success of rehabilitation depended on the client’s indoctrination in Scientology. “It was completely understood by Narconon staff that unless the patient did the entire Scientology Drug Rundown, there was little chance that they would permanently stay off drugs,” Pieniadz said. “The unwritten final step of the Narconon program was to acknowledge you were a Scientologist. Only then were you were considered to be rehabilitated.”

The show:

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What say the group’s supporters?

“By the end of the sauna, you feel like a fresh, newborn baby,” testifies Marc Murphy, the brooding young British singer-songwriter who delivers a testimonial in a promotional video on the official Narconon website, narconon.org. Murphy insists that Narconon’s drug-free approach enabled him to kick a 12-year heroin addiction, compounded by a methadone and Valium habit that he acquired during dozens of previous detox attempts. “It was the easiest withdrawal that I’ve ever done,” the “student” says about his stint at a Narconon rehab outside London. “It saved my life.”

In celebration of the London Olympics, Narconon  Drug Education launched an art and poetry competition in the primary schools of the London borough of Newham, which is home to the Olympic Stadium. The winners of the competition were brought to the soccer stadium of the current European  Champions, Chelsea Football Club. 4 years ago, an encounter with London Olympics organiser and Chelsea supporter, Lord Sebastian  Coe, inspired the Narconon Drug Education team based in Sussex, under the leadership of veteran drug education lecturer Gary Byrne, to start a project in London’s East End. Narconon’s ensuing talks in primary schools were supported by donations from the likes of John Lewis, Coutts, M&S, Vintners and Ford.  Over 2,000 children a year throughout the borough of Newham attended the talks provided by the Sussex-based group.  The result was thousands of children empowered  with the Truth about Drugs.

And:

You can also help raise money for Narconon by shopping through http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk. This website offers access to over 400 of the UK’s biggest and best known retailers – but with a difference. Simply use the links provided on their website when you shop online and a commission will be donated to Narconon.

It doesn’t cost you anything extra to shop and raise funds in this way and there are lots of popular retailers participating including: Marks and Spencer, Currys, Dixons, DELL, Amazon, HMV, Virgin, AOL, PLAY.COM, Choices Direct, Esure, The AA, Direct Line, Churchill and The Carphone Warehouse amongst many other

And:

The sheer magnitude of the current level of drug use in UK society means that all sectors of society should take some responsibility in reversing the trend. Foremost amongst these sectors is the corporate, who feel the effects of narcotic indulgence in the form of absenteeism, theft and accidents. It’s reassuring to find now that many companies are starting to take cognisance of this fact and lending their support, both financially and in other ways, to the general arena of drug prevention.

Recently Narconon® Drug Education has received sponsorship for a series of drug education lectures across the UK from Marks and Spencer, The Trusthouse Foundation and Abbey National. These generous gestures of financial support have allowed Narconon Drug Education to literally reach thousands of students with the “The Truth About Drugs” presentation.

That’s some line up. Private Eye magazine says John Lewis  has not funded anything involving Narconon.

Pauls Haggis, the film director and writer, used to be a Scientologist:

Haggis told Celebrity that he had recently gone through the Purification Rundown, a program intended to eliminate body toxins that form a “biochemical barrier to spiritual well-being.” For an average of three weeks, participants undergo a lengthy daily regimen combining sauna visits, exercise, and huge doses of vitamins, especially niacin. According to a forthcoming book, “Inside Scientology,” by the journalist Janet Reitman, the sauna sessions can last up to five hours a day. In the interview, Haggis recalled being skeptical—“My idea of doing good for my body was smoking low-tar cigarettes”—but said that the Purification Rundown “was WONDERFUL.” He went on, “I really did feel more alert and more aware and more at ease—I wasn’t running in six directions to get something done, or bouncing off the walls when something went wrong.” Haggis mentioned that he had taken drugs when he was young. “Getting rid of all those residual toxins and medicines and drugs really had an effect,” he said. “After completing the rundown I drank a diet cola and suddenly could really taste it: every single chemical!” He recommended the Rundown to others, including his mother, who at the time was seriously ill. He also persuaded a young writer on his staff to take the course, in order to wean herself from various medications. “She could tell Scientology worked by the example I set,” Haggis told the magazine. “That made me feel very good.”

Privately, he told me, he remained troubled by the church’s theology, which struck him as “intergalactic spirituality.”

Have you had the Narconon experience?

 



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