As advertised on ARS, today the BBC TV Consumer program 'Watchdog' contained a section on Narconon. It was their first headline item. Watchdog goes out at 7 PM on the main BBC channel and is a long running and popular series.
The 'we were ripped off' subjects were a couple who paid 3,500 pounds for a 'home detrox' for their heroin addicted son. 'Home detox'? Anyone heard of this before? They were promised a refund if not satisfied, their son declined to cooperate and Narconon didn't answer letters asking for the refund.
Next up, none other than Russell Miller, Ron's unofficial biographer, to tell us about Scientology. He did good.
He was followed by A Doctor, who pointed out that taking vitamins was not proven to be any help with drug addiction.
The Narconon program was briefly described. The California school ban was mentioned. A CoS webpage briefly appeared on the screen.
Following the Watchdog standard format, a spokesperson from the accused organisation is invited to the studio. And one came - Paul Dolan, who runs the new Narconon detox facility in Hastings, Sussex. I am obliged to declare an interest here - by total coincidence we have a hobby and friends in common and have met in circumstances unconnected with Scientology.
Paul said a full refund and apologies had been given to the couple, and that the salesman responsible was no longer connected with Narconon. The journalist said that the salesman had told them otherwise, but this was not pursued. Otherwise the defence was the standard stuff - Narconon developed by Hubbard but secular, etc. He was very low key, no ranting even in response to keywords that would have set your average cultie off.
I taped it, and if my video skills don't fail me a copy will available real soon from the usual suspects.