Scientology lessons in schools
Liam Houlihan, religious affairs reporter
A DRUG program run by Scientologists and labelled dangerous by medical authorities is being given free rein at dozens of Melbourne schools.
The controversial Narconon group gave a speech at Melbourne High on Sunday and has made classroom presentations at Melbourne schools including MacRobertson Girls High.
The group -- which does not disclose its Scientology background to schools -- gives students booklets that condemn prescription drugs and equate coffee with heroin.
"All drugs are basically poison . . . Two or three cups (of coffee) stimulate. Ten cups would probably put a person to sleep. A hundred cups of coffee would probably kill him," the Narconon booklet teaches.
Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal said he was very concerned about the group's drug rehab centre, which had no medically trained staff, anaesthetists or mental health experts.
The centre, run by a naturopath, treats people as young as 16.
Scientologists oppose all drugs -- including anti-psychotic and anti-cancer drugs -- and regard psychiatry as evil. They believe even legal drugs clog "thetans", or souls.
Dr Haikerwal said Narconon's claims about the success of its program, and descriptions of the effects of drugs, had an unsure scientific basis.
"Addiction to drugs like heroin is so strong that if you do go cold turkey you need to have something for cramps, nausea and pain," Dr Haikerwal said.
"It is quite a hazardous process. People can go quite berserk. You need medical overseeing, and I would have hoped it would occur under some sort of medical supervision."
Narconon denies links with Scientology but its Melbourne spokesman, its president, and its celebrity patron Kate Ceberano are all Scientologists.
And the Narconon program is based on the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Narconon spokesman Charles Tonna told the audience at Melbourne High the nation's methadone programs were "the cash cow of the pharmaceutical industries". A Narconon member said that more than 40 Vic-
torian primary schools had advertised Sunday's presentation in their newsletters.
Dr Adrian Dunlop, an addiction expert with Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, queried the outcome of the Narconon program.
"What's happening to (Narconon patients) in the longer term? I guess the answer is this is being used to get them to become Scientologists," he said.
But the deputy director of Narconon's rehabilitation centre, Susie Morrisson, denied the claim.
"We're not Scientology here. Just some of the techniques like communication drills are based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard," she said.
She said the centre helped up to 25 patients beat various addictions in the past year.
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 05:36:13 -0700
Organization: ARSCC Intel Div
Subject: Re: Narconon being given free rein at dozens of Melbourne schools.
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
> She said the centre helped up to 25 patients beat various addictions in
> the past year.\
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Last year, two panels of medical experts evaluated the Narconon program in California. The effectiveness of the program, its links to Scientology, and its accuracy were closely scrutinised. As a result of these two examinations, the Narconon program was determined to be inaccurate, misleading, and based on Hubbard's junk science. A series of stories in the San Francisco Chronicle covered the entire process. At the conclusion of these reviews, the Narconon program was expelled from California public schools: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Stop-Narconon/sfusd-articles.html
The state of Hawaii and the city of Boston followed suit in removing Narconon's program from public schools.
Make no mistake; Narconon IS Scientology! Not only is it in their corporate structure under the Association for Better Living (ABLE) umbrella, the materials taught in schools are identical to the materials purchased by practicing Scientologists.
People wishing to learn more about the Narconon program, before exposing their children unwittingly to Scientology theories and practices, can search the web for information. The following site was founded specifically to deal with the problem of covert Scientology programs reaching school children. http://stop-narconon.org/
This well researched overview examining Narconon is a wonderful resource for reporters, parents and politicians who wish to examine Narconon outside of the material provided in their glossy brochures. I recommend that you look at and evaluate Narconon's drug education for yourself. There really is only one conclusion you can reach after reading the material Narconon will not provide.
Cheers, and good luck! We expelled them here. Joining Scientology should be an informed choice. Narconon's lies about its association with Scientology makes an informed choice impossible.
"Imagine a church so dangerous, you must sign a release form before you can receive its "spiritual assistance." This assistance might involve holding you against your will for an indefinite period, isolating you from friends and family, and denying you access to appropriate medical care. You will of course be billed for this treatment - assuming you survive it. If not, the release form absolves your caretakers of all responsibility for your suffering and death.
Welcome to the Church of Scientology."
--Dr. Dave Touretzky