Today, the fate of Narconon’s proposed drug rehabilitation center at Trout Run may be decided, but the controversy about the center’s association with the Church of Scientology will not be.

The County Council is set to vote on whether the 40-acre Trout Run campus in the forest of the Catoctin Mountains is so historically significant that it should be listed on the Frederick County Register of Historic Places. If it is, Narconon could move forward with its plan to open a substance abuse treatment center on the site.

Opposition to Narconon’s plan has mostly focused on the program’s association with Scientology and its performance record. The property belongs to Social Betterment Properties International, the real estate arm of the Church of Scientology, but ownership and use are not supposed to factor into the council’s decision to designate the property historic or not.

If Narconon gets permission to open the facility, it will be one of more than 100 Narconon centers in 15 countries. Marc Miller, formerly of Frederick, says Narconon programs have saved his life, and did not come between him and his Christianity.

The Narconon program, which his parents found for him in 1999, was a gift from Jesus, Miller said in a telephone interview from his current home in Kentucky. He compared Narconon with “betterment” programs such as 12-step programs and Christian groups.

He said a lack of understanding may lead to opposition.

Yvonne Rodgers, Narconon’s East U.S. executive director, wrote in an email that the 40-year-old rehabilitation program has no specific religious component, although it “is based on the writings, procedures, and techniques of L. Ron Hubbard. … Mr. Hubbard discovered the effects of drugs on human beings and developed an effective means for freeing people from their harmful effects, which he made available to anyone who wished to benefit from them.”

Scientology does not condone use of prescription drugs or psychiatry and psychology as a means of behavioral therapy.

“Psychiatry and psychology in particular treat man as a ‘thing’ to be conditioned, not as a spiritual being who can yet find answers to life’s problems and who can improve enormously,” according to the Scientology website.

Medical staff are on hand, and the centers have affiliations with hospitals that can take patients who need to medically withdraw from such substances as heroin or alcohol, Rodgers said.

Miller said he knew Hubbard’s findings underpinned Narconon, but Scientology was not referenced in materials he studied in the program.

“Narconon is grateful for the tremendous support we have received from the Church of Scientology and many Scientologists,” Rodgers wrote. “Narconon itself, however, is not part of the church.”

The Church of Scientology is essential to the program, according to “Scientology: Theology and Practice of A Contemporary Religion,” referenced by Sylvia Stanard, deputy director of the church’s national affairs office.

Sylvia Stanard is the wife of John Stanard, national director for Social Betterment Programs and Policy.

The principles that Scientologists learn that form the foundation of Scientology scripture can be adapted for use in the areas of drug rehabilitation and education, and have become the “cardinal points of extensive social benefit programs of churches of Scientology and individual Scientologists,” according to the reference work. “One of the most widely known of these social benefit programs is the residential drug rehabilitation and public education program conducted under the name ‘Narconon.’”

Miller first completed the program in 1999 in Oklahoma, and after his graduation, he had a contract for several years to be a carpenter for Narconon. Then, he moved to Kentucky and started his own carpentry business.

The program required him to confront the aspects of his life that led him to use cocaine and other drugs and to admit the harm he had done to others and himself as an addict in Frederick for two decades, he said. He relapsed a year ago in Kentucky because he had not adequately addressed all the areas of his life he should have during his first time in the program, he said.

Three out of four participants stay clean and sober long term, Rodgers said.

Miller said his second time in the program, he spent five months in rehab in Louisiana, working part time at Narconon and paying $12,000 for the program.

“Through the education and experience I have received through Narconon and from the grace and the forgiveness from God, I am able to help myself and others,” Miller wrote in a letter.

Scientology techniques and principles used in Narconon “address causes and effects of drug addiction and help participants become contributing members of society,” according to the reference work. “These program components include helping participants learn how to communicate, cope with the pressures of life and regain higher standards of self-esteem and honesty.”

The Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God. Scientology does not ask individuals to accept anything on faith alone.

“Salvation” in Scientology “has to do with making man ‘safe’ or ‘whole’ in his present life,” according to “Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion.”

Miller, the Stanards and Rodgers said program participants do not have to become Scientologists as they complete the detoxification and behavior therapy. Miller said he was able to attend church on Sundays, and Rodgers said the center would make arrangements with Frederick area churches so participants could attend services.

Previously, Frederick County Councilman Billy Shreve said he was ready to vote on the property’s historic designation and did not consider Narconon or Scientology.

“It doesn’t matter what religion it is, someone’s against it,” Shreve said in a telephone interview.

His view is that there were no data to refute the expert testimony in favor of the historic designation that would allow the treatment center to open.

“You have to believe the experts or be sued,” Shreve said.

Follow Patti Borda Mullins on Twitter: @FNP_Patti.

(26) comments

Homer Yost

Wow, Maverick! That is four paragraphs of hogwash. You really want to paint the Church of Scientology and Narconon as the persecuted in a Witch Hunt? For starters, I don't think the objects of witch hunts had the power and gobs of money that the Church of Scientology has. And I don't think those poor women were responsible for the death of many, many people.

You used the internet to get to this website. Why don't you Google "Church of Scientology" and "Narconon" and read the countless stories of deaths in Narconon drug "therapy" centers. And read the accounts of former members of that church who were the objects of intimidation, forced labor, and worse. You will read FACTS in these news articles and TV news reports. If you do, and still want to defend these truly dangerous people with a dangerous ideology, well, that will tell us more about you.


[thumbup] it's all over now for narconon in fredrick.
even the washington post scooped the FNP on the 6-1 NO council vote for trout run. read it and weep,Stanards and Rodgers!


NO, it's not over nor will it be for quite some time. This is just the beginning of a million dollar land acquiusition. and land designation by religious thought and rejection by another religion and not business protocols.

Homer Yost: those poor women and religious scapgoats of the CHURCH were to ones who died a terrible death and based on the same speculation and innuendo you are using to make the same point as the CHURCH did a century ago. It's obvious nothing substantually has changed since then.

You can poke and prod all you want to the distortion of what I said at 12;50 this afternoon, but what difference should that make to me or for that matter any commentor with an OPINION different from my own. I'm not political or religious by your standards. I walk both sides of the fence you have built around yourself.

Your big mistake is ASSUMING I'm defending the Church of Scientology, which I'm not. You're the one casting stones, along with your other like-kind commentors.

Reading your version of FACTS is about as good as reading the headlines of National Inquirer and the "scoop pages" of TRADE magazines. You can burn as many crosses on the front lawn of Scientology as you want. I won't be there or in attendence at what you consider your worst nightmare. I'm not going anywhere, although you may try to accomplish this end, as it relates to what and how I think, but without contempt for the religion you and DickD are hiding behind.

Am looking forward to hearing from you again, but next time leave your mimic puppet behind.


I guess what bothers many of us about how this was handled is the obvious subterfuge to hide the real owners and how it was purchased. Most of us feel if they had nothing to hide, they would not be hiding it. As I told Mav, something is rotten in Denmark


DickD: You should have stopped at the point where you claimed to be GUESSING. Who represents "many of us?" or "most of us.?" If "something is rotten in Denmark" why do you continue to GUESS rather than lay out the rot that already exist in Frederick County Maryland and your imagination? Clairify "subterfuge" and the conclusions you have drawn from mere speculation, innuendo and willingness to lie to yourself? I'm of a mind to ask what you are HIDING and have been since Scientology turned up on your radar?

You are and have been trying much too hard to deny reality under the guise of your own self-rightious indignation. You're a long time resident of Frederick and are necessarily part of its intolerance to change. You've been rolling this same dough for decades. SO, tell me, what's rotten in Frederick Maryland and has been for generations and generations to come?


Much of the muddying can be attributed to the the FNP roiling the waters with articles that focus on Scientology rather than the merits of the historical value, or lack thereof, of Trout Run. Articles such as this.


You got that right, Public. Billy was right, when he said; “It doesn't matter what religion it is, someone’s against it,”. We do need to stay away from the religion aspect of it. Religion or lack thereof, is a value judgement, you cannot prove or disprove anything, so people get hyper.


To the extent that religions make truth claims -- and they do -- those claims can be evaluated and rejected if found wanting, a.k.a., "disproved". Lest I be accused of picking on religions by hypersensitive religious, the same logic applies to any and all truth claims (e.g., "Leprechauns are real!")


that's exactly it, public! the FNP had failed to cover the specifics of what EXACTLY is involved in the applicant's application to obtain the historic designation, etc. the paper's first few articles on this whole trout run mess left readers scratching their heads.

it took lots of chiding emails and comments here addressed to the FNP and on the no narcanon at trout run facebook page to get the paper to step up and actually do some investigative reporting.

and now we have the 3rd FNP reporter doing a scientology-sell job in terms of the comments from the cult's front office.

all the council has to do is vote NO to the historic designation.
they don't even have to give an explanation on the vote.

the applicant and their attorney failed miserably on this one, and should be denied. the past and current county zoning commission as well as the zoning appeals board have both also failed miserably at following their own mandates. why hasn't the FNP reported this - along with how the 'church' or cult of scientology had hidden their ownership of the 2 shill real estate companies working through bruce dean's law office to sneak this one under the radar.

if you really want to know what's been going on w/ trout run, go to this facebook page and do some reading:


"Yvonne Rodgers, Narconon’s East U.S. executive director, wrote in an email that the 40-year-old rehabilitation program has no specific religious component, although it “is based on the writings, procedures, and techniques of L. Ron Hubbard. … "

Yvonne Rodgers is telling what $cientology calls an "Acceptable truth". What the rest of us call a lie. Except for the covers being changed, the, "...writings, procedures, and techniques...", refered to are exactly the same as the introductory courses to $cientology. Which makes them a religious component.

In one of the many law suits against narCONon, their own lawyer claimed narCONon is, "Faith based". Which on it's face means it has a religious component.

$cientology uses the fact 'God' is not mentioned in their training material to maintain that when the same material is used by one of their front groups, it magically becomes "secular".

That's not how is works in the real world.


"Faith based". Which on it's face means it has a religious component.

No. Faith and religion are different things although there is often a lot of overlap. One can have faith without religion ("Leprechauns are real!") and one can have religion without faith (some adherents of Buddhism, Jainism, and Judaism, for example).


Pickanotherid, you are absolutely right. All you have to do is Google 'Narconon deaths' to see what a dangerous program this is. Honestly, I am not familiar with the property or its historical significance but let's not open a dangerous facility.


Religion is not the issue today, the issue today is whether the site is historic. Did you get a chance to look at Mark Long's web site? He has an interesting part on religion. One of these days we should just have a good discussion on religion, if that is not too controversial - probably is.


I searched about the "Acceptable truth" in Scientology and could not find it, can you tell me where to find it? When it is an "Acceptable truth", do they mean acceptable to others? If so, it seems like you are saying they feel it is okay to lie, to win the point.


I found it. Acceptable truths are not the whole truth and are meant to deceive, which makes them a lie.


I don't care what is or might be going in there; it just doesn't seem to be a significant enough location to receive such a designation. To me those things should be much more significant in the history of our country, rather than a place where a couple of Presidents and other folks spent weekends. Pretty soon the entire county will be "historic"




I absolutely care what is going in there but in regards to this vote it has no bearing on it.


They only spent a short time fishing there, they did not stay the week end. The owners do not want the designation to preserve history, they want it to make it into a rehabilitation center for addicts. But the only issue today is the question of whether they short time they fished at Trout Run was sufficient to make it historic.


There is a long history of profits in the recovery comunity. We lost the China Opiate war years ago.
Billions of dollars have done nothing, it has actualy increased heroin sales across the United States.
Every bussines knows this is cash cow industry. Insurance, F.D.A. A.T.F, local, county and state criminal organizations
Folks we are talking about employement to keep drugs out. And the only way to keep employment IN , is to allow all this to happen.
The United States, along with other countries, Wants drug addicts, wants this industry to florish.
We continue to place profits over the life of your children.


No doubt we need more drug rehabilitation centers, but the issue today can only be the question of whether Trout Run is historic.


Wrong again Billy Boy...Scientology is not a religion it is a business,according to the founder of the business L Ron Hubbard himself.

“You have to believe the experts or be sued,” Shreve said.....There are no grounds in which the county can be sued, Scientology is a business not a religion, get that through your thick skull. You are referring to RLUIPA The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) . When the council votes NO they are voting no to a business not a religion.

They would have to prove that Scientology is a religion it is not. Here is their list of corporations all over the world.

Patti your research is very one sided for this story here is the other side you should of reported on:


But religion has been a business venture throughout its existence. Isn't that what most people are complaining about? Aren't they USING religion as a negotiating point of view to reject a business proposition under the cloud of religious dissent of their own making. Hasn't the coverage, comments and opposition to this deal turned out to be anything more than a witch hunt of old and burning new ideas at the stake of COMPROMISED religious convictions and torchered public opinion?

USING Delauter and Shreve as a reason for voting NO on this matter of historic consequences, is as much the lie we continue to tell ourselves and weild religion as a weapon of distruction, using words meant to marginalize anyone who can see beyond this drawn curtain of LOCAL deceit and disception to ALL MARKETS, that no longer COMFORM to ancient religious traditions of having "market share" in which church we are to pray in and to the EXCLUSION of all other religious thought in Frederick County which has yielded the likes of corruption in our own ranks, for decades.

We can take this conversation all over the map and tailor it to individual fears we have, while based on innuendo, speculation and smear tactics that remain an ancient source of discrimination and bigotry within our own ranks, to this day, in 2015. Hasn't the Young gang's political warfare, to present time, proven that to be a FACT, over and over again for the past 4 years.

Instead of using EMOTION as a means to draw an unwarranted conclusion, why not sit down, and think for yourselves instead of someone else directing you to yet another manipulation strategy. We don't need anymore platitudes and EXCUSES to make a HISTORIC BUSINESS DEAL, even if it's being portrayed as a devil, which is another kind of business WE know nothing about except within the framework of our imaginations and the lies we've been telling ourselves since religion came knocking at our own front doors.

Trout Run is as much a historical finding as all of Frederick's HISTORICAL sites are, to this date. Give the devil his/her due, or let self-righteous convictions burn another witch at the stake.


More nonsense!


By what measure of prior recorded conduct do you consider this "NONSENSE?" Is this your best rebuttal to what the truth really is, while disguised as the naysayer who has yet to think outside the box that you built and bunkered around yourself, and with no windows or doors from which to engage what is going on outside, with the nature of MAN, who continues to lie to itself on a daily basis.

If my perspective and words are "nonsense", what can WE conclude from your rebuttal and perspective that's not otherwise tainted with lying by OMMISSION? Are you claiming to be the last word in this exchange, or just another voice of dissent against TOMORROW? YOU be the judge.


hogwash. the applicant has failed in meeting the standard of historic designation, the county historic preservation commission didn't adequately notify the public of the application,,,, etc, etc, etc.

they all failed, along w/ zoning and board of appeals to meet the requirements - original application was made through west coast properties inc., and is not transferable. they pulled a bait and switch - that's another good reason to deny historic.

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