At this point in time it is still up in the air how the Frederick County Council will vote in regards to the historical designation of the Trout Run property. Councilmen Billy Shreve and Kirby Delauter seem really anxious to approve, Jerry Donald not so much, and the remaining four have been more tightly lipped. While I do not believe that Trout Run is deserving of a historic distinction, I believe that Narconon, a branch of the Church of Scientology, will eventually get their way.

So what will that mean for Frederick County? Will we get a much-needed drug treatment facility in a state that has declared a state of emergency in regard to its heroin problem? Not likely.

First, a little history of Narconon. This program originated in the Arizona prison system. Its founder was a heroin-addicted inmate by the name of William Benitez, who came up with the program after reading a tattered copy of L.Ron Hubbard’s “The Fundamentals of Thought.” Benitez wrote to Hubbard, who in return encouraged the program, even offering him the assistance of the Phoenix branch of the Church of Scientology. The program itself consists of some questionable and potentially dangerous practices.

Narconon believes that you can sweat out the toxins present in your body due to your addiction, a premise refuted by many prominent toxicologists. So, if you enter this program you can expect to spend up to five hours a day sweating for no real discernable purpose. You will also be expected to ingest a variety of vitamins (niacin in particular), minerals and a special drink called Cal Mag. While claiming to be a non-religious program not associated with the Church of Scientology, you will be expected to study and learn all about L. Ron Hubbard and his teachings.

Narconon has been the subject to allegations of fraud and wrongful death suits due to their unproven methods throughout the United States. In 2013, they had to surrender their license to Georgia state officials after complaints of insurance fraud and that the program was operating illegally as a residential unit. Three patients at the Oklahoma Arrowhead center died between 2011 and 2012. Lawsuits have been filed in all three cases. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop went as far as to say, “My recommendation about detoxification is to keep away from it. You don’t need it. I’m not sure it does what this book describes. It’s dangerous. I don’t think L. Ron Hubbard has credibility in the scientific world. The author’s suggestions about detoxification can be detrimental to your health.”

So while Councilman Kirby Delauter may not care “what kind of drapes you have, what kind of flooring you have”, many of us do. If Narconon is allowed to operate in Frederick County it will surely be a decision we will come to regret. We need reliable, proven methods to deal with our drug problem. Not one based upon the teachings of a science fiction writer whose main objective was making a whole bunch of money.

Shannon Green writes from Frederick.

(Due to an editor’s error, Narconon was misspelled in the headline.)

(24) comments


How do we generally determine a place is historic? We look at the age which usually has to be at least 50 years, which Trout Run is more than 50. We look at the integrity and usually the site has to be relatively unchanged.

In my opinion, Trout Run fails integrity as it would be changed per the request for a drug center. So approving it as historical, in this case would cause it to lose the integrity of an historic place.

Does it have any association with people, events, activities and developments that shaped our history. I think not, the fact that a president fished here is hardly significant and it did not shape our history. Nor is it on the National Register of Historic places. Therefore, I feel it fails the test to be historic.


Many historic places stop being what they once were and become museums. Are they still historic places. The slave housing in the 100 block of West Second Street are modern apartments on the inside.

Museums and Historic Sites


Interesting, I didn't know that the 100 block of West Second Street was slave housing. Thanks.


OK, but Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, Narconon, none of that has anything to do with whether or not the site is historic. So if the designation is refused it has to be based on whatever else there is to prevent it. If not, we are probably sued and probably lose.


We should stick to whether the site is historic, but I really don't think it is historic. What standard does it have to meet or is it just opinion?


Can't we just decide on the historic nature of a site, without looking at ownership? If we can and do, there can be no charge of religious discrimination, regardless of the decision.


But aren't some churches historic? Of course, that would be due to their use for religious purposes.


Can a corporation which is not registered to do business in Maryland take responsibility to maintain a historic site under the laws of the County of Frederick when it has no registered agent for service of process in the State of Maryland.


I checked the web and could never verify if their land company has a registered agent or not. What did you look at?

Sarah Elizabeth

NarCONon is a subsidiary organization of the ABLE, a Scientology corporation. It's Scientology folks. Not a drug rehab.NarCONon deaths are listed on the internet. Stacey Dawn Murphy age 20 died 2012 N. Arrowhead OK. Hillary Ann Holten age 21 died 2012 N. Arrowhead OK. Gabriel Graves age 32 died 2011 N.A.OK. Kaycie Werninck age 28 died 2009. Many more deaths than I have listed. Many, many lawsuits. What first shook me was the many deaths by drugs at a " drug rehab?" Then I found out the staff were ex Narconon guests. Add to that they teach LRH Scientology .


So, other than disliking Scientology, are they effective?


From what I can tell, they are not effective.


Can you cite your sources to prove their method of treatment, force to learn scientology, and the deaths and lawsuits being filed? Otherwise, it's just rumor.


This blog post highlighting local concerns includes numerous links to original sources from mainstream local news outlets in communities that have dealt with it. If you want to find out more, click though those.


Sorry, I don't know how to make an active link, so I just left the url


Has Narconon been successful in treating addicts? I think that's the most important question and it doesn't seem to be addressed here. Most programs are not. Even AA, which many people think of as the "best" drug/alcohol program, has a very low rate of success.

If Narconon is reasonably successful it would be hard to argue against allowing it to be here just because we don't like L.Ron Hubbard right?


"The Narconon Program has one of the highest success rates in the field of drug rehabilitation, with outside studies showing the great majority of the graduates going on to lead stable, ethical, productive drug-free lives.".........That's what the Scientologists say about their Narconon Program. Do you believe it?




I don't know. Why not Dick?


I just don't believe the process they use will ever cause a drug addict to change. And it does appear, to me, that they are more interested in obtaining money than actually helping drug addicts.


No I don't


Even if it isn't "reasonably successful" they already own it and whether or not we like their plans is just not part of figuring out if it deserves historic designation or not. What if it belonged to people wanting to open a clown college? Lots of people hate and even fear clowns. Should that prevent historic designation for the site?


Approve;stop drugs and help addicks.APPROVE NOW

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