The purpose of this op-ed is to dispel some of the false perceptions about Narconon and the Church of Scientology that have appeared in the press recently and to provide readers with access to the facts.
Anyone who has had personal, firsthand experience with drug addiction, whether as a family member of an addict, a counselor or a rehab worker, understands that drug rehabilitation is a hazardous field. Anyone who is addicted to drugs is on the path of self-destruction. Drug addicts usually suffer quite horribly with a number of negative health and life-altering issues, including divorces, losing families and jobs due to drug addiction. There is no denying that there is an urgent need for active participation in combating this most extreme of societal ills by anyone and everyone with the skills and the willingness to do so.
Since 1966, the Narconon program has helped tens of thousands of people to lead drug-free lives in countries all over the world. It is based on the writings, procedures and techniques of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion. Hubbard conducted extensive research into drug abuse during the 1960s and ’70s when recreational drug use had reached epidemic proportions. He developed techniques to overcome the effects of virtually every type of drug. Wanting to help those thought lost to addiction, Hubbard made his discoveries broadly available. The result was the establishment of Narconon.
Narconon is a network of nonprofit, nonreligious drug rehabilitation programs active worldwide. It utilizes Hubbard’s unique components of withdrawal, detoxification and life skills to address the debilitating effects of drugs on the mind and body, but also to resolve why a person turned to drugs in the first place. The program is backed by more than 40 years of reviews, studies and acceptance as to its safety, effectiveness and methodology. Narconon’s sole purpose is to assist its program participants to overcome and handle addictions to drugs and alcohol.
The Church of Scientology and Scientologists are proud to help support the Narconon program as part of our social and humanitarian mission. Scientology churches and their parishioners have provided assistance to Narconons since their inception. Narconon is one of the most successful drug-rehabilitation programs in the world, and a vital player in helping those with addiction problems.
Nevertheless, Narconon is not part of the Church of Scientology, and one does not have to become a member of the religion to do the program. Narconon is open to members of any faith and only works to get people off drugs. If you go to Narconon’s website at www.narconon.org, you can watch many graduates talk about how their lives have turned around after doing the Narconon program.
The Church of Scientology is a newer religion and perhaps not as well-known. Scientology deals with man as a spiritual being. Part of the religious philosophy of Scientology is that one cannot survive on his or her own. Scientologists have a religious commitment to helping take responsibility for their fellow man, families and the environment. The Church of Scientology and individual Scientologists are active in humanitarian initiatives and social betterment activities in the fields of drug-abuse prevention, human rights, education, criminal reform and disaster relief. I would suggest starting at the church’s website at www.scientology.org.
The problem of drug addiction affects everyone — and everyone in the community needs to be part of the solution. There is a desperate need for more drug rehabilitation options in Maryland. There is room for non-drug replacement programs for those who qualify for this type of treatment and addicts and their families should have the option to choose which program would work best for them.
It is our lasting hope to work with the community to help with the drug problem and help those addicts and families who seek a quiet, restful place to escape from the trap of drug addiction.
I ask those who are concerned about Scientology or Narconon to look beyond the scare tactics and misleading Internet sites, which do a disservice to the families who need help, and instead contact us directly to discuss their concerns, so we can provide them documentation and information so they can be fully informed.
is deputy director of the Church of Scientology’s National Affairs Office. She writes from Washington.