Lie #6 – Narconon Provides a Safe Environment

Narconon claims to provide a safe environment that allows addicts to concentrate on their recovery.

scrclogoFrom the Narconon Spring Hill, Fl, also called Suncoast Rehabilitation Center, web site:

Our students are treated with respect and are encouraged to be themselves. Combine that with a new, safe, environment free from previous triggers and distanced from past negative associations for the long-term treatment, the possibility for achieving success increases significantly.

deutFrom Narconon Switzerland, also called Narconon Deutschshweiz:

Experienced and trained staff at Narconon also assist the recovering addict through withdrawal by administering unique relaxation techniques. These help ease the aches and pains. Special reorientation exercises orient the person to his new, safe environment.

narccanhome5From Narconon Canada:

Following a medical evaluation and proper approval by a physician, a Narconon facility provides a constantly safe and 24-hour care procedure.



But is Narconon a safe environment?

vistabayThis is the Narconon Vista Bay facility in Watsonville, CA. Records from January, 2004 to February, 2007 show that the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department responded to 24 incidents during that time frame, including allegations of rape by staff member, incidents of threats being made, and patients missing from the facility. The dispatcher noted “CONSIDERABLE HISTORY AT THIS LOCATION.”

newportbeach Pablo Mendoza was a patient at the Narconon Newport Beach, CA facility. He reported being sexually assaulted during a massage session.

malbourneRecords from Australian police show dozens of police reports at the Narconon Melbourne facility.

  • Tuesday, 11th March 2008 Last night male picked up a fire extinguisher and threatened to throw it at staff.
  • Sunday, 18th October 2009 Narconon are having trouble with a female that was at their withdraw house. Very intoxicated. Female is very aggressive. Has assaulted staff on three other occasions.
  • Saturday, 21st January 2012 A female patient has tried to assault a staff member. The female has also broken windows and damaged property. The female tried to hit the complainant in the head with an urn.
  • Tuesday, 29th January 2013 A student at Narconon has threatened staff with an axe – has broken a door. Staff have now managed to remove the axe from the man and he is being removed from the property. The man is now at the gate and is walking from the premises towards Warburton. At 2150 hrs. The man is now harassing neighbours.
  • Monday, 4th March 2013 Patient at Narconon, being restrained on the ground. Has tried to stab staff with a fork. The weapon has been taken of the male. The male has also smashed a window.

Recovering addicts can certainly cause safety problems at any facility. But the claim that Narconons are safe environments is certainly a lie. The staff members are not trained to manage a rehab facility properly, and are not prepared to handle incidents of violence. In some cases, the staff members themselves are the source of the violence.


Meet the Liars – Blu By The Sea


Blu By The Sea
Also known as Narconon Gulf Coast
3391 Scenic Highway 98 East
Destin, FL 32541

This is the first in a series of profiles of major Narconon centers. Located about 50 miles East of Pensacola, FL, this facility provides in-patient Narconon treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.

2731They maintain a second boarding location at 2731 Scenic Highway 98. This site has been visited by inspectors, but the status as a “Community Residential Home, Large” by the city of Destin was denied on November 11, 2011. The facility is listed as active by the State of Florida in “Licensed Substance Abuse Providers By City As of June 1, 2014.”

Deborah-Ross-500Deborah V. Ross is listed as the Executive Director on filings with the IRS. Her compensation is reported at $181,287 for 2012.

herbert_rossShe is seen here with her husband, Herbert Ross, the “Senior Director of Expansion.” According to their IRS filings, he received no compensation in 2012, but received $45,287 in 2011.

Carpenter,_Barry_9XCG8HK3Dr. Barry Carpenter is listed as a Director, with no compensation. Dr. Carpenter is a minister with Destin United Methodist Church.

Scott-Walker-500New for 2012 is Dr. Scott Walker, “Medical Director,” with compensation of $37,690 in 2012. Dr. Walker is listed on their web site as “Attorney.” Searches of the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Bar directories found no entries for Scott Walker as either a doctor or a lawyer.

In 2012 they were sued by Heidi and Nathaniel Gore, seeking a refund of $40,000. They had sponsored a patient to attend the facility, but withdrew after they discovered that they are associated with Scientology.

On or about September 9th 2012, the Gores, searching from New York for facilities that could serve the Patient, were directed to the Narconon website. The Gores reviewed the website, and spoke by telephone with spokespersons from Narconon. During conversations with the Gores, none of the Narconon spokespeople revealed any connection to Scientology.

Soon after enrolling the Patient, with the help of others, the Gores independently discovered that Narconon is, in fact, connected with Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. Immediately thereafter, Mr. Gore called Narconon and spoke with defendant Debbie Ross.

During those conversations, Mr. Gore explained that it was not acceptable for the Patient to be in the care of a facility with any connection to the Church of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard.

On or about September 11, 2012, Mr. Gore’s attorney wrote to Narconon to recount the events and to demand the promised refund. Narconon’s response claimed that “the deposit and fees are non-refundable.” Ms. Ross failed to acknowledge her promises to Mr. Gore that she would pro-rate the deposit.

florida-dfsThe Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health has visited the facilities on three occasions.

On April 26, 2011 inspectors responded to a complaint that the facility was overcrowded. The inspection did not find this to be true. On September 18, 2012 a complaint was made that a patient had been expelled, and that a student nurse was dispensing medication in violation of regulations. The inspectors found this to be true, and reminded them that only licensed RNs and LPNs can dispense medication. On November 29, 2012, inspectors received a complaint concerning insurance irregularities, overcrowding, improper release of confidential information, and misrepresentation of the facility’s success rate. The inspectors did not find evidence to support the allegations. See links to the complaint documents below.

Here are some comments from internet message boards and directories of rehab facilities on Narconon Gulf Coast.

From “Caroline”:

We sent a family member to Narconon Gulf Coast in July of 2011 and he is doing great. We jsut celebrated his birthday and he is a great example of what drug rehab can do for someone when it is done right! As is true for many familes today, we had several people who needed help with their alcohol and drug addiction and we only use Narconons now!

Narconon Gulf Coast took great care to see that he got an individualized program that handled his specific issues. Issues that the 12-Step programs we had him in before did not take care. Thank you Narconon Gulf Coast!

An anonymous story from the Ripoff Report:

In Feb 2012, I was sent to Narconon Gulf Coast in Destin Florida for treatment for a drug addiction. We were assured over and over again that Narconon was NOT affiliated with Scientology and had nothing to do with the Church. When I got to Gulf Coast, I almost immediately realized I and my family had been blatantly lied to.

The sauna treatment was a nightmare. I felt sick and exhausted from having to sit in 110+ degree dry heat repeatedly over the course of 5 hours a day, for three weeks. Any issue I had was explained away as “the sauna doing it’s job” and my body getting rid of toxins. One morning, after taking a huge dose of niacin, I became very weak, had extreme pains in my stomach and felt like I was going to pass out. I told the “sauna tech” on duty what was going on and she tried to make me get “back in the box!” as the sauna is called. I was fearful of my health at this point and refused, instead walking (stumbling) past her, and landing in my bed in my room. I was crying in pain, and asking to see the “doctor on staff”, who surprise surprise, was no where to be found. I ended up having to go to the emergency room and paying out of pocket because Narconon’s “doctor on staff” couldn’t be reached. The ER found nothing wrong, and the pain eventually subsided, and so I went back to Narconon. Later, when the doctor at Narconon was finally located and came in, he spent all of 5 minutes with me, then dissmissed me as “ok to continue with the sauna”. I was petrified after this experience, which was the one “uncomfortable” effect from sauna that Narconon staff actually denied was related to sauna.

When I realized the only way I was getting out of Narconon was to tell them what they wanted to hear, I began to “fake it” and write glowing testimonials after each portion of the program (if you do not write good testimonials attesting to how the program is helping you, you are forced to remain in the program longer).

An anonymous report on

My daughter called to find a place for her friend and was told they ran at 100% occupancy but did have a bed that day. If she wanted it she had to give a deposit of $5K. The next day her friend went to a closer facility and my daughter cancelled and asked for a refund. They refused. She asked if they ran at 100% why did they have to keep her deposit? When she investigated the place some more, she learned that they are part of Scientology, they do not have any way to claim 90% recovery rate, and they are dishonest about the insurance coverage. They are a fraud and should not be allowed to dupe people at their most vulnerable.


I to was fooled by Mrs Ross and son Chris Ross was told insurance would cover and never paid a cent. Plus was threatened by owner Mrs Ross that she would su me for harrrassment if I posted anything bad about Narconon. They make your family sign papers while they are high on drugs and they take all your life savings. AFter they treat you they release you with no help or follow up. They have people working there that have been treated there and are not professionals. They have both men and women in the same houses and do not keep them separated. They took my life savings and all they care about is getting you in and out. They tell you they have no beds then when you have the money to pay they tell you they made one available and you get there and there are several beds available. This is a terrible place do not waste your money. Its all about scientology which they never tell you and then say it is not. I could go on and on and on..I just want to warn others of this money making business that calls itself on the up and up…NOT…

Supporting documents:

2012 IRS form 990
2011 IRS form 990
2010 IRS form 990
2009 IRS form 990
2008 IRS form 990
2007 IRS form 990
2006 IRS form 990
2005 IRS form 990
2004 IRS form 990
2003 IRS form 990

State of Florida Non-profit Corporation Annual Reports 2004-2011

Gore v Narconon, Deborah Ross complaint

Minutes Destin Board of Adjustment Wednesday, November 2, 2011 regarding 2731 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL.

The following complaint reports have been converted from the originals to searchable PDF format for ease of access.

Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health complaint April 26, 2011

Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health complaint September 18, 2012

Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health complaint November 29, 2012

Lie #5 – Narconon Provides One-on-One Counseling

Narconon claims that their program includes one-on-one counseling. From the web site:

Through the use of nutrition, one-on-one counseling with the Narconon staff, life skills training and a thorough detoxification step that alleviates drug cravings, addiction can be left behind in favor of a productive, sober life.

From Narconon New Life.

This intensive one on one counseling is what makes New Life Retreat unique. Other programs try to help a person try and process the emotions of the problem with a group. The person is required to share their most painful experiences and memories with strangers in an attempt to find some sort of resolution. By handling these problems one on one, the addiction is addressed privately and without embarrassment.

Eric_TenorioBut former Narconon executive Eric Tenorio denies that Narconon has one-on-one counseling, or any kind of counseling.

In my 13 years on staff there was never one lecture about addiction, never one session of one-on-one counseling by a licensed counselor, never one group therapy session, never one lecture or video shown about addiction, nutrition, or coping skills.

A lawsuit against Narconon of Northern California in Watsonville by James Ramirez, Jr. also claims that there is no counseling at Narconon.

Despite NNC’s representations that Jimmy would receive counseling, at no point did staff ever speak to Jimmy about the specifics of his life or his drug use and its causes. In fact, no one at NNC ever spoke to Jimmy about his substance abuse at all.

So what is this one-on-one counseling that Narconon promotes in its literature?

Michael Tarr filed a lawsuit against Narconon Fresh Start near Caliente, NV, also known as Rainbow Canyon Retreat.

Narconon courses are self-taught by the patients and overseen by counselors. Narconon students and Scientology practitioners perform these TRs [Training Routines] in pairs known as twins. The counselors have little to no training beyond the training they received from Narconon and/or the Church of Scientology.

Training Routines in Scientology and Narconon are done in a one-on-one setting, but not with a counselor. Two patients, or “students” as Narconon calls them, are seated in chairs facing each other. Here we see two students at Narconon Tijuana demonstrating the positions.


Perry Scott described his experience in Scientology with the first TR, called TR0.

TR 0: Confronting

Sit with eyes open for hours, not moving or twitching, “confronting” coach. For the two TR 0 drills, some hours without any reaction is a pass, 2 hrs recommended.

FLUNK! Body Movement. Start.
FLUNK! Talking. Start.
FLUNK! Eye movement. Start.
FLUNK! Non-confront. Start.
FLUNK! Not in Present Time. Start.

These were the words of my staff coach as I began this strange exercise of “confronting” a person. FLUNK! is given at Tone 40 and causes shock and confusion. The robotic “Start” command is given to begin the exercise. The last command for each of these drills is “That’s it!”, words which grew sweeter as training progressed. The student is not really told the rules for this game, but rather simply gets shouted at whenever a mistake is made.

Here is a demostration by Robert Vaughn Young of TR8, in which the student gives commands to an ashtray. Again, from Perry Scott.

Student gives Tone 40 command “STAND UP!”. Tone 40 acknowledges with “THANK YOU!”. “SIT DOWN!”. “THANK YOU!.” Repeat until cognition (about an hour).

By this point, I was so deluded by the concept of Tone 40 that the fact that I was LIFTING IT WITH MY HANDS was irrelevant. I gave the command, the ashtray stood up. After doing this for half an hour, I felt like God, lifting the ashtray by sheer intention. My Thetan’s (Scieno-babble for “spirit”) Intention was using my arms and hands, though that was only for convenience, since with sufficient intent they were not necessary.

So there is no one-on-one counseling in Narconon. Students are assigned a “twin” to do the Training Routines, in which they stare at each other, shout at ashtrays, and go through some of the first steps of Scientology without any counseling for their substance abuse problems.

Lie #4 – Narconon Has a 75% Success Rate

Success rates for addiction recovery systems and facilities are hard to find. One reason is there there is no clear definition of success. How many years must one be sober to be a success? Is one relapse enough to consider the process a failure? Making things more difficult is the dispute between advocates of 12-step and non-12-step programs. It’s an emotional debate that is not particularly relevant to Narconon, but here are the statistics provided by Alcoholics Anonymous in their 2008 report “Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Outcome Rates: Contemporary Myth and Misinterpretation.”

Of those in their first month of AA meetings, 26% will still be attending at the end of that year.

Of those in their fourth month of AA meeting attendance (i.e. have stayed beyond 90-days) 56% will still be attending AA at the end of that year.
The 2004 Survey showed an increase in the length of sobriety over the 2001 Survey (as has every triennial survey since 1983).

As of the 2004 Survey, long-term AA sobriety was so prevalent that the “Greater Than Five Years” range of previous surveys was subdivided into: 5-10 Years (14%) , >10 Years (36%), > 5 Years (50%).

For growth of AA sobriety ranges, the 1983 Survey showed 25% of AA members sober over 5 years and the 2004 Survey showed 50% of AA members sober over 5 years.

For growth of AA sobriety averages, the 1983 Survey found the average AA member sober for 4 years and the 2004 Survey found the average AA member sober for more than 8 years.

In the 2014 book The Sober Truth, Lance Dodes and Zachary Dodes argue that AA has a low success rate.

There is a large body of evidence now looking at AA success rate, and the success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent.

Narconon currently claims a very high success rate, much higher than Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other treatment program. From the current Narconon web site:

The Narconon Program has one of the highest success rates in the field of drug rehabilitation, with outside studies showing 75% of the graduates going on to lead stable, ethical, productive drug-free lives.

In a lawsuit filed against Narconon Redwood Cliffs by former patient Terney Knoflick, it was revealed that the Narconon recruiter claimed an 85% success rate.


In Canada, a 2002 report “Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs: Evidence” quotes Brad Melnychuk, Executive Director of the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE).

You asked if we’d spoken or met with researchers coming up with this information. I personally have not. I also cannot say whether or not any staff from Narconon across the globe—because we have Narconons all over—have done that. I would tend to question it, based on the fact that our Narconons are improving, and some of them are very close to a 100% success rate.

narconon-exposed_smallThe site Narconon Exposed examined the studies Narconon uses to justify these claims, and found them all wanting. One of them the is a 1981 study in Sweden is promoted as finding a 78.6% success rate.

In 1981, Peter Gerdman, an independent researcher, examined the long-term effects of the Narconon program for 61 drug abusers who graduated from Narconon Huddinge, a facility outside Stockholm. He followed the graduates for four years after they completed the program.

Although 69 percent had been using drugs for 6 to 10 years prior to coming to the Narconon program, and nearly all were addicted to a multitude of different drugs, four years later 78.6 percent were drug free.

When the actual figures gathered by Gerdman are considered, it is hardly surprising that Narconon has been so reluctant to publish the study. They show that:
61 individuals entered the programme, of whom
24 left during detoxification;
23 left during other stages;
14 completed the programme.
The overall completion rate was thus 23%.

Of the 14 who completed the programme, 13 were contacted a year later (the last could not be reached). When asked if they had used drugs any time during the year after completing the programme, 7 said yes; 4 said no; 2 said they didn’t know.

Seven people who confirmed they were no longer using drugs or alcohol out of 61 is an 11% success rate, not 78.6%.

Claudia_ArcabascioBut the strongest evidence that Narconon’s advertised success rate is made up comes from a leaked email from Claudia Arcabascio, Legal Affairs Director of Narconon International, stating that they do not have scientific evidence to back up their claims.

From: Claudia Arcabascio
Subject: Re: Wolverton BBB complaint and suggested response
Cc: “PRODUCTION NNI” , “John Walser A/ED NN FC”
Date: Monday, January 12, 2009, 4:36 PM


Thanks for sent me this. I don’t have a copy of the letter received from the BBB which makes difficult for me to see if the answer is appropiate.

However, I see the letter okay less than the comment of “hearsay”. It is a generality.

I cannot reach Helena today to review this. Instead, I recommend the following:

1. Correct the letter (more ARC in the letter and change the expression of “hearsay” for specifics and do not say that we have 70% success (we do not have scientific evidence of it).
2. Send a copy of the letter received from BBB to Mike Toth along with the proposed answer (corrected by you).
3. Get okay from the attorney
4. Send the letter (preferably by certified mail return receipt request). Check out this point with Mike Toth first.

If you send to Mike Toth the complete data, it should not take for him more than 10 minutes of his time.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


In short, Narconon’s claim to have a success rate of 75% or higher is fabricated.

Lie #3 – All Drugs are Poisons

“All Drugs are Poisons” is part of the quote from Dianetics – The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard that is part of Lie #2 – 10 Cups of Coffee Will Put You to Sleep.


Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree to which they are taken determines the effect. A small amount gives a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one.

This is true of any drug. Each has a different amount. Caffeine is a drug. So coffee is an example. 100 cups of coffee would probably kill a person. Ten cups would probably put him to sleep. Two or three cups stimulate. This is a very common drug. It is not very harmful as it takes so much of it to have an effect so it is known as a stimulant.

Arsenic is known as a poison. Yet a tiny amount of arsenic is a stimulant, a good sized dose puts one to sleep and a few grains kills one.

This lie deserves separate attention because it reveals how the mindset of Scientology permeates Narconon. “All Drugs Are Basically Poisons” is a line from Narconon presentations to school children.


Here is a video of Rodrigo Ubillus From Narconon Vista Bay in California, where he gets the students to repeat back that all drugs are poisons.

charlie tonnaAnd another by Charlie Tonna from Narconon Victoria, in Australia

In the context of a presentation against illegal drugs, it might be assumed that these speakers were saying that recreational drugs are poisons. Certainly, the harmful effects of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines are undeniable. But the Narconon speakers say, and believe, that all drugs are poisons, not just the illegal drugs.

cchrAn entire Scientology organization, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is devoted to stopping all psychiatric treatment, and the prescription of all psychiatric medicine. But more than that, Scientology teaches that all medicine from aspirin to cancer treatments, are poison. Their treatment facilities do not use any drugs to treat addiction, and patients are denied needed prescription medicine that they bring with them.

david-edgar-loveFormer Narconon patient and staff member David Love describes an incident he witnessed at Narconon Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, where another patient was denied pain medicine.

As I approached the young lady sitting at the Narconon Trois-Rivieres dining room table, I noticed tears rolling down her pain grimaced face. Her obvious pain was disturbing to see as I sat across from her and asked what was wrong. “They won’t give me my pain medication”, she said through blood-shot eyes from hours of crying.

Earlier that day, while standing on the icy Narconon grounds, she fell and fractured her arm in 3-4 places. Eventually, the young lady was taken to Hospital Emergency, where X-Rays confirmed a painful multiple fracture of her forearm. Unfortunately, this Hospital could not operate and “Set” her fracture, and she would have to go to an alternate Hospital the next day for the operation.

The attending physician prescribed, and gave her some strong pain medication to alleviate her painful distress, thus helping her to cope and make it through the night without undue suffering.

But this was not to be; Narconon Staff refused to administer the physician prescribed medication. When I asked why, I was informed that the pain medication would interfere with her “Objectives” part of the Narconon Program. “She cannot do Objectives, if she is taking that pain medication”, I was told.

hillaryholtonHillary Holten died in 2012 in the Narconon Arrowhead facility in Oklahoma. She was denied medication that she needed for a hormone condition, but the cause of death was not determined by the Medical Examiner.

According to a lawsuit filed by Holten’s family, she had congenital adrenal hyperplasia – the lack of an enzyme the adrenal gland needs to make certain hormones and to create too much of another hormone – that was being treated with medication. The lawsuit alleges negligence by the Narconon organization for accepting Holten into its program, given her medical condition, and not providing her with proper medical treatment.

The same is true for Scientologists not associated with Narconon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATory Christman was discouraged from taking her anti-epilepsy medicine.

When Bezazian stuck to a drug regimen recommended by doctors, she suffered few effects of the disease. But Scientologists viewed resorting to medication as a sign of weakness, an indication that an adherent didn’t trust Hubbard’s “tech” to drive away the body thetan causing her malady.

Several times, she tried to adhere to her faith by going off her medication. She suffered greatly each time. Although she was warned she would never “go clear” until she “handled” her epilepsy through the tech, Bezazian eventually went back on medication permanently.

hqdefaultCharlotte Kates was told not to take her thyroid medicine in 1998 in order to continue being a Scientologist.

I was personally ordered by Tiffany Woods, the Senior HAS (Hubbard Communications Office Area Secretary) EUS (Eastern United States) and
Jenny Porta, the LRH Communicator EUS, to stop taking medication that had been prescribed for me by a doctor to alleviate my thyroid condition–Grave’s disease–upon my signing of a Sea Organization contract. Ms. Woods and Ms. Porta told me that I would otherwise be ineligible for Scientology services, and told me that my medical condition could be cured with PTS (Potential Trouble Source) handlings and Scientology auditing.

L._Ron_Hubbard_in_1950Narconon and Scientology believe they have a more effective way of dealing with sickness and disease than through prescribed medicine or medical treatment. L. Ron Hubbard stated that Scientology can cure any illness many times, but the policy letter of September 1, 1962, entitled “Healing Promotion” is one of the best examples. Hubbard writes in these policy letters in the language of Scientology, which can be difficult to decipher.


Legally, this permits us to heal without engaging in healing as, in actual fact, we address no illnesses and indeed, DENY people are ill–they are only suppressed. Sickness occurs, we say, where suppression has been too great…. The legal argument is simple; we don’t believe in sickness, we do not address illness, we do not diagnose, we believe that freeing the human spirit also incidentally prevents sickness…. We do send acutely ill people to doctors. We advertise to cure no diseases! That last is legally important.

Scientology believes that if somebody is sick, or needs medicine, they are “PTS,” or a “Potential Trouble Source.”

HCOB 20 April 1972 Expanded Dianetics Series 4, Suppressed PCs and PTS Tech

All sick persons are PTS.

HCOB 10 August 1973 PTS Handling

[A]ll illness in greater or lesser degree and all foul-ups stem directly and only from a PTS condition. [G]etting rid of that condition requires three basic actions: A. Discover. B. Handle or disconnect.

HCO PL 3 May 1972 Ethics and Executives

People who are physically ill are PTS and are out-ethics toward the person or thing they are PTS to!

HCOB 20 January 1972 PTS Rundown Addition


HCOB 10 June 1966 Issue II S&D-The Missed Item

There are four points I want to get across to you. 1. ILLNESS=ONLY PTS. 2. ONLY PTS=ILLNESS

HCOB 4 April 1972, Revised 30 May 1972 Tech Div Primary Rundown

If the Student has been on drugs he must be given a Drug Rundown. If he is PTS he must be handled in Ethics and given a PTS Rundown. If the student is ill he should be handled by Dianetics.

This is why Narconon says all drugs are poisons. Hubbard said they are poisons, and taught that all illness comes from being a Potential Trouble Source, and that only Scientology can truly cure somebody. Narconon and Scientology believe all medicines are based on the concept that there is such a thing as disease or illness. Scientology denies the existence of illness and disease.

All drugs are not poisons. Many illegal drugs can be very harmful, but prescribed medicines can cure or treat the symptoms of people who are ill. This lie by Narconon is rooted deeply in its founders writings, and its parent organization, the Church of Scientology.

Lie #2 – 10 Cups of Coffee Will Put You to Sleep

One of the oddest lies presented in Narconon educational programs is that 10 cups of coffee will put you to sleep. Here is an excerpt from the Narconon UK web site.


And again from the Narconon Standart site from Russia.

narconon standart

So Narconon claims that the caffeine in coffee in low doses is a stimulant, in higher doses is a depressant, and in very high doses is fatal. The first and last claims are true, but the second claim is a lie. Caffeine is always a stimulant. It blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that can make you sleepy. This article from Lifehacker and this from Howstuffworks explain the chemistry involved.

High levels of caffeine can be fatal. According to this article from Chemical & Engineering News, about 10 grams of caffeine would be required, which is a lot of coffee.

So where did this idea come from that 10 cups of coffee would put you to sleep? It’s a quote from Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard, which is called “Book One” in Scientology.


Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree to which they are taken determines the effect. A small amount gives a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one.

This is true of any drug. Each has a different amount. Caffeine is a drug. So coffee is an example. 100 cups of coffee would probably kill a person. Ten cups would probably put him to sleep. Two or three cups stimulate. This is a very common drug. It is not very harmful as it takes so much of it to have an effect so it is known as a stimulant.

Arsenic is known as a poison. Yet a tiny amount of arsenic is a stimulant, a good sized dose puts one to sleep and a few grains kills one.

Arsenic in very low doses can act as a stimulant, but Hubbard presents no evidence for the idea that caffeine or arsenic can put you to sleep. Despite being untrue, the quote lives on in the Scientology Handbook, Narconon’s book How to Talk To Kids About Drugs, and other web pages written by Scientologists.

The reason this lie is important is not because somebody will try to sedate themselves with 10 cups of coffee. It’s important because it shows how Narconon (and Scientology) cannot evaluate medical facts independently of the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. If he said it, they believe it to be true. This is not how a medical or educational organization should operate, it’s the way a cult operates.

Lie #1 – Narconon is not a part of Scientology

Scientology and Narconon have a lot in common. They were both founded by L. Ron Hubbard, they both use a sauna-based purification ritual, they use many of the same training routines. But Narconon claims to be independent of Scientology. Here is the President of Narconon International, from a 2004 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.


“It’s our job to keep them separate,” said Clark Carr, president of Narconon International and a Scientologist. “We work full time to do this. If we went into the school district as Scientology, with the separation of church and state, it wasn’t going to work. It would be as if someone said, ‘I have some things in the Bible I think would be very helpful.’ No, thank you. It’s corporately and financially separate, and that’s appropriate.

“For us, the larger issue is that kids need help. We’re not in this for any other agenda.”

From a 2001 article in the Gloucester Citizen.


The charity Narconon admitted it had expressed an interest in buying the Euroclydon Nursing Home in Drybrook, but has denied links with the Church of Scientology.

Noel Nile, director of drug education for Narconon, has now spoken out in an effort to allay fears about the organisation, which he describes as “an international charity.”

He said: “It is non-religious and its sole purpose is to work towards a drug-free society. As such, it enjoys the highest drug rehabilitation, currently 70%, and uses no substitute drugs in its programme.” He said the organisation’s drug education programme has been used in schools throughout the UK and was well respected.

And from Australia in 2005, an article in the Herand Sun.


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.

But are these Narconon representatives telling the truth, or are they really a part of Scientology?

This is a figure from International Scientology News, May 2004. It shows how a Scientology “Org” is expected to spawn Narconons and other front groups in their area.


This is a letter from officials at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, describing to other Scientology organizations how they can earn commissions by selling Narconon’s services, and how Narconon FSMs, or “Field Staff Members” are basically the same as other Scientology FSMs.


This is a letter from Mary Reiser, the Executive Director of the now-defunct Narconon Georgia. You can read the entire court filing that includes this letter. It describes how involved the local Scientology “Org” is in personnel matters and disputes. Scientology has its own language, which can be difficult to decipher, but the control of Narconon Georgia by Scientology, and the flow of money from Narconon back to Scientology are both clear.




Narconon contributes money to Scientology, in the form of payments for royalties, staff training, and unusually high “office expenses.” But an IRS form for Narconon Fresh Start in Glendale, CA for 2012 shows payments directly to Scientology. A $24,000 grant to “Church of Scientology Flag.”


Former Narconon staff members confirm that Narconon is part of Scientology. This news report from 2012 interviews Lucas Catton, formerly in charge of the Oklahoma facility.

This 2011 article in The Fix quotes former Narconon Executive Director Patty Pieniadz.


Undisclosed to students or clients was the fact that the success of rehabilitation depended on the client’s indoctrination in Scientology. “It was completely understood by Narconon staff that unless the patient did the entire Scientology Drug Rundown, there was little chance that they would permanently stay off drugs,” Pieniadz said. “The unwritten final step of the Narconon program was to acknowledge you were a Scientologist. Only then were you were considered to be rehabilitated.”

And from former Narconon patient and staff member, David Love, in a 2012 CBC article.


“The idea is to get them to Narconon. Once they’re in and their mother, their father, their family has paid thousands of dollars, or the whole $30,000, once they get them in, that’s the key,” said Love.

“The indoctrination into Scientology begins when you arrive at Narconon … It is 100% cult sect.” he said. “Religious indoctrination, right out of the Scientology textbooks.”

So why does Scientology bother with the lie that Narconon is not a part of Scientology? First, Scientology expends great effort to prove that they are a real religion, and not a cult. In the U.S. Australia, France, South Africa and other countries, religious instruction is generally forbidden in public schools. Narconon provides “secular” instruction in drug abuse prevention, and to be identified publicly as a religion would endanger these programs. In addition, the reputation of Scientology is that of a dangerous cult. People who would be horrified to enroll in a Scientology drug rehab program are not aware that Narconon and Scientology are the same thing. By hiding their affiliation, patients enter the program not knowing the dangers they may encounter.