A Doctor with a Phone and a Mission - 2017-12-27
The story of lead generation in addiction treatment begins, strangely enough, with a nonprofit supported by the Church of Scientology. Narconon started in 1966, according to the Church's site, and uses the teachings of the Church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, as its guiding principles. Conventional mental health practices are eschewed, high doses of vitamins are encouraged and clients are urged to sweat a lot, often in saunas.
Back in 2000, most clinics got their clients from physicians and insurers. Narconon clinics instead turned to the World Wide Web, according to the former Scientologist and Narconon critic Katherine McBride, who oversees narcononreviews.net under the pseudonym Mary McConnell.
Soon, she said, the internet was home to countless sites promoting Narconon clinics. Over the years, Narconon's success produced imitators who packed sites with keywords in hopes of kicking their services to the top of search results.