Experts challenge claims of Scientology's sweat-it-out treatment for addicts - 2006-05-23
Addiction experts and academics in Canada, the United States and Europe have long warned the Narconon program has no scientific basis for its claims.
University of Alberta sociologist Dr. Steve Kent said the program may serve another purpose.
"The program provides the Scientology organization with claims of socially beneficial programs," said Kent, a world-recognized expert in the Church of Scientology. "It provides some Scientologists with employment and it certainly provides the Scientology organization with income and a possible recruitment vehicle for new members."
Narconon spokesman Brad Melnychuk of Toronto insists the program has verified its results, and he said no attempt is made to use it to recruit new members to Scientology. He said rules are in place to ensure "vulnerable" drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals are not subjected to any pressure from Scientologists working for Narconon. He said only four or five per cent of the addicts who go through Narconon programs become Scientologists.