Scientology Drug Program Narconon's Licensing "Extremely Vulnerable" After Oklahoma Deaths, Says Insider - 2012-08-11
"All these Narconon centers are run on the same principles. They use deception to get people in, they make false claims about their effectiveness, and the person sending patients there is actually a salesman working on commission," says Carnegie Mellon professor Dave Touretzky, who has been studying Narconon for years and maintains an extensive online archive of information about the drug treatment program's many controversies.
Now, with unprecedented attention drawn to it, Narconon's vulnerability comes into sharp focus: If Scientology itself often gets a pass because it calls itself a church, Narconon cannot claim that privilege. If Scientology is made up of people who have voluntarily joined to explore their past lives, Narconon patients -- and the parents or court officers who send them there -- often have no idea of the program's connection to the controversial church. Although it is endorsed by celebrities, Narconon's less glamorous reality puts very vulnerable people in risky settings. And, increasingly, public officials are beginning to question how such an unusual program could be licensed to do business in their jurisdictions.