Scientology detox programmes: expensive and unproven - 2012-08-17
After years of clever promotion, the CoS detox programmes are now becoming popular in many countries, including the UK. They bring in good money. In 2009, the CoS was reported to charge $5,200 (£3,300) for the Purif programme and the price for the Narconon programme is reportedly even higher.
A typical course of treatment lasts several weeks and consists of many hours of exercise and sauna every day. This regimen is supplemented with megadoses of vitamins and minerals, which can cause problems. Niacin, one vitamin that is given in high doses as part of the regimen, can be particularly dangerous. The US National Institutes of Health warns that at high doses it can cause "liver problems, gout, ulcers of the digestive tract, loss of vision, high blood sugar, irregular heartbeat, and other serious problems." It should not be taken by people who already have liver damage.
Seven fatalities of people undergoing the Narconon programme are currently being investigated in Oklahoma, although the CoS says these deaths are not connected with the treatment regimen itself.