Scientology Drug Program Narconon's Licensing "Extremely Vulnerable" After Oklahoma Deaths, Says Insider

ColinHendersonNN.jpg
Colin Henderson, outside Narconon Arrowhead
Scientology is facing crises on several fronts: flagging membership, internal schisms, relentless Internet exposure, and whole new levels of public consciousness and mocking because of a celebrity divorce and an upcoming movie with Oscar buzz.

But perhaps the most surprising component of the church's recent rise in negative attention seemed to come out of nowhere, and may turn out to be one of the biggest challenges it's facing.

Scientology's drug treatment program, Narconon, is being consumed in a conflagration of its own making.

As with just about every other Scientology controversy, Narconon's problems are not new. Throughout its history, it's faced protests, as well as debunking by experts.

But this time, its problems seem of another magnitude. There are not only four deaths at the flagship Oklahoma facility under investigation -- three just since October -- but Narconon is also mired in litigation in Michigan and Georgia, it was chased out of Quebec, and has also apparently given up on the UK.

"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.

With the media's interest in all things Scientology heightened, Narconon could be in serious trouble.


1. Stacy

Rick S., who asked that I not use his last name, remembers that when Stacy Murphy, 20, returned from a short visit to see her family, she was mobbed by the other patients at Narconon Arrowhead, the drug treatment flagship facility on Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma. She had become popular with the others in the several weeks that she'd been at the drug treatment facility, Rick says. And after getting a "leave of absence" to stay a day and a half with her family, she'd come back to a warm welcome.

"Stacy was beautiful," Rick says, and that made her stand out when so many others were not looking their best, suffering from the ravages of drug use.

That Wednesday night, July 18, he says, was the last time he saw her alive.

Two months earlier, Rick had checked himself in at the center for his alcoholism. Like so many others who end up at Narconon centers, he had no idea that it was connected to Scientology when he went in to dry out. But after paying an up-front fee of $13,000 and going through a tough withdrawal, he was then put on Narconon's strange "training routines" that had nothing to do with his particular problem.

"Within the first hour of that, I realized this was Scientology," Rick says.

He got into an argument about the definition of a word he was told to look up, which is a big part of L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology "technology." Rick says he knew they weren't using a word correctly, and when they told him to look it up in the dictionary, he showed them that he was right, not them.

Things were off on the wrong foot, he says. But he felt obliged to go through the routines. He was paying, after all.

"I thought, I might as well give it my best shot. But what they try to get you to do is insane," he says.

Before long, he found himself talking to ashtrays.

As we've written earlier, even Tom Cruise did some of his early Scientology training by talking to ashtrays and beverage bottles, part of Hubbard's approach that is supposed to increase a person's communication skills.

Rick got to know the other patients at the facility, which is surrounded by a state park near Canadian, Oklahoma.

He felt particularly fond, and protective, of Stacy Murphy, he says.

With the other patients, they endured Narconon's odd approach: while getting no counseling about their particular addictions, and with no medical staff around, the patients sat in a sauna for five hours a day while taking massive doses of Niacin and other vitamins. After several weeks of that treatment, Murphy asked for permission to go home and visit her family.

"She did not meet any of the criteria for a leave of absence," Rick claims. "But she got all of the signatures, and I was told by one of the workers that they were making an exception for her."

Rick remembers seeing her prepare for her visit home.

"She was getting ready to go on her leave, and she was saying her mom was going to have dinner on the table. The house was going to be smelling nice. I told her to make sure and bring leftovers -- the food at Narconon is so bad, it's a joke," he says.

Wednesday night, she returned. And later, Rick says, the staff noticed that "she was flying high on something."

(I confirmed with a member of Stacy's family that she had gone home for a short stay before returning to the center the night before her death. I have left a message to speak with Narconon Arrowhead's executive director, Gary Smith.)

Rick says Stacy was sent to the "withdrawal unit" of the facility that night once it was discovered that she'd used. And it was there that her condition became grave.

"There was no doctor there, no nurse on staff. There's nothing like that there," Rick says. "The staff, they're all former patients. The exception are the people who would drive you to the airport, or the security people. My understanding is that everyone there is pretty much a former patient."

Rick says he doesn't hold the staff responsible for what happened. "You really can't expect them to be able to diagnose a drug overdose. I'm not upset with them. It's the direction from the top down that has to be illegal."

The staff was just overmatched for what was happening, he says.

"The drugs that would have saved Stacy's life were either not available or no one there knew how to administer it."

Thursday morning, July 19, he heard that she was dead.

"She died before 10 am. I heard about it pretty immediately," he says. His own tenure at the facility ended soon after. "I got kicked out because they found out I was going to the police and the media. That's how upside down the place is."

Now, he's trying to stay sober on his own, and Rick says he is fearful after going to the authorities.

"I have to pause multiple times a day because of Stacy's death. I feel sick about it. They should have saved her," he says. Instead, he fears that he'll suffer retaliation for helping with the investigation. "I'm afraid for my life."

Jeanne LeFlore of the McAlester News-Capital broke the story of Murphy's death on July 19, and she's been leading reporting on the widening investigation of the facility ever since...

The investigation has expanded to include three other deaths: Hillary Holten, 21, who was found dead at Narconon Arrowhead in April; Gabriel Graves, 32, who died at the facility in October, and Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28, who died in 2009, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.

LeFlore also reported that sheriff's deputies escorted into the facility inspectors from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, who, she wrote, are "looking into the facility's licensing provisions."

And if you know something about Narconon's licensing history in Oklahoma, you know those are ominous words indeed.


2. Bill

In 1966, Narconon was started in an Arizona prison by inmate Bill Benitez, a former Marine whose drug addictions got him court martialed during the Korean War and then, in 1964, sentenced to 15 years in prison as a habitual offender. Narconon's website tells the heartwarming tale of Benitez discovering the works of L. Ron Hubbard while doing time, starting up a drug treatment approach based on Hubbard's works, and then, even after proving in court that he'd been sentenced under the wrong law, volunteering to stay in prison long enough to make Narconon a viable program.

As inspirational as that story is, it has little to do with what Narconon quickly became -- a program steeped in Scientology.

Narconon involves a cold-turkey withdrawal (the program denies that it is cold-turkey because it involves the faith-healing technique of "touch assists") followed by a program of Hubbard training that is nearly identical to what beginning members of Scientology go through, including heavy sauna use.

Notably missing from the program is any individual counseling or any real discussion of drugs and addiction.

A former employee at Narconon Arrowhead backs up what Rick S. and others have told me about the lack of drug information in the Narconon program.

"It is true that there's very little drug information. You do the training routines, the sauna program, learning improvement, the objectives," he says. ("Objectives" is the part about talking to ashtrays, among other things.)

"You learn about Scientology's ethics. About overts and withholds. You do 'conditions,' and then The Way to Happiness, and then you're done. You feel bright and polished, but there's no real addressing of what the real problem is for each person."

You have to wonder how many people would send a family member to Narconon if they knew its training was all about L. Ron Hubbard, and not about drug addiction.

But Narconon is very good at hiding its affiliation with Scientology, which licenses Narconon centers through its division called ABLE, the Association for Better Living and Education.

It was so good at masking that connection, the Indian tribes that first gave Narconon its start in Oklahoma had no clue about it.

In 1980, the Indian School at Chilocco, Oklahoma closed, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs later turned over its land to five local tribes. By 1988, those tribes were being courted by Narconon representatives who wanted to find a place for a large in-patient facility -- at the time, Narconon had only a single 12-bed center in Los Angeles.

Without revealing its ties to Scientology, in 1989 Narconon convinced the Ponca tribe to sign a 25-year lease for its new center, which would have 75 beds and was being touted as the largest drug-treatment facility of its kind, anywhere.

But then a man named Bob Lobsinger started asking questions. Editor of the little Newkirk Herald Journal in a town near the Indian land, Lobsinger found in a tiny local library that Narconon was actually a Scientology front, and he began to make a stink about it.

Over the next two years, Narconon waged war with Lobsinger and fought unsuccessfully to get Oklahoma's Department of Mental Health to give it a certification.

One person offended at the accusations made about the center was Narconon's celebrity endorser, Kirstie Alley.

"It is an unconscionable attempt by the representatives of vested interests to stop a truly effective program that saves lives," Alley said in December 1991 when state officials decided to deny the center certification, even though the facility had been taking patients for more than a year.

A year later, however, Narconon Chilocco got around the state's objections. At the time, Oklahoma law allowed for the center to get an exemption from state certification when it went instead to a private group, the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), for approval.

As Lobsinger pointed out in July, 1992, the first two CARF inspectors, who granted Narconon its certification, ended up with jobs there.

In 2001, Newkirk finally did win its battle to be free of the center, when Narconon decided to close the Chilocco center and move about 200 miles southeast, to its present location at the Arrowhead Lodge on Lake Eufaula.

But a former employee at Narconon Arrowhead tells me that the story of licensing did not end when the state accepted the CARF certification. For years, he says, officials at the drug treatment center were extremely worried by two things that made the facility vulnerable to being shut down. First, state law was changed so that CARF certification alone was not sufficient to satisfy state licensing issues, he says, and second, the CARF approval only applied to the first of Narconon's four steps in its treatment program -- the non-medical withdrawal phase. The rest of Narconon's handling of drug addicts, with saunas, megadoses of vitamins, and Hubbard's odd training routines, was not certified. [Note: My source corrected me -- CARF certified the entire program, but the state Department of Mental Health used the CARF approval to apply only to the first part of the program, not the rest.]

For years, he tells me, Narconon spent considerable resources to stay on the good side of officials at the state Department of Mental Health, knowing that if they ever took a hard look at the center, it might not survive a thorough audit of its licensing.

"They're extremely vulnerable right now," he tells me.

If, as Jeanne LeFlore's reporting seems to indicate, Oklahoma's Department of Mental Health is now focused on that certification, it isn't the only time in recent years that questions about Narconon's licensing have been raised in the wake of a death.


3. Patrick

On July 2, 2006, Patrick W. Desmond was stopped for a traffic violation in Brevard County, Florida, and then was arrested when he was found to be in possession of cocaine.

A Marine veteran, Patrick was the son of Major Patrick C. Desmond, US Army Special Forces, retired.

The Green Beret's son was sentenced by a county drug court to six months in rehab, and his parents scrambled to find someplace to send him.

Like so many desperate parents before them, they found a Narconon website that made promises of astounding success rates, and no mention of Scientology.

They sent Patrick to Narconon's center in Atlanta in September, 2007 for six months of in-patient care. While taking his courses at the Narconon facility, Patrick and the other patients were housed at a nearby apartment complex, One Sovereign Place. Patrick completed the program, and was then asked to stay on as staff, the usual way that Narconon finds low-paid workers. After his sentence was completed, he returned to Florida. As is usually the case, however, at Narconon Patrick had received no counseling about addiction and his own problems with it. He soon relapsed, failing an alcohol test, and the court ordered him back to the center.

On May 23, 2008, he returned to the Narconon facility and living at One Sovereign Place. Nineteen days later, he was dead.

The Desmond family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Narconon Georgia, Narconon International, and several individuals in May, 2010.

Narconon's defense was a simple one, as (vaguely) spelled out in its court filings: If Patrick was dead, it was his own fault. On the night of June 10, Patrick had gone out with a friend, and while away from the Narconon facility, had overdosed on heroin. By the next day, he was declared dead.

But as Desmond family attorney Jeff Harris investigated the death, he found some startling things about Narconon Georgia and the way it did business.

Specifically, the Desmonds, Lisa Mooty (the Brevard Drug Court administrator) and Patrick's probation officer were all informed by Mary Rieser, and other agents of Narconon Georgia, that the facility was: 1) properly licensed, 2) residential, 3) six months in duration, 4) provided drug and alcohol rehabilitation counseling, and 5) the counseling was provided by adequately trained professionals. All of these statements were untrue.

That's from the Desmond family court complaint.

Other court documents show that over the last two years, Harris has had to fight Narconon tooth and nail to get key documents from them, but now that he has, the revelations are rather astounding.

-- Since 2002, Narconon Georgia has only been licensed by the state to operate an out-patient facility, and had been denied the right to run a residential center.

-- The Desmond family alleges that Narconon got around that by asking a Sea Org couple to lease apartments at One Sovereign Place as a de facto residence hall for the Narconon facility.

-- Narconon's own internal documents show that its own investigations uncovered the terrible conditions at One Sovereign Place, finding that it was rife with drug abuse and poorly-supervised patients.

-- The Desmonds allege that Narconon Georgia's executive director, Mary Rieser, would remove the words "outpatient" from the center's letterhead when she was communicating with the court that had sent Patrick to a supposedly in-patient facility.

In their lawsuit, the Desmonds allege that Narconon billed itself as a residential program when it didn't have a license to do so, and that it put people like Patrick Desmond at great risk by housing them at an unlicensed residential center that it knew was rife with drug use.

I talked to Jeff Harris this week, and we discussed the issues in his case -- I pointed out that it can be tough for the public to sympathize with drug users, but he feels that Narconon's behavior will shock a jury. He also thinks the public will be thoroughly astounded by the information in Narconon's documents -- but so far, the drug program has been allowed to file those documents under seal. Harris thinks that's about to change.

I also asked him, more than two years since he first alleged that the state of Georgia had been snowed by Narconon as it allegedly operated like a residential program without a license, has the state showed any interest in investigating that?

He said it hadn't.

I put in a call to Georgia's Department of Human Resources. I'll keep trying to get a response from them, to see if they, like their counterparts in Oklahoma, now want to revisit how Scientology's drug program is operating in their state.


See also:
"Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god"
Scientology's president and the death of his son: our complete coverage
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
Scientology leader David Miscavige's vanished wife: Where's Shelly?
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968
The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras
And a post that pulls together the best of our Scientology reporting

Please check out our Facebook author page for updates and schedules.



**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.

My Voice Nation Help
249 comments
britinokinawa
britinokinawa

FBI agent?

 

Martian?

 

Volunteer OSA?

 

Is there such a thing?

 

Sorry guys, but Britinokinawa is none of these.

 

Think of me as a Hubbardist, if you like. Because that probably fits me as a description better than anything else. I have tremendous respect for this guy. You really should read what he wrote, rather than simply regurgitating the same old crap that pops up whenever Scientology is mentioned.

 

I thought it might be possible to discuss some points with you.

 

Some of you are definitely capable of logical thought and analytical discussion, but there is just too much noise. Too much A=A=A reactive think (knee jerk).

 

Pity, really.

 

Anyhow, you won.

 

I lost.

 

It's too dark and gloomy in here.

 

I'll go back to my Research and Discovery Volumes.

 

Bye!

kksmartypants
kksmartypants

I was a patient at Narconon in Oklahoma and I'll tell you what, that "rehab" is a sham. There was so much sex. As a recovering addict, I was struggling. While I was there, I replaced my drug addiction with a sexual addiction. I even had sex with two staff members. The patients are hardly monitored in the dorms, or anywhere else for that matter. Horrible place! They do not address the drug and alcohol issues that are at the heart of the problem. It's all these useless Scientology exercises.

exileandcunning
exileandcunning

Scientology amazes me constantly, the way they just go ahead and do things that are 100% illegal, and basically just assume that they'll be able to get away with it... and most of the time, they do.  

 

The rehab I went to was literally afraid that if I taught yoga to my friends in my free time, in my own room, if someone got hurt, they could get sued and have to shut down the entire facility.  Also, no one was allowed to touch anyone else... for any reason... with a similar rationale.  Where are these overzealous medical malpractice suits when it comes to Narconon??

 

Also... a "leave of absence" at a residential facility?  What?!?  That is highly unstandard... except for a family funeral, no one was allowed to leave, for any reason.  (And if you did leave for a funeral, you were drug tested immediately on your return.)  And what kind of rehab doesn't have the drugs necessary to treat an overdose?  (I wish they were more specific about what she OD'ed on... was it meth? an opiate?  Either way there is a potential treatment for overdose, but I'm just curious.)  

 

In a way, so many of the mistakes Narconon makes are so simple to remedy... like being able to treat an overdose... heck, the needle exchange I used to go to would give a 15-minute training and hand out OD kits so you could treat your friends if they overdosed.. I've saved four people's lives (and had mine saved twice) with a pre-prepared shot from that kit.  If a street junkie with 15 minutes of training can treat an overdose effectively, why can't Narconon manage it?  It's funny (not really, but kind of), if they just followed a few simple rules and avoided these deaths, they could probably keep disseminating Scientology without anyone noticing... or without generating enough publicity to actually shut the places down... but they're so incompetent that they are endangering their Scientology mission... which is good, in a way, but also unfortunate for these poor addicts.

all.clear
all.clear

Just saw the teaser for Rock Centers story on NarcoCon. They call them out on their scion ties right up front. This should be good. They've covered scion twice in a month and DM has no power to stop them.

whydothespikesfacein
whydothespikesfacein

Somebody should put all of Tony's stories about $cientology on titanium plates and file them away in a mountain fortress for safe keeping because they are that important.  

California
California

Tony and all:

 

I am compiling a list of CURRENT OPERATING NARCONON DRUG REHAB FACILITIES in the U.S. and will be posting the list soon.

 

Much fewer than I feared.  Many that are listed as "Narconon Rehab" are just a "Suite," i.e., an office with no clients there.

 

Tony and the other New Yorkers, there is a Narconon New York listed at 29-38 30th Ave., Astoria, New York 11102 and I am wondering if that is the NY org?  Do they in fact have a Narconon Treatment facility there?

 

Can you let us know here, please?

 

I am impatiently awaiting the "Rock Center" show on Aug. 16th.  Do they know that there is a Narconon New York listed at the above address?  Hmmmm?

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

"Disconnection tears families apart!"

 

No, MUCH too MUCH missing information here. 

 

A guy wants to get auditing. His girlfriend, wife, mother-in-law, boss, whoever is always on his case. You never come across this kind of thing before?

 

Peter PC has just had a great session, full of beans, he comes out of the auditing room. Meets his boss in the lobby of his office building, greets him effusively. This draws a series of carping, snide remarks from Peter's boss. 

 

Peter feels like something the cat left in the litter

 

Goes into session again. Same thing happens, meets boss, goes down tone.

 

Plenty of movement, but NONE in a forward direction.

 

Auditor sits the guy down to handle the problem in his life. 

 

Various things are tried, but nothing works. This is very rare, but it happens. So, what can Peter do? Changing his job might not be a bad idea, might it?

 

At least, get him out of the firing range of this psycho.

 

Again, we had MISINFORMATION!

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

("Objectives" is the part about talking to ashtrays, among other things.)

 

You try to make it look stupid by taking something totally out of context. 

 

People get the idea reading this that scientologists get into deep conversations with ashtrays ...

 

"Hi Ashtray!"

 

"Hi, John!"

 

"What's the ultimate answer?"

 

"The answer to life, the universe and everything?"

 

"Yes."

 

"42!'

 

That would be utterly ridiculous. 

 

Ashtrays are used in a role playing drill. They wouldn't have to be ashtrays. They could be anything good and solid. It's a whole drill. Takes up a couple of hours or more. Makes you feel on top of the world, not in a druggy sleepy way, but, in a totally alert, wide awake, ready for anything way.

 

Excellent step to do.

 

But useless without the steps before it. They build into this one.

 

Anyhow, another strike in the article for MISINFORMATION.

 

There's no shortage, guys!

LearnFromThePast
LearnFromThePast

 @britinokinawa 

 

Actually, old chap, I and many here have read first hand many of the original writings of Mr Crowleys self proclaimed adherent, LRH.

 

My first encounter was when I stumbled on an old copy of Dianetics in one of the libraries at my University. Irony of ironies, it was in the Psychology section.

 

With hindsight, I have no idea what it was doing there. In the University, I mean, of course.

 

With absolutely no prior knowledge of LRH, or any of his works, my honest reaction was that I was reading a fairly crude attempt at  a humourous parody of Mental self-help books, albeit somewhat tortuous and incredibly badly constructed.

 

Imagine my shock on discovering it was seriously intended.

 

Even more shocking than when I discovered Fox News wasn't just clever satire.

 

Since then I have pieced together more of the true horror. If you read nothing else though, the true nature of LRHs workings (which include Scientology and all the other associated disguises) can be summarised by just two direct quotes from LRH works.

 

"There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale, neither one of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the Tone Scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. the other is to dipose of them quietly and without sorrow". LRH, from Science of Survival, p170

 

"Somebody some day will say "this is illegal". By then be sure the orgs say what is legal or not". LRH, HCO Policy Letter, 4th Jan 1996 "LRH Relationship to Orgs"

 

Read those again to yourself.

 

Carefully ponder the clear, unambiguous meaning contained therein.

 

Now, recall what you understand about German history in the 1930s

 

These are the only two pieces of Hubbard writing that you need to read in order to FULLY understand why the German Government (in particular) continues to subject Scientology and it's associated veiled front organisations to very close scrutiny.

 

I forget now who actually said "all that is neccesary for Evil to triumph is that good men do nothing".

 

The German people, and the German Government, know only too well what happens if "good men do nothing". Their recent history is only too real.

 

They are right to remain vigilant.

 

We must be vigilant too, for that statement of intent is quite, quite clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AndrewRobertson
AndrewRobertson

 @britinokinawa 

 

I'm sorry you're leaving, John.  I know this message board is generally critical of the Church of Scientology's actions but I recall you from a long time ago, back around 1998 when you could present your views lucidly and without rancour which impressed me and I haven't changed my opinion.

 

I think you were teaching English in Sapporo then and were full of enthusiasm regarding Dianetics and Scientology's popularity increasing in Japan.

 

I was hoping you might have woven any successes you have had in Japan into your posts on this board.  That would have been interesting.

 

Anyway, all the best.

 

 

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

  They get away with it by calling themselves a religion.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @all.clear A big change from the '80's and early '90's when NO network (and most newspapers) wouldn't touch the subject.  The Dark Ages are over.

WhereIsSHE
WhereIsSHE

I don't know whether anyone responded to you, but a simple Google search reveals that Astoria is in Queens, and the Scientology org is in Manhattan. Big difference.

NuXeHail
NuXeHail

 @britinokinawa 

 

Dear britinokinawa,

 

I can certainly understand what you are saying. When you come out of an auditing session that is full of big wins, and you are floating high, then in that scenario, you are frail like a delicate flower. Often, the rough surface of reality tries to drag you down into the gutter with it. Someone could easily knock you off that high if they are upset about something. For a pre-clear to keep it altogether, it’s like walking down the sidewalk, and the fall is not so far if they get knocked off. But when he been auditing, and auditing, and has gone OT,  it is more like walking a tight rope. A suppressive person could easily knock you off, and this should be avoided at all costs as there is so much more you need to keep straight mentally.  I remember once I had remembered that I was a monk, and also a geneticist, and I was working with peapods. Then a wog co-worker said something about peas and it really set me off- I felt like I was going crazy.  I couldn't snap out of it until I had done about 10 more hours of auditing. This is what is so great about the Sea Org. There are no suppressive persons at all in this setting, and you can really focus on clearing the planet, without thinking about friends or family or obligations to children or seeing doctors. The distractions of reality are minimized. You don't feel obligated to look at a television, or read the newspaper, or worry about accidentally seeing a computer screen. That stuff can drive you insane!  Indeed, the temporary high you get from auditing seems to last a few minutes longer in that setting. However, it is a bit strange that almost every high-level OT has been ex-communicated, and everybody stops going up the bridge, and says it's like chasing a heroin high that you never can regain. That has always confused me.

But I trust the infallibility of the tech, LRH was such a colorful fella!

 

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @britinokinawa There are cases where people have left the sea organization and a fashion that could be characterized as escape. They ran away, and afterwords they were disowned by their families who were in Scientology.

 

These people simply did not want to work at the Sea organization any more. I believe stories are posted on the site exscientologykids, which is run by Jenna Miscavige. I found the story of TwinA very compelling, she is currently separated from her twin sister, simply because she wanted to leave her position.

 

Is a nun cut of from her religious friends or family if she choose to leave or to stop believing?

 

The is a young man, former sea organization, who regularly posts here, who was declared a so-called suppressive person and separated from his family for simply posting to the Internet.

 

all.clear
all.clear

To my daughter. You are too down tone. Sorry I committed to bringing you into the world and to being your parent. Your questions about zenu are ruining my gains. My auditor says I need to handle this so I won't be able to see you again. Ever. Good luck with the rest of your life. Your mother, OTVII

RU4Real
RU4Real

 @britinokinawa And out of the harmful way of anyone with a contrary view, deeper into the cult they go.

 

Could it just be that the session just didn't actually provide Peter PC with anything useful by way of dealing with reality ? No, let's simply dispense with that nasty interfering reality altogether.

 

When do we actually expect those low on the tone scale to be "disposed of quietly and without remorse". I missed that bit, when I was reading the Source.

 

Oh, and someone needs to work on the name of that new building of yours. Super Powers Building; just crying out for the acronym SP Building. Probably how the cabbies know it already. With all those "super powers" wouldn't a bit of common sense kick in, just once in a while ?

StillKeyedOut
StillKeyedOut

 @britinokinawa 

I enjoyed the objectives, and really liked the Self Analysis co-audit on HQS. I did it at a mission , in the country home of the woman who ran it. There was never an application of ethics unless they were really trying to help you with situations in your life.

When I first started commenting here, I was called a troll for relating some positive sentiment about my experiences in Scientology.

But if I go to Marty's blog, you deal with the true believers.

So there's no place to go to have an intelligent discussion of ones experience with this subject.

Did I hit the nail on the head or what?? 

Or, now that I've become acclimated to my new surroundings, thinking you're a troll could come down to being a lie I'm now likely to believe.

 

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @britinokinawa I have done what Scientolgists call the upper indoctrination Training Routines (TRs). The idea of these training routines is to learn to control another person, someone who may even be a little recalcitrant.

 

One of these drills involves controlling an ashtray, the drill involves giving commands to the ashtray such as:

 

"Stand Up!"

"Sit down in that chair!"

 

You then physically manipulate the ashtray, you move it up and down, and say, "Thank You," each time after you have moved the ashtray. 

 

The goal is to learn to give a command that you have no doubt will be carried out. It is about learning to speak with authority, and exercising control.  I've noticed that at times people will yell, specifically often soft spoken people told to yell in order to get the hang of speaking with authority.

 

Now from the prospective of an average person, yelling at an ashtray seems a bit odd and it is easy to make fun of, especially the part about saying "Thank you" after moving the ashtray yourself. I believe such jokes are understandable to both Scientologists and ex-scientologists.

 

Did I feel on top of the world after I did this drill? No. Am I able to speak with more authority and to control people with commands as a result of doing these? Perhaps, it is my opinion that at times, I can be more assertive than I would have been before being involved with Scientology.

 

In my regularly day, I do not order people about.  I don't know how this drill would compare to drills that police use in crowd control, or other assertiveness drills.

 

I do know that I was specifically trained to manipulate someone receiving Scientology auditing (a pre-clear) in a procedure that  I now consider part of teaching a Scientologist to accept control.

 

I also know that the high pressure sales people at my local organization would get excited when someone was doing training routines, or receiving objective processing**.  This to them was a cue that it was time to sell more.

 

**objective processing is something I described a bit an early post. It involves being lead around around a room by someone who has practised upper indoctrination TRs. One example is what can be called "book and bottle" which has commands like:

 

Look at that book. (pointing)

Now walk over to that book.

Pick up that book.

(and so forth)

 

Each time you say "thank you," and you give commands with authority.

 

"Book and bottle" is also called "opening procedure by duplication." This is mostly from my memory so please fee free to correct anything.

 

 

RU4Real
RU4Real

And I quote, "You try to make it look stupid.............."

 

No need really, is there. It's right here.

 

Don't you get it ? Scientology is not that you are doing these things, that's just the flim flam bit. Scientology is the sinister process by which other people make you do these things. and take your money for doing it.

 

But you're on the Net, so help is at hand. Information will set you free.

LearnFromThePast
LearnFromThePast

 @britinokinawa The date of the second quote was 1966, not 1996 as I typed.

 

So, written only 21 years after the last episode concluded.

torymagoo44
torymagoo44

 @PoisonIvy AMEN! Thank the Net and ALLL the ex-Scios, Critics, Anonymous, as well as media (esp Tony O and the Village Voice) for that....that is the key non- group of peeps who really cracked the dark ages.  Thank goodness!  As my friend, Warrior, used to always end his posts with: Sunshine disinfects. So very true. Keep spreading the light :)

California
California

 @WhereIsSHE I really know nothing about NY and did the same google that you did.... but I also know that there are offices under one umbrella that are in many different locations...

 

And I have heard NOTHING about the Narconon Drug Rehab facility in NY and began to wonder if the listing was wrong in calling it a rehab facility... this happens when researching Narconon, as you probably know.

 

So my question still stands..... is there really a Narconon Treatment facility there?  Has Tony covered it?

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

 @AussieCase I don't know about this. I've never been in the SO. To be honest, it's too big a commitment for me. I admire those who have the confront for it. As for those who wish to leave, there are ways of working through a Suppressive Order. I know hundreds who have done so and who are now in good standing, getting services at their local orgs and so on.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @RU4Real If Scientology were a "real" religion, that kind of casual  disagreement or debate or criticism would be allowed.  If I'm a Catholic and came back from Confession and said to my boss, "I feel better, finally went to Confession after 3 months," I might get a snide joke about it, or even a virulent anti-Catholic tirade ("The nuns at my Catholic school used corporeal punishment" or "Those damn pedophile priests!").   I might be used to criticism and it might roll right off me.  It might make me feel bad. It might make me feel like I had to defend the church to my boss, or I might feel SO bad, I'd want to go online and google what the guy was talking about.  Depending on my depth and strength of faith, what I did next would be up to me.  I could do nothing.  I could write a letter to the editor.  I could start a "parishioners against abusive nuns and priest" group outside my church, but still go to my church.  I could write a letter to the Pope complaining about abusive nuns, or pedophile priests (something my 90 year old lifelong Catholic Dad did for 20 plus years until his death). I could stop going to confession but still to Mass.  I could stop going to Mass but still go to church socials. I could talk about it with my priest, who might or might not be supportive. (If he wasn't, I could always find another parish more on my wavelength, something else my father did.) I could leave the church altogether, disillusioned.   I could join another religion.  But I wouldn't be harrassed or separated from my other Catholic family members for doing so (I could even convert to Judaism and still get a Catholic priest to give me last rites on my deathbed if I changed my mind at zero hour.) I wouldn't be stalked by the Vatican. I wouldn't be forced to share my internet activities with my preist. My priest wouldn't be allowed to publicize the details of my confessions.  And I wouldn't be asked to quit my job.    

Freedom of religion means just that.  Freedom OF religion...and IN religion. 

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @StillKeyedOut Plenty of people here and elsewhere - even those who are now entirely out now and want nothing more to do with it - speak to the good things they got from the early levels of Scientology.  That's a subjective experience, but the overall evidence seems to lean toward many people getting real relief in the very very beginning  - the "cheese in the mousetrap," as others have called it.  Nobody is a troll for saying good things about it.  But spreading party-line propoganda, in a broken-record manner, from a place of ignorance is another thing.

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

 @StillKeyedOut The objectives were good for me too and Self Analysis is a totally amazing book. Anyone could get a copy - ebay, Amazon - for pennies and twin up with someone and work their way through it. A book full of really, really interesting questions, things to look at and think about. You find out so much about yourself that way.

 

I'm not a troll, by the way. I'm not an anything. I've been studying Scientology in orgs and at home for longer than I care to think. I think, as I may have mentioned before, that Hubbard is the most significant genius in the 20th century. I came across this site and saw a collection of some of the most amazing crap, lies, inventions, natter, cut up quotes out of context, and blatant imagination. Dark, gloomy, and depressing.

 

I thought it needed a bit of light.

 

I'm not going to post on here forever. I'll probably get bored with it in a while. In the meantime ...

MrsLibnish
MrsLibnish

 @AussieCase  @britinokinawa

 No one cares about this crap.  The article is about the ineptness of Narcanon and the fact that they aren't professionally trained to handle drug addiction which has resulted in numerous deaths.

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

 @RU4Real Seems like you didn't read beyond the word "stupid."

 

I get that, by taking things out of context and presenting random information in with stuff manufactured out of whole cloth, you can paint an entirely false picture.

 

This is being done here.

 

You are right that information will set me free. It already has and it continues to do so. That's what I love about Scientology.

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @britinokinawa Well, in all fairness, a post on Narconon deaths IS a gloomy subject. There is really no way to not make that one gloomy. Nobody here is going to be saying "Hooray for death!" We are anti-death on Tony O.'s blog.    

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

  If Hubbard was a genius, why did he say that smoking is good for you?  Or that radiation cannot penetrate the human body?

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

  The dog was smarter.

Stereolab
Stereolab

 @TheProprietor

 Entertaining in the way a circus clown, who you sorta find pathetic, is.  At best.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @britinokinawa "Barefaced Messiah," "A Piece of Blue Sky," "Messiah or Madman?" and Janet Reitman's book are all recommended reading to learn more about the Greatest Genius of the 20th Century (whose dog ate all his research and proof)

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

 @SvenBoogie Brother Sven, THERE IS TOO MUCH MISINFORMATION on this page. I can't be bothered to go through it all. But, dearest comrade, rest assured. When I see one, I will point it out.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @britinokinawa It's a crime that these people died.  The greatest crime is, addictions to drugs and alcohol will, with time, eventually kill you or drive you mad.  That is why people want to go to rehab to get help.  They want to live.  The fact that they have been killed and/or driven mad by the place they've gone to get well makes the whole situation doubly tragic. 

Sanddancer
Sanddancer

 @britinokinawa We're not pleased anyone died. We're pissed off. Why is it that this program that deals with people who are in such dire straits has but one on-staff doctor, who is based in a town that is an hour and a half drive away? Furthermore, why is it that the only doctor they could find to staff their treatment program an Osteopath? Furthermore, what kind of irresponsibility leads to an utter dearth of RNs, APRNs and other licensed medical professionals on-site to deal with these sorts of problems? You said yourself that people going in for treatment tend to not be in the best shape, yet there's no one there to help them when the inevitable does happen. Narconon, plain and simple, is irresponsible and unethical, just like the rest of Hubbard's teachings.

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

 @AussieCase Misinformation or not I do not know. I haven't met the people concerned and all I can offer is opinion. You are, of course, free to accept or reject any or all of it.

 

Drug addicts are people who have spent years abusing and punishing their minds and bodies. They are usually in terrible state physically - malnutrition - drug residuals, no exercise whatsoever, and, of course, mentally. They are therefore extremely difficult to work with.

 

The society, through music and movies, and so on pushes the drugs they are trying to get off in their faces.

 

Narconon staff work really hard. They work extremely long hours. They are spread very thin. 

 

I am sure that none of the deaths were intended to happen. As I'm sure the Narconon staff would have been doing everything they could to get these guys through. 

 

What irks me is Ortega and his flock is that you seem so happy to find that Narconon has some kind of trouble. In fact, to tell the truth, the impression I get from a lot of you is that you are glad these addicts died because it gives you some real shit to sling at Narconon.

 

Now, tell me that's not true!

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @britinokinawa Perhaps it was longish, and I reckon lots of people posting here have done these.

 

This article is primarily about the deaths at Narconon. I take it you do not consider that misinformation for any specific reason?

 

 

britinokinawa
britinokinawa

 @MrsLibnish Can't take the good news, Sister Libnish?

 

Want to see a few more dollar signs in place of capital "S"?

RU4Real
RU4Real

 @britinokinawa Here, you got that second para straight out of then LRH guide to How to Make a Fast Buck. I smell plagiarism.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @RU4Real That's how Tory Magoo made her way out...she got on the internet (with the intention of doing just what Britinokinawa is doing here - knocking down those know-nothing bigots who just hate the church)...some REAL factual information seeped in...and voila!  She's the bright, beautiful sunflower of free speech that we know today!   May Britinokinawa be so lucky.

AndrewRobertson
AndrewRobertson

 @PeggyToo

 

Ah, John Davis, that name brings back memories from the past!  Or perhaps I should use the word 'engrams' given the Scientological religiousness of Tony's message board.

 

This was way back in the late '90's and John was an English teacher in Japan determined to make it the first 'Clear' country. 

 

We coincided on the AOL Scientology forum before I got thrown off for flippant comments not realizing then the deep fervency and implacable devotion of the believers in Mankind's only hope.

 

Also for not being aware then of their complete collective lack of a sense of humour.

 

Mark Ebner, Peaches and the late Eldon Braun were there too, far worse scoundrels than me but they were never thrown off which was grossly unfair.

 

So, has John cleared Japan yet? Or are there still some isolated pockets of resistance?

 

PeggyToo
PeggyToo

 @RU4Real

 Hail Marcabia is a regular poster (under another name, don't know who yet) that likes to play word games with us. Always get a rise out of too, until we figure out it's him.

RU4Real
RU4Real

 @PeggyToo Thanks. I'm new to this game, but I can't believe he / she is for real. 

 

Simply too amusing and obvious in content, but sort of useful in a "you set 'em up and I'll knock 'em down" way.

 

If a real Scion, I do think it's good that he / she is on here. One blinking, faltering step out of the darkness into the light and all that.....

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