Narconon

From Academic Kids

Scientology's Narconon purports to deliver a rehabilitation program for drug abusers in several dozen treatment centers worldwide, chiefly in the United States and western Europe. Although it is often confused with Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which is sometimes inaccurately abbreviated as "Narcanon", Narconon is not a twelve-step program and has no relationship with NA. (See http://www.narcanon.net/ for Narcotics Anonymous information.)

The organization was originally created in 1966 with L. Ron Hubbard by William Benitez, at the time an inmate at Arizona State Prison serving time for narcotics offenses. In the early days, it was very closely linked with Scientology—the name Narconon actually referred to a set of Scientology courses delivered to drug abusers, and Scientology executives were directly involved in the management of the organization. Today, it still has relations with Scientology. Narconon's lecturers and top administrators readily acknowledge that they are Scientologists.

Narconon today delivers a "New Life Program," employing variants of several Scientology courses. The program consists of two principal stages: "detoxification" and "rehabilitation." The detoxification regimen is an adaptation of Hubbard's Purification Rundown (known as the "New Life Detoxification Program" in Narconon) a demanding regimen requiring large doses of niacin and other vitamins; exercise; and lengthy sessions in a sauna. The remainder of the Narconon course utilizes "training routines" originally devised by L. Ron Hubbard to teach communications skills to Scientologists. In the Narconon variant, these courses are designed to "rehabilitate" drug abusers.

Since its establishment, Narconon has faced considerable controversy. The main issues of controversy have been the safety and effectiveness of its rehabilitation methods, and the organization's links to the Church of Scientology. The medical profession has been sharply critical of Narconon's methods, which rely on theories of drug metabolism that are not widely supported. Particular criticism has been directed at the therapy's use of vitamins and sauna sessions in quantities several times greater than medically recommended. Although Narconon claims a success rate of over 70%, no verifiable evidence for this appears to have been published by the organization, and independent researchers have found considerably lower rates—as low as 6.6% in the case of a Swedish research study.

Narconon downplays its connection to Scientology, insisting that it is entirely "non-religious" in nature, and Scientology is never mentioned in its publications. There is little hard evidence that Narconon sets out to recruit for Scientology—a claim both Narconon and Scientology vehemently deny. However, Narconon's courses are firmly rooted in Scientology religious doctrines, from which they are adapted, and Narconon is directly subordinate to a Church of Scientology organization, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE). Another member of ABLE is Criminon, focused on prisoner rehabilitation.

Contents

Recent history

A series of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper on June 9 and 10, 2004 resulted in California school officials investigating Narconon's claims, and questioning its access to the state's public school system. As a result of the investigation, on February 23, 2005, the state's superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, officially recommended all schools in the state reject the Narconon program after the evaluation found it taught inaccurate and unscientific information. [1] (http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/narconon/narconon25.html) (The San Francisco Chronicle, February 23, 2005)

External links

Information from Narconon and Scientology

Information from neutral sources

Information from persons critical of Narconon and Scientology

ja:ナルコノン sv:Narconon

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