Scientology drug rehab facility to be shut down

30 12 2008

Cross-posted at Counterknowledge.com

A drug rehabilitation facility run by the “Church” of Scientology front group Narconon in Alberquerque, New Mexico, had its lease agreement terminated for violating its terms. Second Chance was only intended to house non-violent criminals from the local county jail. However, the facility housed violent criminals as well – and covered it up. According to police officer Peter Dinelli, 11 inmates of the total population of 46 had committed crimes such as “aggravated battery, robbery, battery, assault on a household member, armed robbery, kidnapping”. Second Chance has 30 days to somehow salvage their lease, or it will be kicked out of its current premises.

Mayor Martin Chavez insists that this eviction notice comes only because of the violation of the terms of the lease, not because of its affiliation with the “Church” of Scientology. Perhaps he and other public officials in Alberquerque, and the state of New Mexico, need more education on the pseudoscience of the “Church” of Scientology’s so-called drug rehabilitation treatment. I touched upon Narconon briefly in a recent article about Scientology front groups. The treatment used in Narconon facilities is called the Purification (or Purif for short) Rundown, which is given to Scientologists who want to get rid of any traces of drugs supposedly still in their system. However, in this internal memo from L. Ron Hubbard in 1982, the Purif Rundown is also intended to be used to “bridge masses of people into Scientology”. Like many patients at Narconon facilities, the inmates at Second Chance are treated to high doses of niacin and long hours in a sauna. Long hours in a sauna can cause dehydration, and high doses of niacin can cause liver damage.

The quackery of this drug detoxification “treatment” is bad enough. What makes it worse is the “Church”’s useful idiots in public office who unwittingly push for Narconon facilities to be built in their communities.

Second Chance was started by two prominent Scientologists named Joy Westrum and Rick Pendery in Tijuana, Mexico. After bringing a New Mexico state legislator named Anna Crook to see the Tijuana facility, they got the support needed to bring Second Chance to Alberquerque. According to this suspiciously positive article about the so-called success rate of Second Chance (authored by Kris Nickerson), recidivism has been reduced by 90 percent thanks to the “wisdom” of L. Ron Hubbard.

As is the case with all Scientology front groups, the only thing accomplished is the recruitment of more fresh blood into Scientology’s ranks. Even military recruiters are more ethical than this. Kim Gawlick, a former patient at a Narconon facility in Vista Bay, California, says Narconon staff members pushed her to join the “Church” of Scientology (see page 5). As a result, she left after one month, fearing for her life. This point is sadly lost in Mayor Chavez’s decision to evict Second Chance: Second Chance has done more than just house violent criminals. It has taken advantage of people at their most vulnerable and given them a new drug, worse than any other: Scientology.