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.





Former member shot and killed outside Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre

26 11 2008

Cross posted at Counterknowledge.com

On Sunday, November 23 in Los Angeles, California, a former Scientologist wielding two samurai swords was shot dead by a security guard as he approached the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre. Police initially detained the security guard for questioning, but later released him after watching a surveillance tape that backed up the guard’s version of events. LAPD detective Wendi Brendt is quoted in the L.A. Times as saying the man had a previous relationship with the Church of Scientology, but it was unclear to what degree.

In the hours after his death, journalists and members of the internet collective known as “Anonymous” scoured the internet for details about the man, identified as Mario Majorski, of Florence, Oregon. According to this AP newstory featured on a local Oregon news channel website, Majorski was not of entirely sound mind. In October, he had been arrested for threatening an auto club member. He also threatened the police. He had a prior arrest for unlawful possession of a weapon, and, in 2006, a medical facility that was taking care of Majorski’s mother sought a restraining order against him.

In 1993, while he was a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Church of Scientology used Majorski as a plaintiff to sue psychiatrist Dr. Louis J. West. The lawsuit claimed that West interfered with Majorski’s Scientology practises, but it was dismissed for lack of evidence.

Mario Majorski may already have been unstable when he got into Scientology, but did Scientology make his mental illness more manageable, or did Scientology make it worse?

This is not the first time the “Church” has aggravated mental illness in its adherents: in 2003, Scientologist Elli Perkins was stabbed 77 times by her schizophrenic son Jeremy. Jeremy’s schizophrenia could have been controlled with medication, but following advice from the “Church”, Jeremy did not get the treatment he needed. While the security guard did what he was trained to do to protect the safety of his client, the Church of Scientology is surely – at least in part – responsible for Majorski’s breakdown and tragic death.

UPDATE: In the LA Times piece I linked above, Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis lied about Mario Majorski’s involvement with the Church of Scientology. Further research has shown that Majorski may have been active as recently as 2004. His name is shown among a list of people slated to start an important Scientology course. I have produced the scans of that magazine HERE and HERE