St Jude and St Paul’s Primary School, in Newington Green, arranged for Narconon to come in to teach year six pupils. Narconon offers drug and rehabilitation services based on the writings of L Ron Hubbard, the man who inspired Scientology, the church followed by Tom Cruise. But critics claim Narconon’s rehab centres are used to help recruit people to the movement. This is denied by Narconon.
Amanda Steele, 30, found one of the group’s pamphlets in her son Vincent’s schoolbag. She said:
“I couldn’t believe the school would get people like this in. All the parents I have spoken to are horrified — they want to know how this was allowed to happen. It’s a faith school, so why not get someone from the Church to do this? “These aren’t the sort of people I want to come in to teach my kids about drugs. In fact I don’t want them to come anywhere near them.”
Narconon is a residential program aimed at substance abusers, headquartered in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It operates through several dozen treatment centers worldwide, chiefly in the United States and Western Europe. Each Narconon center is independently owned and operated under a license from ABLE International, a Scientology-related entity. The program has garnered considerable controversy as a result of its association with Scientology and its drug-addiction-treatment methods.
The hypothesis underlying the program is that drugs and their metabolites are stored in the body’s fatty tissues, causing the addict’s cravings when partially released later on, and can be flushed out through a regimen comprising elements such as exercise, sauna and intake of high doses of vitamins. This hypothesis does not enjoy mainstream acceptance, and mainstream researchers and practitioners tend to discount Narconon due to its connection with Scientology.
To this day there exist no independent and recognized studies that can confirm the efficacy of the Narconon program.