Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I found an interesting article about the Narconon center that opened last year in Clearwater.

At Tampa Bay's newest alternative to mainstream drug treatment, the license issued by the state hangs next to commendations from the Church of Scientology.

Narconon, a controversial drug treatment program based on techniques developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, has opened its first Florida facility in Clearwater in a commercial park off U.S. 19.

Past the meticulously clean lobby are classrooms where recovering addicts take a series of life improvement courses incorporating the same concepts and principles one encounters in introductory Scientology courses at a church mission.

Farther back are treadmills, stationary bikes and two saunas. This is where clients work through a detoxification program mirroring a Scientology ritual called the purification rundown. It purports to remove from fatty tissues toxic substances and drug residues, which can cause cravings for more drugs, according to Narconon literature.

The facility's client list, its director said, is mostly mid- to upper-level executives - doctors, lawyers and business professionals - who are recreational drug users. The staff of five includes a certified addictions specialist and a registered nurse.

Critics contend that Narconon - a program now 37 years old with 11 treatment facilities nationally - is a recruitment tool for Scientology. Narconon International president Clark Carr calls the charge "baloney," but concedes 10 to 15 percent who complete the program become Scientologists.

The director of the new Clearwater Narconon, Cheryl Alderman, a Clearwater resident and a longtime Scientologist, sank $100,000 of her own money into the venture and opened it quietly 10 months ago....

The rest of the article can be found here:

Detox center seeks acceptance - St. Petersburg Times

Other Scientology Sites

Church of Scientology Advanced Organization & Saint Hill in Copenhagen (AOSHEU or AOSH EU), Denmark

Scientology Churches from Around the World: AOSH UK, AOSH EU, AOSH ANZO and the Advanced Organization and Saint Hill in Los Angeles

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