Drug Center Proposal Criticized
September 1, 1989
Narconon's "purification" program to be used at a proposed drug treatment center near Newkirk has been called illogical and a disguised program to recruit members for the Church of Scientology, two Oklahoma health professionals say.
Bruce A. Roe, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma, said the program is "pure unadulterated copies" filled with "some scientific truth, but mainly (it) is illogical."
Dr. C. Mark Palmer, a Ponca City doctor specializing in internal medicine, said Narconon's program is filled with "so many false generalizations, internal inconsistencies, outright lies and potentially dangerous treatments, I think it is without question that Narconon will be a detriment to the Newkirk area, Kay County and the state of Oklahoma as a whole."
Palmer also said the Narconon program is "nothing more than a poorly disguised program for obtaining recruits into the Church of Scientology to begin their processing, programming, brain-washing."
Roe and Palmer made their comments after reviewing Narconon's purification program at the request of Bob Lobsinger, publisher of a local newspaper which is editorially opposed to the Narconon facility being developed at the old Chilocco Indian school north of here.
The letters were made available Thursday to The Oklahoman by Rep. Jim Reese, R-Deer Creek, who has announced his opposition.
Narconon, since receiving a state certificate of need in January, met with stiff opposition after Lobsinger's newspaper published articles that linked Narconon to the Church of Scientology.
While Narconon officials have denied the two are connected, documents show that Narconon is owned by the Association for Better Living and Education, a Scientology organization.
Narconon officials plan to open the 75-bed facility this fall, but it first must be licensed and certified by the state.
Narconon's purification program, developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, consists of running and sauna treatments. Hubbard claims sweating increases the rate at which drugs leave the body.
But Palmer said in his letter the claim is untrue for many drugs.
"No matter how much a patient were made to sweat, it could not significantly increase his clearing of most drugs," Palmer said.
Palmer particularly questioned the procedure of running in a vinyl sweatsuit and then sitting in a sauna at 140 to 180 degrees for four to five hours a day. The program seems medically unsafe and could cause dehydration and possible heat injury, he said.