Media Articles - 1990s
8 January 2003
Scientology Chief Blames Conspiracy for
By Wayne Greene, World Capitol Bureau
September 18, 1992
A regimen of vitamins, exercise and saunas really will cure drug addiction,
and cure radiation poisoning, too, the president of the Church of Scientology
International said Thursday.
The Rev. Heber Jentzsch, the head of the church based on the meditations of
a science-fiction writer and accused by some of being a cult, also alleged
that a conspiracy of psychiatrists and drug dealers was responsible for the
troubles that nearly scuttled a Newkirk drug treatment center employing his
After months of legal and bureaucratic battling, the state mental health board
in August exempted the Narconon New Life drug treatment center from state
The state Health Department has yet to license the center, but Deputy Health
Commissioner Brent VanMeter said he expected that final action will be accomplished
soon, allowing the controversial center to operate freely.
Jentzsch, in the state to meet with regional Scientology leaders, said he
was using his visit to try to recast public perceptions of the battle and
his church's beliefs.
"No one got down to why does this program work, and it does work,"
Scientology holds several controversial beliefs that fly in the face of generally
accepted psychological doctrine, including:
- Drug use is addictive because of residual traces of drugs stored in body
fat. Once these residuals are sweated out by exercise and the intense heat
of saunas, the addiction is broken.
- Drugs are not appropriate in the treatment of mental illness or addiction.
This pits Scientology against the anti-depressant Prozac and methadone, an
opiate used to ease addicts off heroin.
- Drug addicts can be cured. Once cured, they can go back to using drugs --
although they aren't likely to be interested -- without falling back into
In originally rejecting Narconon's certification bid, mental health board
members described the Scientology-based treatment at Narconon as dangerous.
Later, cornered by a state law, the board exempted the center from its oversight,
although its members never said they believed Narconon's methods were safe
Jentzsch said they were and alleged that the resistance to the center came
from two sources: illegal drug manufacturers interested in continuing their
trade in northern Oklahoma, and psychologists interested in continuing their
plunder of insurance companies and state funding for ineffective drug treatment
"It's an atrocity that psychiatry gets $57 billion a year in this country,"
he said. "Hasn't anyone noticed that while the spending on psychiatry
has gone up, the problem has increased? It's rigged."
As proof of the power of Narconon's methods, Jentzsch described his own experience
with Scientological purification.
During his purification through saunas and exercise, Jentzsch not only tasted
mixed drinks he had consumed years before, but physically relived his experience
as a 15-year-old, when he was the victim of nuclear poisoning because of atomic
testing near his Utah home, he said.
"I felt that same agony that I did then, like I was dying," Jentzsch
His face blistered from the residual nuclear chemicals being leeched form
his body, but after the purification was over he was completely rejuvenated,
"All of a sudden, I felt a resurgence," he said. "I felt like
I was alive again."
That rejuvenation is the sort of experience Narconon will offer at the Newkirk
center, he said.