Narconon Uses Fraudulent Endorsements

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Statement by Norma S. Tigerman, DrPH, FNP, Concerning Narconon

My name is Norma S. Tigerman. I am a retired Professor of Clinical Nursing in Public Health at the University of Southern California. I am issuing this statement because of my grave concern about the Narconon Drug Prevention & Education Program operating in public schools, and to set the record straight about remarks falsely attributed to me by Narconon.

From 1985-1987 I worked weekends as a Nurse Practitioner at a clinic on Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, California, while employed full time during the week as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at USC. I was also working on my doctorate at UCLA at the time, and needed the money.

My immediate supervisor at the clinic was G. Megan Shields, M.D. I was told that this was a public service clinic, and indeed that was how it was operated. The patients were there to detox from exposures to a variety of environmental hazards, such as mold. There were also patients from Dr. Shields' family practice. I performed physical exams, EKGs, and hearing tests; I gave vaccinations, allergy shots, and pap smears; and I treated STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). We did not treat patients for drug abuse.

I was aware of the saunas used as part of the treatment of clinic patients. These were brief 10-20 minute sessions for relaxation and stress reduction; if patients became dehydrated they received IV fluids. But there were no lengthy sauna sessions for "sweating toxins out of fat cells", as practiced in Narconon. Clinic patients were also given vitamins, including LOW DOSES of niacin. No one talked of Scientology, nor did any of the patients identify themselves as Scientologists. I do not know for sure about the staff. The only dealings I had with Scientology or the Narconon Drug Treatment Program were when I was asked to visit Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma and check for health hazards or anything that would keep them from getting accreditation. They were up to code and had MD backup.

I left the clinic in 1987. In 1988 the LA Times published an article crticial of the clinic because of its association with Scientology. The article included a picture of a door with my nameplate on it. I called both the newspaper and the clinic and requested that my name be removed from the article and not used in any future articles, since I was no longer associated with the facility. I'd had no idea about the Scientology connection.

In mid-2004 I was contacted by and asked about an endorsement I had supposedly written for Narconon's drug treatment program. I was stunned! I would never endorse Narconon, because I feel strongly that the Narconon Drug Treatment Program is a medically dangerous and ineffective treatment -- a con game. There is no peer-reviewed data from any reputable journal stating that the program is effective, or even safe. In fact, there is no acceptable accreditation for Narconon, and no third-party insurance company will reimburse patients for this treatment. I do not wish my name to be associated with Narconon in any way. Nor do I think Narconon staff should be allowed to lecture to public school students.

The quotation that Narconon is attributing to me comes from a letter I wrote in 1985 praising the Los Angeles clinic, not Narconon. Their altered version, which appears on a dozen Narconon web pages, reads:

"The Narconon program is noteworthy for its ability to teach clients new behaviors, relearning of social skills and how to seek alternative solutions to everyday stresses of life... The greatest asset to the program was the staff. They were extremely dedicated and enthusiastic. It couldn't help but rub off on the clients and any new staff..."
Narconon's falsely associating me with their scam has harmed my professional reputation and injured my good name. I demand that my name be removed immediately from these web pages, as I want nothing to do with Narconon or Scientology. I'm 74 years old and don't have time for science fiction.

Dr. Norma S. Tigerman
Oakland, CA
June 25, 2004

Appendix: web sites containing Narconon's falsified quote:

Last modified: Sun Jul 25 22:31:45 EDT 2004