Narconon/Scientology Infiltration of the
San Francisco Unified School District

The Church of Scientology is attempting to infiltrate the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) through the Narconon Drug Education Program put on by one of its key front organizations. (To report new developments by email or fax, scroll down to the bottom of this web page for contact info.)
Why is Narconon Objectionable?
Documenting Narconon's Infiltration Attempts
  1. Fall 2002 Community Based Organizations (CBO) list issued by the SFUSD, showing Narconon of Northern California. The accompanying "suggested speakers list" on the topic of substance abuse shows Narconon recommended for grades 3-12.
  2. Spring 2003 Community Based Organizations (CBO) list issued by the SFUSD, again showing Narconon of Northern California. The disclaimer at the bottom of the page was added after questions were raised about Narconon's inclusion in the 2002 listing.
  3. September 4, 2003: Narconon Drug Prevention and Education letter, sent to teachers in the SFUSD responsible for health education. The reverse side contained this speaker scheduling form. The letter is signed by Sigal Adini, who writes on her web site, "I have been in Scientology for most of my life."
  4. California public school teacher references offered by Narconon Drug Prevention & Education, Inc. in 2003.
  5. November 6, 2003: letter from Tony Bylsma, Executive Director of Narconon Drug Education, Inc., to SFUSD health coordinators, soliciting invitations to speak at their schools. How did he get the names and addresses of these teachers? See below.
  6. November 12, 2003: letter from Sigal Adini (and page 2 ) to Martha Adriasola at the SFUSD School Health Programs Dept. Adini flat out lies about Narconon having no relationship to Scientology, while Scientology happily boasts on one of its own web sites that Narconon arose from and is based on Scientology practices.
  7. Narconon Drug Prevention & Education Program brochure sent to schools in 2003. On page 4 of this document, Narconon falsely claims a positive evaluation from an "independent" study conducted by FASE (Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education.) The truth is that FASE is a Scientology front group, just like Narconon. It was set up to promote the works of L. Ron Hubbard. FASE also endorsed Scientology's bogus "detox" treatment that Tom Cruise has been flacking to New York City firemen.
  8. January 2003 grant application from ABLE, Narconon's parent organization, seeking funding for its literacy programs. This 1993 IRS letter to ABLE, confirming its 501(c)(3) status, was included with the grant application. For more about Scientology's use of literacy programs to infiltrate public education, see

Narconon is Already Operating in the SFUSD
In 2003 Narconon made seven stealth presentations in SFUSD schools:
Abraham Lincoln High School5/8/03(upper grades)
New Traditions School5/14/03
Abraham Lincoln High School5/21/03(lower grades)
Philip & Sala Burton High School7/21/03(special ed. summer session; see NOTE below)
James Denman Middle School10/8/03
Visitacion Valley Middle School10/17/03
Sunnyside Elementary School10/22/03
These presentations took place because the director of the School Health Program (Trish Bascom) and the teachers at these schools did not know that Narconon is Scientology!

NOTE: the federal Office of Civil Rights, in downtown San Francisco, would be pleased to hear from any parents of minority or Special Education students in the San Francisco Unified School District who are concerned about the Narconon Drug Education program that their children were exposed to without their knowledge or permission. Please call 415-556-4246 or 415-556-4275 with your concerns.

Narconon put together a collection of feedback forms from the children , which it's now using to promote itself to other SFUSD schools.

Many of the schools listed above have a high percentage of minority students. Scientology has also been found to be targeting minorities with education related programs in Massachusetts and Harlem.

The SF Unified School District's Complicity
The SF Unified School District has known about Narconon's infiltration efforts since 2002. Why haven't they thrown Narconon out? Ask Kim Coates in the School Health Programs Department, who has been quietly running interference for Narconon. And ask Dr. Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent of SFUSD, why neither she nor the school board have acted.

CBO Fact Sheet issued by the SFUSD in August, 2002, disclaiming any responsibility for the nature or message of organizations included in its CBO listing, as long as the topic is not related to sexuality. If the SFUSD thinks it's not responsible for who it allows to lecture its students and what message they deliver, then who does it think is responsible?

Responsibilities of the SHPD and the CBO. The SHPD (School Health Program Department) takes no responsibility for the materials or message delivered by the CBOs they list. This is unacceptable.

School site responsibilities. The individual schools are supposed to review the content of the presentation with the CBO's speaker coordinator. Why isn't the SHPD vetting these organizations? Why insist that teachers at individual schools discover for themselves, independently, that Narconon is a front for Scientology, when the school board already knows this?
School district policy prohibits giving out names and addresses of teachers to third parties. SFUSD violated its own rules by giving this information to Narconon so it could market its services directly to school health coordinators.
On January 24, 2004, the school district blocked access to this web site, Why did SFUSD want to prevent people from reading this web site? The block was removed on January 27.

Weekly Administrative Directive from January 21, 2004, reminding SFUSD teachers that they are protected under Federal whistleblower regulations from retaliation for reporting violations of state or federal law.

What SFUSD Should Have Done:
  1. Send a letter to every school in the district informing them that Narconon is not an approved community-based organization, and its inclusion in the current CBO listing was an error.
  2. Send a letter to the parents of every child who attended a Narconon presentation in a San Francisco school, telling them that Narconon is not approved for speaking to students in the school district, and that Narconon's ties to Scientology should have been disclosed and parental permission obtained before any presentation was made.
  3. Issue a public statement assuring SFUSD parents that neither Narconon nor any other Scientology-affiliated organization will ever again be given access to their children, unless that organization's ties to Scientology are disclosed in advance and written parental consent has been obtained.
SFUSD Belatedly Investigates:
  1. Letter from Kim Coates on February 20, 2004, complaining about innacuracies in Narconon materials. What she calls "misleading" statements, scientists call "nonsense". Later on she says "not substantiated by any reputable authority", which is a nice way of saying "nonsense".
  2. Letter from Tony Bylsma on May 24, 2004, defending Narconon's nonsense. His response is arrogant and reads like a snow job.
  3. Letter from Kim Coates on June 9, 2004, setting an ultimatum for Narconon to revise its materials by June 24 or it will be deleted from the list of Community Based Organizations sent to San Francisco schools. (Narconon should never have been on this list, and the fact that they're still on it is scandalous.)
  4. Letter from Tony Bylsma on June 12, 2004, complaining that "pressure" is being brought on the school district to scrutinize Narconon.
  5. Curriculum outline sent by Tony Bylsma to Kim Coates in late June, 2004.
Keep Narconon Out of San Francisco's Schools
Joseph Mallia of the Boston Herald exposed Narconon's activities in the Massachusetts schools in his five part series, Scientology Unmasked. Don't let Narconon or Scientology continue to operate in San Francisco's schools! Here is a sample letter you can use. Contact these officials to voice your concern:
  • Dan Kelly, President (as of January 2004) of the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District.
  • State Senator Jackie Speier. Senator Speier has firsthand knowledge of the dangers of cults: she was serving as legal counsel to Congressman Leo J. Ryan in 1978 when she was wounded at the Jim Jones' Peoples Temple massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. Ryan was killed.
  • Tom Ammiano, a member of the SF Board of Supervisors and past president of the SFUSD Board of Education. Supervisor Ammiano helped start the School Health Program which Narconon has now infiltrated.
This web page is maintained by Dr. David S. Touretzky, Research Professor, Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891. Send comments, tips, or documents to:, or phone 412-268-7561, fax 412-268-3608.
Last modified: Mon Jan 26 03:04:20 EST 2004