What is the Narconon programme?
3. The New Life Detoxification Program

Last updated
12 December 2002
Contents > What is the Narconon programme? > 3. The New Life Detoxification Program


This is the part of the program where drug residues and other toxic substances are removed from the body. These residues are locked in the fatty tissues of the body and can be released into the blood stream years after the individual stops taking drugs. These residues can cause the cravings for drugs and are one of the main reasons that an individual returns to taking drugs. The Narconon program removes these residues through an exact regimen of exercise, sauna and nutritional supplements.
[Pamphlet issued by Narconon Chilocco, Oklahoma c. 1992.]

The New Life Detoxification Program is by far the most controversial part of Narconon's therapy. It is also one of the most recently developed elements, having been devised by L. Ron Hubbard in 1978. It has attracted particular criticism for two main reasons:

Narconon also produces a "picture book" - essentially a cartoon book showing the supposed advantages of the programme, and its various stages - which is virtually identical to a similar Scientology book and makes some very contentious claims. See "The New Life Detoxification Program Picture Book" for a detailed examination of this publication and the claims that it makes.

Narconon itself acknowledges that the New Life Detoxification Program is a physically demanding therapy which is not suitable for everybody - it advises those with kidney or heart problems or anaemia not to undergo the full programme. It involves the use of saunas (at temperatures of 140-180°F, or 60-82°C for periods of up to five hours at a time), exercise (usually running) and ingestion of so-called "drug bombs" of massive doses of vitamins, minerals and vegetable oils.

Each of the components of this stage (saunas, exercise and dietary supplements) is related to L. Ron Hubbard's theory that drugs are stored in body fat. An article by a group of Narconon's medical advisers describes their linked purposes: ["Human Detoxification - An Overview" - <http://www.detoxacademy.org/pdfs/overview_panel.pdf>]

In fact, this stage of the Narconon programme suffers particularly badly from Hubbard's haphazard and error-strewn approach to medical science. Despite the endorsements by a number of Scientologist doctors and assorted "experts", many of the principles upon which the New Life Detoxification Program are medically unproven and some are even physically impossible. The issues raised by this part of the programme are discussed at greater length in "Hubbard's Junk Science".


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