Narconon is very much a fringe therapy as far
as mainstream medicine is concerned, so it is not surprising that it does
not have a very long list of scientific or medical supporters and that many
of those supporters happen to be either Scientologists or employees of Narconon.
There are two distinct groups of supporters in this category; individual
medical and scientific professionals, and medical/scientific
A small number of scientific and medical professionals
have endorsed Narconon:
- James Barnes, Radiation Safety Officer, Rocketdyne
Division, Boeing Company.
Said to be "a health physicist at Rockwell Aerospace".
According to the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education, "he
is a co-investigator for current research examining the use of the Hubbard
program to reduce body levels of radioactive particles." He is also
quoted on the website for L. Ron Hubbard's book Clear Body Clear Mind
as saying that "L. Ron Hubbard's Purification program remains the only
proven and safe method for reducing or eliminating chemical residues and
radiation effects from the body." [Clear
Body Clear Mind - <http://www.clearbodyclearmind.com>]
- Max Ben, M.D.
Former Research Director, Miles Laboratories and Researcher, National Institute
of Health. Co-author of a number of pro-Hubbard detoxification studies.
In the mid-1980s, he was Senior Science Advisor for the Foundation for Advancements
in Science and Education.
- Paul Jaconello, M.D.
Dr. Jaconello, a Toronto physician, is a Scientologist; according to the
Toronto Star, he offers the Purification Rundown to non-Scientologist patients
for $250,000 a time ["Scientology 'purification'
rite used by anti-addiction centres", Toronto Star, 14 June 1986].
This is hardly compatible with an unbiased assessment of the programme.
- Kathleen Kerr, M.D.
Scientologist and colleague of Dr. Paul Jaconello at the Lafayette Medical
Clinic in Toronto, presumably participating in the clinic's delivery of
the Purification Rundown. She is described by the Foundation for Advancements
in Science and Education as "Medical Director of Narconon Toronto".
- Anna C. Law, M.D.
Co-author with Gerald T. Lionelli of an article in the Ambulance Industry
Journal (May/June 1989, Vol. 9 No. 3) supporting Hubbard's methods.
At the time that it was published, she was the Medical Director of the Emergency
Department and the Paramedic Liaison Physician at Queen of Angels Hospital
in Los Angeles.
- Gerald T. Lionelli, MSc.
Senior research associate for the Foundation for Advancements in
Science and Education, a group which has been criticised as a front for
the Church of Scientology. (See the medical/scientific
organisations heading below for more on FASE.)
- Alfonso Paredes, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Member
of Narconon's Science Advisory Board.
- Theron G. Randolph, M.D.
Allergist and co-author with R. Michael Wisner of the book "DETOXIFICATION:
Personal Survival in A Chemical World", which advocates Hubbard's detoxification
methods. Founded the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. Died in
- Juan I. Redondo, M.D.
Believed to live in Spain, but no independent researcher into Narconon appears
to have been able to trace him, or even to confirm that he exists.
- David Root M.D., M.P.H. (Master of Public Health).
Another member of the Narconon Science Advisory Board. He is not
known to be a Scientologist, however.
- Edward C. Senay, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and research director
for the Addiction Research Institute of the State of Illinois. Although
Dr. Senay is still around (as Emeritus Professor at the University), Narconon
does not appear to make much use of his support in its published literature.
- Megan Shields, M.D.
Research Director of Narconon International, and therefore presumably in
receipt of a salary from the organisation. She is also a member of Narconon's
International Science Advisory Board. Dr. Shields is a Scientologist and
is frequently quoted on Church of Scientology websites attesting to her
gains from Scientology.
- Ray Stowers, M.D.
Former medical director of Narconon Chilocco, Oklahoma. He is now the Director
of the Oklahoma Rural Health Policy and Research Center.
- Norma S. Tigerman, M.D.
Dr. Tigerman is a retired Professor of Clinical Nursing in Public Health
at the University of Southern California. Narconon claimed on a dozen websites
that she supports it: "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..." "
She has disowned this statement attributed to her, which was actually made
in reference to a clinic (not a Narconon) using Hubbard's methods in West
Hollywood, CA at which Dr. Tigerman worked weekends in 1985-87. It appears
that Narconon rewrote her statement to refer to itself. She has declared
that "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." Dr. Tigerman has demanded that Narconon delete
its false claim of her support, which the organisation did eventually do
after she threatened legal action. (For more details, see "Narconon's
Fake Endorsement from Norma Tigerman".)
- Joseph Weissman, M.D.
Member of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and Clinical Associate
Professor of Medicine, UCLA. Not known to be a Scientologist but apparently
a supporter of so-called "non-traditional medicine".
Very few medical or scientific organisations
support Narconon, and those that do, like the individuals cited above, often
have ties to Scientology that go unmentioned by the organisation. The general
scantiness of broad support for the Hubbard detoxification programme is well
demonstrated by the 1995 "First International Conference on Chemical
Contamination and Human Detoxification" held under the auspices of the
Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education. [Archives,
International Academy of Detoxification Specialists - <http://www.detoxacademy.org/archives.htm>]
Despite the seemingly generic title of the event, there can be little doubt
that it was sponsored, organised and run by and for supporters of Hubbard's
methods. The report of the proceedings indicates that it consisted primarily
of lectures on the effectiveness of the Hubbard method - literally every speech
published in the proceedings is in that vein [ FASE,
"Proceedings of the First International Conference on Chemical Contamination
and Human Detoxification" - <http://www.fasenet.org/conference_proceedings.pdf>].
If it was intended to be a exercise in mutual backslapping, it undoubtedly
The conference was sponsored by four organisations:
- Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE)
- Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education
- Government Technology
- Association of Human Detoxification Specialists
ABLE is actually part of the Scientology management chain
- it comprises one of the so-called "sectors" of Scientology - and
is Narconon's direct superior in a somewhat murky management chain. Its role
is discussed in more detail in the "Narconon and
FASE was established in 1981 with the explicit purpose to
"research the efficacy of and promote the works of L. Ron Hubbard in
the solving of social problems; and to scientifically research and provide
public information and education concerning the efficacy of other programs",
according to incorporation papers filed with the Attorney General of California,
in Sacramento. The papers were later amended to remove Hubbard's name. Many
of FASE's staff appear to be Scientologists; according to its video producer,
Carl Smith, all of its senior employees are Scientologists; its founder and
his wife, Steven R. Heard and Kathleen Heard, were both members of the Guardian's
Office, which effectively ran Narconon throughout the 1970s; its medical researcher,
Dr. Megan G. Shields, is a Narconon employee and Scientologist who wrote the
introduction to Hubbard's book Clear Body Clear Mind and is one of
the most active boosters of Hubbard's detoxification methods. In keeping with
its original purpose, FASE promotes Hubbard's detoxification regimen, sponsoring
"International Conferences on Chemical Contamination and Human Detoxification"
and claiming that Hubbard's methods "have been established to be both
safe and effective". It is not entirely clear how FASE manages to reconcile
a mission statement of promoting Hubbard's works with objective scientific
assesments of said works.
Government Technology magazine was founded and
is run by Scientologists, and is reportedly a member of the World Institute
of Scientology Enterprises. As its regular business is IT in the public sector,
the reason for its involvement with Hubbard's detoxification methods is not
clear, but presumably it came about through a desire to support an "ideologically
correct" social reform group. At any rate, its involvement is clearly
a minor one.
The Association of Human Detoxification Specialists, which
now calls itself the International Academy of Detoxification Specialists,
is a familiar group of names: a mixture of Scientologist and non-Scientologist
supporters of Hubbard's detoxification therapies. The list of panelists is
also very familiar; again, Scientologists, non-Scientologists and Narconon
staff and supporters. It appears to be a FASE offshoot and was almost certainly
established for similar reasons.