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Media Articles - 2000s

Last updated
3 December 2002
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A Fan Defends Narconon

New Times Los Angeles
March 8, 2001

I read with interest the letter from "Name Withheld" of Ontario, Canada, who presented his views, laced with misinformation, about the Narconon drug rehabilitation program ("Bad Science," Letters, February 1-7). Narconon is an effective program that has been saving lives for 35 years. I know this to be true because I am myself a graduate of the Narconon program who has lived a drug-free and good life ever since program completion.I know how Narconon started and know well about its origins, as I had the good fortune to become a friend of the man who started Narconon. His name was William Benitez, and he had tried for 19 years to find a solution to his substance-abuse problems. While incarcerated in Arizona State Prison in 1966, William read the book Fundamentals of Thought by L. Ron Hubbard and decided that the information in it about thought and communication and how to change one's life provided commonsense tools that would help addicts to help themselves. William got permission from L. Ron Hubbard to use his materials in the Narconon program. I knew William, I saw the book he used, and he told me firsthand what he did. From its founding, the Narconon organization has been a distinct secular entity, religiously unaffiliated, and has been recognized as such by government agencies from the start.

From one man with a book in a small prison cell, the Narconon network has grown to more than 79 centers in 29 countries, and has saved countless lives. Of course, Scientologists along with well-meaning people of all religions support the Narconon program. They do so because it works and for no other reason.

It's not appropriate in a short letter format to get into a technical or scientific debate about the merit of using vitamins and sauna sweating to rid a person's body of drug residues. This is certainly a part of the Narconon program, has been thoroughly studied, and has been shown to get consistently excellent results. I was in Narconon when this phase of the program was first implemented, and I can tell you from having done the program that it is safe and you feel great after it. Ridding the body of drug residues was a missing link in drug rehabilitation and could be and should be incorporated into any drug rehabilitation program. There is ample scientific evidence that this procedure does safely and healthfully rid the body of toxins. What could be wrong with that? It just makes sense.

Patty Schwartz
Los Angeles

[Patty Schwartz is a Scientologist -]