The Church of Scientology has been offering alcohol-dependent Aborigines a drug bomb therapy, which it has been told could kill people with kidney problems.
The Scientologists this week responded to a warning by the Northern Territory Health Department and stopped distributing literature which promotes a dangerous drug detoxification therapy.
The group has been moving through remote Australia on an indigenous recruitment drive.
Volunteer Scientology minister Kevin Chapman has with others been operating from a tent in a public park in the middle of Tennant Creek, handing out a pamphlet called Answers To Drugs.
The church has taken out full-page local newspaper advertisements which use the Aboriginal flag and have photos of Aboriginal people – who appear to be sitting in the Todd River near Alice Springs – holding up Scientology brochures.
The church claims its detoxification program developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard uses “exact technology” and is the only successful drug and alcohol dependency treatment in the world.
But the clinical nurse manager at the Tennant Creek Hospital this week advised the NT Government that the detoxification regime was dangerous and “potentially fatal” to renal patients. Renal disease is common among Aborigines in the NT.
NT Health Minister Kon Vatskalis said the Scientology brochures were ” utterly irresponsible”.