Quackery Archive

You'll find articles about this subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Scientology front group Narconon targets kids in Oklahoma

Parents in Asher, Oklahoma are concerned about the fact that a controversial Scientology front group made a presentation — and handed out literature — at a local school.

One parent who contacted local TV station KWTV said her kindergartner was given a coloring book that turned out to have been published by Narconon.

According to the station

Terry Grissom, the superintendent for Asher schools says they were not aware of Narconon’s ties to the Church of Scientology until parents contacted them. Grissom says they chose the group’s drug free presentation because they were free. Others typically charge.

A Narconon spokesperson says they have been doing drug education in Oklahoma for 22 years and reached half a million kids. Since October of 2012 Narconon says it has delivered 144 presentations to thousands of students in schools across the state.

Grissom says Narconon probably won’t be allowed back into the school.

The station, which has been investigating Narconon for several months, says it has been contacted by concerned parents from across Oklahoma.

Junk Science

Narconon bills itself as an organization that provides drug rehabilitation and drug education. However, its treatment is based on the ludicrous medical claims of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

A science fiction writer, Hubbard has been exposed as a fantasist. He built Scientology on what amounts to junk science. In our opinion it follows that any kind of treatment based on his teachings amounts to nothing short of quackery.

The Narconon location that made a presentation at the Asher school is Narconon Arrowhead — where three patients died since October, 2011.

Last week Gary Smith, the chief executive officer of Narconon Arrowhead, and several of the center’s employees had their drug counseling certifications revoked.

In the state of Georgia Narconon also faces license revocation.

In April 2011 health officials in Quebec, Canada ordered the Narconon rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Trois Rivières to evacuate and relocate its 32 residents, citing concerns over procedures that “may represent a risk to health” and a lack of doctors on staff.

In 2005 State Superintendent Jack O’Connell urged all California schools to drop the Narconon antidrug education program after a state evaluation concluded that the group’s curriculum offers inaccurate and unscientific information.

Scientology front groups

The Scientology cult uses a number of front groups that latch on to popular causes. Critics say they do so in an attempt to gain legitimacy, introduce Hubbard’s teachings, and market Scientology.

The cult is particularly interested in reaching school children:

Scientology worms its way into schools
Scientology lessons in Australian schools
Revealed: how Scientologists infiltrated Britain’s schools
Scientology reaches into schools through Narconon
Scientology and the schools
The Narconon-Scientology Connection
Research resources on Narconon

Scientology Front Group Executive Loses Counseling Certification

Gary Smith, the chief executive officer of Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, and several of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center’s employees have had their drug counseling certifications revoked.

Karla Taylor, President of the National Association of Forensic Counselors, can not say why the licenses have been revoked.

But Gary Richardson, an attorney for families whose loves ones died at Narconon Arrowhead, says he is not surprised that the licenses have been revoked.

He tells Oklahoma’s KOTV

“They say 76 percent success rate, when there is no way, and when they get into the way they calculate that, then you get to see how ridiculous that is.” […]

“It was joke to even think they had counselors to begin with. So when I started seeing that their certifications had been pulled, it wasn’t a surprise at all.”

The station also says

While the association won’t give details, Richardson says he was told Smith did not report the three deaths. He lied about education and background information for some employees and he says there were not nearly as many staff members as Smith claimed.

We’re not surprised, either. Narconon is a Scientology front group — and uses the ludicrous medical claims of that cult’s founder, fantasist L. Ron Hubbard, as the basis for its approach. We consider that to be nothing short quackery.

The parents of Hillary Holten, a 21-year-old Texas woman who died last spring after spending two days at the facility, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Holten is one of three Narconon Arrowhead patients to die since October, 2011. Family members of the other victims have filed lawsuits as well.

The Oklahamo location of Narrowhead is not the only one to come under scrutiny by authorities.

In April 2011 health officials in Quebec, Canada ordered the Narconon rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Trois Rivières to evacuate and relocate its 32 residents, citing concerns over procedures that “may represent a risk to health” and a lack of doctors on staff.

That center has now also had its charitable status revoked.

A press release written by former Narconon patient and employee David Edgar Love cites documents saying

“Narconon is operated as a commercial business venture, with huge sums ending up in Scientology bank accounts. These files confirm to the Charities Commission that Narconon does NOT benefit the community in a way the law regards as charitable. Quite notably, this organization causes far more harm than good as will be evident to the Commission when applying the “Public Benefit Test” as prescribed under the Income Tax Act.”

Meanwhile, The Georgia state Department of Community Health has notified Narconon of Georgia it intends to revoke the clinic’s license for misrepresenting itself as a residential drug treatment facility.

How various religious groups view same-sex marriage

Later this month the U.S. Supreme Court will tackle the constitutionality of the state of California’s ban on gay marriage, as well as deal with the constitutionality of the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Reason for the Public Religion Research Institute to create a graphic which shows where various religious groups fall on the issue of same-sex marriage.


Bruderhof doctor cleared of misconduct

A medicial tribunal in Australia has cleared the resident doctor of a Bruderhof community of misconduct.

The tribunal was held to determine why Chris Maendel failed to transport his mother to a hospital after she collapsed during a visit.

As the Sydney Morning Herald says

Instead, he placed faith over medicine and supervised her decline on the Bruderhof compound where, “surrounded by the love of Jesus”, she died six days later.

Maendel then failed to report her death, and also did not notify authorities of her burial on the restrictive sect’s land.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald

Judge Michael Elkaim ruled that, while two lesser penalties of unsatisfactory professional conduct had been established, Dr Maendel should not be found guilty of the professional misconduct complaint that could have led to him being deregistered.

The ruling has divided the family, with two sons taking opposing views as to whether Maendel acted appropriately.

Dr Maendel admitted he was guilty of unsatisfactory conduct when he failed to take “any steps” to seek appropriate care, the paper notes.

UK: 632 anti-Muslim hate incidents recorded

Faith Matters, an interfaith organisation in the UK, says its ‘Tell Mama‘ project has received information about 632 anti-Muslim hate incidents. ‘Mama’ — which stands for ‘Measuring Anti Muslim Attacks’ — also keeps track of attacks by Muslims against other Muslims.

The organisation says three-quarters of the incidents reported took place online, with Twitter particularly highlighted as a source of abuse.

The BBC says

The Tell Mama project wants to carry the same weight as the Community Safety Trust (CST), which has for almost 30 years been recording incidents of anti-Semitism in the UK.

The CST published its annual statistics in February and recorded 640 anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2012, compared to 608 incidents in 2011.

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