Roy and Pat Mitchell’s 42 year-old son Douglas has been addicted to drugs for half his adult life. When Pat saw an ad for a drug rehabilitation charity called Narconon, she gave them a call. Not much happened for two years until she got a call from a Narconon representative, Neil Brindley. Neil said Narconon could cure Douglas, but it would cost ?6,000.
The family couldn’t raise that much money so Neil agreed to accept ?3,500, promising a refund if Douglas didn’t go through with the treatment. Douglas didn’t follow the treatment, in fact he couldn’t face coming off drugs. Despite making several phone calls and writing letters, the Mitchells didn’t get their money back.
Narconon’s techniques involve high doses of vitamins and saunas as part of a residential drug rehabilitation programme. It comes from the US and is based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, better known as the founder of the Church of Scientology.
The Church of Scientology claims to provide the path to a higher state of spiritual awareness and freedom. To achieve this its members pay for a series of courses.
Scientology is spreading, its image softened by the endorsement of Hollywood stars. Narconon is also expanding, opening new British treatment centres and taking its anti-drug message into schools. In the US, these school visits have met with controversy and the California Department of Education has warned that Narconon lectures are unscientific and misleading.
Narconon state that Neil Brindley made referrals to them of applicant students as a freelance consultant and they terminated their relationship with him in June this year. They say they regret not knowing about the situation earlier and have given the Mitchell family a full refund.
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