Scientology’s anti-drug campaign under fire in New Zealand

ReligionNewsBlog.com — An anti-drug group run by the Church of Scientology will be investigated to ensure money granted to it by the government was not misspent.

Kirsty Johnston reports in Fairfax NZ News

Revelations that the drug-free ambassadors were given taxpayer cash to publish drug awareness pamphlets based on Scientology teachings, have also sparked a review by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The group, and its sister organisation Drug Free Aotearoa, received around $10,000 from various Community Organisation Grants Schemes committees during 2011.

Drug education experts say the information in the pamphlets funded by the grants is not based on science, and should not be given government money or disseminated by schools.

Scientology teachings are widely regarded as controversial. Founder L Ron Hubbard did not believe in psychiatric drugs or psychiatry.

However, the Church of Scientology said the ambassadors’ programme gave out good information about the dangers of illicit drugs.


Despite the church’s stance, the Department of Internal Affairs, which oversees the grants scheme, is to review its procedures so local committees have adequate information when making decisions.

Among other things the Church of Scientology is known for medical views that can at best be described as quackery.

In addition the cult wages an ongoing hate campaign against psychiatry and psychiatrists through its ironically-named front group, ‘Citizens Commission on Human Rights.’


The religious cult tends to use popular causes as recruitment opportunities. It’s anti-drugs efforts include those of Narconon, another front group.

Through front groups like Narconon and Drug-Free Ambassadors Scientology has infiltrated schools and targeted children.

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

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This post was last updated: Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM, Central European Time (CET)