Narconon Netherlands, part of the Scientology front group Narconon International, has been placed under enhanced supervision by the Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ)1 — a Dutch government agency — in the belief that the safety of Narconon’s patients is in question.
The injunction was issued after the inspectorate made two unannounced visits to the organization’s ‘Drug Rehabilitation & Drug Education’ center in Zutphen, in response to a number of anonymous reports the service received in 2012.
IGZ’s decision went into effect on May 24th for a period of six months. In a letter to Narconon Netherlands director J. Kluessien, the inspection service says it may extend this period if necessary.
Based in part on observations made during its last visit to Narconon, the inspection says it has doubts about the willingness and ability of the institution to fulfill its agreements with IGZ.
Inspectors visited Narconon on February 28, 2013 and March 14, 2013. A written report covering the visits and agreements made with Narconon officials was delivered to the organization on April 23, 2013.
IGZ then paid Narconon another unannounced visit on May 16, 2013 in order to determine to which extend the organization lived up to the agreements.
During this visit IGZ determined that the Ms. Kluessien had failed to observe the agreements, which, IGZ says, meant that the safety of Narconon’s patients was in question.
On May 17, 2013 IGZ then communicated, in writing, its intention to issue an injunction.
The letter of intent including the orders that:
- Narconon may not accept patients with a current addiction
- Narconon must document that agreements have been made with the doctor regarding assessment of new clients prior to admission
- Narconon must take the responsibility, and must document, that the doctor assesses each new client prior to admission
- Narconon must observe its agreement to withdraw its admission to Wtzi2
Ms. Klussein replied to IGZ’s letter of intent during a meeting on May 21, 2013. IGZ notes:
- The client admitted on May 15, 2013 has a cocaine addiction. He had used cocaine until 4 am on May 15, 2013. You are of the opinion that a cocaine addiction is not accompanied by physical withdrawal symptoms. If a client who only uses cocaine is admitted in the evening, he can visit a doctor the next day.
- You said you understood that the agreements we made only applied to people who could get physical withdrawal symptoms.
- Due to a high work load you had not got around to withdraw the Wtzi admission. You have sent a letter dated May 16, 2013 to CIBG, requesting the withdrawal.3
- You provided written commitment of agreements with the doctor regarding the assessment of new patients prior to their admission.
Following this meeting, IGZ decided not to issue an injunction.
However, its letter to Ms. Klussein says that its findings on May 16, 2013, in conjunction with the agreements we made, as well as “the views you expressed,” compelled IGZ to place Narconon under enhanced supervision.
IGZ says the enhanced supervision is necessary in order to insure that Narconon will observe the agreements. To that end the inspection will continue to perform unannounced visits.
If any risks to the safety of patients is observed within Narconon within or after the six month period of enhanced supervision, IGZ will consider informing Edith Schippers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, or to take other steps in line with the Care Institutions Quality Act.
A press release, along with a copy of the letter, has been made publi on IGZ’s website on June 24. The delay was due to the fact that Ms. Kluessien had objected to publication of the press release and the letter. The material was published anyway in light of the Dutch equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act.4
What is Narconon?
- Narconon is a Scientology front group that claims to treat substance abusers.
- In a landmark article on Scientology, TIME magazine has referred to Narconon as a ‘classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult.’
- Narconon’s approach is based on the writings of Scientology cult founder L. Ron Hubbard. A science fiction author, Hubbard was a fantasist who had no medical background. His medical claims amount to quackery.
- Not surprisingly Narconon’s published material have been referred to as lacking in quality and trustworthiness.
Narconon facilities in various locations are facing critical problems ranging from license revocations to wrongful death lawsuits.
Watch this April, 2013 report from NBC:
- Dutch: Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg ↩
- Wtzi is the Care Institutions Act. Healthcare institutions need to obtain authorization if they want to provide care that, under the Health Insurance Act is eligible for reimbursement. The WTZi law regulates authorizations, lays down rules on good governance and also determines in which cases profits can be paid. IGZ can order an organization to withdraw it Wtzi approval. The result would be that the organization’s services are no longer eligible for reimbursements by health insurance companies. ↩
- CIBG is an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. One of its tasks is assessing whether institutions meet Wtzi standards and requirements. ↩
- Dutch: Wet openbaarheid van bestuur (Wob) ↩