Thursday 27 June 2013

Dutch put Narconon on Warning

Dutch officials have put Narconon on warning that they are under “enhanced supervision” – and could even face closure – after spot checks raised concerns about patient safety.1

Narconon: put
on warning
Dutch health officials have put Narconon under six months of special monitoring because of concerns about patient safety, warning them they could face closure if they fail to make improvements.

The Heath Care Inspectorate (IGZ) announced its decision in a statement posted on its website Monday, after a series of spot checks on Narconon's operation raised the alarm.

Two unannounced visits early this year by the officers from the Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ) turned up deficiences that a subsequent inspection in May revealed had not been corrected.

So the IGZ has imposed the following restrictions:

  • Six months of supervision, which may be extended;
  • a ban on admitting drug addicts and people with serious psychological and psychiatric problems;
  • all new admissions must first be examined by a doctor (and Narconon has to provide documentation to that effect)

Earlier this week, the Inspectorate posted a copy of a letter it wrote on May 24 to the director of Narconon Netherlands, Joanna Kluessien, in which it set out these restrictions.

The one-month delay in making this decision public was because Narconon had tried to block its publication, as the letter itself makes clear.

The supervision ruling and the restrictions that go with it were made after surprise inspections in February and March of this year, at the Narconon centre in Zutphen, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) northeast of Arnhem.

These inspections had themselves been prompted by anonymous complaints about Narconon which the Inspectorate had received in the previous year.

After its first two inspections, the IGZ drew up a list of changes it wanted made and delivered its report to Narconon in April. The release does not make it clear, but these appear to have involved restrictions on the kind of work Narconon is permitted to do.

The IGZ carried out a third surprise inspection on May 16 to see if Narconon was respecting the terms it had imposed: and concluded that it was not.

As the inspector's letter noted, Narconon tried to defend its position in a response sent on May 21.

Narconon's understanding of the restrictions placed on them in the April report had been that they could not treat patients suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms.

There was a disagreement over a patient admitted on May 15 suffering from a cocaine addiction.

Narconon did not think that someone who had recently been taking the drug qualified as the kind of patient they were not allowed to treat because – according to them – cocaine addiction did not involve physical withdrawal symptoms.

The letter also seems to suggest that Narconon has been ordered to hand in its WTZi certification: its authorisation to function as a care institution offering services covered by Dutch health insurance. Narconon had not been quick enough complying with the agency's instructions, said the IGZ letter.

With its accreditation pulled, it can no longer receive health insurance payments for the services it offers.2

The IGZ said that it was imposing the six-month period of enhanced surveillance in part because of the results of the May 16 inspection, which had revealed Narconon's failure to respect the restrictions imposed earlier.

As the IGZ press release put it, they had doubts about the “willingness and ability” of Narconon to comply with the terms it had set out.

The more intense supervision, again using spot checks rather than preplanned visits, is to ensure that this time, Narconon does as it is told.

But in its letter to Narconon the Inspectorate made it clear that if the situation did not improve in the coming months it would consider recommending its closure to the Health Minister Edith Schippers.

If there are still dangers for the health of your patients during or after the period of six months, than the Inspectorate will consider advising the Minister to issue an instructive measure or another corrective action available under the Health Institutions Quality Act.

In this context, that could very well mean closing Narconon down in the Netherlands.

Dutch Suppressive Guy

One of those who contacted the IGZ to express concern about Narconon's operation in the Netherlands was someone who we'll call Dutch Suppressive Guy.

DSG has posted anonymously on some of the message boards and follows developments closely.

He has put together a Dutch-language website – and the title alone suggests he does not mince his words: Scam of Scientology: een portret van een waardeloze organisatie (portrait of a worthless organisation).

In 2012 and 2013, DSG made six complaints about Narconon to the Dutch regulatory authorities, complete with a substantial amount of supporting material.

He has been good enough to forward them to Infinite Complacency and among the issues he raised, were the following:

  • Narconon's relationship with Scientology

As I have argued elsewhere on this site, Narconon does not just have a relationship to Scientology, it is entirely subordinate to the movement and used both as a source of income and of recruits.3

  • the dangerously large doses of Niacin (AKA Vitamin B3, Nicotinic Acid) used at Narconon “New Life Detoxification Program”

Narconon's detox programme is no more than the secular version of Scientology's Purification Rundown, developed by the movement's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

When Scientology runs the Rundown, they describe it simply as a process of spiritual cleansing; when Narconon runs the Detox however, they say it is a process that has proven therapeutic benefits.

The dangers of taking such massive doses of Niacin were spelled out at the 2009 fraud trial of Scientology in Paris, where several defendants were convicted for the illegal practice of pharmacy.

Olivier Saumon, lawyer for France's Order of Pharmacists, plaintiffs in the case, pointed out in his summing up that the maximum recommended dose of niacin, was 54 mg: yet Hubbard had recommended taking between 100 and 5,000 mg a day during the Rundown.

He noted too that Scientologists interpreted the dangerous side effects described by the court-appointed experts as evidence that the process was working.

“Sometimes the symptoms created – in particular by niacin – are seen as being beneficial rather than considered as being one of the dangerous effects of niacin,” he observed.

Such thinking of course, has its roots in Hubbard's insistence that “the way out is the way through” and that participants should stick with the process no matter how hard it gets.4

  • The closure of a Narconon centre in Canada and the deaths in several US centres

DSG provided information on the closure of Trois-Rivières Narcon in Quebec, Canada after a campaign by former patient-turned-staff-member David Love.

He also informed them of the deaths at Narconon Oklahoma in the United States.

And in a later communication, DSG updated them about the sanctions handed out to Narconon Georgia for their obstruction and deceit as they tried to fend off a wrongful death lawsuit over the death of Patrick Desmond.

As reported by Tony Ortega at The Underground BunkerJudge Stacey Hydrick sanctioned them for “...repeatedly and wilfully obstructed the discovery process both by failures to respond fully to legitimate discovery requests and, even more egregiously, by false responses”.5

DSG's point this time was that this kind of deception was not an isolated case in Scientology.

To illustrate his point he provided them with the killer quote from Hubbard: “THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters.”6

All of which leads us nicely to:

  • Inflated success claims of Narconon's efficacy

DSG pointed out that while Narconon International claimed a success rate of 75 percent, a 2008 Norwegian health ministry study had reached a different conclusion.

It stated:

There is currently no reliable evidence for the effectiveness of Narconon as a primary or secondary drug prevention program. To the extent our extensive database search could determine, no randomized controlled trials about the program have been conducted...7

He also tipped them off to a leaked document from Narconon International's legal affairs officer Claudia Arcabascio, which Tony Ortega revealed earlier this year.

In it Arcabascio wrote that Narconon needed to drop the claim of a 70-percent success rate as “we do not have scientific evidence of it”.

As Ortega put it in his report: “As smoking guns go, this one is high caliber and billowing.”

In fact, Arcabascio got her figures wrong. Narconon is claiming not 70 percent, but a 75-percent success rate – and while it may not be on the front page, it is still posted at their site.

It was at about this point – April 2013 – that DSG suggested they should themselves be checking in at Tony Ortega's The Underground Bunker for regular exposés of Narconon's activities.

By now, as he confessed to Infinite Complacency, an exasperated tone was creeping into his correspondence because he did not think the Inspectorate was taking him seriously.8

What he did not know was that the wheels were already in motion: at the time he wrote his letter, in early April, the ISG had already made two surprise visits to Narconon.

Narconon on probation

From the details provided at the IGZ website, “enhanced supervision” appears to be moving towards the upper range of measures available to the agency. Here is how the IGZ explains it:

Enhanced supervision” is a more stringent corrective measure. The Inspectorate will impose corrective measures if there is a higher-than-average risk of failure to provide responsible care, provided that risk is not so great or immediate as to preclude the health care provider taking appropriate remedial action within a reasonable period.

The agency also says:

The inspectorate will usually impose enhanced supervision if an improvement plan has yielded insufficient results or if there is little confidence that the health care provider will be able to achieve the desired results otherwise.

This certainly appears to be what has happened here.

It is still not clear what aspects of Narconon's operations set off alarm bells at the agency. I have put in two requests for clarification to the Inspectorate but I am still waiting to hear back from them.

The IGZ's letter makes it clear it reserves the right to extend its surveillance and if necessary take the matter to the Dutch Health Minister, Edith Schippers with a view to harsher sanctions.

Narconon is on probation then.

The question is, can they actually clean up their act without abandoning Hubbard's system?
1  This piece is an extended version of the one published on June 26 at Tony Ortega's site The Underground Bunker.
2  But in any case, this would only apply to Dutch clients and some of their intake, perhaps even most of it, comes from abroad.
3  For more on Narconon's role inside the Scientology movement, see both “Narconon: an Introduction” and “Narconon is Casualty Contact” elsewhere on this site.
4  For more on this, with the relevant Hubbard references, see “...for the Pharmacists”, my account of Saumon's closing arguments in the 2009 Paris trial, elsewhere on this site. DSG even provided the inspectors with a link to my review of the original judgment in the case (confirmed on appeal). His point was that inspectors from France's health products watchdog the AFSSAPS had testified as expert witnesses as to the dangers of the Purification Rundown during the Paris trial.
5  See Tony Ortega's write-up at The Underground Bunker: “SHOCKER: Court Punishes Scientology For Acting Like…Scientology”. Of course anyone who has been following developments at The Underground Bunker will know that that is only the tip of the iceberg.
6  From Hubbard's “Technique 88” up at Dutch writer and campaigner Karin Spaink's website. Veterans of the Scientology beat will know that she fought a long, bruising, but ultimately successful legal battle from the mid-90s with Scientology over her summary of the movement's upper levels. My thanks to her for helping me with the Dutch texts cited in this article.
7  A brief summary and evaluation evidence base for Narconon prevention intervention, a 2008 report commissioned by the Norwegian Health Directorate. The quote is from page 16 of the document.
8  An additional complication, says DSG, was that he was not receiving regular updates from them as he had chosen to remain an anonymous complainant.


  1. Way to go DSG! That's how you get it done. And thank, Jonny, as ever, for your great reporting.

  2. Mary_McConnell27 June 2013 at 02:59

    Wow!! Thank you, Jonny and thank you DSG!!

  3. Hi Jonny, many thanks for a great writeup! My approach with the Inspection was mostly slinging the international problems at them. All I had specifically about Narconon Holland were two anonymous internet compliants, one being too old and the second lacking in detail.

    But eventually it worked, and it seems that a few more former patients are now crawling out of the woodwork with actual knowledge of Narconon's dealing in the Netherlands, which appears to include insurance fraud. I don't think we've seen the last on this, so I will for sure be watching this space.

  4. hahaha, jhoe can narconon be guilty of insurance fraud when we receive no isurance money? Also our Wtzi ecognition was not pulled and nbody instructed us to withdraw this. It was suggested we do this and we were very happy to follow up on this suggestion because we are no medical program. We teach people life skills instead of stuffing them with medication. And the creeps crawling out of the woodwork don't een have the balls to come out in the open, now do they? it became clear to us how the Dutch Inspection works. Based on anonymous complaints from pathetic little creeps who hide their faces behind masks they walk in prejudiced, do not even stay for an hour, do not even exchange one word with the two doctors we work with. Some things never change in Holland. Just like one of the mothers said: exactly the same as during the years Holland was occupied by the Nazis. The Dutch authorities respond to anonymous tips from poor pathetic creeps who would have been fantastic collaborators in another era. Go ahead you poor pathetic creeps, carry on from the woodwork you have hidden yourselves in. have fun. We all laugh and tap or fingers to our foreheads to imply how dangerously insane and creepy you are. As a daughter and a niece of two women who did have the balls to stand up to Nais, I can only say I am extremely proud of your hatred towards us. Keep on hating you poor pathetic sods. Makes us more determined to carry on. You creepy little worms. Keep on going. Nazi babes. Keep on going. Lots of love from Narconon

  5. you silly pathetic hateful little squirt.
    before you go around spreading your dirt
    go and get your facts straight
    before you start spreading all your hate
    we are guilty of insurance fraude you say
    how can we do that with no insurance money hey?
    the second complaint was lacking in detail
    you must have been pissed when you saw that mail
    i thought people like you had died out after 1945
    but that mentality is still so alive
    what's next:you in your black uniform in our house
    yelling loudly: Scientologen RAUS
    You would love that wouldn't you
    it won't happen, so go and stew
    you pathetic creep who won't show your face
    as a human being you are an utter disgrace
    Everything you do is motivated by hate
    You should do something about that mate.

  6. Glad I have your attention Joclusjo.

    I've looked again at the letter you received from the Inspectorate and it seems to me you were indeed instructed to pull out of the Wtzi coverage. Indeed in your May response to the measures the Inspectorate had warned you it was preparing, you actually explained that you had not had time to write the relevant letter, which tends to suggest you were having to explain why you had not complied with their earlier instructions.

    If, as you say, Narconon is not a medical program, why did it need this Wtzi coverage in the first place? Perhaps have I misunderstood its nature: is it for more than just medical care? I would appreciate clarification.

    You are complaining about people denouncing Narconon anonymously, but you have not properly identified yourself. That rather undermines your point, don't you think?

    As for the 'Nazi' jibes, if you know your history you will know that this is not an accurate analogy.

    I received your second message, but since it is more abuse (albeit slightly better spelt) with no new arguments, I don't think I need to publish it. If however you want to engage in a genuine debate, I'll try to answer your points as and when I can.

  7. TheHoleDoesNotExist27 June 2013 at 23:58

    Thanks, Jonny, for this report. At this point in time, I always point anyone who is interested in a fountain of facts and evidence and growing list of lawsuits to ReachingTheTippingPoint site. And thank you, Jo, for letting us know how we can expect you to react to the real world telling you there is a serious problem under the hood.

    There are mothers and fathers grieving, trying to live hour by hour because their children, their hearts and souls, were ripped from their lives forever because of Narconon. You can no longer try to deflect the issues by calling people creeps or Nazi's, as if that will silence all these parents. If you want to slap a label on ME, call me one of the original guinea pigs who piloted these programs under Hubbard himself.

    Narconon can not be reformed because Hubbard's entire system is interwoven with his dictates on how to manipulate anyone who disagrees with his methods and Anyone not obeying orders is kicked out and harrassed and labelled SP. You know something about just following orders and labels, don't you, Jo? Hubbard told his believers to call it ethics. Lawyers call it fraud and a lot of other things. Parents call it their Worst Nightmare.

    It is my fervent hope that officials in Netherland will take the time to read the history and understand that Narconon will Not change. It will hide what they are doing, it will manipulate, it will harrass, it lie and cheat, but it will not, cannot change. As to the dangers of the program and its efficacy, there are more than enough medical and scientific analysis reports to make it quite clear.

  8. This is fantastic, Jonny. Thank you for your excellent and detailed reporting. Journalists like you are a huge threat to Scientology and all of its forms, and we are lucky to have someone like you fighting the good fight.

  9. Proud to be an SP28 June 2013 at 02:59

    Curious why you didn't know what you were doing when you first applied for WTZI. Do you commonly jump into legal arrangements without knowing what you are doing? If you are the director and you don't know what you are doing and too busy to answer letters from the health inspector, it sounds like a very shoddy organization you are running. Potential clients should be warned about you. I am glad they are requiring you to be more accountable. Perhaps you should hire someone with education and training to assist you.

  10. Proud to be an SP28 June 2013 at 03:00

    And you say that Narconon Netherlands has never received insurance money? How much do you charge? What percent do you give to Scientology? How many hours a week is each of the two doctors onsite?

  11. Get out while you still can. You know how Scientology repeatedly skirts the law. I know you do. Eventually everyone committing crimes on behalf of Scientology is going to get caught. Get out while you still can.

  12. Sorry, you are supposed to make the *critics* look insane. Go back and try again

  13. And I don't rent cars!28 June 2013 at 06:59

    Excellent investigative article and fascinating to read. This is objective, old fashion Journalism at it's finest! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the articles on your site and keeping up with all the latest developments with Narconon in Holland.
    I am still pondering a response to the hate filled diatribe written by the Director of Narconon, Holland, and posted below. I am still too shocked to comment properly!

  14. who is guilty of hate filled diatribes? sorry, not me.

  15. Joanna Kluessien28 June 2013 at 08:24

    someone like you I suppose? At the end of the day, there are loads of people out there who are off drugs thanks to having come to Narconon. People are off drugs, clean, living wonderful lives after having come to narconon. and all you can do is be proud to be an SP. And hate, hate and hate. I am spending too much time on you already I see. Get a life mate, get a life.

  16. Thank you for identifying yourself -- and yes, that really is my name (Danish origin).

    Since we have established communication, and as much as we disagree fundamentally about the value of Narconon's system, why don't we at least make an effort to examine each other's positions rationally.

    I promise not to make any more facetious comments about your typos -- given that your English is considerably better than my Dutch. And perhaps you could put aside the Nazi analogy, which is only going to create more heat than light. (Still, at least we agree about Geert Wilders.)

    You'll see in the column to the right I've written several pieces already about Narconon and what I think is wrong with it -- together with a sub-section on Scientology's dangerously misguided approach to epilepsy. You are welcome to comment on any of them.

    While we are not going to agree with each other on a lot of things, why don't we at least make an effort to assume a minimum of good faith on both sides and take our conversation forward from there?

  17. Let me just post a general appeal for folk to avoid the temptation to engage in insults in their comments, as tempting as that might be. Since Joanna Kluissen has been good enough to engage with us, it's worth making an effort to build some kind of constructive dialogue, if at all possible.

  18. first question. Because vultures like you lot would jump on it. What Narconon did was get someone out of his environment who desperately wanted to. He tld the inspector how happy he was to get out of his enviroment where he could very easily get drugs. So the inspector did not put down the whole story in its correct perspective. itw ould have been a erisk to keep him in his environment, it was not a risk to get him out. The Inspectorate is inded confuse. of course when people come here we want them to see a doctor to see if they need no medical treatment. That is normal. if they have a flu of course we want them to see a doctor.. Just normal common sense. As a I said before we have not received one cent from the insurance companies. I dio not really follow your logic. If you take a medicine you feel better because your body feels better. I do think that is cause and effect. You feel sick so spiritually you also do not feel 100%. so you take something and you feel physically better so automatically you feel spiritually better. Sorry, I just red through your questions again. No insurance claims with insurane companies were made. We work with two doctors. A few people I know have died unexpectedly and I know this was because the doctors were too indifferent. so I am very quick to send someone to a doctor. There is the body and there is the person whjo is the spirit. But the body does have to be taken care of properly and if a doctor is needed a doctor is needed and I prefer to let someone go to the doctor one time too often than one time too less. Your questions were a bit hard to undertand, but I hope I have made things bit more clear.

  19. yes that is exactly what I say. It is hard to charge very much in these days of economic crsis, so we work out what the people can pay, we get donations. If we have so little mioney we can harrdly give a percentage to Scientology, now can we/ We have very godo working agrements with the two doctors we work with. A doctor can be onsite and still be too late to save anyone and this is the type of story I have heard quite a few times in this country. We are very alert to any non-optimum signals and get someone to a doctor very quickly. We sometimes need to push a dcotor to see someone if our own doctors are not available as in Holland the medical care is not all that impressive

  20. you probably are too shocked to comment properly because I came too close to the truth dear

  21. Thanks for keeping us updated.

    I feel the Dutch authorities are complacent. They treat Narconon as they would a well-intentioned but inefficient charitable group.

    I believe they are to some extent negligent in not closing down this dangerous scam right now. Addicts remain at risk so long as Narconon remains open.

  22. Thank you very much for going on the record as not wanting a doctor on the premises at all. Also, your silence on the amount of fees paid to scientology (and narCONon international and to ABLE and to various other bank accounts) is very telling.

  23. Joanna, When you have a minute, one thing I'd like to be clear on is just what services your centre offers. I assume it would include the Detoxification programme, with its aerobic exercise, sauna and vitamin and minerals, which as I've noted in the article above is extremely controversial. I take it the training routines also form part of the curriculum. But if you could summarise what the services are it would be helpful.

    What I am also curious to know, because neither the Inspectorate's letter to you or their press release makes this clear, is what their intervention means in practical terms. What specifically are you now prevented from doing by their intervention that you previously could do?

  24. the communication exercises, the sauna program, exercises to help take the attention away from painfujl incidents and failures from the past so that people can focus on present time and the formulate and work on new goals for the future, the ups anddowns in life course, in which they learn to choose the right people to associat with, the personal values and integrity course in which they clean up things from the past. A sense of shame for the things they have done can cause them to revert, so it is important they face up to the things they have done and take responsibility for them. Then the changing conditions in life cours which will help them really clean up things from the past and in future not make the same mistakes again. We can only take in people who have been off drugs for 1-2 weeks now. With the new drugs like GHB we were already doing this.

  25. Did I say I did not want a doctor on the premises.? I am saying we cannot pay for a doctor on the premises. For 30 years we have been working in this country. In my private life I have been confronted with people dying because of negligence by doctors. So at the very first signal we alert a doctor and now and then I even hav to argue with a doctor that I want a client to see him because the doctor thinks I am being too concerned. for the rest. We send no money to Scientology because we have no money to send to Scientology. it is quite normal to send license fees to Narconon International. We send nothing to ABLE International. The amounts of license fees vary and I really do not have the time to write down how much I have sent over the years. But believe me, it is not all that much.

  26. no that's okay on the typo's and I will keep the Nazi analogy out of it. On epilepsy if people have it, they should continue to take their medication and follow any other instructions given by the doctor. That is also mentioned on our website by the way.

  27. And there are many people walking around off drugs living great lives after having been in Narconon which also make things clear. Like one journalist said to me: you've been in Holland for 30 years? it can't be all that bad then can it? But you got me on my weak spot. The parents. I do feel for them. We had one person dying here too. Because of drugs. It is a nightmare which still haunts me every day. As I know the deaths in the other Narconons haunt the staff there every day. That is all I have to say really on this.

  28. thank you very much for this

  29. Director, how well the two doctors know about the Narconon program? It seems to me that you barely find two doctors who don't like to ask questions, and who aren't very much interested in their patients. Are their association with Narconon public knowledge? Does it say something to you?

  30. Reassured by your position on epilepsy given the 1984 death in France reported elsewhere on this site ("A Death in France") and Heribert Pfaff's death in Clearwater in 1988 (I'll be revisiting that case shortly).

    I see there is a story in the De Verdieping Trouw in which a doctor attacks the Detoxification programme's use of niacin, at levels it describes as abusive.

    As I mention in the piece above, this has attracted controversy elsewhere, not least at the 2009 Paris trial, where some defendants were convicted of the illegal practice of pharmacy (see in particular the links at footnote #4).

    I don't know where the law stands in the Netherlands on this issue, but should it not be cause for concern that experts in both countries are making the same criticism of this treatment? These points are being made not by critics of Scientology as such, but people who are qualified to assess the medical value of the treatment.

    I'd be grateful for a response on this point.

  31. Hi Joanna,

    You could simply point to your published account for the fees - that would be much more simple. You might want to to find out what my information is, I invite you to read and understand "Have You Told All?: Inside My Time with Narconon and Scientology" by Lucas Catton. It has lots of information about how narCONon is run in the United States, and that will explain why I ask questions the way I do.

  32. hi Jens, in 2011 we received 110.632 on payments for the program. The financial report for 2012 is not ready yet. That should be finished quite soon. Thanks for your invitation, but I am rather busy. I just do appreciate the dialogie that is ongoing, that is why I am taking time out for that.

  33. the doctors know everything about the program. I do not know what gives you the idea that the doctors are not very interested in their patients. They are so very interested. They are wonderful. Why would their association with us not be public knowledge?

  34. Based on what evidence and hwat research does this man say that? Before someone in that position amkes that kind of a statement he should do some more research. Four people were admitted to a hospital for "overdosis Niacin". In 2002 the amount of deaths due to overdosis of prescription drugs was off hand 126.962. I will send you those documents by e-mail. Like one prson said on : drugs forum"about the handling of GHB addiction by this doctor: "his pride and his ego are apparently bigger than the interest of patients and science". This after the guy commented on the fat that the amounts of reversions due to "treatment"co-ordinated by this man was two out of three.. the man ended off by saying: "if they would have taken the time and trouble to get information from other countries (about treating GHB addiction - Joanna) then I think that now there would be no more unnecessary suffering and no more waiting lists and the reversion rate would be a lot lower". The discussion is about a way to get people of GHB with Baclofen. I do not know anything about that but apparently people seem to find it helpful but this man is too arrogant to listen to the addicts. Just like here to he is way too arrogant. Before he makes some kind of a judgment he should speak to the more than 1.000 people who have done this sauna program with us and THEN make a judgment.

  35. Joclusjo, it seems to me that you are quite passionate about the work you do.
    I'm quite curious, what exactly is the success rate of Narconon Netherlands?
    How many people exactly followed the Narconon program in 2011?
    And how many of them are clean till this day?

  36. Thanks for sharing some information. The reason I pointed out the book is that we do have access to more complete information, but only from sources like that. So, if you were interested in our background in this discussion you could find more data in books like that.

  37. They probably looked at information like this:

    Now, if only they have access to the research that you obviously base your medical programme on, maybe they wouldn't be so confused

  38. I'd welcome seeing the documents you mention. The Wikipedia article Jens links to does provide scientific backing for the claim that niacin in such large doses can be dangerous. See in particular the material referred to in footnote 61, a piece in the US govt's Centers for Disease Control network:

    The passages that caught my eye were the following: "The therapeutic use of niacin often is limited by dermatologic and gastrointestinal ADRs (e.g., tachycardia, flushing, rash, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain). These effects usually are self-limited and are more common with dosages >1,000 mg per day, but can occur at any dose. Hepatotoxicity is a rare but serious adverse effect, usually associated with chronic use."

    And a little further down: "Death from acute overdose has not been reported, and a minimum lethal dose has not been established (6). However, severe effects in some patients have been reported. A report in press on use of niacin to defeat urine drug tests describes four cases of niacin toxicity that included hepatotoxicity, metabolic acidosis, variations in blood glucose, neutropenia, and electrocardiographic effects (7). Two of the four patients had life-threatening ADRs; one had taken 5,500 mg of niacin during a 36-hour period, and the other had taken 2,500 mg during a 48-hour period."

    And this is not research that was carried out in connection with Narconon, so cannot be seen as an attack on its operations.

    To that I would repeat the point made in the article above. That Scientologists running the Detox programme at Narconon or the Purification Rundown inside their movement, tend to interpret the symptoms witnessed during the process.

    As the lawyer for France's Order of Pharmacists put it: “Sometimes the symptoms created – in particular by niacin – are seen as being beneficial rather than considered as being one of the dangerous effects of niacin,”

    If this is correct, then the implications are quite disturbing.

  39. We have been here for 30 years and never had anything serious happening during the sauna program. I will see I make time to get some documents sent to you by e-mail tomorrow, because, after the article writen by this professor, people were going on the internet and I heard comment being made about documents about Niacin which for example stated it prevented dementia. I will send an e-mail one of the mothers sent to a journalist. At the end of that mail is a link she sent. but there is more information, but bear with me for 1-2 days as I am extremely busy. it has been quite a hectic day today.

  40. okay I am indeed interested in your background. As soon as I have some breathing space after all of this I will look at what Lucas Catton wrote. I dio know one thing though. I have been in Scientology for 40 years and I know from hard won experience that if I do not use it as it should be used or mess around I also find tjhings wrong with it or with the organization. I once took some diet pills. They didn't get the expected result. They were made in a village where I come from. I phoned the up and told them it was a rip off. the man recognized my voice, knew what i was like and said; yes lady if you continue to eat cakes and chocolate with the pills you will not lose weight. The same goes for Scientology. You use it the right way it is great and you use it wrong, you have to find someone to blame, so you blame Scientology. I have been there too, When used correctly it works. That is what I see every day working in Narconon. If I would not see results daily or now and then get a sweet message from a former student wo has been clean for many years, I wold not last very long, believe me. What would be the point?

  41. sorry, I tried to find 2011 results. I did find 2010. In total we had 28 people on the program, 14 of which we know for sure are still clean today, the there are a few we are uncertain about and others we know for sure are not clean. I will still try and find 2011 for you.

  42. Proud to be an SP1 July 2013 at 02:06

    That is very well said, and I will do my part to be respectful as well.

  43. Proud to be an SP1 July 2013 at 02:14

    I can imagine an onsite doctor is costly. But some of the addicts have withdrawal symptoms or medications they take, I assume, so does the doctor come and do a medical assessment as a routine part of intake? And do you have a nurse onsite? In the states, I think licensed treatment facilities need to have 24 hour medical presence (nurse or doctor) but I am not sure about the Netherlands. My dad is in an old folks home with a 24 hour nurse because there is such a high risk of something happening to the residents and they need to respond immediately. I imagine similar risks with addicts so am curious how you mitigate these risks. Also, in the US I understand that Narconons are required to pay the church of Scientology, I think not just licensing fees for using the Hubbard materials. Lucas Catton, who used to run one of the US Narconons, just published a book "Have You Told All" that has a lot of detail about the financial pressure on his Narconon to support the church of Scientology.

  44. Proud to be an SP1 July 2013 at 02:15

    Who are the two doctors?

  45. Thank you, Joclusjo. That means a success rate of at least 50%. Sounds very good.

    I recently read discussions about high dosages Niacin and people dying during the program. It raises questions and I'm trying to find out what are rumors and what is true for Narconon Netherlands. You mentioned that you have 40 years of experience.with the program. According to your estimation, is the average success rate over these years the same as in 2011?
    And what is an average success rate in other clinics in the Netherlands?
    And about the person who died in 2007, have there been any official investigations in it? If yes, what was the outcome? If no, could you please tell briefly your view about the cause and circumstances in which it happened?
    In those 40 years, have there been any similar incidents like this?
    Thanks for answering.

  46. okay. it is stupid to not send people to doctors when they need to go. In my personal life I have been confronted with unexpected deaths which were a heavy shock to the system, one of them being my father. So that is why I am very quick to send people to doctors.

  47. yes the success rate is on average about the same. I don't know about other centers. I hae been doing this for 30 years and been a Scientologist for 40 years. On the incident of 2007 which was such a shock to the system the following. The Wednesday before it happened I had gone into town to get some things as I was going to go to ou head office in Copenhagen. Whenn I returned one of the staf was waiting for me. One of the students had had an argument with another staffmember who no longer works here and had left the building. So stupid. Nobody went after him. If you as a stafffmember have an argument your sort it out with the student. You do not just let him leave the building. If he really wants to leave after an argument you walk and talk until the argument is sorted out. I felt uncomfortable about going but my boss wanted me to go so I did. I was promised by that specific staffmember who had the argument who would also be replacing me that he would take responsibility. He did not do that. the student who had left the building came back, was obviously not checked properly as he had brought drugs into the house and he admitted later that he had given heoin to the lady who later died from it. It was awful. After that the students together with the staff checked the house more regularly in the evenings, every 30 minutes, that is still being done. and at night in the beginning of the night eery 30 minutes and after that eery hour. There has never before ad never afterwards been an incident like that but believe me it has its impact. Yes, the police of course investigated.Too the guy into custody and he finally admitted what he had done.

  48. sorry, on the high dosages of Niacin and people dying from that. In the 30 years I have done this work I have never seen anyone coming out of the sauna program looking anything less than with good skin, briht eyes, much more alert, spontaneous, cheeky. Really nice. Some people left befofe the sauna program was finished. But the people who completed all looked great.

  49. The point raised about giving money to Scientology is an important one, because the argument from critics has been that, at least in the US Narconon centres, the pressure to generate money has adversely affected the service offered to the detriment to the people being treated. I see from the video at the Narconon International website that you have done regging courses. Can you tell me what that entails exactly? I asks because hard sell is another point on which Scientology has long been criticised.

  50. the Scientology definition of hard sell is caring for the person in front of you. Informing the person about the program, really helping him see he should do something about his addiction and helping him find the money. Because, unfortunately, wie need money to survive.. One person who desperately wanted to come here really had no money, then I gave some ideas and the next day the money problem was handled thanks to a donation.In the course you learn to get the person to want to do something about his problem and help him solve the money problemwhich can be a barrier to doing the program.

  51. Thanks for explaining Joclusjo. It means that the cause of the 2007 incident could be classified as a human failure and cannot be contributed to the program itself. The results confirm my idea that Narconon is a worthwile program. Being an ex-Scientologist I believe your description of how people feel when they've finished the program, because that is how I felt myself when I did it a long time ago, and I've never seen people having any negative results. Good luck and carry on!

  52. It would have been nice if the research HAD been done in connection with Narconon. Because now this research tells nothing about the Narconon program. Probably any single vitamin, taken in high quantities over a longer period of time, will produce negative effects, simply because it creates a disbalance in the body. The Narconon program contains the intake of several other vitamins and minerals in high dosages as well. Proper scientific research of the Narconon program would consist of medical testing before, then doing the exact program, then testing afterwards. Relying on other research tests with different quantities and different combinations and circumstances would be very unscientific.

  53. thanks very much Bob.Have a lovely day

  54. Chris Owen and Dave Touretzky, two of Narconon's more houghtful
    critics, reviewed the scientific literature on Narconon a few years back at their website, Narconon Exposed. Their conclusion, which I reported here earlier (Narconon: an introduction), was that:

    "It has to be said, in fairness, that the paucity of the data means that one can no more reliably say that Narconon does not work than that it does. There is simply too little evidence to tell either way.

    "What can comfortably be said, though, is that Narconon's claims of very high success levels are wholly unreliable; a close examination of what evidence does exist shows that it has invariably been misquoted, misused or quite simply lied about by Narconon. In short, its claimed success rates are not credible and should not be believed."

    And as noted above, Narconon's own senior legal advisor seems to have conceded (in a leaked email) that the more exaggerated claims of a 70 percent success rate have no basis in reality.

    I would have thought that taking a combination of high doses of vitamins and minerals, rather than mitigating the effects of taking just one such substance in high doses, would increase the risk of negative effects.

    But in any case, surely the onus is on Scientology to show that their system works and not for scientists to devise tests to show that it is harmful: in fact if the mainstream consensus is that, on existing evidence, it is harmful, I would have thought that would raise ethical questions about how to devise such a test.

    I see from another of your replies that you have done the Rundown and that you feel it worked for you. But we need more than anecdotal testimony to establish the system's bona fides: one should not underestimate the placebo effect, especially when the centre is run by dedicated and caring staff who are able to resist pressure from above to cut corners and prioritise profits over patients, as has allegedly
    happened in some of the US centres where there have been deaths.

    If you look at my earlier piece, "Narconon: an introduction", you
    will see I raise other problems with Narconon. I also quote other
    specialists who raise other issues about the science supposedly
    underpinning Hubbard's system.

  55. In a word, No!
    The burden of proof is on those who are making the claims. Until narCONon has actually shown willingness to work within evidence based medicine, their medical treatment should be forbidden by default. Meaning well does not justify playing doctor.

  56. Hi Jonathan,

    Indeed, there is every reason to doubt the officially claimed success rate. If the church is lying about the number of their members and orgs and missions, one can expect they will lie about the Narconon's success rate as well. (Although their own holy policy clearly states: "NEVER lie in PR." Funny.)

    I suppose that you as a journalist want to do fact finding and want to know the truth. Then why don't you contact Joclusjo directly and ask her the contact details of those 28 people who did the program in 2011, and interview them. Take a week off, visit their homes and ask what the Narconon program meant for them. I bet you that Joclusjo is willing to cooperate.

    You now have an excellent chance to establish by good random test the succes rate of Narconon Holland. And if you've done that, you no longer have to rely on the queries and speculations of others.

    However, if the intention of this blog is merely to highlight the bad things of Scientology, then I suspect that the outcome of such an investigation won't fit the content of this blog, and so I can understand if you're not interested in doing such an investigation.

  57. Jens, it seems to me that you don't know so well what you're talking about. Medical treatment is treatment to cure people from illnesses. The sauna program is a detoxification program. It does not try nor claim to cure illnesses. There are all kinds of detoxification programs in existence, none of which can be classified as medical. And Joclusjo explained that they work with two doctors, so it should be clear that they don't play doctor themselves.

  58. I refer you to my previous answer: the bit about placebo effect. Even if I had the resources to carry out such a survey, the results would not establish anything conclusive. It's a bit like referring me to the success stories on a Scientology website.

    And yes, this blog is about highlighting the negative aspects of Scientology: the clue is in the title! ;-)

  59. Well, if this blog is about highlighting the negative aspects of Scientology, then I don't see what the Dutch Narconon has to do with it.

    I was for 17 years in Scientology and I often see a similarity between Scientologists and Scientology critics.

    The Scientologists are against psychiatry. They feel themself victimized by a psychiatrist or they heard stories from victims of psychiatrists or abuses in psychiatry or they base their opinion on the statements of their authority L.Ron Hubbard. And therefore they think that psychiatry is very evil, and they absorb any bad news about psychiatry like a sponge and they reject any good news about it. They don't want to hear it, they don't believe it, they don't want to investigate it, they don't want to look at it. Quite often they know very little about the actual teachings of psychiatry, if anything at all, but they really believe they know psychiatry. Actually those Scientologists are well intended people, but their view is colored by emotions and they have a fixed idea in their mind which makes them unable and unwilling to look objectively.

    The Scientology critics quite often act exactly the same, only their evil subject is Scientology. They absorb any bad news about Scientology like a sponge and any good news about it is rejected. Either they themselves feel victimized, which colours their view dramatically, or they've never been in Scientology, but yet believe they know all about it. But you know what? I believe they're well intende people too. I wouldn't be surprised if one day they all join together to eradicate Scientology and sign a one billion year contract and start wearing uniforms. Wouldn't that be sometiong for you Jonathan?

  60. Except that the doses of vitamin B3 (Niacin) handed out is so large that it can only be given by medical prescription in the purification rundown.

    Check out the verdict: Tribunal
    de grande instance de Paris - 12ème chambre - du 27 octobre 2009, P9835623114). See also this very webpage for a very thorough coverage

    Nice try, though, really nice try.

  61. The link between narCONon and the criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientology is well established. The website does a good job .

    We are all paying a lot of attention to the on-going insurance fraud investigations in the US where notably the narCONon in Goergia was caugfht donating to the IAS. The "narCONon South Europe" is also documented (in the Nov 2012 edition of Impact) as donating to teh IAS, so the link is well evident. To those who care to observe it.
    Did I meet the Thursday 2pm deadline in your timezone? I do hope so :)

  62. Jens, we're talking about the DUTCH Narconon. The "Tribunal de grande instance de Paris" has nothing to tell in Holland. Holland has different laws regarding this. So again, I don't think you really know what you're talking about, unless you're a specialist in Dutch law, which I don't think you are.

  63. I have been following the discussion from the sidelines up till now, but I believe I have a rather essential point to make at this time.

    I inquired with the Dutch FDA (the CBG, Commissie Beoordeling Geneesmiddelen) about the Dutch situation regarding niacin last year.

    Their answer: "Niaspan 375, 500, 750 en 1000 mg nicotinezuur, allemaal met de afleverstatus ‘uitsluitend recept’ [recipy only]"

    This means that above 375 mg, niacon/niaspan/nicotinic acid is a prescription medicine. They also confirmed that up to 100 mg is a food supplement. Note that this doesn't explicitly state a maximum daily dose, but these numbers would indicate that up to ~300-400 mg a day is considered safe in Holland, above that not so much.

    So Dutch law follows French law in this respect. Interestingly, when another critic inquired about the UK situation, he found that niacin is considered a food supplement, regardless of dose over there.

    Also, I was very impressed with the civil discussion so far, and I felt it do be a shame that personal insults have been cropping up on both sides in the last day or so. I hope we can go back to the original pleasant discourge!

  64. I accept your argument about how some of the more extreme elements of the counter-cult movement can seem almost cultlike, but only up to a point. A lot of the abuse and rather strange humour you get on the relevant message boards is just part of the rather strange Internet culture that has grown up around this issue. But don't mistake lulz for the global psychiatric conspiracy. And don't forget that the reason I posted this piece is because the health inspectorate in the Netherlands has, let's say, shown Narconon in the Netherlands a yellow card.

    And I agree, up to a point, that every Narconon, in every country, is not necessarily the same: the very fact that Joanna Kluessien has been prepared to engage us in debate makes a refreshing change from either being ignored or being subjected to irrational abuse (for the latter, see the messageboard of your choice, on both sides of the argument). Hats off to her for that.

    Against that however, one has to set the very uniform rules imposed by Scientology on its business operations -- and I think there is plenty of evidence that Narconon is part of Scientology's business operations (see Narconon: an Introduction, elsewhere on this site).

    I am prepared to accept that Joanna is acting in good faith inside a system she truly believes: but what I am suggesting is the scientific model of Narconon is flawed and that the ideology within which it operates is unethical. That is not to say that Joanna is not trying to good: but whatever good she may be doing, I would suggest, is despite the Scientology-imposed model, not because of it.

    An earlier reviewer of Dianetics once said that what was good about it was not new; and what was new about it was not good. One could say something similar of Narconon: but I would add that much of what is good about what goes on at Narconon Netherlands -- and I am quite prepared to accept that good work is done there -- is down to the dedication, the goodness, of the individuals concerned.

    You could say the same of Scientology: I am constantly impressed by the creativity, energy and most importantly the good will of some of the former Scientologists I know: which is why people like Jeff Hawkins, Bruce Hines and Chuck Beatty are among the movement's most effective critics. I think a crucial aspect of their perspective on Scientology is that they have been able to acknowledge the positive aspects of their time inside the movement as well as the negative -- an aspect, I grant you, that outsiders, the critics like me looking in, can tend to forget.

  65. I agree that the Dutch law enforcement should be brought to bear on the dangerous practising medicine without a license perpetrated by Dutch narCONon.

  66. the testimonies are on a drug forum site. I actually printed them out today and I will get them scanned to you. Jonny, what can I say. There are just so many what you call anecdotal testimonies. I don't know what you mean with placebo effect. Does that not more apply to the people giving substitute drugs to addicts? is that not more a placebo effect? Does prioriitzing profits over patients not apply more to thse giving rhse medicines to these patients? Like the prof who is saying these nasty things about us Gets his fat subsidy from the government for weaning off people from GHB with meidicinal GHB, totally ignoring what the patients have to say, when the project is done and after three months he sees that two thirds have reverted happily says the project has been successful and now we should look at a follow up program. Could the prof, who claims he is the expert not have figured out that it take a bit more than coming off a drug to stay off the drug? I know of two suicides in the center he worked in. One was in the media and one of the staffmembers there who knew one of our students told me about it. Instead of thinking aor saying nasty stuff about that like the anti Narconon people do about the acidental deaths (not suicides) in the Narconons, I felt really sorry for her because I know what it is like to have a death in your center. It is the most horrible experience. And since we are on the subject of prioritizing profits over patients, one of the fathers told me that every month there is a suicide in the psychiatric institution he lives close to. So,please. the prof gets loads of money and all he can say is that addiction is a chronic brain disease. Oh yes and it is also genetic. Oh yes and Asians can''t handle alcojol too well. I thought the racial genetic theories had died with Joseph Mengele, but apparently not. So who is prioritizing profit over patients? On the success rate, I wrote it was in 2011 50%. It could be more, but I do not know how everyone is doing. But no matter what I say, I do not think it is going to help much. I do not know where to find your earlier piece. I did not see it in the column on the right. And what scientistis say, well, I read most of the stuff I could find from professor De Jong who we fondly call the nutty professor. Do you mind terribly if I have had enough after reading about his genetic theories, his theories that addiction is a chronic disease on top of it being a brain disease and bragging about a reversion of 2 out of 3? Doesn't give people too much hope.. I was given up twice by doctors like him. When I surprised them by coming out of my coma I was then told I would need a wheelchair for quite a while. After I told them where they could shove their theories I was back at work within three weeks. so I do hope you undestand i am not too impressed by theories of people who call themseves specialists particularly after a day of reading professor De jong's not so inspiring work. If you tell me where I can find your introduction I will have a read of that.

  67. no probably not. I am willing to co-operate. although not all people are from Holland. But the U.K. is not too far from Holland. I would need to ask the people if I can give their details of course. But I would do that.

  68. yes I thought it would be

  69. I do know one thing that I have noticed in y work here. when you focus on the good points of somebody you get good things back. You focus on the bad things you get bad things. But I don't think we will all join forces to eradicate Scientology Bob.

  70. as a kid I never liked playing doctor and I still don't like it. One of the kids visiting here likes to bandage me up sometmes so I let him go ahead. But that is as far as I'll go. Playing doctor is for the doctors. so I don't really know what you are talking about

  71. orry Jens, Niacn is not a medicine but a vitamin. It can be purchased without doctor's prescription.Like bob says, this is Holland.

  72. no Jen s? so you don't want Jonny to speak to people who actually were here? The burden of proof is on those making the claims? whoa Jens, you are making dangrous statements. Remember the things that were said against the Jews last century? I do think you should become a bit less obvious in your hatred. Sorry.. and I think you are Danish at least your name implies that and the Danish were admirable in those days, so cming froma Dane this attitude is quite astounding. What is evidence based by the way? Just what is evidence based? Is evidence based not people being clean after many years? or is evidence based keeping them on some kind of a drug for the rest of their lives? Is that what you want? sorry dear, it is not what we want. Seen too much of it. Is too heart breaking to see.

  73. The "playing doctor" bit comes in when you tell the patient to take a dosis which is dramatically higher than the dosis which is, indeed, a food supplement. Roger Gonnet talks of patients emptying beer glasses full of normal vitamin pills.

    Happily (or not) it's possible to buy vitamins in these extreme doses from companies abroad. Guess who runs some of these companies?

  74. Thanks Jonathan, fair enough.

    I'm supposed to be a critic of Scientology, which I am, but almost any time when I read the opinions of other critics, I tend to defend Scientology, because I realise the critic bases his opinion on second hand observation or has an opinion coloured by his emotions, or simply has no clue

    I assume that you've never done the Purif, never observed others doing the program, never worked in a Narconon, never spoken with a couple of these drug addicts, and yet you feel free from behind your desk to judge the result as due to a placebo effect (no idea how that could be) or the goodness of Joclusjo.

    Same for Dianetics and Scientology. You mention a quote of an early critic of Dianetics. Sounds nice, but has that man ever audited others? Has he received auditing and observed others who received auditing? Did he speak with them and watch how they usually come smiling and shining out of session? Probably he didn't have a clue about it, but yet thinks he can have a sensible judgement about it. And subsequently you quote this person as someone being able to have a valid opinion about the subject.

    Actually, when I read that the income of Narconon in 2011 was 110.000 Euro, while they had 28 people on the program and pay staff and food and so on, I ask myself the question, how the hell did they manage to have any result at all? The place must be a mess. Sure, there might be a lot of things wrong with Narconon. But if my son becomes a drug addict, I can assure you that I will be too happy if there is a Narconon where I can send him to, despite all the things that can be wrong with it. Because the only thing I would care about is the chances on a good result.

  75. Thanks for doing the inquiry ScamofS,
    But if prescribing the high dosage of Niacin is illegal in Holland, there is somthing I don't understand.

    Apparently the Dutch Narconon is now under the radar of the Dutch Healthcare. I assume that they're not unaware of the prescription of the Niacin, but yet they don't seem to have a problem with it. It's either legal or illegal and I don't understand how Narconon could continue if it were illegal. (If you read this Joclusjo, could you comment on this too? I assume you know more about it.)

    It makes me curious about France. If it's illegal to prescribe the Niacin dosage, they can't execute the program anymore. Did Narconon France close it's doors? And if not, how do they manage to continue with the program? Anybody who knows?

  76. Hi Jens,

    I don't know who is Roger Gonnet, but emptying beer glasses full of vitamins is nonsense and fairy tale talk, unless those "patients" were doing another program. So if you don't know the program yourself, then at least find reliable sources, otherwise I have to keep saying that you don't seem to know what you're talking about....

  77. We are slowly getting to the truth of the matter here. I did another round of Googling on Niaspin and this site helps to understand:

    The more dangerous slow release form (Niaspan) is indeed prescription only, whereas the immediate release from which is used in Narconon is a food supplement.

    The maximum doses of vitamins in food supplements are currently not regulated in the Netherlands. According to Wikipedia, the 'Warenwetregeling voedingssupplement' points to European legislation in this regard. However, this legislation still needs to be approved.

    The likely outcome of this upcoming legislation is already known though, and is included in this document:

    For Niacin, the uppel level will be of the order of 10 mg per pill. This means that once European legislation comes through, over the counter sale of high dose niacin will no longer be allowed. That would make it nearly impossible to do the Purif legally.

    Given this, I imagine that the Inspection is probably far from happy with the Niacin intake, but they currently cannot intervene legally. It would explain their swift respons though, when they found that Narconon could not evidence a medical checkup for a patient.

    It also seems that France (in contrast to the UK and Netherlands) hás implemented lower maximum doses in food supplements. That would explain why they were taking beer jugs full of pills there (5000/10 = 500 per day. Ouch!) and fined heavily when the government found out.

    As far as the French Narconon - it was closed by governments years ago, as was the German one. You'll be able to Google that I'm sure.

  78. I actually wanted to add a second comment. I found this paragraph the most enlightning from the European report:

    The authors of the critique (Kennan et al, 1994) report that there was only a 5% drop-out rate as a result of intolerance and toxicity after one year in a study of 1119 subjects receiving 3 g (1 g three times a day) of immediate release nicotinic acid. The study of McKenney et al was also criticised because of the high top dose administered since drop-out rates of only 3-4% had been reported in studies where the maximum dose was 2 g/day.

    (end quote).

    This resonates as true with me. Although former members occasionally report health problem in the purif, it doens't seem to be a very high percentage - 3 to 5% sounds very credible to me.

    The fact that both Bob and Joanna say they have never seen negative side-effects might be explained by the quote that Jonny already put in his article:

    “Sometimes the symptoms created – in particular by niacin – are seen as being beneficial rather than considered as being one of the dangerous effects of niacin,”

  79. Roger gonnet was personally supervising the purification rundown at a mission (as the mission holder).

    So, according to you, what are the doses of all the vitamins? And which over-the-counter vitamins would you be using (i.e. how many mg in each tablet)? From that, you can deduce the number of tablets. Let's try B3 : RDA 16mg. Doses on the purif, up to 5000 mg. That's 5000/16 = 312 pills there and then. Then go through the other vitamins. Your turn!

    But again, nice effort!

    To read more about Roger, if your French is up to it, try "La secte : secte armée pour la guerre : chronique d'une "religion" commerciale à irresponsabilité illimitée"

  80. There is no narCON France. Thanks for asking.
    If you want to know why, try looking on this very website

  81. Well, if this Roger Gonnet was personally supervising the Purif, it means that he was the one
    responsible for it, isn’t it? So if people were indeed taking beer glasses of pills, which I think is quite silly, then he was the one
    who did it. I never took a beer glass of pills, but I can imagine that it is somehow not so healthy. Could it perhaps be that he
    screwed up the program and then blamed the church?

    By the way, so far I never heard anything negative about the Purif, except from Scientology haters, but if there is any negative story, the Scientology critics will automatically assume that it is the fault of the program or the fault of Scientology. They
    won’t for a moment consider the possibility that someone has made a mistake, like what happens in any organisation or drugs clinic. Anyway…

    So this Roger Gonnet most likely screws up the program, and then you, being a Scientology hater yourself, are very eager to quote this “taking beerglasses of pills”, trying to give the impression that this is what normally happens in a Narconon or on the Purif.

    Well, either you’re not well informed, or you’re willfully trying to paint a different, picture, because I can tell you that people don’t take beer glasses of pills on the Purif. I remember I took a maximum of something in the order of 8 pills, and I don’t know what dosage.

    But why this hatred against Scientology? You have a different belief, so what?
    Scientologists believe they have to save the world. They’re very convinced that the Scienotlogy path is the only way to enlightenment. They try to put other people on this path as well, because they believe in it. Every single Scientologist believes that, I can assure you. And if they feel that Scientology is under attack, they believe that the only road to spiritual freedom is under attack, and therefore they attack back. They may sometimes look stupid and sometimes look weird, but most of them are essentially very good people who have devoted their life for what they think is a good cause. Sure, if they break the law, anybody has the right to stop them. But there’s no reason to hate them or try to condemn anything they do.

    I know a man who once wrote: “The hardest task one can have is to love his fellows despite all
    reasons he should not. And the true sign of sanity and greatness is to so continue. For the one who can achieve this, there is abundant hope. For those who cannot, there is only sorrow, hatred and despair.”
    I think that’s a great quote.

    P.S. I don’t speak French

  82. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 02:06

    It haunts you every day because you could have prevented her death, it wasn't just the fact that she died of liver failure 2 weeks after a sauna repair programme or the fact that she had hepatitis c, she died because she took heroin and she took heroin because her stash of speed ran out, and her stash of speed came from a guy who supplied your students and your staff, and you didn't stop him because he was a full paying client, he ran wild doing as he pleased the whole summer and you knew, you didn't kick him out though you approved his weekend visit and he got arrested and he returned only to collect money for the counterfeit clothing he had been openly selling, Parents aren't your weak spot, money is.

  83. Proud to be an SP6 July 2013 at 02:59

    Sorry, I am confused. I was just thinking since you said above that their association was public knowledge you would tell us the names.

  84. Yes, money is indeed the weak spot of Narconon Holland. If their income is 110.000 Euros a year, they can not properly run a program with 28 people plus staff. If I had been in that position, I would have quit long before. I don't have that much compassion for my fellow humans. I don't want to work all day and night in a mess and misery to help those silly addicts get off drugs. I prefer to have a nice and easy life with a normal income for myself.

    What about you, LRu? Do you have a passion to help others despite a lack of money? Or do you prefer to have an easy life just like me?

    Yes, this death could have been prevented. We already established that. It was a human failure. Humans make mistakes. It may indeed haunt her every day. So what's your point LRu? Are you just trying to rub it in and make her feel worse?

  85. As I indicated in my last reply, I am not claiming to be an expert with first-hand knowledge. A lot of what I do with Infinite Complacency is draw together material from different sources – including people who are qualified to pass judgment on Narconon or Scientology – to try to highlight where I think the problems lie. A lot of this material comes from former Scientologists themselves; and a lot of it – an growing amount, in Narconon's case – comes from court reports, and lawsuits, including a number of cases that are still unresolved.

    Your scepticism about the placebo effect seems misplaced: I am not saying Narcoon's treatment does not work. I am saying that when it does work, it is not for the reasons Hubbard said it did: the science he offered as explanation for his system has been widely criticised. (In fact, one could say something
    similar of Dianetics or Scientology: though in this case I would suggest that Scientology processing works; but it is doing something rather different than what it says on the label – that's a story for another day.)

    You are unconvinced by the critic of Dianetics I quoted. In fact it was Yvonne Gittleson, writing for
    “American Scientist” back in 1950, in a piece that included a
    review of Hubbard's Dianetics. Here's the link, so you can judge for yourself:

    Quoting Hubbard in Dianetics, she quite rightly focuses on his claims to cure all psychosomatic ills “invariably”, commenting: “These are ambitious claims; they suggest the absolutism of the fanatic more than the skepticism of the scientist.” That is rather prescient when you know what was to come.

    She has no problem tracing some of Hubbard's ideas to more mainstream psychoanalytic traditions, but puts her finger one one problem with the prenatal engram. “In any event, the foetus, in the improbable light of dianetics, hears many things which he is much, much too young to hear.” Not only does
    this fail as science, she argues, but it does not measure up to
    standards within the psychoanalytic tradition from which it has clearly heavily borrowed.

    As for Hubbard's claims to having
    carried out scientific research in Dianetics, she comments: “The
    reader familiar with scientific writing and reasoning will find
    himself continually asking, What test? What controls? What tests?
    What research?”

    We're still waiting for answer to that one, Bob. And one could ask just the same question of the research behind Hubbard's Detox programme.

    You asked if Gittleson had ever done Dianetics, but I hope you'll agree, having read these extracts, that this objection rather misses the point. She is attacking the theoretical basis of Dianetics – just as critics today are
    attacking Narconon's.

    If you still think Narconon (or even Dianetics) works, I suggest you need to ask why is it working? What is it really doing? And when things do go wrong, can we really put that down to human error every time, or is there something about the
    way Narconon/Scientology is set up that makes these mistakes more likely? The court reports I've read – and the material emerging from ongoing lawsuits, suggest not.

  86. I believe I've been expressing a deep unhappiness about people doing things that are medically dangerous. The flow of money from narCONon to the criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientology and the purification rundown are the two major points of interest for this conversation.

    The only scintology belief I've expressed unhappiness about is the belief that going off prescribed medicine and sitting in a sauna is always a good thing. This sitting in sauna has been proven to make people die, notably Jocelyne Dorfmann.

    Jocelynne Dorfmann's death was described in detail on this website and I note that you have yet to address this very specific point.

    The person you quote wrote at great length about people who speak in generalities...

    But do tell us about how you know L Ron Hubbard. Did you know him when he wrote his major works under the influence of "pinks and grays" (i.e. illegal drugs)?

    OT3, the story of Xenu and the aliens blown up in volcanos was written while LRH was living mainly on "pinks and grays" according to a letter he wrote his wife. I recommend the new edition of Jon Atack "A Piece of Blue Sky" for those who are interested in L Ron Hubbard.
    Thanks for brining that up.

  87. What you may not understand, Joanna, is that simple anecdotes do not prove anything when we're talking about medical treatment. Since medical treatment is what narCONon offers, we need something more solid.

    We note with a bit of a laugh that narCONon International recently sent out a press release about some "research" conducted decades ago by narCONon. "The Narconon Program - 40 Years of Evidence of Recovery." Unfortunately, Patty Moher who contributed numbers is now testifying that the numbers were invented with no basis in fact. (Patty Moher, "reaching for the Tipping Point" website, May 18 2013)

    So, you might think you know why Jonny is not keen to run around Europe interviewing scientologists who once went through narCONon Holland, but the rest of us have a broader range of ideas on the topic.

  88. You say that WE have established that the death in 2007 was a human failure, but I never established that.

    And as far as money concerned: every professional drug rehab in this country gets its money from insurance companies, as its covered by the 'basic insurance'. You have to have a WTZi registration though, and Joanna said herself she pulled out because she wasn't capable of doing the things that professional drug rehabs do (like filling out Diagnose Behandel Combinaties (Diagnosis Treatment Combinations) and making yearly quality reports).

    The reason she couldn't is because Narconon isn't a professional drug rehab. It's incredibly amateurish, lacks a sound business model and irresponsibly keeps going on despite the fact that it is evident they are endangering their patients.

  89. "But I also know what auditing is and what it does."

    I don't think you do, but this guy is doing a better job in explaining why than I ever could:

  90. The person I quoted, Hubbard, actually didn't write that much about people who speak in generalities. And I know, because I read a lot of the amount of things that he wrote.

    Yes, I read the silly story of Xeny and I'm familiar with the auditing of OT-III and I assume that Hubbard must indeed have been under the influence of pink and grays. Are you suggesting that therefore all other things he wrote in his life are automatically very bad?

    I'll read the story of Jocelyne Dorfman. Are you also interested in other stories of people who died in other drug centers in France during the last 50 years?
    Or do you have particular reason to cherish this one?

  91. Since you keep insisting that Narconon Holland offers medical treatment, I like to spell out for you what the definition of medical is.

    Definition "medical": Relating to the practice of science of medicine.

    Definition "medicine": The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of desease.

    Narconon Holland does not offer treatment for desease.

  92. Well, not only Joclusjo told that the death in 2007 was because of the intake of heroin. There is also the response of RLulaughingyet, who appears to be a critic and well informed about the circumstances, and he as well says that the person died because she took heroin and speed.

    So if "both sides" confirm that the death was because of heroin, I think for practical purposes we may consider that as an established fact.

    And I agree that things must be wrong with Narconon Holland, otherwise they wouldn't be under supervision of the Dutch Healthcare. So either they comply and improve the things that need improvement, or otherwise the Healthcare will take further measures I assume. No big deal.

    I trust the Dutch Healthcare officials that if there would be any immediate danger, they would close down the center at once.

  93. Hi Jens,

    I read the story of Jocelyne Dorfmann.

    Apparently she died of epileptic fits as a result of ending her medication without consulting a medical doctor. Standard procedure is that people before starting the Purif have to receive a medical check from a qualified doctor. When I did the Purif in the nineties I first went to a medical doctor. I was told that the program could only be done by people with a normal health, and for example no patients with a weak heart.

    So obviously they didn't follow the policy regarding the program, or perhaps at that time this policy was not yet inexistence. If the staff members would have followed the policy which is applied at least since the nineties, then Jocelyne wouldn't have had permission to stop with her medication, and probably wouldn't have had permission to do the program.

    Since she had barely started with the program, it is very unlikely that her death had anything to do with Niacin dosage. The staff members failed to use common sense and call a doctor when she had clearly epileptic fits.

    What's your point about this story, Jens? Are you trying to tell that the program is wrong or dangerous because some people in the past made mistakes?

  94. I think you might have! I'll try and get back to you with a response when I have more time.

  95. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 18:40

    Well i am a silly addict who knows what Narconon Holland is all about as i have spent many years there. And my truthful point has been deleted and not commented on by jocluso, and no i am not rubbing it in, I am providing some specifics to the debate.

  96. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 18:51

    Did it ever occur to you that the creeps who are coming out of the woodwork are former clients of yours? And Jesus christ while I am still young get some new material, I have been hearing your Nazi rants for 15 years and they are getting really old now. And you refer to WE? is that you and your 2 personalities.
    Lots of Love from HMP Liverpool

  97. Well, thanks LRu. I fully believe that it happened the way you described it.
    I'm curious, what were you addicted to? And since you spent many years there, did you get rid of the addiction and then became staff?

  98. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 19:03

    Yes I got rid of my heroin and crack addiction but with very little assistance from Narconon staff, i wanted it myself, and i became staff for a short while, but I left for many reasons.

  99. Thanks LRu, I hope you're doing well now.

    I have another question you might be able to help me with. I heard a rumor that also in 2006 someone died on the program. Do you have any idea what that was about, and wether it is true or not?

  100. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 19:38

    Yes it is true, It was me that revealed this information on why we protest.

  101. I see. And can you give specifics and details about it, just like you did with the incident in 2007?

  102. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 19:48

    I am awaiting a response from a journalist who i will be giving certain information to

  103. Well, I'm curious. There might be a story to tell.

    Joclusjo, if you read this, could you also give your side of the story?

  104. LRulaughingyet6 July 2013 at 20:19

    It's not even the tip of the iceberg, and if Narconon Holland did not disclose the information in 2006 why would jocluso comment now?

  105. I don't know. If there is a story, I always like to hear both sides of it,

  106. It may be human to make mistakes but it takes a criminal organisation, like the Co$, to exploit that and make money out of it. I like the "IF their income is" - my emphasis.
    They people charging money are in charge of the safety of the patients, and here good will is not enough.

  107. Yeah, old "Bob" here may or may not be the best person to share everything with. As for me, don't even think about it :D

  108. and if you reveal incriminating details here, the $cientologist staff members can always be transferred to Australia and be out of the way of investigators...

    Yes, they do that - read up on Lisa McPherson

  109. This one story is part of a problem that is only going to be fixed from the outside. The criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientology has no interest in the wellbeing of its victims, be they "public," "staff" or people who pay good money in the expectation of receiving qualified care and enroll in narCONon.

  110. Well done for reading that!

    I'm saying that these people, members/victims of the criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientology, are at best incapable of being in charge of a sauna.

    At worst, the death was caused by L Ron Hubbard's fundamentally flawed understanding of, well, everything. In $cientology, if a person follows LRH's procedures and there is a problem - any problem - the fix for the problem is to do more of that procedure. So, if someone quits her epilepsy medicine and sits in a sauna and has a seizure the fix is to sit in the sauna without medication for longer. Jocelynne Dorfmann showed what happened when LRH ignorance becomes more important than common sense.

    That's why it's a cult: the victims put LRH before common sense.

    And the reason I highlight this case is that, like intake doses of Niacin, the dangers of going off medicine is something that $cientologists are not supposed to know anything about (except to follow LRH's ideas).
    So, my idea is that Jocelynne Dorfmann is dead because the error that was made was to follow LRH "scripture" while practising medicine without a license and this error is being repeated as long as the Co$ (and thereby narCONon) is allowed to operate.
    All of which is entirely relevant to Roger Gonnet's testimony to the French Senate investigation - testimony which was described in good detail on this blog. In English.

  111. LOL

    Thanks for brightening this morning. I am indeed Danish - your briefing was correct.

    And thanks for admitting that - for you - third party anecdotes is good enough to decide the quality of medical care. And your total ignorance of the phrase "evidence based medicine" is telling. Very telling.

    While we're discussing evidence, what is your comment on Patty Moher's statement that the results quoted recvently by narCONon International were invented purely to make narCONon look good? The report is "Recent Release of ‘The Narconon Program - 40 Years of Evidence of Recovery’ Reveals Earlier Unfound Narconon Connecticut Study " and the then ED of narCONon CT, Patty Moher, is happily admitting that the results were made up, invented. Just like that.

    Oh, and isn't it interesting that everything bad that ever happened in a narCONon, or in a $cientology org, in the past is blamed on "people" when you know, and I know, that those people are actually following LRH scripture without fault and it's only for PR purposes that problems are ever admitted?

  112. You seem to know a lot about this very evil and criminal organisation, Jens.

    If I understand it well, your point is that Hubbard wrote that people have to follow his procedures and whenever there is a problem, the solution is to do more of that problem. That's an interesting idea.

    And since you are so well informed, may I ask, does this apply merely to the auditing techniques that he wrote? To all of them? To which ones does it apply and which ones not? And to what extend? If you're doing a procedure and the person has to go to the toilet, do you have to continue the procedure so the person doesn't need to go to the toilet anymore? Does it apply to green on white policy? Are you saying it also applies for the Purif? And if so, too what extend?

    What I've recently learned is that Scientology critics definitely don't like unsubstantiated statements, so I assume you know exactly where Hubbard said these things, which means you can also provide me with the right context in which this idea was written.

    Could you please refer me to the exact text where Hubbard says that this idea applies for the Purif? That "to fix ANY problem is to do more of the procedure?"

    Now, I understand that you're too busy and so on, so let's assume that Hubbard indeed wrote that something similar also applies for the Purif.
    It would mean that if the Niacin and sweating would cause a certain phenomenon in a person, he would just have to continue with Niacin and sweating and the phenomenon would disappear.
    This may or may not be true.

    But what we can know for sure, is that the epileptic fits were obviously NOT a phenomenon caused by Niacin and sweating, because the woman had barely started the program.

    So yes, you're completely right. These not so smart guys were apparently trying to follow some sort of an idea of what was in their understanding LRH scripture, where it obviously didn't make any sense at all.

    And since I'm a very logical thinker, I agree with you that it's all the fault of L.Ron Hubbard and his followers and therefore this organisation and all other similar related organisations anywhere in the world are very criminal and evil and should be destroyed. We have enough drug clinics with better results anyhow.

    And when they are all gone, we will finally have peace and happiness on earth.....


  113. "go to the toilet." Very funny.
    i must say, you're making a credible pass at making the critics look crazy - well done!
    Seriously, the article on this very blog about "Hubbard on epilepsy" says it better than I can.
    "go to the toilet" - he he he ;)
    As for having enough drug clinics with better results, I keep referring to the data invented by Patty Moher 40 years ago and referred to by narCONon international last month as being the best that narCONon has. If making up data is their best shot at documenting their results, I don't see a down-side to shutting down narCONon. And I don't know why you do.

  114. The downside of shutting down Narconon is that we then can shut down so many other things too. Narconon is linked to a weird organisation called Scientology.
    So what?
    They lie in their PR.
    So what?
    They make mistakes.
    Who doesn't?

    There are also drug rehabs linked to christianity. I grew up in a very traditional, orthodox family. Talking about a cult.... Christianity has caused more deaths than Narconon ever will.
    Any idea how many silly and evil sounding quotes I could give you from the Bible or the Koran?
    Why don't you go after them?

    If they break the law, bring them under law. If not, let them free to have their own beliefs and practices and acknowledge them for being in general well intended people.

    Otherwise you may shut down christianity and islam and homeopathie and acupuncturism and a host of others as well. Do you know how many people died who had received treatment from an acupuncturist in the last 50 years?

    It must be not too difficult to find some very learned professor who will write a piece of text, saying that acupuncturism has in fact no underlying scientifically proven basis. So what? We then have to forbid acupuncturism?

    Live a happy life and try to have tolerance with others who may not share your ideas, but who try to do their best in the world.

    The Scientologists make the mistake of regarding a certain group of people as very evil.
    Don't make the same mistake.

  115. "If they break the law, bring them under law."

    I agree completely and totally. That's what I'm advocating

  116. Sorry for the delay getting back to you Joanna: the link to the piece you asked about (Narconon: an Introduction) is here:

  117. bob is clearly a shill for joclusjo.these people are an utter disgrace

  118. Hello bobbysands,

    For your information, I've seen Joclusjo a few times, but she doesn't know who I am, and if she did, she probably wouldn't talk to me, because I am declared a Suppressive Person, which means that she's not supposed to have contact with me.

    I'm not so sure who you mean by "these people", but I assume that you mean Joclusjo and me. I also assume that you on the other hand, consider yourself a good person. That makes me wonder, what exactly makes you think that I'm such an utter disgrace, while you on the other hand are a good person?

    Or in the case of Joclusjo, is it because she tries to get people off drugs with a certain program in which she believes, while you have different ideas about it? Does this make her an utter disgrace?

    Just curious how you can condemn people so easily and apparently think that you yourself are better.

  119. When you see the CON in NarCONon, you see Scientology.

  120. NarCONon is *not* Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.).

    When you see the CON, it's Scientology.

  121. Exactly: and for more of the same, see the devastating series of filings made by Jeff Harris, attorney in the Narconon Georgia case. Tony Ortega reported in detail on them with links to the relevant documents:

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