Monday, 23 April 2012

Intervention! Scientologist Rehab Centre Shut Down in Trois-Rivières

It's a cloudy thetanful day for Narconon Trois-Rivières.
There's more fantastic non-crazy news here in Quebec when it comes to secularism to brighten your Monday.  The head of the regional health agency forced Narconon, a Scientology-run addiction rehab center,  in Trois-Rivières to shut down on April 17.   This is Canada's main Narconon centre.  I would have reported sooner, but this weekend was my wedding anniversary - no blogging.  Got to keep my priorities straight.

Apparently at least four patients had to be wheeled off to hospital in the past few months because of the insane Scientology-based methods used.
Mauricie regional health agency director Marc Latour said Narconon Trois-Rivières advertised an 80 per cent success rate and charged $25,000 for its program. 
Latour said the centre was dangerous for patients and violated many of the criteria regulating Quebec's rehab centres. 
He said there was no medical supervision and no scientific basis to the treatment.
Narconon responded to all this scientific basis and medical supervision "hoo-ha" with this:
"People with drug problems and their families should have a right to choose the program that works for them as these days there are many good alternative programs," it said.
Apparently people should have the right to buy Scientology's dangerous snake oil with no scientific basis or medical supervision if it makes them feel good.  Thankfully, the government wasn't buying any and ran them out of town.

Half of the original 34 patients in the centre are being relocated south of the border.  I guess they have no problems operating in the States.

This latest development was probably triggered by a patient's mother who went public to the CBC about her son's story in Narconon: Mom slams drug rehab centre run by Scientologists.

While Daniel was at the treatment centre, Keller said he harmed himself by cutting his arms with a knife and he managed to get access to rubbing alcohol, which he drank. 
"He was supposed to be under 24-hour supervision, which clearly he wasn't," said Keller. "An addict who is in a withdrawal unit needs to be extremely carefully supervised and I'm not sure they were capable."

This was perfectly predictable behaviour for an addict put onto immediate cold turkey without any form of medication. Scientology has problems with psychiatry and medication - so he wasn't given any prescription drugs to help with the withdrawal.  Well it seems this behaviour disqualified him from the program and they kicked him out and stuck him on a bus home.  They kept his mother's money.

The centre wasn't closed down for trivial reasons.  People who were already unstable were being subjected to serious abuse. From ex-patient turned counsellor, David Love:
"The indoctrination into Scientology begins when you arrive at Narconon … It is 100% cult sect." he said. "Religious indoctrination, right out of the Scientology textbooks." 
He said it's not unusual for addicts to get sent home on a bus, if staff can't control or indoctrinate them.
In a more recent report Inside Narconon's bizarre treatments - David love discusses his strange and painful experiences there. It was like 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest times 10  (Montreal Gazette), Love exposes some of Scientology's frankly bizarre take on rehabilitation:

Being forced to yell at an ashtray for hours on end - "Stand up, ashtray!" "Thank you." "Sit back down, ashtray!" - also left him confused and frustrated. 
Then come the personality and IQ tests, performed at regular intervals on patients, and the interrogation by an Ethics Officer to make sure a patient, or "student" as Narconon calls them, is not an undercover reporter.
I'm glad to see the centre shut down.  It's too bad many of the patients only got shuffled to other Scientology centres.


  1. It really is amazing how a mob who believe in a space monster, that shrinks are evil and Tom Cruise is god, are able to provide an important service for the government. It's like putting Ronald McDonald on the Republican ticket this year.

  2. Wait a sec? Ronald McDonald is not on the ballot?

    Serious though. Although I don't eat their hamburgers, McDonald's House has done some good work. So I think you do McDonald's a grave misjustice by comparing them! :-)


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