Scientology-inspired drug rehabilitation clinic under fire over cure claims

Discussion in 'Narconon' started by The Wrong Guy, May 10, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology-inspired drug rehabilitation clinic under fire over cure claims

    By Matt Johnston and Alex White, Herald Sun Melboume, May 10, 2015

    A drug rehabilitation centre with links to the Church of Scientology has been fined and ordered to remove unsubstantiated claims made online about “curing” patients.

    Among claims that led Consumer Affairs Victoria to investigate the Get Off Drugs Naturally Foundation was a graph showing “cocaine metabolites being excreted in the sweat and urine of clients participating in the Detoxification program”.

    The foundation’s site in East Warburton is owned by Narconon, an international group inspired by the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Counted among its supporters are singer Kate Ceberano, who won the church’s Freedom Medal.

    An online testimonial from Ms Ceberano says the detox helps people “overcome their addiction using no drugs but a thorough Sauna Detox and a series of life skills courses”.

    But the Consumer Affairs Victoria probe, triggered by complaints to the state’s Health Services Commissioner, found there was a “lack of scientific methodology” in the foundation’s claims. As a result, the foundation will remove claims from its websites, pay a fine of $3000, and publish information about the undertaking.

    Patients at the Get Off Drugs clinic pay thousands of dollars for rehab, which includes spending hours daily in a sauna and self-help classes.

    National policy manager at the Australian Drug Foundation, Geoff Munro, said people should be cautious about undertaking treatment.

    Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett said misleading health claims often made vulnerable people the target.

    “It gives people false hope that a complex health issue can be quickly and easily solved,” she said.

    Get Off Drugs’ executive director Andrew Cunningham said last night the foundation was working with Consumer Affairs to clarify its web content.

    “Anyone doing this program must have their healthcare professional’s advice as to their suitability for the program. This has also been a long-standing policy for our facility. We have been organising a scientific, peer-review study here in Australia,” Mr Cunningham said.

    “We have assisted hundreds of addicts and their families, over a decade, to become drug free and productive members of society.”

    He added that he had ten years experience in the field. Staff included a trained nurse, two naturopaths and paramedic and key staff members had also qualified for a certificate IV in disability for alcohol and other drugs, Mr Cunningham said.

    A spokesman for Ms Ceberano said she continued to support the centre.

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

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  3. BigBeard Member

    Like that's ever going to happen, unless the reviewers are being paid by NN/Cof$ for a particular result.

    An independent peer-review of NN's methodology and results is one of those things they have fought forever. The only "peer review" they've allowed was a paper submitted, not presented (there's a difference), at one conference. They've pointed to that paper as proof they've been "peer reviewed" ever since. Pure bullocks.

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  4. DeathHamster Member

    Naturopaths, ooo eer! I wonder if those "certificate IV"s are anything real. (Wait, he didn't actually say that they had them, just that they qualified for them. Weasel alert!)
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  5. Anonymous Member

    naturopathy meme copy.png
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  6. DeathHamster Member

    I've started digging into the corporate Narconons in Australia.

    Narconon ANZO Incorporated

    They seem to have lost some kind of tax exemption and Deductible Gift Recipient status recently. Hopefully that's permanent rather than just missing paperwork.

    From To
    Public Benevolent Institution 01 Jul 2000 (current)
    Tax concessions From To
    GST Concession 01 Jul 2005 30 Mar 2015
    FBT Exemption 01 Jul 2005 30 Mar 2015
    Income Tax Exemption 01 Jul 2000 30 Mar 2015

    There are a few more, and I'll have to map the existing/attempted Narconons to the corporations.

    Google Maps doesn't quite know what to do with "NSW 2251". It knows it's in Australia, but is stuck "Loading".
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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Melbourne drug rehab centre fined for misleading claims its detox programs can completely cure drug addiction

    By Mary McDonald, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), May 11, 2015

    A drug rehabilitation centre with links to the Church of Scientology has been fined and forced to remove claims from its website that it could completely cure drug addiction with detox treatments, including sauna visits.

    Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) investigated the Get Off Drugs Naturally Foundation in East Warburton, east of Melbourne, over its claims that detox programs helped cure patients.

    The foundation uses the Narconon Program as its model for rehabilitation.

    Narconon is an international organisation based on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

    The CAV said the incorporated foundation claimed on its website that it had an 80 per cent success rate of drug-addicted patients completely withdrawing from drug use "usually within 30 days".

    It also claimed that 70 per cent of its patients remained drug free "for many years".

    But the CAV probe found the claims were unsubstantiated, and not scientifically tested.

    The foundation also failed to provide evidence that testimonials from patients quoted on the website were genuine.

    "The foundation provided 10 copies of statutory declarations (except for four patients) purportedly sworn by family members and friends of the 14 patients," the CAV report said.

    "As these statements were not made by the patients themselves, the director of CAV considers the statutory declarations to be scientifically unreliable in the circumstances.

    "Accordingly, CAV did not accept these 10 statutory declarations constitute scientific evidence demonstrating consistent success of the Foundation's Detoxification Program."

    Victoria's Consumer Affairs Minister, Jane Garrett, said misleading or deceptive claims were unacceptable.

    "They were making claims about helping people get off drugs without the use of any medication or other services," she said.

    "A lot of it related to using saunas and heat therapy," she said.

    The website included the claim that its detox program could "thoroughly remove the physical cravings for drugs and alcohol naturally and even rid the body of other toxins and chemicals".

    The company was fined $3,000 and forced to remove the claims.

    "This is a real warning to any other organisation out there who is offering services to vulnerable people, to drug addicted people, to people suffering health issues that they'd better be able to back up their claims that they're making because to mislead, particularly vulnerable people, just isn't on," Ms Garrett said.

    Ms Garrett said the company had cooperated fully with the investigation.

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  8. Anonymous Member

    I worked with "New South Wales instead of NSW." When I asked for street view, I was shown an extremely rugged and rocky shoreline.

    Perhaps a beach of some kind, as there were humans present in some of the views.
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  9. Hugh Bris Member

    Goggle Maps was saying to itself "It doesn't work that way, guys. There is no such direction as North South West."
  10. DeathHamster Member

    I thumped it a bit, and it eventually worked. It's up the coast from Sydney. Unfortunately it seems to be a municipal-type location rather than a street location. I don't get it, isn't the address a matter of public record?

    All the Narconons I've looked at are "Other Incorporated Entity", which means that they weren't incorporated as federal Australian corporations. That probably means that I should dig at the state level for more info, or outside Australia.
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Narconon in Australia gets smacked around for deceptive practices

    Our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen, jumped on a news story out of Australia today regarding Narconon. Once again another country takes action while practically the exact same situation exists here in the United States. Take it away, Jonny:

    Continued here:
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  12. DeathHamster Member

    Some name and position confusion going on.

    The actual company is Get Off Drugs Naturally. Get Off Drugs Naturally Foundation is a registered Business Name alias.

    Nerida James is the president-of-record of the company. President is a wog-world title, and internally I think she is the Executive Director, with Andrew Cunningham as the deputy Executive Director.

    Starting from here: Off Drugs Naturally

    Drilling into here:

    Two thing to note at this level: It's still listed for Charity tax concession status and Deductible gift recipient status. Hopefully Senator Xenophon and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission will nail that in the future.

    You can click on ACNC registration:
    Registered as a charity view ACNC registration

    Give that window a kick by entering the Australian Business Number in the Charity ABN box, click on Find. Click on the "Get Off Drugs Naturally" result line.


    This should give the equivalent of a Guidestar view of the company data. Laugh at the "Who the Charity Benefits" crap. From here, stuff like Profit Loss Get Off Drugs Naturally Incorporated 2014.pdf (Form 990 type data)

    They claim to have run a loss, which usually means that they're hiding the profit elsewhere. (There's an cost item for student naturopathic services. Straight into Nerida James' ND (Not Doctor) pocket, I figure.)

    Anyway, I've updated their info:
    Category:Get Off Drugs Naturally

    I still have to rearrange the corporate structure above them and shift the news articles, because there is no Narconon Victoria. Above them seems to be Narconon ANZO, which lost its charity status in April.
    • Like Like x 5
  13. RightOn Member

    you da bomb Hamp!
  14. DeathHamster Member

    Hmm. It's a still a charity, but there's a note:
    Entity Subtype
    Public benevolent institution (01/01/2014)
    Awaiting selection of new subtype
    They have 18 months to select a new charity subtype. (June 1, 2015?)
    Hopefully this will be the first step to their charity status being screwed like Narconon ANZO.
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  15. DeathHamster Member

    Prices for 2000. I bet they've up quite a bit:

    Full program payment $18,000.00
    Minus discount for completion of full program $3,500.00
    Sub-Total: $14,500.00
    Plus food and board for 6 months: + $ 4,320.00
    Medical Expenses (Blood tests and Medical check-ups) + $ 500.00
    Total $19,320.00
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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Unhappy drug detox clinic patients demand their money back | Herald Sun

    By Matt Johnston and Alex White, Herald Sun, May 23, 2015

    Relatives of former patients at a drug detox clinic linked to the Church of Scientology have complained of being duped and ripped off.

    The Sunday Herald Sun has spoken to family members who paid about $30,000 for loved ones to attend the Warburton East Get Off Drugs clinic, which is backed by singer Kate Ceberano.

    Two alleged victims said they later learnt of harrowing experiences.

    Earlier the family had signed up for $30,000 after they were shown information about the site including an endorsement video from Ms Ceberano.

    After about a week the patient was allegedly sent packing from the centre for showing “no interest” in completing the Narconon program.

    It allegedly took legal threats to get a little more than half of the $30,000 back, with an invoice seen by the Sunday Herald Sun showing the patient was charged about $10,000 — or $66 an hour for 24 hours a day — for “treatment”. This included one session where a picture book of Alice in Wonderland was provided to read.

    “It was a nightmare,” one family member said. Another relative of a patient who also paid almost $30,000, said: “There were books of Scientology everywhere. They say it is not Scientology but it is done very subtly.”

    Family members of victims say that aside from massive fees to join the program, which includes readings by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Centrelink payments are deducted for “food and board”.

    The worrying allegations come after the Sunday Herald Sun revealed the Get Off Drugs centre, which runs the Narconon program inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, was fined after a Consumer Affairs Victoria probe for misleading claims about curing patients. Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett said the Get Off Drugs Naturally Foundation was “on notice”.

    Consumer Affairs Victoria would continue to scrutinise the centre’s marketing activities. The Sunday Herald Sun sent a series of questions to executive director of Get Off Drugs Naturally, Andrew Cunningham, on Friday but did not receive a response.

    Previously, Mr Cunningham said the Narconon program was run across 40 countries and there were “countless testimonials from our clients that show the efficacy of our drug free program”.

    “People who enter our program are already off drugs, participate of their own free will and have paid for the program,” he said at the time.

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  17. DeathHamster Member

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  18. BigBeard Member

    That's because writing a "testimonial", a.k.a., "Success Story", is required to finish the program.

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  19. Incredulicide Member

    Psychotic patients distinguished from controls while watching movie 'Alice in Wonderland'

    To ensure that the patients and controls receive the same stimuli while undergoing measurement, so that the brains of the patients and the controls are concentrating on the same things while being scanned a group of Finnish researchers have come up with a creative solution: patients and controls were scanned while watching the movie Alice in Wonderland, which guaranteed that they were receiving the same information-rich stimulus.

    Using a 3-Tesla MRI device, they were able to achieve almost 80% classification accuracy by scanning the brains of 46 first-episode psychotic patients (meaning that they had only had one psychotic event) and 32 healthy controls, while watching the movie. The researchers found that significant differences could be seen in the precuneus region of the brain, which is an area associated with memory, visuospatial awareness, self-awareness, and aspects of consciousness.
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  20. DeathHamster Member
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  21. BigBeard Member

    When are the FTC, FDA, and any other 'alphabet soup' Federal agency with an interest, going to get off their collective butts and start hammering narCONon and Wickstrom's pseudo narCONon facilities for the same kind of false claims??? Why the hell are we paying taxes if they're going to let this kind of crap slide???

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  22. DeathHamster Member

    Probably a stale page by now (dates from 2011):
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  23. Quentinanon Member

    The proverbial question you ask. Why hasn't the U.S. Army gotten off its ass and produced their docs on the purification rundown. Fact or Fraud? Army, show us the dox.
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Yarramalong wins again against Scientology’s rehab plans

    By Tony Ortega, November 25, 2015

    Bryan Seymour tells us he’s hoping to get a story out on this soon, so we’ll let him get into the details. But it looks like Scientology’s front group ABLE has lost its appeal in New South Wales of a local council’s decision not to grant a Narconon the zoning it needs to build a new 20-bed drug rehab facility there.

    Once again, David Miscavige’s plans for Narconon 2.0 take a hit from determined locals.

    Source and comments:
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  25. Incredulicide Member

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