After being removed nearly a decade ago, the Church of Scientology’s Narconon program is once again being given access to students in some of California’s public schools. A growing number of schools and teachers are bringing in Narconon “experts” to lecture on drug use and abuse.
Narconon is back in California public schools.
The Scientology-linked antidrug program visited classrooms freely for years until 2005, when medical experts and the state Department of Education determined it was promoting bogus science. The alarm went up a decade ago after The Chronicle revealed that Narconon’s antidrug messages to students were based not on medical evidence, according to the experts, but on the practices of Scientology…
Narconon is based on concepts developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the late science-fiction writer who created the Church of Scientology and Dianetics in the 1950s. The religion opposes drugs and alcohol, which practitioners believe interfere with achieving a state of mental purity that Scientology calls “Clear.”
The antidrug message and its related notions of how drugs work in the body – including the idea, rejected by medical experts, that drugs reside in body fat for years and can cause people to feel high during times of stress – are part of the Narconon program and drug education materials the group currently makes available online…The California Department of Education spent up to $30,000 to review Narconon’s claims in 2005 before issuing a strong warning to schools about Narconon.
“Narconon’s drug prevention program does not reflect accurate, widely-accepted medical and scientific evidence,” Jack O’Connell, then the state superintendent of public instruction, told schools in a letter posted on the department’s website Feb. 24, 2005. Department officials said they stand by those findings today.
The department lacks the authority to oust programs, but some school districts banned Narconon outright, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, which had its own medical experts review the curriculum.
Yet Narconon has given free presentations in at least 28 California public schools in other districts since 2007, The Chronicle found.
This is absolutely unacceptable. Scientology can’t claim to be a religion to get a tax exemption and then claim to be secular when it comes to their anti-drug scams.