Is Narconon controlled by Scientology?
The high degree of similarity between the practices of Scientology and Narconon has frequently attracted the attention of observers. The 1974 "Tennant Report" on Narconon commented on how Narconon was thoroughly permeated by Scientologists and Scientology doctrine, though it did not demonstrate a direct link between the two organisations:
Behind the scenes at Narconon
Lt Col Mark Jones was Narconon's first Director, serving in that position through the 1970s until the organisation was restructured around 1983. In 1995 he submitted an extraordinary sworn declaration, supported by documentation, that (at least until the early 1980s) Narconon was wholly controlled by the Church of Scientology. He states:
Arthur Maren's involvement with Narconon is corroborated by a Scientology disciplinary report on him, WISE INT Ethics Order 1501 of 6 December 1989. In mitigation for a long list of "crimes", "high crimes" and "misdemenors", it states: "The Committee found that Arte [Arthur] has made major contributions to the expansion of the Church and Narconon during his 26 years as a Scientologist."
But what advantage would Scientology gain from covertly running a drug rehabilitation agency? A possible answer appears to lie in a briefing document issued by the Guardian's Office on 15 February 1982. It states:
This relates directly to L. Ron Hubbard's campaign against psychiatry and psychology, which continues to be waged by the Church of Scientology. In a confidential minute which he wrote in 1969 and which related experience suggests may still be in force, he laid down the following goal for Scientology:
In the light of this statement, it is possible to interpret Narconon as representing an attempt to wrest control of health care funding from the "psychs" whom Hubbard so reviled.
The Church of Scientology went to extraordinary lengths to hide its control over Narconon. In 1977, the FBI raided the Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles headquarters of Scientology, seizing over 33,000 documents. The documents showed that Narconon and other supposedly independent bodies such as Applied Scholastics and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights were run through the Guardian's Office's Bureau 6, also known as "B6" or "Social Coordination". One document in particular, itemised by the FBI as item 104 in Box C16, orders the use of codes to obscure Scientology's control of "B6 groups":
On the next page, the document lists a number of "B6 type groups" to whom corporate links are to be concealed; Narconon is second on the list.
Despite its outward denial of corporate links to Narconon, Scientology made no secret of those links to those on the inside. On 18 August 1982, the Church of Scientology of California's United States Guardian Office (USGO) issued a commendation to Jones for his Narconon work. The citation states:
Similarly, Jones' Narconon work was rewarded by the Church of Scientology by awards of Scientology training levels. An Executive Directive from L. Ron Hubbard, dated 2 June 1972 and annotated by David Gaiman, then a leading member of the UK Guardian's Office, states:
Class IX, "Hubbard Advanced Technical Specialist", is defined in the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Bridge Publications, 1974) as being "taught at Saint Hill organizations and contains data concerning advanced procedures and developments since Class VIII". This is clearly full-blown Scientology, rather than the supposedly separate and secular Narconon "technology".
Is Narconon still controlled by Scientology?
There are no known "smoking guns" along the lines of Lt Col Jones' testimony and supporting documentation, or the documents seized by the FBI in 1977, to corroborate the continued corporate control of Narconon by the Church of Scientology. However, there are two interesting pieces of evidence which suggest close links at the very least.
The first comes from the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization's Flag FSM Newsletter, distributed to Scientology "Field Staff Members" (Scientologists who act as salemen, disseminating Scientology in return for a 10% cut of the recruit's fees - by which means considerable sums can be earned for the FSM). In Volume XIX, number XVII of the newsletter (published 1992), a list of "International Top Ten FSMs" appears. This is subdivided into "Individuals" and "Orgs, Missions and Groups". Narconon Los Molinos appears in the latter category as having raised $2661 for Scientology (see below). Why is Narconon in this list if it is independent of Scientology?
The other piece of evidence is an 8-page Executive Directive from Narconon International, entitled "Narconon UK Non-Existence Program" and dated 23 May 1995. It states:
The "Non-Existence Formula" is taken from L. Ron Hubbard's "management technology"; essentially, a person or organisation in a state of "Non Existence" is someone who is not known to anyone in the vicinity and has made no impact, hence is not existing. This is certainly a fair summation of Narconon UK, which cannot be said to have made much of a splash; although it is recognised as a charity (the only Scientology-related entity in the United Kingdom to enjoy this status, in fact), it has been quiescent for many years.
The document goes on to list a series of "Major Targets", "Primary Targets" "Vital Targets" and "Operating Targets" in the usual quasi-military style dictated by "management technology". A number of these targets are of considerable interest. Primary Target 4 instructs the Executive Director of Narconon UK to "report on the program to ED NN [Narconon] Int[ernational], info ED ABLE UK." ABLE, the Association for Better Living and Education, is an umbrella organisation which licenses the use of L. Ron Hubbard's educational and social works (adapted chiefly from Scientology versions). In April 1990, ABLE announced that it was giving $200,000 to Narconon's Chilocco centre in recognition of the latter's "remarkable success in treating addicts". It did not mention any corporate links with Narconon, but it subsequently emerged that Narconon was a subsidiary of ABLE. The "Narconon UK Non-Existence Program" recognises this relationship in Operating Target 8: "Alert ABLE UK that you are now ready for a new inspection to a pass and ask that the inspection be done." Clearly, ABLE sets a stringent set of criteria for endorsement of Narconon organisations. In a very real sense, it appears that ABLE controls the establishment and possibly the operation of the organisations to whom it licenses Hubbard materials.
The chain of control demonstrably leads back to the Religious Technology Center, the body which owns Hubbard's copyrights and sits at the top of Scientology's convoluted corporate structure. Only bodies "in good standing" with the RTC can make use of Hubbard's works, albeit for a generous fee; the RTC reserves the right to withdraw licenses without notice. As the Californian courts have ruled, this enables the RTC to exercise de facto control of supposedly independent entities such as Narconon. The RTC itself acknowledged this control in the agreement which it reached with the US Internal Revenue Service on 1 October 1993. In section VIII.C.4, Narconon International is described as a "Scientology-related entity". Its unpaid tax dues, along with those of the Church of Scientology and various other related entities, were covered by a single payment of $12.5 million made by the Church of Scientology International.
More interesting targets appear further on in the "Narconon UK Non-Existence Program". Operating Targets 27, 37, 47 and 48 are highly significant in that they appear to show a direct link to the Church of Scientology. The targets state:
The significance of this is that OSA - the Office of Special Affairs - is the department of the Church of Scientology responsible for legal, public relations and intelligence matters: it is a combination of press agency, legal consultancy and secret intelligence service. It is also the direct successor to the old Guardian's Office, which - as already discussed - apparently exercised strong behind-the-scenes control over Narconon. The reference to "LRH PPRO UK" is also significant. The purpose of the "L. Ron Hubbard Personal Public Relations Officer" is defined as follows:
If Narconon is indeed independent of the Church of Scientology, then why is its UK Executive Director liaising so closely with departments of the Church dedicated to the promotion of Scientology?
Last updated 31 August 1998
by Chris Owen (firstname.lastname@example.org)