Some physicians and a former Scientologist say the treatment, called a purification rundown, is dangerous and ineffective. Two members of the state physician's board are questioning whether a health-food store with ties to Scientology is practicing medicine illegally by offering a church-sanctioned vitamin regimen.
A drug treatment program backed by a controversial church is trying to sell Alberta Natives addiction-cure services that medical experts have warned are unsafe and ineffective. As many as 10 Alberta reserves have been approached by Narconon, a U.S.-based program associated with the Church of Scientology. The program - which costs about $18,000 U.S. and prescribes daily saunas and megavitamin doses - has been rejected by a U.S. and state board of health because it "may endanger the physical or mental well-being of (its clients)."
It is not uncommon for present or former Scientologymembers to try to kill themselves, according to three national experts on the controversial religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard. Boston attorney Michael J. Flynn, interviewed on national television and by national magazines about his 20 lawsuits against the church, said he knows of at least 10 documented Scientology suicides or suicide attempts nationwide.
A woman they called "Lee" recounted her 12 years in the Scientology and her emotional and physical struggle to break away from the sect. After four months in Clearwater, still finding no success with OT Level exorcisms, she was "physically and mentally in bad shape," but afraid to leave the church.
The practice of "dianetics," a theory for the treatment of psychosomatic and other ills, was attacked as "dangerous" by Dr. Gregory Zilboorg, psychiatrist. Dr. Zilboorg declared the book was "unfair to human beings" in promising the hope of cures by persons without scientific or medical training.