Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Narconon sting: Scientology's Minnesota drug scam Saturday, 17 October 1981

One thing is certain — the Church of Scientology has more control of the Minnesota drug program than they wish to publicly admit.

Narconon-Minnesota's incorporation papers list their first corporate address as the Grand Ave., Mpls apartment of Narconon official Rick Johnson. According to a 1973 issue of the Scientology magazine. The Auditor, Johnson is a "Clear" (Church parlance for a Scientologist who has been "freed of his chronic mental and physical difficulties.")

Johnson's partner on the Narconon board was Lottie Seidler of Minneapolis, a former UPI reporter and admitted Scientologist.

Both Narconon-Minnesota vice-president William Gonnsen and Narconon-St. Cloud teacher Jon Reisdorf are listed in the June [?] And both Narconon treasurer Ken Turner and his wife, Narconon president Michele Scalzo, are dedicated Scientologists.

The reason for Narconon's hiding its Scientology links is explained in an astonishing series of internal Scientology memos released by Lorna Levett, for six years the director of a Canadian Scientology mission. A Nov. 23, 1971 letter from Narconon Director Mark Jones talks of "getting Narconon programs in prisons and working to get them in the armed forces. A little later we will start Narconon drug rehab centers in the local communities and route the people on Org or Center lines when we get them off drugs." Org means Scientology organization, and center is a Scientology mission.

Jones urges Scientologists to "emphasize that Narconon is not Scientology. . ."

Levett also received a letter from Narconon supervisor Artie Maren, which claimed: "We are expanding the Scientology drug rehabilitation programs, primarily through Narconon. . . The local rehabilitation centers will bring drug users off drugs and on to the local Mission or Church lines for further training and spiritual counseling." The Church says the letter is a forgery. Levett says, in a sworn affidavit, it is authentic.
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard himself, in a August 29, 1972 letter, candidly explains that the Scientology "Guardian's Office has been running the Narconon program all over the world." According to Scientology files seized by the F.B.I. in 1977, it was the Guardian's Office — Hubbard's "dirty tricks" branch — which coordinated a national harassment campaign against critics of the church. That campaign, which included burglaries, forging of bomb threats, and eavesdropping on U.S. government offices, led to the conviction in 1978 of nine top Scientology officials.

The best example of Scientology's use of Narconon as a propaganda tool is a memo sent by Narconon official Nancy Batchelder. Titled "Narconon: A vanguard for Scientology," the memo urges: "O.K. mock up a map of the U.S. (or look at one) and then one by one mock up a little Narconon symbol appearing in the center of each state representing full state support of Narconon. Did you do that? Good! How does that feel, to totally handle the drug problem in the U.S."

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