SCIENTOLOGYA man on a missionFormer addict devotes his life to shutting down a detoxification center linked to Scientologyby Émilie DubreuilMarch 3, 2012David Love (right) chats with Shadow, a member of Anonymous, a group that fights the Church of Scientology. They went to Parliament in Ottawa to meet with Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette to ask for support. The senator has since contacted the authorities in Quebec.David Love arrived in Quebec in 2008. Addicted to cocaine and medications, he no longer had any choice: either undergo detoxification or watch his life fall apart. So he entered Narconon Trois-Rivières, a supposedly hyper-efficient detox center. A year later, he came out weaned from his addiction, but in a state of post-traumatic shock. For the past three years, he has been making every effort to ask the authorities to shut down the center."All I do," says 60-year-old David Love, "is dedicate myself to preventing others from becoming victims of this scam. I help those who leave, I write complaints, I meet with politicians. Once I've achieved my goal, I'll go back home to British Columbia."Narconon Trois-Rivières advertises a success rate well above the average, nearly 80%. The detoxification center's clientele consists almost exclusively of English Canadians and Americans.Love received treatment along with about sixty other such clients. After completing the program, he was hired as an employee. Many of those who work at the center have followed a similar path from being patients to becoming intervention workers.Narconon has no specialists with degrees in the treatment of drug addiction in the traditional sense. Psychologists and doctors are also absent, and this is not the smallest peculiarity of this program, which costs about $30,000.The Narconon Trois-Rivières website summarizes the treatment program as "complete and natural, with no substitution of drugs and no medication. Its immense success is due to a unique combination of benefits from biophysical detoxification followed by a precise sequence of extensive educational gains through life improvement courses."Yelling at an ashtrayFormer patients report that, at the beginning of treatment, they had to yell at an ashtray; this is the control exercise. Another exercise involves staring at a wall for hours or looking without blinking at another patient. Some patients have to eliminate their relationships with relatives and friends that the intervention workers consider harmful. After this first phase, patients are allowed to take the "purification rundown", which consists of spending five to six hours a day in a sauna for more than three weeks.A portrait of L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986, towers over the entrance hall at Narconon Trois-Rivières. Hubbard was the founder of the Church of Scientology and he was basically a science fiction writer.The treatment at Narconon Trois-Rivières is based on Hubbard's writings. Narconon is a trademark owned by another legal entity: ABLE, whose mission is, according to its website, "to rid the world of its most devastating social ills — drugs, crime, and illiteracy using the methodologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard."According to Hubbard, drugs accumulate over time in the fatty tissues of the body. This is a half-truth: some drugs only reside temporarily in fatty tissues. In any case, expelling drugs from the body, according to Hubbard, requires sweating, which explains the sauna. To promote sweating, patients are instructed to ingest vegetable oil and a vitamin called niacin in very high doses, up to 5,000 milligrams per day. The amount recommended by Health Canada is 500 mg daily.Neither Narconon nor the Church of Scientology of Montreal returned Le Journal de Montréal's calls......SCIENTOLOGYA CONTESTED ORGANIZATIONby Émilie DubreuilMarch 3, 2012According to Narconon's blog, evaluators from the Accreditation Council of Quebec recently spent time at Narconon and interviewed patients and staff. Their report will determine whether or not Narconon obtains a permit from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, which has established a certification process for the various treatment programs offered in Quebec.- According to the Health and Social Services Agency for the Mauricie region, the Accreditation Council's report will be sent to a committee of experts who will recommend to the Agency whether or not to grant certification to Narconon. This process could take weeks or even months.- A trial against a Narconon branch in the state of Georgia is expected to begin soon in the United States. A young man reportedly died of an overdose there.- In early February, Danish authorities temporarily shut down a Narconon center whose facilities were ruled inadequate.- For 2010, Narconon Trois-Rivières reported total revenues of of $2,526,630 from the sale of goods and services (excluding revenues from government sources).- For 2010, Narconon Trois-Rivières reported that 109 persons worked full time for the organization at a cost of $414,000 in salaries.- Scientology was created in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and it currently claims to have 12 million followers in 150 countries.