Le Soleil: Narconon Expose - March 21, 2010

Kha Khan

Patron Meritorious
From WWP: Le Soleil: Narconon Expose - March 21, 2010

It's coming...



Links to the articles in French:

Intoxiqué par l'Église de scientologie | Marc Allard | Société


Église de scientologie: un autre coup dur | Marc Allard | Société


English translation by Anonymous:

First article, Part One:

Intoxicated by the Church of Scientology

(Québec) Since he came out of Narconon, David Edgar Love almost doesn't sleep. He has flash backs about traumatic experiences that he says he lived through in that scientologist detox center in trois-rivières, and sometimes, he becomes so anguished that he looses breath.

In november, a doctor from ''La cité de la santé'' in laval diagnosed him with a post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr Love is now consulting a psychatrist in a montreal's hospital that was recommended to him by Mike Kropveld, director of ''Info-secte'', and he is trying to not look too sleepy at his new job.

Sitting in a small restaurant in a morose part of the Lachine neighborhood, in montreal, where he found a small studio apt, Mr Love, 57 years old, tells us about his experience at Narconon, where he was a client from december 2008 to may 2009, then an employee until the end of october.

Revealed for the first time in ''Le Soleil'', his testimony about the french canadian detox center linked to the church of scientology is added to a series of denunciations that shook the religious organisation everywhere in the world, in the last months.

At his side, David Love has a briefcase full of documents on which he is basing his complaint at the Human rights commission, and another one at the work norms commission, that are investigating his allegations.

During the 11 months that he passed at Narconon, Mr Love says he was victim of harrassment, threats and of multiple other violations of his rights, he also claims he did not receive an important part of his salary.

In a letter dated december 21st 2009, the lawyer's office that represents Narconon, Heenan Blakie, offered David Love $2550.29, on condition that he engages to not tell his story in the media. Mr Love declined this offer.

«They will not shut me up, he says. I have rights and I intend on making them respected»

''Le Soleil'' joined, on the phone, Narconon Trois-Rivières's director, Marc Bernard, who refused to give us his version of it.

"I have nothing to say, I don't have any comments," he said, "No comment."

Omerta

From British-Columbia, David Love arrived at Narconon shortly before xmas, in 2008. He was addicted to methadone and cocaine and had decided to follow the rehab program at the detox center in Trois-Rivières, where he knew an employee.

During the first weeks of his treatment, Mr Love says he was surprised by the omerta that reigned at Narconon about scientology. He remembers hearing an employee interrupt a group of clients whom he was a part of ordering: «You are not allowed to speak about scientology when you are at Narconon»

The employee then explained to him that Narconon wanted to avoid the subject to not scare the clients, their parents or the ''sponsors'', that pay more than 20 000 $ for the treatment, followed in majority by english speaking people from the United states and English Canada.

On it's french canadian internet website, Narconon presents itself as a ''non profit program of rehabilitation and detoxification'' and brags about having 50 centers in 21 countries. Nowhere it is mentioned that Narconon is a part of the Church of Scientology.

For Paul Schofield, who was a member of the Church of Scientology for more than 20 years before becoming ''Case supervisor'' in the Sydney and Melbourne Narconon centers, then director of Narconon for all of australia, there is no doubt that Narconon is an antenna of the Church of Scientology.

«Besides the withdrawal part, all the courses you are doing at Narconon are almost identical to those you do at the Church, he says, Except that when you do them at the church, they cost you about the quarter or the third of the price.»

While he was a client at Narconon, David Love says he was forced to memorise extracts from books by L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction author that founded the Church of Scientology and that wrote 8 books on which the Narconon program is based.

«Any book that could interfer with that process of altering the mind and brainwashing is prohibited and confiscated», Says David Love.

On top of reading books by Hubbard, David Love also had to accomplish regularly «training exercises» prescribed by the grand master of Scientology.

He remembers one of them, that consisted of sitting down for long hours, while fixing another client without saying a word and without moving. Or a similar exercice in which he was asked to not react while his partner bombarded him with insults.



First article, Part Two:

Extreme Purification

The man in his fifties also remembers the ashtray exercise. "I had to scream orders at the ashtray: "Stand up" then "sit down" until it obeyed on its own, says the man. But as I could not find the right tone, I had to lift the ashtray myself again and again." After all these training exercises," says Mr Love, "I'm lucky not to have gone mad. "

To help addicts overcome their addiction, Narconon also requires that they compel themselves to a severe regime of vitamins and sauna that Scientologists call the "Purification Program", also offered at the Church of Scientology of Quebec at a cost of 2,000$.

For two weeks, David Love says he had to spend almost four and a half hours per day in a sauna and swallow large amounts of vitamins and minerals each day. He recalls having to intake a lot of niacin, a vitamin (B3) used to reduce cholesterol.

In a July 17, 2004 interview with the Journal de Trois-Rivières, published on the detoxification center’s website, the director of Narconon Trois-Rivieres, Marc Bernard, described the virtues of niacin to expel drugs from fat cells.

"The toxins are trapped in fatty tissues for several years, Mr Bernard explained. When released, this is what addicts call flashbacks."

Asked about the practice, Dr. Lise Archibald, from the Ubald-Villeneuve Rehabilitation Center in Quebec city, told Le Soleil she had never read anything about the benefits of niacin for drug addicts.

A toxicology specialist at the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, pharmacist Lyse Lefebvre also never heard that niacin could help fight substance abuse. She indicates however that consuming too much vitamin B3 may cause digestive problems, aggravate asthma, cause some form of arthritis crisis and cause redness and itching.

Health Canada recommends a maximum intake of 500mg of niacin per day. Narconon clients as well as scientologists following the "Purification Program" swallow up to 5000 mg per day of the vitamin, asserts David Love.

This regimen of vitamin and sauna was far from pleasant for the clients of Narconon, recalls Mr Love. "It was horrible. People were sick, vomiting and had diarrhea."

"Like military quarters"

During his rehabilitation, Mr. Love wanted to leave the Trois-Rivières detox center to return to his family in British Columbia. But he says that Narconon has refused to give him back his wallet and his identity papers even though he had made his request more than once.

With the exception to special cases, Quebec law prohibits forcing drug addicts to continue treatment, which takes place on a voluntary basis.

Mr. Love recalled that rather than give him his papers, he was instead sent to the "ethics officer" who convinced him to stay longer.

"Many students want and try to leave", he said. "Some even succeed, by walking along the road, but the ethics officer is called and a car is sent to pick them up and bring them back into the Narconon facilities."

David Love said he never saw a customer being force into a car. He argues that Narconon rather calls the parents or the sponsor of a student and convinces them not to pay them a bus or plane ticket.

Day by day, says Mr Love, Narconon staff closely monitor the coming and going of their customers. "It's like a military quarter" he says. There is security, they have radios. They count you every 20 minutes to know where you are. "

From customers to employees

Mr. Love is not the only customer to have worked at Narconon. About 40% of them subsequently become employees, told Devinder Luthra, then president of Narconon Canada, in May 2002, at a meeting of The Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the House of Commons.

When he was employed, David Love was responsible for contacting former clients of Narconon to compile statistics on the success or failure of the program. He says he received emails from many "former students" who had relapsed and still needed help, which did not appear to him as representative of the 70% success rate which Narconon boasts on its website.

Mr. Love said he tried repeatedly to warn his superiors at Narconon Trois-Rivières, who refused to change their practices.

It is from this moment, David Love said, he realized that Narconon was a "hoax" in the service of the Church of Scientology. "Once I understood and beleived it was true," he wrote on a forum by Anonymous, an anti-Scientology movement that originated on the Internet. "My eyes were opened to the reality of the lies that I had fallen for."

From the day he resigned, November 3, Mr. Love said he received threats from Sue Chubbs, the production director of Narconon.

Supporting document in hand, David Love shows she has among other things listed on his Facebook page the words Enemy and Fair Game. This means, in Scientology jargon that "he may be deprived of property or injured by any means and by any scientologist.

Second Article:



The church of Scientology, another hard hit

(Québec)Forced abortions, violence, imprisonment, torture, sexual abuses, embezzlement, blackmail: The church of scientology has been accused of commiting all these crimes in the last months, as denunciations from ex-scientologists multiplied in the world.

In Australia, senator Nick Xenophon requested, last november, a public investigation about the Church of Scientology, after receiving numerous letters from ex-employees and high ranking members of the religious organisations, amongst them, Paul Schofield, who spoke with ''Le Soleil''

«De mon point de vue, c'est une organisation à deux visages», a dit Nick Xenophon au Sénat australien. «Il y a le visage public d'une organisation qui prétend offrir des conseils et du soutien à ses fidèles et il y a le visage privé d'une organisation qui maltraite ses membres et cible vicieusement ses critiques, et semble carburer à la paranoïa.»

«From my point of view, it's an organisation with 2 faces», said Nick Xenophon in the australian Senate. «There is the public face of an organisation that pretends to offer to offer support and counsel to it's members, and there is the private face of an organisation that mistreat it's members, targets viciously it's critics and that seems to be fueled by paranoia.»


Beating Staff Members

In the United States, the St. Petersburg Times revealed for the first time in june, accounts from four ex high ranking members of the organisation, that accuse the head of the Church, David Miscavige, of beating frequently his employees.


At the start of the month, the New York Times was publishing an investigation on the difficulty that scientologists encounter when trying to distance themselves from the organisation. To quit the Church of Scientology, the couple in the article affirmed having to sign false confessions about their life and their work, to give the Church thousands of dollars and having to cut any communication with their friends and family that stayed in the Church.

In france, following complaints from 2 ex-members of scientology that said they were defrauded of tens of thousands of euros, the correctional Tribunal of Paris condemned in last october the Church of scientology for ''Organized group fraud''.

In every country, the Church of Scientology accused the ex-members of lying.

here's the email address of the journalist if anyone here wants to contact him for any reason whatsoever: [email protected]

4452137634_8b8708b2ab_o.jpg
 
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Some amazing articles coming out now all over the world.
Articles that give plenty of details and cut right through all the smokescreens and tricks the Church of Scientology Cult has used to prevent justice being applied to them.

OSA, the wogs are winning and dictating the moves in the games.
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Magnificent. Congrats to David Love and Scooter.

I'm glad they weren't able to get David to sign for a measley $2500.
 

mnql1

Patron Meritorious
Revised translation

Here is a revised version of the translation in the OP:

Intoxiqué par l'Église de scientologie | Marc Allard | Société

Intoxicated by Scientology

by Marc Allard
Le Soleil

(Quebec City) Since he's been out of Narconon, David Edgar Love hardly gets any sleep. He has flashbacks about the traumatic experiences he says he experienced in the Scientology detox centre in Trois-Rivières, and sometimes he becomes so anxious that he loses his breath.

In November, a doctor at the Cité de la Santé hospital in Laval diagnosed him with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mr. Love now consults a psychiatrist in a Montreal hospital who was recommended by Mike Kropveld, the director of Info-Cult, and he tries not to appear too drowsy at his new job.

Sitting in a small restaurant in a glum corner of Montreal's Lachine district, where he found a small apartment, Mr. Love, 57, recounts his experience with Narconon, where he was a client from December 2008 to May 2009 and an employee until the end of October.

Revealed for the first time today in Le Soleil, his testimony about the Quebec detoxification centre connected with the Church of Scientology adds to a series of disclosures that have shaken this religious organization in various places throughout the world in recent months.

At his side, David Love has a briefcase full of documents to support a complaint he filed with Quebec's Human Rights Commission and a separate complaint filed with Quebec's Labour Standards Commission, which are investigating his allegations.

During the 11 months he spent at Narconon, Mr. Love says he was the victim of harassment, threats and many other violations of his rights. He also says he did not receive a large portion of his salary.

In a letter dated December 21, 2009, the law firm representing Narconon, Heenan Blaikie, offered David Love $2,550.29 on condition that he not share his story with the media. Mr. Love declined the offer.

"They will not silence me," he says. "I have rights and I intend to have my rights respected."

By telephone, Le Soleil reached the director of Narconon Trois-Rivières, Marc Bernard, who declined to give his version of the facts. "I have nothing to say, I have no comment," he said. "No comment."

Omertà

A resident of British Columbia, David Love arrived at Narconon shortly before Christmas in 2008. He was addicted to methadone and cocaine and had decided to follow the rehab program at the detox centre in Trois-Rivières, where he knew an employee.

During the first weeks of his treatment, Mr Love says he was surprised by the omertà that reigned at Narconon about Scientology. He remembers hearing an employee interrupt a discussion among a group of clients he was in, by issuing an order: "You are not allowed to speak about Scientology when you are at Narconon»

The employee later explained to him that Narconon wanted to avoid the subject so as not to scare clients, their parents, or the "sponsors", who pay more than $20,000 for the treatment, a majority of whose clients are English speakers from the United states and English Canada.

On its Quebec website, Narconon presents itself as a "non-profit program of rehabilitation and detoxification" and boasts of having 50 centres in 21 countries. There is no mention anywhere that Narconon is part of the Church of Scientology.

For Paul Schofield, who was a member of the Church of Scientology for more than 20 years before becoming "case supervisor" at the Sydney and Melbourne Narconon centres and then director of Narconon for all of Australia, there is no doubt that Narconon is a satellite of the Church of Scientology.

"Aside from the withdrawal phase, all the courses you take at Narconon are almost identical to those you take at the Church," he says, "Except that when you take them at the church, they only cost you about a quarter or a third of the price."

While he was a client at Narconon, David Love says he was forced to memorize passages from books by L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction author who founded the Church of Scientology and wrote the 8 books on which the Narconon program is based.

"Any book that might interfere with the mind-altering and brainwashing process is prohibited and confiscated," says David Love.

In addition to reading books by Hubbard, David Love also had to practice regularly the "training routines" prescribed by Scientology's grand master.

He remembers one routine that consisted of sitting for long hours while staring at another client without saying a word and without moving. There was another similar routine in which he was told not to react while his partner bombarded him with insults.

Extreme Purification

The 57-year-old man also remembers the training routine involving an ashtray. "I had to yell at an ashtray, 'Stand up!' then 'Sit down!' until it obeyed by itself," he said. "But since I was unable to find the right tone, I had to lift the ashtray by myself over and over." "After all these training routines," says Love, "I'm lucky not to be insane."

To help addicts overcome their dependence, Narconon also requires that they strictly follow an intense vitamin and sauna treatment which Scientologists call the "Purification Rundown" and which is also provided by the Church of Scientology of Quebec City at a cost of $2,000.

For two weeks, David Love said he had to spend almost four hours a day in a sauna and swallow large amounts of vitamins and minerals each day. He recalls having had, among other things, to take a lot of niacin, a vitamin (B3) used to reduce a person's cholesterol level.

In a July 17, 2004 interview with the Journal de Trois-Rivières posted on the detoxification centre's website, the director of Narconon Trois-Rivières, Marc Bernard, described the virtues of niacin for expelling drugs from fat cells.

"The toxins remain trapped in fatty tissues for several years," Mr. Bernard explained. "When they are released, this is what addicts call flashbacks."

Asked about this practice, Dr. Lise Archibald, of the Ubald-Villeneuve Rehabilitation Centre in Quebec City, told Le Soleil that she has never read anything about the benefits of niacin for drug addicts.

A toxicology specialist at Quebec's National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ), pharmacist Lyse Lefebvre, also has never heard of niacin as an aid to combat drug addiction. However, she warns that consuming too much vitamin B3 may cause digestive problems, aggravate asthma, lead to a certain form of arthritis attack, and cause redness and itching.

Health Canada recommends a maximum of 500 mg of niacin per day. Clients of Narconon and Scientologists who follow the "Purification Rundown" ingest up to 5,000 mg per day," says David Love.

"The vitamin and sauna treatment was far from pleasant for the clients of Narconon," recalls Mr. Love. "It was horrible. People were sick. They vomited and had diarrhea."

Like a military base

During his rehabilitation, Mr. Love wanted to leave the Trois-Rivières detox centre to return to his family in British Columbia. But he says that Narconon refused to give him his wallet and his identity papers, even though he requested them more than once.

Except in special cases, Quebec law prohibits forcing drug addicts to continue treatment, which is to be followed on a voluntary basis.

Mr. Love recalls that, instead of giving him his papers, he was sent to the "ethics officer", who argued that he should stay longer.

"Many students want to leave and try," he says. "Some even manage to leave and set out on foot along along the road, but the ethics officer is called and a car is sent to recover them and bring them back to the Narconon buildings."

David Love said he never witnessed a client being forced to get into a car. Instead, he points out, Narconon calls a student's parents or sponsor and convinces them not to pay the bus or air fare for the student.

Every day, adds Mr. Love, Narconon's staff closely monitors the comings and goings of their customers. "It's like a military base," he says. "There is security, they have radios. They check on you every 20 minutes to know where you are."

Clients turned into employees

Mr. Love is not the only client to have worked at Narconon. About 40% of clients subsequently become employees, according to a statement made in May 2002 by Devinder Luthra, then president of Narconon Canada, at a session of the Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the House of Commons.

While he was an employee, David Love was responsible for contacting former clients of Narconon to compile statistics on the success or failure of the program. He says he received emails from many "exes" who had relapsed and still need help. What he was hearing did not appear to match the 70% success rate which Narconon boasts about on its website.

Mr. Love says he tried repeatedly to warn his superiors at Narconon Trois-Rivières, but they refused to change their practices.

It was at this point that David Love says he realized Narconon was a "hoax" at the service of the Church of Scientology. "Once I understood and believed it was true," he wrote on a message board operated by Anonymous, an anti-Scientology movement that originated on the Internet, "My eyes were opened to the reality of the lies that I had swallowed."

From the day he resigned, November 3, Mr. Love says he received threats from Sue Chubbs, Narconon's director of production.

With documents to prove it, David Love shows that, among other things, she posted on his FaceBook page the words "Enemy" and "Fair Game". This means, in Scientology jargon, he "may be deprived of property or injured by any means and by any Scientologist."
 

mnql1

Patron Meritorious
Article in Trois-Rivières daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste

Translation of an article on the website of the Trois-Rivières daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste, March 22, 2010:

Narconon de nouveau dans la controverse | Actualités



Photograph Caption:
The premises of the Narconon drug rehabilitation centre are located on
Parent Boulevard in Trois-Rivières. This organization has stirred a lot of
controversy in recent years.

Narconon Again the Focus of Controversy

March 22, 2010

(Trois-Rivières) The Narconon Trois-Rivières detoxification centre, suspected of links with the Church of Scientology, once again finds itself in the middle of a controversy.

This time, it's the public statements made over the weeked by a former patient who became an employee of the organization that have brought the subject back into the news.

David Edgar Love, a 57-year-old man from the Montreal area, has just filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission [Commission des droits de la personne] as well as with the Quebec Labour Standards Commission [Commission des normes du travail]. Both commissions are currently investigating the matter.

The former Narconon employee says he is suffering from post-traumatic stress since leaving the centre in May 2009. Harassment and threats are alleged to have been daily occurrences at the Parent Boulevard establishment. This, at least, is what he explained in an interview he gave to Le Soleil.

During the interview, Love also revealed several techniques allegedly used within the centre, whose treatment methods follow the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology.

According to his account, Narconon requires that its patients undergo an extreme purification program which consists of ingesting large amounts of vitamins and spending more than four hours a day inside a sauna.

Love also describes an exercise which involves an ashtray, a recollection which brings back unpleasant memories.

"I had to yell at an ashtray, 'Stand up!' then 'Sit down!' until it obeyed by itself," he told Le Soleil. "But since I was unable to find the right tone, I had to raise the ashtray by myself over and over... I'm lucky not to be insane."

Total Silence

David Love was far less talkative about his experience when he was reached yesterday by Le Nouvelliste. During a telephone interview, he systematically refused to answer our questions, repeating that he is in a mediation process with Narconon and that an agreement might soon be concluded.

Silence was the same reply yesterday from Marc Bernard, director of Narconon Trois-Rivières, however he promised he would have a response today about the whole affair.

For the Anonymous collective, which combats the Church of Scientology, this turn of events in no way constitutes a surprise.

"It's always hard to know what happens behind closed doors. But the Church of Scientology uses organizations such as Narconon to project a nice public image. This image is what it's trying to save," says activist Marc Lacasse (fictitious name).

Anonymous has also been in constant contact with David Love, providing him support in his efforts.

"He came to our internet message board, and he was a man in urgent need of help. He was a well-placed individual in the establishment at Narconon. He thought no one would believe him," said the representative of the movement.

Clarifying the Situation

Since its arrival in Trois-Rivières, Narconon has regularly been the target of criticism. For this reason, "We must now clarify the situation," according to Sylvie Tardif, director of the COMSEP organization [a local non-profit organization that helps alleviate poverty and illiteracy].

Sylvie Tardif is also a municipal councilor and she had the opportunity to visit the detoxification centre a few years ago.

"I saw saunas and all that. They explained the vitamin stuff to me and I was told that people could sometimes be sick," said the representative of the Marie-de-l'Incarnation District.

Then, in 2008, Narconon sought to offer a $1,000 donation to COMSEP, the organization she heads. She refused. "Given the doubts we had, we felt it was preferable to abstain. We had heard about its ties with the Church of Scientology, but we weren't knowledgeable about it," says Sylvie Tardif.

At that time, several other organizations had criticized Narconon and this provoked heated discussions in the media.

A few months later, the Mauricie Health Agency [Agence de santé de la Mauricie] brought Narconon back into the spotlight when it recommended that Quebec make obligatory the certification of such private or community organizations. The Anonymous Quebec movement then came to Trois-Rivières to support this demand.

Narconon was not, however, at the end of its troubles. In February 2009, a new controversy arose over the purchase of the Vieilles Forges golf club by new owners connected with the Church of Scientology.

The administrative policies advocated by the managers were also based on the principles established by Ron Hubbard, and the training sessions were provided by a company located at the same premises as Narconon.

"I think it is up to the Health Agency to pursue things further and up to the government to make the necessary verifications. It would be beneficial for the citizens, but also for the organization," says Sylvie Tardif today.
 
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mnql1

Patron Meritorious
Article in daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste, March 24

Translation of an article on the website of the Trois-Rivières daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste, March 24, 2010:

Narconon devra montrer patte blanche | Actualités

narconontroisrivires.jpg


Photograph Caption:
Narconon is among the 14 organizations in this region which will have to meet all the
requirements of the Department of Health and Social Services before July 2011.

Narconon Will Have to Show its Credentials

March 24, 2010

(Trois-Rivières) Like all drug rehabilitation facilities in the province of Quebec which provide room and board, Narconon Trois-Rivières will have to show its credentials in order to obtain certification from the Quebec Department of Health and Social Services [ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux], a requirement which will be compulsory beginning on July 1, 2011.

Just days after the publication of statements made by David Edgar Love, a former patient who became an employee and is now speaking out against certain methods used by the centre, the Mauricie Health and Social Services Agency [Agence de santé et de services sociaux de la Mauricie] said it will be keeping an eye on Narconon.

"In the framework of Law 56, which provides for extending the compulsory certification of residences for the elderly to all organizations involved in drug rehabilitation, there are to be rigorous inspections to regulate and guarantee the safety and the quality of services," said Marc Lacour, director of social services.

As a result, the 14 organizations in our region will have to file an application and comply with all the requirements of the Department of Health and Social Services before July 2011. These requirements concern, in particular, the methods of intervention, the physical facilities, safety, employee training, and they might even include prohibiting affiliations to a religion or to a spiritual orientation.

It is known that Narconon has ties with with the Church of Scientology. Its methods of intervention are based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology.

Regarding this, Marc Bernard, director of Narconon, emphasizes that, despite this connection, Narconon is not a propaganda centre where the practice of Scientology is required or recommended.

"Here we accept all colours, all races, all religions. Among the 30 employees we have, only 4 or 5 are part of the church, including myself, I admit it. I have nothing to hide. As far as the patients are concerned, we do not talk to them about this. We respect each person's rights, above all. The proof is that we have welcomed Buddhists, Protestants, Muslims, Catholics, etc.." he said.

He also regrets that Narconon is regularly under fire for its links with Scientology. "These are unnecessary and unprovoked attacks which often come from individuals who do not even know the centre. They did not come over to visit us and meet us. Others want to hamper us because they think we are sitting on a silver mine and that Tom Cruise goes traipsing around the centre," he added, not without irony.

Since 2001, the centre has indeed been mired in controversy more than once. The latest example is the publication of statements made by David Edgar Love, who filed complaints with the Quebec Human Rights Commission [Commission des droits de la personne] and the Quebec Labour Standards Commission [Commission des normes du travail] for harassment and threats and who took the opportunity to lift the veil on certain treatment methods.

Mr. Bernard refused to comment on Mr. Love's accusations because he says that a settlement process is underway with Narconon. He did, however, wish to issue some clarifications about the treatment methods, in particular the purification, which consists of ingesting vitamins and spending several hours in a sauna.

"Withdrawal involves replacing drugs by balanced doses of vitamins and cleansing the body to restore the system, but everything is done with the approval of a doctor," he said.

Mr. Bernard also provided details about the "ashtray" example. Mr. Love claimed that he had to shout "Stand up!" and "Sit down!" until the ashtray obeyed by itself.

"Come on! We are not asking them to perform magic. The ashtray is part of a series of nine exercises in a communication course. It's an ashtray, but it could be any object. The goal is to bring a client to give real intention to his words and not just to mouth them."

Former employees filed complaints

About ten former employees of the Narconon Trois-Rivières centre have filed complaints with the Quebec Labour Standards Commission alleging that they were not paid for hours worked.

But according to one of these former employees, Richard Lussier, there are at least 25 people in the same situation.

"It's such a hassle, but Narconon takes advantage of defenseless people to line their pockets. I had to complain to the Labour Standards Commission to get progress on my case. I'm not looking for trouble, I just want my money. But I know that many other employees haven't complained. In all, there are more than 25 of us who haven't been paid in recent months," said Lussier.

Lussier, who had been hired as a cook, was fired last month. "Narconon owes me between $1,200 and $1,300.

"That's a lot when you have to pay your rent. I spoke out loud to get what I'm owed, because this wasn't the first time it happened, but they preferred to fire me," he said.

Mr. Lussier admits having received some pay, for example $100 every two or three weeks. "The centre gives us a little something to make us keep our traps shut, they make wonderful promises, but they never give us our full pay," he said.

Marc Bernard, director of Narconon, acknowledges that former employees have not been paid.

"I think about ten complaints have been brought against us. The recession hurt us. So we accumulated a bit of a backlog in payroll. I can assure you that these people will be paid and that it will be done as quickly as possible. We don't take this lightly," he said.

He believes, however, that these former employees panicked. "It's the system that wants this, that led them to the Labour Standards Commission.

"Yet we are constantly working to have enough money to settle our debts," said Mr. Bernard.

Narconon provides therapies which last an average of three to four months. According to Mr. Bernard, the centre receives about 35 to 40 customers every three months.

But a former employee contends that the centre receives no more than twenty people a year. Most of the clientele is from Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.

Moreover, the costs of this therapy are particularly high, more than $5,000 a month, for a total of $20,000.

"How much does the funeral of an addict cost in your opinion? More than $12,000. In addition, we have an excellent success rate here: it's between 70 and 76 per cent, while the average for other centres is 10 per cent," said Mr. Bernard.

At present, an investigation is still being conducted by the Labour Standards Commission, which refuses to reveal more about the number and the content of the current complaints.

However, spokesperson Jean-François Pelchat did not hide the fact that Narconon has a "long trail" of complaints since 2005.

"Quit a few complaints were brought by employees, but, in most cases, the files are closed, either because the centre paid the claims or because an agreement was reached, or the complaint was not accepted, or the employee withdrew," said Mr. Pelchat.
 

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Patron Meritorious
Article in daily newspaper Le Soleil, March 25, 2010

Translation of an article on the website of the Quebec City daily newspaper Le Soleil, March 25, 2010:

Le gouvernement pourrait faire fermer Narconon | Marc Allard | Société

The Government Could Shut Down Narconon

by Marc Allard
Le Soleil

(Quebec City) The Quebec government could impose fines or even force Narconon to close next year if the Scientology detox centre in Trois-Rivières continues to offer its services without certification from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) [ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)].

Harold Fortin, press secretary of the Minister for Social Services, Lise Thériault, said yesterday that following Le Soleil's investigation on Narconon, the Mauricie Health and Social Services Agency [Agence de santé et de services sociaux de la Mauricie] contacted the centre to order it to comply with DHSS requirements .

Formerly optional, DHSS certification for private or community organizations which operate a "resource working in the drug addiction field and offering lodging" will become mandatory on July 1, 2011 by an amendment to the Health Services and Social Services Act adopted on November 3, 2009.

"The fact that this bill has been adopted will force Narconon to seek certification," Harold Fortin told Le Soleil. This is a perfect example in which it is important to take action in this area."

After July 1, 2011, all organizations that have not applied for or succeeded in obtaining certification will have to pay fines or close their doors.

According to Mr. Fortin, Narconon has demonstrated its intention to gain certification.

To obtain DHSS certification, drug rehabilitation centres must meet certain criteria regarding methods of intervention, physical facilities, safety, and employee training.

The current certification requires that at least 50 per cent of full-time intervention workers have a university degree or a college diploma in a discipline associated with intervention work. It also requires that such organizations recognize and respect the rights of residents in agreement with the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Troubling testimony

Since 2001, the centre has been the object of controversy more than once. On Sunday, Le Soleil revealed the testimony of David Edgar Love, a former client and employee of the Scientology detox centre who said he was the victim of harassment, threats, and several other violations of his rights, in addition to not having received a large part of his salary.

Mr. Love complained to the Quebec Human Rights Commission [Commission des droits de la personne] and the Quebec Labour Standards Commission [Commission des normes du travail], which are investigating his allegations.

Yesterday morning, in Le Nouvelliste, the director of Narconon Trois-Rivières, Marc Bernard, emphasized that, despite it ties with Scientology, Narconon is not a propaganda centre where the practice of Scientology is required or recommended.

"Here we accept all colours, all races, all religions. Among the 30 employees we have, only 4 or 5 are part of the church, including myself, I admit it. I have nothing to hide. As far as the patients are concerned, we do not talk to them about this. We respect each person's rights, above all. The proof is that we have welcomed Buddhists, Protestants, Muslims, Catholics, etc." he said.

Medical approval

Mr. Bernard also said that Narconon's "Purification Rundown", which is based on vitamins and saunas, is done with the approval of a doctor and that the purpose of the exercise which consists of giving orders to an ashtray is "to bring a client to give real intention to his words."

Marc Bernard also regrets that Narconon is regularly under fire for its links with Scientology. "These are unnecessary and unprovoked attacks which often come from individuals who do not even know the centre." he said.
 

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Patron Meritorious
2 articles in Le Nouvelliste, July 9, 2010

Translation of two articles in the Trois-Rivières daily Le Nouvelliste, July 9, 2010

Des plaintes contre Narconon | Paule Vermot-Desroches | Le Nouvelliste

Complaints against Narconon

Former employee says he was subjected to psychological and sexual harassment

by Paule Vermot-Desroches

Trois-Rivières - The Narconon Trois-Rivières organization once again finds itself in the public eye now that complaints concerning psychological and sexual harassment are under investigation by the Quebec Human Rights Commission (Commission des droits de la personne) and the Quebec Labour Standards Commission (Commission des normes du travail).

The person who filed these complaints, Montrealer David Edgar Love, is a former patient who became an employee of Narconon once his therapy was completed. Though he is well known for publicly speaking out against the detoxification centre for the past few months, David Edgar Love had always declined to give details about the basis of his complaints regarding acts that are alleged to have occurred while he was an employee, between May 2009 and October 2009. He agreed to discuss them with Le Nouvelliste.

David Edgar Love entered Narconon in December 2008 because of a drug problem. In May 2009, he completed his therapy and was hired by Narconon. One of his duties was to perform a follow-up with patients who had already followed therapy at Narconon. "The organization claimed that it had a success rate of over 70%, but I quickly realized that it was much lower than that. When I raised this issue with my employers, they were not pleased," notes Mr. Love.

This questioning of procedures and his overall attitude did not seem to please the management. David Love claims that he was then subjected to intense psychological pressure and forced at least eight times to undergo "PTS interviews". The English acronym PTS stands for "Potential Trouble Source" and, according to David Love and another activist against Scientology, Gerry Armstrong, this concept is directly related to Scientology teachings. "What they believe is that there does not exist any sickness, neither an illness nor an accident, unless we are in contact with 'suppressive persons', people who do not believe in Scientology teachings and who contaminate us from outside. For them, I had thus become a trouble source", explains David Love.

The "PTS interviews" which he says he was forced to undergo at Narconon were, in his view, intended to cut him off from the outside world to prevent him from revealing the information he possessed.

"They held me in a room and would not let me leave. They forced me to disconnect from my family. They yelled at me, they even threatened me. My life was threatened. It was horrible, horrible! I was even told that if I said anything about what I know, I would be stalked and I would disappear," says Mr. Love.

The Labour Standard Commission judged that there were sufficient grounds to look into the matter and the investigation is presently under way.

Sexual harassment

Furthermore, the day after he was hired, David Love says he received a quite explicit letter containing sexual advances from a woman in the organization's management.

Feeling embarrassed by this message, Mr. Love says that he mentioned it to certain colleagues in order to ask about how he should react. He even says that he was encouraged by some employees to accept the advances, a suggestion which he refused to follow.

He says that the sexual harassment from this executive continued up to a few days before his departure from Narconon in October 2009. This matter has been reported to the Human Rights Commission.

In both cases, the employer refused to enter into mediation with David Love and an investigation is currently in progress. The result of the investigation could either acquit Narconon or bring the organization before the Human Rights Tribunal (Tribunal des droits de la personne).

Reached by telephone, the director of the Narconon Trois-Rivières centre, Marc Bernard, refused to make any comment regarding David Edgar Love's allegations, preferring to let the procedures of the Human Rights Commission and of the Labour Standards Commission follow their course.


Five Moves in Eight Months

David Edgar Love says he has been persecuted long after he left Narconon

by Paule Vermot-Desroches

Trois-Rivières - The connections between Scientology teachings and the therapies provided by Narconon have already been the subject of many news reports and of comments and discussions all over the internet, especially on websites of groups opposed to Scientology, for example, Anonymous.

In an interview with Le Nouvelliste a few months ago, the director of Narconon Trois-Rivières, Marc Bernard, admitted that four or five employees out of about thirty staff members belonged to the Church of Scientology.

Marc Bernard said he had nothing to hide on this subject, but he also stated that the therapy centre was not being used as a proselytizing agency where the practice of Scientology is obligatory or recommended. On the contrary, he maintained that all races and religions are accepted at Narconon, and that the employees do not speak about Scientology with the patients.

David Edgar Love says he was surprised to read this statement. He arrived at Narconon in December 2008 for therapy and he says he had to view a documentary film that discussed Scientology teachings.

"I was even accompanied by a management person during the screening to ensure that I watched the entire film," he says.

In October 2009, upset by the experiences he says happened to him, David Love wanted to leave his job as an employee at Narconon. "But you can't leave Scientology just like that, especially when you have as much information as I could have acquired," says David Love.

He moved to Montreal and he says he has had to change his address five times since October 2009 because he was receiving threats from certain persons.

"On my FaceBook page, visible to everyone, I was declared an enemy. To them, this means that I can be harmed, robbed, spied upon without any retaliation from the church," recounts David Love, who gave a copy of this FaceBook message to the Labour Standards Commission and the Human Rights Commission.

These allegations are also under investigation by the Labour Standards Commission and the Human Rights Commission. Narconon declined to comment on this as well.

 
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