The Church of Scientology, masquerading under the pseudonym of Narconon UK - a dangerous and ineffective drug rehab programme - have made another appearance in the ASA's weekly list of very naughty boys.
My original complaint can be read here. It's worth listing which misleading health claims the cult have been asked to amend or remove:
“Completion of this programme results in greatly reduced, or eliminated, cravings for drugs. Mental alertness and clarity of thinking improve; while drug induced depression often vanishes”
“Most people say it is the easiest withdrawal they have experienced”
"[The claim that] the goal of a new life for former addicts or alcoholics is routinely achieved"
“Our experience has shown that a person receiving a vitamin and mineral therapy will experience a far more comfortable withdrawal from all drugs including opiates
"Cal-Mag [can] restore any vitamin deficiency and relax cramping muscles [and] also helps a person relax during the withdrawal”
“Effective Solutions To Drug Addiction & Alcoholism"
“[The methods have been] tried and tested over 40 years”
“The effectiveness of the Narconon programme is documented by several formal studies and evaluations”
The graph labelled “Cocaine Washout Curve, Client 1”
The text that states “... The graph indicates cocaine residues being excreted in the sweat and urine of clients participating in the Narconon New Life Detoxification Programme who have previously to doing the Narconon Programme had a cocaine addiction”
All claims referring to vitamin treatments
This probably isn't the first time Narconon have been asked politely to stop telling porkies. The ASA website lists two previous resolved complaints - both in 2009. In 2003, Narconon lost an ASA adjudication over their claim to have "salvaged" 250,000 people from drugs:
"In upholding the complaint, the ASA said they were 'concerned that the advertisers had not proved that all those enrolled on the [Narconon] programmes were dependent on drugs at the time of the enrolment or that as many as 250,000 drug users had stopped using those drugs as a direct result of Scientology's intervention'..." (2003 Birmingham Post article)
It's worth noting also that false health claims like "The sauna programme produces spectacular results by removing drug residues and toxins" have been illegal in the UK since 2008.
Scientologists have their own version of the Ten Commandments, the so-called 21 Precepts. Here's a short list of the Precepts these particular Scilons have broken:
- 6. Set a good example
- 7. Seek To Live With The Truth
- 8. Don't Do Anything Illegal
- 11. Do Not Harm A Person Of Good Will
- 14. Be Worthy Of Trust
- 15. Fulfill Your Obligations
- 17. Be Competent