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MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC OPINIONS REGARDING
THE PURIFICATION RUNDOWN
As Practiced By The
NARCONON DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAM

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
Indian Health Service
Rockville, MD 20857
Dec. 22 1989

The Honorable Garry Bilger
Mayor, City of Newkirk
Box 469
Newkirk, Oklahoma 74647

Dear Mayor Bilger:
I am responding to your letter of August 18 to Mr. Manuel Lujan, Secretary, Department of the Interior. you forwarded information about the Narconon/Scientology drug treatment program developed by Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, and asked that we review that material.

The concept addressed in the "Purification Rundown" document is presented as a particular form of religious belief by the Church of Scientology. the Indian Health Service cannot support or condemn the effectiveness of such a concept in the treatment of alcoholisn and drug abuse. However, in general because of a lack of empiricle data, the "Purification Rundown" concept cannot be considered medically sound.

I trust this information is helpful. We appreciate your efforts to bring this information to our attention.
Sincerely yours,
Everett R. Rhoades, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General
Director.

The University of Oklahoma
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
620 PARRINGTON OVAL, ROOM 208
NORMAN, OKLAHOMA 73019
(405) 325-48121
August 4, 1989
Mr. Robert W. Lobsinger, Publisher
The Newkirk Herald Journal
121 North Main
P.O. Box 131
Newkirk, Oklahoma 74647-0131

Dear Mr. Lobsinger:
I have reviewed the documents regarding the Purification Program of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. My overall comment on Mr. Hubbard's literature is that there is an absolute lack of data to support his assertion that the Purification Program succeds in doing what the presently adopted programs fail to do.

The documents reviewed also contain many truths and half-truths. One can readily agree with his statement on page 164 that "We live in a chemical oriented society" and the following paragraph. One also can agree with the fact stated in the next paragraph that there is a "linkage between drugs and increasing difficulties with crime... and the modern breakdown of the social and industrial culture." However, there is no evidence that Mr. Hubbard's approach will cure these ills.

On p. 166, paragraph 2 he states that "these actual substances can restimulate a being. When they are gone from the body, the constant restimulation can cease. So it is actually a spiritual action that is being done," The last sentence states a conclusion which does not follow a logical if-then, and as such, the statement is totally without foundation.

In the fourth paragraph on this page he states that "The removal of these life-hostile chemical substances from the body of any person apparently speeds, and in some cases even makes possible, case gain. It is even worth doing for its own sake." This is a worthwile goal but his next sentence, "the Purification Rundown, therefore, is for everyone." is not a logical conclusion. On the same page there is no data to document his assertion that "a large majority of them would benefit by the Purification Rundown and benefit even further from future audition as a result."

The remainder of the document describes the program, and the precautions needed to protect the other program workers and program participants, smattered again with some half truths such as on p. 169 "Toxic substances tend to lock up mainly, but not exclusively in the fat tissue." This statement holds true only for lipid (fat) soluble substances. "(There is no such thing as a fat cell)" is a meaningless statement. "Fat tissue" should be adipose tissue which consists of many cell types and the major lipid storage cell is termed a "brown cell".

His statement on p. 172, "In 1973 someone got a Nobel Prize... but... he didn't know the facts..." Not that the Nobel Committee can't make a mistake in their choice of recipients, but this statement by Hubbard is too absurd to comment on.

On p. 174 Hubbard states "The principle here is that by giving one or two vitamins in excess amount you can create a nutritional deficiency of another vitamin..." again is a non-documented half truth. On page 3 of HCOB 21.5.80 Hubbard states "Beyond any doubt the survey showed that those with heavy or even mediumly-heavy drug histories benefited most from the 5 hour daily schedule." Where is the data supporting this statement and what type survey was used to collect the data? On page 13 of HCOB 21.5.80 Hubbard states "Per the original research and all reported survey data,..." again where is the data supporting this statement and what type survey was used to collect the data?

Hubbard's HCO Bulletin of 3 January 1980, revised 10 April 1980 is quite absurd. However, Hubbard ends this bulletin with the statement, "TheChurch is not responsible for the handling of any bodily or physical condition or ill, it being the responsibility of the individual to seek the competent medical advice and treatment of his doctor in such matters." I couldn't agree more. In fact, this statement, in Hubbard's own words sums up my feelings about the documents ...and Hubbard's program in general.


Finally, the only data Mr. Hubbard presents is in the portion of the documents entitled "Research Data on Nutritional Vitamin Increases on the Purification rundown." This is not data, but rather a table to show how much of each vitamin/mineral the Purification Program recommeds for individuals on various dosages of Niacin.

Overall, the program proposed by Mr. Hubbard is pure unadulterated "cow pies." It is filled with some scientific truth but mainly is illogical and the conclusions drawn by Mr. Hubbard are without any basis in scientific fact. I hope that this review has been helpful.

Yours truly,

/s/ Bruce A. Roe
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


 MARK PALMER, M.D.
Internal Medicine
300 Fairview
Ponca City, Oklahoma 74601
---
(405) 762-8930
August 14, 1989

Robert W. Lopsinger, Publisher
Newkirk Journal
121 North Main
P.O. Box 131
Newkirk, Okla. 74647

Dear Mr. Lopsinger,

I have reviewed material supplied to me concerning the proposed alcohol and drug treatment program (Narconon) to be established on the previous Chilocco Indian School Site.

As a previous Medical Director of two alcohol and drug rehabilitation units, I feel I am qualified by training, interest and experience to comment specifically on the proposed treatment center's so-called Purification Rundown.

The Purification Rundown is apparently either all or part of Narconon's initial detoxification program. The seventeen page document describing the Purification Rundown is in general a poorly written program. There is extremely poor organization. The material is full of generalizations that have no substantiation in fact. There are internal inconsistent statements. There is no documentation.

The Purification Rundown is somewhat patterned after many reputable detoxification programs in which diet, exercise, education and behavioral modification are used. But due to the above mentioned deficiencies as well as several outright untruths, I think that it is fair to say that the Purification Rundown is without merit.

While the entire bulletin describing the Purification Rundown is completely full of the above mentioned problems, I will try to illustrate some specific ones that seem the most glaring.

On page 165 the author states "apparent gain occurs by cleaning up the body and can be seen as an end all in itself, this is not the case.." And on page 166 the author states, "removal of these live hostile chemical substances from the body of any person apparently speeds and in some cases even makes possible case gain. It is even worth doing for its own sake." These two statements are not consistent with each other.

On page 167 the author states "the purpose of outside running is so that impurities held in the system can be released and are pumped out." There is certainly no scientific documentation that exercise significantly speeds up the detoxification process.

A significant portion of the Purification Rundown is devoted to running and Sauna Treatments from four to five hours a day. The author states throughout, that sweating increases the rate at which drugs in general leave the body. This is certainly untrue of many drugs, as most drugs of abuse are eliminated from the body by detoxification through the liver, or by passage through the kidneys, or occasionally by passage through the lungs.

Although minute quanitities of some drugs may appear in the sweat it is such a small fraction of drug elimination that no matter how much a patient were made to sweat it could not significantly increase his clearing of most drugs.

On page 169 the author states "there is no such thing as a fat cell." This is absolutely false and can be disproven by any college student who has had a course in Histology.

The author's recommendation for taking Vegetable Oil to replace the oil in our fat tissues that are contaminated with drugs has no documentation or basis in fact.

Perhaps the most blatantly false statement made in the entire document occurs on page 172 when the author states "niacine's biochemical reaction is my own private personal discovery in the middle of the 1950's." Niacin was discovered several decades before the 1950's and its importance and multiple biochemical reactions have been studied from that time until present.

The author further goes on to state "niacin runs out radiation"... and that it will often cause a very hot flush and prickly itchy skin which can last up to one hour or longer." There is no scientific documentation that niacin in any way gets radiation out of the body. The symptoms of which the author talks are due to dilation of the blood vessels of the skin and is a known side-effect of niacin administration.

In addition there are aspects of the program which I find medically unsafe. Specifically running in a vinyl sweat suit followed by a Sauna from 140 to 180° from four to five hours a day certainly is going to cause dehydration and possibly heat injury in some patients.

The author even notes this on page 168 when he discusses sodium chloride and potassium replacement, stating "it is not mandatory for every individual on the program, it is only necessary as a treatment if the symptoms of salt depletion, heat exhaustion occur." This suggests that the author expects that in many cases heat exhaustion will occur. Any treatment which leads to heat exhaustion is unsound and unsafe.

The author further states "before beginning the Purification Program a person must first get written medical officer OK."

It seems quite apparent that 'medical officer' does not equate with 'medical doctor or physician' as the author on page 177 goes on to say "the medical officer gives a person an OK to go on to the program after insuring the person's blood pressure is normal and he is not anemic. The medical officer does these checks himself where he is trained to do so."

Therefore, it seems medically unqualified persons are going to be supervising this program which I think is quite dangerous.

While a drug free society is a worthwhile goal of any institution, when the initial entry into this program, i.e. the Purification Rundown, is filled with so many false generalizations, internal inconsistencies, outright lies, and potentially dangerous treatments, I think it is without question that Narconon will be a detriment to the Newkirk area, Kay County, and the State of Oklahoma as a whole.

While I have limited my criticism to the Purification Rundown program of Narconon, I have also reviewed documentation of Narconon's association with A.B.L.E. and to the Church of Scientology. In general, it appears to me that the overall program being advocated by Narconon is nothing more than a poorly disguised program for obtain recruits into the Church of Scientology to begin their processing, programming, brain washing... while at the same time obtaining federal and state funds as well as private and public insurance monies to support their cause.

For all these reasons I would strongly encourage much more intensive investigation by those responsible for further licensing of this proposed institution.

Sincerely,

/s/ C. M. Palmer, M.D.


NEUROLOGY & EPILEPTOLOGY
PEDIATRIC & ADOLESCENT

WILLIAM B. SVOBODA, M.D.
PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL PARK PLAZA
1035 N. EMPORIA, SUITE 270
WICHITA, KANSAS 67214
TEL (315) 267-5215

April 30, 1990

Robert W. Lobsinger
121 North Main
P.O. Box 131
Newkirk, OKlahoma 74647-0131

Re: Narconon

Dear Mr. Lobsinger:

<snip - unrelated chatter>

Hubbard begins by stating truth based generalizations to create an air of scientific foundation.

Long-term deposition of many minerals and chemicals can be demonstrated, but not for all substances.

The need for seeking medical approval for participation also emphasizes safety for these approaches could be fatal for a person with a cardiovascular disorder or an electrolyte impalance.

Finally, the observations against diet and food fadism as unproven claims is generally agreed upon.

Once (Hubbard) has established these accepted truths, he can more easily make marginal statements that tend to be accepted as probable truth, in line with his statements preceeding, although the unknowning reader is usually not familiar with the statistics alluded to.

Hubbard (then) destroys his argument by stating that fat cells do not exist. Anyone looking through a microscope can see the fat cells. This statement speaks to hopes, not truths.

The recommendations for various vitamins were compared to the recommendations of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science in reference to other nutritional fadists, i.e., the megavitamin myth. This compares to Hubbard's listing:

 Vitamin: NRC-RDA Scientology:
 Vitamin A 3,500 I.U. 5,000 I.U.
 Vitamin C 45 mg. 250-1000 mg.
 Vitamin D 400 I.U. 400 I. U.
 Vitamin E 9.0 mg. 800 I.U.
 Niacin 11.0 mg. 100 mg.

Excesses of Vitamin A can cause brain swelling (pseudotumor cerebri) with transient losses of vision.

Niacin does increase vascular circulation but in the acid form, it has been linked to high bilirubin (jaundice) and livir damage. It has been linked to psychiatry in that it cured pellegra psychoses, a niacin deficiency. However illness may be based on both excesses and deficiencies. A person can die of dehydration (lack of water) or can drown (an excess of water). The appropriate use of niacin is in deficiency states. Excessive use can be toxic to the liver.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a series of position statements over the past decade speaking against the use of megavitamin and trace element therapies for various childhood behavioral and mental aspects, with strong emphasis on adversive reactions to excesses. These statements would apply to Hubbard's claims. The Niacin Theory is just that... a theory without any basis for the concept of "turning on and turning off."

Excesses of various minerals can cause GI problems and, of more concern, can cause kidney problems including kidney stones.

Basically, Hubbard's theories are ...theories without controlled proof. He flings facts around wildly in excess, i.e., to drown the reader in facts in order to convince him that he knows. But he has little to reference and document the facts. A review of Hubbard's communications is that these directives are only theoretical observations without substantiating facts or details and with no references for the reader to "check the source out."

There are many current so-called experts on "ecologic-metabolic" profiles in diagnosis and treatment of various disorders, both mental and physical, with many theories on the loose. Of the multiple claims published in fadist journals, few are substantiated by controlled studies and most are based on anecdotes and theories.

Hubbard's "fat and oil" claims are but one of these and indeed resembles some of the other claims....(none of which) have proven to be the promised cure when subjected to controlled trials. Of even more interest is that these usually claim to be safe when nearly every effective therapy has risks.

<snip - unrelated comment>

Yours Truly,
/s/ William B. Svoboda M.D.
Pediatric Neurology


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY AND
BIOBEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
USLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
760 WESTWOOD PLAZA
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90024

May 1, 1990

Joan Leavitt, M.D.
Commissioner of Health
Oklahoma State Health Department
1000 N.E. 10th Street, Room 305
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Dear Dr. Leavitt:

I am a professor of psychiatry at the University of California in Los Angeles. From my curriculum vitae (copy enclosed) you can see that I was at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine for 15 years. I have returned often to lecture, and still feel very close to Oklahoma and my many friends there.

One of my fields of interest is cults (see list of publications). Through that interest, I have learned that one such organization, the "Church" of Scientology, is attempting to get a permanent license for a facility of Narconon (a creature of Scientology) on Indian School Land in Chilocco, Oklahoma.

I hope I can convince you that such licensure would be a terrible mistake, exposing naive Indian children to Scientology's "dianetic auditing" (similer ot hypnosis) and giving Scientology an undeserved claim to respectability at Oklahoma's moral expense.

In fact, the Scientologists are already proceeding along these lines (see enclosed Narconon "Expansion News Hotline"). While you are not a member of the Mental Health Board that will be ruling on it, they will surely consider your views, as I hope they will mine.

In my judgement, Scientology is an insidious and dangerous cult. Its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, was a science-fiction writer whose career as a mental healer was founded on extravagant lies and deception.

I am sending you a few articles on cults to give you a general idea of what they are. Also enclosed are two Reader's Digest articles about Scientology and its dangers. For more information about Hubbard and his cult I refer you to a couple of recent books: 'L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman' by Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., and 'Barefaced Messiah' by Russell Miller.

If you wish for more information, please do not hesitate to call this office at (213) 825-0085.

With every good wish,

Sincerely,

/s/Louis Jolyon West, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry


 FRANKLIN P. GARTIN, D.D.S.

700 NORTH HILL - P.O. BOX 833
HOBART, OKLAHOMA 73651
405-726-5671
January 6, 1991

(Addressed To Members Of The
Oklahoma Mental Health Board)

Dear (Board Member):

I am writing this letter in order to persuade you not to aid Narconon or Scientology by granting them a license to administer their drug rehabilitation program in the state of Oklahoma.

My request is based upon 2-1/2 years of study and practice in Scientology as a Scientologist. After 2-1/2 years of study, hard work and $60,000.00, I was fortunate to be shown the truth about this organization and it's founder L. Ron Hubbard. It is a destructive mind control cult masquerading as a religion and it is nothing more than a cruel international con.

It is highly unlikely that the people administering the Narconon program have any formal training in physiology, pharmacology, or medicine. The founder of the "Purification Rundown" had no such background.

Narconon is a front group for Scientology. Narconon headquarters are at Scientology International Headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

Do not be fooled into aiding the expansion of this psychotic group.

Two excellent resources which address the topics of Cults and Scientology are:

1. "Combatting Cult Mind Control:, by Steve Hassan

2. "Bare-faced Messiah", by Russell Miller

Sincerely,

Franklin P. Gartin, D.D.S.



NATIONAL COUNCIL
AGAINST HEALTH FRAUD

January 9, 1991

Members of the Board
Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health
Oklahoma City, OK

Dear (Board Member):

The National Council Against Health Fraud has learned that you will soon consider whether or not to certify a Narconon addiction treatment program in your area. NCAHF is concerned about the proliferation of unproven regimens being promoted for substance abuse. It is in the process of establishing a special task force that will investigate misinformation, fraud and quackery in addiction therapy.

In the meantime, sufficient information is available on the nature of some programs to cause NCAHF to warn the public and officials of their dubious value. Among these is the Narconon program of the Scientology sect.

Narconon advances the so-called "purification rundown" an alleged detoxification regimen invented by Scientology's founder, the late L. Ron Hubbard (Hubbard has been the subject of several critical books: 'The Bare-faced Messiah,' 'L Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?', 'A Piece of Blue Sky', 'Religion, Inc.'; each of these present Hubbard as a psychopath and Scientology as a dangerous cult).

Hubbard's regimen consists of megadoses of niacin, the avoidance of certain foods, exercise and saunas to purge and sweat out body toxins. The program is not based upon rational science but appears to be a product of Hubbard's imagination.

According to an FDA 'Talk Paper' dated October 15, 1990:

"While sweating may reduce water and salt, it is not generally accepted as a method to reduce toxins. Niacin is sometimes prescribed by physicians... to reduce cholesterol, but it is not without toxic side effects on the liver ... and FDA recommends that such a regimen should not be taken up for other purposes without medical supervision."

NCAHF Board member James Kenney, Ph.D., R.D. points out that there is no evidence that niacin mobilizes toxic chemicals from fat cells (book review in press).

NCAHF believes that responsible community leaders should reject the Narconon addiction treatment program. It appears to be among the least acceptable in a field that already suffers from a lack of sound objective research.

Sincerely,

William Jarvis, Ph.D.
President



ROBERT E. GEARY, D.D.S., INC.

COSMETIC AND RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY
531 East Smith Road
Medina, Ohio 44256
(216) 725-0455

November 5, 1990

Oklahoma Mental Health Board
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

Re: Narconon Certification

Dear Sirs:

I understand that you are considering licensing Narconon as a drug treatment facility in your State. As a health care practitioner that has participated in their so-called Purification Rundown, which is the basis for Narconon's treatment program, I would say it is bunk.

The high levels of Niacon given produce flushing and discomfort which by the power of suggestion is alluded to be a sign of toxins from past drugs, medications, radiation, etc. leaving your body. Mr. Hubbard has no credentials that support his having any expertise in this area.

Following my wife's Purification Program, she began having difficulty sleeping, having hallucinations and other bizarre symptoms which the Scientologists told her were normal. She eventually required hospitalization, due to their ineptitude. I consider their treatment to be unscientific and dangerous.

Reports of successes are due to hypnotic suggestions. Of course, the Scientologists vehemently deny they do this. We have found credible evidence from persons well respected in the mental health community to the contrary. Please deny this grou any authenticity.

Sincerely, yours,

/s/ Robert E. Geary, D.D.S.
Past Member 648
Mental Health Board of Medina County



Review of the book... 

Diet For a Poisoned Planet

David Steinman
(Harmony Books, $21.95)

by Ron Judd

Seattle Times Staff Reporter

David Steinman's notoriety arrived in Seattle long before he did.

Before he even embared on a nationwide tour to promote his new book, "Diet For a Poisoned Planet." (Harmony Books, $21.95), rebuttals were landing on book-reviewer's desks.

Steinman calls his book a consumers guide to pesticides in foods. Medical experts chose other words.

"Trash," said former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in a statement mailed nationwide.

"Nutrition terrorist nonsense" declared Dr. Victor Herbert, professor of medicine and Mount Sinai and Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Groups ranging from the American Cancer Society to the American Dietetic Association have banded together in denouncing the book with a perhaps unprecedented media assault.

Why all the worry about a little-known Los Angeles journalist and first-time author?

Steinman is writing about pesticides. And his work is salt in the financial wounds of a national food and regulatory industry still smarting from the impact of last year's Alar scare.

Steinman began studying the effects of toxins in 1985, after research for a story revealed his own blood contained the chemicals DDT and PCB.

He asserts cancer deaths are on the rise in the United States and that chemicals in the food chain are partly responsible. "Just eating the foods and drinking the water of late Twentieth-Century America can kill you," he states in the book's introduction.

<snip>

Note: Chapter 18 of Steinman's book is little more than an advertisment for Scientology's "Purification Rundown" as delivered by HealthMed in Los Angeles, and Narconon at Chilocco, Oklahoma and other locations.

The following are former U.S. Surgeon General C.Everett Koop's responses to questions on this book in general, and on the Purification Rundown it promotes:

Q. Have you heard about a new book called "Diet For a Poisoned Planet," which claims that nearly 100 foods are unsafe to eat because they contain dangerous levels of pesticides?

A. "Yes, I read that book. I was amazed any publisher would publish such trash. And that's the best word I can think of. There is really nothing scientific about it. It is a hodge podge of misinformation added to selective bits of old information to prove a thesis that's unprovable. The premise of the entire book is flawed..."

Q. What about the author's detoxification advice? He credits L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology with some of the theories he recommends.

A. "My recommendation about detoxification is to keep away from it. You don't need it. I'm not sure it does what this book describes. It's dangerous. I don't think L. Ron Hubbard has credibility in the scientific world. The author's suggestions about detoxification can be detrimental to your health. "

C. Everett Koop, M.D.



NATIONAL COUNCIL
AGAINST HEALTH FRAUD

1239 19th Street #8
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Dr. John Chelf
555 East 71st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Dear Dr. Chelf,

(I have been asked) to comment on the "Purification rundown" used by Narconon and other Scientologist run "clinics" (e.g. HealthMed and New Life Center).

As a member of the board of directors of The National Council Against Health Fraud and a diplomat of The American Board of Nutrition, I am an expert at separating fact from fraud in the nutrition field. I am familiar with the "Hubbard Method" of "detoxification" which is used at Scientologist run "clinics" and is described in L. Ron Hubbard's book, "Clear Mind, Clear Body", and in David Steinman's book, "Diet For a Poisoned Planet", which I recently reviewed (Current Diet Review, Nov. - Dec. 1990).

This "purification" program was created by L. Ron Hubbard's fertile imagination in the mid 1950's. It is part of the teachings of the Church of Scientology and lacks any credible scientific support.

This "purification" or "detoxification" program is claimed to help "clear" the mind of toxins such as drugs, pesticides and chemical pollutants. It consists of large doses of niacin, vegetable oil, exercise and "low temperature" saunas.

According to the followers of L. Ron Hubbard, the large doses of niacin works by stimulating the release of fat into the blood stream and this is accompanied by various "toxins" trapped in the body's fatty tissues.

According to science, large doses of niacin actually block the release of fat from fat cells. This has been observed both at rest (Acta Medica Scandinavia 1962, 172(suppl):641) and during exercise (D. Jenkins, Lancet 1965, 1307). In other words, the scientific evidence shows the exact opposite of what Hubard's theory predicts. There is no credible support for claims that large doses of niacin clear toxins from the brain, fatty tissue or any other part of the body.

To make matters worse, large doses of niacin are hepatotoxic and can cause serious liver damage. It may also trigger gout, raise blood sugar into the diabetic range, cause itching, flushing and a rash. Nausea and gastritis are other side effects of large doses of niacin. To subject people to these potentially serious side effects on the pretense that they are being "detoxified", "cleared" or "purified" is quackery.

Health professionals who subject troubled people (many with psychiatric illnesses and / or severe emotional problems) to this unproven detoxification program are at best unethical and at worst guilty of health fraud. Since the Hubbard Method is clearly a religious ritual and is not a scientifically based procedure, it seems inappropriate for the State of Oklahoam to be involved in the licensing of an institution using this ritual. It would also be very inappropriate for any public funds to be used to pay for a religious ritual which is potentially harmful and of no proven benefit.

I hope these comments are helpful to you an assessing the true value of the "Hubbard Method" for detoxification.

Sincerely,

/s/ James J. Kenney, Ph. D., R.D.

Note: Dr. John Chelf was appointed by the Oklahoma State Mental Health Board to evaluate the Purification Rundown as delivered by Narconon.



CRITICAL ANALYSIS
OF THE PURIFICATION RUNDOWN

This analysis will only cover some of the statements Hubbard puts forward concerning certain aspects of biochemistry and medicine. Many of his other statements I consider fallacious or even mendacious, but they will not be subjected to criticism here.

1. L.S.D.

Hubbard makes many statements concerning this drug, all of which serve to illustrate his overwhelming ignorance of biochemistry.

 

"As it has been stated that it only takes one millionth of an ounce of L.S.D. to produce a drugged condition and because it is basically wheat rust which simply cuts off circulation, my original thinking on this over the years was that L.S.D. sticks around in the body. That basically is the idea underlying the original Sweat Program. The remedy given was to sweat it out. From the most recent research developments, it now appears that not only L.S.D. but other chemical poisons and toxins, preservatives, pesticides, etc., as well as medical drugs and the long list of heavy street drugs... can lodge in the tissues and remain in the body for years."

Firstly, L.S.D. is a chemical. It is thought to act by a direct effect on brain cells, perhaps by blocking the action of a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger in the brain) known as Serotonin. this blockade may affect the brain adversely, causing the various hallucinogenic effects of the drug.

Hubbard claims that L.S.D. "cuts off circulation". In fact, it does nothing of the sort; neither the output of blood from the heart nor its passage through any of the blood vessels in the body is affected. L.S.D. affects only t he brain, not the circulation.

Wheat rust is a virus which causes an infection of wheat. it has absolutely nothing in common with L.S.D. either chemically or biologically. How Hubbard ever made the connection between the two is very puzzling; the fact that the two are linked together at all is evidence of his poor understanding of the subject.

There is no evidence at all that L.S.D. or any of the other street drugs Hubbard mentions "lodge in the tissues for years". Indeed, these drugs, being water soluable, are excredted quickly. This is due to the fact that the body is mainly water. The drugs dissolve in the water and then are rapidly excreted from the body in the urine. (In view of this, Hubbard's claim that "trips during the program" (p.15) should be treated with "extra vitamin B Complex and vitamin C" is seen to be false; you can't treat what isn't there.)

2. Fats and Oils

the only substances which Hubbard lists correctly as being stored in the tissues are pesticides. However, Hubbard has no idea how this occurs. He states:

 

"There is no such thing as a fat cell" (p.8)

This is incorrect. Hubbard might have merely consulted a basic medical text to realize this. The human body, like any complex living organism, is composed of cells. In the body, these cells are specialized for various functions; nerve cells, which relay messages to and from the brain; red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body; and so on. The body stores fat in specialized fat cells. Hubbard, although claiming a good deal of knowledge of biology, does not even appreciate this very basic concept.

Hubbard then claims that to "clean up" fat tissue in the body, it is necessary to replace the fat broken down by exercise with an external source of oil. He is wrong on several counts.

Firstly, the body contains none of the street drugs stored in body tissues as Hubbard claims. The only exception to this is the active ingredient of marijuana; it may be stored in fat cells for as long as one to two months before it is finally excreted. It is not, as Hubbard claims, stored for years. L.S.D. crystls do not exist at all in the body. Thus the "drug residues" which Hubbard bases most of his program on, simply do not exist.

Secondly, in order to rid the body of these drugs and toxins, Hubbard proposes to break down body fat. In the short term, this would actually increase the toxicity of such substnces as pesticides because they would be released into the bloodstream as fat is broken down. The only instance of this occurring is in several species of birds exposed to DDT during the summer. In the winter, as the birds used up their body fat due to the lack of food, many died due to DDT poisoning. Fortunately, the levels of such substances are not high enough in the human population to cause such an effect; nonetheless, Hubbard's method of "cleansing" is certainly not medically sound.

Finally, Hubbard states that oil should be consumed to provide more fat to replace that which is broken down. In fact, oil is not necessary to make fat; the body may synthesize fat perfectly naturally from carbohydrates instead, as is evidenced by the number of obese candy lovers.l

3. Vitamin Deficiencies

Hubbard's complete lack of medical knowledge is best demonstrated here.

Some introductory comments first. Hubbard states that alcohol "burns up" vitamin B1 and thus leads to the DTs. This is incorrect. Alcohol itself causes, in sufficient dose and following withdrawal, a clinical syndrom known as delerium tremens or the DTs. This syndrome is due to a sudden lack of alcohol in an addict of this drug; it is best characterized as a severe alcohol withdrawal reaction.

Many alcoholics eat poorly and thus become deficient in thiamine or vitamin B1. They do not burn up this vitamin, they simply run out of it. They develop a neurologic syndrome known as Wernicke-Korsakoff disease which will not be discussed here but which is much different from the DTs.

Following this, Hubbard claims that L.S.D. and other street drugs burn up several vitamins. There is no evidence that this occurs. No vitamin deficiencies are due to a toxic effect of street drugs; what actually occurs is that many addicts eat very poorly and thus fail to consume the proper amount of vitamins. Deficiencies of these vitamins then develop, not due to the drugs themselves, but rather to the social situations which they create. The solution obviously lies in a discontinuation of the drug taking behaviour and resumption of a proper diet.

4. Niacin

Hubbard devotes special attention to this vitamin and makes many statements concerning it, almost all of which are incorrect.

He first claims it "releases L.S.D. crystals into the system". As discussed earlier, there are no L.S.D. crystals stored at all in the body anyway so this statement concerning this effect of niacin is incorrect.

Next, he states that, "Niacin's biochemical reaction is my own private, personal discovery". In fact, niacin was discovered about the turn of the century and its lack, which leads to a syndrome known as pellegra, was elucidated in the early 1900's. Niacin's action, as an important constituent in many of the body's chemical reactions, has been studied since that time by several notable biochemists; Hubbard is not among them. He has made no contribution to the field, has published no work pertaining to the substance and his claim that niacin is a "private personal discovery" is a total lie.

When given as a medication, Niacin may cause a direct effect on blood vessels of the skin causing them to dilate. This will be seen clinically as in itching, flushing sensation which passes quickly. Hubbard claims however that it is really "running out" sunburn or radiation. This is simply ridiculous; radiation, be it sunlight or otherwise, is not stored in the body as a chemical substance is, but is simply converted to some other sort of energy such as heat, or causes some tissue damage (i.e. sunburn). (Try catching a glass of sunlight!) It cannot therefore be "run out."

Niacin in the body is converted to a substance known as nicotinamide (tradename Niacinamide). Hubbard claims that this compound is worthless. He is incorrect again; in fact, nicotinamide given as a drug simply obviates the body's need to convert niacin to nicotinamide, and avoids the side effects of niacin.

It is of historical note that no one received a Nobel prize in 1973 for "curing insanity with niacin", as Hubbard claims.

5. Medical Risks of the Program

Hubbard attempts to cover himself as concerns the risks of the program by stating that:

 

"This program can be strenuous and should not be undertaken by anyone who has a weak heart or who is anemic."

His methods of clinical investigation, however, are highly questionable both medically and legally. He states that the "Medical Officer" who is "trained" may test applicants to the program for these problems. Many years of training are required to detect heart disease in some individuals. The medical officers in the various orgs have no such training; Hubbard, by implying that they do, is perpetrating a medical fraud which may be highly dangerous to some people engaging in this program. For example, a patient with unsuspected coronary artery disease who is subjected to the stresses demanded of him in this combination of exercise and sauna stands a significant chance of suffering a heart attack.

It should be further noted that Hubbard gives as second choice a qualified medical doctor to check the applicant before embarking on the program; an M.D. is to be consulted only in the absence of a "medical officer".

Hubbard also states that the dose of niacin, which is give initially at 100 mg a day, should be steadily icnreased. He then states:

 

"The other vitamins would have to be increased proportionately to Niacin at the same time the Niacin is increased..."

This may be dangerous to the person concerned. Probably most of the vitamins Hubbard recommends are harmless, even if they do none of the things he claims they do. However, vitamins A and D, if taken in large doses, may be quite harmful.

High levels of vitamin D may lead to a sudden increase in blood calcium. This will lead to symptoms of decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting, memory loss, decreased level of conciousness progressing to coma, and in infants, mental retardation. Kidney damage may also occur which is often not reversible on discontinuing the vitamin. Bone disease, with weakening and fractures, also occurs concomitantly.

Large amount s of vitamin A may lead to severe toxicity including a rise in the pressure of the fluid surrounding the brain, leading to headaches, visual disturbances and seizures. Even more worrisome is the fact that in animals, vitmin A leads to malformed offspring when fed to the pregnant mother.

Finally, Hubbard seems to feel that any drugs are dangerous, as he lumps them with street drugs and other poisons in his introductory section. Many people depend on certain drugs to maintain the function of their heart or other vital organs. In the case of these people, an instruction or even suggestion to cease taking their medications could be fatal.

In summary, Hubbard is a very ignorant man. He consistently demonstrates a complete and at times dangerous lack of knowledge concerning biochemistry, physics, and medicine. His theories are based on fallacies and lies; there is no scientific data to support any of them.

Furthermore, his program not only fails to deliver what it promises, but may actually be detrimental to the health of those taking it.

As such, it cannot be recommended that anyone take this program.

/s/ David Hogg, M.D.
Toronto, October 8, 1981


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