Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology trying to salvage its derelict Narconon flagship as new training center

[Narconon Arrowhead during better times, with David Miscavige (center) and Luke Catton (left)]

Rod Keller helps us keep an eye on Narconon, Scientology’s drug rehab network, and he has a surprising new development today. For a few years, we’ve been reporting that Narconon’s flagship facility, Narconon Arrowhead in eastern Oklahoma, has dwindled to just a handful of customers after numerous patient deaths and high-profile lawsuits. Now, in a move seemingly acknowledging the inevitable, Scientology is announcing that it’s throwing in the towel and turning it into a training center. Rod decided to key off that news to give us a general assessment of where Narconon stands now.

Scientology has launched an initiative known as the Narconon Arrowhead Expansion Project to revitalize the site. The facility in Canadian, Oklahoma is promoted as the “Flagship Narconon,” much like Flag Land Base in Clearwater is the primary center for completing the OT levels. The facility has fallen on hard times since the death of several patients there and the accompanying lawsuits. A source close to the facility tells us there were recently 10 patients in the program, although the building is designed to hold 200.



This news prompted us to take a look at the program, where it is succeeding and where it has failed.


[Narconon locations]

Scientology tends towards symmetry. Just as Flag is the international center for processing, each continent has an Advanced Org, such as Saint Hill in the UK, or PAC base in Los Angeles. The same system was announced in 2015 for Narconons, with Arrowhead as the international center, and a series of new Continental Narconons. Nine were planned, the “celebrity” Narconon in Ojai California, Trout Run in Maryland, Villa Victoria in Mexico, Gauteng province in South Africa, Denmark, Canada, Australia, the UK and Nepal.


[Continental Narconon Africa has not opened]

[Narconon Trout Run has not opened]

Narconon’s map shows that Ojai and Nepal are no longer considered Continental Narconons, although both have opened since the announcement. Villa Victoria, Mørkøv Denmark and UK have opened, leaving four that never opened. Trout Run has been turned down by county officials, two planned facilities in Canada have been denied permission to open, and Scientology now plans to sell the compound in Yarramaland Australia, having been denied permits there. The existence of the African Continental facility on the map is a fiction, the address of the building has never been announced.


[Blu-by-the-Sea, a former Narconon in Destin, Florida]

[John Travolta and Kelly Preston at a Narconon Hawaii fundraiser]

The map shows the loss of Narconon Trois-Rivières, ordered closed in 2012, and Narconon Alberta in Calgary which vanished more quietly. In the U.S., Narconon Georgia was closed by authorities in 2013, and Narconon Gulfcoast has left Scientology to operate independently as Blu-by-the-Sea. Narconon remains strong in the American south with the new Narconon Suncoast in Clearwater, as well as sites in Louisiana and South Texas. The map shows five facilities in the west but there are actually four, with the defection of the South Lake Tahoe and Watsonville from Narconon to become independent. Despite celebrity fundraising, Narconon Hawaii is no more. The map shows no centers in Michigan, and sources tell us that Narconon Freedom Center in Albion may soon leave the network if it has not already.


[Narconon Cancun has closed]

[Narconon Mazatlan has closed]

The map shows the Continental Narconon, plus five others in Mexico. There are only three, in Querétaro, Sonora and Tijuana. Narconons in Cancun and Mazatlan are closed. The lone Narconon in South America is near Bogota, Colombia.


[Narconon Los Molinos, near Madrid]

[Narconon Kiev opened in 2015]

Narconon is strongest in Europe. Supporting the Continental Narconon are two centers in Spain, five in Italy, one in the Netherlands, one in Hungary, one in Macedonia, one in Sweden, one in Ukraine and four in Russia. There have been no recent closures in Europe, and several of the facilities have opened recently.


[Narconon Turkey]

[Narconon Israel]

Narconon Turkey has recently moved from Ankara to a new location in Edremit along the western coast. The previous location was disbanded when the Executive Director was jailed for dealing heroin and having sex with patients. The prime witness against him subsequently recanted and he was released, but is no longer with Narconon. The map also shows Narconon Israel, still operating quietly in a residential area in the town of Zeitan.

[Narconon Cape Town, closed]

Narconon Egypt is the only facility in Africa. The Continental Narconon never opened, and Narconon Cape Town has been closed for many years. Narconon Taiwan and Melbourne Australia are still in operation.

Despite hard times for the Flagship Narconon at Arrowhead, numerous facility defections and closures, the Narconon network is maintaining operations, particularly in Europe. Newly opened Scientology “Ideal Orgs” and Continental Narconons are instructed to foster the founding of new facilities, and we can expect new attempts to open Narconons in Canada, South Africa and Australia. One source tells us of a plan to open a Narconon Ireland, but the lack of detail tells us this is not imminent.

— Rod Keller


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,806 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,563 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,909 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,403 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,443 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,155 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 681 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,770 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,910 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,230 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,205 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 561 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,863 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 970 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,372 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,245 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 826 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,331 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,575 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,684 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 9, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email