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Scientology plans Narconon drug rehab for Ireland, but the locals are not having it

Rod Keller checks in with a look at how David Miscavige’s plan for new Narconons around the world is increasingly running into obstacles.

Scientology is planning to open a new Narconon drug rehab facility in the small town of Ballivor, Ireland. They have purchased the building that once housed the Raspberry Wood Nursing Home, and the Narconon website has a placeholder for “Ireland” in preparation for the opening. Residents are opposed to the center and Noel French of the Meath County Council is finding that Scientology is secretive about its undertakings and does not welcome community comment or concern. He told the Irish Times, “We have tried to find out what the building is going to be used for but we’ve been stonewalled with secrecy. Why all the secrecy over a nursing home in the middle of a town with 1,700 residents?”


[Planned Narconon Ireland in Ballivor]


Neighbors say renovations that were being done day and night have stopped for now, but Claire O’Mara has plans to stop them for good. She tells us, “We have formed a committee solely for the purpose of fighting this cult with everything this town has and then some more. We are planning to protest outside, generate publicity and stand our ground! We have issued all businesses and shops with petitions that are filling up very fast due to the support of our town and the people in it.”

A protest is planned for Wednesday at the facility, and O’Mara says, “It will be a peaceful protest but it won’t be a silent protest. We aim to make as much noise as possible and let us be heard far and wide!” Residents are encouraged to bring pots, pans and anything that will make a lot of noise.

Whether Scientology will be able to open the facility is unclear. The Health Service Executive, which is Ireland’s public health provider, has said that Scientology’s “purification” programs have no standing in the medical community. They also have not applied for a change of use from nursing home to a drug rehab center, and officials haven’t said if permission would be approved or denied once they ask. If they are denied it’s the continuation of a pattern for Narconon. Scientology displays a certain arrogance towards local officials, and frequently ignores permit requirements in establishing new facilities. It has been their downfall in the past and perhaps will be now in Ireland.


[Empty Narconon Canada building]

In 2013 Scientology purchased a building for a new Narconon in Hockley Village near the planned “Advanced Org” for Canada. That facility faced organized resistance from the neighbors and never opened. They failed again in 2015 in nearby Milton, Ontario when their facility was rejected as a “group home” under local regulations. The building still sits empty except for a caretaker Scientologist.


[Narconon Trout Run]

Also in 2015 the planned Narconon Trout Run in Maryland was derailed when county officials denied its application to be placed on a registry of historic places. That would have earned Scientology an exemption from local regulations and allow the facility to operate as a “large group home.” Scientology hasn’t given up the fight and files extensions periodically in hopes of an eventual appeal.


[Narconon Australia]

In 2017 Scientology finally sold the planned Narconon Australia property. Scientology ignored local zoning laws prohibiting such facilities when they purchased the decaying party mansion in 2013.


[Narconon Ojai survived recent wildfires]

Not all Narconon facilities have faced such opposition. Scientology has opened several facilities successfully during this period. New Narconons have been established recently in Mexico, Denmark, England. Florida, Colombia and Turkey. The remote Celebrity Narconon in Ojai, California was opened in 2015, but suffered fire damage and is now closed for repairs.


[Flier for a new Narconon center in Lombardy, Italy]

[Scientologist Paolo Stucchi will be the Executive Director of Narconon Aurora]

Scientology also plans a new Narconon facility in Italy, set to open later this year. There are already six Narconons covering Italy from top to toe – Piemonte, Alfiere, Astore, Argo, Gabbiano and Falco. It’s the most dense grouping of Narconons in the world. Now comes Narconon Aurora in the Lombardy region, which includes Narconon Southern Europe’s headquarters in Milan. Sources believe the center is planned for the area around Como, perhaps overlooking the famous lake of the same name. Unlike Ireland, Canada, Maryland, and Australia there is no opposition to Narconon in Italy to speak of, and Scientology should have a seventh facility there soon.

— Rod Keller


Make your plans now!



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,994 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 140 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,203 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,977 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,751 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,097 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,591 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,631 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,343 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 869 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,958 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,098 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,418 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,393 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 749 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,051 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,157 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,560 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,432 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,014 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,519 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,763 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,872 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 14, 2018 at 07:00

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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 can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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