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


A Scientology front group that duped celebrities for Narconon: It’s baaaack!

[‘Family Ties’ stars Justine Bateman, Michael J. Fox, and Tina Yothers, 1985]

A once-dormant Scientology front group is making a resurgence. This month Friends of Narconon launched a new Twitter account, and they’re making the remarkable claim that their educational program is endorsed by SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The agency is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for improving the quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative services, including drug rehab programs.

Friends of Narconon claims that SAMHSA has classified them as an “evidence-based program” and they have verified that Narconon produces results and its materials can be used in classrooms. It’s not true, and it’s not the first time Narconon has claimed a phony certification.



Friends of Narconon ran Scientology’s drug education efforts for decades. They visited schools, raised money and attracted considerable celebrity support as Scientologists John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley recruited their friends — celebrities such as Morgan Fairchild, Robert Ginty, Donna Mills, John Matuszak and the cast of Family Ties to publicity events.

Then in 2005 the California Department of Education found the Narconon education program included false and misleading information and is inappropriate for use in schools. In 2006 Scientology created the Foundation for a Drug Free World to be the new primary drug education program. It was a difficult time for Narconon, and former staff members tell us there were hard feelings when Scientology created the Foundation to replace them. Narconon was folded into its current parent organization ABLE (Association for Better Living and Education) and lost much of its autonomy. Several key staff members walked away from the program forever.


[Bobby Wiggins]

[Robert and Daphna Hernandez]

[Patty Schwartz]

But some kept the faith. Friends of Narconon continue to operate independently of ABLE with four dedicated members — Patty Schwartz, Robert Hernandez, Daphna Hernandez and Bobby Wiggins. The group last filed the IRS form 990 that is required of non-profit organizations in 2014 and claim to produce and distribute educational videos to schools. They operate out of a residence in Pasadena with an annual budget of less than $25,000. All four were named defendants in the 2014 lawsuit against Narconon by the National Association of Forensic Counselors and the American Academy of Certified Forensic Counselors for faking their professional certifications.


Now five years after dropping from sight the group is using its new stamp of approval from the U.S. Government to raise funds for school education materials. They are seeking donations of $150,000 on GoFundMe and will be selling to program to schools for additional revenue. “Each kit costs $300 and can be used year after year to educate hundreds of students. Some schools have reported that more than a thousand students have viewed the videos in a single year” they claim.



Their biggest competitor will be their old nemesis, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, which offers The Truth About Drugs school package for free. It contains the same false information about drugs identified in the California study about Narconon materials. Scientology lavishes the Foundation with promotional funds at a level the Friends of Narconon can’t hope to achieve with their GoFundMe page.


The other obstacle for the Friends group is that their claim to be endorsed by SAMHSA is false. A SAMHSA spokesperson tells us “SAMHSA doesn’t promote organizations’ programs that way. We have an Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center that displays information and tools to incorporate evidence-based practices into their communities or clinical settings.” A search of “Narconon” on their site yields no hits. As in the 2014 National Association of Forensic Counselors case, Scientology has appropriated the blessings of a respected authority in the field of drug rehabilitation.

— Rod Keller


Bonus items from our tipsters

Meanwhile, in Canada…



Source Code

“Now, the MEST universe is all very well but it’s all illusion. Well, one doesn’t want an illusion, so he can’t have an illusion. And when he was very young, why, Christ was all right, he was very friendly, as a matter of fact, and so on. But that’s mostly — people, you know, they have to believe in that sort of thing. And they did once, but it requires nothing but faith and, of course, they can’t have any faith anymore and they did have hopes on that once in a while, but actually religion doesn’t lead anybody anyplace in the final analysis because you never get your wish anyway so, of course, one can’t survive on the basis of spirits and religion, and so forth.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 27, 1951


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Eternity is not infinite. This is a lie. Infinity and eternity are perceptions, postulates utilised to fixate people in the idea that their only option is the Eternal Life Cycle and Eternal Life. We simply vanish our participation in eternity and in doing so restore our ability to choose, decide and act in accordance with our own innate capability for truth. Eternity is a finite cycle of action which audits out. Eternity is Now. Reality is Here. We are Present. We are present, here and now, in this time, space, illusion and form, at this precise location and moment, in the present. It all audits out in PT.”


Random Howdy

“Maybe you mocked up another version of yourself in a blackout and forgot about it. Ask Marty, it probably has something to do with Quantum Buddhism(c).”


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Russell Miller’s 1987 biography of Scientology’s founder is still astonishingly good
[TWO years ago] KID CORPS: Scientology wanted to turn children into little machines of Sea Org efficiency
[THREE years ago] Surprised Tom Cruise called Scientology a ‘beautiful religion’? You shouldn’t be.
[FIVE years ago] Gay Ribisi, our friend Mark Ebner has your Scientology plaques — want ’em back?
[SIX years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Is In Your Capital, Working Your Jenna Elfman
[SEVEN years ago] The Scientology-Nation of Islam Alliance: Sideshow or Armageddon?
[EIGHT years ago] Mark Ebner on Scientology and South Park: Rathbun is Definitely Leaking Authentic “Intel”
[TEN years ago] In France Scientology is a Fraud – in the U.S., it’s a Tax-Exempt Paragon of Religious Freedom


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,610 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,739 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,243 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,763 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 783 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 674 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,981 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,849 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,623 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,397 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,743 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,309 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,228 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,396 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,977 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,238 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,277 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,989 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,515 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,041 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,604 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,744 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,064 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,920 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,039 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,394 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,697 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,803 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,205 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,077 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,660 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,155 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,409 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,518 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 27, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | Shelly Miscavige, 14 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email