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


Scientology builds tiny new drug rehab, marking Narconon’s dwindling US fortunes

[Narconon Arrowhead, where Dave’s dream died]

In the year 2000, the Church of Scientology paid $1.9 million for a 256-acre resort in Oklahoma from the Choctaw Nation, which had purchased it in a government fire sale fifteen years earlier for about the same price. The resort had been built by the state in 1965, and it still had the mod look from that era.

Originally it was designed as a swank outpost for upscale visitors, but Scientology had something very different in mind for it. A decade earlier, Scientology leader David Miscavige decided to experiment and go big with the “Narconon” drug rehab model that L. Ron Hubbard first put in place in the late 1960s. In 1990, that meant opening a 57-bed clinic on an Indian reservation in the state, but now, in 2000, Miscavige was really scaling up. At the Arrowhead lodge, his spokesman said the new Narconon flagship facility might have as many as 300 beds.

For years, Scientology had claimed that it was the “expert” on treating drug addiction, but without large facilities, how could it claim to be making a dent in the country’s actual drug problems? Narconon Arrowhead was Scientology’s answer.

But whatever Scientology’s aims, the reality is that Narconon is a deceptive business with dangerous practices that delivers Scientology training, not drug counseling, and a few years later Miscavige’s ambitions caught up with him. Three patient deaths at Narconon Arrowhead in only nine months in 2011 and 2012 shocked even the complacent Oklahoma locals, and within a few years, we were told, Narconon Arrowhead was on fumes and treating only a handful of “students.”

We wanted to remind you of that history in order to put into context the new report out of Maryland about the Narconon clinic being built there at “Trout Run.”


You may remember the stories we’ve done on the project there. In 2013, Scientology forked out similar amounts, about $5 million each, for two parcels, in California and Maryland, for new Narconon clinics.

In California, the purchase was Larry Hagman’s spectacular former estate in Ojai. It’s been turned into a 6-bed Narconon that is so small, it sails underneath any regulation by the state at all.

In Maryland, the purchase was for an old fishing camp that had some historical value — President Herbert Hoover was said to have angled there, and it also stood in for Camp David in some scenes shot for The West Wing. A complex and lengthy battle ensued with the county once protesters started making noise about Scientology moving in, resulting in a lawsuit and finally a settlement. Now, a new report from the county newspaper says that the county is holding the line, making sure the new Narconon clinic there has no more than 8 beds.

Sure, it’s an outrage that Scientology is still getting away with putting in these unregulated, deceptive, and dangerous shitholes in the U.S.

But let’s look again at those numbers:

Year 2000, $1.9 million, 256 acres, 300 beds for Narconon Arrowhead.

In 2013, $5 million, 6 beds in Ojai.

Also in 2013, $5 million, 8 beds in Frederick County, Maryland.

Scientology’s Narconon isn’t trying to solve America’s drug problem. Instead, Scientology is spending huge amounts just to cater to a wealthy few. These new clinics are mostly about David Miscavige being able to boast to his rich donors that he’s opening new facilities. They’re PR more than anything else.

As Rod Keller has shown us, outside of the US, it’s a different story as Miscavige continues to build larger clinics in countries that may be less wary of Scientology or simply don’t pay attention.

Most notable of these is the 54-bed clinic about to open in Ballivor, Ireland, over the vigorous objection of locals and after a court fight that ended with the country’s highest court giving Scientology the green light.

A large Narconon, an Ideal Org with community center, and a national office, all built by Scientology in Ireland in recent years, a country with virtually no Scientology presence at all — only 87 people admitted to being Scientologists in the most recent census there.

And now that Brexit has finally happened, is Ireland poised to be the Scientology magnet for what’s left of the EU?

No. Ireland’s Scientology facilities still have nothing on Copenhagen, which has long been the organization’s European headquarters.


We still believe that David Miscavige is spending ungodly amounts of money in Ireland, a country with no Scientology presence, simply because he thinks it pleases and impresses his best pal, Tom Cruise, who has some Irish ancestry and a soft spot for the country.


A new drone’s-eye-view of Int Base

In 2016, we got to premiere a spectacular series of 4K videos shot from a drone by someone who called himself “Angry Thetan,” and who gave us unprecedented views of Scientology’s secretive Int Base and the super-secret Church of Spiritual Technology compounds, including the remote ranch where L. Ron Hubbard spent his final days.

Now, we’ve heard from a new drone pilot who has taken another run at Int Base. So we turn to you, our eagle-eyed readers, what changes do you notice in four years at the base?



Reckless Ben, part Seven: ‘They caught me’




Source Code

“If I walked into an org at any given instant, I would look the place over, I would probably move all the executives out of the service space. And that’s usually my first action in an org. I’m not kidding you. I move all the executives out of the service space, and that’s my first day. And work with their creditor set up so that there won’t be foreclosed on the second day. And by that time I have looked over enough of the situation, and I get a big idea as to what we can offer right now, and we offer it very promptly on any open communication line that is. And you have a special project number one, which you will be given, which is, that’s a special project. That doesn’t include with the FEBC pack; it’s with your pack, but it’s the big idea that you can do right now. And it’s already under a bit of flight, this particular one, and we haven’t got the full results on this yet. But apparently it’s producing people, and they walk in and they actually do start moving through the org lines. So you’ve got a special dissem project number one, which is a good idea.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 3, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The 1.1 handling in Science of Survival is a handling mainly for people on that tone band. That it also includes communists and sexually perverted people is coincidental. And I don’t think LRH would have been worried that a suppressive puppet would expose him (LRH) in a bad light just because he said that 1.1s should be banned from public office.”


Random Howdy

“Scientology/Dianetics was originally intended to END with going Clear. And then LRH realized the short con of that was going to run dry, so he came up with the LONG CON of the OT levels. It’s that simple.”


Start making your plans…

Head over to the convention website and meet us in St. Louis!


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

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

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] After critical ‘Aftermath’ episodes, Clearwater police chief denies favoring Scientology
[TWO years ago] What L. Ron Hubbard said about religion — before Scientology became a ‘church’
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini books the Bill Maher show, gets swung at by Giovanni Ribisi
[FOUR years ago] Ray Jeffrey fends off Scientology’s attempt to get him in hot water with the California Bar
[FIVE years ago] When Richard Nixon ordered the Secret Service to investigate Scientology
[SIX years ago] Monique Rathbun tries to slap down Scientology’s ‘anti-SLAPP’ motion in court today
[SEVEN years ago] Super Sunday Funnies: Live-Blogging Scientology’s Super Bowl Ad!
[EIGHT years ago] Debbie Cook’s Motion Denied: Scientology’s Restraining Order Remains in Place Until Thursday Hearing


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,837 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,341 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,861 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 881 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 772 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,079 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,947 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,721 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,495 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,841 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,407 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,326 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,494 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,075 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,336 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,374 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,087 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,612 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,139 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,702 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,842 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,162 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,017 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,137 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,492 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,795 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,901 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,303 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,175 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,758 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,253 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,507 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,616 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 3, 2020 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