John Travolta is actively promoting another iteration of Scientology’s ‘Purification Rundown,’ a dangerous bit of unscientific quackery concocted by college dropout L. Ron Hubbard and some junkie who wrote him from prison.
Clearly, there are no more qualified people to create a medical treatment for drug rehab and detoxification than a junkie and a cheesy pulp fiction hack, right? So it should be no surprise to learn that the program is dangerous.
Called the ‘Heroes Health Fund,’ this program is rooted in the New York Rescue Workers’ Detoxification Project, a bit of quackery launched by opportunistic Scientologists after 911 and promoted by Scientology’s other Big Movie Celebrity, the heterosexual Tom Cruise. After 911, a Scientologist named Stephan Hittman, who worked in a clerical capacity for the NY Fire Dept, suddenly stepped forward as one of the heroes of 911. In a full uniform dripping with unearned medals, this Scientologist took it upon himself to award Scientologists at Ground Zero the NYFD Medal of Valor. Problem is, that medal is only given to those who died in service. Other problem, he was posing as an actual firefighter, rather than the desk jockey he really is.
The program is unscientific, inaccurate and based on groundless fabrications rather than fact. As with so many ignorant people, Hubbard clearly thought that if some was good, more is better. But, when “more” is something like niacin, there’s a reason the FDA has recommended dosages. High doses can cause blindness, permanent liver and kidney damage, and exacerbate existing health problems.
Scientologists are all required to undergo the Purification Rundown before embarking on course. As a “religious ritual,” they are free to poison themselves with vitamins and endanger their health. The government won’t do a thing to interfere, you have the right to pursue your choice of religion. However, this is their religious ritual in a secular environment. Worse, they have some official support from Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a strong proponent of the use of the Purif on firefighters and police officers.
This is insanity. Anyone with any medical knowledge who reviews the elements of the program will quickly see the hazards. From narconon-exposed.org:
(The Purification Rundown) … uses a combination of exercise (preferably running), lengthy periods in a sauna and massive doses of vitamins and nutritional supplements, notably niacin and oils.
- Running may not be safe for all, particularly those with weak hearts (perhaps weakened by drug abuse).
- Sauna periods are far beyond what is recommended as safe. Ordinarily, one is strongly advised not to stay in a sauna for longer than about 15-30 minutes. Narconon’s clients stay in the sauna for up to five hours at temperatures of up to 80C (170F), ten times longer than the recommended maximum.
- Vitamin “bombs” risk poisoning their users. The State of Oklahoma’s examiners reported in 1991 that “The use of high amounts of vitamins and minerals in the amounts described administered by Narconon can be potentially dangerous to the patients of Narconon according to the more credible medical evidence …”
The Purification Rundown is at the center of many Scientology front groups, most notably their Narconon drug rehab program.
In 2004, California educators reviewed the Narconon drug education presentation being given in public schools. This excellent series of articles by Nanette Asimov (Isaac Asimov’s descendant) chronicles the steps taken by California to review and evaluate the program. It was rejected as unscientific, misleading junk science, and expelled from state public schools. Hawaii, Boston and Buffalo followed suit.
This rejection of the theories behind the Purification Rundown should be extended to the application of the program, particularly when offered to rescue workers at taxpayer expense.
The Purif is also used by Criminon, Second Chance, The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, the Meth Cop Project in Utah, and now the Heroes Health Fund project targeting veterans.
The program is full of inaccuracies and just plain fantasy about human physiology and detoxification.You do not lose toxins through your sweat. Niacin does not “run out radiation,” that flush means you’ve taken too much. Drinking cooking oil does not “replace fats lost in the sauna.”
In June, 2010, John Travolta was using his celebrity to raise money for the detoxification of Ocala, Florida firefighters. This article features testimonials from some who went through the program and claimed health benefits. (you always feel better after you quit hitting your head with a hammer, coming off vitamin poisoning probably feels great too!) Participants are required to write up a testimonial at the end of the program, these are used to promote the program elsewhere.
In this recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune, it is reported that Attorney General Shurtleff has been in contact with Pentagon officials about implementing this program to treat active duty personnel.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who is attending the Las Vegas fundraiser, met with officials at the Pentagon about 18 months ago and spoke with National Guard officials in Utah who encouraged him to begin trying the program on veterans instead of active-duty military.
“The Army is a huge bureaucracy,” he said.
“Trying the program on veterans?” What are we, lab mice, to be subjected to some stupid, nonsensical, unproven and dangerous Scientology bullcrap?
Formerly known as the Utah Meth Cop Project, Heroes Health Fund is headed by a woman named Sandra Lucas. And, what a surprise, Ms. Lucas just happens to be a Scientologist! Chances are, she’s no more a medical expert than Shurtleff.
So why are these politicians and officials pandering to Scientology and promoting a program that is clearly unsound and potentially dangerous? It’s hard to determine what prompts someone to ignore solid science in favor of woo-woo theories. It could be that they like the attention of being trotted out in the media as a success story, or campaign donations, or the ability to rub shoulders with Scientology/Hollywood royalty.
And why is a program that costs practicing Scientologists $1200.00 being offered to the government for $5200.00 per head? Does that sound like sincere help, or just another dash for public cash?
Police officers, firefighters and the military put their lives on the line for us. What kind of thanks is this for service; the opportunity to be poisoned, poached and brainwashed by the so-called “church” of Scientology?