Some public schools in California are providing an anti-drug program that reflects the teachings of the Church of Scientology, according to a report by The San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle reported in a lengthy June 9 article that Narconon Drug Prevention & Education lectures given at public schools in San Francisco, Orange and Los Angeles counties are laced with concepts "straight out of the Church of Scientology."
Narconon classes, given to students in grades three to 12, advance Scientology concepts, such as claims that the "body stores all kinds of toxins indefinitely in fat, where they wreak havoc on the mind until 'sweated' out," wrote Nanette Asimov for the Chronicle.
L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, helped create Narconon in 1966 and its lecturers and top administrators "readily acknowledge that they are Scientologists," the Chronicle reported.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, told the newspaper that the relationship between the public school anti-drug program and Scientology is "very disturbing."
"Any time you have a religion which preaches something that shows up in nearly parallel form in public schools, it sounds like to me you have a church-state problem that is real and should be examined by school officials," Lynn said.
The media attention to Narconon helped spark an evaluation of the anti-drug program by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.
"We want information disseminated in our schools to be factual, accurate and helpful," he said.