Scientologists target Aborigines with “drug bombs”

The Northern Territory (NT) Health Department of Australia last Saturday warned the Church of Scientology that its drug detoxification therapy, being promoted to Aborigines in Australia by the church was dangerous for people with kidney problems.

Scientologists have been targeting remote Australia and alcohol-dependent Aborigines with a “drug bomb” therapy, in a move to recruit indigenous members. The Church claims that this detoxification program developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard uses exact technology and is the only successful drug and alcohol dependency treatment in the world.

However kidney disease is common among Aborigines in the NT and this drug could be dangerous and “potentially fatal” to renal patients. National Scientology president Vicki Dunstan said her church had responded to complaints. She added that in spite of the fact that the pamphlets contained the formulas, church protocol was that people should obtain medical advice first and the church has since stopped handing out pamphlets.

The pamphlet gives a formula for a high dose “drug bomb” vitamin supplement to supposedly break drug dependency, which it warns can corrode the stomach and cause ulcers. It advises to take aluminium hydroxide tablets which gives adverse nervous system side-effects - to ease any upset. There also a recipe for a calcium-magnesium drink to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

The Health Department believes the whole regimen could be deadly to dialysis patients by causing hypophosphataemia - low phosphate levels in already weakened people. Ms Dunstan said, “No person undergoing dialysis would ever be permitted to undertake such a program… As soon as this matter was drawn to our attention, the person who had handed out the booklets was contacted and informed that they needed to cease handing them out and they are now being collected back and any person who had a booklet is being informed that they should not use the calcium-magnesium drink without medical approval.” NT Health Minister Kon Vatskalis said the Scientology brochures were “utterly irresponsible”.

The church of Scientology was founded in 1953 in America, based on the teachings of science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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  1. willy willy Switzerland says:

    Scientology has made all the right noises in this case but watch this space, because THEY WILL BE BACK.  

    This organisation obeys no laws but its own scripture: and the key to that is Keeping Scientology Working!  

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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