Thousands of primary school kids taught by secret Scientologists

The Sun, UK/August 20, 2012

Scientologists have tricked their way into primary schools posing as drugs campaigners, The Sun can reveal.

Thousands of pupils have sat through classes inspired by the cult - while parents were kept in the dark.

The Sun has discovered anti-drugs group Narconon has even claimed the backing of some of the UK's biggest High Street names and bagged cash from the Queen's bank Coutts.

Our probe found that Narconon - which is inspired by the work of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard - been visiting schools in Newham, East London, and Islington, North London, for four years.

Its own literature reveals more than 2,000 children a year have sat through its lectures. A newsletter said: "The result was thousands of children empowered with the Truth about Drugs."

The charity uses "technologies" taught by the Church of Scientology - whose followers include Hollywood star Tom Cruise - to help people overcome addiction.

Scientology and cult expert Steve Hassan [Warning: Steve Hassan is not recommended by this Web site. Read the detailed disclaimer to understand why.] warned schools to steer clear of Narconon. He said: "I would tell school officials that they need to do their due diligence and research Narconon. It is indeed a Scientology entity - to make money and new recruits. They are particularly interested in wealthy individuals and their families and while they might help stop the drug addiction, they then have a cult problem."

After Narconon visited St Jude and St Paul's Primary School in Islington, mum Amanda Steele, 30, said: "These aren't the sort of people I want to come in to teach my kids about drugs. In fact I don't want them to come anywhere near them."

Newham Council had no idea the Sussex-based group was linked to Scientology until The Sun got involved, and said it would warn all schools in the area.

Newham children's boss Linzi Roberts-Egan said: "The safety of children is important to us so we thank The Sun for bringing this to our attention."

Narconon was founded by the late William Benitez who became a devoted follower of Scientology while in prison on drugs offences. He has made no secret of Hubbard's influence on the group.

Narconon boasts of links to High Street names including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis - but both retailers denied any involvement.

Narconon has also persuaded prestigious bank Coutts and car maker Ford into donating towards its Truth About Drugs project. Both companies admitted handing over small sums but refused to say if they knew about the group's cult links.

Narconon's newsletter also implied it had backing from Chelsea through former player and anti-drugs and racism campaigner Paul Canoville, 50.

Paul said: "I'm angry. I would like to make it clear that I have no connections with this cult whatsoever."

Scientology believes humans are haunted by the spirits of aliens massacred with hydrogen bombs on Earth 75million years ago.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology said: "Narconon is a network of charitable drug rehabilitation and drug education organisations that utilise the discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard to address the problem of drug abuse.

"Narconons are secular in nature and are not part of the Church of Scientology."

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