Narconon Freedom Center Center is not a professionally run program, no Jayco license, no licensed staff Albion, Michigan
I was looking for a drug and alcohol treatment center for my 22 year old son so I called an 800 number listed in my local phone book. It took me to a "counselor" who asked me about my son's problems so that he could recommend the right program. He was not a professional but he acted concerned and he highly recommended the Wholistic Freedom Center and said they have a 75% success rate. It is also less expensive than other programs and lasts 4 to 6 months. He failed to mention that it is not Jayco accredited and does not have professionals running the program or that it is affliated with Scientology!
I called the program and was told they do not believe in any kind of medicine at all. That raised a red flag for me. The young man wanted me to send my son there alone for entrance the very next day. If my son didn't want to go he recommended an escort who could come to our home and presaude my son to go. The "escort" would be $1500.00 plus travel expenses to the program. The young man was not professional and said he was a recovering alcoholic who had remained at the Center to become a staff member.
My son wasn't interested in going yet but the young man from the Freedom center kept calling to offer support and encouragement to my son. By the 3rd week my son was thinking about going.
In the mean time I called another 800 # referral service and got a young woman who recommended a Jayco approved program in Fla. I mentioned the Freedom center and asked her if she knew anything about it. She said it was affiliated with Scientology and that a friend of hers had had a very bad experience there. The friend had been left alone to detox in a hot tub. She was never seen by an MD or nurse. Another red flag.
I called the Freedom Center again and asked the representative if they were Jayco approved, he laughed and said they are in the process of being approved. They have been in operation how many years now without it? Red Flag
I asked him if the staff had masters degrees. He said they had drug counselor degrees that they had earned at the center and had brought in a trainor to go over their unigue communication techniques.
I aked if they were connected to Scientoloy, he said the creator of their program William Benitez, an alcoholic himself, had used E. Ron Hubbard's philosophy in designing the program.
I asked about the exercises used in the program. He said they were used by the army to help soldiers stand up to interogation if they became POWs. I said they are also used by cults to break down peoples' sense of individuality. He said the repetition of the exercises was very successful. At this point I had heard enough and told him the program was using brainwashing systems to recruit new members to scientology and that I had to go. The young man didn't realize he, himself, was the product of the cult was very surprised that I was not interested in sending my son to the program. I said I had to go and hung up.
I am a licensed clinical social worker who has read about cults and scientology. If I had not been tipped off by the young woman from the other 800# I might have sent my son to this unaccredited program. I just assumed they were a professional program because they had a website and a referral 800#. In my first phone call to them I did not ask for this information and they did not share it.
Be careful and get referrals from half way house staff about good programs they themselves know are reputable. The horrow stories by the other parents who sent their children to this program sound very real. Everything the program told me after I began asking about specifics was consistent with the parents experiences!
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