Battle Creek, Michigan is widely known as the birthplace of morning cereal. During the early 1900s Dr. John Kellogg created his now famous “Kellogg’s Corn Flakes” there.

Today the Kellogg Company is still the largest single employer in Battle Creek and controls almost half of the world’s cereal market.

Dr. Kellogg was somewhat eccentric and developed a cult following. He founded a sanitarium in Battle Creek where those devoted to his principles often went to “take the cure.”

Some of the odd practices at Kellogg’s sanitarium, which came to be known simply as “San,” included exercising in athletic diapers, multiple daily enemas and dunks into electrified water pools. And of course Kellogg pushed his cereal.

Unrestriced bowel movements were vitally important to the good doctor. Kellogg often said, “A housebroken colon is a damaged colon.”

Celebrities of the day flocked to San for the Kellogg cure such as Henry Ford, retailer J.C. Penney, actress Sarah Berhardt, explorer Richard Byrd, inventor Thomas Edison, industrialist Harvey Firestone, President William Howard Taft, and aviator Amelia Earhart.

The movie “The Road to Wellville” starring Matthew Broderick with Anthony Hopkins as Kellogg, is an often-hilarious send up about life at San.

Now it seems there will be a new “San” in Battle Creek with its own unique “cure.” And the charismatic creator of this program beget a group that has been called a “cult.” The name of its founder is L. Ron Hubbard and the “cure” touted by his devotees is Narconon.

A new Naronon facility is now being completed for Battle Creek, reports the Battle Creek Inquirer.

Hubbard’s is known as the founder of Scientology and his cure is the “purification rundown,” which includes large doses of niacin and lots of sweating in saunas.

However, Hubbard was not a doctor like John Kellogg. Instead, he has been called a “pathological liar.” And some say his “cure” is both unproven and little more than “quackery.”.

Nevertheless Battle Creek will soon have its very own Hubbard inspired “San.” And just like the old one the new “San” has plenty of celebrity devotees. Film stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta are perhaps the most famous. TV sitcom actress Kirstie Alley who is Narconon’s spokesperson, claims the program saved her life.

History seems to be repeating itself in Battle Creek. But ironically it appears that the old “San” was probably less “flaky” than the new one.


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