First there were the ubiquitous Scientologists running around at Ground Zero clad in “Scientology Volunteer” T-shirts offering help.

Then there was a well-publicized celebrity Scientologist visit by John Travolta.

One volunteer Scientologist later tried to cash on her experience through a book about working at Ground Zero. But it didn’t do so well.

Scientology, an organization often called a “cult,” doesn’t give up easily and now they seem to have found a way to make some money from the 9-11 tragedy.

A clinic has opened for business called “Downtown Medical” on Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan. It offers treatment for WTC workers exposed to toxins through the cleanup.

The clinic is closely associated with the “International Academy of Detoxification Specialists.”

The Academy states that its detoxification approach is based upon L. Ron Hubbard’s book “Clear Body Clear Mind.”

Hubbard is of course the founder of Scientology.

Scientologists use something called the “purification rundown,” which is most often associated with their Narconon program for drug rehabilitation.

This process supposedly eliminates toxins from the body. It includes saunas and large doses of niacin, that some say may actually be a health risk.

One medical expert said, “There is no documentation to show that the Hubbard method of detoxification… conforms to scientific standards and medical experience.” And he added, “The risks and side effects of the treatment method have also not been evaluated in a serious way.”

However, the New York City Firefighters Union apparently sees no problem with the treatment.

Long-time Hubbard fan, Narconon advisory board member and Senior Medical Advisor for the Academy David Root wrote a featured article that was published within the June issue of Fire Engineering Magazine, a national publication that is sent to firemen across the nation.

And Scientology was so impressed with its program’s success amongst NYC firemen; they ran a story about it at their own official website.

“It’s just a great program…I got my life back,” says one NYC fireman quoted.

But James Woodworth the Executive Director of the Academy is also the head of another Scientology related program called HealthMed in California.

HealthMed has a deeply troubled history of controversy, which includes serious allegations. The LA Times has reported this within a series of articles.

Doctors at the California Department of Health Services accused HealthMed of making “false medical claims” and of “taking advantage of the fears of workers and the public about toxic chemicals and their potential health effects, including cancer.”

Never mind. The Firefighters Union has invited Woodworth to speak at its yearly delegates meeting.

How far will all this go?

Maybe someone should ask officials at the NYC Fire Department and the Firefighters Union?


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