Today news about a Scientology-based program offered to New York City firefighters finally made it into a NYC newspaper.

CultNews has repeatedly reported about a specious “clinic” in downtown Manhattan that offers a controversial “detoxification” program, conceived by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Just yesterday CultNews revealed a fundraising connection between the clinic and actor Tim Robbins.

Today the New York Times broke the story in a report titled “Scientologist’s Treatments Lure Firefighters,”

The controversial treatment used by Scientologists for detoxification is commonly called the “purification rundown” and is also featured within another Scientology spin-off called Narconon, for the rehabilitation of drug users.

Hubbard’s detox supposedly purges poisons. Firefighters exposed to toxins at Ground Zero are not charged for treatment at the clinic, which is called “Downtown Medical.”

However, according to the NY Times Scientologist Tom Cruise paid for “quite a bit” of the treatments for rescue workers, estimated “to cost $5,000 to $6,000 apiece.”

CultNews reported that Cruise is the co-founder of a closely related project that supports the clinic.

140 firefighters and 15 emergency medical workers have reportedly undergone the treatment program.

But NYC Fire Department officials appear to be upset. They say “the clinic’s detoxification program requires firefighters to stop using inhalers meant to help with their breathing and any medications they may be taking, like antidepressants or blood pressure pills.”

Scientology is vehemently opposed to any medication prescribed by psychiatrists.

David Prezant, deputy chief medical officer for the NY Fire Department said, “It’s risky for anybody to stop any type of medication without guidance and a plan from their own treating physician.” The doctor also observed, “there’s no proven evidence [the clinic program] works.”

A NYC Fire Department Deputy Commissioner advised, “While we are aware some members of the department have availed themselves of the program, we in no way endorse it.”

Influential figures respected by NYC firefighters are nevertheless personally promoting the controversial program.

Joseph Higgins, a prominent retired firefighter is a paid member of the controversial clinic’s advisory board.

Higgins said, “It’s actually a pretty awesome program.” And he is a former fire academy drill instructor who claims to have trained over half the city’s firefighters.

Another advisory board member is Israel Miranda, the president of the union that represents emergency medical workers. Like Higgins Miranda has considerable influence and he is a current instructor at the emergency medical worker’s academy.

Stephen J. Cassidy, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, appears to have served as a promotional tool too.

A letter from Cassidy is posted on the clinic’s website. It reads, “The statements I have heard from firefighters who have completed the program are truly remarkable… [and] the work you are doing in this regard is unique in the city, and is very welcome.”

However, a toxicology expert quoted by the NY Times stated the clinic’s program is an “unproven, scientifically bereft notion.”

In a 1988 report the same expert stated that Hubbard’s purification rundown was “quackery,” and that “no recognized body of toxicologists, no department of occupational medicine, nor any governmental agencies endorse or recommend such treatment.”

It seems like Scientology’s apparent effort to manipulate NYC firemen in an attempt to promote the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard has finally been widely exposed.

Hopefully, with this story reported within the pages of NY Times, further efforts by Scientologists to use the NYC Fire Department, its firefighters and the 9-11 tragedy for what looks like self-promotion and proselytizing will end.


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