Scientologists push anti-drug classes in schools
Published: 11 May 2012 08:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2012 08:11 GMT+02:00
The anti-drug organization Drogfritt, which has ties to Scientology, has been selling lectures and information on drug abuse to Swedish schools, information that includes significant factual errors, according to an investigation carried out by newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).
“It’s terrible when youngsters are being fed a lot of erroneous information,” said narcotics researcher Björn Johnsson to the paper.
During the lecture, the audience is told that dependency sets in from the first time someone tries a drug; that antidepressants, sleeping pills and paracetamol is stored in the body; and that people fall back into drug abuse through a so called “flashback”, when a drug “reawakens” in the body years or even decades after the person stopped using them.
But Swedish experts on drugs and drug abuse roundly repudiated the group's claims about how drugs interact with the body when approached by the paper.
“No, no, no, that’s not how it works. That’s a myth that circulates among certain drug users,” Johnson said about the "flashback" phenomenon.
One of the lecturers, Alexander Breeze, works with the lecture tours full time and talks to children, teenagers and parents about drugs, as well as at corporate events, holding some 250-300 lectures annually.
In interview with SvD, he made no secret of being a Scientologist.
However, according to Drogfritt, the organization is politically and religiously independent, but implement the Narconon prevention programme, which is based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s ideas.
And in 2003 the group's chairwoman, Åsa Graaf, was awarded the International association of Scientologists Freedom Medal for her work against drug abuse, according to SvD.
According to SvD’s investigation, 65 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities have purchased lecture series from the organization over the last three years to a value of 750,000 kronor ($108,000).