Purification Rundown

Purification Rundown

The Purification Rundown is a controversial detoxification program developed by Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard and used by the Church of Scientology as an introductory service. [cite web
author=Church of Scientology International
title=Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart
] It forms the basis for drug rehabilitation and detoxification programs operated by church-affiliated groups such as Narconon, Criminon, Second Chance Rehab, and the International Academy of Detoxification Specialists. The program is condemned by the majority of the medical profession.Fact|date=August 2008

The most controversial elements of the program are its heavy use of vitamin B3 (Niacin), which can cause liver damage [ [http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b3-000335.htm Vitamin B3 (Niacin)] , University of Maryland] , and extensive use of saunas beyond what is considered a safe level.cite web|first=David|last=Touretzky|title=Is Narconon Safe? Dangerous Detoxification|work=Narconon Exposed|url=http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/detox.htm|accessdate=2008-05-12] Saunas in particular are unsafe for asthma sufferers. [cite web | title="Treatment guidelines occupational asthma" | url="http://search.ca.gov/search?q=cache:qSRHi4q0svUJ:www.dir.ca.gov/imc/ASTHMA.html" | accessdate=2007-10-25]

According to the Church's website, the program is a "combination of exercise, vitamins, nutrition and sauna use," which "dislodges drug residues and other toxins from the fatty tissues so that these substances can then be eliminated from the body." [cite web | title=What is the Purification Program? | work=Basic Facts About the Scientology Religion | url=http://www.scientology.org/html/opencms/cos/scientology/en_US/news-media/faq/pg019.html | accessdate=2006-06-21]

The full procedure is available in the book "Clear Body, Clear Mind".


The program usually takes several weeks. As well as spending time in saunas, Scientologists are required to do light exercise including calisthenics, treadmills, and other similar activities.

The program is not a weight loss program, and a medical officer's permission is required in advance to start the program.Fact|date=October 2008 Daily reports monitor the person's condition and progress through the program. The program consists of a course of doses of vitamins (niacin in particular), long periods in a sauna, exercise, and consumption of a blend of vegetable oils. A normal, healthy menu is maintained throughout the procedure. Doses of vitamins are monitored, and are adjusted during the course of the rundown.

The theory is that toxins, drugs, and radioactive particles are stored in body fat, which are released through the exchange of fats (thus the oil consumption) and exercise, and then finally released via perspiration and other normal mechanisms such as body waste. Independent scientific evaluations report that the concentration of toxins or drugs in the sweat is negligible, as they are primarily removed from the body through the liver, the kidneys and the lungs.Cite paper | author=Board of Mental Health, State of Oklahoma | title=Findings of Fact regarding the Narconon-Chilocco Application For Certification | publisher=State of Oklahoma | date=13 December 1991 | version= | url=http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/sources/reports/91report.htm | accessdate=2006-06-14 ] [Cite paper | author=Prof. Folke Sjoqvist | title=Expert advice on Narconon given to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare | publisher= | date=26 November 1996 | version= | url=http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/sources/reports/sjoqvist.htm | accessdate=2006-06-14 ] [cite journal | author=Joseph Mallia | authorlink= | title=Inside the Church of Scientology: Scientology reaches into schools through Narconon | journal=The Boston Herald | date=March 3, 1998 | volume= | pages= | url=http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/sources/media/bh030398.htm ]

Scientific study has shown that niacin assists the body in ridding itself of toxic and harmful chemicals in some situations.cite web | title=Vitamin B3 (Niacin) | url=http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b3-000335.htm | ] Clarifyme|date=April 2008 In the Purification Rundown Hubbard went further, claiming that large niacin doses (up to 5000 mg) could restimulate and "run out" all manner of past phenomena, including radiation exposure, sunburn, allergies, cancer, gastroenteritis, and anxiety. He noted, "If it is there to be turned on by niacin it will be turned on by niacin."Hubbard, L. Ron. "The Purification Rundown Replaces the Sweat Program" HCOB 6 February 1978, revised 4 December 1979.] The dosages Hubbard described are within the range known to cause harmful side effects, such as liver damage and stomach ulcers.

The Purification Rundown requires its participants to ingest the following at regular intervals:
* Niacin, in doses large enough to cause skin irritation or flushing. Scientologists believe this skin reaction is caused by "reappearing" past sunburns or radiation leaving the body. [ [http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/detoxbookpt2.htm Narconon Exposed: What is the Narconon programme? - The New Life Detoxification Program Picture Book ] ]
* Oils, to replace the oils that are sweated out in the sauna.
* "CalMag" a drink consisting of calcium, magnesium water and cider vinegar.
* Multi-vitamins, Vitamins A, B1, Bcomplex, C, D, E, and multi-minerals
* Plenty of water, salt and potassium, used to replace the fluids and minerals lost in the sauna.

Scientologists are strongly encouraged to take part in the Purification Rundown, and this controversial physical purification program is seen as a step towards purifying the spirit as well as the body (as outlined in the book "Clear Body, Clear Mind").

The Church of Scientology says that the rundown can improve personality and increase IQ by up to 15-30 points. [ [http://www.clearbodyclearmind.com/ Clear Body Clear Mind] - Purification and Life By L. Ron Hubbard]


The predecessor of the Purification Rundown was known as the 'Sweat Program.' It also featured exercise and sauna use. The prevalence of drug use, pollution, pesticides, and other similar environmental factors has turned the Purification Rundown into a routine part of a pre-clear's auditing program. The process is not publicly claimed by the church as a cure for any specific disease or condition. Scientologists believe that unhandled (untreated) side effects of drugs slow or even stop a person's progress, ability to learn, and spiritual growth.

Today, Scientology promotes the Purification Rundown to the public as a "detoxification" program, while it also works with allegedly non-religious but Scientology-affiliated groups such as Narconon to offer this program as a treatment for addiction and high levels of stress.

Tom Cruise co-founded a fund-raising initiative at Downtown Medical, which collected charitable donations in order to pay for Purification Rundowns for public-sector employees who had been exposed to toxic chemicals during the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York. PR photographs include persons holding up towels soaked through with oddly colored sweat to demonstrate that something good was happening during the program.

upport for the program

The Scientology based Detox program has been endorsed by a few medical doctors affiliated with Scientology's Narconon, International Academy of Detoxification Specialists and Second Chance programs. [ [http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=283982 Scientology does detox, David E. Root, M.D] ] [ [http://www.secondchancescientology.com/ Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Emeritus UCL] ] However, Dr. Alfonso Paredes, a retired psychiatrist and addiction expert, who is commonly referred in Scientology-linked publications as a supporter of the detoxification procedure, commented in a newspaper article, "I've tried to persuade them not to use it," referring to the sauna detox used in the Second Chance program. [cite web | first = David Alire | last = Garcia | title = Taking Chances | url = http://sfreporter.com/articles/publish/cover-032807-scientology.php | work = | publisher = Santa Fe Reporter | date = 2007-03-28 | accessdate = 2007-10-09 ]

Lisa Gengo, a doctor of naturopathy and vice chairman of the department of integrative medicine at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, is doingClarifyme|date=June 2008 an independent review of the program. She says: "I've been there enough to see that people are getting better. I've seen many things that just floor me, people from week to week who look vastly different and are improving in amazing ways." "It's easy to criticize, but people are getting better there and that's what's important. We don't know why aspirin works. We don't know the mechanics of it, but we do know that it works." [cite web | first = Art | last = Carey | title = A skeptic, she's willing to give it a try | url = http://www.philly.com/inquirer/hot_topics/20071005_A_skeptic__shes_willing_to_give_it_a_try.html | work = | publisher = Philadelphia Inquirer | date = 2007-10-05 | accessdate = 2007-11-23 Dead link|date=June 2008] However, this is incorrect. The mechanism of action of aspirin is known.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico judges are sending substance abuse offenders to a Narconon based rehabilitation center called “Second Chance.”cite web | first = Lauren | last = Etter | title = Program for prisoners draws fire over Scientology | url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07019/755193-28.stm | work = Wall Street Journal | publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | date = 2007-01-19 | accessdate = 2007-11-23 ] [ [http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/aptapia08-14-07.htm Judge Wants Tapia To Remain in Rehab] ] Second Chance is partially federal funded and only treats patients from judicial referrals. [ [http://www.secondchanceprogram.net/ website: second chance program] ]

In Salt Lake city the police department is using the Scientology based program to treat police officers that suffer from exposure to meth lab toxins at taxpayer expense. [cite web | first = Nate | last = Carlisle | coauthors = Rosetta, Lisa | title = Meth cops swear they can sweat off toxins | url = http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_7401658 | work = | publisher = Salt Lake Tribune | date = 2007-11-08 | accessdate = 2007-11-24 ] [cite web | first = Sara | last = Bonisteel | title = Utah Foots the Bill for Ailing Cops' Controversial Scientology-Based Detox Treatment | url = http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312332,00.html | work = | publisher = FOX News | date = 2007-11-21 | accessdate = 2007-11-24 ]

In New York over 800 9/11 rescue workers have completed the detox program through “New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.”cite web | first = Steve| last = Dunleavy| title = CRUISES'S CLINIC OK| url = http://www.nypost.com/seven/06122007/news/columnists/cruisess_clinic_ok_columnists_steve_dunleavy.htm| publisher = New York Post | date = 2007-06-12| accessdate = 2007-09-08] The program has been endorsed by some politicians and $630,000.00 of city funds have been diverted towards the program. [cite web | title = THE RUNDOWN ON SCIENTOLOGY’S PURIFICATION RUNDOWN | url = http://www.nypress.com/20/22/news&columns/feature.cfm | work = Column | publisher = New York Press ] [cite web | title = Monserrate Defends Detox Program | url = http://www.observer.com/2007/monserrate-defends-detox-program | work = The Politicker | publisher = New York Observer | date = 2007-04-20 | accessdate = 2007-10-06 ] According to a paper from the International Academy of Detoxification Specialists, the non-profit Scientology project promoting the program, all rescue workers that have completed the detox program reported improved health with 63% reporting to have resolved breathing difficulties. [ [http://www.nydetox.org/images/outcome_summary.pdf SUMMARY OF RESULTS July, 2004] ] Some of the fire fighters who have gone through the program now speak in favor of itcite news |first = Michelle |last = O'Donnell |title = Scientologist's Treatments Lure Firefighters |url = http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/04/nyregion/04DETO.html?ex=1158638400&en=1a7005cc75461171&ei=5070 |publisher = New York Times |date = 2003-10-04 |accessdate = 2006-09-17] .

Criticisms of the program

The program also involves putting the subjects into saunas, and administering niacin and other vitamins, along with large quantities of various types of vegetable oil, in the belief that the subject will sweat out the toxins and replace the oils in the body's fatty tissues with the vegetable oil. Dr. James J. Kenney, Ph.D., R.D., a member of the National Council Against Health Fraud claims that this technique does the opposite of what it claims [ [http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/Xenu/scs-08.html#08.2 The Defeat of Street Smarts] , "Social Control in Scientology", Bob Penny.] . Medical professionals have stated that the ingesting of large amounts of niacin and other vitamins can cause liver and kidney damage. In particular, niacin is both associated with liver damage at high amounts and is prescribed by Hubbard's program at an amount almost three times what the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board deems the daily upper limit for an adult.

The notion that radioactive particles can be stored in fat as claimed by Hubbard is considered discredited in modern science. [cite web | title=Radioactivity in the Body | work=A Monograph Study of the Health Effects of Radiation and Information Concerning Radioactive Releases from the Hanford Site: 1944-1972 | url=http://www.doh.wa.gov/hanford/publications/health/mon5.htm | accessdate=2006-06-21] The effects of such high doses of vitamins on the body are also known to pose serious health risks; former members have suffered liver damage from the treatment. [cite web | first = Geoff | last = Dougherty | title = Store selling Scientology vitamin regimen raises concerns | url = http://www.sptimes.com/News/32899/Pasco/Store_selling_Sciento.html | work = | publisher = St. Petersburg Times | date = 1999-03-28 | accessdate = 2007-10-09 ]

In a 1988 report, Dr. Ronald E. Gots, a toxicology expert from Bethesda, Md., called the regimen "quackery," and noted that "no recognized body of toxicologists, no department of occupational medicine, nor any governmental agencies endorse or recommend such treatment."

Deputy Fire Commissioner Frank Gribbon of the NYFD is on record as being critical of the Rundown used on rescue workers following September 11. [cite news | title = Cruise Blasted by 9/11 Firefighters | url = http://www.hollywood.com/news/Cruise_Blasted_by_911_Firefighters/3472160 | publisher = World Entertainment News Network | date = 2005-12-14 | accessdate = 2007-10-25]

A Scientology disclaimer warns that the procedure is not intended for diagnosis or treatment of physical condition:

ee also

* List of Scientology Rundowns
* Clear Body, Clear Mind
* All About Radiation

Notes and references

In the media

*cite web | first = Lucy | last = Morgan | title = For some Scientologists, pilgrimage has been fatal | url = http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/access/23570056.html?dids=23570056:23570056&FMT=FT&FMTS=ABS:FT | work = | publisher = St. Petersburg Times | date = 1997-12-07 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Lucy | last = Morgan | title = Scientology got blame for French suicide | url = http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/access/26196184.html?dids=26196184:26196184&FMT=FT&FMTS=ABS:FT | work = | publisher = St. Petersburg Times | date = 1998-02-08 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Lucy | last = Morgan | title = Abroad: Critics public and private keep pressure on Scientology | url = http://www.sptimes.com/News/32999/Worldandnation/Abroad__Critics_publi.html | work = | publisher = St. Petersburg Times | date = 1999-03-29 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Jeff | last = Walsh | title = A broader look at the organization | url = http://www.apologeticsindex.org/Sciorg.pdf | work = Inside the Church of Scientology | publisher = Boston Herald | date = 1998-03-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-09 |format=PDF
*cite web | first = Robin | last = Jacobs | title = Is Scientology in Your Schools? | url = http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/articles/JacobsSeptOct04.pdf | work = | publisher = The Humanist | date = 2004-09-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-09 |format=PDF
*cite web | first = Mark | last = Sommer | title = Helping spread the word | url = http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/JeremyPerkins/Articles/buffalo-news-2005-02-01.html | work = | publisher = Buffalo News | date = 2005-02-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Mark | last = Sommer | title = Addiction specialists criticize detoxification program | url = http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/JeremyPerkins/Articles/buffalo-news-2005-02-01-a.html | work = | publisher = Buffalo News | date = 2005-02-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Virginia | last = Linn | title = Scientology comes to town | url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05205/542895.stm | work = | publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | date = 2005-07-24 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Janet | last = Reitman | title = Inside Scientology | url = http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/9363363/inside_scientology/print | work = | publisher = Rolling Stone | date = 2006-02-23 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Luke | last = Gianni | title = Scientology does detox
url = http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=283982| work = | publisher = Sacramento News & Review| date = 2007-02-22 | accessdate = 2007-11-21

*cite web | first = Roger | last = Friedman | title = FDNY Hierarchy Furious With Tom Cruise Over Scientology Detox for 9/11 Workers | url = http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266967,00.html | work = Entertainment | publisher = FOX News | date = 2007-04-19 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Heidi | last = Singeer| title = METTLE & PEDAL FOR 9/11 HERO| url = http://www.nypost.com/seven/05022007/news/regionalnews/mettle__pedal_for_9_11_hero_regionalnews_heidi_singer.htm| work = | publisher = New York Post | date = 2007-05-02 | accessdate = 2007-11-21
*cite web | first = John | last = DeSio | title = The Rundown on Scientology's Purification Rundown | url = http://www.nypress.com/20/22/news&columns/feature.cfm | work = | publisher = New York Press | date = 2007-05-30 | accessdate = 2007-10-09
*cite web | first = Steve| last = Dunleavy| title = CRUISES'S CLINIC OK
url = http://www.nypost.com/seven/06122007/news/columnists/cruisess_clinic_ok_columnists_steve_dunleavy.htm| work = | publisher = New York Post | date = 2007-06-12 | accessdate = 2007-11-21

*cite web | first = Art | last = Carey| title = ‘I wished I had never gone there’| url = http://www.philly.com/inquirer/hot_topics/20071005_I_wished_I_had_never_gone_there.html| work = | publisher = The Philadelphia Enquirer | date = 2007-10-05 | accessdate = 2007-11-21 Dead link|date=June 2008
*cite web | first = Art | last = Carey| title = A skeptic, she’s willing to give it a try | url = http://www.philly.com/inquirer/hot_topics/20071005_A_skeptic__shes_willing_to_give_it_a_try.html | work = | publisher = The Philadelphia Enquirer | date = 2007-10-05 | accessdate = 2007-11-21 Dead link|date=June 2008
*cite web | first = Art | last = Carey| title = A sprite who was sapped of spirit| url = http://www.philly.com/inquirer/hot_topics/20071005_A_sprite_who_was_sapped_of_spirit.html| work = | publisher = The Philadelphia Enquirer| date = 2007-10-05 | accessdate = 2007-11-21 Dead link|date=June 2008
*cite web | first = Art | last = Carey| title = Patient No. 1, and a towel stained purple
url = http://www.philly.com/inquirer/hot_topics/20071005_Patient_No__1__and_a_towel_stained_purple.html| work = | publisher = The Philadelphia Enquirer| date = 2007-10-05 | accessdate = 2007-11-21
Dead link|date=June 2008
*cite web | first = Art | last = Carey| title = Clinic's results make 9/11 responders believe
url = http://www.philly.com/inquirer/health_science/daily/20071007_Clinics_results_make_9_11_responders_believe.html| work = | publisher = The Philadelphia Enquirer| date = 2007-10-07 | accessdate = 2007-11-21
Dead link|date=June 2008
*cite web | first = Sara| last = Bonisteel| title = Utah Foots the Bill for Ailing Cops' Controversial Scientology-Based Detox Treatment | url = http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312332,00.html| work = U.S.| publisher = FOX News | date = 2007-11-21 | accessdate = 2007-11-21
*cite web | first = Nate| last = Carlisle| title = Funding sought for meth cops' health regimen | url = http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_8332814 | work = U.S.| publisher = The Salt Lake Tribune | date = 2008-02-22 | accessdate = 2008-02-22

External links

cientology sites

* [http://www.purificationpgm.org/ Purification Program] - Scientology Purification Rundown Procedure
* [http://www.clearbodyclearmind.com/faq.shtml Frequently Asked Questions] - Answer to FAQs
* [http://www.narconon.org/ Narconon International] - Official Narconon website

Critical sites

* [http://www.narconon-exposed.org/ Narconon Exposed]
* [http://stop-narconon.org/ Stop Narconon]

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