Narconon, Scientology, and the Battle for Legitimacy

  • Stephen A. Kent University of Alberta Professor of Sociology, and Adjunct Professor in the Interdisciplinay Program in Religious Studies
Keywords: Scientology, Narconon, Legitimation, Legitimacy

Abstract

This article provides an historical description and analysis of Scientology’s controversial drug treatment program, Narconon. Following scholarship by sociologist Terra Manca on Scientology’s pseudo-medicine, I argue that Scientology initially claimed its program to be part of its religion, but eventually dropped this claim as it attempted to get Narconon programs and teachings established in communities. I show, however, the intimate association between Scientology and Narconon courses, and present some of the evidence that the program lacks scientific validity—especially its Purification Rundown.

 

 

 

Author Biography

Stephen A. Kent, University of Alberta Professor of Sociology, and Adjunct Professor in the Interdisciplinay Program in Religious Studies

Stephen A. Kent is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Adjunct Professor in the Interdisciplinary Program in Religious Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He specializes in the study of alternative religions. His recent co-edited book (with Susan Raine) is Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy (Praeger, 2017).

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Published
2017-11-01
How to Cite
Kent, S. (2017). Narconon, Scientology, and the Battle for Legitimacy. Marburg Journal of Religion, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.17192/mjr.2017.19.6495
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Articles