Court Orders Scientology “Narconon” Building in Pavlodar Returned to City Government
February 4, 2010 5:45 P.M.
In Pavlodar, a court decision has ordered that the Scientology “Narconon” building be returned to the city government, reports the Kazakhstan Today agency, based on information published in the regional socio-political weekly Nasha Zhizn [“Our Life"].
According to Nasha Zhizn, the court's decision was made in mid-January. The newspaper says that, during the investigation of the criminal case brought by the financial police against the "Narconon" center more than a year ago, it became clear that “the two-storey building which the organization was based was in fact donated ... by the city government [akimat
] of Pavlodar.“
In the past, this administrative building was on the balance sheet of the Gorvodocanal PLC, [“City Water Channel” Public Limited Company], which was created by the city government.
"On March 23, 2000, the building was donated for private ownership to an organization whose name local authorities have stubbornly refused to divulge, and, through it, to ‘Narconon.’” In December 2009, the Finance Department of Pavlodar filed a lawsuit in court demanding that the transfer of the building be recognized as illegal. On January 15, 2010, the court granted the claim and decided to "acknowledge the building as belonging to the communal property of the city," writes Nasha Zhizn, noting that "The court's decision has not yet taken effect. Perhaps, ‘Narconon’ will take the initiative and leave the building."
Nasha Zhizn reminds readers that "’Narconon’ is a subdivision of the Church of Scientology, which was founded by Ron Hubbard and is a totalitarian sect banned in 55 countries worldwide. In Kazakhstan during the mid 1990s, Scientologists managed to penetrate centers of power. In Pavlodar, they gave lectures on ‘Dianetics’ to city officials and found support among them."
"Narconon hid its methods from prying eyes by saying that its activity is to provide not treatment, but rehabilitation of drug addicts, and to conduct interviews with them. Occasionally, information leaked out in the press about detoxification programs in which drug addicts stewed in a sauna and were given horse doses of vitamins, plus some yet-undetermined substances," the newspaper writes.
Last year, as previously reported, after complaints by former patients of "Narconon" to law enforcement, the financial police became interested in this mysterious organization and discovered gross irregularities in the work of this "educational" center.
"First of all, the medical activities of the Pavlodar ‘Narconon’ center turned out to be illegal. The organization did not have a license for this. In addition, treatment was provided to addicts by persons with no medical training, and substances illegally imported into Kazakhstan were stored there. Secondly, it was found that ‘Narconon’ illegally engaged in business activities. For services rendered, they took from their clients huge sums of 100,000 to 300,000 tenge, collecting in this manner 5,746,000 tenge. The employees of the organization called these ‘charitable contributions’", says the article.
Nasha Zhizn recalls also that “Scientology literature and files on a thousand patients were found in the ‘Narconon’ office. In the questionnaires, drug addicts had to answer rather odd questions about their sexual experiences and about attitudes toward intelligence organizations. In the criminal world, the usual purpose of such files is to blackmail victims in the future."
"In October last year, 25-year-old Evgeniya Tarkhanova, assistant to the director of the ‘Narconon’ foundation was put on trial. Why was all the responsibility dumped on this girl, while the director stayed on the sidelines? This remains unclear. She had to answer for the illegal business activity of the organization. The Pavlodar Criminal Court fined Tarkhanova $900 MCI, which is equivalent to 1,166,000 tenge", reports the newspaper.