UK: FOIA Dox. Jan/Feb 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Drug rehabilitation or Scientology front?
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UK: FOIA Dox. Jan/Feb 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:19 am

This thread contains 3 main FOIA releases for the 3 UK Narconon registered charities....
Narconon Trust (1112230), starting from the thread OP. (1 PDF file). Released 20th jan 2012
Narconon London (1098004), starting here: viewtopic.php?p=434309#p434309 (6 PDF files, including addendum). Released 13/14th Feb 2012
Narconon (267386), starting here: viewtopic.php?p=436306#p436306 (4 PDF files). Released 20th Feb 2012.



_________________________________________________________________________
Update 20th Jan 2012

Direct link to the dox PDF: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 200504.pdf

What's in the dox:
From: Carroll, Liam
Charity Commission for England and Wales

20 January 2012

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

lcarroll201201200504.pdf
7.7M Download
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr Thackeray


Thank you for your recent emails. I am now in a position to respond to the
request for information that you have made regarding the charity Narconon
Trust (1112230).



You have requested that the Commission provides internal and external
communications in respect of Narconon Trust and asked that we please
include letters, emails, faxes, memos, agenda, minutes, and notes of phone
calls and of meetings. You have also requested that we provide the
information in electronic format at the email address that you provided.



The Act imposes a duty, set out in section 1 (1) (a) to confirm or deny
whether we hold information of the description specified in your request.
In this instance I can confirm that we do hold such information. I must
emphasize, though, that the Act provides the right to information rather
than just general copies of correspondence. I have looked at what we hold
to see whether we can release it to you under the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act and my comments are as follows:



Annual Returns

I have enclosed the Annual Returns that we hold from 2007 up until 2010.
You will see that some personal information has been redacted under
Section 40 (2) of the Act. Some of the information within is considered
personal information and to release it would be contrary to the data
protection principles outlined in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act
1998.



Governance

I have enclosed the charity’s governing document, the Memorandum and
Articles of association incorporated 25 August 2005. I have also
included the certificate of incorporation.



There is information on some old case files that has been retained and I
will deal with each in turn.



Registration

There is a file relating to this organisation’s application for
registration as a charity. I have enclosed the information from within
this, other than the charity’s governing document which I have already
attached. You will see that some information has been redacted under
Section 40 (2) of the Act. Again this is because it would be considered
personal information and to release it would be contrary to the data
protection principles explained above.



Also available was a letter from the Commission from 2003 regarding the
charity Narconon. This explains the findings from the Commission’s review
of the purposes and activities of Narconon. While this does not appear to
refer to the Narconon Trust individually it has been placed on this file,
possibly as it may contain information of interest to the Narconon
charities as a group. This has been released subject to certain
redactions, again under Section 40 (2) of the Act.



Complaints about the charity.

There is a file from 2008 regarding an allegation that the charity may be
trading while insolvent. Again I must be clear that the Act does not
entitle a requestor to copies of all correspondence or papers but rather
to information. I have attached the information from this file which would
meet your request for internal and external communications.

This has been released subject to certain redactions under Section 40 (2)
of the Act as explained above.



There is also some information regarding a complaint from 2008 about the
charitable status of Narconon and scientology. I have enclosed this
information subject to certain redactions under Section 40 (2).



There are within both these case files some internal assessment sheets and
case reports. These have not been released as it is considered to be
exempt information in that its disclosure under the Act could be
considered as likely to prejudice the exercise by a public authority of
its functions for those purposes listed in section 31(2) (f) and (g).



Disclosing information in relation to internal consideration and
preparation of internal reports may be considered as likely to prejudice
the exercise of our functions, in inhibiting free and frank exchange in
consideration of the extent of our regulatory work and also in compiling
information of a confidential nature.



When applying the exemption under Section 31, we must consider whether the
public interest in not releasing the information outweighs the public
interest in releasing the information. The public interest in public
authorities being open and transparent must be balanced against the public
interest in ensuring that the charitable sector is subject to efficient
regulation so as to prevent misapplication of charitable funds and abuse.
On balance in this instance we have concluded that the public interest in
withholding the internal assessment sheets and case reports outweighs the
public interest in disclosing it to the public.



A wider search of our electronic records has identified some other
information relating to this request which do not appear to be part of a
specific Commission case for this charity. This includes:



· Comments from a member of the public on the status of Narconon.
This is enclosed but has been redacted in accordance with Section 40 (2).



· A request from the charity correspondent for information under
the Freedom of Information Act.



· An internal briefing arising in the course of the Commission
undertaking its regulatory functions. As explained above this is not
released as it is considered to be exempt information in that its
disclosure under the Act could be considered as likely to prejudice the
exercise by a public authority of its functions for those purposes listed
in section 31(2) (f) and (g).



Based on the reasoning detailed above we have on balance, in this
instance, concluded that the public interest in withholding the internal
briefing outweighs the public interest in disclosing it to the public.



· A document clarifying the charities on the register with the
names Narconon. This was as a result of information received from a third
party. I have attached documents subject to Section 40 (2).



I hope that this is sufficient for your needs. I would once again like to
apologise for the time that you have had to wait to receive a response to
this request. If you are unhappy with our response to the request you have
made, have a complaint about it or wish to request a review of this
decision, you should write to: Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227,
Liverpool, L69 3UG. Please state what it is you are dissatisfied with,
which will assist us when we review our response.



If after this, you remain unhappy with the decision, you can then apply
directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints
process. The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.



Regards



Liam Carroll

Complaints and FOI Manager
Source/History of this FOIA request: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c ... ing-245685
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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:37 am

In the following plaintext copies, I've color coded as follows:
Blue = incoming complaints/correspondence from the public or other bodies
Green = outgoing/internal correspondence from the Charities Commission.
Brown = incoming correspondence from the cult of scientology (or via their solicitor Peter Hodkin)
(any quote with no colour coded text = FOIA communications about the dox).

From the above dox, a Plaintext copy of a complaint letter dated 1st Nov 2007
---------------------------
CHARITY COMMISSION
- 1 NOV 2007
RECEIVED
----------------------------


Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227
LIVERPOOL
L69 3UG
Dear Sir/madam,



I am writing with regards to the Narconon Trust Charity number 1112230. I wanted to Inform you that the above named charity is in my opinion running as an insolvent company.

Narconon currently residing at 2 Albany Road, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, TN38 OLN, cannot pay their staff and many members of staff are currently 9 weeks behind on their wages, they cannot pay the tax and national insurance on these current wages, they also have an outstanding tax and national insurance bill from 2005/06 which they cannot afford to pay. They are also struggling to a pay the rent on the building and have been threatened with eviction if they do not meet their rent payments on time and I know for a fact that they have not met their rent payments over the last 2 weeks.

There are members of staff that are paying out of their own pocket to pay for food and vitamins, there are also a few members of staff that have paid wages out of their own saving and have not been repaid the monies owed to them from doing this.

The current executive director is not only a scientologist which the trust say they are not connected to scientology but is also from the USA and working as the executive director without a work visa although she is getting paid via Narconon international in the USA.

There seem to be a lot of things seriously wrong with this trust and I am worried for the students that they have at the centre, people are paying a lot of money for this rehabilitation centre and I feel they are being mislead. Students that leave the centre and request their money back have to wait a long time for their money. In my cased I had to wait over 12 months to get the money back that I paid out for my child and it was only when I threatened legal action that I finally got my money in instalments.

The information that I have given you above was told to me by a staff member that is currently working there and they fears that their job is at risk if I give you any names. They have lost 8 members of staff over the past couple of weeks because they have not been able to pay their wages. They also feel that the trust is at risk due to the way it is currently being run by the Executive Director from the USA.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this I have had to do this anonymously otherwise I can be linked to the person who gave me this information.

Kindest Regards
A. concerned Parent
...and a plain text copy of the action taken by the CC.....
Memorandum of Telephone Call
Including Informal Compliments/Complaints
If the call contains a complaint or compliment about the Charity Commission, please send a copy of this form to your local Customer Service Manager.

Section 1 — Memorandum of Telephone Call

Name of caller/person called: Mr P D Hodkin, chy correspondent
Date and time of call: 8/11/07 — 14:45
Address/email, address/phone number of caller/person called: 01342 325765 Hodkin and Company Solicitors
Charity/organisation name and number: Narconon Trust - 1112230
Case number: 648587
Name of officer taking/making call: --

I called Mr Hodkin as the correspondent of the chy. I introduced myself and explained that we have received a complaint that the charity may be operating whilst insolvent and wages are not being paid to employees. I also said that we have a concern as the chy is overdue its submission of AR6 and the accounts for the FYE 31/12/06.

He agreed the chy was overdue submission and he was aware of the deadline of 10 months following close of financial year. He says he has discussed this with the trustees earlier but does not known what the position is regarding the accounts. He will have to contact them to find out and said he would get back to me by the end on the week.

I also discussed with him the annual return advising him that this can be done on line and if he does not have a password he can go to our website in order to obtain a password.

He asked about the complaint and whether it had come from an employee I advised him I could not reveal that information due to our policy of confidentiality. I did however advise him that the matter of the non-payment of wages is not a matter for us to be involved as it is an employment and contractual issue between the trustees and the employees which the trustees need to resolve.

---------------------

File note

Narconon Trust — 1112230

Case: 648587

Date: 8/11/07

Findings following desk research & searches on the internet.


Searches under the name of Narconon produced a number of websites featuring
Narconon UK and Narconon International.

No information has been found on the Narconon Trust charity 1112230 he charity
which is the focus of our assessment.

Narconon UK site features pictures of a large tudor style house which was first
thought to be the Narconon Trust chy premises. However this seems not to be the
case. Narconon UK appears to be operating the house as a drug rehab centre and
the registered charity Narconon R267386 is mentioned on the website. It is the first
Narconon residential centre to be opened in the UK in St Leonard's-on-Sea (2 Albany
Road, St Leonard's-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 OLN) and was opened in 2005.

I therefore conclude this property/centre is not operated by Narconon Trust.

I have not found any mention of the name of the current Executive Director of
Narconon Trust. Nor have I established who is CEO of Narconon UK/International.
Therefore not been able to determine or confirm the complainant's allegation that ED
of Narconon Trust is paid by or linked Narconon International.

-----------------------------

Memorandum of Telephone Call
Including Informal Compliments/Complaints
If the call contains a complaint or compliment about the Charity Commission, please send a copy of this form to your local Customer Service Manager.

Section 1 — Memorandum of Telephone Call

Name of caller/person called: Mr P D Hodkin, chy correspondent
Date and time of call: 9/1 07 — 14: 35
Address/email, address/phone number of caller/person called: 01342 325765 Hodkin and Company Solicitors
Charity/organisation name and number: Narconon Trust - 1112230
Case number 648587
Name of officer taking/making call: --

Mr Hodkin called following my earlier message left with his office at 14:10.

He again wanted to ensure which of the three registered Narconon charities I was contacting him about. I confirmed it is the Narconon Trust 1112230. He then confirmed that this charity is not the same as the other two — Narconon R267386 and Narconon London R1098004. He also said he acts as the solicitor for all three.

In response to our discussion yesterday regarding accounts he advised me that Narconon Trust is not currently trading and the accounts are a nil balance. This I confirmed agreed with our records which confirm AR06 received in August 2007 and below threshold.

I then referred to him some of the details in the complainant's letter which I confirmed to him was anonymous. I said that the complainant has given the name of the charity as Narconon Trust and quoted Reg no 1112230. However I also quoted to him the address given by the complainant — 2 Albany Road, St. Leonards-On-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 OLN.
He said these premises belong to the Narconon charity, 267386, and not the Narconon Trust.

We both concluded therefore that the complainant appears to have identified the wrong charity. I asked him if he was aware, as the solicitor for Narconon as well, of any issues concerning payments of wages to staff. He said he was not aware of any problems but the charity had recently had some reorganisation.
I advised him that in any event employment issues are not matters for us to resolve and it is a matter for the trustees and if employees have a grievance then they have recourse to the Employment Tribunal.
Having cleared up the matter and clarified our understanding I asked that he email to confirm the Narconon Trust is currently not operating and also that the premises at 2 Albany Road are operated by Narconon R267386. He agreed to do so.

-------------------------------


[email]

From; Peter Hodkin
Sent: 09 November 2007 14:50
To: Web Assessment Taunton
Subject: Narconon Trust

As requested I confirm that Narconon Trust (reg no. 1112230) has not yet commenced activities, and does not operate from 2 Albany Road Stleonards.

regards
Peter Hodkin


-----------------------------------

File note

Narconon Trust — 1112230

Case: 648587

Date: 13/11/07

Summary of findings and outcome


Anonymous complainant alleges non-payment of wages and charity operating whilst
insolvent. Names charity as Narconon Trust R1112230 residing at 2 Albany Road, St
Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 OLN.

I contacted charity correspondent to advise of complaint and request copy of
accounts for FYE 31/12/06 recorded as below threshold on CDB. Also advised
correspondent that issue of non-payment of wages was no a matter for us but wished
to see accounts to determine if any other concerns.

Correspondent confirms charity has not yet commenced activities (registered
23/11/05) and does not operate from 2 Albany Road, St Leonards-on-Sea. Says this
operating address is a drugs rehab centre for registered charity Narconon R267386.
This is verified by research/checks on the internet. The correspondent is also the
solicitor of Narconon 7. and says he is not aware of any issues of nonpayment
of wages by the charity. -

Conclusions

The complainant has identified the wrong charity.
There are no indications of any problems with Narconon R267386 regarding nonpayment
of wages and if there were it is not a matter for us to take forward.
Close case on basis that concerns raised are unfounded.
Unable to notify complainant as anonymous.

----------------


Draft of closing letter to charity.

Narconon Trust — 1112230

Thank you for your email of 9 November 2007 confirming that the Narconon Trust
charity has not yet commenced activities and does not operate from 2 Albany Road,
St Leonards-on-Sea.

We have completed our assessment of an anonymous complaint we have received
about the Narconon Trust charity.

As we discussed in our telephone conversations the complainant names the
Narconon Trust charity and quotes its registration number 1112230 and says it
operates from 2 Albany Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 OLN. They
allege that employees of the charity are not being paid and the charity is running as
an insolvent company.

However from the information you have provided and our own checks it appears the
complainant may have identified the wrong charity. As you confirm Narconon. Trust
does not operate from 2 Albany Road and is currently not operating. Checks confirm
that the premises at 2 Albany Road are operated by another charity, Narconon
registration number 267386. You also confirm that as the solicitor for Narconon you
are not aware of any problems this charity may be experiencing in respect of non
payment of employee wages. In any event as advised in our telephone conversation
matters to do with non payment of wages is not a matter for the Commission to be
involved in and is a matter for the trustees of the charity to resolve.

We have concluded therefore that the allegations made are unfounded and we will
take no further action in this matter. As the complainant is anonymous we are unable
to inform them of our conclusions.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

-----------------------------------

From: on behalf of Web Assessment Taunton
Sent: 15 November 2007 09:46
To: 'Peter Hodkin'
Subject: RE: Narconon Trust

Dear Mr Hodkin

Narconon Trust 1112230

Thank you for your email of 9 November 2007 confirming that the Narconon Trust charity has not yet commenc€
activities and does not operate from 2 Albany Road, St Leonards-on-Sea.

We have completed our assessment of an anonymous complaint we have received about the Narconon Trust chaht ,
As we discussed in our telephone conversations the complainant names the Narconon Trust charity and quotes i
registration number 1112230 and says it operates from 2 Albany Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, INC
OLN. They allege that employees of the charity are not being paid and that the charity is running as an insolvei
company.

However from the information you have provided and our own checks it appears the complainant may have identifie
the wrong charity. As you confirm Narconon Trust does not operate from 2 Albany Road and is currently nc
operating. Checks confirm that the premises at 2 Albany Road are operated by another charity, Narconon charii
registration number 267386. You also confirm that as the solicitor for Narconon you are not aware of any problem
this charity may be experiencing in respect of non payment of employee wages. In any event as advised in ot
telephone conversation matters to do with non payment of wages is not a matter for the Commission to be involved i
and is a matter for the trustees of the charity to resolve.

We have concluded therefore that the allegations made are unfounded and we will take no further action in this
matter. As the complainant is anonymous we are unable to inform them of our conclusions.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Yours sincerely
Assessment Officer
Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69 3UG

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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:31 am

Plaintext of another complaint 25th Sept 2008.....

From: CCD Email Team [xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx]
Sent: 25 September 2008 11:58
To: Web Assessment LIV
Subject: Complaints CC:06335507

------ original Message -----
From: [redacted]
Sent: 24/09/2008
To: CCD Email Team; CHARM' COMMISSION; Enquiries, Charity Commission; Web, Enqu ries
Subject: USER QUESTION
Title :
First Name :
Last Name :
Email Address :
Daytime Telephone :
Evening Telephone :
Registered Charity Number:
Postcode :
Topic : Complaints
Subtopic : About Charities
Subject : Narconon and scientology

Question : I have recently discovered that Narconon is a registered charity. However Narconon is
registered to the registered business address of the Church of Scientology. A profit making business.
[redacted] , for sending threatening and intimidating letters to people who's names and addresses have
peen acquired by the Church of Scientology without their consent and through the use of private
investigators. Narconon uses the techniques of L. Ron Hubbard. Techniques which have not been
updated or researched in any way. Hubbard had no medical knowledge or background, no
psychological knowledge or background and had no qualifications in either of these fields. I would ask
that this so called charity, who's techniques and process have never been studied or verified as
effective by an independent commission or organisation, should be removed from the registered charity
list until it's credentials as a "rehabilitaion program" can be investigated and confirmed. Their
techniques, which involve saunas for dangerous periods of time, and the consumption of dangerous
overdoses of vitamins and chemicals such as niacin are protentially dangerous. Narconon also charges
for it's services in other countries. For this group to be registered as a charity raises serious moral and
ethical questions. Please, please, please investigate this matter. Here is a link to an American study of
Narconon: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/-dst/Narconon/detox.htm
The response from the CC........
From:
Sent: 07 October 2008 11:17
To:
Subject: Narconon 1112230/693788

Thank you for your recent email in which you expressed concerns about the above named charity.

As part of the assessment process, every complaint received at the Charity Commission is checked by a senior
officer to determine whether it is a matter that falls within our regulatory control. If it appears to be more appropriate
for some other advisory or supervisory body, such as a local authority, a government department or an organisation
skilled in dispute mediation, we will normally either forward it to the relevant body or advise the person making the
complaint to do so. Examples of this type of complaint are those relating to employment or contractual disputes, or
between the trustees and the members of a charity.

There are also other situations in which we cannot intervene. For example, we cannot over-rule or interfere with a
decision that the trustees of a charity have lawfully taken, even if it is an unpopular one.

From the information you have provided, it appears that your complaint is one in which the Commission cannot
intervene in. We would suggest that you express your concerns direct to the trustees, who have wide discretion over
how they manage the charity. I have attached a link to the publication on our website CC47 Complaints About
Charities, http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/pu ... s/cc47.asp which provides guidance at when we will, and
when we will not, take up the issues reported to us.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:39 am

The cult, via Peter Hodkin solicitors, makes an FOIA request 10th April 2007 to see previous complaints on file at the Charities Commission......
Hodkin & Company
Solicitors and Notary Public
42-44 Copthorne Road, Felbridge, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 2NS
DX 300232 EAST GRINSTEAD
Telephone: (01342) 325765 Fax: (01342) 325479

Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227
Liverpool L69 3UG

Our ref: PDH/rt
10 April 2007

[Stamp: Recieved 11th April 2007]

Dear Sirs,

Re: Freedom of Information Request

I act for the Narconon charities consisting - of Narconon (charity number 267386),
Narconon London (1098004) and Narconon Trust (1112230). 1 would be grateful if
you would kindly send me pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act a copy of all
documents, including complaints, correspondence and memoranda currently held by
the Charity Commission in relation to any of the Narconon charities. I do not include
in this request correspondence passing between myself and the Charity Commission,
or between the charities and the Charity Commission.

I look forward to receiving this information as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,
PD HODKIN
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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:58 am

Another complaint from 25th Nov 2008.....



Title Complaints CC:06336676
Subject

--------Original Message----------
From:
Sent: 25/11/2008
To: CCD Email Team; CHARITY COMMISSION; Enquiries, Charity Commission; Web, Enquiries
Subject: Green - Complaints -

USER QUESTION

Title :
First Name :
Last Name :
Email Address :
Daytime Telephone :
Evening Telephone :
Registered Charity number:
Postcode :
Topic : Complaints
Subtopic : About Charities
Subject : Narconori- (267386; 1098004; 1112230)

Question : I recently acquired a Church of Scientology document, which can be downloaded here:
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Scientology_c ... _documents
I've attempted attaching the individual file, but it has proved too large. It is the pdf entitled "CEC booklet, magazine". It states that Narconon's primary purpose is for CoS recruitment. It speaks of a group-wide effort to "clear the planet". Within the CoS belief system this means that they wish to clear a certain percentage of individuals worldwide, an effort that would require those people becoming members of the Church. The leaflet also states that Narconon's purpose is to "get LRH [L Ron Hubbard] tech [Scientology dogma] accepted and used as the solution to drugs". Please note the use of the definite article - not "a solution" but "the solution". Narconon's knowledge of drugs is based almost entirely on the writings of L Ron Hubbard, and much of it is contested by modern science, which it hopes to replace. Please also note that the courses that Narconon clients are on are identical to the "training routines" Scientologists undertake as they begin on their journey across the "Bridge to Total Freedom". It seems clear that Narconon exists to recruit to the Church from weak and vulnerable members of society. --


[*following this complaint letter is an uninformative response form by the CC Enquires team (it's on PDF page 100). I wont copy it and instead just say that the outcome was stated as "unresolved"]
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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:06 am

Horsham Disctric Council complaint to Narconon about unlicensed street collecting (donations) 16th Sept 2006. The complaint was CC'd to the Charities Commission.
HORSHAM DISTRICT COUNCIL
Park House, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RL
Tel: (01403) 215100 (Calls may be recorded) Fax: (01403) 215110
http://www.horsham.gov.uk DX 57609 HORSHAM - 6

Our Ref: Your Ref:
E-Mail: xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx.xx Direct Line:
If calling please ask for: Date:

Dear Sir/Madam

Illegal Street Collection Horsham Town Centre le September 2006.

On 16th September 2006 [Redacted] acting on behalf of Narconon was asked by
Security to leave the Swan Walk shopping centre in Horsham for conducting an unlicensed
Street Collection.

[Redacted] then continued to carry out an illegal Street Collection in West Street,
Horsham. Horsham District Council licenses over 150 street collections per year. The
purpose of this is to protect the money that the public donates and to ensure that it reaches
the charities concerned. Street Collection licences are applied for a year in advance and
only one day is allocated to each charity. Strict checks are made on that charity before a
licence is issued.

On this occasion Horsham District Council will take no further action. However I must advise
you that the Council will not tolerate illegal actions in the Town Centre, and if any future
collections are carried out on behalf of Narconon without the benefit of a permit then legal
proceedings will ensue. I trust I have your co-operation in this matter and thus obviate the
need for legal action.

If we can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact the Licensing Section.

Yours sincerely,
[Redacted]


Narconon
Collections Office
46 Portland Road
East Grinstead
RH19 4EA
Cc: Charities Commission, London.
Last edited by Sponge on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:32 am

The following is the plaintext of correspondence from the Charity Commission to the Treasury Solicitor 10th July 2003, showing that they are well aware of concerns about the efficacy or Narconon's rehab programme and the possibility of recruitment into the cult of scientology. However, back then, they are saying that Narconon wasn't actually carrying out this programme (in the UK) and were doing mainly drug education.
[PDF page 38,39,40]
CHARITY COMMISSION for England and Wales
Woodfield House
Tangier
Taunton
Somerset TA1 4BL
Direct Line: (
Fax: 01823 345430
General Enquiries: 0870 3330123 (Voice) 0870 3330125 (Minicom)
Email:
Your Ref:
Our Ref:

Date: 10 July 2003

The Treasury Solicitor
Queen Anne's Chambers
28 Broadway
London
SW1H 9JS

Narconon

I am writing further to correspondence between you [Reacted] in February 2001 regarding the charitable status of Narconon. The purpose of this letter is to advise you of the findings that have emerged from our review of the purposes and activities of that organisation.

You raised concerns with us about Narconon's links with the Church of Scientology and its drug rehabilitation programme, which utilises methods developed by L. Ron Hubbard, referring to material obtained via the Internet questioning the validity and possible dangers of those methods. We had concerns that we had not received recent accounts from the charity.

Having eventually obtained up to date accounts we met with Narconon's legal adviser and one of its trustees to determine the extent and nature of its current activities in relation to its drug rehabilitation programme (Narconon) and its programme to rehabilitate prisoners (Criminon). The accounts showed a surprisingly low level of income and expenditure (given Narconon's stated purposes) and little detail to indicate what activities were being undertaken by Narconon in furtherance of its stated purposes. This in turn raised questions about whether Narconon is undertaking its drug rehabilitation programme in the UK (and related concerns about the efficacy of that programme) and the effectiveness of the Criminon programme.

Drug rehabilitation programme

In 1995 we undertook a thorough review of Narconon and concluded that it was entitled to remain a registered charity. That review related especially to its objective to rehabilitate people who are or have been drug addicts, following concerns expressed to us about the efficacy of the treatment. We had no evidence at that stage to suggest that the programme and techniques used by Narconon in drug rehabilitation were not effective, neither did we have any proof that Narconon was being used improperly as a vehicle to recruit people as new members of Scientology. From the information supplied to us at the time we had no reason to doubt that the objects for which it was set up and the activities it carried out were charitable.

Our recent review of Narconon has revealed that much of its current activity is directed towards drug education rather than drug rehabilitation. Although the charity would like to continue its drug rehabilitation programme in the future, it is not an activity that Narconon is currently undertaking in the UK. Nevertheless, since this activity remains an aspiration for Narconon we did consider whether there are sufficient doubts as to the efficacy of that programme to justify removal of Narconon's registered charity status, such that any subsequent challenge of such a decision would not succeed.

Whilst we are aware that some concerns have been publicly expressed that the claims made for Narconon's drug rehabilitation programme are not medically established, the programme is not currently being undertaken within the UK and such opinions alone would not be sufficient for us to conclude that Narconon's purposes and activities are not charitable. You made specific reference to a report (taken from an anti-Scientology website) written by Professor Folke Sjoqvist, a clinical pharmocologist, in 1996 that the validity of the drug rehabilitation methods advocated by Narconon are unlikely to be of any value. But we have since learned that, following advice given to it by Professor Sjoqvist, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare went on to accept the Narconon Programme. Indeed it has been difficult to find any recent significant independent criticism of the Narconon programme. We have not received any complaints about it from anyone who has been through the programme, or knows someone who has been through it. We would therefore only be able to consider this issue on a theoretical basis and in an international context in which (as with many methods associated with L. Ron Hubbard) it difficult to obtain independent evidence. We accepted at the time of registration that Narconon's drug rehabilitation programme was a charitable activity; our review in 1995 concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that the programmes and techniques used by Narconon were not effective; the programme is not currently being undertaken in the UK and there is insufficient independent evidence available now to conclude that the programme is not effective.

We have agreed with the trustees the addition of a new object to reflect Narconon's drug education activities, which were not specifically aimed at rehabilitating drug addicts, as follows:

"To advance the education of the public and/or persons who are or have been dependent upon or affected by the use of drugs about all matters relating to drug abuse/addiction in particular by the provision of advice, information and support".

We have also accepted that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the charity's Criminon programme, aimed at rehabilitating people convicted of crimes, does not operate for the benefit of the public. We have, though, suggested a restatement of the relevant object to more accurately reflect the nature of that activity as follows:

"To assist in the reformation and rehabilitation of persons who have at any time been convicted (whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) of any crime".

Our review of Narconon in 1995 also concluded that whilst the activities of Narconon provide an opportunity to draw vulnerable individuals into Scientology there was no evidence available to us to suggest that such abuse occurred. That appears to remain the position today.

Your concerns regarding Narconon's entitlement to remain on the register were largely on the grounds that its drug rehabilitation programme does not benefit the public, but we have not been able to find recent objective evidence to support that view. The drug rehabilitation programme is not currently being undertaken by Narconon within the UK. It would be difficult therefore to justify removal of the charity on the basis that that activity does not provide public benefit since it is not currently an activity. Even if it were a current activity, there is still no clear evidence to show that it does not provide public benefit. In view of this, and unless there is anything further you wish to add by way of augmenting your concerns about the charity, it is difficult to see what other conclusion we can reach but to allow Narconon to remain on the register.

Yours Sincerely,
[Redacted]

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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:14 pm

More FOIA docs in this series
(about this FOIA requuest: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c ... ing-254174 )

The previous stuff posted in this thread above was in relation to complaints/concerns about Narconon (Narconon Trust, charity # 1112230). The rest of the contents of that PDF was mostly form data (applications/CC submissions and such like).


This following collection (obtained 13th/14th Feb 2012) is regarding Narconon London ( charity # 1098004).

Here's my tl;dr of contents.

After looking inside and as per the descriptions in the cover letters to the FOIA requestor from the charities commission....

1) The first PDF is the annual returns submissions, memorandum of association (from Hodkins solicitors) and the trustees annual reports: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 130526.pdf

2) .DOC file is what it says it is: Application for registration, dated 1sty May 2003.
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... ration.doc
There is one corrupt scan which has been sent as an addendum in PDF format here:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 151144.pdf

3) Accompanying information from Hodkins solicitors regarding the above charity application for Narconon London. Contains copies of support letters sent to other Narconon bodies from various politicians. Copy of letter from CC to Hodkins asking for clarification of the objects of new Narconon charity and subsequent communictions.
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 141200.pdf

4) Docs showing requests by the Charities Comission for late accounts and more details on activities, and the cult's non-cooperation. Copy of a compaint about Narconon to the charities commission with accompanying CC'd letters to the Met police and fraud dept, plus internet photocopypasta. (like some of the other complaints, although well meaning and enthusiastic, it sounds quite retarded. Lrn2 make formal complaints).
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 141234.pdf

5) Internet photocopypasta on Narconon (wikipedia, Narconon Exposed, Clambake and other sources).
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 140205.pdf

6) addendum for (2) above.
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Re: UK: FOIA Dox. Jan 2012. Narconon/Charities Commission

Post by Sponge » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:54 pm

More FOIA dox, this time on the 3rd and final Naronon charity (267386) in the UK. Released on 20th Feb 2012.
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c ... ing-256546

First the explanatory letter followed by the PDF dox downloads themselves, with individual content summaries:
Liam Carrol,Charity Commission for England and Wales, wrote: From: Carroll, Liam
Charity Commission for England and Wales

20 February 2012


Dear Mr Thackeray

Please find my response with regard to the request that you have made for
Narconon (267386). I will again need to send this to you in separate
emails because of the size of the files. As before I will confirm when the
final email has been sent and detail what you should have received.

Regards
Liam Carroll




Dear Mr Thackeray


Narconon (267386)

Thank you for your recent emails. I am now in a position to respond to the
request for information that you have made regarding the charity Narconon
(267386).

You have made the following request:

1. What claims Narconon made to the Commission to support its
position that it should be allowed to register as a charity, either
at the time of registration or subsequently.

2. What enquiries (if any) the Commission undertook in order to
verify the truth of these claims, and what the results of those
enquiries were.

3. What other information (if any) the Commission sought outside of
that provided by Narconon, in respect of its eligibility for
registration.

4. Other information which may have been provided by Narconon,
either at the time of registration or later, in respect of

· the purported efficacy of Narconon's 'treatment',

· Narconon's purported independence from Scientology.’


Essentially I have taken this to mean that you would like information sent
to the Commission by the charity, or asked for by the Commission, relating
to the charitable status of Narconon. I have, though, taken into account
all the bullet points submitted. If you think that I have misunderstood
your request in any way please do let me know.


The Freedom of Information Act imposes a duty, set out in section 1 (1)
(a) to confirm or deny whether we hold information of the description
specified in your request. In this instance I should clarify that some
Commission files, including the registration file, have been destroyed in
accordance with the Commission’s records retention policy. This will
clearly have an impact on the response that can be provided as the
information on these files is no longer available. I can confirm, though,
that we do hold some information that would fall under this request
although I must emphasize that the Act provides the right to information
rather than just general copies of correspondence.

I have looked at what we hold in relation to the request that you have
made to see whether we can release it to you under the provisions of the
Act and my comments are as follows:


Compliance case

There is a file from 2007 regarding an article from a Sunday newspaper. As
I have mentioned the Act does not entitle a requestor to copies of all
correspondence or papers but rather to information. In this respect I
think it may be more appropriate that I inform you of the nature of this
case rather than look to provide all the documents available. It should
also be clear that many of the documents do not actually fall under the
request as it is framed.

The article made claims about the relationship between the charity and the
Church of Scientology. As a result of this the Commission’s compliance
department asked for clarity on how the charity was fulfilling its
charitable objectives, in particular for promotional material used when
visiting schools and for any child protection policy that the charity may
have. This was provided and the case was closed.

Looking at the paperwork available here I have provided the following:

o At the start of the file is a copy of the letter from the Commission
to the Treasury Solicitors dated 10 July 2003. This explains the
findings from the Commission’s earlier review of the purposes and
activities of Narconon and was released previously when responding to
your request regarding the Narconon Trust. I have released this again
subject to certain redactions, in accordance with the need to protect
personal information under Section 40 (2).

o A copy of the Commission’s letter to the charity dated 17 January
2007. Redacted in accordance with S40 (2).

o There is a copy of the charity’s response to the Commission dated 12
February 2007. I have released this and the enclosures which were sent
with it subject to some redactions under S40 (2).

o Commission letter to the charity dated 14 February 2007. Redacted in
accordance with S40 (2).


Key Document file

There is a considerable amount of information that has been placed on the
charity’s key document file. This is a file upon which certain documents
regarding the charity, which are considered necessary to retain, are
placed. In this instance there are several documents sent by the charity
which refer to how it achieves its objects. I am unclear when this
information was submitted but it seems likely that it may have been during
the compliance case (explained above) or sent at another time, perhaps at
registration stage, or possibly in connection with the policy case
(discussed below).

Regardless of this, though, I consider that the information falls under
the terms of the request that you have made and has been released subject
to certain redactions made under Section 40 (2). The first page is an
index of the information and this explains what was received.

A wider search of our electronic records has identified other information
relating to this request which does not appear to be part of a specific
Commission case for this charity. This includes the following:


Policy case

There are some papers which have been retained by the Commission’s Policy
department regarding a case from 2003. The purpose of this appears to have
been to assess the efficacy of how the charity was achieving its objects
and the case appears to have concluded with the letter from the Commission
to the Treasury Solicitors dated 10 July 2003 (already released).

I think it may be useful to explain that for the purposes of this case the
Commission appears to have carried out a degree of web based research and
considered historical information from files which are no longer
available. I should also stress that some papers have not been retained
and not everything would appear available. From what has been retained I
have considered the following fall under the request:


o Charity Commission letters dated:

16 August 2001, 25 August 2002, 10 December 2002, 18 March 2003, 3 April
2003, 17 April 2003 and 2 July 2003.

o Interview memorandum from meeting between the Commission and Narconon
representatives dated 8 August 2002.

I have released this information subject to certain redactions under
Section 40 (2) of the Act.

There is alongside this some information relating to the legal advice
received. I am not sure but strictly speaking this would not appear to
fall under the request as it is framed. However this would not be released
as it would be considered privileged legal advice exempt from disclosure
under Section 42 of the Act. When applying this exemption, we must
consider whether the public interest in not releasing the information
outweighs the public interest in releasing the information.

The public interest in relying on the exemption is that it enables the
Commission to seek and receive clear, open and frank legal advice on
particular matters which arise. Making the Commission’s privileged legal
advice on a case by case or point by point basis available to the public
is likely to impact on the legal advisers’ ability to provide such legal
advice. This would hinder the Commission in exercising its regulatory
functions since it is essential that the Commission has access to clear
open and frank advice about the extent and limitations on its powers and
the legal context in which it finds itself. We have therefore concluded
that the public interest in withholding privileged legal advice outweighs
the public interest in disclosing it.

I can see, though, that during 2002 some consideration was given to the
Narconon International website and the Home Office website drugs.gov.uk.

Separate to this, but relevant to your request, there is also an
electronic record of some legal advice from 2003 and legal guidance from
1997. I have not released this as the information is considered exempt
under Section 42 for the reasons given above.

Finally I have looked to see if we hold any more information with regard
to the letter sent to us dated 21 May 2009 and released to you under your
request for Narconon London. You have asked to see the reply that was sent
by the Commission or details of any decision on whether or not to take
action. This information was also available under the search I did for
Narconon, unfortunately though I can find no further information in
respect of how the Commission dealt with this, nor can I confirm or deny
whether there ever was any. I cannot then provide the information you have
requested as we do not hold it.

I hope that this is sufficient for your needs. I would once again like to
offer my sincere apologies for the time that you have had to wait to
receive a response to your requests, and thank you for the patience that
you have shown.

If you are unhappy with our response to the request you have made, have a
complaint about it or wish to request a review of this decision, you
should write to: Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69
3UG. Please state what it is you are dissatisfied with, which will assist
us when we review our response.

If after this, you remain unhappy with the decision, you can then apply
directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints
process. The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Regards
Liam Carroll

Complaints and FOI Manager
1) lcarroll201202160342.pdf 5.5Mb
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 160342.pdf
An initial email explaining the information provided with 9 attachments. CC letter 10 July 03 – CC letter 17 Jan 07 – Charity Response 12 Feb 07 – Charity leaflet – Charity letter to Schools – Child Protection Policy – Trustee’s Policy Guidance – Schools Satisfaction survey – CC letter 14 Feb 07.

2) lcarroll201202160453.pdf 5.0Mb
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 160453.pdf
Information from the Key Document file (1)) – including Index and documents 1 – 6. [mostly testimonials, freeform and form based]

3) lcarroll201202170955.pdf 4.9Mb
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 170955.pdf
Information from the Key Document file (1) – documents 7 & 8 [copy of the Criminon Way to Happiness correspondence course. 139 pages]

4) lcarroll201202200436.pdf 690Kb
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5 ... 200436.pdf
8 attachments. CC letters – 16 August 01, 25 April 02, 10 December 02, 18 March 03, 3 April 03, 17 April 03, 2 July 03 and Interview Memo 8 August 02.

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