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Drug rehabilitation program linked to Scientology under fire after deaths

Rock Center

Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley have all touted the success of Narconon, a drug rehabilitation program based on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Narconon says it is a non-medical rehabilitation program. Its methods include spending up to five hours a day in a sauna for 30 days straight and mega doses of the vitamin, Niacin.  But three mysterious deaths in the last year have left families mourning loved ones who died while under the care of Narconon. The three deaths occurred at the rehab’s flagship facility, Narconon Arrowhead, located in Oklahoma.

Narconon International declined Rock Center's request for an interview, but in statements said, it has served "tens of thousands of people" and "three out of four Narconon graduates are able to live stable, drug-free lives."

The CEO of Narconon Arrowhead, Gary Smith, said that due to privacy laws, he cannot comment on the deaths, but said he and his staff are devastated by the loss of young lives.

"Our prayers are with the families of the deceased," said Smith in a statement.

Editor's Note: Click here to watch Harry Smith’s full report which aired Thursday, Aug. 16 on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.

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