NYC Anti-Drug Youth Program Has Scientology Connections Exposed | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

NYC Anti-Drug Youth Program Has Scientology Connections Exposed

Once again, the controversial religious movement has been caught lying about drugs.


Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

An anti-drug program which has reached over 14,000 kids in New York City has been exposed for being associated with the Church of Scientology and making medically inaccurate statements about drugs.

The educational non-profit Foundation for a Drug Free World was created eight years ago by Meghan Fialkoff, a Scientologist from Queens. They’ve since focused primarily on New York City’s outer boroughs like Queens and the Bronx, visiting disadvantage schools, homeless shelters, churches, and NYPD youth programs.

But at a recent presentation for a Catholic after-school program for troubled teenagers called Little Flower, Drug Free World’s presenter was caught making unfounded claims about drugs, stating that all drugs cause flashbacks, and that all drugs or medicines stay in one's body for years. The teachings come from Clear Body, Clear Mind, a self-help book compiled from materials written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Fialkoff acknowledged that Scientologists run the foundation out of church headquarters in Times Square, but denied that the presentations have a religious overtone. Tidman also denied being paid for the presentations and said he has a full-time job at his father's dentist’s office. “There are a a lot of sponsors for the program,” said Meghan. “One of them happens to be the Church of Scientology."

Despite this, the program has been praised by State Senator José Peralta, as well as former Councilman Dan Halloran, who is now under indictment for corruption. Although there are no measures to gauge the effectiveness of the program, some presentations offer an anonymous pledge called “Drug Free Marshals,” which kids can sign to promise that they will avoid doing drugs and encourage their friends to do the same.

While some organizations have declined to bring Tidman back because of the unfounded medical statements he makes, other have expressed satisfaction with the program. Last March, Leydy Avila of Sunnyside Community Services in Queens wrote to the group and said that “having organizations and individuals like you […] and the flexibility to accommodate so many of my children was really appreciated."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
An Audience with Gabor Maté

According to the rock star of addiction theory, every addict had a traumatic childhood whether they realize it or not.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv