Plan to Build Scientology-Affiliated Rehab Center in Maryland Faces Opposition

By May Wilkerson 04/15/15

The church was met by skepticism from local residents and council members.

The Church of Scientology

Plans to build a Scientology-affiliated addiction treatment center on the site of a former presidential retreat in Maryland has been met with opposition, the Frederick News Post reports.

The Narconon program, which uses treatment methods developed by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, wants to open a “residential drug rehabilitation center” at Trout Run, a 40-acre camp in Frederick County, Md., that was visited by Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower.

The church’s real estate arm and Narconon requested to have the property designated for historic preservation, which would allow them to make changes otherwise banned by zoning laws.

At the public hearing this week, many local council members expressed concerns based on skepticism about Scientology. “There’s been some discussion about Scientology and how it’s bad,” said one speaker. Another claimed Narconon is “going through the back end” to get the appropriate licensing for the center. Said another resident, “They’re not very honest.”

Frederick County council voted to postpone the decision until April 21 to allow for more public consideration.

The Church of Scientology has been in the news lately since the recent release of HBO documentary Going Clear, which is highly critical of the religion. But many celebrities like Kirstie Alley, who credits Narconon with helping her beat cocaine addiction, have gone on record to defend the church.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.