Writing in the oft-overlooked Santa Clarita Gazette, former KHTS’er Melissa Lampert has one helluva catch: It appears the SCV Sheriff’s Station is implementing an anti-drug program designed by an arm of the Church of Scientology. Or it may be (more on that in a minute).
Be sure to read the whole thing for details, but the short story is the SCV station put out a press release on August 3rd, announcing a 10-week drug education program designed by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.
The site for the organization makes a few mentions of the Church of Scientology, though the church makes no secret of its backing of the organization. Its logo appears on several church websites and church materials have been used in courses before. As Lampert points out, similar programs have been pulled in other cities once those ties became apparent.
Whatever its heritage, the organization’s online material goes well beyond the scope of illegal drug abuse (Scientologists oppose psychiatry and psychiatric medicine). They mention prescribed use of ADHD medication in the same breath as illicit use of heroin. There’s even a section dedicated to antidepressants.
Lambert didn’t get any answers from the brass: “SCV Sheriff’s Station officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment Wednesday,” and that silence seems retroactive. The LASD’s initial press release (which went out via email) no longer appears on the web, and KHTS’s initial report is gone as well (here’s the Google cache). There’s no sign of a retraction on either site. However, the press release still appears on The Signal’s site.
Has the program been canceled? I’ve sent an email to the deputy in charge of the program, and I’ll update if we get any more information.
*Update 8/11/2015: SCV station PIO Shirley Miller has confirmed that this program has been cancelled and that “The Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station is currently evaluating the best practices of teen drug awareness programs in order to provide the highest quality of service to the Santa Clarita Valley Community. The results of this ongoing search and program development will meet both the needs and the concerns of the community, as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”