Scientology-linked UK rehab centre investigated by charities watchdog

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A Scientology-linked addiction charity accused of subjecting vulnerable people to psychological drills that left them “broken” and “traumatised” is being investigated by Britain’s ­charities watchdog.

The Charity Commission said it had opened a regulatory compliance case into Narconon UK, which claims to help people become “drug-free for good” and had been promoted on the NHS website, to examine concerns about its “governance, administration and management”.

The case comes after an Observer investigation last month raised questions about practices at a facility run by Narconon in Heathfield, East Sussex. Former participants in the programme were put through intense exercises likened to a form of “obedience training”.

Ex-patients and staff described how people were expected to follow repetitive commands, such as pointing at objects, sitting perfectly still or answering the same question “over and over again” for hours at a time. Some described suffering extreme reactions to the exercises, such as panicking, zoning out or going into trance-like states.

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