St. Jude Retreats, Scientology & Narconon: The Facts!


The Baldwin Research Institute owns and operates the St. Jude Retreats (aka Freedom Model Retreats). “Baldwin Research Institute — A Scientology Fraud?” appeared as a thread on the website. 

St. Jude Retreats
St. Jude

The person who raised the question expressed concern that St. Jude Retreats were a Scientology organization that had “escaped detection.” In so doing, they referred to statements on the St. Jude website (now removed).  They said “there is a lengthy, insane kook rant claiming miracle success rates for Scientology all while legitimate drug treatment regimes are bad mouthed.”

The person noted that the same phone number appeared on “a whole slew of web sites, all of them basically making the same unevidenced claims, all of them building up the Scientology ‘NarCONon’ fraud, making wild, unevidenced success claims, all of them denouncing actual treatment regimes that have success rates far greater than Scientology’s 6% — which is less than the placebo rate of doing nothing of 11%.” 

St. Jude Retreats

Former Client & Employee Response

Then a former client and employee of St. Jude Retreats appeared on the website. He insisted that the Retreats were not related to Scientology. Another person responded to the employee. He said that “It would appear since you only joined today, have only made one post to a very specific thread that you are here to do damage control.”

One reader noted that on the Baldwin Research Institute website, “Narconon is praised, while Alcoholics Anonymous, The Roman Catholic Church, and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services are dismissed as evil, money grubbing, incompetent saboteurs.”

The reader was correct about the bizarre assertions on Baldwin’s site. But  there is no evidence that actually links Baldwin Research Institute or St. Jude to either Narconon or Scientology.

Co-founder Response

In reaction to this controversy, Gerald J. Brown, co-founder of Baldwin Research Institute and its Retreats created a webpage. 

He stated there that “Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., Saint Jude Retreats and Saint Jude Home Program has never been, nor will it ever be, in any way, associated with or to be supportive of the Church of Scientology, Narconon and/or L. Ron Hubbard regardless of the innuendoes and misleading and baseless defamation posted on”

That is an authoritative and definitive statement by one of the co-founders of the Baldwin Research Institute and St. Jude Retreats. In addition, there is no evidence to the contrary on the website. 

Therefore, it appears that this matter is a non-issue. There is no reason for anyone to avoid the St. Jude Retreats simply because of concerns that they are related to either Narconon or the Church of Scientology.

Alcohol and drug rehabs should be evaluated on the basis of fact, not rumor. Ask these questions about possible rehabs.

    1. Are the rehabs fully accredited?
    2. Are they licensed to provide on-site detox?
    3. Do their staffs have medical and other advanced degrees?
    4. Are they able to receive health insurance payments?

These are the types of questions to ask about any program for alcohol and drug problems.



Learn more about choosing a rehab.

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