Purification Rundown

The Purification Rundown is a program of exercise (usually running), many hours of heat exposure in a sauna, and high doses of vitamins, especially niacin. Scientology claims it purifies and detoxifies the body by removing drug residues from fatty tissues.

As reported in the Toronto Star, a nearly identical program is used at Narconon facilities (Narconon is a Scientology-based drug treatment program) and a Toronto health clinic:

A controversial "purification" regime used by the Church of Scientology to advance members' spiritual enlightenment is also being used by Narconon, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, and is being offered at a Toronto health clinic.

The "Purification Rundown" used by Narconon and the Lafayette Health Centre uses large vitamin dosages, exercise and long hours in the sauna to "cleanse" the body of accumulated impurities, according to Narconon officials and the health centre's director.

Costs of the treatment offered at Narconon can range up $6,000, and the way in which it is used has come under the scrutiny of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A leading Toronto nutritionist told The Star there is "no evidence in scientific literature" that the program can actually rid tissues of residual chemicals or toxins.

- Lindsay Scotton, "Scientology 'purification' rite used by anti-addiction centres", The Toronto Star, June 14, 1986

The Purification Rundown is an introductory service, recommended to beginning Scientologists and heavily promoted in magazines from Scientology organizations. It is a required prerequisite to some other Scientology services, such as NOTS.

Service Type: 
Approximate Cost: 
- $1,800
Descriptions from Scientology Publications: 

The copyright page of What Is Scientology? includes a disclaimer:

The Purification program cannot be construed as a recommendation of medical treatment or medication and it is not professed as a physical handling for bodies nor is any claim made to that effect.

However, as the Los Angeles Times reported in 1990,

In the Church of Scientology, the treatment is called the “purification rundown.” Church members are told it is a religious program that, for about $2,000, will purify the body and spirit. In the secular arena, however, Scientologists are promoting it exclusively as a medical treatment with no spiritual underpinnings. In that context, it is simply called the “Hubbard Method.”

The treatment is being aggressively pushed in the non-Scientology world by two organizations that sometimes work alone and sometimes in tandem. They have no formal church ties but both are controlled by church members.


[these organizations] have worked particularly hard to tap one large pool of potential clients: firefighters. The Hubbard method has been pitched to them as a cure for exposure to a carcinogen sometimes encountered during fires. Known as PCBs, the now-banned chemical compound was once widely used to insulate transformers.

- Robert W. Welkos and Joel Sappell, Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science, Los Angeles Times, June 27, 1990


the Purification Rundown is a carefully designed combination of exercise, vitamins, nutrition and sauna use which dislodges drug residues and other toxins from the fatty tissues so that these substances can then be eliminated from the body.

What Is Scientology?