Church of Scientology seeking to open drug rehab facility in Frederick County
Neighbors in a Maryland community are saying "not in my backyard" to a proposed drug treatment facility. The Church of Scientology wants to use a historic lodge in Thurmont as a place to cure people with addictions.
Not far from Camp David in Maryland, you will find Trout Run.
"It has a lot of history," said Chuck Farmer
He used to work at the 40-acre site long after presidents like Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower used to fish here.
But Trout Run's future now has Farmer concerned. The Church of Scientology bought the property and has plans to open drug treatment facility called Narconon.
Scientology is no stranger to critics, but they are facing a different fight here over wanting to renovate a property they already own in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.
"It's the wrong place to have a facility like that," said Stan Mordensky.
Facing opposition to the drug treatment facility and any changes to the property, Frederick County's council on Tuesday postponed a vote to give Scientology a historic designation for the site.
But for their part, the Church of Scientology will tell you whether or not you agree or disagree with their religion, they say they only have two goals here -- to treat people with drug problems and preserve the historic nature of this place.
"Narconon is a secular program that uses the technology of L. Ron Hubbard to help people get off drugs," said Sylvia Stanard, deputy director for the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office.
Scientology's D.C. office is a restored mansion where the walls are lined with shots of buildings the church has restored around the world. Stanard says like them or not, Scientology is experienced in restoring old buildings.
"We really like to bring that beauty out, so we want to keep those buildings and renovate them, bring them back to their original beauty," she said.