Anti-Scientology campaign group Anonymous, and some blogs, are airing accusations that Scientologist Kirstie Alley's new weight loss program, Organic Liaison, is based on quackery preached by L. Ron Hubbard, and that the company has links to the 'church'.
Alley, who is herself still not at her stated target weight of 140 lbs, has been shilling for her new venture on Oprah, and it features heavily (pun intended) in her upcoming A&E reality series, Kirstie Alley's Big Life (pun intended there too, we're sure).
Anonymous have found links between Organic Liaison LLC and Scientology — the firm's accountant, Saul B Lipson, is a known Scientologist whose company is approved by the church and based near its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Along with utter quacks like Hollywood mystical doctor Soram Khalsa, the board features Michelle Seward, an active Scientologist.
While this is not enough to support Anonymous' claim that money from Organic Liaison will be channeled directly into the church, it does lend credence to the assertion that the program itself is, to some extent, based on a Scientology plan called the purification rundown. This was prescribed by L. Ron Hubbard himself, but criticized for being at best bullshit that claims to detox through vitamins, minerals, drinking vegetable oil and sitting in saunas, and at worst dangerous. As it is part of the Narconon program, that Alley has said helped her break a cocaine addiction, it is fairly safe to presume she has been through it.
Organic Liaison offers to combine an organic food diet with "organic and natural diet supplements that replenish your body with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients without the pangs of starvation or cravings you may have felt on other diet plans."
It's certainly priced like a Scientology scam. Membership costs $10 per month, or $89 for a year, and the package of supplements, called Rescue Me, is a whopping $139 per month. One you've ordered the kit, it auto-ships and bills your card again every month until you stop it. The kit contains three supplements, Rescue Me (claimed detox and appetite suppresser), Release Me (claimed relaxant) and Nightingale (claimed sleep aid), featuring many cheaply-available vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs and aids like vitamin C, folic acid, L-Tryptophan, fiber, green tea, calcium and magnesium.
The company also offers other supplements — notably Relieve Me, an anti-constipation supplement that Anonymous claim is related to Cal-Mag, a noxious-sounding dietary liquid developed by Hubbard that contains calcium, magnesium, vinegar and hot water. And that led some of those church members forced to drink it to, um, relieve themselves.
The evidence, while suggestive, is by no means conclusive. What is safe to say is that thousands, millions even, of people will be over-paying for unproven herbal supplements combined with a common-sense diet. We'll do some of our own digging into Organic Liaision, and its connection to Scientology, and see if it comes back Clear.