Former scientologists have highlighted the risks of a controversial detox treatment as plans for a centre in Co. Meath are being fought by locals.
The Narcanon Trust plan to open a 56-bed centre in Co. Meath, but residents in the area have been protesting the idea.
According to the Irish Mirror, the organisation - which promotes the theories of science fiction writer founder L Ron Hubbard - has close links with scientology.
One of the theories promoted by the organisation is Hubbard's 'Purification Rundown' to remove toxins from the body.
This involves consuming a high-dose cocktail of vitamins and them cooking in a sauna for up to five hours. This controversial method has already been outlawed in Oklahoma in the US.
John McGhee, an Offaly-based embalmer, who spent three years in the cult, warned of the dangers posed if the rehabilitation centre in Meath goes ahead.
He told the Irish Mirror: "This centre will be a recruitment tool for Scientology, nothing else. It offers no cure for anything."
"They prey on the vulnerable and there is no medical basis for this treatment."
"It’s their fix all for everything - autism, low IQ, you name it - but it can cause permanent damage or prove fatal."
"If it’s offered to a drug addict whose liver or immune system is compromised they could end up with permanent organ damage. It can even result in death."
Another man, John (38), joined scientology in 2006 before leaving just three years later.
According to the publication, he was attracted in by the promise of working through a series of steps to enlightenment known as the 'Bridge to Total Freedom'.
He said: "They sold it to me for €1,700 and said it was to rid my body of toxins."
"You take huge doses of Niacin and when you start glowing red in the sauna they tell you that is the radiation coming out of your body."
John reportedly left after witnessing another scientologist having a mental breakdown during an intense punishing ‘survival’ auditing programme.
Another ex-scientologist, Pete Griffiths from Mayo, underwent the Purification Rundown in 1987.
He said: "I was on it for 21 days and had a lot of physical side effects."
He added: "What they’re doing now has not changed one bit from what they were doing 30 years ago."