By Ken Stone
Is former San Diego State football great Marshall Faulk promoting a Scientology front group?
That’s the question raised by Tony Ortega, a critic of the L. Ron Hubbard-founded religion, after Faulk appeared Thursday on “Fox & Friends” and a sports talk radio and TV show.
“NFL Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk handed Scientology its most visible public boost in a long time yesterday by appearing on the Fox News morning program “Fox & Friends” to plug the Church of Scientology’s front group Foundation for a Drug-Free World ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl game,” Ortega said Friday in a blog post.
Ortega, a longtime journalist who has become one of the Los Angeles-based church’s fiercest foes, ran a transcript of Faulk’s chat with Brian Kilmeade.
“Let’s talk about your partnership,” Kilmeade says. “You’re partnering with the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.”
Faulk says “yes” and goes on to describe his goal as “just educating people. … If you’re an adult and want to indulge, understand what it is that you are doing when you’re indulging in something.”
Scientology’s Twitter feed jumped on its latest celebrity spokesman, calling the Faulk segment as “THE SUPER BOWL CHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT!”
🏈THE SUPER BOWL CHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT! NFL Hall of Famer & former Rams running back Marshall Faulk shares his #SuperBowl pick and commitment to keeping kids off drugs.
— Scientology (@Scientology) February 1, 2019
Former Rams Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk makes his Super Bowl prediction on ‘Fox & Friends’ as his old team faces off against the Patriots.
Watch his drug-free message in support of our foundation.https://t.co/7IAxsNliyb#drugfreeworld #superbowl #superbowl53 pic.twitter.com/vW1OQd2QoP
— Drug Free World (@drugfreeworld) January 31, 2019
Faulk also spoke with Gabe Morency on the radio/TV show “The Morning After” on Fantasy Sports Network, which saw Faulk say: “Our youth and the kids are underinformed. … This is information on how drugs affect the human body.”
Morency interrupts and says: “Check out DrugFreeWorld.org” and puts up a slide of stats.
Later he calls Drug-Free World “the largest nongovernmental anti-drug information and prevention program in the country. … Over half a million booklets being distributed at this year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta and surrounding area.”
On YouTube, commenters pounced.
One called the Drug Free World Foundation a Scientology cult front group.
“They give statistics about how many booklets they give out – so? How many booklets does the Red Cross give out? Health Department? That is a sad measure of success because that is all they have.”
Hubbard’s book “Dianetics” is quoted: “Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree to which they are taken determines the effect.”
Another commenter said: “Shame on Faulk for shilling for them. There is a reason the medical association called their methods ‘quackery.'”
Ortega later told Times of San Diego: “My readers pointed out to me that Faulk was a longtime commenter on the NFL Network — in other words, had a nice, cushy job — until he was forced out over sexual harassment allegations last year.”
The Underground Bunker blogger also said via email that Scientology loves to approach people when they’re in a vulnerable spot.
“It’s really sad if Faulk got involved with Scientology as a way to find his path back from losing his job,” Ortega said.
Friday morning, Times of San Diego wrote Faulk through his website and reached out to Scientology and Morency for comment. They didn’t respond.
On its website, the Los Angeles-based DrugFreeWorld.org says: “The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a non-profit, international drug education program proudly sponsored by the Church of Scientology and Scientologists all over the world.”
Updated at 11:20 p.m. Feb. 2, 2019
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: