23 Years Ago Today, Pius Keel Left Narconon and Threw Himself Under a Train

Rest In Peace
Pius Keel
1968 – September 14, 1990

We don’t know much about Pius Keel, but we do know his was another Narconon-related death that shouldn’t have happened. All that we know comes from a brief paragraph in an article in Der Spiegel from 1991, called (translated) Junkies In, Alkies Out (see Bob Lobsinger’s English translation), and some other miscellaneous info we can derive from other sources. But just because we don’t know much about him doesn’t mean we can’t think of him today and honor his memory with a short article.

He’s been dead now for longer than he lived.

22 years old, and an avid scientologist, Pius had accumulated deep debt as a member of the “Church”. He ended up at Narconon in Bavaria, which was operating out of a former children’s home with room for 40 clients on picturesque Lake Schliersee, about 50 kilometers south of Munich.


I gather from the Der Spiegel article, although I am not certain, that he had turned to heroin out of desperation about his financial situation. Not long after arriving at Narconon, he complained to his mother about the “barefaced swindle” and told her “Narconon is only about money.”

Then, on September 14, 1990, after less than two months at Narconon, Pius packed his things and left Schliersee with his duffel bag and headed for the train station in the neighboring town of Neuhaus. When he arrived, he threw himself under a train and was killed, an apparent suicide, and another tragic and unnecessary death.

Condolences to any who knew and loved him.

The president of Narconon Schliersee during that period of time (October 25, 1988 – February 5, 1992) was later convicted of 200 individual cases of the practice of medicine without a license. At the time of the trial, in 1995, he had resigned from Narconon, had no association with the “Church” of Scientology, and was working with the German Red Cross in Berlin.

Our German readers can find out more about Narconon in Germany from Ingo Heinemann.

We’ll have the Weekend Narconon News Roundup for you tomorow.

M e m o s

Write a memo

  1. Mary McConnell From the Desk of...
    Mary McConnell

    Very sad story. Thanks for reminding of the loss of Pius Keel. How Narconon did not help him as promised.

    • Ann From the Desk of...

      It is sad, especially when you realize that he was trying to solve problems caused by scientology (financial, then drugs) with scientology. This type of thinking seems to happen a lot, if you read any of the ex-member boards and blogs.

  2. From the Desk of...

    a) Pius: a rare name in Germany, mostly used by catholic families, it means “god-fearing”
    b) actually Pius is latin and many Popes and churches were named “Pius”
    c) hopefully the name means something and Pius Keel is watching from heaven how Narconon will be shut down….let there be justice…

    • Ann From the Desk of...

      Thank you, Ellen, for the additional information. I would like to think Pius Keel would approve of all the efforts being made to shut Narconon and all its clones (Best Drug Rehab, A Forever Recovery, Pur Detox, etc.) down.

      Justice, what a beautiful word.

Leave a Reply to Ann Cancel reply

From the Desk of...

Notify me when new comments are added.