Once again, the details are similar to the other suits. For years, the “Narconon” rehab network has been telling people that it delivers drug counseling when it actually has patients go through Scientology training and also subjects them to an unscientific sauna-and-vitamins regimen.
One of the first suits that Hamilton filed faced a motion to dismiss (Scientology complained that it was “too detailed”), but the suit survived that motion. Hamilton clearly is confident that he’s hit on a winning formula against the church’s rehab system.
In this lawsuit, Lori Winchell complains that she was deceived by Narconon when she went looking for a treatment center for her son, Ryan, in June 2012.
She spoke to an intake counselor at Rainbow Canyon Retreat who made the usual misleading promises about the Narconon network — that her son would receive drug counseling under the care of medical personnel, for example. She was also told the usual line about Narconon having a 76-percent success rate. And she was told that the program’s “New Life Detoxification Program” — a regimen of sauna use and vitamins — had a scientific basis.
Lori was asked to pay $32,500 for her son’s treatment, but she didn’t have that much money. She was told to take out new credit cards to raise the money.
Once her son went to Rainbow Canyon Retreat, he found what other “students” there do — that instead of drug counseling, patients receive Scientology training instead, and delivered by staff members who are for the most part former patients. There are no licensed medical personnel on hand.
Hamilton refers to previous lawsuits, which brought out testimony that Narconon’s program is unscientific and even potentially dangerous.
Ryan escaped from Fresh Start on foot in the Summer of , walking eight miles in the summer heat from Fresh Start’s remote facility to Caliente, Nevada. He was forced to drink from streams to avoid dehydration. Ryan has suffered both serious physical and mental injuries from his participation in the treatment program at Fresh Start.
Here’s the complaint…
By our count, that’s eleven federal fraud lawsuits Hamilton has filed against Narconon in California, Nevada, and Colorado.
Angelo Amato (San Diego)
Christy Estrada and Branden Chavez (San Diego)
Cathy and Michael Tarr (Nevada)
Harry and Lauren Geanacopulos (Nevada)
David, Stacy, and Jack Welch (Nevada)
Bryan and Nikki Mott (Colorado)
Charles and Tyler Matthys, and Linda Phillips (Colorado)
Kenneth and Jered Mowery (Watsonville, CA)
Robin Jones, James Ramirez Sr. and Jr. (Watsonville, CA)
Charis Yates, Beret and Dean Pugh (Nevada)
Posted by Tony Ortega on June 2, 2014 at 07:00
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