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Scientology hit with 25th lawsuit by Las Vegas attorney as he goes after Florida rehab

Fred_BiletnikoffRyan Hamilton has now filed his 25th lawsuit against the Church of Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon, and this time he’s opened up a new front — in the state of Florida.

Hamilton began filing his lawsuits in February, and limited them to cases in California, Nevada, and Colorado. They follow a pattern which grew more robust over the year — they accuse Narconon of running a deceptive scam that advertises drug counseling and instead delivers Scientology training.

Hamilton this week filed a federal fraud lawsuit against Narconon Gulf Coast in the Florida panhandle town of Destin. The facility recently changed its name to “Blu by the Sea,” one of numerous name changes by Scientology rehab centers as they try to get away from the embattled name “Narconon.”

Hamilton and a local attorney, Jeffrey M. Stephens, filed the suit on behalf of Florida resident Lucy Guidotti. The complaint says that Guidotti was looking for information on rehab facilities in March 2013 when she ran across a website named that made several claims: Its facility had a better than 90 percent success rate, its sauna program could eliminate drug cravings, and patients received individualized drug counseling. (In other words, the usual pitch from Narconon centers.)

When Lucy called, she was told by Deborah Ross and her son Christopher that the rehab center employed “highly-trained specialists” with “degrees in psychiatry.” (For a place associated with the virulently anti-psychiatry Scientology, that’s a pretty surprising claim.) Guidotti was also told she’d be under supervision of medical professionals. Based on those promises, she paid $40,000 up front for treatment.

Like others who go to Narconon, Guidotti soon found that those promises had little to do with what actually goes on at Narconon. Instead, she received Scientology training and Scientology’s unscientific theories about its sauna program…

Narconon’s rationale for the sauna program is that residue of many different types of drug remain in the body’s fatty tissue long after use. The drug residue is released from the fatty tissue from time-to-time into the bloodstream causing the individual to crave the drug, and, ultimately, relapse. Gulf Coast represented to Lucy that its sauna program would flush residual drug toxins out of her system and thereby reduce or eliminate the drug cravings the residue causes.

Hamilton then includes evidence from other lawsuits that show Narconon is aware that its theories are unscientific and that their claims are deceptive, but that it’s part of Scientology’s attempts to recruit new members.

Lucy was forced to leave the Gulf Coast program early because of health problems the sauna program, i.e., the Purification Rundown was causing her. She received none of the treatment she had been promised and for which she had paid more than $40,000.00. Lucy continues dealing with physical and emotional problems due to her time at Gulf Coast.

Here’s the complaint…


Guidotti v. Narconon: Complaint

In other Ryan Hamilton news, there’s been a lot of court action as judges around the country react to his attempt to consolidate the cases in one federal courthouse in Nevada. There have been many decisions whether or not to stay cases while that works out, and other matters, and most of them aren’t worth singling out at the moment. But two court orders we are going to note: One that went against Hamilton and one that went for him.

In the Brown lawsuit, federal Judge Michael Anello granted Narconon’s motion to dismiss the claim Hamilton had made based on the Federal Wiretap Act. (Narconon had recorded two phone calls made by the plaintiff, Sherri Brown, without her consent.) Although the judge dismissed this claim, he didn’t rule on the lawsuit’s other claims, which are based on state law. So Hamilton will be able to refile the lawsuit in state court, and our legal experts expect that he will.

In the Tarr case, however, Narconon’s motion to dismiss was denied, including Narconon’s objection to Hamilton’s claim for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Judge Gloria M. Navarro found that each of the lawsuit’s claims were stated sufficiently that they could be presented to a jury. And her words about the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim should be a pretty scary wake-up call for Scientology in these lawsuits going forward…

In the instant case, Plaintiffs allege that Narconon deliberately sought out individuals who were suffering from drug addictions and deceived their families into enrolling them in a false “drug rehabilitation program” which, in actuality, existed for the sole purpose of converting these individuals to Scientology when they were most vulnerable. While it remains a question of fact to be resolved by the jury, the Court finds that a reasonable person could certainly conclude that it was “outside all possible bounds of decency” for Narconon to attempt to indoctrinate Michael Tarr into the Church of Scientology in lieu of helping him overcome his heroin addiction. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that Narconon’s conduct was extreme and outrageous.

Now that’s a judge who gets it.


Judge Whittemore to Scientology: No, you can’t keep Mike Rinder out

Early in January, Luis and Rocio Garcia will get a chance to depose Scientology’s “International Justice Chief” Mike Ellis in their federal fraud lawsuit against the church, in preparation for a February 18 mini-trial at the Tampa federal courthouse.

Scientology had hoped to bar former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, who has been working as a consultant and expert witness for the Garcias, from that deposition.

But Judge James D. Whittemore shows once again that he’s a stickler for detail as he denies Scientology’s request on what looks like purely procedural minutiae. Well, whatever the reason, the point is Rinder will get a chance to help out the Garcia legal team as they try to take apart Ellis under oath.


Scientology’s 2014 in review: March saw the return of ‘Bare-Faced Messiah’

Russel_Miller2We hope you’re enjoying the holiday season as we continue our countdown of this year’s most interesting stories at the Underground Bunker.

As March began, John Travolta gave us a treat during the Oscars broadcast by badly mangling Idina Menzel’s name so that it came out “Adele Dazeem.”

“‘Idina Menzel’ must translate into something else in Thetan,” the Hollywood Reporter quipped.

Tired of clueless media interviews of Scientology celebrities, on March 10 we tried to educate fellow journalists about how to retrieve a church member’s history of courses — which should have led to better questions for Elisabeth Moss, for example.

On March 11, we reported that Judge Ronald Sohigian had decided to retire, which threw something of a monkey wrench into Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced abortion lawsuit. Several judge changes later, and the civil trial in her suit is finally scheduled for December 7, 2015.

Two days later, we had a big announcement: Silvertail Books was republishing Russell Miller’s 1987 biography of L. Ron Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah, for our money the single best book ever written on Scientology. And to mark the occasion, we had an interview with Miller himself.

On March 14, we learned that Comal County, Texas Judge Dib Waldrip had denied Scientology’s ‘anti-SLAPP’ motion in Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against the church. This was a big victory for Monique, but the church appealed, and we’re still waiting to hear if the Texas Third Court of Appeals is going to uphold Judge Waldrip’s decision.

Meanwhile, our series about Scientology’s secret ‘technology’ — “Up the Bridge” — continued, and by March 19 we’d reached New Operating Thetan Level Seven. Yes, we know we’re still one final installment short to finish the series, and we hope to have it soon.

On March 25 we learned that Vance Woodward was suing Scientology over his experiences as a member for more than 20 years. His suit was eventually dismissed later in the year, but he’s filed a motion to reconsider and hasn’t given up yet.

It was also in March when we learned the pretty amazing story of Jillian Schlesinger, who had literally had to escape from Scientology’s Sea Org, and then was talking publicly only weeks later. She told us her escape tale, and it was riveting.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2013: We had fun with SMERSH Madness. We leaked Sea Org life histories. Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith lost his professional certification.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 23, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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  • Todd Tomorrow
  • Guest

    Voting is still open if anyone wants to help Roslyn Cohn’s show DifiCult to Leave move into the #1 spot.
    I think she gives the best explanation of why this is a noble cause below. IMHO, her show is far more original and meaningful than Chita Rivera’s.

  • Snippy_X

    Voting is still open if anyone wants to help Roslyn Cohn’s show DifiCult to Leave move into the #1 spot.
    I think she gives the best explanation of why this is a noble cause below. IMHO, her show is far more original and meaningful than Chita Rivera’s.

  • Wow. Ryan Hamilton was Fred Biletnikoff in his past life? Cool!

    • Captain Howdy

      I was just going to explain to the kids who the incomparable Fred Biletnikoff is and that he is considered one of one greatest wide receivers of all time and accomplished this at a time when receivers didn’t have all the theetie wheetie rules protecting their prima donna arses like in today’s NFL. Fred was a true warrior

      • Jimmy3

        He used crazy amounts of Stickum before they banned it, though. Someone once quipped that a football would stick to Fred’s forearm.

      • Don’t forget Fred’s secret weapon–stickum.

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +–+Notice +–+ RED X

    For those who do not have much time but would like to send a message to JJ (James) in Boston and Tony Chen here are the links for Sacramento Riverpark mission.

    JJ & Gregory in Boston also needs our special attention as they are starting spamming again, check them in the Regional list or in the Last 4 days

    Remember the RRT (Reboot router tech) as explained in the tips of the Last 4 Days
    tab on the RedX Google doc :

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +–+ RED X +–+RED X +–+ RED X *** Wednesday the 24th of December

    Good morning early birds and night owls,
    and a happy Holydays & Christmas to all the Bunkeroos and visitors.

    Since Tony Ortega posted about Mr. Chen there has been a renewed enthusiasm on flagging with very good results particularly in Tampa, Sacramento and SFBay….BUT …
    the clams are fighting back ahead of Thursday stats, maybe they are wishing for a nice & relax family Christmas.

    The updated score for yesterday is 160 new or refreshed ads bringing our Last 4 Days UP from 312 to 406 and the 7 days Regional List UP from 548 to 570

    RedX write up :
    RedX spreadsheet:

    DON’T route out, BLOW, Get HELP, get OUT. CALL 1-866-XSEAORG

    Warlord Biker by Michal Kus, enhanced by DodoTheLaser and flickred by Aegerprimo:

    • Eivol Ekdal

      cURL is a wonderful thing.

    • Graham

      Not seen “Have a Little Self-Respect” before. Aaagh! The irony, it burns, it burns!

      A gratifying number of blues are already flagged for removal.

      I’m off now to my aged mother’s, so shall be out of internet range for three or four days. You guys all be good whilst I’m away. Keep flagging, and HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!

  • Jimmy3

    A quick warning for those who would share seasonal greetings and well wishes: it is not safe to do so. There are covert agents on both sides of the War Against Christmas, and they are monitoring all of the internets. To remain neutral, try saying something like, “I wish you happiness in the upcoming days.” Or “I hope the events marked on your calendar are pleasant.”

    Be well. Eat, drink, laugh, love, and please, have a Merry Christmas good day.

    • Graham

      I always call Tuesday Tuesday, despite it being named after Tiw the God of War. Likewise Wednesday’s Woden, Thursday’s Thor, and Friday’s Frig (Appropriately the Goddess of Love and Fertility). Similarly January’s named after the Roman god Janus and several of the other months are named after gods or god-emperors. I don’t worship any of them, and similarly I don’t really think calling Christmas Christmas makes me a Christian. So Merry Christmas from an apatheist.

      • Jimmy3

        You must not have Fox News, and that is quite a gift. Merry Christmas.

        • Dolly Jones

          I thought I heard Bill o’Reilly say that the “War on Christmas” had been won. HA HA.

          Merry Xmas all 🙂

          • Robert Eckert

            The War on Christmas will continue until Christmas ceases its aggressions against Thanksgiving and Halloween, ends its illegal occupation of November, and withdraws to the Black Friday line!

            • Dolly Jones

              Merry Crimbo Robert 😉

            • Robert Eckert

              And a happy new year to you!

      • 0tessa

        Happy Yuletide!

  • TheMirrorThetan

    It’s going to be Christmas Day here in less than an hour and a half so I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year except for a certain tiny tyrant who I wish would dry up and turn to dust like the annoying useless cow pat he is.
    Iam such a party animal that on Xmas eve Iam sitting here browsing the Internets eating Strawberries and Lobster 🙂
    Anyway, I’m raving on so Merry Xmas to everyone and lets hope next year brings down The Tiny Turd and his enablers, once and for all.

  • alxj

    Even the church staff have no idea of who their top management really
    are despite the fact the church is supposed to raise the spiritual
    awareness of the public. This is a real sad joke!! Please read