In September 2014, we told you about a lawsuit against a Scientology “Narconon” drug rehab facility in Florida that was filed by a New York couple, Heidi and Nathaniel Gore. At that time, the lawsuit had survived a challenge by Narconon’s attorneys, who said it didn’t make sense for the Florida rehab to be sued in a New York court.
Here’s what we said about it then…
They were convinced to send their family member to a Narconon center in Destin, Florida, but first they were asked to deposit $40,000 to “save a spot” for the patient. They did so, using their American Express card.
But then, after dropping off their relative, they learned the truth — that the program isn’t about drug counseling, it’s about giving patients Scientology training.
Upset, the Gores confronted a Narconon employee who told them the patient could leave and the fee would be pro-rated.
The patient did leave just two days after arriving, but the Gores couldn’t get their money back.
Responding to their lawsuit, the church filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the Gores couldn’t sue in New York state court because the site of their so-called injury was in Florida. But Judge Carol R. Edmead disagreed — evidence showed that the Gores had paid the $40,000 from their American Express card while they were in New York, not Florida.
We’re bringing it up again because just a few days ago, Judge Edmead set the case for trial in her New York court, and the date is coming up fast — April 7.
Also, the Gores were asking for sanctions against the defendants, and they were making some pretty interesting allegations. They say that the owners of the particular Florida franchise they are suing dropped out of Scientology’s Narconon network in October 2013 and as a result were then instructed by the licensing company, Narconon International, to burn everything that said “Narconon” on it in a fire. That was the defendant’s explanation, anyway, for why they couldn’t respond to certain requests for information about Narconon and its ties to Scientology.
Wow. We’ve been reporting about how Narconon is going up in a ball of flame in the last few years, but we didn’t mean it literally.
There’s more we’d like to learn about this case, especially with an actual trial coming up so fast, and in our backyard. Narconon lawsuits, which have proliferated like mushrooms after a summer rain in the last few years, always settle, and we’ve never known one to go to trial. But we haven’t had a lot of time to peruse these court documents. We’re just going to post them and let you dig through them for interesting nuggets.
Our impression is that the key issue in this lawsuit is can the Gores prove that the Narconon hid its connection to Scientology until their loved one arrived at the facility. We sure hope their attorney has been paying attention to the pleadings and evidence in the many suits filed by Ryan Hamilton and Jon Little, which lay out plenty of evidence for how Scientology really runs these facilities but obscures that connection to fool potential clients.
Here are the documents, please give us your thoughts on them…
In this first document, Judge Edmead discusses some of the history of the case, and the reasons for why she didn’t award sanctions to the Gores, despite the squirrely way the Narconon defendants reacted to instructions to turn over documents.
— Here’s the argument against sanctions by Narconon Gulf Coast’s attorney, Dennis Houdek.
— Countering that, here was the argument by the Gores for why sanctions should have been awarded.
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BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
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