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Scientology’s Narconon rehabs haven’t changed in the least, even after dozens of lawsuits

[Joseph Dahdah]

Rod Keller keeps a close watch on Scientology’s front groups, and this week gives us another report on the church’s drug rehab network, Narconon…

The Narconon drug rehab facility in Fort Collins, Colorado is known as “A Life Worth Saving.” The former Diamond Crest Assisted Living center was purchased by Narconon in 2008, and the center offers the Scientology program of saunas, megadoses of vitamins, and “TRs” or “training routines.” In 2014 attorney Ryan Hamilton sued the facility on behalf of patients Tyler Mathys and Nikki Mott, claiming that the facility doesn’t provide actual treatment for drug addiction, and that it caused psychological injuries. (The suit was later settled.) No deaths have been reported at the facility, unlike others in the Narconon system.

Baltimore resident Joseph Dahdah attended the facility briefly in 2015, and his experience suggests that even after years of patient deaths, government investigations, and dozens of lawsuits, the rehabs are still operating with almost no change at all. I spoke with him and his mother Christine this week and they described the experience.

 

[A Life Worth Saving’s campus]

 
Five years ago Joseph started doing Oxycontin then moved on to heroin. “We sent him to Father Martin Ashley center in [Havre de Grace] Maryland,” says Christine. “He did a 30 day rehab, came home and shortly after that relapsed. He did Kolmac, which is an outpatient program through Shepherd Pratt [hospital in Towson, Maryland]. He relapsed. We then were terrified and desperate, and I went online and found this program. The person I spoke to told me about his previous drug use, and how they went to this Narconon of Fresh Start in Colorado. I thought it was a good idea to get him out of Baltimore because we’re the heroin capital of the country.”

 

[Dan Carmichael]

 
The referral line put Christine in touch with Narconon staff member Dan Carmichael. “He called every day, and I told him I’m reading on the Internet that you are Scientologists. He said they were not Scientologists, and they had a great program. My son would be outdoors and hiking and getting a lot of exercise.” She was still unsure about the program until she received a call from a different Narconon staff member, Josh Penn.

 

[Josh Penn]

 
“He called and told me his story that he had been to 11 different rehabs and this one was the only one that worked. And we were desperate, and Narconon wasn’t covered by insurance so we sent them $31,000.”

Joseph arrived at Narconon A Life Worth Saving in 2015. He soon told his mother he wanted to leave. “He said I can’t stay here. There’s not enough food. They send out for pizza or subs every day. There’s not enough milk for cereal in the morning. It’s dirty, they don’t clean anything. It’s run by a bunch of former drug addicts who don’t know anything.”

Joseph says, “People were catching rides to Denver to get high, then coming back with drugs. Some of the staff were having sex with the patients.” (Similar allegations of drug use and sex-for-drugs were made in lawsuits at various Narconon facilities in the last few years.) The staff confiscated a Bible sent to Joseph by his grandmother. He also says the staff would wake him up in the middle of the night to ask, “Who sent you here?” The staff suspected him of being a spy sent to investigate the Scientology nature of Narconon. “Mom, I can’t talk to an ashtray for five hours a day,” Joseph told Christine.

 

[Patients at Narconon Turkey perform TR-8]

 
Commanding an ashtray to stand up or sit down is part of the Scientology process known as TR-8: Tone 40 on an Object. Narconon patients perform many such training routines during their treatment. Narconon hires former patients directly into the same facility to become staff members with little or no training in substance abuse or recovery.

 

[Fort Collins Rescue Mission]

 
Joseph’s stay at A Life Worth Saving was not long. Within two weeks he had been kicked out and the staff dropped off at a homeless shelter. The operator of the shelter told Christine, “We see people here all the time from that place.” He had a staph infection on his arms that he received from his roommate. The roommate had been sent to Narconon on antibiotics, but they were taken from him. His arms were horribly scarred that “looked like he had been in a fire,” says Christine. Narconon Colorado told her, “Your son is a liar and has a bad attitude.” And she says she replied, “Yes, that’s why we sent him there.” Narconon replied that if they were so bad, they wouldn’t still be operating, and that they send people into schools to do drug education programs and are well respected in the community.

Christine says she contacted the police. “They said they didn’t have any complaints about Narconon Colorado,” she says. But this is not true. The Fort Collins Police Department has records from 2008-2013 of a variety of incidents at the facility.

“We feel like we were scammed into sending money to an organization that was not what they said they were. We spoke to a few lawyers, and they said they were overwhelmed with clients from Narconon. They have cases where people died, or had more severe problems as a result of their stay, and they don’t have the money to take on all the cases that they would like to.”

Since coming back to Baltimore Joseph has relapsed several times. He is now in an outpatient program that uses Suboxone, a drug used to treat patients with an addiction to opioids. He lives with his family, who are making sure he takes his meds and make him account for any money he makes. Christine says she will keep working to help her son, but regrets involving him in Scientology and Narconon.

 
— Rod Keller

 
——————–

More charming Danny Masterson news

In an update to our story on Friday about Danny Masterson being investigated by the LAPD in three separate cases of sexual assault (for which Masterson has not been charged, and which he denies), we learned that before he was “DJ Mom Jeans” Masterson went by the name of “DJ Donkey Punch.” (And the slang definition of “Donkey Punch” is especially interesting, given the specific nature of the allegations that are spelled out in the two police reports we made public Friday.)

Well, it turns out that he has used another DJ name, which was memorialized by Getty Images, when it took this picture of Masterson in 2006. At that time, he was going by “DJ Donkey Pizzle,” with “pizzle” being another word for penis. The guy is such a charmer, isn’t he?

 
Here’s the caption that Getty Images includes: “Actor Eric Balfour speaks with DJ Donkey Pizzle, a.k.a. Danny Masterson, at the launch of Ben Sherman’s first official U.S. Flagship Store on March 30, 2006 in New York City.”

 
——————–

 
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,682 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,785 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,279 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,319 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,031 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 498 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,616 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,786 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,106 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,081 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 437 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,739 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 846 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,248 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,121 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 702 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,207 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,451 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,560 days.

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on March 5, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

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

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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  • CK

    Congrats on being name dropped in Yahoo. Also, I’ll never look at Steven Hyde the same way again. More good news for an org claiming to better the world.

    • Taffy Sinclair

      Didn’t you know? They’re the MOST ethical group. On the planet!!

  • JJ

    On the discussion of names for Danny? “DJ The World Is My Frat Party”?

    • Missionary Kid

      Naw, ne never made it to college, I believe.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    I enjoyed comparing “The Arrangement ” with the crazy CO$ world of Tom Cruise. I’ll be watching it again next week.

  • It never gets old, imho. Good wishes to all.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtZJiQSmJ9g

    • iampissed

      To you also my friend.

    • Rasha

      Very Koyaanisquatsi… just sayin’.

      • Rasha

        …very time.

      • Had to Wiki that. I suppose, you lovely weirdo. Learned something new.

        • Rasha

          #^_^#

  • Sir Hemet TC Burlwood, VIII

    FWIW, Sam Harris just recommended Leah’s Scientology series to his 760k followers, which I assume is in part to inoculate people from the virus that is Reza Aslan, who is reportedly normalizing Scientology in his CNN ‘Believer’ apologia.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      From the LA Times article about the show. regarding another cult leader: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-believer-reza-aslan-review-20170304-story.html

      Why does this remind me of LRH?
      “Even JeZus admits his theatrical displays – rants, flailing arms, word-salad revelations – are oftentimes a front: “If you can survive my narcissism, you can pass the test,” he says.”

      • Sir Hemet TC Burlwood, VIII

        Thanks for the link. Based on the quote, it sounds like JeZus might have a bit more self awareness than LRH.

        And that quote also applies to Aslan’s show: if you can survive his narcissism, you might enjoy the series.

        Aslan is a lightweight, intellectually dishonest poser. Although the reviewer is in error to refer to Aslan as a “religious scholar” she is correct in saying that his series is “…more about sensationalism than true discovery.”

  • John Prince

    Wishing a Speedy Recovery for Baby 💜💪

    • Taffy Sinclair

      Are you related to Jesse Prince?

      • John Prince

        No kin of mine..is he somebody I should be familiär with?

        • Missionary Kid

          Jesse is one of the executives who left $cientology, was subjected to fair game, and has beaten Cancer. He is also black, IIRC.

          • John Prince

            Oh, THAT Jessie Prince! ..thought the Name rang a Bell there💡

  • CK

    Don’t think you need $31,000 for a sauna, niacin overdose, or to starve. But Beck said it worked!

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      But Beck’s a loser, baby. Even he said so…

      • Taffy Sinclair

        So why don’t you kill him? (DISCLAIMER: song lyrics, not an actual suggestion)

        • CK

          Shaving your face with some mace in the dark may do the trick.

          • Taffy Sinclair

            Savin’ all your food stamps and burnin’ down the trailer park.

            🙂

            • CK

              Yo…cut it.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              ok, here goes……

              Soy un perdedor
              I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me?

            • CK

              “I’m a driver, I’m a winner. Things are gonna change, I can feel it.”

            • Taffy Sinclair

              But are you a drive-by body piercer? lol

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              A quote that comes from a film Beck did with some friends for shits and giggles when he was a nobody. Once he became a somebody, it actually got a limited release. Listen to how Beck describes it, starting at 1:08 (and make sure you stay tuned thru at least 1:50).

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSDx2jYGpWw&t=129s

            • Taffy Sinclair

              AHH!!! Thom Croose refernce. Anti, at that!

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              Yep. I’m guessing this is when Beck was still on his rumspringa.

            • Taffy Sinclair

              Sweet Amish refererence!!!

            • CK

              Although Beck’s been spending most his life living in a Scilon paradise.

            • CK

              Very interesting…and even more so with Beck’s commentary on fellow Scilon TC.

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              I think it’s a reference to Cruise’s race car driver character in Days of Thunder.

            • CK

              True, although we all saw Cruise’s “positive” attitudes come in full force 12 years or so ago.

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              Is that what that was? I just thought he lost his marbles.

            • CK

              So in a way, a bit of unintentional foreshadowing by Mr. Beck Hansen.

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              Pretty sure Beck had drifted away from the cult in the 90s–and Cruise had, too, for several years, at Kidman’s behest. But given where both those guys are today, it is a funny little bit of irony.

    • Taffy Sinclair

      But if you don’t do it, the evil “sikes” will keep you on prozac and xanax and you will become an invalid. I was told that by Snark-onon myself.

      Do you even know what Ritalin is??

    • And calcium in Cal Mag. My kidneys and teeth still feel funny about it.

    • Taffy Sinclair

      I took a bunch of niacin once..

      I had old sunburns “come out of me,,,” and all the crack I used to smoke?? Came outta my skin!!
      Oh, and let me tell you about the heroin!! Good times!!

      • CK

        All for naught if you couldn’t command an ashtray.

        • Taffy Sinclair

          I sure did try, tho…. 🚬

  • daisy

    Is John Oliver back?

    • Taffy Sinclair

      Who is John Oliver, Daisy?

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        He has a show on HBO.

        • Taffy Sinclair

          Cool, i’ll check it out

    • Liberated

      Yes

      • daisy

        Would you post it if you can later. I can never seem to find the whole show or recent clips on you tube. If it is too much trouble nevermind

  • Rasha

    ‘night Bunks. Here’s a bunch of instruments. Voices, ageless cello and composite-material violin.

    ass kicked. Just sayin’.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE2GCa-_nyU

    • Newiga

      Great cover!

    • Missionary Kid

      That looks like Bombay Beach, on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea. You can see the water in some of the shots and the mountains in others.

  • breezybubbles

    Are y’all watching The Arrangement tonight?

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Yes, I did.

      • breezybubbles

        I enjoyed the jargon speak tremendously. I’m interested to see how far they take the parallels.

        • Intergalactic Walrus

          That’s my reaction too. The guy is taller, better looking and decades younger but I can see him as Cruise. I was like – “Ooh he drives a motorcycle too (I was trying to see if it was a Ducati, LOL). “Ooh he has jet too.” And I was a little on edge waiting for the Miscavige character to go off big time on someone.

          • breezybubbles

            They came right out of the gate with the Shelley/David cheating theory setup, as well as trying to bring the ex therapist into the institute, which makes me think they might go pretty into it.
            Also I felt so bad for “Megan” during that motorcycle scene that’s some terrible risk of roadrash there.

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              Most unbelievable part? The 3 1/2 orgasms! If that was true, I think old Tom would still be married! :O

            • breezybubbles

              I laughed so hard at that part. “We’re gonna push a lot of libel limits here, but goddammit if we aren’t gonna be complimentary where we can be”

            • Intergalactic Walrus

              Yeah, throw him a bone, so to speak 😉

  • Sarah James

    To know that narCONon is business as usual makes me sick. How corupt, someone is being paid off.

    • CK

      Well, when the Scilon shit hits the fan, it’s always good to double down. That’s what any dying org would do.

    • Joe

      I think they’re just scared. They don’t want to be tailed by PI’s or sued so it’s just easier to look the other way.

  • Sam Harris is the author of the bestselling books, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction.

    https://twitter.com/SamHarrisOrg/status/838606372107235328

  • Juicer77

    Welcome, newbies and lurkers and under-the-radars. Today’s coffee flavor is hazelnut toffee, the tea is Assam. Help yourself. f5 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7c12bafe4655bf7059c0ea5f4be861180f94467da96f354902ca64d94d1585d1.jpg

  • Here is a link to the terminology in Scientology
    Disclaimer: Do not believe anything you read. (PG16)
    http://www.e-reading.club/bookreader.php/133981/Hubbard_-_Technical_Dictionary_of_Dianetics_and_Scientology.pdf

    • bixntram2

      I read the first couple of intro paragraphs and that’s all I’m going to read. It’s quite laughable, referring to all the “research” of Hubbard’s inane writings that was done in the name of accuracy. I love the reference to “his continued research,” as Hubbard researched absolutely nothing, never provided references and sources. How could he, with such a bunch of crap?

    • Ann B Watson

      Thank you Dice for the link about Scientology terminology. I get typing and sometimes forget what jargon I understand completely a newcomer here or never in could definitely be confused by my post. I did not have the info so I could tell them where to look the words up. Now I do. You are a sweetie….💛

      • Yeah… it’s been around for some time and i thought, why not give access to it. I usually post single definitions and people love it as it is so crazy! Glad you like it