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Scientology Drug Rehab Program’s Newest Victim: A New York 15-Year-Old

From the Rainbow Canyon website

From the Rainbow Canyon website

Scientology’s drug rehab facilities have been much in the news lately for several lawsuits that have questioned the way these “Narconon” programs treat adults who go to them seeking treatment for their addictions. Now, a Narconon center in Nevada is being sued by a family over the experiences of their fifteen-year-old.

On March 8, Mark and Nicole Peet, residents of upstate New York, sent their son to the Rainbow Canyon Retreat, a Narconon drug rehab center that relies on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The young man was back home by May 13. In the lawsuit they filed in Nevada on November 21, the Peets allege that their son (whose name we’re withholding because of his age) went through disturbing mistreatment at the hands of older patients, including “branding” him with a hot iron.

The Peets are suing to get back the $39,000 they paid Rainbow Canyon, and are also asking for punitive damages, alleging that their son was so affected by his experience at the facility, it led to his attempting suicide on September 5.

Yesterday, we spoke briefly with the Nevada attorney for the Peet family, Richard Sears, as well as the Peets themselves. Other than confirming that the lawsuit was genuine and active, they said the case was in a “sensitive” stage and didn’t want to elaborate on its allegations.

But there is much in the lawsuit itself that not only details the experiences of their son, but echo the allegations contained in other recent lawsuits against Narconon centers.

As we’ve established in the past, local Narconon centers play down their relationship to Scientology, and when pressed about it claim that they are independent of the church. But extensive records going back decades show how Scientology maintains control of the Narconon facilities through its elite Sea Org, which staffs Narconon’s umbrella organization, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE). And a former president of Narconon’s flagship operation in Oklahoma, Lucas Catton, has come forward not only explaining the level of control by Scientology, but also that Narconon’s program contains little drug counseling, and instead consists of the same training beginning church members go through in Scientology itself.

The Peet family was completely unaware of this when they sent their son to Rainbow Canyon last March and he became its youngest patient.

Just three days after he arrived, their son went through a harrowing sort of hazing.

“While he was sleeping, several other residents branded his arm with a piece of metal from a bedspring. When [he] awakened in pain, they forcibly held him down until he sustained a disfiguring wound,” the lawsuit alleges.

The incident was just one example of bullying and harassment their son went through, the Peets claim, and they provide other examples of the facility failing to make good on specific promises that had been made to them about his care.

They had been assured, for example, that their son would be segregated from older patients. However, when two of his roommates left the program, he suddenly found himself sharing his room with a 27-year-old. Even after this was brought to the attention of the staff, they say, the older man was not removed until his program ended.

Another 27-year-old, they say, beat up their son, leaving him with a neck laceration and a bloody lip, but his parents were never notified.

Numerous lawsuits against Narconon centers allege that drug abuse is actually quite common at the facilities. The Peets make the same complaint, writing in their lawsuit that not only did weekly Saturday trips to town turn into drug-hunting expeditions for patients, but their son was actually instructed in how to use Facebook to get drugs mailed into the facility by an employee of the Narconon center. (Typically, Narconon uses low-paid former patients for some of its staff.)

In April, the lawsuit alleges, their son witnessed another patient shooting up heroin at the facility.

“[He] was offered Heroin consistently by other patients thereafter, and subsequently gave in. [He] shot up heroin for the first time while at the Rainbow Canyon Retreat,” the lawsuit says.

Their son, soon after his arrival, also began his training in Scientology methods.

“During the pre-admission programs, staff assured Mark and Nicole that no brainwashing or attempts to convert [their son] to the philosophical teachings of L. Ron Hubbard would occur. An L. Ron Hubbard book was placed on [his] nightstand, and [he] was forced to attend ‘classes’ that involved staring at other students for hours at a time.”

Besides staring exercises, Hubbard’s unscientific sauna treatment was used, and the Peets allege that their son reacted badly to it.

“[He] was forced to endure saunas for five hours at a time with only short breaks. [He] endured twenty four (24) consecutive days of saunas that lasted three hours and forty minutes apiece. [He] sustained daily scalding from the heat. On each day [he] was forced to take a sauna, he was also forced to take Niacin. He was started on 100 mg. per day and was worked up to 1000 mg. per day. He was forced to take the Niacin in spite of the fact that the Niacin caused a severe reaction in [his] body.”

(Hubbard theorized that drugs were stored in fat cells for up to years after their use, and could be “flushed” from the body through the intense sauna-and-Niacin regimen. Experts have repeatedly said there is no science to back up this assertion.)

Finally, the Peets allege that their son fainted and was taken to a hospital on May 11. His parents were not notified and received no followup calls from Rainbow Canyon employees.

After learning all of the things that had been happening with their son, the Peets asked for a refund of their $39,000 and were refused. So they have filed their lawsuit.

We called Rainbow Center yesterday, but were told no one there knew about the lawsuit and couldn’t talk to us about it if they did.

The facility is in a sparsely populated part of Nevada about 150 miles north of Las Vegas. In November, Nathan Baca, a reporter for the Las Vegas news station KLAS-TV, did a two part story about Rainbow Canyon, talking to other former patients who had largely the same complaints about the facility.

Baca’s investigation showed that Nevada state government has almost no regulatory authority over the facility.

In Georgia, state officials are attempting to shut down a Narconon center in the Atlanta area after documents in a wrongful death lawsuit showed that the Scientologists operating the center were also running an unlicensed housing facility and lying to a Florida state court about it. Narconon’s own documents, unearthed in that case, show that drug use in the housing facility was rampant and involved the center’s own employees.

Three deaths at Narconon’s flagship facility in eastern Oklahoma over just a nine month period have spawned several lawsuits as that center is being investigated by local and state agencies. In those cases, similar stories have been documented which tell of parents being deceived about what goes on at Narconon centers, about the Scientology content in the program, and about rampant drug use among patients and employees.

Richard Sears, the Peet family attorney, told us that he would be more interested in talking about the case later, but for now the lawsuit was in a “sensitive” stage. (To our ears, that implied that Narconon was actually in a negotiating mood, which seems unusual so early in the life of this lawsuit. Perhaps with so much else going on, however, Scientology wants to cut its losses.)

We told Sears that we were hoping to get one question answered right away — was the young man all right? The lawsuit alleges that because of his experience, the youngster attempted suicide on September 5.

“He’s not OK. There are obviously still problems,” Sears answered. But he did not want to go into detail.

We hope to follow up with him soon.



Women Who Left Scientology Talk About Their Families Ripped Apart by the Church

Here’s a five-minute excerpt of yesterday’s three-hour web radio show that we told you about. For the full show, go here.


Links of Note

Will wonders never cease? Two mentions of Scientology in the New York Times in only a week? Wow. Sure, this second one only has a short portion about the church, but it’s good to see our old friend Hugh Urban get his due.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 5, 2013 at 07:00


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  • 1subgenius

    Imagine this happening to you when you were 15 years old.
    Imagine if this were your child.

  • 1subgenius

    Paging celebrity Scientologist Narconon endorsers.

    • Yes, I’m sure Kirstie is preparing a statement right now. *spraining eyes trying not to roll them*

  • John P.

    This is incredibly disturbing. The place sounds like a travesty of any sort of supervised treatment center but instead resembles an out-of-control jail. Lord of the Flies gone horribly wrong. Even with a full cup of coffee as I write this, I simply don’t have the words to condemn appropriately the treatment this young man allegedly received.

    I hope you’re right in assessing that the “sensitive stage” of the lawsuit involves settlement negotiations — that would be great news not only for this young man, but for others being sued. If the iron wall of intransigence is breached, that would help bring about the end of this organization — imagine how many lawyers would line up to sue the cult if it became obvious that they’re relatively easy marks for a settlement. I’m not advocating filing of junk lawsuits, but I am sure many legitimate claims are not pursued because of the cult’s litigious reputation. A quick settlement of this suit also speaks to David Miscavige’s state of mind — with the near-instantaneous settlement of the suit by private investigators Marrick & Arnold, Miscavige may well be feeling the walls closing in and be increasingly desperate to avoid his own possible testimony in such cases. That would clearly be a good thing.

    One thought: with the rapidly growing number of incidents at various Narconon facilities leading to lawsuits, it’s easy to understand why the cult is responding by changing the names of their facilities, to make it harder for potential recruits to find out more via Web searches. Tony, to fix this, you could help in the future by putting a disclaimer at the bottom of Narconon-centric stories listing all the other names they operate under, to help Google point them to your stories. You have the most “dox” and the most “cred” of any site so this would help future people avoid getting sucked in going forward.

    • jensting

      Seconded, re the list of names the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology hides this public menace.
      As for settlements, those are good – especially if they are not tied to limitations on free speech. David Love managed to have one case settled and he doesn’t sound silent… A longer time ago, the UK branch of the Co$ settled with Bonnie Woods and the Co$ was the body to sign an injunction.

    • richelieu jr

      Excuse me, John P., but do you have the conch? You’ve gotta have the conch to speak…

    • The Dakini

      Well said John P.

      To paraphrase the Buddha, “Karama is a bitch.” After decades of bringing lawsuits, and law enforcement under false claims upon their perceived enemies, the CoS now finds the tables turning on their tactics. Friviolus and legit lawsuits from former staff, parishioners and victims of their programs not only ties up resources, but keeps bringing a broader and broader awareness to these actions. Actually what CoS doesn’t want.

      Prior to this the DM and his minions just buried those who dared speak out. To little notice of the wog public. I, mean, who notices a new pile of dirt on the horizon? But now he is faced with dust ups, and not just a few. Many, both large and small that are starting to converge together into a storm with multiple fronts. And that is hard for anyone to miss.

      It is unfortunate that this storm comes at the cost of a young man, his struggles and now traumatic stuffering that will require a great amount of strength and care to overcome. Many he find the wind on his back, and sun on his face, and find peace in his heart. -Nameste

  • jensting

    I sure hope law enforcement will wake up to teh fact that this is a lethally dangerous quack treatment which is all about siphoning off money while hiding behind the skepticism that some people have towards the claims of maltreatment made by vulnerable patients. In these cases, the cases should be taken seriously, and – frankly – I don’t see the reason for allowing the centres to remain open. In France they were shut down after the death of Jocelyne Dorfmann. That simple.

    • 1subgenius

      Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.H. L. Mencken

    • Observer

      Agreed. Since they downplay their Scn origins and claim to be completely secular they don’t have “religious” skirts to hide behind. I don’t see what the holdup is on shutting them all down.

      I’d love it if someone smuggled a camera in there and recorded the goings-on. Since Scientology is always worse than you think, I imagine it would be quite the bombshell.

      • jensting

        The goings-on internally is one story. The facts need to be gathered and verified. Dave Love has started this, others are hopefully going to get their day in court and contribute.

        The influence gathering done by the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology in order to smooth the path of their lucrative front narCONon is another story. The shmoozing of politicians (or worse) has to be exposed. Luke Catton started talking about this.

      • richelieu jr

        Better yet, a microphone in the staff room, or a tapped line out to hear the communications between these concentration camps and L Ron HQ.

      • Schockenawd

        I know I shouldn’t be amazed by this anymore, but I find it continually fascinating how Scientology can issue some PR statements denying a connection between the church and Narconon and then turn around and give itself glowing praise in other PR releases for its “drug rehabilitation” work. Karin Pouw just sent a rambling, laughable statement to Los Angeles Magazine in response to its recent piece about Joel Sappell’s experience investigating and reporting on the church. Among other things, Pouw (or whomever it was that actually wrote the letter) said, “Church sponsored and supported humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs reach millions of people all over the world addressing the fields of drug abuse prevention, drug rehabilitation…” So, which lie is the true lie, Scientology? That Narconon isn’t connected to Scientology? Or that Narconon is a Church sponsored program?

  • LemonLemon

    I’m increasingly curious about the idea that Nevada is not the state regulating authority of Rainbow Canyon. If they aren’t regulating Narconon in their state, who is? They have to be licensed to run the facility, do they not? Who is licensing them to run in the state of Nevada if not the state itself?? I don’t think they can just move into the state and rent out a building. Someone, somewhere, some kind of regulating body has to be in charge and watching what they do.

    So they branded this kid, if that’s true, it should be easy enough to prove. Although I can see someone saying he can’t prove it was people at Narconon who actually did it. Same with using Facebook to get drugs. They can show it happened but can’t prove he learned it from the staff there.

    • jensting

      Just get ’em in front of a jury.

      • LemonLemon

        Maybe…but remember, scientologists are trained to lie — especially when they feel it’s for the “greater good”. What’s true for them….and all that jazz.

        • 1subgenius

          So what?

        • Yes, and some of them (Mary Rieser) are very bad at it. What we need is some decent legislation to strengthen the regulations for drug treatment in all states. This criminal and fraudulent excuse for drug rehab needs to stop!

        • dagobarbz

          Happily, they’re not very good at it. The problem there is authorities who don’t bother to challenge the lies.

    • 1subgenius

      They can prove all these things.
      You have some other definition of proof than is necessary in court.

      • LemonLemon

        They can prove these things happened but you know scientology’s defense will be, “It wasn’t us. We didn’t do any of it”. That would be the harder thing to prove.

      • Sidney18511

        They will get some of their brainless followers to say that the boy branded himself, that they saw him do it. There is no swamp of lies that this scum won’t swim through.

        • Observer

          Sadly true, but now with more people coming forward and the deaths at other facilities I would think that in a trial the family would be able to call witnesses from various other NarCONons to show the pattern of lies, misuse and abuse that is endemic to this criminal organization.

        • The problem that Narconon faces with that strategy is the negligence allegation. The standard of care they have meet is the standard of care that is provided in the average in-patient treatment facility. It’s pretty clear that Narconon does not meet this standard in any of its facilities. If they claim that the patient did it to himself, they could see the complaint amended to include negligent supervision as well as negligent hiring.

    • From Baca’s report (linked to above):

      “As it stands right now, in Nevada, there are no restrictions in having a
      drug rehab center as long as you don’t accept money from the state,” he
      told us last night. “My overall goal is to find out why unlicensed
      centers can continue to operate in Nevada — and about the only
      unlicensed drug rehab center in Nevada is Narconon.”

      I believe Narconon Nevada doesn’t even have a buisness license, let alone a rehab license. It is spawn of Narconon Southern California legally. I’m under the impression this is the result of Bush’s “faith based initiative” for drug treatment, which for many “rehabs” – not just Narconons, is simply a get rich quick scheme
      with no government strings attached.

      • California


    • They may not be able to prove he learned it there, but they can certainly prove that it happened while he was there. Meaning at the very least he wasn’t being supervised in the manner they were led to believe.

      • You’re right. To prove negligence they only have to show that the act occurred while he was in treatment and supposedly being prevented from having access to drugs.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    OSA surveys every aspect of establishing any scientology unit. That includes finding out who can be easily schmoozed, who needs bribing and what would they want as money is not always the carrot, who will be a problem and how deep do they need to dig to get some blackmail dirt, what areas have the weakest laws for whatever category of scam is being run (children’s education ranches, Narconon, etc), which location would offer the cheapest sale price and/or maintenance expenses, and as always, the best isolation factor. Narconons also supply the desperation and time pressure factors that are the key to luring anyone into scientology’s spiderweb.

    So deserted dessert in Nevada with mystery about who is even the governing authority sounds just about right.

    One of the key similarities in these cases are that the parents did not Know it was a scientology front, and sometimes not even Narconon. This is because of the deceptive web of internet sites that uses strings and keywords and the commissioned salesmen (often former customers themselves, some still using) who get 15% off each customer.

    Many, many dedicated individuals have been working overtime to change this so that frantic parents searching for a center will not be fooled by scientology’s manipulative fraud. We all know how slow to act, if ever, any government agency is, so imo this is the area that any and all assistance will help the fastest. Best place to find out how you might help is

    • Good observations. Another thing to consider in unmasking Narconon is that it is probably a major source of income for the CO$. At $40,000 a client for a six-month stay, one hundred clients for a year would bring in $8,000,000. How many public Scientologists could contribute $80,000 a year?

      • Oh, yeah. For instance, Per Wickstrom is raking in the dough out in Michigan with his many Narconon’s renamed. Per is playing a shell game by putting his assets and corporate registrations in family member’s names.,11433.0.html

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Just another legal line that needs to be changed. There is more and more public outcry and perhaps political will now concerning non profits and any group that currently is not required to open their books, which scientology does not. Miscavige must hire legal and financial expertise whenever something has to be done right. Millions and Millions have been spent over the decades to keep financial info hidden and secret. Remember that even within the organization, everyone is incredibly compartmentalized. Those who had a piece of financial information only had just that, one piece. Why do you think Miscavige is having expoding cows now that so many are out and possibly sharing information? There’s always this chance that DM has squandered large sums once again gambling, whether through casino type gambling or stock market or….real estate. Look at the vast resources he squandered on a facility to manufacture CD’s and DVD’s or paper printing. If the full and true financial picture was exposed to the few remaining scientologists, I guarantee you that would all walk out Immediately!

        • John P.

          I wouldn’t call Miscavige’s real estate strategy for the Ideal Org scam “gambling.” I would call it “a surefire way to lose money.” Many people have suggested that the Ideal Org strategy is a way for the cult to make tons of money when they sell the buildings, because the profits from the sale are tax exempt. No way. They buy older, historic buildings in odd areas (Florence KY, instead of downtown Cincinnati), renovate them lavishly, and carve the space up into lots of tiny interior rooms for auditing. Then they open them for a public that never comes. And they scrip on maintenance and utilities, contributing to increased wear and tear, diminshing the value of the building if they sell at some point in the future.

          The profit is all up front, via getting the suckers to donate more for the building than the actual cost of purchase and renovations. But Miscavige cuts into his profits by sheer stupidity even there. They instantly kick out all the existing tenants, in many cases by buying out their leases at a premium to cover the tenants’ relocation costs to more expensive digs. Then they pay property taxes for years on an empty building. So they piss away needlessly some of the money they have raised from parishioners.

          While the tax break (0% for the cult versus 15% or so for long-term capital gains for most investors) is nice, overcoming that final 15% is easy for a skilled real estate investor who is very sophisticated about buying, about using financial leverage (i.e., borrowing from the bank rather than paying cash) and about making the space maximally attractive to tenants. The interior build-out for cult facilities, putting in lots of tiny windowless offices in the central core for auditing instead of larger window offices around the edges, is very unattractive for a tenant, and would result in substantial discounts on the selling price for “buildout” to trash the interior that the cult installed and put in one more in line with what commercial tenants require. For the price bracket of the cult facilities, that could easily be a 15% to 20% hit on the price of the building, wiping out the tax advantage. Never mind that a smart commercial real estate operator would buy better buildings that have more appreciation potential.

          And let’s consider the effect of neglected maintenance. Several Ideal Orgs apparently have inoperative elevators because they haven’t had the money to pay for the maintenance contract. Elevators are the most expensive and troublesome mechanical systems in any building. Let’s say that the cult decides to sell the Berlin Ideal Org, eight stories and no elevators at the moment, for $12 million. One of the first things that any buyer interested in the building is going to look at are the elevators and the maintenance record. If the elevators haven’t been maintained, that could easily be a deal-breaker. If it’s not a deal-breaker, that’s because the cult would have to give a serious allowance (easily $1 million plus for two elevators in an 8-story building) for a complete elevator rehab. It’s just like anyone buying a jet will immediately have the engines inspected and the maintenance records gone through with a fine toothed comb.

          All this is just another way of saying that the real estate strategy is not gambling. It’s not gambling if you stack the deck to lose. It’s financial suicide. And that’s what they seem to be good at.

          • mirele

            Highlighting because this is definitely worth a read and something to keep in mind.

            It may be, given the age and maintenance records on some of these buildings, that the real worth is in the land, and the building itself just needs to be torn down. Obviously, that will reduce the cost of the property, unless the land and building were bought a long time ago. The cult bought a lot of these properties recently.

            • Even there it’s a losing proposition. Tearing down a building is an expense and the resulting empty lot is not as valuable as a lot with a building on it. Also, if the buildings have historic certification there may be added hurdles to pass in order to be able to demolish.

          • Deckard__Cain

            I read a theory somewhere on WWP awhile back that the Ideal Org scheme serves 3 purposes 1) ridiculous, slick marketing to give the impression of expansion, 2) revenue stream to heavily reg parishioners for donations to ‘buy’ the org (or for other expenses), and most importantly 3) a way to legally bring back funds stashed in overseas banks into the US to cover rapidly dwindling war chests. For #3, I read that the Cult has billions stashed in overseas banks to which they bring back into the US by self-funding mortgages from one foreign cult entity and selling it to a US cult entity to purchase the building.

            The mortgage is typically in a larger amount than the property is actually paid for and it changes hands by being sold/re-sold to several US Cult entities and it is typically never ‘paid’. But this is a method of bringing back large amounts of funds from overseas banks without triggering the prying eyes of the US Gov’t.

            All money ‘donated’ by the parishioners is never used to pay for the mortgage but put straight into the pocket of the IAS.

            I am not savvy enough with rules/laws about any of this but I suspect there is a financial gain via elaborate shell game that happens with the Ideal Org scam.

            • John P.


              I would agree that #1 and #2 in your list are priorities, but I’d put them in the reverse order — it’s always first and foremost about the money. The slick marketing about expansion is not about getting “fresh meat” into the cult, it’s about keeping existing donors thinking that their donations are actually doing something useful so they won’t bolt and therefore stop donating.

              While I am not an international tax lawyer, we deal with these sorts of things in looking at companies here at Global Capitalism HQ. So I’m saying that I might be wrong on this, but based on what I have looked at in the past, here are my thoughts. First, there’s a difference between cash in a foreign bank within an account controlled by a foreign subsidiary of a US corporation and cash in a foreign bank in an account controlled directly by a US corporation. In the latter case, the cash can move relatively freely (ex money laundering issues).

              I don’t think the cult needs to play a shell game with repatriation of cash because they’re tax exempt in the US. The only reason to play a shell game of the sort you described is to avoid paying taxes on repatriated profits from overseas operations, and there are probably dodges that are far simpler than the ones you described. But since the cult doesn’t have to pay US taxes on anything including income earned from abroad, they ought to be able to bring the profits back without difficulty. Also, Miscavige is not going to let significant reserves be sitting in some bank account controlled by a management structure eight time zones away who might embezzle it — he’s going to want it right where he can see it as soon as he can get his hands on it.

            • ze moo

              The dwarfenfürher is a micro manager, any co$ money is under his control. Lawyers may have to sign papers to move the money around, but the lawyers are paid by the co$ and they do as they are told.

              NarCONon’s biggest problem in all of this is the mixing of older and younger patients. You never mix under 21’s with older patients, you just breed trouble if you do. Oh, wait, that is what happened. NarCONon will settle this out of court with a non-disclosure agreement. Anything else could result in the closure of the facility. They have to keep the cash flow working, just to keep the loyal kool-aid drinkers believing that co$ has social welfare programs.

              Nevada really should get its act together, any further trouble at a NarCONon facility should result in the state becoming liable for damages. Unfortunately, most have a ‘sovereign immunity’ clause in their state constitutions, so only the insurance carrier and NarCONon will be on the hook for damages. Given the recent spate of NarCONon lawsuits, who in their right mind would give an insurance policy to them?? High insurance rates can only cover so much risk.

            • Deckard__Cain

              Thanks for the insight. This was a theory that I read and spitting out here second/third hand, and I’m not one to recall details on strange conspiracy theories (where the devil is usually in the details).

              I do believe there are other, unseen reasons for the large expenditures other than marketing. Miscavige’s patterns of absconding expense payments (and this is also by LRH’s design) is well known and makes me question why they are adding to their list of expenses, exponentially.

  • California

    This is sad and it is time that Nevada begins to revise its laws, rules and regulations about rehabilitation facilities,eEspecially when minors are involved.

    I have three questions:

    1. Who is the insurance carrier for Rainbow Canyon Rehabilitation Center?

    2. Were Nation of Islam personnel used as guards/ethics officers or were they clients. (Because of confidentiality, please do not mention any clients by name, although if they were in positions of guards/ethics officers, I think it would be OK.)

    3. What has happened with other complaints/lawsuits filed against the facility?

    JustCallMeMary, I searched the the Tipping Point and could not find other lawsuits, although there have been licensing investigations. Given that the licensing requirements are extremely lax in NV, shutting down this facility right now will have to focus on abuse of minors and health&safety violations.

    It is going to be a busy Monday.

    • jensting

      don’t forget the food preparation and serving…

    • JustCallMeMary

      A few complaints I received in past against Rainbow Canton were settled or too complex to get an attorney to take. I have 2 current ones that I am trying to help.

      See above reply to your other comment.

    • Charlie bears daddy

      Go to Facebooks- Narconon-Exposed and you will find more than you ever wanted to know about them.

  • Schockenawd

    For such a small, insignificant — and shrinking — organization, Scientology has an amazing ability to leave a huge trail of destruction i

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      That’s because a) Miscavige supposedly has a large war chest and some of the top legal minds covering a wide area of coverage, like taxes or constitution and b) Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Priscilla Presley and a few other scientology celebs promote this form of child neglect, human rights abuse, and outright homicide with No regard for human life other than their own and c) Addiction needs more funding for research as well as rehabilitation centers so they don’t wind up thrown in jail or dead at Narconon.

  • And this shows the corruption of not only COS but of our political and legal system that reasonable people in charge can’t quickly look at this and say “this is nuts” and shut the scam down.

  • LeeAnneClark

    As a parent of a son who has struggled with drugs, this infuriates me beyond description. I can totally relate to the desperation to find a solution to the terrible disease of addiction, and I know what it feels like to be willing to do almost anything. To entrust your own child, a minor, to the care of supposed experts, people who are supposed to help him, and then find out they did this to him…OMG I can’t even explain the rage I feel.

    Scientology needs to be STOPPED! All of it.

  • dagobarbz

    With all the information about Narconon online, you have to wonder why people still forget to google it before dumping a loved one and tens of thousands of dollars on this fraudulent, dangerous quackery!

    These days, I blame the parents for lack of diligence in finding a rehab. There is simply NO excuse these days!

    • Sherbet

      Whoa. Having had to put a family member (not a child) into rehab, I know that expediency is the key, to get that person off the street and into a safe place as quickly as possible. We know now that there are multiple websites where a family member can seek help, and where reassuring addiction “counselors” supposedly find a good fit for an addict and a rehab, yet, in reality, all roads lead to narconon. We know now that people get paid to shunt an inquiring parent or family member directly into narconon. A parent or a family member making website inquiries is really at the end of his rope by the time he discusses treatment with that friendly “counselor,” and it all sounds good and optimistic. Finally, treatment! Nobody wants to believe it’s really just the beginning of a nightmare.

      • dagobarbz

        I understand expediency and the sense of urgency to get help NOW, I really do! That is a point I wish to bring up,

        Legitimate rehabs have a waiting list.
        Narconons ALWAYS have an opening!

        And yeah, I also understand the quick reshuffle of names, dropping Narconon in favor of something fruity like Fresh Start (isn’t that a carpet deodorizer?) or ‘Sunshine Summit Lodge.’

        This means people have to modify their searching skills, and that is a problem. If one were to google, say, “Sunshine Summit Lodge, Narconon, Scientology” you WILL get results.

        Unfortunately, a lot of Narconon victims don’t have leet search skills. I don’t know how to get the word out to them save through comments like this.

        • Sherbet

          Someday soon (?), narconon won’t be a rehab option, because they’ll all be shut down. I don’t know if that’s optimism or naivete, but I can hope.

          • guest

            imho Shall we start with informing via review sites of all listed Narconon facilities and esp goog maps etc. at least that will help point potentials in the right “direction”. jus’ sayin’

            • DeElizabethan

              Sound like a great idea! It could go on wwp if they don’t have that. I haven’t seen one.

        • DeElizabethan

          Regarding people searching. Most people would not know to even search Scientology at that point. I hate to say it but IMO the majority of people have not heard about SN let alone the dangers of it. They have maybe heard the name only, but not the facts or dangers connected to it.
          Even in Clearwater most people know of the church and that it’s not nice, but do not know all it’s other connections. Things are improving with education and the press through the years, but when you are faced with a desperate situation, you go the fastest way.
          I’ve found it to be amazing how many people are ignorant of the organization’s dangerousness or even aware of them, or any bad at all. So we on the bandwagon are brave and have lots of work ahead. ((HUGS))

          • stillgrace

            Well said, Dee and dagobarbz! I agree. I experimented with Google today, trying different searches using words that a desperate parent might use when searching with urgency for help. For my area, it was chilling how the connection between Narconon and Scientology is NOT OBVIOUS.

            When you already know all the bad stuff and the connection between Narconon and Co$, you can search and find it easily. That’s what needs to change; when you google to find a rehab center, obvious warnings and information need to come up high on the search list.

            I have written here before about the deception and isolation (guards and barbed wire fences) of the Narconon located 20 miles from downtown Santa Cruz. Lots of bad press with sexual abuse and rape. Lots of local jokes about the “touch assists” they deliver.

    • While I think your observation is valid, I also think that several factors mitigate our criticism of the parents. First, inpatient drug rehabilitation beds are not plentiful. Second, as with all things associated with the CO$, the concealment factor is high. Narconon conceals its Scientology connection. Finally, distraught parents are in a vulnerable position (something the share with others the CO$ preys upon). They may be convinced to discount critical things they may have heard. Without the in-depth knowledge we possess this is probably easier than we’d like to admit.

  • Sherbet

    My head is spinning from the one-two punch of the Narconon story and the radio excerpt of the women who left scn. How can anyone read any of this and still think it’s all lies from bitter apostates? I think of those fresh-faced, idealistic young people who still think they’re going to “clear” the world, and I’m sickened.

  • Captain Howdy

    I’ve been to a few detoxes in my time, some notorious, but none were nearly as bad as what’s described in the affidavit. Most of my friends and acquaintances have done real time in the past and none of their descriptions were as bad as what’s described here. This sounds like something out of Marat/Sade.

  • DeElizabethan

    That poor boy to triple or more his troubles by NarConon’s treatment. I do hope it goes to trial, but chances are they will want to quickly pay this off, as noted. Nevertheless, they are wrong and this will help with closing all facilities in time.

  • dagobarbz

    I think the only way to truly shut down this noxious, dangerous quack therapy is at the federal level.
    Since when should it be legal to put ex-addicts with no medical training in charge of a drug rehab?
    Since when should it be legal to subject clients to toxic doses of vitamins?
    Since when should it be legal to stuff them in saunas for periods way beyond FDA recommendations?

    Quackery is not therapy. The whole program has been debunked by medical science. The rest of it is just Scientology training under another label.

    Given that the program is clearly ineffective, dangerous junk science, it should be shut down nationwide.
    Any rehabs that subsequently pop up offering the Narconon regimen (and they will, because Scientologists are above wog law and they KNOW they’re helping!) should be closed and the operators sent to court.

    This is the ONLY way to stop this fraudulent program from endangering more lives!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I agree with you. Narconon’s penchant for being a shapeshifting beast makes them to hard to detect on the radar screens of all the various states. The Atlanta case is a good example as is this one of what happens when the victim, the families and the “Rehab” (spits) are crossing states borders. This complicates the hell out of the legal issues surrounding these types of cases.

      • It shouldn’t be too hard to shut them down if the state monitors do their jobs. I am a substance abuse counselor and have worked in 2 agencies in a midwest state, and periodically the state Mental health dept checks out the facilities to make sure they do generally accepted substance abuse treatment. But both of my agencies took medicaid and state funding so they were checked out more. This is likely why the Georgia facility is finally getting watched more as court drug court money is paying for treatment.

    • DeElizabethan

      I agree with you too. That’s why I applaud David Love for doing so much in this direction.

  • wannabeclear

    I know it’s completely irrational, but I just keep wondering how any feeling or thinking person can let this stuff happen. I know DM is a sociopath, but you would figure that there’d be others involved who wouldn’t let this shit go on. I know they are brainwashed by the cult, but the horror of what’s happening at all these facilities is so deep you’d think that someone, anyone would wake up and do something while they are still there — rather than after they’ve already been long gone.

    • Valerie Ross

      Unfortunately, I know that the first two things the cult of Scamatology take away from you are

      1. Your ability to think.

      2. Your ability to feel.

      Plus, it’s the greatest good for the greatest number and remember the greatest number are the Scamatologists, just ask them.

  • 0tessa

    How many more deaths do have to occur before law enforcement is doing what it has to do? Or have politicians and law enforcers given up on those ‘scientologists’, I mean the real and potential victims. Is this church above and beyond the law? I almost think it is.

  • Valerie Ross

    Item 16 on the complaint talks about the choking “game”. This link is the obituary for my grandson’s favorite cousin. He was 11 years old and died on Christmas Eve playing the choking “game”

    That place is one scary hell. It is so sad that parents will begin waking up to the name just in time for the evil cult to change the name and lure more unsuspecting frightened people into their traps.

    • Midwest Mom

      This is so sad, Valerie. How awful for this to happen to this precious boy and to have it happen on Christmas Eve – t’s such a tragedy! My heart goes out to his family and I wish to extend my sincere condolences and prayers. He sure was a cutie.

      • Valerie Ross

        Yeah we went to his parents’ house Christmas Day. To quote his dad “Merry f***ing Christmas, huh”

  • mirele

    The 2013 Nevada legislative session starts on February 4. Time enough to get legislation together, find sponsors and get it on the legislative calendar. I think this place should be required to have the same licensing as any other drug rehab in the state.

  • So upsetting after reading this horrific story, I had to go for a walk. First, EXCELLENT job on this, Tony – – I noticed you online in the wee hours, so figured you were hard at something. BRAVO! This Case reminds me of the one I helped file with the Human Rights Commission in the UK for a very young man who had Tourettes syndrome and obviously couldn’t sit still doing TR’s. What they did to him was torture, he explained and humilated and harassed him constantly. Then the 2 Cases at NN TR, where 2 young ladies were sexually fondled during Touch Assists (have their statments and submitted to authorities).
    I have been in tears many times listening to victims in lengthy phone calls and I’m at the point now, where I am absolutely commited to help put a stop to this madness – – my heart goes out to this young man and his family. No doubt, he will suffer PTSD or some mental trauma for quite some time. ***BASTARDS***

    If this had happened to my Son or Daughter? Grrrrrrr!!!

    • DeElizabethan

      You are not lone in your tears David. We appreciate your leadership role in this exposure endeavor more than you can imagine. With Tony alongside and with all the others we will bring them down.

  • ze moo

    Leaving the inmates in charge of the asylum is never a good idea. Any state that does not require any real accreditation or licensing is asking for trouble. I live in a high tax state, New York, but we sometimes get services for our taxes. Regulation of rehabs and psych centers is an ongoing job for OASAS
    and OMH

    I know of 2 psychiatric hospitals that were shut down because they couldn’t hire and train proper staff. I am not that familiar with the regulation of drug rehabs, but all state agencies cooperate with each other and share ‘best practices’. If Nevada and any other state were to contact NY agencies, they would give them information and some help to regulate their rehabs.

    Nevada and God knows how many other states, just can’t be bothered to spend a few bucks to protect their citizens. Given CARF ( Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation of NarCONon Arrowhead, I am not willing to allow non-state actors decide who should be accredited and allowed to do business.

    The professionals should be in charge, not the inmates.

  • ze moo

    A nice write up of the Ex Women radio show, with references to Tony O and other ‘bitter defrocked apostates’.

  • JustCallMeMary

    Thanks for exposing this case, Tony. Sadly, there are more victims of this facility. and your reporting it will help educate others to avoid it like the plague..

    BTW, this facility is not licensed and neither are their counselors.

    Narconon NV Licensing Investigation:
    Correspondence with Wendy Lay,
    Executive Director of the Nevada Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug
    and Gambling Counselors requesting she investigate the unlicensed
    Narconon Nevada aka Narconon Rainbow Canyon counselor promoting on the
    internet that he is licensed. Turns out none of the counselors at this
    facility are licensed by the state, nor is the facility itself licensed.
    They managed to get aroud the facility licensing by stating they are a
    vocational rehabilitation company. This letter shows that the state
    ordered a cease and desist letter to the facility. Read:

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Vocational? Are there a lot of jobs out there for “Ashtray Whisperers”?

    • California

      Mary, these communications were done in 2009! And it is almost 4 years later and the facility is still open.

      Now we have something to work with….. any idea who insures them?

      Have you contacted attorney Sears about this cease and desist order?

      • JustCallMeMary

        No, I have not contacted or spoken to the attorney. I just read about this lawsuit here. I have other complaints about this facility right now and when I get a chance, I will email the attorney with what I know.

        They are probably insured professionally by Western World Insurance- who has insured the others but has been having legal issues with them and the many lawsuits against NN. They also might be covered by NonProfits Insurance Alliance which covers California and since they operate Narconon in NV. There is also a possibility of liability insurance since the NV property is owned by Narconon of Southern California now Narconon Fresh Start, the NV property might be covered as well. The Lincoln Count recorder of deeds records may show who the insurer is but one would have to there to get them, believe. More info on Western World and the Alliance lawsuits,11114.0.html

        Their NV corporation is currently in default with the Secretary State office. Since 11/30/2012 . The crazy thing is, it was revoked years ago and then they got it back by Reinstatement by paying the state I guess but they never registered the legal name change from Narconon of Southern California to Narconon Fresh Start. So there has not be a Narconon Fresh Start ever registered to do business in the state of NV and still isn’t. So they were operating illegally all along, not just on counselor licensing but on the right to do business there .

        • California

          Busy, busy, busy Monday.

          Thank you, as always, for your hard, dedicated and accurate work!

          I count 19, maybe 20, Narconons in the U.S. Let’s shut them all down in 2013. I think it is doable.

          • JustCallMeMary

            Hi! There are actually a lesser number of facilities. The number you gave included educational programs. Here’s a fairly up-to-date list of facilities and educational programs by location in the USA and Canada,10168.0.html

            • California

              OK. I think it is 18 bricknmortar.

              My bads were: In California, I counted Joshua Tree, which is defunct. In Oklahoma, I counted Stone Hawk, which is defunct.

              In Hawaii, I am still counting Hawaii Narconon, 5741 Berne Ave., Ewa Beach, HI. 96707, phone (808) 550-0005. IRS Tax ID EIN 260029313

              $97,575 Revenue in 2009

              $941,018 Revenue in 2008

              Myron Thompson, Chairman

              Robert Newman, President

              Amy Newman

              John Cowden, Vice President

              Sakura Thompson, Secretary

              Michael Mau, Member

              Kathy Mau, Member

              Kelly Preston, Member

              I am also counting TWO Michigan facilities:

              Best Drug at 300 Care Center, Manistee and the Narconon Freedom facility on 809 W. Erie St.,


              I think, except for the above differences, our lists are compatible.

              Years ago, I made a list of Applied Scholastics in the states under the now defunct Supplemental Educational Services Program, Title 1. And it was a joy to watch as districts refused to use AS, even if they somehow mysteriously appeared on the states’ lists, courtesy, I think, of SCN/OSA.
              And was even more of a joy to begin this academic year without a single one of these AS programs being used.

              It will be equally fun as the Narconon programs (under all the name changes) are closed, state-
              by-state. Perhaps by the end of 2013.

            • JustCallMeMary

              Well, Hawaii only delivers education to schools and community groups and does seminars but they do not and will never meet the state criteria to open a facility there.

              We’ve also been made aware that in MI, besides Best Drug Rehab ( a completely Narconon based program), another facility called A Forever Recovery, both run by Per Wickstrom, his sister and nephew Pamela and Stephen Anderson, are also using components of the Narconon program.
              They also have other programs starting up in IN and NV I believe. With Narconon front groups using different names like these, it’s going to be a bit harder to identify them – exactly what Narconon Int wants since there is so much bad PR now about Narconon. But we’ll find them and identify them as we go along. All they care about is the money coming in.

            • California

              Mary, in terms of Hawaii, how do you account for the income of $900K+ in 2008, then dropping to $90K+ in 2009…. no figures that I can find for 2010 or 2011. Do you think it shut down as a rehab facility? I just wondered if the $90K+ was a mistake…leaving out a zero. Also, I do have “A Forever Recovery on my list with a question mark… if it is a rehab facility, then Michigan has 3 or 4: Program Name: A FOREVER RECOVERY

              License Number: 130102

              Address :

              216 ST MARY’S LAKE

              CREEK, MI 49017
              Director : PAMELA ANDERSON

              Phone # : 269/788-0496
              Service Description: see link

              Program Name: A FOREVER RECOVERY

              License Number : 130115
              Address :
              163 NORTH AVENUE
              BATTLE CREEK, MI 49017
              Director : PAMELA ANDERSON
              Phone # : (269) 964-7569
              Service Description

              There are two separate licenses listed, with different addresses, although license #130115 is listed as expired. The challenge for tomorrow is to see the number of clients in either one or both facilities.

              That’s all for tonight, folks.

            • JustCallMeMary

              If you look here at page 9 of their 2998 tax form 990, they reported the amount as contributions received. Keep in mind that Kelly Preston runs benefits for this facility and gets friends to donate. 1 million is nothing compared to what she has and it could well be a donation from her for all we know. But it’s not money from running a program.


              It’s easier for me to reply to you on all this if you post over at TippingPoint, Better to discuss further the number of facilities there in that thread, so we can get your comments and concerns addressed and findable on the internet by readers.

            • California

              Dear Mary:

              A drop of 90% in one year of Narconon “Education” revenue is significant, from 2008-2009. When Preston, et al., were petitioning for a Narconon facility, my understanding was that this was for an expansion of a small facility, like the two 6-bedders we see now in California. So Hawaii did the right thing and refused to license one…. the phone calls and e-mails from the activists worked.

            • Sandy

              I was so sure there was one up here in MN, but they are referring our folks to a place in Louisiana. Huh?

        • DeElizabethan

          Mary, you are wonderful to be on top of this, I can’t thank you enough.
          “California” also.

          • JustCallMeMary

            Thanks, DeElizabethan ( and California) lol!! Lots more info at Reaching For The Tipping Point Forum

            • stillgrace

              Thanks for all you do, Mary! There are so many layers of crimes committed by Co$ on so many fronts, it’s almost impossible to thoroughly track the details without the input of dedicated people like yourself.

              I am curious if there has ever been any resolution on the Ron Corona, Jr. death? Has the obvious connection to Narconon ever been established or even investigated?

            • JustCallMeMary

              Thank you, stillgrace, The members of tippingpoint forum, which include many victims of Narconon, contribute a lot of information that helps.

              The detective on the Corona case concluded that it was an accidental overdose and since Ron was an employee of Narconon, having graduated already from the Narconon of Georgia program, there was nothing they could do further. There was no evidence of foul play but you know how it is when you work for a scientology organization…… If he’d been a student, it would have been a different story. There are certain regulations and such. But that wasn’t the case. The family has been through many hardships over the past year and the mother is ill and not able at this time to pursue the matter. However, the media have investigated and will continue to look further as it relates to Narconon of Georgia because of all the other issues going on there, including their license in the process of being revoked and the Desmond case going to trial next month.

              Thanks for asking 🙂

            • stillgrace

              Thank you, Mary! I am sorry to hear the mother is ill. Ron’s death should be kept in the media. At the very least, the details of Ron’s case and how it was mismanaged by Narconon personnel should be publicized along with the other cases. Narconon can’t count him as part of their “76%” (yeah, right) success rates.

          • Agree agree agree. California and Mary. It can’t be said enough – you are heroes among many others *o/*

            • California

              Thank you. Grueling, meticulous work, great coffee, great family and furred family members…. that is what keeps us going…. plus self-correction and listening to others as they critique our work…. and going back and re-doing.

              I have many friends who have made life-long substance abuse recoveries after attending excellent rehab programs, with all the post-rehab support. Watching people not served, harmed, maimed, cheated and robbed, and killed attending Narconon makes me ill….

              We can do better as a loving society than allowing Narconon to continue to operate.

            • Valerie Ross

              My little sister has been 12 years sober thanks to a legitimate recovery program. She had actually allowed ex-husband number two to adopt and raise her son rather than sober up after my parents died. That is why I take Narconon so personally. I know legitimate, supervised rehabs work and it hurts me to see already vulnerable people pushed even further down by scams like Narconon. The really sad part about all of this is when I was in Scamatology, I was trying to get her in Narconon. I am so glad I lost that battle.

  • JustCallMeMary

    I really enjoyed and appreciate the X women show!!

  • mook
    • DeElizabethan

      Thank Mook. It’s good to keep up with what’s happening.

  • California

    Another piece of Narconon nonsense:,12137.msg28340/topicseen.html#new

    [Yahoo] Lawsuit over drug rehab center awaits ruling on firm’s Scientology roots

  • SandiCorrena

    Just last week several of the heros (Tory/Colin/Bert) were assisting someone who finally got away from a Narcanon; that “rehab” sent her off without a dime in her pocket. Friends of the heros pitched in for a bus ticket, Bert made sure she got some food (as she hadn’t had anything to eat since the day before and had to travel a very long way). It’s astonishingly criminal how much Narcanon’s love to take a families $30K to get someone in and then treat them the way they do; they’ll drop them at homeless shelters, women’s shelters, with nothing to eat, not a phone call, and not a dime in their pocket. And when the families ask for their money back they refuse; it’s beyond horrendous and beyond comprehension. And these horror stories coming out of Narcanon’s are way too frequent, you ask yourself how on earth does this keep happening and they (Narcanon) just keep on keepin on….. Kirstie, John – omg I don’t ever want to hear another word from either of them unless it’s “I’m so so sorry” to the victims.
    …..and I’m still wondering, where in the holy heck is the Jimmy Hoffa of $cientology Shelly Miscavige?

    • grundoon


  • Cerulean Blu

    Off-topic, did anyone mention the recent scilon letter to the LA Magazine about Sappell’s article?

    “This level of paranoia expressed in Mr. Sappell’s article is exactly what one would expect when a writer deifies his primary source, Marty Rathbun, a self- promoting anti-Scientologist in Texas who is bitter and consumed with resentment and cannot move on with his life (just like the writer himself).”

    • I did…. posted it in in previous Tony article to this one if you want see the comments [select newest topics and scroll down]

    • DeElizabethan

      Hadn’t seen that, thanks. I commented and now we’ll see if it gets printed. I may have been snarky. Who me?

  • Rena S

    I was a student at Rainbow a canyon at the same time as the plaintiff and 99% of this lawsuit isn’t true. I remember him fainting but that’s because he refused to drink anything but coffee. He would fight with his minor roommates to the point where staff had to move him. He didn’t want to be there, so he’d make up stories to his parents in an attempt to get them to bring him home.
    I’m no Narconon fan because they gave me an “ethics cycle” for rules broken by other people that I knew about and didn’t tell. But most of the claims in this lawsuit are ridiculous. There was no branding, the employees weren’t doing drugs, I certainly wasn’t aware of any other students shooting heroin etc…
    I refuse to mention this kid by name because he is a minor, but he had major issues BEFORE he got there. Narconon tried to help him, but sent him home because he needed serious mental help that they were not equipped for.