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CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT ALLEGING FRAUD FILED AGAINST SCIENTOLOGY AND NARCONON

Jeff Harris

Attorney Jeff Harris (center) and his partners Stephen Lowry (left) and Darren Penn. Photo by Chris Dunn.

This morning, attorney Jeff Harris filed a blockbuster class-action lawsuit that alleges fraud and civil racketeering endemic to Scientology’s drug rehab program, Narconon.

With seven plaintiffs included and more to come, the lawsuit not only names Narconon Georgia and its umbrella non-profit corporations — Narconon International and the Association of Better Living and Education — but also the Religious Technology Center, the Church of Scientology’s controlling entity.

This suit, more than others before it, aims to connect Scientology and Narconon in a relationship of deceit: “The Defendants direct staff members and salespeople to lie about, misrepresent, or otherwise conceal Narconon’s connection to Scientology.”

Pete Combs of WSB Radio will have more on the lawsuit in a story this afternoon. For now, we’re posting the complaint itself as we gather more information about it.

On first glance, this suit ups the ante on Narconon’s recent trouble not only by encouraging many more former patients to join the class action, but also because the lawsuit goes to the heart of the relationship between a local Narconon center, Narconon International, and the Church of Scientology’s highest levels of corporate control.

Narconon Class Action Lawsuit

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Here’s Pete Combs’ radio spot about the story…

 

 
And here’s Pete’s story at the WSB Radio website. An excerpt…

The 41-page lawsuit accuses Narconon of Georgia of fraud, deceptive practices and negligence. It also names the Religious Technology Center, Inc. (RTC); the Association for Better Living and Education International (ABLE); and Narconon International as defendants.

“These are organizations that lead from the Church of Scientology to Narconon of Georgia. Through these organizations, the church controls every action of Narconon of Georgia and other facilities like it around the country,” [Jeff] Harris said.

 
Over the past year, we’ve been reporting on the stunning conflagration that has been consuming Scientology’s drug rehab program, which for years has been one of its most reliable money makers.

But as we’ve shown in multiple stories, every step of Narconon’s business model has been dogged by allegations of deceit. And this lawsuit appears to go after each of those deceptive practices — from using generic websites to direct new patients to Narconon centers based on bogus information, to promises about drug counseling and medical personnel, to claims of success that cannot be documented.

Previously, Harris had uncovered stunning documents put together by Narconon’s own umbrella organization which clearly recorded these problems at its Narconon Georgia organization. A coordinated effort by Atlanta’s local media then uncovered evidence of insurance and credit card fraud, which has led to criminal investigations and a raid of the facility.

And now, Harris clearly intends not only to target that Narconon facility, but the reins of control, which lead to Scientology’s highest rung — church leader David Miscavige, who is chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center.

Here is Narconon Georgia’s statement to Pete Combs…

The lawsuit has not been served. However, from what we understand, this case lacks merit and is simply an attempt to obtain money from a non-profit dedicated to helping address this nation’s drug epidemic. Drug addiction destroys lives and anyone who has dealt with drug addicts knows the depths to which they have sunk in terms of health, mental instability and in many cases criminality. It can be a long hard road back. In the face of this harsh fact of life, scores of successful Narconon graduates and their families attest that the program has transformed and saved lives through recovery and sobriety. Narconon of Georgia has served the Atlanta community for the past decade offering drug education, prevention and rehabilitation services. — Narconon of Georgia attorney Brian McEvoy

 
See our previous stories about Narconon’s nightmare year…

December 26: Narconon Georgia Facing Closure: It Shouldn’t Have Taken a Death
February 8: Scientology’s Atlanta Drug Rehab Buys Its Way Out of Courtroom Nightmare
March 7: NARCONON CEO GARY SMITH LOSES COUNSELOR CERTIFICATION
March 11: LEAKED: Scripts Spell Out How Scientology Directs the Unsuspecting to Its Rehab Network
March 21: SCIENTOLOGY DRUG REHAB CENTER HIT WITH FIVE MORE LAWSUITS
April 1: LEAK: Narconon’s Legal Affairs Director Admits No Scientific Basis for Advertised Success Rates
April 3: LEAK: Scientology’s Rehab Went from $5,000 to $2.5 Million in Insurance Revenue in One Year
April 26: RAID ON SCIENTOLOGY’S DRUG REHAB CENTER IN ATLANTA
May 6: Investigation of Scientology Drug Rehab Program in Georgia Shifts to Credit Card Fraud
May 9: Search Warrant Affidavit: Scientology’s Atlanta Drug Rehab Billed $3 Million in Insurance Fraud

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on June 4, 2013 at 15:15

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