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Scientology’s drug rehab system hit with tenth federal fraud lawsuit by Las Vegas attorney

Rainbow_CanyonLas Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton has filed his tenth federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon. Filed in Nevada, the lawsuit alleges that the Scientology rehab center in that state, Rainbow Canyon Retreat, promised effective drug counseling delivered by licensed medical personnel, and instead delivered Scientology training from former addicts.

It’s a set of allegations that we’re very used to hearing, not only in Hamilton’s lawsuits but in many others that have been targeting Narconon in recent years.

This time, plaintiffs Charis Yates and Dean Pugh and their daughter Beret Pugh, all of Washington State, are suing Narconon Fresh Start in Nevada and its umbrella organizations Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE).

On August 30, 2012, Charis Yates and Dean Pugh were looking for a drug rehab facility for their daughter Beret. They were told the usual story by representatives of “Fresh Start” — what some Narconon facilities are calling themselves now. They were told about Fresh Start’s 76-percent success rate, that their daughter would receive “extensive substance abuse treatment,” and that a sauna program would flush drug toxins from her body, reducing or eliminating her drug cravings.

And, like so many others, the couple was told that their daughter would be under the supervision of medical professionals.

They paid $33,000 for Beret’s treatment.


Hamilton accuses Narconon of hiding its connections to Scientology in the contract it asked the couple to sign. In fact, the Narconon program isn’t drug counseling at all, but instead it’s low-level Scientology training with no scientific basis.

In contrast to Defendants’ representations to Dean that Beret would be receiving treatment from duly qualified and licensed professionals, the staff at Fresh Start consisted almost entirely of former “graduates” of the Narconon program. These personnel were not licensed counselors, therapists, or addiction specialists. Beret left Fresh Start early because she was not receiving any actual addiction treatment. She left Fresh Start much worse than when she entered and relapsed almost immediately. Plaintiffs have incurred expenses to get Beret the treatment Defendants promised to provide. Further, Beret has had to get help for the injuries Defendants’ “treatment” caused her.

Once again, Hamilton has brought in evidence from previous court cases against Narconon, including its own expert witness doubting the high success rates it touts.

Here’s the complaint…


Yates and Pugh v Narconon: Complaint

By our count, that’s ten federal fraud lawsuits Hamilton has filed against Narconon in California, Nevada, and Colorado.

Angelo Amato (San Diego)
Christy Estrada and Branden Chavez (San Diego)
Cathy and Michael Tarr (Nevada)
Harry and Lauren Geanacopulos (Nevada)
David, Stacy, and Jack Welch (Nevada)
Bryan and Nikki Mott (Colorado)
Charles and Tyler Matthys, and Linda Phillips (Colorado)
Kenneth and Jered Mowery (Watsonville, CA)
Robin Jones, James Ramirez Sr. and Jr. (Watsonville, CA)


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 28, 2014 at 07:00

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