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Ryan Hamilton makes it an even dozen federal lawsuits against Scientology’s rehab network

DozenLas Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton continues to pile on the hurt for Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon.

Just days after filing a lawsuit against Scientology’s rehab facility in Nevada, Hamilton filed a new federal lawsuit against Narconon’s center in Fort Collins, Colorado, which goes by the name A Life Worth Saving.

In this case, Ben Levy, a ski instructor, enrolled at A Life Worth Saving last July for a painkiller problem he’d picked up after a back injury.

Levy was told by the facility’s executive director, Glen Petcavage, that Narconon was a secular program “and in no way involves the practice or study of any religion.”

But Levy soon found himself taking part in strange Scientology processes, including yelling at ashtrays and giving “touch assists.”

“On one occasion, a Narconon counselor explained that she wanted to give Ben a touch assist on his back. Intead of touching his back, however, the counselor grabbed his crotch.”


Ben decided to leave, but found that Narconon’s staff wouldn’t let him go. After he persisted, they took him to a homeless shelter in Fort Collins, “without any money or [Levy’s] credit cards.” Levy then had to make his way home to Basalt, Colorado, which was hours away.

Narconon instructed Ben’s wife not to allow him back into their home. Consequently, Ben was forced to involve the police to gain entry into his own home. Narconon counselors repeatedly lied to Ben’s wife about him during his time at Narconon. Ben required counseling due to his experience at Narconon and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Unable to cope with trauma he had experienced, Ben attempted to take his own life and required hospitalization.

Here’s the complaint…


Levy v. Narconon: Complaint

By our count, that’s twelve federal 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)
Charis Yates, Beret and Dean Pugh (Nevada)
Lori, Ryan, and Jilliene Winchell (Nevada)

One of Hamilton’s dozen lawsuits faced a motion to dismiss and survived it, which bodes well for the rest surviving early challenges. Other lawsuits we’re watching:

Judge Ronald White

Judge Ronald White

The National Association of Forensic Counselors federal lawsuit against Scientology and Narconon: The NAFC named 82 defendants in this whopper lawsuit, which accuses Scientology and Narconon of conspiring to misuse the NAFC’s drug counseling certifications to make Narconon appear more legitimate than it is. We’ve now learned by looking at the lawsuit’s docket that it has been assigned to Federal District Court Judge Ronald A. White in Muskogee, Oklahoma, a George W. Bush appointee in 2003. The docket also reflects that three attorneys have made appearences for Narconon of Oklahoma: M. David Riggs, William Gregory James, and Donald M. Bingham, all of the Tulsa firm Riggs Abney. Additionally, numerous defendants have already been served the lawsuit, but Scientology leader David Miscavige is not yet among them. We’re very interested to see what kind of answer Riggs, James, and Bingham file.

Monique Rathbun’s Texas harassment lawsuit: Any day now, we’re expecting the Texas Third Court of Appeals to decide whether Comal County Judge Dib Waldrip abused his discretion when he found that Monique could depose David Miscavige for a jurisdictional issue. After that’s decided, the same court will consider Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion, which Waldrip denied. Until those appeals are decided, the case is shut down in Waldrip’s court.

Luis and Rocio Garcia’s federal fraud lawsuit in Tampa: Any day now, we’re expecting District Court Judge James D. Whittemore to rule on Scientology’s motion to force the Garcias into arbitration and dismiss their lawsuit. After the Garcias survived a motion to disqualify their attorneys and after a difficult jurisdiction battle, we’d be surprised if they didn’t also survive the arbitration motion. A lawsuit filed by attorney Vance Woodward in Los Angeles Superior Court is also facing a similar motion to force the case into arbitration — we’re waiting to see Vance’s answer to that.

Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced abortion lawsuit: Laura survived a major challenge in October in this 5-year lawsuit, and a trial was finally scheduled for early in 2015. But then Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohigian retired, and both sides exercised objections to judges who were selected to replace him. In the meantime, Scientology has filed numerous motions — calling for Laura to turn over an old computer, for example — which seem like fishing expeditions. Expect more hurdles from Scientology, but that 2015 trial date looms large.

Narconon lawsuits in Oklahoma: Former prosecutor Gary Richardson has been busy taking depositions in the numerous lawsuits he’s handling for the families of three patients who died at Scientology’s flagship rehab facility. But there’s still no word on county and state criminal investigations into the deaths more than two years after they happened. Also, we’re waiting to learn more about the firing of a state official whose attorney says her dismissal was related to the investigation of Narconon.


Meet an Ex-Scientologist

Chris Shelton provides a funny send-up of Scientology’s ongoing advertising campaign…



Posted by Tony Ortega on June 7, 2014 at 07:00

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