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Scientology’s fight with Ryan Hamilton delivers dox: The Eric Tenorio affidavit and more

Eric Tenorio

Eric Tenorio

With lawsuits and criminal investigations multiplying across the country, Scientology’s legal corps is busier than ever. We’re waiting to hear about possible grand jury indictments for insurance fraud at Scientology’s drug rehab facility in Oklahoma. Also in that state, we’re watching a massive lawsuit that accuses the church of a conspiracy to dupe the public about its counseling credentials and has 82 defendants, including Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige. A harassment lawsuit in Texas, a forced-abortion suit in Los Angeles, and a federal fraud lawsuit in Tampa have each produced stunning evidence and dramatic days in court.

And then, seemingly out of nowhere, came Ryan Hamilton. Since January the Las Vegas attorney has filed 18 lawsuits — 17 of them in federal court — against Scientology’s rehab network, Narconon. We reported on Saturday that two of Scientology’s entities (Narconon International and ABLE, the Association for Better Living and Education) have already thrown in the towel on seven of those suits, settling to get out of them.

Each of the lawsuits also names a local Narconon facility, so all 18 suits are still active, and Scientology is fighting back.

In the Mowery lawsuit, for example, Narconon’s attorneys have filed a motion to compel arbitration. They point out that in the contract Kenneth Mowery signed for treatment of his son Jered, there’s a clause requiring that any dispute be taken to mediation, and if that fails, to arbitration. (The Mowery lawsuit is one that Narconon International and ABLE have bailed out of. The motion to compel was filed by Narconon of Northern California, which operates the facility, Narconon Redwood Cliffs in Watsonville, that Jered went to.)

Hamilton had anticipated that move, and had called the arbitration clause in the contract “unconscionable,” a legal definition that Narconon, in its motion to compel, goes to considerable lengths to knock down.

In the original complaint, Hamilton laid out an argument that Narconon’s business model is deceptive from beginning to end, and that the Mowerys had no idea they were walking into a Scientology front group…

Defendants perpetrate this scheme as follows: When prospective patients or their loved ones are referred to Narconon, they then speak to an intake specialist. The intake specialist – following a script – makes claims that Narconon knows to be false and without scientific support such as the claims that Mike DiPalma made to Kenneth Mowery in this case on or about March 29, 2013. These false claims include: (i) that NNC [Narconon of Northern California] has a more than 75% success rate; (ii) that NNC’s sauna program reduces or eliminates drug cravings by eliminating toxins from an addict’s fatty tissue; (iii) that patients at NNC will receive extensive drug counseling; (iv) that the NNC program does not involve the study or practice any religion; and (v) that patients at NNC will be under the supervision of licensed physicians and other medical personnel. As was the case here, Defendants often recruit prospective clients from different states in which the facility is located. For that reason, Defendants’ use of the phones, wires, mail, and Internet is integral to their fraudulent scheme.

Narconon’s response is, essentially, we don’t care what the facts are, the Mowerys signed a document taking away their right to sue.

We’ll be interested to see how Hamilton responds.

Some of the lawsuits Hamilton filed have been active long enough that they’re starting to produce some very interesting documents. In the Geanacopulos lawsuit against the Narconon in Nevada, for example, Narconon International and ABLE filed a motion to dismiss, claiming a lack of personal jurisdiction and a failure to state a claim.

Hamilton answers with a detailed response, but also attaches numerous exhibits that we know some of our knowledgeable readers are going to find fascinating.

In their motion to dismiss, Narconon International and ABLE had followed the usual Scientology playbook, claiming that they were merely licensors of some trademarks, and as California entities have nothing to do with the Nevada operation.

But Hamilton has done his homework. He files copies of Narconon’s own operations manuals showing that Narconon International is intimately involved with personnel and other matters at the local facilities.

In order to hammer home that point about control by Narconon International, Hamilton filed an affidavit by Eric Tenorio, a former Narconon executive who has been a regular feature in our stories and who appeared last year on NBC’s Rock Center.

Eric worked at five different Narconon facilities and reached the position of executive director, the highest post at a Narconon center. In his declaration, Tenorio says that Narconon International was much more than a “licensor” for the Narconon facilities. International actually oversaw the hiring and firing of employees at the local centers, investigated claims of wrongdoing, made “tech inspections” of the facilities, approved recruitment websites, and took care of promotion and advertising.

As an Executive Director at Narconon Freedom Center, it was not unusual for me to receive calls from the Executive Director or other persons at Narconon International several times per day. Narconon International was always interested in what was happening at the facility, and, in particular, how much money the facility was bringing in and how much money was going to be sent to Narconon International. Narconon International receives ten percent of the gross income from each Narconon center. Because of this, Narconon International is constantly pushing Narconon centers to bring in more students.

Tenorio also says that individual Narconons maintain a “building fund” that he saw drained by Narconon International and ABLE in order to fund a Scientology book campaign — the “Basics,” which began in 2007. That sure seems like the kind of thing the IRS should be keen to look into.

Another exhibit in the filing is a damning e-mail which we wrote about more than a year ago. In it, Narconon International’s legal affairs officer, Claudia Arcabascio, admits that there’s no scientific evidence for Narconon’s claims that more than 70 percent of its patients never relapse. (Reputable rehab networks claim a success rate of more like 20 percent.)

Hamilton also takes this opportunity to file responses to interrogatories that were made in another of his lawsuits, the Welch case. In this form of preliminary litigation, Hamilton had sent over some questions he wanted Narconon to answer. Narconon’s attorneys responded with multiple objections, and by trying to minimize the information they were sending. But they also managed to say some interesting things. For example, how much Scientology’s vaunted (and comical) “personality test” is used in Narconon…

The “Oxford Capacity Analysis” or OCA test is administered at intervals throughout the program to gauge changes in behavioral traits commonly exhibited by individuals that are using drugs or alcohol. Additionally, it serves as a tool to gauge the effectiveness of different elements of the program in relation to handling the problems that led each individual to the abuse of drugs or alcohol to begin with.

Oh brother.

Also, Narconon’s attorneys give justifications for the Scientology training routines that are used in the rehab program. We’ll let you dig around for those.

Exhibit A: Running an Effective Narconon (Manual)
Exhibit B: Opening a Successful Narconon (Manual)
Exhibit C: Affidavit of Eric Tenorio
Exhibit D: Email by Claudia Arcabascio
Exhibit E: Narconon’s answers to interrogatories in the Welch lawsuit

 
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The Hollywood report

From one of our very best tipsters…

Celebrity Centre International’s 45th Anniversary gala is coming up soon (August 9th). They’re doing a lot of internal refurbishment work (which definitely didn’t need to be done), and they’re estimating 700 guests. It’s a black tie event, with Hollywood Celebrity Centre’s parking lot converted for it. Previous galas had a high number of non-Scientology attendees (up to 1/3, it’s claimed).

Two of the non-Scientology speakers’ names spotted for this year:

— Robert L. Hill, DEA Special Agent (Office of Diversion Control), speaking about our Drug Free World programs

— Allison Folmar, Detroit Constitutional Attorney, speaking about psych drugging of children

Thanks for that announcement!

 
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Camilla Andersson and the rigors of Sea Org life

Another great segment from Karen de la Carriere in her series with Camilla Andersson

 

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

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer

 

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