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More trouble for Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon — this time in Florida

Suncoast's future location, a former church

Suncoast’s future location, a former church

Joe Childs at the Tampa Bay Times last night reported that there’s trouble potentially brewing for the Scientology drug rehab facility in Hernando County, Florida.

Suncoast Rehabilitation Center, part of Scientology’s Narconon network, has been in the news recently for a dispute with the county over its expansion plans. The Times has closely watched that battle, which took a fortunate turn for Suncoast when it successfully appealed a low damage award (the case is now in mediation). Childs reported last month that another facility, a former church, was purchased in Clearwater by the same owners, and we told you that according to our sources Suncoast is planning on moving its operation from Hernando County to the Clearwater location.

And now Childs has learned that Suncoast may be in some trouble with the state, after its director, Tammy Strickland, testified in the county dispute that three additional, unlicensed locations were rented in 2011 by Suncoast for housing patients and staff.

That’s a big no-no, Childs points out.

“My mouth is hanging open,” said Department of Children and Families licensure specialist Troy McDermott, when told of the rented sites. In his 21 years at DCF, he never has encountered a center providing services at unlicensed facilities, he said.

Childs writes that if the state investigates, penalties could range up to the facility losing its license.

And about that license — Childs previously reported that the new location, in Clearwater, has filed for licensure not as a drug rehab facility but as a “halfway house.”

That makes two Narconon centers that have applied for certification as halfway houses that we know of — the network’s flagship facility in Oklahoma, Narconon Arrowhead, also recently applied for that status.

For a couple of years now, we’ve been watching as the Narconon network has found itself under siege after several patient deaths, followed by government investigations and dozens of lawsuits. We have to wonder if shifting their licenses to halfway houses is a strategy for Narconon to become less regulated now that so much negative attention has been focused on the system. We’d like to know if any other Narconon facilities have applied for halfway house status, and will the facilities begin charging less or changing their programs after dialing back on their licensure? We’d love to hear from the numerous researchers who watch Narconon nearly full time and read this website — let us know if you’ve heard anything about the “halfway house” maneuver spreading across the country.

A source familiar with the Narconon Spring Hill situation tells us that the halfway house designation won’t stop the rehab center from doing what it’s done in the past…

“There’s just no way that Narconon is going to be out of the business of rehab. It just doesn’t make any sense. Every Thursday at 2 pm they’re scrambling to make their stats. It’s a money-making business. That isn’t going to change, whatever the license is. You can’t just steer that ship in another direction.”

 
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In Scientology, there is no god

A strong new video statement by Karen de la Carriere…

 

 
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Scientology in your Congress, safepointing your d00dz

Hey, Congressional staffers, are you in town while Congress is still at recess with nothing to do? Well, Scientology would love for you to come by the Fraser Mansion to hear about a great humanitarian named L. Ron Hubbard! What a party!

 
DCInvite

 
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Scientology at the Fringe

A tipster is back from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he tells us Scientology went all out with its “Truth About Drugs” campaign. He sent us a couple of photos…

 
EdFringe2

 
EdFringe3

 
Our tipster tells us that the American accents suggested that this wasn’t a production of the local org.

Also, the Scotsman covered the drugs campaign with one of the sloppiest clip-jobs we’ve seen about Scientology in a long time.

The article, for example, said that “this year” the church was ordered to pay “6 million in damages to former member Lawrence Wollsersheim [sic] who claimed he was pushed to the brink of suicide in a lawsuit in the United States.”

Wollersheim was awarded nearly $9 million, but that was 12 years ago.

The article also blamed Scientology for the breakup of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Readers of this blog know that Scientology has been responsible for the breakup of innumerable couples and families, but the Cruise-Kidman matchup was, as far as we know, one that split up for other reasons.

Well, whatever. The Scotsman did refer to Scientology as a “money-grubbing cult,” and you have to hand it to Scots for their frankness.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on August 26, 2014 at 07:40

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, 48

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, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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