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Escaping from a Scientology drug rehab center: A transcript

Per Wickstrom

Per Wickstrom

Recently, we received a message through Facebook from someone we didn’t know. She was frantic, worried about getting her cousin out of a drug rehab clinic in Michigan. The clinic, Best Drug Rehabilitation, is one of several Michigan facilities either owned or run by Per Wickstrom or a member of his family, and is modeled on Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon. Like Narconon centers, Best Drug uses Scientology training rather than drug counseling on its patients, who are not informed ahead of time of that link. We’ve provided this transcript from actual Facebook messages, with only slight edits for clarity and spelling, and we’ve changed the name of the woman who contacted us to “Anne.”

August 28, 8:52 pm
ANNE: My cousin [Name] is in rehab in Manistee, Michigan. He never knew it was Scientology when he desperately needed help, and they offered to pay for a ticket and have him flown to their facility. He is a Catholic. He found out real fast that there is a lot of no good happening there. He is finished with detox and is in counseling. He called me and asked to get him out of there. I have checked buses and I can get him out tomorrow, but he is afraid they won’t give him his belongings. He is really afraid he will be blocked from leaving. What can I do if they deny him leaving? Thank you.

9:28 pm
THE BUNKER: I’m told that the Manistee Police Department is very familiar with this kind of situation, and they’ve helped other people who wanted to leave. You should give them a call.


10:13 pm
ANNE: Should I give them a call tonight or tomorrow?

10:15 pm
ANNE: [Name] is going to call me in the morning and let me know if they give him a hard time. His bus leaves Cadillac, MI at 1:15 pm tomorrow to [city]. He will get the city bus in front of the rehab center and take it to Cadillac where he will get on Indian trail bus line to [city] and then to [city] and then to [city] at 3:15am. I need to know when to call the police department. Thank you so much

10:50 pm
THE BUNKER: I would call them first thing in the morning to let them know that there might be a situation. Give them your cousin’s name and approximately what time he might be leaving. And if you can, let your cousin know that you’re making that call. He has every right to leave, and the police are used to that place being a crappy hellhole.

Aug 29th, 12:23 am
ANNE: Thank you. Will let you know

8:48 am
ANNE: The police are going to make sure he is ready to catch bus at 9 am.

9:03 am
THE BUNKER: Fantastic. This is great news.

9:24 am
ANNE: I hope he is on the bus. Thank you so much. I certainly will make others aware of this issue. Thanks for all you do. God bless you

ANNE: He is on his way home on the bus

Aug 30th, 9:40 am
THE BUNKER: You did a great job. Now, I hope his family can help him out on the other end of that bus ride.

Aug 31st, 5:57 pm
ANNE: Thank you for all you do. If you know of a class action suit we would like to be a part of it.

THE BUNKER: Your cousin might look at this website… Lawsuits Against Narconon – Hamilton Law

Yesterday we checked with Anne, who says her cousin is doing much better now that he’s away from BDR.


Bryan Seymour catches Scientology in the act

Our man Down Under alerted us to this great story that just aired in Sydney, where Scientology has reached a new low…


And here’s the flier itself, which Mike Rinder posted to his blog on Thursday…


UPDATE: Added to the story at 7 News…


‘This term was not used for trade purposes, but for internal use only.

‘The Church in Australia and New Zealand recognises the historic important of ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Army Corps). We used this term in the spirit of cooperation between the two countries for an internal event.

‘We mean no disrespect to anyone, particularly those people who gave their lives for both countries.

‘We have the upmost respect for the meaning of ANZAC and would not seek to denigrate what it represents.

‘If we have offended anyone we apologize.’


‘I do not understand your response. The attached fundraising flyer was disseminated in order to maximise fundraising.

‘Please respond with a full description of many people and how many jurisdictions have seen this advertisement?

‘By “the term”, do you mean the use of the word ANZAC?

‘Regardless of your intent, do you accept that your misuse of the ANZAC legend, and the accompanying artwork and presentation, is deeply offence to all Australians and New Zealanders and is illegal?

‘I believe an on-camera apology is required – when can I film this?


The Freewinds turns 25!

Our thanks to the tipster who sent in this image from the latest copy of Freewinds magazine, which shows the celebration on board for the barge’s 25th anniversary as Scientology’s private cruise ship. We see Nancy Cartwright there on the left enjoying the festivities, but where’s the leader of the Sea Org himself, David Miscavige? Too busy?



Posted by Tony Ortega on September 12, 2014 at 07:30

E-mail your tips and story ideas to 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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