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Ryan Hamilton files two more federal lawsuits against Scientology’s drug rehab network

Willie_Mays2Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton is still on a roll, filing his 23rd and 24th lawsuits this week against the Church of Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon.

Beginning in January, Hamilton has been filing lawsuits against the Narconon facilities in California, Nevada, and Colorado, and over that time we’ve seen him bolster his complaints with material from other suits following patient deaths in Georgia and Oklahoma. In each case, Hamilton targets the local facility and two umbrella corporations, Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), which are staffed by Scientology “Sea Org” officers.

International and ABLE have already thrown in the towel on a number of lawsuits (at least more than seven of them), and at least one of the local facilities has entered into mediation to settle one of the suits. None of the numerous motions to dismiss filed against Hamilton’s suits has been successful.

So he keeps on filing them. In the 23rd suit, Michigan resident Deanna Tetreau was looking for a rehab facility for her daughter Jennifer Henning in January when she came across a website that claimed to be an independent referral service. It connected her with a Narconon Fresh Start representative, Josh Penn, who made the usual representations: That the Narconon program was scientifically proven, that it was drug counseling under the supervision of medical personnel, and that it had a success rate over 70 percent.

They signed a contract and paid $34,000 so Jennifer could attend the Narconon Fresh Start facility in Warner Springs, California, known as Sunshine Summit Lodge.

Like so many others before her, once Jennifer started the program, she realized it wasn’t drug counseling — it was Scientology training.


For example, in TR3, Fresh Start had Jennifer sit with another patient and repeatedly ask the other patient “Do fish swim?” for hours on end.

Hamilton points out that Narconon’s own expert witness in a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit couldn’t account for Narconon’s claim of such a high success rate and he admitted there was no science behind Narconon’s claims to “detoxifying” through extensive sauna use.

Despite Narconon’s representations that Jennifer would receive counseling, at no point did Narconon staff ever speak to Jennifer about the specifics of her life or her alcohol use and its causes. In fact, no one at Fresh Start ever spoke to Jennifer about substance abuse at all. Jennifer received no education about substance abuse, its causes and effects, or methods to deal with her addiction. Instead, Jennifer received instruction only in Scientology. Jennifer was unable to complete the Fresh Start program because during her time in the sauna treatment she had to be taken to the emergency room due to pain she was experiencing in her pancreas. Jennifer developed acute pancreatitis due to the high doses of Niacin she was required to take during the sauna treatment.

In the 24th lawsuit, the plaintiffs are Ken Vairo Sr. and his son Ken Jr. of Illinois. Ken Sr. was looking for a rehab facility for his son just this past August, and the same promises were made to them. Ken Sr. paid $31,000 for his son to go to the Narconon facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, “A Life Worth Saving.”

The Vairos also found that the program was not about drug counseling, but Scientology training.

In the Narconon Program, Fresh Start had Ken Jr. engage in Scientology drills known as “Training Routines” or “TRs.” To perform some of these TRs, Fresh Start instructed Ken Jr. to stare into the eyes of another patient for hours on end, stare at walls for hours on end, and ask another patient, “Do birds fly?” for hours on end. The Narconon books teach Scientology doctrines including, without limitation, the A-R-C triangle, the Eight Conditions of Existence, the Tone Scale, the Cycle of Communication, Overts and Withholds, Potential Trouble Sources and Suppressive Persons, the Scientology Ethics Conditions and their formulas. In addition, the Narconon Program has patients demonstrate their understanding of these Scientology doctrines using clay models.

Once again, the Narconon representatives had described a program that was very different than the one Ken Jr. actually found himself taking part in.

Despite Fresh Start’s representations that Ken Jr. would receive counseling, at no point did Narconon staff ever speak to Ken Jr. about the specifics of his life or his drug use and its causes. In fact, no one at Fresh Start ever spoke to Ken Jr. about his substance abuse at all. Instead, counselors at Fresh Start attempted to treat Ken Jr. using only Scientology. Ken Jr. left Fresh Start on or about September 11, 2014, because he was not receiving substance abuse counseling and he did not feel safe. Ken Jr. has suffered severe emotional distress resulting from his time at Fresh Start.

Here are the complaints for each of the suits…

Jennifer Henning and Deanna Tetreau (Warner Springs, CA)
Ken Vairo Sr. and Ken Jr. (Fort Collins, CO)

By our count, that’s twenty-four lawsuits Hamilton has filed against Narconon in California, Nevada, and Colorado.

Angelo Amato (Warner Springs, CA)
Christy Estrada and Branden Chavez (Warner Springs, CA)
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)
Ben Levy (Colorado)
Monica and Sean O’Connell (Watsonville, CA)
Ronald and Jason McClure (Nevada)
Michael and David Tino (Nevada)
Jerry and Christy Courson (Colorado)
Terney, Barbara, and Thomas Knoflick (Watsonville, CA)
Claudia and Sarah Buchett (Warner Springs, CA)
Sherri and Emily Brown (Warner Springs, CA)
Christopher, Curtis, and Linda Keller (Warner Springs, CA)
Stephen and Donna Koslow (Nevada and Warner Springs, CA)
Wes, Ricky, and Jana Martin (Nevada)


How do you get a whale to beach itself in West Sussex?

Another creative effort by the Church of Scientology to lure its wealthy members to the fleecing party in East Grinstead, England.



Posted by Tony Ortega on October 9, 2014 at 07:00

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