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Scientology's Narconon Sued In Federal Court - Welch v Narconon Fresh Start


Happy Sapien
This lawsuit was filed in Nevada's federal court on January 29, 2014.

Here's a link to The Underground Bunker to read all of the issues involved/alleged, along with the actual Complaint: http://tonyortega.org/2014/02/02/sc...ada-sued-over-the-usual-litany-of-deceptions/


David, Stacy, and Jack Welch of Texas are suing Narconon Fresh Start, doing business as the Rainbow Canyon Retreat in Caliente, Nevada, for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.

According to the complaint, in August Stacy Welch and her husband David began searching on the Internet for a rehab facility for their son Jack, who was 19. Like so many others before her, Stacy found a site that purported to be an independent dispenser of advice about such facilities. She was strongly persuaded by a consultant from the website to send Jack to a Nevada center called “Fresh Start.”

“The consultant never referred to the facility as Narconon, but only as ‘Fresh Start,’” the complaint says.

Stacey and David were then told that they had to hurry, or their son “would wind up dead.”

That certainly sounds familiar. Last year, we reported that some scripts used by Narconon referrers had been leaked to the Internet, and one of the things that consultants are told to do is get a family worked up into a frenzy, telling them that if they don’t hurry, it could have dire consequences.

The Welches told Penn that they had spotted a reference to L. Ron Hubbard on the the Fresh Start website, but when they asked whether Scientology was involved, Penn assured them that it wasn’t.

The Welches were told they’d have to pay $33,000 up front, and that before Jack could enter the program in Nevada, he’d first have to go through a medical detox in Murrieta, California.

The Welches signed a contract, and the complaint points out that the contract describes Narconon’s origin — it was started in 1966 by a man named William Benitez, who had been inspired by Hubbard’s book, The Fundamentals of Thought.

The complaint points out that the actual name of the book is Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, The Basic Book of the Theory and Practice of Scientology for Beginners. The Welches believe that the full name is left out of the Narconon contract in order to hide the program’s connection to Scientology.

The contract also refers to the Narconon program as a secular one. But as we’ve pointed out many times, the Narconon program is virtually identical to the introductory levels of Scientology itself, as the Welches learned…

“Despite Narconon’s representation that it is a secular program, the Narconon Program has patients unwittingly practicing and studying Scientology in place of counseling for substance abuse.”
The first indication that the Welches had made a mistake was when they learned they’d have to pay an additional $3,250 for Jack’s medical detox.

After the detox facility (which they suspect was part of the Narconon network, even though they had been told it was “independent”), Jack was flown to Las Vegas, where he was picked up for the long drive to Caliente, Nevada “by a convicted felon who was the boyfriend of one of the Narconon staff members.”

When he got there, he was told he had to sign “a statement attesting that he is not a journalist and that he would not sue Narconon for anything that happens in the facility.”

Jack was housed in an area known as the “Treehouse,” where he began to go through Scientology training. He was later moved to the main housing area. But during his time there, he was not allowed to talk to his parents very often.

“In the initial calls to his family, Jack was always on a speakerphone with a staff member present. Jack and other students were afraid to criticize Narconon over the phone for fear of repurcussions from staff members,” the complaint says.

It also alleges that staff members were using drugs. As others have pointed out, staff workers at Narconon are former patients, and there are no medical personnel on hand.

"Despite Narconon’s representations that Jack would receive counseling, at no point did Narconon staff ever speak to Jack about the specifics of his life or his drug use and its causes. In fact, no one at Narconon ever spoke to Jack about substance abuse at all,” the complaint says. Instead, Jack received more Scientology training. Including the notorious exercise TR 8, which includes shouting instructions at an ashtray.

“Jack, like other students in the Narconon facility there at the time, was made to perform TR 8, and many other TRs that have no apparent connection to the treatment of substance abuse, for several hours each day,” the complaint says. “Jack felt very uneasy to be in a room filled with students screaming commands at ashtrays at the top of their lungs.”

The complaint then goes into a detailed description of the Scientology concepts and procedures that students are expected to absorb. They are also expected to sit in a sauna for several hours a day as part of Scientology’s “Purification Rundown,” which includes doses of Niacin up to 5,000 mg a day. Jack spent 24 to 26 days in the sauna.



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LAist: Drug Rehab Center Tricked Patient Into Studying Scientology, Lawsuit Says

A family has sued Narconon Fresh Start for disguising itself as a drug rehabilitation facility when it is really a center for teaching Scientology practices, such as screaming commands at ashtrays.

The family of patient Jack Welch claims in the lawsuit that the "program has patients unwittingly practicing and studying Scientology in place of counseling for substance abuse." The lawsuit, which was filed on Jan. 29, accuses Narconon of breach of contract, fraud and negligence, according to Tony Ortega of The Underground Bunker. The suit can be viewed in its entirety here.
Jack also alleges the facility made the patients practice a "Purification Rundown" which required them to take up to 5,000 mg of Niacin a day after vigorous exercise and then sit in a sauna for six hours a day for five weeks. If they complained about the Niacin, they would be punished, including having to spend more hours in the sauna. The lawsuit says:

Jack experienced severe dehydration, headaches, and persistent diarrhea during the sauna program. The Niacin made his skin feel as if he had a bad, lasting sunburn. He observed many of his fellow students likewise becoming ill during the sauna program. Each time Jack complained to the staff supervisor on duty about his severe headaches and feeling ill, he was told to get back in the ‘Box’ and, ‘What turns it on, turns it off’.


Happy Sapien
Scientology's Narconon Federal Lawsuit - Welch v Narconon Fresh Start - Update

On March 21, 2014, attorneys* for scientology's Narconon Fresh Start in this case filed their 9-paged Answer to the original Complaint.

To read the actual Answer, along with Tony Ortega's excellent commentary, visit The Underground Bunker here: http://tonyortega.org/2014/03/25/ne...ra-decrescenzos-case-and-narconon-lawyers-up/

Counsel for the Defense:

S. Brent Vogel
Alayne M. Opie
Law Firm: Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP.

There's no information available at this time about whether these same attorneys will serve as defense counsel in the other federal lawsuit filed by Ryan Hamilton in Nevada. <----Tarr v Narconon Fresh Start. See ESMB thread here: http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthre...on-Fresh-Start&p=908632&viewfull=1#post908632



Happy Sapien

From The Underground Bunker link above...
There's a hearing* today in Nevada's District Court - yay! :happydance:

Hoping Ryan ("Hambo") Hamilton, the attorney for the Welch family, will contact The Underground Bunker today/tomorrow with a hearing recap.

Here's an excerpt with links to the filed court docs...

We told you previously that in one of the suits, Welch v. Narconon, Narconon’s attorneys had filed a motion to dismiss, and Hamilton then moved for some of Narconon’s responses to be considered admitted. And now he’s filed another reply which explains why Narconon’s attorneys are dissembling when they act like they’ve never heard such accusations before.

*Sorry it wasn't posted on our ESMB calendar; Tony Ortega has WAY better access to info/docs/people than I do. :yes:


Silver Meritorious Patron
So what happened?

Jack spent 24 to 26 days in the sauna.

This is worth more than a few thousand dollars.

I get the feeling that public awareness of Narconon is about where public awareness of Scientology was back round about 2010.

These concerned parents are no doubt hungry for cash but we need a few who refuse to settle for peanuts and go for the goolies. Like David 'lion-hearted' Love, who knows all about the abuses from the inside and out.