Tony Ortega on the future of Narconon

Discussion in 'Narconon' started by The Wrong Guy, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. patriot75 Member

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology-backed drug rehab operates despite deaths there | The Associated Press


    A Church of Scientology-backed drug rehabilitation program in southeastern Oklahoma where four clients died continues to operate because of a loophole in a state law intended to provide more oversight of drug and alcohol rehab centers.

    Oklahoma enacted Stacy's Law in 2013 after 20-year old Stacy Dawn Murphy died at the Narconon Arrowhead facility of an accidental drug overdose a year earlier.

    But a loophole in the law lets the facility continue to operate its drug rehabilitation program — certified not as an inpatient treatment program, but as a halfway house, The Oklahoman reported ( ).

    The exception allows the facility to operate with less state scrutiny.

    Murphy came to the facility overlooking Lake Eufaula near Arrowhead State Park seeking to beat a heroin addiction in 2012, said her parents, who are suing the facility in civil court for negligence and wrongful death.

    She was among four patients to die at the facility in three years. Numerous civil lawsuits have been filed against the center, and Narconon Arrowhead has settled many of them under confidential terms.

    Gary Smith, executive director of Narconon Arrowhead, said the program continues to offer the same services, as a certified halfway house by the state, and says the facility changed its policies since the deaths of the four clients. He didn't elaborate on what policy changes were made.

    No criminal charges have been filed against the facility in connection with the deaths.

    "It's a different certification," Smith said. "It's a level of care. We are a drug rehab, like we always have been. Halfway house is a level of care that Oklahoma has for drug rehab programs."

    Murphy's lawsuit is scheduled for trial later this year in McAlester.

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  3. DeathHamster Member

    They sliced a bit out of the source story talking about CARF.
    CARF has a bullshit "three-year accreditation" where they don't list the start or expiry dates.
    I guess that means "accredited so long as they don't kill any more people."
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  4. DeathHamster Member


    How can CARF accredit Arrowhead for a program that it can't legally offer?
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  5. patriot75 Member

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  6. DeathHamster Member

    I noticed that it seemed to be an uncredited version of the AP story.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Another rehash, bringing more exposure:

    Scientology-Based Rehab Continues To Operate Despite Slew of Deaths, Lawsuits

    The controversial program has not been criminally charged for the on-site overdose deaths.

    By Keri Blakinger, The Fix


    When Stacy Dawn Murphy checked into rehab at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, it seemed like a step in the right direction. The former waitress hoped to kick her heroin habit, and the Pittsburg County facility looked like a good choice, especially given its reported claims of 70% recovery rates.

    But instead, Murphy died in July 2012 when she overdosed inside the Scientology-based rehab center. A year later, Oklahoma enacted Stacy’s Law to provide better oversight for drug rehabs by criminally punishing facilities that attempt to provide rehabilitation without proper state certification. But after four deaths in three years and a slew of civil lawsuits, somehow the facility is still open — and without that necessary certification.

    A loophole in the law distinguishes between inpatient facilities — which need the certification — and halfway houses, which need a less stringent kind of certification. But because the facility near Lake Eufaula is certified as the latter, it has been able to escape the watchful eye of state regulation, according to the Associated Press.


    One former client, Colin Henderson, even launched an anti-Narconon Facebook page called Narconon Exposed. “Stacy’s Law should have shut them down,” he said. “They should not be open right now.”

    Full article:
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology’s Narconon rehabs haven’t changed in the least, even after dozens of lawsuits

    By Rod Keller, March 5, 2017


    The Narconon drug rehab facility in Fort Collins, Colorado is known as “A Life Worth Saving.” The former Diamond Crest Assisted Living center was purchased by Narconon in 2008, and the center offers the Scientology program of saunas, megadoses of vitamins, and “TRs” or “training routines.” In 2014 attorney Ryan Hamilton sued the facility on behalf of patients Tyler Mathys and Nikki Mott, claiming that the facility doesn’t provide actual treatment for drug addiction, and that it caused psychological injuries. (The suit was later settled.) No deaths have been reported at the facility, unlike others in the Narconon system.

    Baltimore resident Joseph Dahdah attended the facility briefly in 2015, and his experience suggests that even after years of patient deaths, government investigations, and dozens of lawsuits, the rehabs are still operating with almost no change at all. I spoke with him and his mother Christine this week and they described the experience.

    Five years ago Joseph started doing Oxycontin then moved on to heroin. “We sent him to Father Martin Ashley center in [Havre de Grace] Maryland,” says Christine. “He did a 30 day rehab, came home and shortly after that relapsed. He did Kolmac, which is an outpatient program through Shepherd Pratt [hospital in Towson, Maryland]. He relapsed. We then were terrified and desperate, and I went online and found this program. The person I spoke to told me about his previous drug use, and how they went to this Narconon of Fresh Start in Colorado. I thought it was a good idea to get him out of Baltimore because we’re the heroin capital of the country.”

    The referral line put Christine in touch with Narconon staff member Dan Carmichael. “He called every day, and I told him I’m reading on the Internet that you are Scientologists. He said they were not Scientologists, and they had a great program. My son would be outdoors and hiking and getting a lot of exercise.” She was still unsure about the program until she received a call from a different Narconon staff member, Josh Penn.

    “He called and told me his story that he had been to 11 different rehabs and this one was the only one that worked. And we were desperate, and Narconon wasn’t covered by insurance so we sent them $31,000.”

    Joseph arrived at Narconon A Life Worth Saving in 2015. He soon told his mother he wanted to leave. “He said I can’t stay here. There’s not enough food. They send out for pizza or subs every day. There’s not enough milk for cereal in the morning. It’s dirty, they don’t clean anything. It’s run by a bunch of former drug addicts who don’t know anything.”

    Joseph says, “People were catching rides to Denver to get high, then coming back with drugs. Some of the staff were having sex with the patients.” (Similar allegations of drug use and sex-for-drugs were made in lawsuits at various Narconon facilities in the last few years.) The staff confiscated a Bible sent to Joseph by his grandmother. He also says the staff would wake him up in the middle of the night to ask, “Who sent you here?” The staff suspected him of being a spy sent to investigate the Scientology nature of Narconon. “Mom, I can’t talk to an ashtray for five hours a day,” Joseph told Christine.

    Commanding an ashtray to stand up or sit down is part of the Scientology process known as TR-8: Tone 40 on an Object. Narconon patients perform many such training routines during their treatment. Narconon hires former patients directly into the same facility to become staff members with little or no training in substance abuse or recovery.

    Joseph’s stay at A Life Worth Saving was not long. Within two weeks he had been kicked out and the staff dropped off at a homeless shelter. The operator of the shelter told Christine, “We see people here all the time from that place.” He had a staph infection on his arms that he received from his roommate. The roommate had been sent to Narconon on antibiotics, but they were taken from him. His arms were horribly scarred that “looked like he had been in a fire,” says Christine. Narconon Colorado told her, “Your son is a liar and has a bad attitude.” And she says she replied, “Yes, that’s why we sent him there.” Narconon replied that if they were so bad, they wouldn’t still be operating, and that they send people into schools to do drug education programs and are well respected in the community.

    Christine says she contacted the police. “They said they didn’t have any complaints about Narconon Colorado,” she says. But this is not true. The Fort Collins Police Department has records from 2008-2013 of a variety of incidents at the facility.

    “We feel like we were scammed into sending money to an organization that was not what they said they were. We spoke to a few lawyers, and they said they were overwhelmed with clients from Narconon. They have cases where people died, or had more severe problems as a result of their stay, and they don’t have the money to take on all the cases that they would like to.”

    Since coming back to Baltimore Joseph has relapsed several times. He is now in an outpatient program that uses Suboxone, a drug used to treat patients with an addiction to opioids. He lives with his family, who are making sure he takes his meds and make him account for any money he makes. Christine says she will keep working to help her son, but regrets involving him in Scientology and Narconon.

    Source, and open comments:
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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    She ‘graduated’ from Scientology’s drug rehab, which told her she was cured. Now she’s dead.

    By Rod Keller, April 16, 2017


    My friend Wendy Lee Westling died of a heroin overdose in Reno, Nevada on April 8. Wendy was one of three women I interviewed for the first story I wrote on substance abuse-related deaths among former Narconon staff members. Karl Tempest, Kevin Vavrinka, Tabatha Fauteux, Nathan Dwyer, Jacob Heider, and now Wendy Lee Westling have all relapsed and died after serving as staff members at Scientology’s drug rehab network.

    She was a Narconon “student” and staff member at the Rainbow Ranch in Caliente, NV and also staff at Narconon South Texas in Harlingen. While every drug treatment program has patients that leave prematurely and relapse, deaths among drug addiction counselors in other programs are more rare. Narconon has lost at least six in the past few years.

    Outside of Narconon a recovered addict would be clean for years and nearly all take formal education to become a counselor. In Narconon, a patient one day becomes a counselor the next, and drug use is common at some Narconon centers among both patients and staff. As is true with so many addicts, I found out this week that Wendy lied about her addiction. She told me her only addiction was to alcohol, but in speaking to her friends I learned that before and after Narconon she had been addicted to heroin.

    She used heroin after graduating from the Rainbow Ranch in October 2014, and in desperation turned to the Scientology Purification Rundown program to help her get clean... She also volunteered to help with renovations at the Scientology Mission of the Foothills in Montrose, CA. She turned to Scientology itself because there is no aftercare program in Narconon. Graduates are told they are now cured, and will not experience a craving for drugs or alcohol. They are told the long hours of saunas at Narconon have removed their cravings. The large number of patient and staff deaths doesn’t support that claim.

    Continued here:
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology denied twice in wrongful death lawsuit as parents grieve for Tabatha Fauteux

    By Tony Ortega, April 22, 2017


    “There’s nothing we don’t miss about her. She was just a lot of fun. Even when you were having the worst day of your life, she could figure out how to get a smile out of you,” Guy Fauteux told us yesterday about his daughter Tabatha. “It’s the worst. And she was doing so good. She wanted to do so good.”

    We called him to catch up on what’s been happening in a wrongful death lawsuit that he and his wife Sheila filed against Scientology’s Narconon International and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) after Tabatha Fauteux’s heroin overdose in November 2015.

    You may remember our stories about Tabatha’s death. She had gone through Narconon’s rehab program in Texas and then was hired on staff. She was then flown to Los Angeles with her boyfriend, another Narconon staffer, to receive special training from ABLE on a new change being made to the Narconon counseling regime. While staying in Los Angeles at an apartment paid for by ABLE, Tabatha died of a heroin overdose.

    Tabatha’s boyfriend told us that fellow Narconon staff had given them “kratom,” an herbal drug that was supposed to deliver a high something like the heroin they had managed to put behind them. But the kratom didn’t really work as advertised, he told us, and only left them craving the real thing. So they started using heroin again, even as they were being trained on Narconon’s anti-drug program. One morning, the boyfriend found Tabatha in the shower, unresponsive. An autopsy confirmed that she died of a heroin overdose.

    In the wrongful death lawsuit her parents filed in November, the Fauteuxs are alleging that Narconon was negligent in its lax control of the recently graduated “students” of its program, and that they seemed more interested in trying to convince Tabatha to join Scientology than in keeping her sober.

    Narconon’s attorney, William Forman, jumped on that allegation, filing an anti-SLAPP motion that singled out the lawsuit’s references to proselytizing. Claiming that Narconon and ABLE are “secular,” he denied that Tabatha had been pressured to join Scientology, and even if the proselytizing had happened, it would be activity that is protected by the First Amendment.

    But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael J. Raphael issued a ruling that the lawsuit’s allegations of proselytizing aren’t being pointed to as the cause of Tabatha’s death, but they are being offered as evidence that Narconon was negligent in their supervision of Tabatha. Or, as the judge put it:

    Religious proselytization may be protected conduct under the anti-SLAPP statute in many circumstances. But in this Court’s view, plaintiffs’ claims in this first amended complaint arise from the alleged negligent supervision of plaintiff’s daughter in the training program, and not from protected activity.

    Judge Raphael denied Narconon’s anti-SLAPP motion. Narconon also filed a motion known as a demurrer, which in general is an admission of the facts but asks that a case be dismissed because it doesn’t meet a legal standard. In this instance, Narconon asked the judge to find that even if Tabatha died while in ABLE training, ABLE didn’t supply her with heroin, and it was Tabatha who injected herself, citing the “unclean hands” doctrine. In other words, they were saying, stop blaming us for her bad or immoral behavior. But Judge Raphael found that there were enough facts stated in the complaint to suggest that negligence could be proven, depending on what facts are presented at court. (He wasn’t saying the Fauteuxs would necessarily win at trial, but there was enough evidence to proceed for the time being.) As for the unclean hands of Tabatha Fauteux, the judge said:

    Plaintiffs might successfully argue that their daughter’s drug addiction was not morally blameworthy but rather was a morally neutral physical or psychological addiction that she did nothing to bring upon herself.

    We have to say, that sure seems like a pretty enlightened position for a judge to take.

    After a hearing was held on March 28, Judge Raphael denied the demurrer.

    We asked Guy Fauteux how he felt about that, but he admitted that he didn’t even know it had happened. “You’ve told me more about it than I’ve heard!” he said.

    We put in a call to Gary Richardson, who is representing the Fauteuxs, but he was in a conference and we hope to talk to him soon. He’s scored a couple of impressive victories early in this case, and we’ll be anxious to find out who he plans to depose as it moves forward.

    It was David Miscavige who ordered the new training program at the Narconon clinics, according to his pronouncements at Scientology events. And it was that new program that brought Tabatha Fauteux to Los Angeles. It might be a long shot to get Miscavige into the witness chair for this case, but it sure would be interesting.


    Continued at

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