Tony Ortega on the future of Narconon

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

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology Anti-Drug Program: Fabricated Court Orders Suggest Attempt to Silence Critics

    Someone appears to be trying to scrub warnings about the church's controversial Narconon program from the internet.

    By Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, August 9, 2017


    Nearly a decade after Scientology prompted a high-profile internet protest movement — sparked when the church attempted to remove a damaging YouTube video of member Tom Cruise speaking about the religion — comes the discovery of a new covert campaign to subvert online criticism of the organization's social work. A series of forged court orders were submitted to Google (and possibly to Yahoo and Bing as well) in 2016 in an attempt to convince the search giant to expunge links to written objections to Scientology's controversial anti-drug program Narconon. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment when asked whether it is investigating the issue, which involves the bogus signatures of judges from multiple states.

    Collectively, the material seeks to mend the standing of unbranded Narconon facilities in Michigan and their owner, a prominent Scientologist named Per Wickstrom, whose reputations have been battered by statements on a number of dedicated websites and message boards critical of the church and the program, including and, as well as the general consumer watchdog service (Neither Wickstrom, reached through his Serenity Point facility near Grand Rapids, Michigan, nor the Church of Scientology returned requests for comment.)

    [ ]

    Four fabricated orders, dated May and August 2016, ostensibly grant injunctions against the tech companies, preventing them from linking to material that, the documents assert, the courts found defamatory in Hamilton County, Ohio; Fulton County, Georgia; and Philadelphia. Some of the orders appear to be templated on an authentic Hamilton County court order from March 2015, which also was submitted to Google on behalf of a small San Francisco production company called Wild Strawberry Entertainment.

    It's unclear who's responsible for forging the orders. However, THR reviewed another sham Hamilton County document involving a request to remove links from search engines, a process known as de-indexing. THR obtained a business contract connected to this other filing, indicating that an entity called Web Savvy had charged a fee of $3,750 for the successful elimination of each "negative" link. Web Savvy and a related company,, are based in Torrance, just south of Los Angeles, and both are run by a marketing consultant named John Rooney, who describes himself on LinkedIn as an expert in "removing negative content from the web and promoting client's positive image," citing at the top of a list of sites he focuses on.

    Corresponding by email, Rooney denied that his firm had any connection to Narconon. When pressed to explain the documentation, he stopped responding to emails and phone calls.

    Neither the judges nor the lawyers impersonated in the materials would comment. The search firms also declined to address the matter.

    The affected websites themselves, however, were both candid and unsurprised. "We've been dealing with shenanigans like this for a while," explained Mary McConnell, the pseudonym of an activist volunteer with two of them, and "To go so far as using the name of real judges is what's eye-opening." Adds a weary Ed Magedson, owner of, with a more general observation: "It has become far more prevalent in the last year or so to attempt to de-index us with Google, since that's how users find content anyway, and Google appears to almost automatically rubber-stamp [requests], so some people try to take advantage." had previously alerted its readership community that in February 2016 a "Larry Brennan" requested that Google remove, due to an alleged copyright violation, a document published on Carnegie Mellon's website detailing the state of Oklahoma mental health board's 1991 denial of a Narconon application for certification. Brennan, a former high-ranking Scientologist turned critic — who was transgender and transitioned in 2012 to Denise — died in 2014.

    Continued at
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology anti-drug program: Fabricated court orders suggest attempt to silence critics’

    By Eugene Volokh, The Washington Post, August 10, 2017


    Gary Baum (Hollywood Reporter), who has written a lot about Scientology, has the story:


    For more on the Internet libel takedown system — other forgeries, other forms of misconduct and still other matters — see these posts.


    This post has also been added to the thread about the Scientology and the Aftermath TV series:
  4. Actor Mark Ruffalo has tweeted the story. He has 3.33 million followers. His tweet has been retweeted 115 times.

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Just Say No To Xenu’s Fraud | Letters To The Editor, Jersey Shore Online

    By Rev. Dr. Eric Hafner, November 3, 2017


    Many New Jerseyans are in need of a treatment program, to help break free from the grasp of addiction to drugs like heroin/opiates or a drinking problem. Families have often sent loved ones to multiple programs in the hopes of sobriety. But let’s not make a bad situation worse, and lose your money to a scam.

    In an internet search for drug treatment programs, a group called “Narconon” will likely be a result. At times the group will operate treatment referral pages that mask their true operator. On their websites, they falsely claim 75 percent success rates. These rates are bogus.

    Narconon is operated by the Church of Scientology, and bases their programs on brainwashing persons into the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard, and have attracted allegations of fraud, in addition to negligence when deaths have occurred in their sci-fi quack programs.

    Narconon is not a medical program. Its staff has no bona fide medical qualifications. Sales staff are trained to manipulate the dynamics of a family in crisis, and are paid thousands of dollars per patient enrolled. Despite a similar name, Narconon has no links to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous whatsoever.

    Communities, elected officials, schools, and even police departments should be on the lookout for Narconon and other Scientology front groups, seeking to recruit new members and sources of income for what the German government has deemed a corporate cult with fascist objectives. We should listen to the warnings of actress Leah Remini and if Scientology comes knocking, “Just Say No” and ask “How’s Xenu?”

    Want to learn more about the cult’s space alien beliefs without paying or heaven forbid, joining? Check out and you can do so. The “Church” of Scientology denies the existence of Space Lord Xenu in their beliefs at times, yet has claimed copyright ownership over such materials. The documents on WikiLeaks would cost a total of at least $250,000 to $350,000 to buy through a Scientology program. Also watch out for their “Free Personality Test” tables in public places.

    I urge the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and county prosecutors to open criminal investigations into Narconon, for fraud and unlicensed practice of medicine.

    Rev. Dr. Eric Hafner
    Toms River

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    This was published in Volume 19 Number 1 of the Marburg Journal of Religion, which Wikipedia describes as "a peer-reviewed online academic journal that publishes articles on empirical and theoretical studies of religion."

    Narconon, Scientology, and the Battle for Legitimacy

    By Stephen A. Kent


    This article provides an historical description and analysis of Scientology’s controversial drug treatment program, Narconon. Following scholarship by sociologist Terra Manca on Scientology’s pseudo-medicine, I argue that Scientology initially wavered about acknowledging its program to be part of its ‘religion,’ but eventually dropped this claim as it attempted to get Narconon programs and teachings established in communities. I show, however, the intimate association between Scientology and Narconon courses, and present some of the evidence that the program lacks scientific validity - especially its Purification Rundown.

    More at
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  8. Incredulicide Member

    subjects:recruitment,deceit,medical claims,detox,Purification Rundown,pseudoscience,Guardians Office,cost,anti-psychiatry,secrecy,Field Staff Member,IRS,lawsuit,National Association of Forensic Counselors

    front-groups:Narconon,Association for Better Living and Education,ABLE,Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education,FASE,Church of the New Faith

    places:Latin America,Europe,Russia,the Ukraine,Turkey,Nepal,Australia,Phoenix,Arizona,Hawaii,Vacaville,California,Boston,Long Island,Delaware,Ontario,British Columbia,Canada,Los Angeles,Mexico,Palo Alto,Detroit,Michigan,Minnesota,Minneapolis,Newport Beach,Nevada,Pacific Coast,Oklahoma,Philadelphia,Boise,Seattle,Toronto,Sacramento,Miami,Villa Victoria,Ojai,Atlanta,Georgia,Heathfield,Indiana,Florida,Colorado,Texas,Virginia

    people:Kirstie Alley,William Benitez,Arthur Maren,Mark Jones,John Elliot,John Burns,Robert Vaughn Young,Frank Gerbode,Brendon Moore,Lorna Levett,Nate Jessop,Larry Trahant,Gene Denk,Megan Shields,Steven Burton,David Schnare,Steven Heard,Jack Dirman,Michael Wisner,John Brodie,Cathy Lee Crosby,John Travolta,Kelly Preston,Greg Mitchell,Jenna Elfman,David Love
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology trying to salvage its derelict Narconon flagship as new training center

    By Rod Keller, December 26, 2017


    Scientology has launched an initiative known as the Narconon Arrowhead Expansion Project to revitalize the site. The facility in Canadian, Oklahoma is promoted as the “Flagship Narconon,” much like Flag Land Base in Clearwater is the primary center for completing the OT levels. The facility has fallen on hard times since the death of several patients there and the accompanying lawsuits. A source close to the facility tells us there were recently 10 patients in the program, although the building is designed to hold 200.

    This news prompted us to take a look at the program, where it is succeeding and where it has failed.


    Despite hard times for the Flagship Narconon at Arrowhead, numerous facility defections and closures, the Narconon network is maintaining operations, particularly in Europe. Newly opened Scientology “Ideal Orgs” and Continental Narconons are instructed to foster the founding of new facilities, and we can expect new attempts to open Narconons in Canada, South Africa and Australia. One source tells us of a plan to open a Narconon Ireland, but the lack of detail tells us this is not imminent.

    More at
  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Western World Insurance wins dispute over Scientology-based rehab operation

    By Judy Greenwald, Business Insurance, January 12, 2018


    A federal district court has largely ruled in favor of Western World Insurance Company in a dispute with an insurer that provides coverage for nonprofits, in a dispute as to whether it is obligated to provide defense costs for a Church of Scientology-affiliated drug rehabilitation operation.

    The issue in the litigation in Western World Insurance Company v. Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California is which insurer must provide the defense in two lawsuits filed against Los Angeles-based Narconon International, which oversees a Scientology-based treatment program implemented by local state affiliates, according to Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court in San Jose.

    The first lawsuit was filed on behalf of Patrick Desmond, who was a patient at Narconon affiliate Narconon of Georgia. In June 2008, after consuming alcohol provided by Narconon staff at a staff member’s apartment, Mr. Desmond left with two former patients to purchase heroin and died early the next morning from a heroin overdose, according to the ruling. Mr. Desmond’s family sued Narconon of Georgia and Narconon International for claims including negligence.

    The second lawsuit was brought on behalf of Heather Landmeier, who was a patient at Narconon of Oklahoma. Litigation in the case alleges that employees provided drugs and alcohol to Ms. Landmeier and allowed her to enter into sexual relationships with staff members.

    In March 2008, Narconon of Oklahoma forced Ms. Landmeier to leave the facility, and a day later she overdosed on heroin and OxyContin, leaving her in a vegetative state paralyzed from the neck down. A lawsuit filed by her family also claimed negligence, among other charges.

    Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey-based Western World and Santa Cruz, California-based Nonprofits Insurance provided overlapping insurance coverage to Narconon International.

    NIAC’s policy had commercial general liability, liquor liability and improper sexual conduct coverage forms. The CGL coverage form also included an exclusion for bodily injury due to the “failure to render any professional service.”

    The NIAC refused to provide a defense to Narconon, and Western World filed suit in the District Court seeking summary judgment on NIAC’s duty to defend.

    In the Desmond case, the parties disagreed as to whether Mr. Desmond’s death was caused by an “occurrence,” said the ruling. The ruling held that it was.

    “The neglectful provision of alcohol to and deficient supervision of a patient in rehab leading to the patient’s unexpected death constitute an ‘occurrence’ or ‘accident,’ ” said the ruling.

    “NIAC improperly refused to defend on the ground that there was no ‘occurrence’ triggering policy coverage,” the ruling said.

    The ruling also held NIAC was obligated to provide a defense in both cases under the professional service exclusion and, in Ms. Landmeier’s case, the improper sexual conduct form.

    The court ruled in favor of NIAC with respect to the liquor liability coverage form because, it said, the situations in the lawsuits did not involve providing alcohol in a business or formal setting.


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