In this survey response, a mother describes how her daughter went to Narconon for treatment of alcoholism, but left with a new drug problem. Like many others, she describes a general lack of medical and professional staff, or supervision, and male night visitors in her daughters room at Narconon.
The plaintiffs allege multiple material misrepresentations, civil conspiracy, consumer fraud, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith/fair dealing, and more. Dianna Nardella specifically claims she was promised grief counseling for her son who was the lone survivor of a car accident in which three of his friends were killed. Narconon Fresh Start has admitted in previous lawsuits that the Narconon program does not include counseling.
Fresh Start representative Dan Carmichael made the usual false representations to the Plaintiffs (76% success rate, licensed medical care at the facility, the program is secular, and the sauna detox scientifically proven and effective for eliminating drug cravings) and also recommended that Plaintiffs employ Kevin Ray d/b/a Second Wind Intervention as an interventionist. This complaint goes into detail about the use of telephone scripts which are used with callers, in order to manipulate callers into enrolling their loved one in Fresh Start. It also goes into detail about how phone calls are recorded without the caller's knowledge, and used as "a means of teaching the high pressure and deceptive sales techniques Fresh Start uses."
After speaking with Nick Morrill, a Narconon Fresh Start staff member, and being assured that the program was completely secular and had nothing to do whatsoever with Scientology, Plaintiffs enrolled their daughter in Fresh Start's Caliente, Nevada facility. Plaintiffs received received a phone call from Fresh Start’s in-house legal counsel, Bruce Haddrill, who informed them that a Fresh Start staff member had engaged in sexual relations with their daughter during the withdrawal phase at the beginning of her treatment program approximately two months earlier, and that their daughter was being expelled from the program (the lawsuit does not mention any punishment for the staff member, or whether he was fired). Later he emailed them and told them that Fresh Start had decided the daughter could stay and she was moved to the Sunshine Summit Lodge facility in Warner Springs, California. However, Plaintiffs decided to remove her, and send her to an all-female treatment center. While arrangements were being made, a Fresh Start intern engaged in sexual relations with her. These two sexual encounters with staff at Fresh Start impeded the daughter in her attempts to recover from drug addiction, and caused her emotional distress and embarrassment.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege breach of contract, fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent misrepresentation, negligence per se, breach of implied covenant of good faith & fair dealing, civil conspiracy, and consumer fraud.
Plaintiff spoke to Dan Carmichael, who falsely promised him that Rainbow Retreat Canyon was an appropriate facility for his son. He said that he would would be under the care of licensed medical professionals, would receive extensive counseling for substance abuse from highly trained addictions counselors, that the success rate for Fresh Start was over 76%, that Fresh Start’s sauna detoxifying program would reduce or eliminate his drug cravings, and that the program was secular and didn't involve the practice or study of any religion. The son left Fresh Start in worse condition than he had entered because he did not feel safe and the program bore no resemblance to what Plaintiffs had been promised. Plaintiff paid $33,000.00 for his son to study Scientology.
False promises were made by Tonya Lawson, a Fresh Start employee, to Plaintiffs about the treatment their son would receive, and persuaded the plaintiff to enroll her son in the program. Because the plaintiff did not have the upfront fee of $32,500, Ms. Lawson arranged for the plaintiff to open new credit card accounts to pay the fee. The son was taken to the "Treehouse" area of the facility for detox where he became very ill and began suffering from seizures and had to be taken to the emergency room. There were no doctors or nurses at the detox facility or at the treatment facility as had been promised. After several days in the hospital, the son returned to begin treatment. When he realized that he was receiving Scientology indoctrination instead of substance abuse treatment, he escaped from the facility and walked 8 miles from the remote facility to Caliente, Nevada. During the walk, he was forced to drink from streams to avoid dehydration.
Plaintiffs were promised by Dan Carmichael and "Ryan" that their daughter would have extensive substance abuse treatment and counseling from qualified counselors with a greater than 76% success rate, that Fresh Start's sauna program, New Life Detoxification, would reduce or eliminate her drug cravings by flushing residual drug toxins stored in her fatty tissue, and that she would be under the supervision of licensed medical professionals, including licensed physicians and nurses. Carmichael and Ryan falsely represented to Dean that the Fresh Start program was secular and did not involve the study or practice of any religion. None of these things turned out to be true, and the daughter left early because she was not receiving any actual addiction treatment. She relapsed almost immediately, and plaintiffs incurred expenses to get Beret the treatment Defendants promised to provide, as well as help for the injuries Defendants’ “treatment” caused her.
Peter Geanacopulos began to experience heart palpitations during the sauna portion of the Narconon program, and was taken to see a doctor in Caliente, Nevada. The doctor said that he believed the palpitations were the result of the high doses of Niacin given as a part of the program, and recommended drastically reducing the Niacin or stopping it altogether. This was stated in the presence of a Narconon employee. When Peter returned to Narconon, had Peter continue the high doses of Niacin. Peter was removed from Narconon by his mother, but continues to have heart palpitations and remains under the care of a cardiologist. Causes of action in this lawsuit are: Breach of Contract, Fraud, Negligence, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligent Misrepresentation (in the alternative), and Negligence per se.
This client was not impressed with Narconon's aftercare program: "didnt believe in after care or meetings... didn't have a plan. They took me to a bar and make me sit there with a beer in front of me, to get comfortable with not drinking it while in front of me.... come on now..... is that dumb or what! Got a famished dog? put a steak in front of it and see if he DOESN'T eat it......"