Narconon Public Safety Analysis and Fort Collins Police Records

Scientology drug rehabs and the police

Are Scientology drug rehabs a threat to public safety? Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith allegedly told his staff “Every day I’m here at work, it feels like I’m smoking a cigar while sitting on a keg of gunpowder that’s laying in a pool of gasoline.”

The next monthly installment of open records request disclosures being added to our public safety archive is a collection from the Fort Collins Police Department in Colorado. This set of documents is for the Narconon Fresh Start drug rehab currently known as A Life Worth Saving. We are also excited to introduce a new comparative records analysis aspect of this project. This analysis is an attempt to quantify law enforcement activity typically required to support treatment centers in the Narconon network.

Delicious DOX

A MuckRock records request filed on May 7, 2015 raised an initial response from the agency stating that 135 police incidents were identified with an estimated cost in fees requiring over $1,000 paid in advance. A crowd funding campaign was launched on June 3, 2015 and rapidly fulfilled within a few short hours of being mentioned (third item) on Tony Ortega’s Scientology watchdog blog, The Underground Bunker.

After receiving payment, the agency clarified an error had been made when calculating the estimated fees. Thus, when the June 24, 2015 disclosure was released, it included a pending refund that eventually credited $218.25 back into my MuckRock account balance. An explanation of how this donation-related credit was recycled for the fees associated with other record requests we are compiling for this project is noted below in the closing remarks of this post.

Record Set Update Summary

The public records disclosure from the Fort Collins Police Department was initially published by Tony Ortega site unseen for his readers to dissect on July 31, 2015. The original file released by this agency spanned 209 pages, which Ortega mirrored on Scribd, and was incorporated into the Wikipedia Narconon article the same day it was published on The Underground Bunker.

Once we parsed the original disclosure and sifted out a few miscellaneous incidents unrelated to the rehab operations, 89 public safety records were identified and added to our archive for further research and analysis. Some of the more shocking incidents documented in this release include investigated allegations against staff members for a sexual assault on May 13, 2015 and payroll check fraud on September 27, 2013.

Additionally, this record set also documents a bizarre trip to the hospital on May 19, 2011 where officers were escorting a suicidal patient who claimed he was denied his mental health medication. He was seemingly trying to convince them that the Scientology-based training (TRs and Objective Processes) he was undergoing was what drove him crazy. For those who are not familiar with how weird the Scientology courses recycled into Narconon’s replacement for professional drug counseling truly is, the patient’s humorous outbursts of “Do birds fly?” in repetitive fashion to the police officers may seem like a side-effect of his unstable mental state. However, the patient was actually providing an accurate and lucid account of an exercise he was expected to perform as a “student” being treated for an addiction in a Scientology drug rehab.

As previously noted with our earlier Narconon Arrowhead records release, the usual Publication Series Disclaimers apply in regards to interpreting the information recorded in the files indexed below.

NEW Narconon Public Safety Records Analysis

During the initial record collection phase of this project, various patterns became evident from our cursory review of the documentation we have been stockpiling for future publication. The disclosures seem to indicate there is a shared commonality in the types of police incidents that are frequently encountered at all of the addiction treatment facilities in the Narconon network. The following list is a summary of the common issues and complaints, frequently handled by local law enforcement agencies, which we identified during our preliminary review of the records released on eight different rehab locations.

  1. Peacekeeping assistance or police escorts requested for voluntary patients experiencing difficulties leaving, retrieving their personal belongings and/or being denied wallet/identification.
  2. Reports of petty theft, burglary, stolen property, bad checks, credit card fraud, embezzlement or financial irregularities.
  3. Abandoned, open line or repetitive 911 calls.
  4. Physical altercations/assaults, violent threats or agitated person needing to be removed/escorted from the property.
  5. Missing person reports and/or attempts to locate patients who left the facility.
  6. Welfare checks, random inspections or onsite interviews for patients who are given limited contact with concerned family members or causing disturbances.
  7. EMS assistance to transport patients having trouble with seizures, passing out, becoming mentally unstable or other medical emergencies.
  8. Drug smuggling or illegal contraband/paraphernalia found.
  9. EMS assistance with accidental deaths or attempted suicides.
  10. Warrants served or other arrests.
  11. Sexual misconduct or sexual assault.
  12. Other public safety incidents.

Cumulative Stats Comparison

The following chart reflects a tally, by facility, for each type of police incident we have identified as being a commonly reported issue. This is the initial statistical comparison for our ongoing records analysis that will be cumulatively updated as we publish more record requests for Scientology-based drug rehabs.

NarcononPublicSafety

Click the image above to access the archival version of this spreadsheet as of the original date published. Alternately, you can also view the most recently published version mirrored on Scribd.

Based on the records analyzed so far, the above comparison shows that both Narconon Arrowhead and Narconon Colorado fit the pattern of commonality we informally identified. However, there are a few obvious differences in frequency of the incident types being tracked. Theft and physical altercations seem to be the most prevalent problems requiring police intervention at Arrowhead. While peacekeeping assistance for patients who are trying to leave the facility, in addition to abandoned 911 calls and miscellaneous public safety incidents, are the biggest drain on Fort Collins Police Department resources.

In order to supplement the data collection and analysis effort we invested in this comparison, we decided to reach out to former Narconon staff members for some Q&A input on the frequently encountered issues shown in each new batch of disclosure documents. For this release, we looked at the incident types numbered 1 and 3 in the above comparison.

Insights from Former Staff

We contacted Eric Tenorio and Jason Seipp for adding some much needed perspective and internal context for the police records we are compiling in our comparative analysis exercise. We decided to start with two of the least troubling incident types in this list of issues we are tracking for this month’s release:

  • Peacekeeping assistance for voluntary patients experiencing difficulties when leaving the rehab program; and
  • The tendency for many of these facilities to be the source of large number of abandoned 911 calls or hang-ups.

Eric Tenorio is a former Narconon patient and staff member widely known for speaking out about Scientology’s controversial drug rehab franchise. He worked at five different Narconon facilities over a period of twelve years. Eric eventually reached the position of Executive Director at Narconon Freedom Center in Albion, Michigan and was a prominently featured in NBC’s Rock Center exposé on Narconon controversies in 2013.

Jason Seipp is also a former patient and staff member who worked solely at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma. Jason entered Narconon as a student in 1997, graduated the program in 1998 and was then recruited onto staff until he left for approximately two years in 2004. After initially being hired as a Withdrawal Specialist he filled a wide range of job posts, from Ethics Officer to Special Project In Charge, prior to severing all ties with Narconon in 2008.

Q: What would happen when an upset student managed to get a 911 call out?

Eric: “Every client has the right to call 911 in the event of an emergency. To my knowledge, no one ever received any disciplinary actions for calling when there was an actual emergency. When abused and the person was caught they were toast.”

Jason: “When I was there, that never happened. I did run a pretty tight ship. Well, as tight as anyone can run an Ethics Section at a Narconon. We had to call 911 a few times for withdrawal students, or threaten to call the cops if something wasn’t done about a messed up situation like an assault or something, but we managed to keep everything in-house for the most part.

Q: What about people who wanted to leave shortly after they arrived. How were they handled?

Eric: “People that want to leave shortly after they got there were and are put through the wringer to try to change their minds. People leaving equals refund equals lawsuit. Usually more lies are told to them and their loved ones. They basically do and say whatever to salvage the sale.”

Jason: “The handling was proportionate to how bad the person was freaking out. Meaning, sometimes the person just needed to be talked with for a bit and they would settle down and ‘handle.’ Sometimes people would freak COMPLETELY the f*** out.”

Q: When a student would completely freak out, how would staff typically respond?

Eric: “Depends on why totally freaking out. If coming off some unreported psych med then nursing. If legal, legal, etc. The regs [registrars] want to stay bothered as little as possible.”

Jason: “Well, you know the saying ‘you could cut the tension in the room with a knife?’ The entire place was like that ALL THE TIME. I remember ED NNAH [Executive Director of Narconon Arrowhead] Gary Smith once saying at a staff meeting, ‘every day I’m here at work, it feels like I’m smoking a cigar while sitting on a keg of gunpowder that’s laying in a pool of gasoline.’ You wax calmness as a staff member. You ‘keep your TRs in’ meaning you fake being calm, cool and collected.”

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Jason and Eric for sharing their experienced viewpoints on these issues with us. In future installments of this series, we hope to continue this dialog as we explore the more disturbing types of police incidents that we are tracking in our comparative analysis of Scientology-based drug and alcohol treatment centers.

Disclosure Index

The following disclosure files document the impact a typical Narconon franchise has on a local community. To help ease the pain of translating the cop talk jargon in these records, please refer to our list of Police Communication Codes.

Fort Collins Police Department Incident Reports, 2008-10

  1. Police Report, Narconon Colorado, September 9, 2008
  2. Police Report, Narconon Colorado, April 17, 2009
  3. Police Report, Narconon Colorado, November 16, 2010

Fort Collins Police Department Records (Logs & Reports), 2011

  1. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, January 23, 2011
  2. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, May 19, 2011
  3. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 24, 2011
  4. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 25, 2011
  5. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 27, 2011
  6. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, June 7, 2011
  7. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, June 30, 2011
  8. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, November 22, 2011
  9. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, November 29, 2011
  10. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, December 7, 2011
  11. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, December 12, 2011

Fort Collins Police Department Records Dispatch Logs, 2012

  1. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, January 9, 2012
  2. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, January 29, 2012
  3. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, January 30, 2012
  4. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 9, 2012
  5. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 10, 2012
  6. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 21, 2012
  7. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 27, 2012
  8. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 17, 2012
  9. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 22, 2012
  10. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, June 29, 2012
  11. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 5, 2012
  12. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 31, 2012
  13. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 31, 2012
  14. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, September 2, 2012
  15. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, September 11, 2012
  16. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, September 18, 2012
  17. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, October 1, 2012
  18. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, October 10, 2012
  19. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, November 4, 2012
  20. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, November 15, 2012

Fort Collins Police Department Records (Logs & Reports), 2013

  1. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, January 29, 2013
  2. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, March 5, 2013
  3. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 13, 2013
  4. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, June 28, 2013
  5. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 9, 2013
  6. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, July 10, 2013
  7. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 23, 2013
  8. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, August 1, 2013
  9. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, August 10, 2013
  10. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 10, 2013
  11. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 11, 2013
  12. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, September 16, 2013
  13. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, September 19, 2013
  14. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, September 27, 2013
  15. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, October 7, 2013
  16. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, October 9, 2013

Fort Collins Police Department Records (Logs & Reports), 2014

  1. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 2, 2014
  2. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, March 6, 2014
  3. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, March 19, 2014
  4. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, April 5, 2014
  5. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, April 7, 2014
  6. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, April 26, 2014
  7. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 7, 2014
  8. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 8, 2014
  9. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, June 2, 2014
  10. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, June 16, 2014
  11. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 3, 2014
  12. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 6, 2014
  13. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 6, 2014
  14. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 9, 2014
  15. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 12, 2014
  16. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 18, 2014
  17. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, July 19, 2014
  18. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, July 28, 2014
  19. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, August 1, 2014
  20. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 4, 2014
  21. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 11, 2014
  22. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 12, 2014
  23. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 15, 2014
  24. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, August 31, 2014
  25. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, September 17, 2014
  26. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, October 19, 2014
  27. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, October 30, 2014
  28. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, December 15, 2014

Fort Collins Police Department Records (Logs & Reports), 2015

  1. Police Records, Narconon Colorado, January 23, 2015
  2. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 11, 2015
  3. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 12, 2015
  4. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 17, 2015
  5. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, February 18, 2015
  6. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, April 19, 2015
  7. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, April 27, 2015
  8. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 13, 2015
  9. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 14, 2015
  10. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 14, 2015
  11. Police Log, Narconon Colorado, May 25, 2015

Parting Thoughts

The next two installments of this series are huge record sets, from multiple agencies per rehab, spanning the two largest facilities in Michigan. The balance of prepaid fees raised via the crowd funding campaign on the Narconon Colorado release was credited towards the fees required on these next two releases for treatment centers in Battle Creek and Albion. As such, the previously unseen flood of documents we are compiling for forthcoming dox drops will be brought to our readers partially paid for by the generous donors who helped us raise the money needed to satisfy the overly inflated Fort Collins PD estimate. To all those who chipped in a few bucks: THANK YOU!

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M e m o s

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  1. From the Desk of...
    Matthew

    Once again,I would like to thank you for doing the work involved in getting these documents out into the public sector.

    These and other documents will hopefully aid the public in making intelligent decisions when considering a treatment facility for a friend or loved one.

  2. Kelly From the Desk of...
    Kelly

    Beautiful write-up on the dox, Heidi. The stats and analysis are truly appreciated!

  3. From the Desk of...
    Former Narconon Fort Collins "Intern"

    Hey, thanks for providing all these documents. This place is a circus and needs to be shut down.

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