The plaintiffs in this lawsuit alleges breach of contract, fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil RICO for wire and mail fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence per se, breach of implied covenant of good faith & fair dealing, and seeks further injunctive relief under the California Unfair Competition Act.
Plaintiff entered the Narconon program receive help for an addiction to painkillers he developed after severely injuring his back as a ski instructor. He was told that Narconon offered standard cognitive behavioral therapy, and that the program was in no way involved the practice of any religion. He was was alarmed by strange treatments such as patients being made to scream at ashtrays, and the lack of any medical supervision. A counselor who was providing "touch assists", allegedly to help patients to relax, grabbed his crotch. The plaintiff was horrified, and soon after decided to leave Narconon. However, Narconon physically coerced him to stay on the property, until he finally persuaded them to let him leave. He was not allowed to take any of his personal effects that he had brought with him, including cash and credit cards. Narconon drove him to and left him at a homeless shelter, where he was forced to make his way home, several hours away. Unfortunately, once he arrived home, he found that Narconon had lied to his wife and told her not to allow him into his home and he was forced to involve police to gain entry to his own home. Afterwards, he required counseling due to post traumatic stress disorder, and, unable to copy with the trauma, he attempted to take his own life and required hospitalization. He is now working to rebuild his life.
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.
Plaintiff searched the internet and found a purportedly independent referral website whose representative told her to contact Mike DiPalma at Redwood Cliffs. DiPalma misrepresented the program's success rate, medical and counselor staffing, effectiveness of the New Life Detoxification (sauna) as being “scientifically and medically proven.” The contract Plaintiff signed warranted that the program was not religious in nature, and did not mention Scientology. Feeling unsafe, and not getting drug rehab treatment, but Scientology instead, Plaintiff's son Jimmy left Narconon with other patients, walked into town, found lodging, and made plans to return home. Narconon staff "camped outside their hotel room, followed them around town, and repeatedly harassed Jimmy and the other patients. Jimmy and the others were forced to ask local police to get NNC staff to leave them alone."
Plaintiff National Association of Forensic Counselors, Inc. (NAFC) and Plaintiff American Academy of Certified Forensic Counselors, Inc. d/b/a American College of Certified Forensic Counselors (ACCFC) are issuing bodies for certifications in the rehab field, including Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor (CCDC), Master Addictions Counselor (MAC), and others. After finding that numerous Narconon and Scientology related entities and persons were (and are) using their certifications and trademarks without authorization, they have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court seeking to reclaim damages resulting from loss of reputation and money, which resulted in financial enrichment of the 82 defendants, and have asked for an injunction to prevent use in the future. The use of the trademarks implies that the individuals are certified by the Plaintiffs when in fact they are not. This case may have far reaching repercussions on other cases against Narconon.
After undergoing a non-medically supervised sauna and vitamin detox, being made to study Scientology materials which had no apparent connection to substance abuse treatment, Jered became extremely scared by the “treatment” he was receiving and the fact that there appeared to be no qualified personnel at Narconon, and pretended to have a family emergency in order to escape from Narconon. The claims in this lawsuit are for Breach of Contract; Fraud; Negligence; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Civil RICO for Mail and Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c); Injunctive Relief Under California Unfair Competition Act, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203; Negligent Misrepresentation; Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; and Negligence per se.
Narconon Fresh Start Employees Bryan Randall and Matt Kinser falsely represented the Narconon Program as having a 75% success rate, that religion is not a part of the program, that Tyler would be under the care of a doctor or nurse at Fresh Start, that the sauna would be medically supervised, and that at least 50% of the cost of the program would be covered by Tyler’s health insurance. This lawsuit includes claims for: Breach of Contract; Fraud; Fraudulent Concealment; Negligence; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Negligent Misrepresentation; Claim Under Colorado Consumer Protection Act, C.R.S.A. § 6-1-105; and Civil RICO for Mail and Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c).
Nikki was seen by a doctor the day she arrived at Narconon, but there was no other medical supervision (doctor or nurse) during withdrawal or during the rest of her stay at Narconon in Colorado. She was taken off an anti-depressant medication which was prescribed by her own personal doctor, and which she had been taking for 10 years, by Narconon. This lawsuit includes claims for: Breach of Contract; Fraud; Fraudulent Concealment; Negligence; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Negligent Misrepresentation; Claim Under Colorado Consumer Protection Act, C.R.S.A. § 6-1-105; and Civil RICO for Mail and Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c).
Evanston Insurance Company seeks a declaratory judgment that professional liability policy no. SM-887805 (the “Policy”) issued to Narconon of Georgia, Narconon International, and Association of Better Living and Education (ABLE) is void ab initio (from the start), or alternatively, that Evanston has no duty to defend and/or indemnify Narconon or ABLE in the class action lawsuit, Benjamin Burgess et al v. Religious Technology Center Inc. et al.