Michigan Narcanon Center Sued Over Scientology

An interesting lawsuit has been filed here in Michigan against a Narcanon (Narcotics Anonymous) rehab center in Albion. Narcanon is run by the “Church” of Scientology and a woman is suing over that and many other things by former patients at their facilities.

A former rehabilitation patient at Narconon Freedom Center in Albion has sued the company, claiming the center uses its program to introduce Scientology to unwitting patients seeking drug rehabilitation.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 14, former patient and Ohio resident Lauren Prevec claims the center charged $25,000 in upfront costs before skipping a medical assessment, taking her completely off her anti-depressant medication and attempting to indoctrinate her to Scientology over the course of two months.

She is requesting $75,000 in damages…

Among other allegations, Prevec claims in her lawsuit that Narconon Freedom Center officials:

  • Engaged in “romantic relationships” with patients.
  • Supplied patients with the same eight course books based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion.
  • Had patients perform what they called a “new life detoxification program,” which the suit alleges is strikingly similar to a Scientology ritual known as the “purification rundown.”
  • Allowed drugs to regularly be brought into the facility.

“Narconon Freedom Center is using the program to introduce Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard’s ‘technology’ to unwitting patients seeking drug rehabilitation,” the lawsuit reads. “This is exactly as the Church of Scientology directed as part of its ‘Social Coordination Strategy.'”

The article notes that there have been 118 such lawsuits against Narcanon around the country, 33 of them in Calhoun County, where this particular center is, alone.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
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  • generalfactotum

    Actually, Narconon and Narc-Anon (Narcotics Annonymous) are two very different organizations. Narc-Anon is a traditional twelve step program, while Narconon is, as you pointed out, a scientologist front.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    Whoa! Those to programs are spelled so similarly! You must be Clear to have noticed it. I am STILL having trouble differentiating them. Too many Thetans, I guess. I should go have another Audit…

  • eric

    Clearly there’s a major difference of degree between what the Scientologists and reglar 12-step programs are doing. And we can certainly rationally prioritize stopping the scientologists over stopping others, given that we think they are more corrupt and proselytizing etc than other programs. But if it’s wrong and illegal to get people to read scientology books as part of a recovery program, isn’t it also wrong to require people to recognize there is a higher power and that they cannot break their addiction without its help?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    But if it’s wrong and illegal to get people to read scientology books as part of a recovery program, isn’t it also wrong to require people to recognize there is a higher power and that they cannot break their addiction without its help?

    No, not really. Both of those two things may be wrong, but they’re not that connected to each other. The utter vileness of $cientology is completely independent of the merits and flaws of AA/NA 12-step programs; and if you lump them together in your criticism, then you’re doing what $cientology wants you to do.

  • hoku

    Does anyone know what the actual tort is?

  • Steve the Drunk Unicyclist

    Narc-_A_non is a twelve-step program akin to Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Narc_O_non is Scientology.

    They deliberately chose the name for the confusion factor. One mnemonic to remember the difference is that the Scientology front is “narCONon”.

  • eric

    @4: I don’t see how you’re really disagreeing with me, except that you don’t want them mentioned together. Its unethical to force people to pay obesiance to a religious/spiritual concept in order to receive help. The programs that do more of it are worse than the programs that do less of it, but even the programs that do a little of it are acting unethically to some degree.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It’s fine. I went through their program. It turns out that Thetans really like crack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002686842900 ChristineRose

    I think the usual complaint in these lawsuits is that they’re incredibly badly run, use physically dangerous treatments, and the slave labor religious staff aren’t trained to deal with withdrawal and other drug-related health problems, and they sure aren’t trained to deal with the psychological issues of drug addiction. People quite often have seizures from the insane amount of sauna time and the staff doesn’t want them to go to a real hospital. There have been some deaths.

  • Randomfactor

    One of these is a dangerous cult mixing religion with ineffective self-help.

    The other is $cientology.

  • marcus

    eric @ 4 IMO the difference is that the $cientologists are actively engaging in fraud. They are making it easy to confuse they’re extremely expensive “recovery” program for a traditional twelve-step program and they are actively recruiting through coercion and chicanery for their own silly religion. On the other hand you have a traditional program that was developed for addicts by addicts as a means of recovery. AFAIK the traditional programs do not proselytize or recruit for any particular religion and only ask their members to accept some vague notion of a higher power as a method of surrender of their addiction (they are also usually free and open to any and all). If I were an addict I would personally look for a secular program, and as has been mentioned here before, it is wrong to legally require someone to attend a religiously oriented program if they are not themselves religiously oriented.

    Short answer:

    Narc_O_non = Fraud and chicanery, ulterior motives

    Narc-_A_non = Perhaps misguided, sincere in purpose

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    @4: I don’t see how you’re really disagreeing with me, except that you don’t want them mentioned together.

    I’m disagreeing with your linking the two, by saying “if X is wrong, isn’t Y also wrong?” In this case, X and Y are two very different wrongs, and both can be wrong independent of each other. Neither wrong makes the other more wrong.

  • Numenaster

    Eric @7, you are correct that both approaches are doing an unethical thing by forcing people to accept their framework to get help. But if you stop there, you’re ignoring all the OTHER stuff NarCONon does which 12-step programs don’t. 12-step programs don’t charge an arm and a leg, they don’t cut you off if you can’t pay, they don’t compel you to participate in other treatments, and they don’t imprison people in their facilities even during medical emergencies. 12-step programs don’t kill people. Scientology does. NOW do you get why we don’t think the similarity is all that important?

  • lorn

    Narc-Anon is short for Narcotics Anonymous.