Samantha Nord-Shafer vs. Narconon: Complaint

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DAVID E. MILLER (CA BAR #294-095)
[email protected]
SAEED & LITTLE, LLP
1433 N. Meridian St., Ste 202
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Office: (317) 721-9214
Facsimile: (888) 422-3151

Attorney for Plaintiffs




IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA




SAMANTHA NORD-SHAFER, a
Delaware Citizen; & REBECCA
KENNEDY, a New York Citizen;

Plaintiff,

vs.

ASSOCIATION OF BETTER LIVING
AND EDUCATION
INTERNATIONAL, a California
Corporation; NARCONON
INTERNATIONAL, a California
Corporation; NARCONON FREEDOM
CENTER d/b/a NARCONON
FREEDOM TREATMENT CENTER, a
Michigan Corporation; & DOES 1-100;
ROE CORPORATIONS I-X, inclusive,

Defendants.



Case No.:


REQUEST FOR INJUNCTIVE
RELIEF, COMPLAINT FOR
DAMAGES, AND JURY TRIAL
DEMAND

Count 1: Breach of Contract
Count 2: Negligence
Count 3: Fraud
Count 4: Premise Liability
Count 5: Request for Injunctive
Relief


I. INTRODUCTION
1. Plaintiff Samantha Nord-Shafer (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) and Plaintiff
Rebecca Kennedy (hereinafter “Ms. Kennedy”) (known collectively as
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“Plaintiffs”) alleges on information and belief against Association of Better Living
and Education International, Narconon International, Narconon Freedom Center
d/b/a Narconon Freedom Treatment Center, and Does 1-100, ROE Corporations I-
X, inclusive, the following:
II. PARTIES
2. Plaintiff Samantha Nord-Shafer is currently a resident of Dover,
Delaware and is twenty four years old. Ms. Nord-Shafer attended the Albion,
Michigan facility to seek treatment for her drug addiction.
3. Plaintiff Rebecca Kennedy is the mother of Samantha Nord-Shafer and is
a resident of Windsor, NY. Ms. Kennedy discovered the Narconon facility in
Albion, Michigan and paid for Ms. Nord-Shafer to attend there based on
information she was provided by Defendants.
4. Defendant Narconon International (hereinafter “NI”) is a California
corporation with its principal place of business is Los Angeles, California.
Narconon International may be served with process through its registered agent,
Sherman D. Lenske, 6400 Canoga Avenue, Suite 315, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
5. NI is the parent/licensor of Narconon Freedom Center d/b/a Narconon
Freedom Treatment Center (hereinafter “NFC”). NI exercises control over the
time, manner, and method in which the operations and administration of NFC’s
facility are run.
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6. NI was doing business in the State of California by and through its agent
and subsidiary/licensee NFC. NI may be served with process through its registered
agent, Sherman D. Lenske, 6400 Canoga Ave., Suite 315, Woodland Hills, CA
91367.
7. NFC and NI are subsidiaries of the Association for Better Living and
Education (hereinafter “ABLE”). ABLE oversees the drug rehabilitation,
education, and criminal justice activities of the Church of Scientology including,
but not limited to, NFC and NI.
8. Defendant ABLE is a corporation registered in the State of California
with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
9. ABLE controls the time, manner, and method of NI’s and NFC’s
businesses by actively managing their daily operations, including conducting
inspections of Narconon centers and creating, licensing, and approving their
marketing materials.
10. ABLE transacts business in the State of California by and through its
agents, NI and NFC. ABLE may be served with process through its registered
agent, Sherman D. Lenske, 6400 Canoga Ave., Suite 315, Woodland Hills, CA
91367.
11. Defendant Narconon Freedom Center d/b/a Narconon Freedom
Treatment Center, is, and at all times has relating to Plaintiffs’ injuries was, a
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corporation incorporated under the laws of, and with its principal place of business
in, the State of Michigan. Defendant has been at all relevant times transacting
business in Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan. Narconon Freedom Center may be
served with process through its registered agent, Alan Kellman, 645 Griswold,
Suite 1370, Detroit, MI 48226.
12. At this time, Plaintiffs are unaware of the true names and capacities,
whether they are solely individual, corporate, agents, horizontal associations,
contracted medical professionals, or otherwise, Defendant DOES 1-100, inclusive,
and therefore, sues these Defendants by a fictitious name. Plaintiff will seek leave
of the Court to amend this Complaint when the identities of any Defendants are
made known.
III. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
13. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction as it relates to the parties
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332(a). The amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00.
14. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(a) because
there is diversity between the parties as the Plaintiff resides in Delaware, Ms.
Kennedy resides in New York, Defendants ABLE and NI reside in California, and
the final Defendant resides in Michigan. The Supreme Court recently issued the
decision in Diamler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 2014, stating that a corporation
is subject to general personal jurisdiction only where it is “at home.” The majority
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of Defendants reside in Central District of California; this Court therefore has the
jurisdictional authority over this matter.
15. Furthermore, Defendants NI and ABLE have filed a 12(b)(2) motion in a
similar case currently being heard in Nevada asserting their desire to avail
themselves of the jurisdiction of the California District Courts. (See Exhibit 1,
Defendant’s 12(b) Motion filed in District Court of Nevada, Cause No.: 2:14-cv-
00629-JCM-NJK (hereinafter “12(b) Motion”)).
IV. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
16. On January 3
rd
, 2013, Plaintiff was on her way to the Narconon Freedom
Center in Albion Michigan. Plaintiff’s parents, Ms. Kennedy and Plaintiff’s Father,
made the arrangements for her to meet one of Narconon’s independent drivers in
Ohio. The NFC and the Narconon Program were discovered by Ms. Kennedy and
her husband as a way to treat Plaintiff’s addictions. Plaintiff was not given much
detail about the Narconon Program or the facility she would be attending prior to
leaving home. All of the information she was provided came from a recruiter for
Narconon named “David”. At this time Plaintiffs, are unaware of what David’s
full name is and anticipate this information becoming known through discovery.
17. David did say that the facility at Albion, Michigan was a very nice rehab
facility, that there would be 24/7 medical staffing, a massage table, a Jacuzzie tub,
plenty of activities for the patients to engage in and an assortment of other benefits
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to choosing Narconon over other drug treatment facilities. David also informed
Ms. Kennedy that it would be a three to six month program depending on
Plaintiff’s progress and the program had a 99% success rate. Ms. Kennedy paid
$19,900.00 to NFC for her daughter to attend their rehabilitation program. This
cost was only for the treatment, it did not include other incidentals like phone
cards, basic hygiene supplies, and other assorted needs.
18. The information provided to Plaintiffs through David and the websites
associated with Narconon indicated a high rate of success with the NI program in
the range of 70-80% of those that completed the program. (See Exhibit 2,
Narconon: 40 Years of Evidence of Recovery (hereinafter “40 Year Study”)). The
information provided through the NI website and the information provided by the
David did not indicate any relationship with Scientology, and never stated that
techniques used were based on the work of L. Ron Hubbard. (See Narconon’s
Website, http://www.narconon.org/about-narconon/faq.html#religious-component,
last visited on 07/21/14. See Exhibit 3, Printed Screen Captures of Narconon’s
Website (hereinafter “Screen Captures”)).
19. NI’s own website states the following “[t]he Narconon program is secular
(non-religious).” (See Exhibit 3, Screen Captures at pg. 3 and pg. 5). Despite this
assertion, NFC, NI, and ABLE set out a program based on the teachings of L. Ron
Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. Patients are unwittingly practicing and
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studying Scientology in place of counseling for substance abuse, as set forth in
more detail below. Additionally, Defendants NI and ABLE’s own sworn pleading
provided in the 12(b) Motion, asserts that the Narconon Program is in fact a “faith
based” healing program. (See Exhibit 1, 12(b) Motion at pg. 23, ln. 10-11).
20. When Plaintiff arrived at NFC she was required to turn over all of her
belongings so that they could be searched. After the search of her belongings was
completed she was required to be strip searched by one of the female security staff
members. At any point where Plaintiff or any patient left the facility grounds they
were subjected to a full strip search. This included supervised trips to church on
Sundays, where Plaintiff and other patients were under the constant supervision of
a staff member. Typically these types of searches were conducted by a member of
the same sex and the patient. Plaintiff was made uncomfortable by this practice
once she became aware that the guard conducting the female searches was a
lesbian.
21. After the conclusion of the initial search of the Plaintiff when she arrived
she was required to submit a drug test. Plaintiff tested positive as she had inhaled
two bags of heroin along with Vicodin pain medication prior to her arrival at NFC.
After the searches were completed David required Plaintiff to sign papers for her to
enter NFC, but Plaintiff was still intoxicated from the substances she ingested in
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route to the facility. Plaintiff has no knowledge of what documents she signed or
the contents of those documents at this time.
22. Plaintiff was then transferred to the withdrawal unit at NFC. At which
point she was required to sign additional documents and answer questions. All of
which Plaintiff retains no memory of due to her condition upon arriving at the
facility. Plaintiff remained in the withdrawal unit for ten days, over the course of
which she spent the first four days vomiting in response to her withdrawals.
23. Eventually, a nurse at the facility, but not overseeing the withdrawal unit,
had a staff member of NFC take Plaintiff to a nearby emergency room. Plaintiff
does not know the full name of the nurse, only that her first name was Megan.
Plaintiff was released from the emergency room several hours later; the Hospital
diagnosed her with extreme dehydration and withdrawal symptoms. Plaintiff upon
beginning withdrawal treatment learned that unlike other rehabilitation facilities,
NFC and NI does not administer medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms but
instead uses alternative techniques used only in NI based programs or found
exclusively in the teachings of Scientology.
24. During Plaintiff’s time in the withdrawal unit, she was required to
complete exercises. These exercises required Plaintiff to go on walks where she
was asked to look at things or touch things on the walls and NFC staff members
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expected a certain response, once Plaintiff gave them that response of a
"realization" she would be allowed to go lay back down.
25. While Plaintiff remained in the withdrawal unit, NFC staff constantly
talked about drugs and their addiction problem which made Plaintiff’s cravings for
drugs worse. On the 9th day in the withdrawal unit, Plaintiff had an interview with
a NFC staff member named Sandra. In the interview, Sandra asked Plaintiff how
she was feeling overall and whether anyone promised her something about the
program/facility. Plaintiff answered yes to promises being made by David to both
herself and to Ms. Kennedy. David promised Plaintiff that she could leave at any
time if she wanted to do so.
26. At this point, Plaintiff was sent back into withdrawal unit. Plaintiff was
approached by one of the staff members asking her why she wanted to leave,
pressuring her into staying. Plaintiff explained that she wanted assurance that if she
decided to leave that she would have the freedom to do so. The NFC staff decided
to keep her another night to ensure that she would not try to leave without their
knowledge. The tenth day she was given another interview and the staff
transferred her out of the withdrawal unit to the rehabilitation portion of the NI
program. All communication between the Plaintiff and her family during her time
in the withdrawal unit, including to her son, was denied by the staff of NFC.
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27. Plaintiff transitioned to the rehabilitation portion of the NI Program and
was assigned a room. It was at this time that Plaintiff began to realize that all of
the information she and Ms. Kennedy was provided about the quality of the NFC
facility was completely untrue. In the assigned room there was one big shower
room and two small showers, which were mold covered. The common area where
Plaintiff and other patients were allowed to watch TV and relax had missing
windows which were stuffed with pink insulation and made the room all but
unusable in the winter because of the cold air moving through the openings.
28. The NFC facility as a whole was dilapidated, the sink in Plaintiff’s room
was busted so it was constantly dripping water and like the common area the
window would not shut all the way. So like the common area, during the winter
months cold air would make the room almost unlivable. NFC’s solution to this
issue was to bring in a small space heater instead of addressing the overall issue.
The NFC facility was in such poor disrepair that mice, head lice, and bed bugs
became a serious problem. These problems were never really addressed by NFC
and were a constant issue during Plaintiff’s time at the Albion facility.
29. While Plaintiff was at the NFC facility, the Health Department had to be
called because patients were getting sick from improperly cooked food. (See
Exhibit 7, Health Department Records for NFC (hereinafter “Health Records”)).
The NFC facility kitchen was subsequently shut down for over a week. Over this
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time, NFC bought limited amounts of take out that was not sufficient to feed the
patient population at the facility during this time creating a necessity for patients to
spend money over and beyond what they contracted for to receive proper nutrition.
30. Information provided by NFC and NI informed patients and their families
that there would be around the clock medical staffing at the facility to address any
medical needs that may arise with a patient. NFC’s male doctor was supposed to
be there once a week, usually Thursdays. Plaintiff was only able to see him once
during her six months at NFC. On multiple occasions Plaintiff had scheduled
appointments to meet with him and he simply did not show, and the one time that
Plaintiff did see him, his advice consisted of “keep going through the program.”
NFC did not and does not have adequate on-site medical staff to address the patient
and situational load experienced at their location. Once a week a doctor makes a
round at NFC and during the remaining time there is a single registered nurse that
has an office not associated with the withdrawal portion of the program where
patients are treated.
31. At the same time, the nursing staff at NFC did not appear qualified to be
conducting work as a registered nurse. Many of the nurses were not allowed to
draw blood and were unable to answer the most basic of common health questions
asked by Plaintiff. At most they would try to schedule another appointment with
the doctor or call off site to ask another nurse.
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32. During this time, Plaintiff became aware that most, if not all, of the NFC
staff members or counselors were “graduates” of the NI program. Some of the
staff members had been patients only a few months prior to taking a position as a
counselor. These staff members are now responsible for the care and supervision
of patients with serious substance abuse problems and have little to no educational
qualifications to support such a position.
33. At most, NFC staff members have no other qualification for working
with individuals who have substance abuse problems other than the fact that they
completed the NI program. NFC staff members have no medical training.
34. At various times during Plaintiff’s stay at NFC, it was common
knowledge that staff members were “quarantined off” because they continued to
indulge in their addiction to illegal substances. These counselors had successfully
completed the NFC and NI rehabilitation program and were subsequently cleared
to act as counselors over new patients coming in. Even though, they continue to
discuss with patients in the withdrawal unit and the rehabilitation unit how they
still want to get high or discuss their addiction problem.
35. NFC frequently turned a blind eye to individuals who were able to show
some control while engaging in their addiction so long as they were able to
function in their work capacity. When quarantined off, a counselor would retake a
portion of the NI program and be cleared by a “Core Supervisor” to return to work.
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36. If a Core Supervisor was found to be engaging in the use of illegal
substance they would not be quarantined off in the same manner as the other lower
level counselors. A Core Supervisor would be required to visit the nearest Church
of Scientology and must receive clearance from them before they were allowed to
return to a NI facility. Core Supervisors from NFC were sent to the Church of
Scientology in Battle Creek to receive their clearance to return to work at the
facility.
37. These Core Supervisors, staff members, and counselors were responsible
for the treatments and counseling provided to patients at NFC. Even without staff
members apparent lack of basic training, the materials required for the completion
of the Narconon Program raise serious concerns beyond their application. Instead
of medically recognized substance abuse therapy, patients are directed to adhere to
the NI program of studying eight books written by L. Ron Hubbard. Patients
spend hours most days performing Training Routines contained within the books.
NI and the Church of Scientology refer to the books as “technology” or “study
technology.” To complete the objectives of each book a patient is paired with a
“twin” who must complete the objectives of each book before either can advance.
38. It is because of this use of the books that NFC and NI pays a licensing fee
to the Church of Scientology through ABLE. Each book in the NI program
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contains a 3-page “About the Author” section. This section provides, in pertinent
part:
L. Ron Hubbard’s discoveries make it possible for drug users
to recover fully from their addiction. Narconon drug
education and rehabilitation centers around the world use his
techniques exclusively. For over thirty-five years, Narconon
has been setting the pace in the field of drug rehabilitation,
with (per independent studies) a 70 to 80 percent success rate
in helping people to come off drugs – and stay off them.
L. Ron Hubbard departed his body on 24 January 1986. His
breakthroughs in the field of drugs and their effects have
given the planet its first truly workable and successful
method of drug rehabilitation; and through his efforts,
mankind has been provided with real solutions to the
problems of today’s society. (emphases in original). (See
Exhibit 4, Narconon: Learning Improvement Course, Book 3
at pg. 199-201). (See also, Exhibit 6, The Deposition of
Louis Adolph Casal, M.D. taken on March 21, 2012,
(hereinafter “Deposition of Dr. Casal”) wherein Dr. Casal,
the medical expert hired by Defendant NI and ABLE, states
that he sees no basis to support the success claims made by
Defendants, at pg. 136:21 – 137:9).

39. The books or “technology” use numerous Training Routines (hereinafter
“TR”) as teaching tools. TRs are drills or exercises routinely used in Scientology.
Instead of meeting with a counselor or drug therapy specialist, Plaintiff was
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required to engage in the use of TRs with other individuals present during her
rehabilitation. Plaintiff, like other individuals at NFC, engaged in activities with
no apparent connection to the treatment of substance abuse for hours at a time.
Plaintiff’s own twin was required at one point to punch a wall multiple times,
increasing how hard he hit the wall at the direction of counselors of NFC. The use
of TRs and the books of L. Ron Hubbard are a requirement for a rehabilitation
facility to use the “Narconon” name with the supervision of ABLE and NI. These
books present the teachings of the Church of Scientology as a form of
rehabilitation.
40. NFC and Scientology teach that “misunderstood words” are the root of
all confusion when studying a subject. To that end, NFC and Scientology require
patients to spend hours “clearing” or looking up words, often in Scientology or L.
Ron Hubbard dictionaries. Many of these “misunderstood” words patients must
clear are words invented by, or given special meaning within, Scientology.
Examples of such words include “doingness,” “enturbulate,” “thinkingness,”
“dope-off,” “misemotion,” “divertive,” “reelingness,” “not know,” “randomities,”
“livingness,” “creatingness,” “as-ising,” and “actingness.”
41. NFC staff members use this Scientology-specific language both when
instructing NFC patients, and in ordinary conversation with patients.
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42. L. Ron Hubbard quotes, using this Scientology-specific language, are
displayed prominently around the NFC facility in Albion, Michigan.
43. In addition to the required completion of the eight books, each patient at
NFC is required to undergo the Sauna Program. NI and NFC call this program the
“New Life Detoxification” program. A patient must undergo this program to be
considered to have completed the Narconon Program.
44. NI’s and NFC’s “New Life Detoxification” program is substantially
similar, if not identical, to Scientology’s ritual known as “Purification Rundown,”
or the “Purif.” The Purification Rundown is part of Scientology’s “Bridge to Total
Freedom.” The Bridge to Total Freedom is the path a practicing Scientologist
moves up to attain the state of “Clear.” Attaining the state of Clear is often
regarded as the highest goal for a Scientologist.
45. Under NFC’s sauna program, patients first exercise vigorously before
entering the sauna each day. On entering the sauna, NFC requires each patient to
ingest increasing doses of Niacin and a “vitamin bomb.” NFC increases patients’
dosages of Niacin often exceeding 5,000 mg/day – well beyond the recommended
daily allowance.
46. If a patient refuses to ingest the Niacin or other vitamins, the patient faces
discipline, which may include having to spend additional days in the sauna.
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47. NFC requires patients to spend six hours per day for five weeks in a
sauna at temperatures between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Plaintiff spent on
or about sixty-four days straight in the sauna program. Every morning Plaintiff
was required to take doses of Niacin and run for about 15-20 minutes to "activate"
the Niacin. Immediately after her run, Plaintiff had to change into her bathing suit
and sit in the sauna for at least four hours.
48. It was during this time that Plaintiff began to show an adverse reaction to
the sauna and Niacin treatments. At first, Plaintiff was started at 100mg of Niacin
a day and was increased quickly to over 1,600mg by the time Plaintiff completed
the sauna program. If Plaintiff would start to react to the treatment by turning red
or rashy, a staff member would force her to remain in the sauna until the reaction
stopped. Plaintiff experienced severe dehydration, headaches, and persistent
nausea in addition to the skin irritation. The Niacin made her feel ill during her
times in the sauna and her general health declined while she was undergoing this
portion of the NI program. Plaintiff continued to have irritation, redness, and
rashes for over six months after leaving NFC. She had no prior history of this type
of reaction before entering NFC for treatment.
49. Patients were given the option to have a small amount of water and
vegetables during their time in the sauna. It was not uncommon for Plaintiff to
find mold or other issues with vegetables that she was offered during this time.
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50. At various times during Plaintiff’s duration in the sauna program it
became apparent that sewage was backing up through the drains in the floor. This
problem was caused by someone using a shower in the women’s bathroom, where
the increase in water entering the drainage system forced sewage to backflow into
the sauna room. (See Exhibit 7, Health Records). This issue again directly relates
to the maintenance and quality of care shown by NFC for their facility and directly
contradicts claims made through NI’s website. (See Exhibit 3, Screen Captures,
pg. 9)
51. At no point during the sauna treatments Plaintiff completed was there
properly trained medical personnel to oversee the health of the patients. There is
only a “sauna supervisor” who sits outside the sauna while the patients are inside.
The sauna supervisor does not have any medical or specialized training to deal
with potential issues that could arise from health complications brought on by the
sauna program, but serves as a policing force for the patients to ensure their
compliance with the program. This again is contradictory to statements made
through NI’s website which states “program is carefully supervised.” (Id.)
52. NFC represented to Plaintiff and Ms. Kennedy that the treatments they
provided were medically safe and has been scientifically-proven as effective. This
assertion is directly countered by Defendants NI and ABLE’s own medical expert
testimony. (See Exhibit 6, Deposition of Dr. Casal). NFC’s rationale for the sauna
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program is that residue of many different types of drugs remain in the body’s fatty
tissue long after use. The drug residue is released from the fatty tissue from time-
to-time into the bloodstream causing the individual to crave the drug, and,
ultimately, relapse. (See Exhibit 3, Screen Captures, pg. 7). NI, ABLE, and
Scientology assert that the sauna program flushes these residual drug toxins out of
the addict’s system thereby reducing the cravings the residue causes.
53. NI’s and NFC’s claims about the benefits of its sauna program, i.e.,
Scientology’s Purification Rundown, are false and do not withstand scientific
scrutiny. Contrary to NI’s and NFC’s claims, there is no scientific evidence that its
sauna program flushes residual drug toxins out of a patient’s fatty tissue. NFC, NI,
and ABLE are all aware that there is no basis for these claims since the Deposition
of Dr. Casal was taken and yet they continue to assert these statements as fact.
(See Exhibit 6, Deposition of Dr. Casal). Nor is there any scientific evidence for
their premise underlying the sauna program: “That residual drug toxins stored in
fatty tissue leak into the bloodstream and cause drug cravings.”
54. Not only does NI’s and NFC’s sauna program fail to live up to NI’s
claims about its benefits, the sauna program is dangerous. By having patients
ingest extreme doses of Niacin and other vitamins while sitting in extreme
temperatures for hours, the sauna program unnecessarily exposes patients to
serious health risks including severe dehydration.
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55. NFC operates under the direction and instruction of Defendants NI and
ABLE, Defendant NI publishes directives called, “Opening a Successful Narconon
Center” and “Running an Effective Narconon Center.” (See Exhibit 5 (hereinafter
“Manuals”). NI and ABLE control the curriculum at NFC. Defendants NI and
ABLE have authority to hire, fire, and make human resource decisions on behalf of
NFC.
56. NI and ABLE dictate which books are sold in the bookstores of the
individual Narconon Facilities as well as controlling which pictures of L. Ron
Hubbard are displayed and in the manner it is done. NI and ABLE exercise a great
deal of control over the finances of Defendant NFC as well, requiring regular
reports and accountings and requiring regular royalty payments.
57. Toward the end of Plaintiff’s time at NFC, as she was preparing to
graduate in July of 2013, Plaintiff was suspended from the program. Plaintiff was
suspended because she had been dating a staff member of NFC and even though
they were aware of the relationship they chose not to act until her graduation.
Plaintiff’s parents had to purchase a last minute ticket and she was immediately
taken to the airport. She was only allowed a carryon bag and was required to leave
the rest of her possessions at NFC. Plaintiff was forced to drive back to Albion,
Michigan from Delaware to recover the rest of her possession at NFC.
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58. Plaintiff relapsed in September 2013, only months after being forced out
of NFC. Plaintiff’s family discovered the relapse and directly interceded in her
recovery at her home. Plaintiff sought out local therapy and support to address her
addictions and has since been clean because of it.
V. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: BREACH OF CONTRACT
59. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs (1) through (59) by reference, as if fully
set forth herein, each and every allegation set forth in the preceding paragraphs and
further allege as follows:
60. Plaintiffs and Defendants were bound by a Contract whereby Defendants
agreed, in exchange for consideration, to provide secular, residential drug, and
alcohol treatment to Plaintiff.
61. Defendants breached this contract by, inter alia: (i) failing to provide
services constituting drug and alcohol treatment; (ii) providing Scientology in lieu
of drug and alcohol treatment; and (iii) not adequately addressing known issues of
addiction with the oversight of medical personnel.
62. Defendant NFC, through the direction imposed by Defendants NI and
ABLE, operate a facility which instead of providing trained and medically certified
clinicians and counselors cycles through former patients and other untrained
individuals to address the significant needs of their patients. Through assertions
made on Defendant’s NI website, prospective patients are made to believe that
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facilities associated with Narconon are run by board certified counselors and
medical staff. (See Exhibit 3, Screen Captures at pg. 15). These assertions are
blatantly untrue.
63. Secondly, Defendant NFC institutes policies and procedures delivered
and enforced by Defendant NI. Defendant NI receives their instruction regarding
the application and instruction of those policies and procedures from Defendant
ABLE. Those policies and procedures instruct patients to carry out activities
included in the TRs, the New Life Detoxification, and the application of L. Ron
Hubbard’s vocabulary of “misunderstood words.” The Narconon Program is a
mirrored reflection of the teachings put forth by the Church of Scientology. This
understanding is further asserted in Defendants Motion to Dismiss, which states
“[f]urthermore, as previously stated, faith-based healing is exempt from the
licensing requirements of N.R.S. Chapter 630.” (See Exhibit 1, 12(b) Motion at pg.
23, ln. 10-11). By Defendant’s own pleadings they are not secular and their
rehabilitation program is the disguised teachings of the Church of Scientology.
64. Finally, Defendant NFC made no known or reasonable effort to ensure
that Plaintiff’s addiction be monitored by a professionally competent medical
personnel, physician, or registered nurse. The basic reason for the lack action on
the part of Defendant NFC can be directly traced to the oversight of Defendants NI
and ABLE. A Narconon location cannot engage in activities outside the scope of
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their licensing agreement as it is set down by Defendants NFC and ABLE because
their form of rehabilitation is faith based healing not medically recognized
treatment.
65. While Plaintiff may have contracted and sought treatment with
Defendant NFC, Defendant NFC was operating under the direct control and
supervision of Defendants NI and ABLE.
66. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ breaches, Plaintiff has
suffered damages in excess of $75,000.00, with the exact amount to be determined
at trial.
VI. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: NEGLIGENCE
67. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs (1) through (67) by reference, as if fully
set forth herein, each and every allegation set forth in the preceding paragraphs and
further allege as follows:
68. Defendants owed Plaintiff a duty to render substance abuse treatment to
Plaintiff in a manner that did not subject her to an unreasonable risk of harm.
Defendants further had a duty of care to render reasonably safe and effective
treatment to Plaintiff. This standard is one of an ordinary person in the same or
similar situation.
69. Defendants breached these duties by: (i) instructing Plaintiff to sit in the
sauna for 4-6 hours a day for at least sixty-four days respectfully, while ingesting
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dangerous amounts of Niacin and other vitamins; (ii) failing to staff the NFC
treatment facility, and particularly the sauna, with any qualified medical personnel;
(iii) failing to provide duly qualified counselors to administer treatment; and (iv)
providing Scientology in lieu of substance abuse treatment.
70. As stated previously, Plaintiff went through the Narconon Program for a
over six months. That program was instituted and controlled by Defendant NFC.
Defendant NFC, through its licensing agreement with Defendant NI, is obligated to
adhere to the program as set out by Defendant NI. This obligation carries the
additional caveat of control exerted by Defendant NI over the facility and practices
of Defendant NFC. And while Defendant NFC receives its orders and direction
from Defendant NI, Defendant NI receives the same from Defendant ABLE. It is
because of this chain of authority, that Defendant NFC was negligent in properly
retaining licensed medical staff to assure the health of Plaintiff and other patients
did not physically deteriorate while in their care or in the care of facilities under
their control.
71. During Plaintiff’s time at NFC, she required emergency treatment at a
local hospital directly relating to her withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, Plaintiff
suffered continuous skin irritation and headaches for months after leaving
Defendant NFC’s facility and she had no prior history of having.
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72. As a proximate result of Defendants’ breaches, Plaintiff has suffered
physical and mental injuries in excess of $75,000.00, with the exact amount to be
determined at trial.
VII. THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION: FRAUD
73. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs (1) through (73) by reference, as if fully
set forth herein, each and every allegation set forth in the preceding paragraphs and
further allege as follows:
74. The elements of fraud, which provide a basis for the tort of deceit, are:
(a) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b)
knowledge of the falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce
reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) a resulting damage. From the point
Plaintiffs made their initial contact with Defendants until her final departure,
Plaintiff relied on statements made by or on behalf of Defendants to the detriment
of her own health and wellbeing.
75. Defendants ABLE and NI cannot assert that they are innocent bystanders
in the claims brought forth in the case. The fraudulent conduct of the Defendants
is pervasive and continuous, stemming from Defendant ABLE conveyed through
Defendant NI and implemented in Defendant NFC. Defendant NI publishes
directives through their Opening and Running Manuals. (See Exhibit 5, Manuals).
These Manuals require individual Narconon centers, like Defendant NFC, to
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expressly follow their direction otherwise they risk losing the rights to use the
Narconon name and associated benefits paid for by Defendants NI and ABLE.
These benefits include advertising, referrals through a call center hosted by
Defendant NI, name recognition as it is controlled through both NI and ABLE, and
business and operational planning with constant oversight.
76. The following is a non-exhaustive list of fraudulent representations
Defendants knowingly made to the Plaintiff: (i) that NI, including NFC, has a 70-
80% success rate; (ii) that the NI program is secular and does not involve the study
or practice of any religion; (iii) that NI and NFC is not any way connected to
ABLE or the Church of Scientology; (iv) that Plaintiff would receive effective and
scientifically proven counseling for her substance abuse; (v) that NI’s and NFC’s
sauna program, i.e., the Purification Rundown, is safe and has been scientifically
proven as effective; and (vi) that Plaintiff would be safely medically detoxed at a
facility under medical supervision.
77. Each of the statements listed above, and countless others, have been
made to the Plaintiff, Ms. Kennedy, and their family. These fraudulent statements
were first made to Ms. Kennedy during her initial internet search for drug
treatment centers. (See Exhibit 3, Screen Captures). Plaintiff relied on the
fraudulent representation and enrolled under the belief that she would receive help
for her addictions. Defendants NI and ABLE make continuous and affirmative
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steps to control the message and use the Narconon name with the intent to induce
new patients to their facilities.
78. Defendant NFC is not allowed to independently alter any message or
statement they assert through their own website or printed material without the
express permission of Defendant NI and by proxy Defendant ABLE. “All internet
websites need to be approved by Narconon International by the trademark holders,
Association for Better Living and Education International.” (See Exhibit 5,
Manuals, Running an Effective Narconon Center, at pg. 239). The fraudulent
statements made above are the same contained on the materials posted through
Defendant NI and NFC respective websites. This controlled and calculated
assertion of the benefits of choosing Narconon over other drug treatment centers
illustrates that all parties are aware of the deception and each benefits through the
revenue brought in by new patients.
79. If representations of the NI website and representatives associated with
the Narconon Program, which were known to be false by the Defendants, were not
made to Plaintiffs, they would not have been induced to seek treatment through NI
or NFC.
80. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ fraudulent conduct,
Plaintiff has suffered damages in excess of $75,000.00, with the exact total to be
determined at trial.
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VIII. FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION: PREMISES LIABILITY
81. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs (1) through (81) by reference, as if fully
set forth herein, each and every allegation set forth in the preceding paragraphs and
further allege as follows:
82. Defendants owed Plaintiff a duty to render a safe environment as the
Plaintiff was an invitee. Plaintiff was at NFC for a commercial benefit to the
possessor of the place of business. The possessor has a duty to use ordinary care to
protect an invitee from risks of harm from a condition on the possessor’s place of
business if: (i) the risk of harm is unreasonable, and (ii) the possessor knows or in
the exercise of ordinary care should know of the condition, and should realize that
it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to an invitee.
83. Defendants are aware that (i) the sauna program can be dangerous to
individuals who have preexisting conditions that may make them susceptible to
injury from prolonged exposure to high temperatures; (ii) Defendants do not
provide medical oversight at their facilities to ensure any complication from
withdrawal or treatment can be addressed without having to remove the patient off
sight for emergency care; and (iii) Defendants were aware that illegal substances
were being used at their facilities and did not take proper care to control their
employees or their facility in a manner that would be considered reasonable.
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These lacks of control directly lead to the use of illegal drugs being consumed by
the staff or patients of that facility.
84. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ breach, Plaintiff has
suffered damages in excess of $75,000.00, with the exact total to be determined at
trial.
IX. REQUEST FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
85. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs (1) through (85) by reference, as if fully
set forth herein, each and every allegation set forth in the preceding paragraphs and
further allege as follows:
86. Defendants have been the subject of numerous law suits across North
America and have been made abundantly aware of the dangerous conditions
created by their sauna program.
87. ABLE, NI, and NFC have no scientific justification for the use of its
sauna program despite claims asserted by them.
88. Defendant’s own retained experts have testified that there is no scientific
justification for the sauna program.
89. In a prior lawsuit, Dr. Louis A. Casal, an expert retained by NI and
Narconon of Northern Georgia in a wrongful death suit filed against those entities,
testified at a deposition. A true and complete copy of Dr. Casal’s deposition
testimony is attached hereto as Exhibit 6. When Asked under oath about NI’s
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sauna program, he testified that there is no scientific basis for the notion that
seating in a sauna detoxifies a person’s body or treats addition:
Question (Q.). “Have you looked at the Narconon literature on what
Narconon contends the benefits from the sauna are?”
Answer (A.). [Dr. Casal] Yes, I have.
Q. And the sauna program, what Narconon contends is that in – it in
fact detoxifies your body. True?
A. True
Q. But there’s no scientific basis that you can point to to support that
contention, is there, sir?
A. You’re correct.
Q. So when Narconon states that the sauna program detoxifies its
patients, you’re not aware, as a medical doctor, of any scientific basis
for that contention?
A. I agree. (See Exhibit 6, Deposition of Dr. Louis Casal, 136:21 –
137:9).
90. Because there is no-scientific justification for the dangerous sauna
program Plaintiff is likely to prevail at trial.
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91. Allowing Defendants to continue to operate such a dangerous sauna
program is needlessly endangering the lives of patients treated through the
Narconon Program.
92. Common sense, science, and the safety of all present and future NI and
NFC patients necessitate the immediate suspension of the sauna and Niacin
program at NFC via a temporary restraining order from this court.
X. DEMAND FOR A JURY TRIAL
93. Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all counts.
XI. PRAY FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for the following relief:
A. Judgment in favor of Plaintiff against Defendants for damages in such
amounts as may be proven at trial;
B. Compensation for special and general damages;
C. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit;
D. Interest at a statutory rate;
E. Punitive or exemplary damages against Defendant; and
F. All other relief the Court deems to be just and proper.



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Respectfully submitted,
/s/David E. Miller
David E. Miller
Saeed & Little LLP
1433 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 371-5535
[email protected]
CA Bar No.: 294-095



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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I, hereby certify that on August 15, 2014 that the foregoing document was
submitted electronically via the court’s Electronic Filing System (CM/ECF). A
Court certified copy will be served on the parties listed below via U.S. Certified
Mail.


Narconon Freedom Center d/b/a
Narconon Treatment Center
via its registered agent:
Alan Kellman
645 Griswold Street, Suite 1370
Detroit, MI 48226

Narconon International
via its registered agent:
Sherman D. Lenske
6400 Canoga Avenue, Suite 315
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Association for Better Living and
Education
via its registered agent:
Sherman D. Lenske
6400 Canoga Avenue, Suite 315
Woodland Hills, CA 91367



/s:/ David Miller
David Miller

Case 2:14-cv-06438-SVW-E Document 1 Filed 08/15/14 Page 33 of 33 Page ID #:33

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