Updated January 2015
Much has happened and become available since I wrote this article in 2009. Please see my latest update on more resources and information at the end of the Confidential Questionnaire, posted below .
UPDATED Feb 2010
I receive MANY complaints and concerns about Narconon. Often I get emails, explaining the problems. Sometimes people post comments here. Once I have enough information to understand the problem, I have the them fill out a confidential questionnaire so I can help them with getting their complaints addressed. I am only one person, a volunteer with little time but some experience and knowledge that may be of help. My desire is to help as I can.
If you are concerned about a loved one who is currently doing this program, or you are a victim of their deceptive trade practices and you don't know what steps to take, email me with particulars about the situation which you are comfortable discussing with me, using the below questionnaire as a guide, and I will get back to you as soon as possible by email. The more information you provide, the more I will know how I can be of help.
At minimum I will need to know:
A general idea of the substance/alcohol abuse history, age of Narconon program attendee, your concerns and the concerns expressed to you by your loved one who attended the program; the state and county the payer for the services lives in; the name and location of the Narconon facility and dates of attendance, along with how the services were paid and by whom ( ie: y credit card or check, paidby you, another person, by insurance, employer etc). My email address is at the end of the questionnaire.
In order to be able to help you file your complaints and volunteer as an advocate for you in the problem you are having with Narconon, the following information is needed and will be held in the strictist of confidence.
Use as much space as you need on a notepad or wordpad doc for each question:
Narconon attended :______________________________________________________________________
Name, address county state, ph number and age of person who attended Narconon:
Name, address county state ph numbers and relationship of person who paid for Narconon:______________________________________________________________________
How much was Narconon paid?
How was it paid and when?
Was it paid during a telephone conversation? Or via the internet? Or by mail? Or through an interventionist? Or at the facility itself?
Explain how the money was transferred to Narconon:
By what type of Credit card ( visa? MC? etc), or via wire transfer, or by check, or by Cash: please explain:______________________________________________________________________
Have you asked for a CHARGEBACK from your credit card company? If so, What happened so far?
Supply the name of Credit card (s) company(s) and amounts pd (to each)______________________________________________________________________
Name and address of Narconon Facility or facilities, and dates of attendance.
Was Narconon paid to provide for another service such as medical detox or intervention?
If Yes, please note the name address and phone numbers of the other services and list the dates of the service and amounts paid from the total fee:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How did you come to find and choose this narconon? Fill in all that apply:
__ mail, radio,newspaper or advertisement
__ Internet rehab referral site : Pls give us the web link, the Name, phone number of person you spoke to at referral site
__ Specific Narconon Internet site __ Internet, site unknown: list keywords used in the search:
__ Through word of mouth: a person? a group?
__ a newspaper ad. Do you still have the ad? yes/no
For any of the above, list the particulars /specifics ie: web address, hotline phone #, names of who you spoke to below:
If your contact with Narconon was arranged through an internet referral site,or from a hotline number, please list the names, email addresses and/or phone numbers of the people you were put in contact with.
Do you have email correspondence with the facility or interventionist?
If your arrangement for purchasing Narconon was arranged over the phone:
Specifically: what were you asking for and what were you told you'd be getting?
What promises were made over the phone or by email by whom? Specifically Who told
you these things and how was it communicated? Include the internet referral person promises, if applicable
If you used an internet rehab hotline referral service, were you given choices other than Narconon? If yes, list them: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How much were you charged by Narconon for the program and fees?____________________
If it was an outpatient Narconon, who did you pay rent to live near the facility?
When,how much and to whom did you pay this rent? ie, name, cash, credit card, check:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Was the patient seen by a medical doctor upon arrival or at another time?
State when, and the name and contact information of the doctor if possible.
Did the patient sign a release at the doctor office so you could discuss your loved one's care? yes/no Did you talk with the doctor? yes/no
Did the staff discuss your loved one's personal problems and rehab care issues with you or another without his or her permission? Please explain who what and when.
When you were on the phone with the referral service or the Narconon contact, were you told anything about any refund policy and or Insurance reimbursement? yes/no
If so, please explain either way.
This is VERY important:
Date you received a contract to sign? Did you sign it?
Did you receive a contract to sign before paying? y / n
Did you receive a contract before the person arrived at Narconon for services? y /n
Did you receive a receipt for your payment(s) y / n
Date of receiving receipt, if applicable:
Were you offered and did you receive any part of your refund back? y / n
Who handled this with you? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How much, When and how was it repaid or credited? ____________________________________
Were there conditions to getting the payment? ie: did you sign a gag agreement?__________________________________
Please send copies of all agreements received, signed or not signed, so we can see what you agreed or did not agree to.
ON A SEPARATE PAGE:
Have the patient write up what happened during his or her stay that he or she felt
was wrong or weird or unethical.
List the Narconon staff you, the patient and any related family talked with from the facility, their title and what was said once the person had arrived. Please try to write in sequence and note the names of the facilities they were at if the victim went to more than one.
Explain what happened (or didn't happen as promised) to the person who attended
Narconon that you feel was unethical, illegal or a breach of your agreement with the facility.
Have you filed or made complaints about this already? If so, where and whom did you speak with or write to:
Write down any concerns you have that are not addressed here:
It would be very helpful for me to read any documents, contracts, complaint letter you have related to your complaint. If possible, please have them scanned and emailed to me at xscilentologist at yahoo.com.
I am not a lawyer and I am not a paralegal. I am a volunteer with experience in helping victims of Narconon and other Scientology front groups. I cannot guarantee anything,but I will try my best to help you know your options and help you get your complaints to the appropriate agencies. I will also try to find you an attorney, though few exist. It depends upon the state laws where the payer lives and what state the Narconon is located but from experience in this, many attorneys do not take these cases because the work is complicated and they would have to charge a lot, making it not worthwhile for the victims and the attorneys.
Mary McConnell, volunteer advocate
xscilentologist at yahoo.com
UPDATE: January 2015:
Since the posting of this article,
I have received many complaints from those victimized by the many
Scientology based Narconon programs across the USA as well as about the
related front group Scientology based programs such as Pur Detox, Best Drug
rehabilitation Center and A Forever Recovery.
have been many lawsuits filed against these programs, and a host
of willing attorneys who are helping victims take these programs on in
court. There are about 45 current lawsuits across the USA at this time
and more coming. I will soon be posting a list of attorneys by location
who have helped victims sue Narconon so that you can contact any for further assistance in complaints. In the meantime, you can read some of the 84 lawsuit complaints posted here
More information is now available on the internet to help victims that ever before. Besides the wonderfully helpful forum Reaching For The Tipping Point there is the independent information website called Narconon Reviews,
which has information on the program as well as resources on what to do
if you have a complaint, what to look for in a rehab before you make a
choice on where to send the person and much more. I especially invite
victims of Narconon programs and scams to visit this page there on the
specific avenues you can take to get your complaints known. It is from
the Resources for Former Clients section and should be of much help to anyone with a complaint: