Lawsuit Claims Rehab Clinic Is Actually A Scientology Recruiting Program

By Victoria Kim 01/28/15

Jeanette McHenry is claiming that the New Life Retreat in Louisiana pulled a "bait and switch."

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A woman is suing a residential drug rehabilitation program in Denham Springs, La., claiming it is a Scientology recruiting tool posing as a substance abuse treatment.

Jeanette McHenry filed a lawsuit on Monday in Baton Rouge federal court against the Narconon Louisiana New Life Retreat, alleging that the Narconon program “used a bait and switch scheme whereby (it) promised (McHenry) extensive substance abuse counseling for her son and then delivered only Scientology teaching and dangerous Scientology rituals,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks damages and a court order prohibiting the defendants “from further engaging in deceptive trade practices."

This is not the first time Narconon has been sued. McHenry's lawsuit is one of many that have been filed around the country against Narconon entities, which consist of more than 120 rehabilitation and drug prevention centers around the world, according to Patrick Pendley, one of McHenry’s attorneys.

“Narconon preys upon people experiencing Ms. McHenry’s desperation to do something, anything to pull a loved one out of destructive addictive behavior,” Pendley said. “We are trying to shine the public spotlight on these fraudulent programs that do more harm than good to the patient.”

McHenry took out a bank loan and borrowed money from family to help come up with $27,000 to send her son to NLR. There, NLR had her son study and practice Scientology in place of actual addiction treatment, according to the lawsuit. “NLR is using the Narconon program to introduce Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard’s ‘technology’ to unwitting patients seeking drug rehabilitation.”

Although Narconon is not part of the Church of Scientology, its website does confirm that the research of Scientology founder and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard did form the basis of the Narconon program. Hubbard gave Narconon the right to use his copyrighted works for drug rehabilitation purposes in 1976.

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