Report: #1176096

Complaint Review: NARCONON

  • Submitted: Thu, September 11, 2014
  • Updated: Thu, October 09, 2014
  • Reported By: Ripped Off in CA — Baden Pennsylvania
    35025 Highway 79
    Warner Springs, California


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We are so happy we got our son out of this facility when we did. Because of a family emergency he came home after two weeks in the program. After he told us of the of the falsehoods. lies, and dangerious proceedures and treatments that where going on there we could not let him return to this program. We feel he would have ended up dead! Below is the letter I wrote to the attorney for Narconon. We have been preocupied with the ilness and death of a family member. Now we are going after these cheats.

We are writing this letter because of our total dissatisfaction with the Narconon Fresh Start program, process and the Sunshine Summit Lodge. The fraudulent information and misrepresentations that were given to me, my wife Katherine, and my son Christopher so we would pay $17,500 for our son to enter the Narconon Fresh Start Program are inexcusable. Below is a brief time line of events. We thought we were sending our son to a rehab facility and not a church indoctrination program.

 On about December 6th we received a call from a counselor who put us in contact with Dan Carmichael. We told Dan of our plan to enter Christopher into a thirty day program close to our home in Pennsylvania for his relapses and use of opiates. Dan told us, among other things, thirty day programs don’t work and the success rate of the Narconon program is 76% of those treated live their lives drug free. We have found out through our research this is not at all true. Christopher entered the program on December 11th of 2013 and was granted a week leave of absence on December 27th 2013  because of a family emergency.
  One big problem that I have is Christopher, as part of his court process, was to enter into a treatment program. We were told that everything would be taken care of with the courts by Dan Carmichael. I believe Christopher reiterated this to the personnel at the Sunshine Summit Lodge. I faxed the paper work for Christopher’s custody hearing to the Sunshine Summit Lodge so that the court would know he was in treatment and the need to reschedule the hearing. That was never followed up on with the personnel at the Sunshine Summit Lodge and the court in Pennsylvania was never notified. We came to find out that the Narconon program would not be recognized by the Pennsylvania courts contrary to what we were told. So Chris most likely would have ended up in jail when he returned to Pennsylvania had he competed the program.
 When Christopher was picked up at the Pittsburgh Airport by us on December 27Th Christopher told us of the so called “Treatment” and the so called “medical and psychological staff” that was promised would be at the facility was a total lie. The staff is made up of a” Bunch of Kids” in his words with no medical or psychological training. Because Christopher spent the prior two weeks in the Beaver County jail he did not have a need for the detox program but did stay a week at the detox facility and then moved to the Sunshine Summit Lodge. At the Sunshine Summit Lodge Christopher told us he was given massive amounts of niacin which made him break out in a rash and sickened him. He also suffered from headaches from the sauna treatments.
 Christopher’s problems are both mental and an addiction problem. We were specifically told by Dan Carmichael that there were both trained medical and psychological personal at the facility and they treat both. This was one of the primary reasons we sent Christopher to this program. This is clearly not the case. There were also health issues and health violations at the facility that I will not go into at this time as I don’t want to clue that staff in so they can clean up if we should need to go further with this action. I did contact Wendy at the Sunshine Summit Lodge on January 2, 2014 and told her that Christopher would not be returning to the facility or the program. I told her as I am telling you “there are problems with the program, the staff, and the facility”.  I asked Wendy at that time “were do we go from here”. Wendy did tell me a person from corporate will be contacting us and gave me your name as the person who would be following up with us.
Below is items prepared by my son who entered the program and Yes he is doing great without them.
  1. Narconon permits clients under treatment for drug and alcohol abuse to handle and provide medications to fellow Narconon clients, to supervise the sauna treatment of fellow Narconon clients, and to supervise Narconon clients with psychiatric disorders. Such practices endanger the client's health and safety and are not in accord with acceptable drug and alcohol treatment.

  2. Touch assists between patients. Touch assists involve massages between patients in rooms by themselves. Narconon has both male and female patients who are involved in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. This practice of touch assists could likely lead to improper sexual contact between drug addicts or alcoholics in the process of recovery. An accepted standard in such programs is for the patients to keep their hands to themselves.

  3. The Narconon Program exposes its patients to the risk of delayed withdrawal phenomena such as seizures, delirium and/or hallucinations. There is also a potential risk that the reported re-experience of the abused drugs' effect during the sauna sweat-out program may be the result of misinterpreted symptoms of hyperthermia or electrolyte imbalance since vital signs and serum electrolyte levels have not been consistently monitored during the sweat-out procedures or when a student is reporting the phenomena. Sauna staff isn’t qualified to handle such events

  4. The Narconon program includes the administration of high doses of vitamins and minerals to the Narconon patient as part of their treatment. The use of high amounts of vitamins and minerals in the amounts described administered by Narconon can be potentially dangerous to the patients of Narconon according to the more credible medical evidence.

  5. The relationship between drug-abuse and psychiatric disorders is well established. Most drug abusers who enter residential drug treatment facilities have high levels of anxiety, depression, hostility or apathy. Further, a chemical dependency disorder may co-exist with or be secondary to a specific psychiatric illness, such as schizophrenia or major depression, which should be treated by established psychiatric procedures. Narconon Tells students and staffs that these illnesses aren’t real and can be cured with vitamins.

  6. Narconon's program lacks any acceptable degree of quality control of the sauna temperatures and treatment. Such a lack of control endangers the safety, health and/or the physical or mental wellbeing of its clients.

  7. Narconon hires former students to work at Narconon immediately upon graduation and the former students work directly with the present students. While former patients of drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics can be employed in such clinics after graduation, the former patient's recovery from his addiction should be established with more passage of time to ensure sobriety and to avoid putting patients in contact with addicts who are not fully recovered. I encountered at least 2 to 3 incidents where staff was supplying drugs to students. Also taking drugs turned in by students on the first search.

  8. The vast majority of time spent in the Narconon treatment plan and course work does not in any way relate to or involve education about drug and alcohol abuse treatment, issues, and/or addiction. (Was promised a mental evaluation, anger management, and parenting classes due to requirements in court.) The material (if any), is vogue and wouldn’t qualify for court requirements.

  9. Narconon employs staff inadequately educated and trained in the care and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse clients. Most are under 21 and don’t know how to take care of themselves.

  10. Narconon permits clients under treatment for drug and alcohol abuse to handle and provide medications to fellow Narconon clients, to supervise the sauna treatment of fellow Narconon clients, and to supervise Narconon clients with psychiatric disorders. Such practices endanger the client's health and safety and are not in accord with acceptable drug and alcohol treatment.

  11. There is substantial medical literature which indicates that sauna therapy may pose significant health risks to intravenous heroin addicts, which is likely to be treated at Narconon, because such drug use may impair normal physiological response and problems associated with high temperature saunas which could be detected.

  12. Narconon restricts access by Narconon clients to their personal physicians, family, attorneys, clergy and others by not permitting communications except at limited and designated hours. Such a practice may endanger the physical or mental wellbeing of Narconon's clients. (I personally was unable to tell my family how I really felt about the program.  The staff makes it very clear they are recording calls via voice and text. When negative things were said I stopped receiving messages from my family. But later found they were telling them I was busy and loved the program so much, especially sauna) which is 100% untruthful.

  13. The Narconon program fails to provide adequate follow-up and treatment for Narconon clients demonstrating abnormal lab tests and other medical problems. (Requested blood work for thyroid, asked staff if they knew anything. I got sent around to different people with no answers. Also the medications prescribed for withdrawal cravings were improperly administered causing more intense cravings. After transferring centers I found out not only was I not getting the right amount they lost my medication and didn’t follow up on what happened to it. Most students are forced to buy withdrawal vitamins and the staff doesn’t follow up on who gets what. There is also no designated medication times causing students to miss medications. When that happens the response from staff is “oh well your f**ked for tonight”

  14. Upon arriving withdrawal house you are required to read a book about the program. In this book it promises a 24/7 doctor on site, and several drinks of drug bomb/calcium magnesium. There is no doctor on any sites and the drink that supposedly saves you from with drawl isn’t managed at consistent times. I never received more than three (at the most a day).

  15. Was promised 1-on-1 Therapy. There are no licensed therapists at any center, after two weeks of asking their response was you can talk to your unlicensed counselor. I was diagnosed adhd/bipolar they often told me my doctors lied to me, and vitamins and sauna will cure my mental problems.

  16. Severe Black mold in the sauna. I and other students asked staff more than several times the mold is making us sick. The inexperienced staff did absolutely nothing about it. Days later when asking them again staff told me black mold isn’t bad for you. I told them I had to move out of an old apartment due to mold problems, he assured me it wasn’t from my mold allergy it was sauna wearing me out.

  17. There was no evidence that the Narconon staff inventoried and verified the medications brought on to the campus.

  18. There is no credible scientific evidence that the Narconon program is effective in the treatment of chemical dependency. They boast a 76% success rate. After entering program was told the website lied it’s actually the graduation rate.

  19. There is no credible scientific evidence that exercise speeds up the detoxification process.

  20. Large doses of niacin are administered to patients during the Narconon program to rid the body of radiation. There is no credible scientific evidence that niacin in any way gets radiation out of the patient's body. Rather, the more credible medical evidence supports the existence of potential medical risks to persons receiving high doses of niacin. I was told because I lived near by a nuclear power plant I would be in sauna longer.

  21. Courses resemble scientology. No website or recruiter mentions Its L Ron Hubbard based. I was told it was a holistic approach no religion involved. The first book I was to read was how Mr. Hubbard was going to save me and the courses didn’t have anything to do with scientology.

Narconon course

Scientology equivalent(s)

• Therapeutic TRs Course

• Success Through Communications Course
• Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course

• New Life Detoxification Program

• Purification Rundown

• Learning Improvement Course

• Student Hat

• Perception and Communication Course

• TRS and Objectives Co-audit Course

• Ups and Downs in Life Course

• Ups and Downs in Life Course

• Personal Values and Integrity Course

• Personal Values and Integrity Course

• Changing Conditions in Life Course

• How to Improve Conditions in Life Course




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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/11/2014 10:36 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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