FACTNet Message Board: RAPE AT NARCONON http://www.factnet.org/discus/messages/3/2606.html?1089217334
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:20 am:
July 6, 2004
Rape at drug-treatment center alleged By TOVIN LAPAN Sentinel correspondent
WATSONVILLE — A woman who says she was raped at a drug- treatment center has sued Narconon of Northern California and its parent company, Narconon International, alleging she was assaulted by a staff member while undergoing treatment in November 2003.The suit alleges that when notified of the assault, staff at the Watsonville treatment center failed to respond in an appropriate manner and took the unidentified, out- of-state woman out of treatment. The Sentinel is not identifying the plaintiff because of the nature of the crime.In February, the incident was reported to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, which investigated and turned it over to the District Attorney's Office. A decision on whether to prosecute has yet to be made, prosecutor Jeff Rosell said.Due to federal privacy laws, Narconon would not confirm that the woman was in their drug-treatment program. "We are taking this very seriously and are conducting an internal investigation," Narconon President Clark Carr said from the company's Los Angeles headquarters.Narconon, which has offered drug-treatment programs in California since 1970, is a subsidiary of the Association for Better Living and Education, founded in 1988. The company runs more than 100 rehabilitation and drug-prevention centers worldwide, including three in California.The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for the alleged assault and 15 other charges, including infliction of emotional distress, negligence and breach of contract. If found guilty, punitive damages are awarded based on the wealth of the defendant. Narconon of Northern California and Narconon International reported assets of $1.6 million and $1 million to the IRS in 2002, respectively.
Charge centers on ‘assist'
The suit, filed June 9, alleges a Narconon drug therapist visited the patient's room at 11 p.m. Nov. 16, 2003, and told her she needed an "assist." While the therapist is included in the suit, he is not identified by name.Narconon practices various types of "assists," a treatment method described in L. Ron Hubbard's "Scientology Handbook." While Narconon states it is a secular organization, it acknowledges on its Web site that its drug-treatment methods are based on the research and writings of Hubbard, the father of Scientology. According to the book, during a touch assist a therapist will place a finger on the patient and say "feel my finger." The patient then acknowledges the presence of the finger and this allegedly helps release blocked energy. The process continues until the client feels better. According to the Narconon of Northern California Web site, assists are part of a therapeutic processes undertaken to help ease a patient's mental and physical pains and get the body's natural healing process operating again. The plaintiff was told to lie down on a massage table. The suit alleges the therapist then rubbed his penis on the woman's arms and legs. She became upset and told him to "please quit." According to court documents, the woman tried to run away but the therapist caught her and brought her back to the room. She felt ill and vomited several times. The therapist then told her to get back on the massage table, where he allegedly pinned her hands and raped her.The suit also claims the therapist threatened the patient to not report the incident.The woman's lawyer, Sanford M. Cipinko of San Francisco, had no comment.
Alleged policy violation
According to Carr, Narconon has several policies covering proper patient care and one stipulates that a therapist is not to be in a private space with a patient of the opposite sex at any time.The plaintiff, who paid $15,000 to enter the six-month program, claims she notified Narconon of Northern California Director Dan Manson of the rape. The suit says Manson sent her to a hotel room with another male staffer, and that she did not receive further treatment. After being moved to Narconon's Placerville facility, then back to the hotel in the Watsonville area, the plaintiff sought to be discharged from the program. Manson said the Watsonville facility is conducting its own investigation but would not say if the therapist accused of the sexual assault is still on staff.During this period, the plaintiff reportedly required medical treatment for contracting chlamydia and refused to sign a release freeing Narconon from any legal claims. She left the program in January of this year.Narconon is certified by the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, which conducts biennial reviews.Narconon has refrained from submitting its program to voluntary reviews by private accreditation firms, including the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, the nation's largest health care review system and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Contact Tovin Lapan at email@example.com.
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:06 pm:
What's even more interesting:
Narconon relies heavily on its "accreditation" from a group called CARF Now check out this link:
scroll down to:
This is why, with the Chilocco [sp?] facility in Oklahoma, such a fuss was made over CARF accreditation. Drug rehab facilities must receive accreditation, either from the state or from an official accrediting agency, in order to receive Medicaid reimbursement from the government. It appears that the "Church" managed to use their well-worn tactic of infiltrating an organization to get accreditation from CARF.
In spite of what Andy Milne et al. say, CARF is not "the premiere rehabilitation accrediting agency" they make it out to be. Most rehab facilities opt for accreditation from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). There's no way on earth Narconon could ever qualify for JCAHO accreditation.
and then you may appreciate Diane Richardson's excellent explanation on this group:
"CARF has, indeed, been an independent accrediting agency for rehabilitation facilities for a number of years. It certainly can't be considered one of the "foremost accreditation agencies," but it exists.
The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities is the premiere healthcare accrediting agency in the U.S. It is a consortium composed of representatives of the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Nursing Association, etc. All of the professional healthcare organizations are represented in JCAHO.
There's a great difference between the structure of CARF and that of JCAHO. Both organizations develop standards which must be met for accreditation. A site survey is conducted in which an institution is evaluated in accordance with these standards.
The JCAHO standards are developed by the organizations which make up the JCAHO -- independent professional organizations set the standards which must be met for accreditation.
CARF, on the other hand, has a board made up of executives of the institutions which are member organizations of CARF. No outside professional organizations develop CARF standards. Rather, it is the institutions themselves which determine the standards by which they are to be evaluated. Pretty neat trick.
Because Narconon is now a member of CARF, Narconon representation on its CARF's board is guaranteed. In a recent phone conversation with CARF, I requested that they fax me a copy of their current board of directors. They agreed to do so, but did not."
(see the rest at the above link to see the connection to Kent McGregor)
Then look at Dr. Touretzky's excellent website: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Stop-Narconon/AdvisoryBoard/
The very interesting part of all this is found here: http://www.holysmoke.org/narconon/narconon-mcgregor.htm
where you will find this: There's something else, though. Googling on "William Kent McGregor" returns a court record from the New Mexico Supreme Court and an article (actually one of several) from the Albuquerque Journal. The article, published on March 23, 1998, says in part:
"People who tell their secrets hope their confidences will be kept. That was true of Kathleen Eckhardt, who told her confidences to William Kent McGregor, her therapist at Charter Counseling Center of Santa Fe, a unit of Charter Hospital of Albuquerque.
Eckhardt's and Charter's association turned sour in 1987, when McGregor was alleged to have sexually assaulted her. Nor were relationships improved when Courtney Cook, the Santa Fe center's director, told Eckhardt's husband about claims that he was an abusive spouse whose violence resulted from uncontrolled drinking.
Charter's misdeeds injured Eckhardt in 1987. A few weeks ago, after more than 10 years of litigation, the N.M. Court of Appeals issued its opinion.
Appellate judges upheld more than $350,000 worth of jury awards against Charter on grounds other than wrongful disclosure. ... Appellate judges sent [the case] down to District Court for a jury trial on Eckhardt's wrongful-disclosure claim.
McGregor, a certified social worker, didn't bother taking part in the case and the trial judge slammed him with a $1 million default judgment."
According to earlier Journal articles, McGregor had been ordered to pay $500,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages around August 1, 1995. However, he could not be traced, apparently having left New Mexico and leaving only a Colorado mailing box as his adddress. I don't know from the press coverage whether McGregor did ever pay up.
After McGregor was fined, the remaining litigation concerned the liability of the Charter Counseling Center. The court record of that case, dated November 12, 1997 and available at , states that McGregor had a "past substance abuse problem and [a] lack of recent clinical experience following his treatment for substance abuse." He had been an independent contractor working temporarily for the Charter Counseling Center
NARCONON's hands are not clean---and this current incident could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.