Santa Cruz, California - A father claims Narconon International and the Association for Living and Education International are fronts for Scientology, and that he paid them $35,500 for "essentially worthless treatment" for his drug-addicted son. He says the groups run rehab programs "to enrich themselves and to provide a recruit base for the Church of Scientology rather than to provide competent treatment for chemical dependency."
David Compton sued the two companies, and Narconon Vista, alleging fraud and breach of contract. He wants his money back and $1 million in punitive damages.
"The conduct of defendants is pervasive and plaintiff and his son are not the first victims of the conduct of defendants," the complaint states. "Defendants are engaged in a scheme or plan to enrich themselves and to provide a recruit base for the Church of Scientology rather than to provide competent treatment for chemical dependency. As such, their actions are intended to inflict harm upon the persons entering their programs while obtaining large sums of money for essentially worthless treatment. Such pattern of conduct has resulted in harm not just to plaintiff and his son but many other families who have been traumatized by actions of defendants."
Compton says that when he paid $29,000 for his son's rehab, he "was not informed that defendants are an off-shoot of the Church of Scientology and that the programs offered by defendants are used as a recruiting tool for the Church of Scientology."
He claims the defendants "engage in a 'bait and switch' program whereby all or virtually all persons who go to defendants' facility are first referred to 'chemical detoxification' for which a separate charge is imposed."
He says the detox program cost him an additional $6,500.
Compton says he "was informed that defendants utilize accepted standards of treatment for chemical dependency when, in fact, the treatment by defendants is not accepted in the treatment community as being within the standard of care."
He claims he "was informed that defendants had a 70 percent success rate in treatment of drug dependency when, in fact, their success rate is much lower."
He claims he "was led to believe that the facilities were clean and sanitary [though] in fact the withdrawal house was disgusting. The facility smelled of mold and the water dispenser had mold growing out of it. The facility had 10 residents of which 8 men all shared the same bathroom. There were human feces evident throughout the bathroom including on the floor, toilet and side of the bathtub," according to the complaint.
Compton wants his $35,500 back and $1 million in punitive damages.
Mr. Compton is represented in Santa Cruz County Court by John Hannon II of Capitola, Calif.