State cites Woodbury living center for license violations

The Tennessean/October 12, 2014

By Tom Wilemon

Marc Vallieres, the Scientologist who speaks at Tennessee schools about the dangers of drug abuse, is also the owner of a supportive living center that has been cited for multiple license violations.

An inspection by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse this year found the center violated rules that ranged from failing to do criminal background checks on employees to housing someone who needed a higher level of care. The state agency on Tuesday accepted a correction plan from the center.

Life Center for a New Tomorrow LLC in Woodbury, Tenn., is "the only licensed facility of its kind in the U.S.A. that does not use psych drugs to help people," according to the LinkedIn profile of Vallieres, who identifies himself as the center's owner. That practice is in line with the Church of Scientology's stand against psychiatrists prescribing drugs for mental illnesses.

Records show the center, which was originally licensed by the state agency in 2010, was flagged for 21 deficiencies.

The center had a resident identified as "CV" who was living there in violation of its supportive living category. This resident did not meet state requirements for self care. Those requirements include the ability to bathe, eat, take care of their possessions, recognize danger and maintain appropriate and tolerable behaviors.

"Resident is unable to meet all these requirements," the inspection report said.

More: Scientology members speak about drugs in Tennessee schools

Vallieres responded by email to requests for comment from The Tennessean.

"The person who needs a higher level of care is being moved," he said.

The inspection report also flagged the center for having no couches, chairs, television, radio, tables, lamps, etc. in a cabin. The center's plan of compliance filed with the state said a chair and table had been installed, and that a waiver had been prepared for this special case.

"The person was not denied radio and TV," Vallieres wrote. "She would spend most of the day in the main house listening to radio and watching TV."

The state also flagged the center for not having evidence of background checks on two employees, lacking evidence of abuse registry checks on any employees and not having a dresser or clothing in one cabin, among other violations.

"A waiver has been prepared for this special case" in regard to the cabin without a dresser or clothing, the center said.

Beth Pinkerton, the state inspector who reviewed the correction plan, put the center on notice that it may be reinspected to verify compliance.

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