It may not bear the name "Narconon", but it sounds like a Narconon to me, based on this other report: http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,10723.0.html
OK, perhaps they are using the books but this is the first i have heard of it. Of course, I have been off the radar for a bit on and off over the last year so perhaps I missed something but my guess is that they included certain therapies in their program in order to gain CARF certification. Best Drug Rehab states that they give 1:1 counseling:http://www.bestdrugrehabilitation.com/treatment-phases/one-on-one-counseling/
A Forever Recovery offers ( offered?) at least in early 2012, several different therapies . You can see this mentioned in the following correspondence between a woman who wrote me and my reply to her.
2 emails, received early 2012 froim which I obtained some of the info about other therapies ( which I later researched):[..] Mary,
My goodness, am I glad I have found your voice on the internet! I have noticed your name attached to many impressive and intelligently written contributions to websites and forums about Scientology and Narconon. I've never been around Scientology nor have I or anyone close to me gone to a Narconon facility. Recently though, my xxxxxxXXX entered A Forever Recovery and now I'm trying to find out everything I can about it and Narconon and Scientology because the place just doesn't sit quite right with me. After searching for two weeks for information on Pamela Anderson, I found your following post on whyweprotest.net:
"All staff from Narconon Stonehawk went to work at A Forever recovery until Narcnon Freedom Center was legally set up. This as due to legal and tax problems Per and Kathleen Wickstroms had with each other as owners of Stonehawk and with Narconon International. Kathleen Wichstrom sued Per and Narconon Int while Per Wickstrom's brother, who runs Wickstrom Chevrolet, ran A Forever Recovery. He now has his car company corporate secretary, Pamela Anderson, running A Forever Recovery. She is listed as an officer with the state. This was also done to prevent Kathleen fromgetting at assets of Stonehawk. That backfired and they settled in court with her last year."
That is the best explanation I've seen of it's formation!
My XXXX entered rehab for alcohol abuse 3 weeks ago at A Forever Recovery. He underwent detox at a hospital prior to his admittance there, thank goodness. Two weeks ago I came across google reviews for AFR which lead me to ripoffreport which lead me to dig deeper and deeper online for information about the place. At that time, in my horror, I contacted my XXXX's XXXXXX with my concerns about the complaints I had read online, but XXX assured me that everything is ok with A Forever Recovery, it's not the same owners, it has nothing to do with Scientology, I must have been looking at reviews from when it was a Narconon facility, etc.. etc... He even had the intake counselor, Darwin (who completed the program there three years ago), call me to allay my fears, discuss the program, and answer all of my questions.
In spite of its dubious beginnings, do you know if my XXXXXXX can be effectively rehabilitated there? Is Pamela Anderson is a scientologist? Even if she is, does that necessarily mean the patients are exposed to it - or are there good people who come in and work one-on-one with the patients, oblivious to Scientology as a backdrop? Is AFR a front for Scientology? I guess I mainly want to know if my XXXXXXX is safe there and experiencing authentic rehab practices, to your knowledge. BTW, he is a XX-year-old male who knows what he believes, which perhaps insulates him from potential recruiting tactics. I know the interventionist begrudgingly referred him to AFR (but had no alternative due to insurance), managing to weakly tell me "they have a good program there".
I would greatly appreciate any additional information you may have about A Forever Recovery and how they conduct MRT/CBT (is it straight-up or do they put their own spin on it?). I do hope my XXXXX can take something away from his experience there and I believe he would be able to smell a rat. He called his XXXXX within the last few days and apparently sounded great. I don't know any details of their conversation.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this email.
Thank you so much for going out of your way to track me down for answers to your questions. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but I have been away for a few days and just received your email.
First I want to assure you that if XXXXXX is doing well in his recovery so far and is interested in the MRT/CBT, go for it. The MRT is evidence an based therapy * and has to be done by trained professionals and done so by the book in order to claim it's use at a facility. You can find more info here.http://nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=34
Narconon and Scientology do not use any therapy in their programs. They are hostile to any mental health program in general, and the industry itself. I looked over their site and saw what they are offering and 90% would never be offered by Narconon.
The exceptions are the sauna detox and vitamin program ( dangerous, especially for the liver):
Ref: Scientology Purification Detox Evaluation Rebuttal by Cambridge Environmental Research report on the Scientology Purification Detox Evaluation, 'a pseudo scientific study done on Scientology's Purification aka Narconon' program.http://www.scribd.com/doc/19462759/Scientology-Purification-Detox-Evaluation-Rebuttal-by-Cambridge-Environmental-
They may use the Life Skills program that would include Scientology 'ethics condition formulas' found in the personal integrity book and ups and downs in life course. Here are links to the Narconon materials 'students' study
Book 2 is the : The New Life Detoxification Program Delivery Manual http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/detoxbookpt2.htm
Below are the individual links to each of the other Narconon books. They come in pdf format. They were uploaded and posted about on hyweprotest a couple of years ago, here
Leaking Narconon Course Packs and material http://forums.whyweprotest.net/123-leaks-legal/leaking-narconon-course-packs-material-48722/
Many people have downloaded them and they are virus safe. (NOTE: SEE NARCONON BOOKS THREAD HERE FOR CURRENT LINKS TO THESE BOOKS)http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TWGVL8G2
book 1 Therapeutic TR Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=YEQWPRAW
book 3 Learning Improvement Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=KTJ95MB1
book 4a Communication & Perception Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=WCR26YYA
book 4b Communication & Perception Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=M1OHU2CF
book 5 Ups & Downs in Life Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=HVH6J1C5
book 6 Personal Values and Integrity Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=M3ZVB1B0
book 7 Changing Conditions in Life Coursehttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=U70HBDS7
book 8 The Way to Happiness Course
These books are presented within this video report on Narconon
YouTube - Narconon Exposed (Scientology, a new drug?) (part 1/2)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6tO4rx0RbE
YouTube - Narconon Exposed (Scientology, a new drug?) (part 2/2)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMYf4tdkS2Q
I do know that AFR requires 'clients' or 'students' to 'write up' things observed that are not allowed, snitching and such. That culture can get so out of hand. It is not unheard of for a patient to be given $10 and dropped off at the nearest state border motel if he violates the rules. Narconon does spy and listen in on phone calls and I am not sure if they do this at AFR but do be alert to it if your friend sounds vague and can't talk.... Staff will deny doing the and it could cause a problem if they know you are searching the internet.
Your XXXXXXX may find that there are things going on there, like drug use or staff having sex with patients ( not unheard of at AFR and Narconon) but if the place is controlled well enough it should be ok. There was, however, the recent report at ripoff about bedbugs there, in November. You may want to have your xxxxxx's XXXXXXX make sure that is still not an issue.
There are some other things you need to know regarding Narconon and Scientology influences over at A Forever Recovery (AFR), like the fact that half the staff at least are former graduates and employees of other Narconons. This guy Darwin Dixon was trained by Narconon and attended Narconon back in 2006 or 2007. I have complaints from people going back that far that include his name from the Narconon in Palm Desert and he is registered as a licended counselor from that faclity. You can see by looking up his name ( with Palm Desert CA as the location noted :http://www.addiction-specialists.com/profile.php?id=16906
Murray Dailey, the AFR Senior Director of Intake is a longtime Narconon graduate and counselor , first working for Narconon Stonehawk.
Back in 2008 there was a news story about AFR starting:http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/msg/4fd559e9725fb50f
No one believed them, especially because of the lawsuits by Kathleen Wickstrom claiming it was a scam setr up by Narconon and her ex to avoid paying her. According to their original agreement, neither was supposed to own a 12 step company once they 'lost' their licence from Narconon ( which she claims they were in collusion with Per only done to avoid paying her.
AFR also runs different websites in the same manner as Narconon does. Changing the name around "Recovered Forever" or not disclosing ownership like at 4rehabilitation.com , or here on facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Drug-Rehab-Referral-Service/325568779424#!/pages/The-Drug-Rehab-Referral-Service/325568779424?sk=info
but if the services are what they claim them to be, especially the therapy, it can only help your friend.
The fact is, the activities have changed alot since I wrote that comment over at whyweprotest.net:https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/rip-david-vantrease.56048/page-3#post-1163207
They are probably using the MRT as they claimed. As well, I erred in stating that the owner, "Doug Wickstrom", was the brother of the former owner Per Wickstrom. It seems that it was his father of the same name. Pamela Anderson worked for Wickstom Chevrolet and acted as corporate Secretary for the father's car company when the father helped son Per Wickstrom set up AFR to get around having to pay his wife Kathleen a contractual agreement they had related to her leaving Narconon and being the co-owner of their TIA Corp business that owned and rented property out to others including Narconon Stonehawk ( including the St Mary's property where AFR is now. TIA Corp is their landlord).
The father Douglas Sr , however, hasn't. He got stuck with a bad credit record and some debt as you can see below in an appeal he lost. Proof Per helped start AFR as Kathleen claimed.
Wickstrom v. Experian July 1, 2010
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION
"Plaintiff stopped working for Narconon in June 2008, and the credit card account went delinquent that month. Plaintiff reported that he stopped working for Narconon because the company had "bad financial problems." (Plf. Dep. at 13). Plaintiff and his son started a new corporation in June 2008. The new corporation, "A Forever Recovery," was in the same business as Narconon and it used the same Battle Creek address. (Ex. 2; Plf. Dep. at 16-17, 21, 23, 77-78, 89-90)."http://mi.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.20100701_0001157.WMI.htm/qx
American Express is being sued by AFR for garnishing that money, since AFR was Narconon Stonehawk at the time of getting the credit:
A Forever Recovery. Inc sues American Express in 2011
Court Case #2011-0000002837 NZ
Case Number 2011-0000002837
Case Type OTHER DAMAGE SUITS
Judge KINGSLEY,JAMES C.,
Additional Case Information: [Parties] [Charges]
Parties [ Top ]
Party Name Party Type Attorney of Record
AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY DEFENDANT NA
A FOREVER RECOVERY INC PLAINTIFF SLOT,PHILLIP BENJAMIN, https://mcc.co.calhoun.mi.us/details.php?c=2011+0000002837&se=party#parties
I think Doug Sr wishes he'd never helped his son out in setting up this up because Kathleen Wickstrom sued Per and Narconon International soon after finding out about the whole scam and she probably received not only what was due her but much more. The scam, is discussed in full in her lawsuit complaint which can be found here:
AFR was never intended to appear to be a Narconon. It was supposed to be different so that Kathleen Wickstrom would not know and see that her ex was funneling the customers to his new place to avoid paying her.
Pamela Anderson is not a scientologist as far as I know. Neither is Douglas Sr. Kathleen isn't either. Matter of fact, I suspect Per Wickstrom is no longer one after Narconon International was sued. He's kept a very low profile since:
See Per Wickstrom - Scientology Service Completionshttp://www.truthaboutscientology.com/stats/by-name/p/per-wickstrom.html
So, I think that, despite all that and given the fact that AFR is not run like Narconon for the most part and that they offer real therapy, your friend should not have too much Scientology and Narconon influence to worry about there. However, people have made complaints about the facility which are on the internet. http://www.ripoffreport.com/Search/A-Forever-Recovery.aspxhttp://www.sober.com/forums/1204.aspxhttp://www.sober.com/forums/t/14568/has+anyone+heard+of++a+forever+recovery+rehab+in+michigan+need+infofeedback.aspx?pageindex=3
Anyway, I hope I have answered your questiuons well enough and have brought a better understanding of what the program is and isn't from what I could tell. When it comes to taking someone out of a Narconon program, my motto is 'if it aint broken, don't fix it.' Rehab is hard and if your friend is trying hard, nearly done. He wants the help so keep him there. Any therapy is better than no therapy but MRT* looks like a worthwhile program.
Let me know how it goes for him .
*More on MRT: Moral Reconation Therapy, MRT® is the premiere Cognitive-Behavioral program for offender populations and only trained and certified MRT facilitators are permitted to conduct these highly effective and specialized groups.
Most of the Good Success services and interventions we offer are based on the Cognitive-Behavioral Model (CBT), and utilize Evidenced-Based Cognitive-Behavioral treatment materials — specifically, MRT®.
MRT® has been included in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. It is the premiere cognitive-behavioral program for substance abuse treatment and offender populations, including parole and probation settings, outpatient programs, educational settings and drug courts.
It was developed in 1985 by Dr. Gregory Little and Dr. Kenneth Robinson, and over 120 published outcomes have documented that MRT®-treated offenders show significantly lower recidivism for periods as long as 10-years after treatment. The approach leads to increased participation rates, increased program completion rates, decreased disciplinary infractions, and beneficial changes in personality characteristics. All MRT® groups must be operated by MRT®-certified facilitators -- professional staff who complete 32-hour training.
Definition of MRT®
The term moral refers to moral reasoning level based on Kohlberg's levels of cognitive reasoning. The word reconation comes from the psychological terms conative and conation, which refer to the process of making conscious decisions. MRT® is a cognitive-behavioral system that leads to enhanced moral reasoning, better decision making, and more appropriate behavior.
For More Information About MRT® visit www.ccimrt.comhttp://www.goodsuccessclassrooms.com/#/what-is-mrt/4539698586
Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful email. I really appreciate your taking the time to respond in such detail. Thanks for all the links too. It's nice to have all those materials as well for informational purposes.
Well, I wrote to you out of concern for XXXXXXXXX. He will be completing the program at AFR this Friday. We have written letters to each other over the past several weeks. It's clear he is seeing many of the things I read about which you confirmed (I had seen those comments on Ripoff Report and Sober.com - they are what had me the most concerned in the first place) and yes, I was mindful of the phone possibly being tapped although he never did call; he said they have to stand in line to use pay phones and there is no privacy. I was careful in my letters too in case they read mail - I agree I did not want to put him in a compromising position by letting on that I had come across any unseemly information on AFR, nor did I want to alarm him.
Although he tried to be positive and complain little in his letters he did mention he'll have lots of stories to share with me when we see each other, they are under surveillance 24/7, there is no real recreation there as advertised and he's aware of flagrant lies on the website (through others there) to lure people in, people have left in the night... He also was suspicious of how they conduct CBT there (although I don't know what he would be comparing it too) and was fearful of being brainwashed; he switched from CBT to MRT.
I was surprised to learn he spent his first week (or much of it) in detox since he had just been released from detox in a hospital a day prior to his admittance. Apparently, it's mandatory there - the family's first choice for a rehab center (which is accredited but wouldn't accept his insurance) would have placed him directly into the rehab portion of his stay. (I also noticed that AFR is not accredited) He had to do extensive writing exercises in detox in preparation for therapy. (How is that detox??) He didn't mention the sauna or vitamins but I guess I'll hear about that soon enough. He's in a room with 6 beds and one bathroom for them to share. Oh and he mentioned there are no drugs/medications allowed on site, save Advil, which makes me wonder if he was able to get his daily blood pressure medication from a nurse like Darwin said he would. I hope they are checking his blood pressure too. The most alarming thing he mentioned is that if someone needs medical attention/surgery/breaks an arm, they have the choice to either tough it out or go home. wow. seriously? They have daily chores, which I suppose could be alright but I wonder if other rehab centers have this practice.
On a positive note, he has cranked through the program, spending all his free time on homework and mentions having more clarity than he's ever had, and has had to face everything that contributed to his drinking problem in the first place and how he has hurt others. He's there for the right reasons and has applied himself so I am hopeful for his maintained sobriety. He's finished there this week already. He said it's been hard work and emotional at times, but his outlook seems optimistic. It will be good to see him again and very interesting to finally talk with him. I was able to have a chat last week with a counselor there, Joe Guajardo. Do you know of him?
Lastly, I wanted to show you this in case you haven't noticed it on their website. Although I don't necessarily believe XXXXX was exposed to Scientology, or at least not to too much of an extent, I do somewhat still question it's relationship to AFR, former Narconon graduates aside. If you look at the staff's credentials on the website, you'll notice some of them were certified by PITA Group. The certs are even signed by W. Kent McGregor! Isn't that strange they'd show that on their site if they want to distance themselves from Scientology?
Of course this isn't the main site I was looking at (which is stopyouraddiction.com, the domain name formerly used by Stonehawk, right?), but it's where the main site directs you to if you are looking for staff. When I googled PITA, I came across your very interesting comments to Louis Catton last February here: http://www.thecleanslate.org/new-face-of-recovery-is-a-front-for-narconon-and-scientology/ Go Mary!
Oh, as an interesting aside, when I first tried contacting AFR through the main number on their site (877-456-3313), the girl answering the phone asked me which location I was trying to reach! I took this to mean Battle Creek versus the Narconon Freedom Center; if you google the number you'll see they share it. Again, this seems sloppy if they AFR maintains it has no affiliation with Narconon or "the previous owner".
Although my XXXXXX is seeing all the weird stuff there for himself, I'm not sure to what extent I should disclose my knowledge of the same things. I want him to feel good about what he did and all the effort he put into his recovery at AFR and I do believe he has gotten out what he put in, but it will difficult to play dumb when it comes up. Maybe I won't say anything unless he directly asks if I knew any of this. Should I share the materials you sent me so he can see if any of what he did was lifted from them? If it were me, I'd want to be informed but I'm not sure if it would potentially be discouraging to him. Maybe I'll hold off a while on that.
Thank you again for your generous response to my email.
In looking at the Best Rehab site, it looks like they use the TRs and Objectives, at least since 2009 per archive.org http://www.bestdrugrehabilitation.com/treatment-phases/steps-to-successful-treatment/http://web.archive.org/web/20101025040732/http://www.bestdrugrehabilitation.com/3steps/3steps.html