Author Topic: Former Staff Member Talks Narconon Louisiana aka Narconon Riverbend  (Read 18874 times)

Offline Mary_McConnell

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I really want to thank this tipster for providing this information, for speaking up!

The following begins with correspondence I received initially via fwd copy by someone else, asking me to help post the information from former Narconon student and staff member who was involved with Narconon Louisiana aka Narconon Riverbend in Louisiana.

Following their initial correspondence, I was put in contact with him/her to obtain more information.  Below are some back and forth  Q & As between the person, who I will call a 'tipster', the original contact and myself.

The tipster's words are in italics. I have edited identifying information from the original email, replacing it with non italicized font.

Later on, the tipster replies in Italics, and the questions asked are in non italicized font.

This can also be found on scribd at the following links:
Former Narconon Staff Member Talks 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/132559633/Former-Narconon-Staff-Member-Talks
Former Narconon Staff Member Talks PDF
http://www.scribd.com/doc/132560621/Former-Narconon-Staff-Member-Talks-PDF

Quote

Dear ....
My information could be useful... I will leave that up to you to decide.  I've been involved with Narconon and the Church of Scientology for over 5 years now.  I've held high ranking positions for most of my time there .

I have completed the program twice in Louisiana and made it to sauna at the Arrowhead center once.

Ill make a short list of out points that I could go on for days about for you.

As a student, you are lied to by most staff about the truth that Narconon is Scientology and that the money that is payed by your family doesn't go to the church.

One way that they funnel money into the church is that they give the staff that they  have recruited into Scientology massive bonuses, a minimum of $2000 at a time... money which they (the staff member) do not actually receive because it gets payed directly to the church to pay for 12 & 1/2 auditing hours (an intensive). The executive staff get ridiculous bonuses to pay for auditing and courses at the church.

This money gets spent sometimes on a weekly basis as long as the center had a good week, which means they had a lot of new starts that week ( I'm going to get sloppy with my typing.. I'm on a phone with a touch pad. Its late. And the info is what's important, not my grammar.)

No one notices that is what happens because on the pay stub it just says "bonus". I've personally had my job hung over my head and was told that if I did not pay for Scientology auditing out of my own pocket, that I would lose my job.. this was told to me by the second in command at the Louisiana Narconon.

Everything that is taught in a Narconon center is pulled from Scientology texts with words like Scientology, theta, pre-clear, whole track, OT, blah blah,  just omitted and reprinted. Most of the material in books 5, 6, and 7 are pulled from The Introduction to Scientology Ethics book. TR's and Objectives are a requirement for most Scientology staff. Most of them do some TR's every morning after their staff meeting, before they start work for the day. It's also a course in the church  and they're a requirement to be done for most staff positions. They do them for hours at a time. The Objectives are a requirement that gets arbitrarily entered in to your bridge at certain points by your C/S, in the church. I had my objectives flattened by a highly trained auditor while on the E-meter. The Sauna is a requirement for scientologists at certain points on the Bridge to Total Freedom. Nearly every mission or "org" has a sauna built into it.

I could go on and on about the Staff having sex with students, staff constantly reverting to drugs and it being swept under the rug... you wind up with students that have more clean time than some of the staff.


There are so many lies that get told to the families to get their money. The family liason calls the family early on to warn them of some of the crazy things their child might say about the program and if your child calls and tells you about screaming at ashtrays or no medical supervision or sitting in chairs for hours staring at another addict, or how filthy the facility is... its because they are trying to manipulate you and are probably craving drugs and if they leave at this point and use the same amount they were using prior to coming here they could overdose (said less blunt, kinder and made to sound like they actually give a shit about their child and the call isn't to prevent refunds... the program is cost heavy on the front end to spend money on services as quickly as possible so that refunds are less likely. Like this guesstimation  - withdrawal $5k, book 1 $3k, sauna $14500, and a charge of $250 dollars a day from the beginning.. so if you refund a few weeks or a month into it.. that 4-6 month $30k program is spent and you are lucky if 4 weeks into it you see a refund check of $3k.

I can tell you stories that would knock your socks off... the ways the staff are unprofessional, especially behind closed doors. The crude things that get said about families, students... enough to make you sick. Ive been in hundreds of meetings where the CEO and all the ethics staff hang out and make degrading jokes about peoples sexuality, race, life, personal history... basically the jokes are derived from the viewpoint that the students on the program are not there for real help... They are idiots that payed $30k to us and now we have to babysit them for months.
They destroy more than they produce. I want nothing more than to see every Narconon center close down. I would appreciate the opportunity to help you and this cause in any way that I can.

____________________

Follow up Q & A  # 1 ( not by Mary)
_____________

Thanks for getting in touch.  This is very interesting!

I've heard a lot of stories about Narconon staff doing drugs with and/or having sex with students.  But I've never heard of this trick of funneling money to Scientology by giving bonuses to staff that they are required to use to pay for courses.  Jeez!

I'd like to help you get the word out about what's going on at this Narconon.  The first thing I need to do is get some details straight:

1. Which Narconon are you talking about?  Narconon Riverbend Retreat in Baton Rouge?  Is it also called New Life Retreat?

Its one and the same.

2. What is the address of this place?

35059 Bend Rd. Denham Springs LA 70706

3. Who is the ED?  Who are the owners?

Cathy Steiner is the CEO/ED. The board of directors is, Cathy Steiner, Tom Steiner, Kelley Keeney, & Dr. Rohit Adi

4. Is it okay if I forward our email to a couple of people who can help get your story out?

I don't mind if you forward the email, but I do ask that they do not use my name without permission from me. These people have powerful attorneys and will sue at the drop of a hat. So, please use any info I give you but I want the use of my name to always be my decision. That keeps me in control and out of their cross-hairs.

5. How public are you willing to be?  Are you willing to make public
statements about your experience and have your name attached to them?

I am willing to go as far as you want. I'll make statements and do what is needed.
__________________________________ _______

Follow up Q & A # 2 by Mary after introduction and thanks.

1) Are you still on staff with Narconon in Louisiana?

No, I am no longer a staff member.

2) How does NN Riverbend handle refund requests? They must get some, as all the other facilities do, but I have never seen one complaint on ripoffreport.com nor I have never received one complaint about that facility in all the time I have been helping people who contact me or are referred to me for help.

Riverbend is very prompt at handling their refunds. The thing is that they charge about $275 per day, and the program is $$ heavy on the front end. Its been joked about with the top execs. to handle students that want to leave to at least get through the sauna, so that there will hardly be a refund when they finally leave.

3) Any training at Arrowhead to be an exec?

I received all my training in Louisiana.  I went from working as student control to being an ethics officer over night, literally. I helped the facility go from 25 students to 50 students in a little over a year and was promoted to an exec position.

4) Where do staff do their Scientology services?

Most of the staff are scientologists. They receive service from the Baton Rouge Mission.

7) what is the name of the person who lines up these Scn services, or provides these Scn services if they are held at NN Riverbend?

Travis Anspach is the terminal at narconon and Eve Boudreaux is the terminal at the mission that sets up the session schedules.

8) Have there been any student or staff deaths at NN Riverbend?

No, no deaths. There have been several leave and overdose after being suspended or graduating.

__________________________________

Follow up Q & A # 3 by Mary

Thanks for getting back to me and answering my questions so quickly! The info is very much appreciated.

A few more questions, if you don't mind :)

1) Are you 'declared' by the church there? Or are you just one of the many who walked away quietly from Scientology?

So far I'm not declared, but to be honest I would like to be. Ha.

2) I always do a bit a research before I contact people who have contacted me or are put in contact with me, just to make sure they are real people. Not people using fake names to spy for the cult or NN. In my brief search, I saw that you are originally from XX. Are you still in LA or back in XX?

I ask because there is an ongoing multi-state insurance fraud investigation going on concerning Narconons in OK and GA are 2 of the states. Do you know if NN Riverbend accepted insurance? And if so, was there any billing scam going on like there was, say like happened in GA? http://youtu.be/tpMm0r8dXcs

I am originally from XX. I left there in XX XXXX  to go get help at Riverbend for my addiction. I remember telling my parents when I first got to sauna, "this is Scientology!!!"  My dad told me, "they have an 80% success rate. I don't care if they tell you to stand on your head for the next 4 months, do what they say." I was furious.

Right now I'm in XX

and... Yes, they started excepting insurance about a year and a half maybe 2 years ago at this point. Basically what they do is, get the family to pay as much as they can out of pocket, sometimes with a loose promise to pay them back with what the insurance company will cover. Then they take the insurance company for what they can get them for.. Families do not usually get reimbursed. Its a racket. The families are vulnerable at that point because the reg. has them bent over a barrel, since what he is selling them is "priceless."


3) Did William "Kent" McGregor or PITA Group have anything to do with helping you and or other NN Riverbend staff get their RAS certifications? Who was your interning supervisor for that? Just curious.

There is a whole bunch of activity, with suspensions and revocations going on, concerning fraudulently obtained certifications, mostly the CCDC cert from the National Association of Forensic Examiners  NAFC.
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12272.0.html

I and others are now looking into the Breining RAS certs, as McGregor and his cohorts are licensed clinical supervisors through that organization. Just curious if you know how the RAS certs are done at Riverbend.

Certifications. Ha, this is a joke. Ok, for Cathy Steiner, Jeff Lukas and a couple other people, I'm going to tell you how they obtained theirs.  You'll love this. They went to take a "class" where the person administering the test, "coached" them on the test. Then they tested out and guess what ? Certified, CCDC. I never did anything to obtain my RAS. I have heard the name Mcgreggor, but I'm not sure who helped them with their CCDC, that was a long time ago and I didn't go along for it.  Nearly every course that is required to be done quarterly by the state is done in a group or a cheat sheet is made so people can get them done in a hurry. At least this is how the Execs do it.


4) From your own observations, what do you think the actual average success rate is at NN Riverbend? Here is David Love's estimation, from his experience at NN Canada as the Graduate Officer. http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/narconon-montreal-quebec-c382612.html  Is this a comparable example of how it's calculated at Riverbend?

The Success Rate. I'm not sure how other centers do it, but here is how dishonest we were. I did this and its bad. Jeff Lucas, Cathy Steiner and I at one point had a list of all the graduates and we went through and marked off all the people we knew had either reverted to drugs, had become very antagonistic and were probably reverted and just were so angry with us that they wouldn't say how they were doing. Then, we would give an edited list to the "Success Officer" at that time to make the calls... Then, there you go 80% success rate. A scam, just like everything else.

When you leave a business in the hands of drug addicts, where people are handing you $30k a pop for their loved ones safety,  it gets ran like the "drug game." The mind set is, do what you have to, to make $. Who better to have run your criminal business then highly trained criminals with the highest IQs.

The success rate does not include people who will not answer the phone, people that we did not want to call. The success rate is totally made up. I can personally account for that. I made it up. We made it up. Its a total lie. It only included people who still would communicate with us and the"20%" that we considered were using were the ones we felt pity for and kept bringing back. Its the BIGGEST LIE and I will tell this to anyone that will listen! Thats how they lure people in!!

 
5) When you were staff, did you also liaise with OSA?

No, I never did anything with OSA. Why do you ask? (reply: "Just curious." )

6) Do you have any incriminating documents you care to share? I get them from former staff and post them, redacting things as needed to protect the tipster I receive them from. You can see some of the recent ones here, on page one and 2 of my posts.
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12330.0.html

I wish I had documents to share. All I have is my experience.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 23:43 by Mary_McConnell »
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline 10oriocookies

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I know Travis well.  The Steiners,  jeez, hardcore church people. 

More of the same with the certifications.  Thanks Kent.  He is the ultimate foot bullet for NN. 

I wonder why Riverbend took the step to bonus people then make them pay for services.  Typically NN's just pay the church directly.  Ive never heard of one paying a bonus like that.  Seems stupid.

This person can call me if they feel so inclined, would be good for them to report what they saw on the certifications as riverbend is up for a license renewal in June of this year.  If they are serious about wanting to close them down, that is the type of thing that would help.
ET went home.

Offline 10oriocookies

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PS Great job Mary.  More truth!!!
ET went home.

Offline mefree

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Excellent information and more allegations of potential insurance fraud! Well, who doesn't want to get paid twice, right?
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline CoolHand

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I visited Riverbend twice and met with the Steiners and Jeff Lukas at my home in Clearwater.  If this person wishes, he/she can also contact me.

Regarding the "bonuses", this was from some legal or accounting advice that they got to have it go through the people individually rather than directly from the center.  However, it doesn't make much sense since the Steiners were in the last IMPACT Magazine accepting an award for donating hundreds of thousands from Narconon Riverbend to the IAS (posted here on a thread somewhere - here it is: http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12004.msg27700.html#msg27700).
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 23:30 by CoolHand »

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Thanks everyone! Very exciting times. I have another person's report in progress, as well.

Luke, I will inform the person about how to contct you if they wish!



« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 23:42 by Mary_McConnell »
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline Mary_McConnell

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I told Don Carlo at OCMB that I would share with the troops! :) That is comment is Much appreciated! :

Quote
Thanks, Anonymary, and thanks to all the dedicated people on http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/
http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?p=648329#p648329
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline Mary_McConnell

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I know Travis well.  The Steiners,  jeez, hardcore church people. 

More of the same with the certifications.  Thanks Kent.  He is the ultimate foot bullet for NN. 

I wonder why Riverbend took the step to bonus people then make them pay for services.  Typically NN's just pay the church directly.  Ive never heard of one paying a bonus like that.  Seems stupid.

This person can call me if they feel so inclined, would be good for them to report what they saw on the certifications as riverbend is up for a license renewal in June of this year.  If they are serious about wanting to close them down, that is the type of thing that would help.

By federal employment law standards, they are supposed to include the dollar value of the 'bonus' as earned income for each staff who received it.
Similar to a company giving expensive but taxable percs to an employee. It is supposed to be reported quarterly as part of the employee's wages, and taxed appropriately and then at year end, reported on employee's W-2 tax forms.

Perhaps Riverbend actually followed the law on reporting it, as opposed to the other programs not doing it legally? Unfortunately, they forced employees to go. That's messed up.

By the way, somehow missed your contact offer when I posted earlier. I will make sure the tipster see's your comment. PM me an email address to refer to. Thanks :)
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline SocialTransparency

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 Excellent thread and great line of questions poised to this former Narconon of Louisiana Riverbend employee. Sadly this is but another facet of the  improprieties rampant within the Narconon International business structure. I no longer attempt to differentiate between the stand alone Narconon facility and Narconon International.

 Narconon International sets the business tone. The various Narconon facilities follow suit. Time and again these revelations bolster an ongoing enterprise riff with illegalities and malfeasance. the RICO racketeering act very much comes into play here. The home state in which Narconon International resides as a business has both the information and meaning in which to persue this organization via the RICO act.

 I know that day WILL come. It is just a little frustrating to see the length of time it is taking to get the government agencies to act upon the myriad of factual information available to them.

Offline cnhender

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GREEAAATTT Thread!! Thank you to all involved and a special thank you to the ex-NN staffer speaking out.
Respectfully,
CH

Offline Mary_McConnell

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I know Travis well.  The Steiners,  jeez, hardcore church people. 

More of the same with the certifications.  Thanks Kent.  He is the ultimate foot bullet for NN. 

I wonder why Riverbend took the step to bonus people then make them pay for services.  Typically NN's just pay the church directly.  Ive never heard of one paying a bonus like that.  Seems stupid.

This person can call me if they feel so inclined, would be good for them to report what they saw on the certifications as riverbend is up for a license renewal in June of this year.  If they are serious about wanting to close them down, that is the type of thing that would help.



Quote Originally Posted by Ananon  at ESMB:

Quote
Hi Mary, just so you know, I had a private conversation with a lady on wwp about Narconon Lousiana last August.

She tried to get the local health inspection (DHH) to start an investigation but they are woefully understaffed and there already is a shortage of rehab beds in Louisiana, so it'll be very difficult to get them to act.

The person dealing with rehabs in the DHH is Melanie.Roberts@LA.GOV. She also knew that the Doc on staff at the Narconon works out of Our Lady of the Lake regional medical center. Other than that she had no particular useful information at the time.

The wwp user I spoke with hasn't been active since September, but if you want more information from her, there is an active Flickr profile on her wwp profile page so you should be able to contact her.

Edit: The local legal framework for licenses is http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/directory/detail/749 I haven't really gone through it to see which legal requirements are being violated, but I'd be happy to make an effort.

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?31058-Former-Staff-Member-Talks-Narconon-Louisiana-aka-Narconon-Riverbend&p=789373#post789373

My reply there:
Quote
Thank you so much for the info. Very helpful, indeed. Will follow up!

I have read her posts on WWP and was wondering if she was going to post again. I'm not a member there, so I can't access her profile there to get the flicker profile link. If you would be so kind as to PM it to me, along with any other information you have on that facility would be much appreciated. http://www.forum.exscn.net/member.php?4284-AnonyMary

Again, thanks. Hope you join RFTTP forum[/quote]
http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?31058-Former-Staff-Member-Talks-Narconon-Louisiana-aka-Narconon-Riverbend&p=789417&viewfull=1#post789417
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline Ananon

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Oh, hi there  :)

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Oh, hi there  :)
:) Thanks for joining!! We welcome your participation!
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline Proud to be an SP

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 Has anyone reported them for insurance fraud?  For example https://eapps.naic.org/ofrs/

Offline mefree

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Has anyone reported them for insurance fraud?  For example https://eapps.naic.org/ofrs/

Apparently so, since health insurance fraud investigations are happening in at least two states, GA and OK. I would be very surprised if all of the major carriers are not aware at this point.

If you are asking about Narconon Riverbend specifically, I cannot say.

http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12431.0.html
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Has anyone reported them for insurance fraud?  For example https://eapps.naic.org/ofrs/

:w:e:l:c:o:m:e: to the forum, Proud to be an SP! Thanks for that important link to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Online Fraud Reporting System! Very helpful and important resource there!

I saw your profile and hope you are soon able to meet your goal. :)
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline mefree

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Has anyone reported them for insurance fraud?  For example https://eapps.naic.org/ofrs/

Thanks for the link and welcome to Tipping Point!
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline ethercat

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Welcome to the forum, Proud to be an SP.  I hope you get your family member back.
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Offline Damian DeWitt

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This is remarkable intelligence on Narconon in Louisiana, a place about which I have seen little exposed.

It is also an example of the terrific thoroughness and diligence with which Mary McConnell has been making such great contributions to exposing Narconon time after time.

Kudos to Mary and to RFTP!

Offline ethercat

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Hi Damian, good to see you here again.
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