Author Topic: Behind the Fake Referral Web Sites: Collusion and Fraud  (Read 2066 times)

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Behind the Fake Referral Web Sites: Collusion and Fraud
« on: December 24, 2015, 22:22 »
I read an interesting article, and a court charging document that came with, it over at Court House News today. It got me thinking about something I once considered several years ago when I and others were hot on the tails of identifying the multitude of Narconon and Per Wickstrom Fake referral sites.

As most know, these supposedly caring referral sites are linked all over the internet and used to offer 'free referral service help' to those seeking a rehab facility for a loved or one self but wind upon referring them to Narconon or Wickstrom's unbranded Narconon program sales people for a close.

These site 'referral specialists' rarely if ever refer to other programs, unless the person is not qualified for Narconon. They have specific reasons why someone would not be qualified, all based upon Scientology policies, all of which is a topic for another thread. My point is this: 99.9% of the people contacting these fake referral sites for help are lead to a Narconon  program unless the site is run via Per Wicksrom and his cronies at Life Solutions selling the unbranded Narconon programs like Best Drug Rehabilitation Center or A Forever Recovery.

Some of were around when Per Wickstrom ran Narconon Stone Hawk and ran the most aggressive marketing of Narconon Stone Hawk along a huge fake referral sites system ever created on the internet.
The church and Narconon has no idea how he did it but " Stats were always up!". That is until Per's then wife, Kate Wickstrom, wanted out of both the marriage and the business. She was never a scientologist and Per was becoming one of the cult's big whales donating big sums to the church. The result is that Narconon Stone Hawk  closed and the place was taken over by  A Forever Recovery (AFR), Per Wickstrom's  reinvented and now unbranded Narconon program created to avoid having to pay off his ex wife Kate. That backfired for him, as she sued both he and Narconon International to get the money he owed her that NN Int tried to help him avoid paying.

Never the less, AFR grew because Per was the man behind the marketing, using his old fake referral sites  for his new program, as well as others identifying it as AFR. Never really mentioning it was Narconon - Scientology based. Same for Narconon fake referral sites that began to pop up and over time there were hundreds if not thousands of websites being run between Wickstrom, and all the Narconon program freelance "Field Staff Members" ( FSMs) who joined up to refer people to the programs for a commission. Narconon actually runs training programs for graduates and others in how to sell the program and make money.  Between wickstrom and the different Narconons, it's grown into an industry.

Combined, these fake referral site 'referral specialists' fraudulently deny any connection to Narconon and often don't even mention the Narconon name to the one referred when saying they have the perfect program for the person. The intake from these sites just either gives a phone number for the person to call or takes the person's number and have someone in the sales area contact the person. If the sales person makes a sale, then the referral specialist and or site owner gets a split on the commission. Often these 'helpful' phone referral specialists are graduates of a Narconon program referring people to

I can't count the number of people who got sucked into forking over their money to a Narconon program after having been referred to a program sales person by one of these fake referrers the victim spoke to believing they were honest and fair in picking the best facility program for them or their loved one.

So, we keep and eye out for sites when time allows, and post here when possible, to alert the public. We know it's an organized bunch of people running a scam but what can be done about it legally? The article I read today gave me an idea on that. It has to do with Narconons and Per Wickstrom violating federal  anti-competition or antitrust laws to keep the competition out.  Here are some links that define and discuss Competition Law  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_law  and United States antitrust law  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law

And here is an example of what the government can do when these laws are violated and substantiated:

Court House News
Feds Begin Roundup of Collusive Heir Locators
Thursday, December 24, 2015 Last Update: 6:05 AM PT

  (CN) - Federal prosecutors say a California company will plead guilty to antitrust violations representing the first charges in an investigation of collusion among heir locators.

     The information filed in Chicago on Dec. 23 charges Brandenburger & Davis, along with president Bradley Davis, of conspiring between 2003 and 2012 to eliminate competition in the heir-location-services industry.[..]
   
 [..]"The defendants conspired for nearly a decade to enrich themselves at the expense of beneficiaries," Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer said in a statement. "Heirs of relatives who died without a will deserve better. Working with the FBI and our other law enforcement partners, the Antitrust Division will continue to hold the leaders of companies that corrupt the competitive process accountable for their crimes."
 
In addition to cooperating in the continuing investigation, the guilty plea involves Brandenburger paying a criminal fine of $890,000.
     Davis will reach a separate plea agreement in which the court will determine the sentence. [..] Read on for more
http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/12/24/feds-begin-roundup-of-collusive-heir-locators.htm

The charging document explains in detail what who did when. Fascinating how similar this seems to the topic of fake referrals sites  and fraudulent sales http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/12/24/heir.pdf

In time, perhaps one day soon there will be enough evidence from court cases and the internet itself to be able to demand an investigation into these federal law violations. I still have a bunch to post, and member Death Hamster is adding new ones to his own site data base list. 

Below are the main threads on this forum that discuss Fake Referral sites. Read them if you haven't. The lists of website urls reads a monopoly - another indication of violating US antitrust law.
___________________________
 
Public Running list of Narconon Fake Referral sites & NN FSMs in disguise
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,6798.0.html

Narconon Arrowhead trying to recruit "Addiction Referral Specialists"
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12776.html

Microsites galore
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12709.html

GetOffMeds.com Narconon fake referral front group
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11459.0.html

Per Wickstrom Launches New Stealth Referral Site
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12836.html

Narconon Fresh Start Referral Sites and Phone Numbers
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,12184.msg28688.html#msg28688

Referral Websites
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,11371.0.html
__________________________________ __________________________

I never have enough time to focus on big matters to the exclusion of other things with the time I do have to volunteer.  Maybe readers here can look around and post in any of the above threads any sites found that are not listed. Or jot down and post phone numbers being used at what website link, as they are often embedded in a way  that makes them not found in search results. It all helps to educate the public and may even help to get these people and entities criminally charged with antitrust violations and collusion.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 06:58 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 BigBeard

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Re: Behind the Fake Referral Web Sites: Collusion and Fraud
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2015, 01:43 »
I have enough on my plate on the money flow/IRS side of things. If anyone wants to take this on information on reporting possible antitrust violations to the DOJ can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations
BigBeard

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Behind the Fake Referral Web Sites: Collusion and Fraud
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2015, 06:59 »
I have enough on my plate on the money flow/IRS side of things. If anyone wants to take this on information on reporting possible antitrust violations to the DOJ can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations

Thanks, BigBeard! For the link and all you have been doing to help!  \--O--/ Merry Christmas!
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.