I-Team: Scientology-run Center Could Face Inspections - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Scientology-run Center Could Face Inspections

Posted: Updated:

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada state health agencies want to open up a Scientology-run drug rehabilitation center for inspections.

The move comes after an I-Team investigation highlighting years of patient complaints and allegations of dangerous conditions.

Narconon is a drug rehab center in Lincoln County, 150 miles north of Las Vegas.

State health officials said they want to open up Narconon for inspections for the first time.

From sweating out alien spirits, to lifting objects with their mind, what happens at the drug rehab center is far from scientifically accepted.

Justin Vandergriend went to Narconon for opiate addiction.

"There was times they would throw an ashtray up there and they would say, try to levitate this with your mind," he said. "Control this ashtray."

Narconon course material was written by Scientology religion founder L. Ron Hubbard.

According to Hubbard's 1968 writings, Scientology aims to rid people of infesting alien spirits left behind after a 75 million year old galactic civil war.

The Vandergriend family and many others claim nobody told them Narconon was controlled by Scientology.

"They don't even have a certified doctor, a certified nurse, they don't have anybody," said Dave Vandergriend, Justin Vandergriend's father.

John Anchondo, a former Narconon salesman, said, potential patients weren't aware the rehab center was tied to Scientology.

"I'd tell them, ‘Look, either they're going to die or, you know, send them to us,'" he said. "I'm not going to lie to you. I did save a lot of people. The thing was, they didn't understand it was Scientology. You couldn't tell them that. I was like, why?"

State databases show none of the Narconon employees the I-Team has identified have any Nevada medical licenses or certification for drug counseling.

When attempting to ask them in person, the I-Team's interview requests were repeatedly denied.

Narconon did, however, send the I-Team a promotional packet.

It attempted to justify their nearly $40,000 non-refundable charge by claiming a 76 percent success rate.

Because Narconon accepts no state money, current law prevents state inspectors from verifying Narconon's claims.

After the I-Team alerted lawmakers to the growing number of Narconon complaints, state health agencies now aim to close the legal loophole.

"That is what this bill is intended to do, is to allow us to have oversight over those facilities now we don't have currently licensed," said Marla McDade Williams of the Nevada Health Division.

The state Senate Health Committee plans to vote Thursday on Senate Bill 501, which would give state inspectors power to inspect all drug and alcohol rehab centers, Narconon included.

The bill would then need to pass the Assembly before a signature from the governor.

  • Las Vegas NewsLas Vegas NewsMore>>

  • BREAKING NEWS: North Las Vegas Police investigate double shooting, one dead

    BREAKING NEWS: North Las Vegas Police investigate double shooting, one dead

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:49 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:49:04 GMT
    North Las Vegas, NV. --North Las Vegas police are investigating a double shooting Friday night shortly before 8 p.m.Investigators said two men were shot at a home on Arbor Crest Street, near East Tropical Parkway and Donna Street.A 60-year-old man was taken to UMC Trauma with his condition unknown at this time. The second victim, a 37-year-old man, sustained non-life threatening injuries and treated on scene.Police are investigating the shooting as a domestic violence incident.More>>
    North Las Vegas, NV. --North Las Vegas police are investigating a double shooting Friday night shortly before 8 p.m.Investigators said two men were shot at a home on Arbor Crest Street, near East Tropical Parkway and Donna Street.A 60-year-old man was taken to UMC Trauma with his condition unknown at this time. The second victim, a 37-year-old man, sustained non-life threatening injuries and treated on scene.Police are investigating the shooting as a domestic violence incident.More>>
  • BREAKING NEWS: UMC lays off 100 employees

    BREAKING NEWS: UMC lays off 100 employees

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:52:41 GMT
    University Medical Center laid off more than 100 employees Friday and announced it will close four care centers.More>>
    University Medical Center laid off more than 100 employees Friday and announced it will close four care centers.More>>
  • Police investigate double stabbing

    Police investigate double stabbing

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:17 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:17:18 GMT
    Two people suffering stab wounds were rushed to the hospital Friday afternoon, Metro Police said.More>>
    Two people suffering stab wounds were rushed to the hospital Friday afternoon, Metro Police said.More>>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.