A chain of “psychiatric facilities” run by the Church of Scientology in Cannon County, Tennessee, have been shut down after authorities discovered that patients housed in the facilities were being held against their will.
According to the Cannon Courier, police received a 9-11 call from someone inside one of the facilities who was reportedly locked inside a cabin with no way to get out. When police approached the building where the person was being held, they found that it had been padlocked from the outside. Police described the cabin as bare with “no obvious amenity for life.”
The man told officer that he’d been held at the facility for over 9 months and just wanted to go home, adding that he’d been treated with “unknown medications.”
The Courier reported that three suspects, likely all members of the Church of Scientology, have been charged in the case. “Two of the three, Dennis Flamond and Hans Snyder Lytle, entered guilty pleas in General Sessions Court on two counts of false imprisonment.” The operator of the facilities, Marc Vallieres, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of facilitation of kidnapping.
— Tony Ortega (@TonyOrtega94) May 3, 2017
After taking him to the emergency room, police contacted the man’s mother, who was reportedly “in disbelief” upon hearing the news, saying that the only information she had on the facility was from the Internet “which is presented in an entirely different manner than actual living conditions.”
“After about approximately 15-20 minutes of explaining what is going on there she believes us, and at the time of our last conversation she was getting a plane ticket the next morning for Tennessee,” police investigator Brandon Gullett.
Former Scientologist-turned church opponent an investigator Tony Ortega has written about the “highly questionable mental health facility” before.
In 2015, we told you the shocking story of a woman with severe mental health issues who was “treated” with Scientology’s pseudoscientific techniques at the Woodbury, Tennessee facility that Vallieres called Life Center for a New Tomorrow. The woman was later moved to the basement of a house in Arkansas, where she had to be rescued by local authorities.
We also told you about a Scientologist named Barbara Cordova Oliver, whose mother, Arlene, told us that after Barbara suffered a mental breakdown, she was taken to Life Center, and Arlene was convinced that her daughter was a prisoner there.
The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department say that all the facilities had been closed and are no longer operating in the county.
Featured image via Sky Palma