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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Florida Man Demands $29K Narconon Refund

MIAMI (CN) - A Florida man claims he endured "horrible and outlandish mistreatment" at a Narconon treatment center in Newport Beach, Calif. During his 3.5 days at the Scientology-affiliated center, Pablo Mendoza claims he was sexually assaulted by a male masseuse, profanely taunted by another student, and forced to scrub the kitchen because he is Hispanic.

Mendoza learned of Narconon through his brother, Adonis Mendoza, who found the center online, according to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County Court. Narconon allegedly told Adonis that Pablo would have to fly out to California to treat his cocaine addition, even though Narconon has a treatment center in Clearwater, Fla.

Pablo, a Catholic, says Narconon pressured his brother into paying $29,000 for the 10-course medical treatment without disclosing its ties to the Church of Scientology. When Pablo arrived in California, he says the place was filthy, smoked-filled and freezing. He claims he was given pills that made him sick, and the staff refused to let him talk to anyone. He allegedly spent most of his time sitting on a "ripped up and broken couch."

He also says he was given a massage by a male instructor, who "rubbed his crotch on his hand and then Pablo Mendoza tucked his hands in."

"That was sexual abuse," says Pablo, who is married with children. "It was intolerable and unacceptable."

On his final day, Pablo says he was sitting with another student and a teacher, when the other student suddenly spread his legs and said, "I am gonna pull my dick out, I am going to jerk off and I'm gonna put the cum in your face." He claims the teacher "approved" this conduct.

Pablo called his brother and told him he wanted to go home, the suit claims. But Pablo and Adonis say Narconon refused to refund the "dubious and excessive" $29,000 program fee, despite Pablo's having attended only "1% of one program."

The Mendozas are represented by Frank Hollander.

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