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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Mom Blames Scientologist ‘Chaplain’ for Boy’s Death

TAMPA (CN) - A 20-year-old man killed himself after a "chaplain" for the Church of Scientology convinced his father, a Scientologist, to take his son's Lexapro antidepressant away from him, the man's mother claims in Federal Court.

Kyle Thomas Brennan apparently shot himself in the head with a .357 Magnum on Feb. 16, 2007, his mother, Victoria Britton, says in her federal complaint. She says Kyle went to Clearwater, Fla., on Feb. 6, 2007 to visit his father, defendant Thomas Brennan, a member of the Church of Scientology.

Britton claims that a Scientologist "chaplain," defendant Denise Miscavige Gentile, "was the chaplain to Thomas Brennan, the father of Kyle Brenna, offering Thomas Brennan expert guidance in Scientology matters, including but not limited to therapies for matters concerning what she perceived to be mental disorders to be treated by vitamins and other therapies that than physician-prescribed medication."

Britton says that neither she nor her disabled son were Scientologists. She claims Gentile persuaded Thomas Brennan "to take the prescription Lexapro away from Kyle Brennan," and that Thomas Brennan obeyed her, swiping the medicine and locking it in his truck.

Britton says that Gentile and Thomas Brennan then called her in Virginia to try "to persuade her to have Kyle Brennan placed into the Scientology treatment facility known as Narcanon, and had a Narcanon representative soon thereafter contact Victoria L. Britton in an attempt to persuade her that the treatment therapy would result in having Kyle Brenna stop using Lexapro and be no longer in need of taking Lexapro. Victoria Britton and her son Kyle Britton were not Scientologists and did not follow Scientology practices. Therefore, both refused the treatment offer of the defendants. Furthermore, Victoria Britton told them to make sure Kyle Brennan kept taking his prescribed medication Lexapro."

She says that "one or more of the defendants" gave her son access to his father's loaded .357 Magnum, and that on Feb. 16, 2007, "while in a mentally deteriorated state caused by the abrupt denial of his prescription Lexapro, and with ready access to the loaded .357 Magnum, Kyle Brennan was found dead with a gunshot to his head from the .357 Magnum pistol with neither the pistol nor the bullets having any identifiable fingerprints."

Britton demands punitive damages for wrongful death and pain and suffering. She is represented by Kennan Dandar.

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