After finding two patients held as prisoners, police have shut down two Scientology centers in Tennessee. The two were also being medicated against their wishes.
The prisoners were inside a house being operated by Marc Vallieres, a famous Church of Scientology member.
The police were acting on a 911 call from inside the residence.
When Cannon police got there, they saw the person who had made the call looking out through a Plexiglas window. The caretaker allowed the police inside.
According to the police report, the person was locked in the cabin, and "he had no way to remove himself from the building."
The police later learned that the person who had called them had been held in the center against his will for nine months. During that time, he received unknown medicines, supposedly to "cleanse" him.
However, the facility is not a medical treatment center, and by its website, Life Center for a New Tomorrow LLC is supposed to offer a peaceful and safe environment. The company's website claims that people at the facility can relax and get back their senses to function better in society.
In fact, by administering psychiatric drugs, the center goes against the Church of Scientology's strong opposition to drug use to treat mental illnesses.
However, that is what the man who called the police was going through, and he went on to show the officers the bare darkroom he had been confined in.
After the police found the man, they took him away. Later, when they got in touch with his mother, she was speechless. She was aware the facility existed after learning about it online. But what it had done was not anything she would have expected.
The second prisoner was a mentally challenged woman, who would sometimes be kept in a locked room for 14 hours a day. After the rescue, she was taken to the hospital and admitted.
Already, three suspects are in custody, and two of them – Flamond and Hans Snyder Lytle – entered a guilty plea after being charged with false imprisonment.
However, in the Circuit Court, Vallieres has pleaded not guilty to the two felony charges.
Vallieres' facilities have been a subject of controversy in the past. In the year 2014, the police raided the center. They found numerous license violations when it was discovered that the employees did not undergo criminal background checks even though they had someone in need of a high degree of medical care.
The Church of Scientology is not new to controversies. Since its founding in 1955 by Rob Hubbard, the church has attained notoriety for having world-famous members like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
Recently, a former member, Leah Remini, released a docu-series in which she accused the church of lying to people, abusing them, and taking their money and their lives.
While the church has come out to distance itself from this latest incident, the "treatment" methods that Vallieres was using are thought to have some connection to the church and its teachings.
At the moment, all of his facilities have been closed. At the Nashville Church of Scientology pastor said that what happened had nothing to do with the church. "It's nothing we would be involved in, in any way," claimed the pastor.