Scientology facilities closed by police in Tennessee after alleged kidnappings

This image shows a Scientology centre in Los Angeles. Photo from CP
This image shows a Scientology centre in Los Angeles. Photo from CP

Police in Cannon County, Tenn., have closed several Church of Scientology facilities and charged three men who are affiliated with the religious organization after they found members living in squalor and being held against their will.

“The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department would like to make the general public of this county aware that the Scientology facilities are closed and not operating in Cannon County,” said a statement from the sheriff’s office.

The Cannon Courier reports a 911 call prompted police officers to investigate a property, which they described in their reports as a double-wide trailer with tiny cabins behind it. Officers say that’s where they found a man living without any amenities who told police that he was being held at the facility against his will after seeking rehabilitation and had been forced to take unknown medications.

“He states that he has been there for nine months and is being mistreated and falsely imprisoned and all he wants is to go home,” the officers reported.

According to police, the man’s room had a single light in the bathroom, a twin-sized bed with one sheet and no way to exit without being let out by a caretaker at the facility.

“I explained to him that no one on this facility is a licensed health-care provider and no one here has power of attorney over him, so if he feels that he needs to go to the hospital, then he will have to be transported,” police investigator Brandon Gullett told the newspaper, adding the man was sent to the emergency room.

At another facility in Cannon County, a woman was found living in similar circumstances and she was also taken to hospital.

Global News reports Dennis Flammond, the caretaker at the facility where the man was found, and Hans Snyder Lytle, the facility’s manager, have both been charged with two counts of false imprisonment, adding both have pleaded guilty. The third suspect, Marc Valliere, has been charged with two counts of felony kidnapping.

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