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In 2006, Albuquerque approved the installation of Second Chance, a Scientology front group, in an old prison facility. The goal was to provide drug abuse counseling to nonviolent male inmates, at taxpayers' expense.

Last December, Second Chance lost their lease with the city of Albuquerque.
The shenanigans, lies, and broken promises have resulted in the disappearance of 19 inmates, as well as Second Chance President Joy Westrum, who has made herself unavailable for questioning.

It's been over a year since I wrote about New Mexico and Scientology
front group, Second Chance.

It's time to revisit the issue, and thumb my nose at the New Mexico
officials who chose to ignore the warnings. I also wish to
congratulate readers who took the effort to inform their legislators.
Although your efforts didn't pay off, they surely had some impact.

Second Chance isn't going to get that $3 million in public funding
they were seeking. In fact, due to some rather spectacular flouting of
their agreement, they have been forced to evacuate the facility they
were leasing in Albuquerque.

Under the lease, they were allowed to operate in an old jail facility.
Surrounded by chain link fence, and topped with razor wire, the
facility was to house nonviolent male inmates with a history of
substance abuse problems.

The problems began when Second Chance President, Joy Westrum, failed
to submit paperwork and was given a deadline of December 24 to comply.
Ms. Westrum refused to speak to reporters, hanging up when they

There were several issues being juggled last December; the program was
housing 40 people over the limit, and guards were not being paid.

Violent inmates were being housed as Second Chance offered to take in
overflow from surrounding counties. They were also housing women in
violation of their agreement.

On Christmas Eve, Albuquerque police got a tip that Second Chance was
moving inmates. Officers observed a bus loaded with 40 people, and a
van with eight passengers leaving the facility around midnight.

The busload of 40 people were later determined to be homeless people
from the Rescue Mission sharing the Second Chance facility. Nobody
seems to know who the eight people in the van are, and Joy Westrum has
been, shall we say, hard to get ahold of these days. When challenged,
she did issue a statement.

"Second Chance president Joy Westrum said the city has been misled.
Westrum said no inmates were brought in strictly because of overflow

"We are here to offer rehabilitation, education, job preparedness, and
that's the intention of anyone who comes to second chance," Westrum  said."

Albuquerque Public Safety Director Pete Dinelli wants information on
all individuals housed by Second Chance.

"What I wanted was an accounting of the individuals that were there as
of last week, and apparently they are deliberately deciding not to
include those eight individuals," Dinelli said. "And to me failure to
disclose is just as good as lying."

When presenting information about Second Chance at a hearing, Westrum
states that Second Chance is licensed from Criminon International,
another Scientology front group targeting inmates. She claims that
Criminon manuals have been "evaluated by the Urban Institute, who
concluded that the manuals align with what is best corrective in the
criminal justice system."

I left a message with the Urban Institute. I will update this article
as soon as I get a reply. I find it is necessary to check on claims of
support, as Scientologists have often been caught lying about
endorsements from legitimate organizations.

Fast forward to January, 2009. Second Chance had until the 31st to
vacate, and did a bunk in the first week of the year. KOB Albuquerque
responded to a tip of activity at the facility, and sent a camera crew
out to the site. When they were spotted, a yellow bus sped away,
followed by a man who concealed his face as he walked past the cameras
to his car.

The problem, Second Chance was still housing 19 people, and nobody
seems to know where they are. Second Chance pulled out, still owing
between $10,000 to $90,000 in rent and utilities.

City officials toured the abandoned property yesterday. Second Chance
removed a sauna facility before they left, which had been installed
without the proper permits. Writing on the walls depicts Scientology's
"Tone Scale, Tone Scale, while Westrum has repeatedly denied there is any link between Scientology and Second Chance.

(Second Chance is licensed by Criminon, a Scientology front group that
falls under the Association for Better Living and Education umbrella
on the Scientology corporate chart.)

Amusingly, when they left, some kitchen appliances apparently left
with them, an allegation that Westrum denies. And yet, the fact
remains that a couple of stoves and a refrigerator are missing.

To sum up, New Mexico has been had by Second Chance. The organization
refused to abide by the agreement made with the city of Albuquerque.

They have shuffled people around, and nineteen inmates are unaccounted
for. They owe the city for rent and utilities. Equipment has
disappeared, and Second Chance President Joy Westrum has gone into

The real interesting question here should be, how did Second Chance
get this deal with New Mexico in the first place? It is simple. Joy
Westrum and her husband Rick Pendary are both on boards and committees
with the National Foundation of Women Legislators, the NFWL.

Founded in 1938, this once prestigious group has been targeted and
infiltrated by Scientologists who now have access to legislators.

In 1998, the President of Scientology front group, Citizens Commission
on Human Rights, Bruce Wiseman, sent out a letter asking for funds to
join the NFWL. Mr. Wiseman is now their treasurer. In his letter, he
made several revealing comments.

"A terrific opportunity has just arisen that will help us do just
that.There is an organization called the National Organization of
Women Legislators (NOWL), and as the name implies, this group is made
up of top woman legislators from local, state and the Federal
Government. Senators, governors, congresswomen and others are members
of this group...This is a magnificent opportunity for CCHR to get its
message delivered directly to some of the top policy makers in this
country...Joining this organization and attending this upcoming
conference will open numerous doors for CCHR to cut psychiatric
funding in the coming years."

It is also a magnificent opportunity to get Scientology's fraudulent
front groups installed at taxpayer's expense. As seen in this case, it
is the public and local communities who come out the losers, as public
money which could be better spend is wasted on useless, fraudulent
programs which profit no one but the Scientology organization. Ten
percent of gross income goes straight to the top for "licensing fees"
and permission to use Scientology's copyrighted material.

The simplest solution? Clear out the Scientologists from the National
Foundation of Women Legislators! At the very least, they should be
asked why Westrum and Pendery (who has had his own legal problems with
fraud in San Diego court) are even allowed to be a part of the NFWL.

The integrity of Jewelry Joy and Roderick Pendery is definitely
questionable. Scientologists repeatedly claim to be "the most ethical
people on the planet."

That sounds all well and good, until you realize the cult redefines
words to change their meaning. Your definition of 'ethical' is not the
same as theirs!

I spoke to a reporter from KRQE this afternoon. He told me all 19 inmates have now been accounted for.

Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 12:14 PM PT: Update Update! Pete Dinelli, the Public Safety Officer who was seeking info on Second Chance inmates, is RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF ALBUQUERQUE IN 2013!!!

Originally posted to xenubarb on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 12:32 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  my nephew (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, esquimaux, chemicalresult, JesseCW

    went to rehab at a facility in Southern California. When I picked him up to take him out to lunch during his month there he told me it was run by Scientology. I then began to ask alot of questions and realized very quickly the whole thing was a scam, no therapy and no real program. I knew instantly he'd be using again the minute he got out and that's exactly what happened.

  •  The "on" suffix is a key (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, esquimaux, JesseCW

    Scientagists like to make every thing an "on"

    from the article: Criminon


    all of it is a Conocon.

    •  Don't forget Al-Anon is the exception. N/T (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "A rifle is a weapon with a worker at each end."

      by JesseCW on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 01:07:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's where scientology stole the suffix... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, JesseCW

        Al-Anon dates back many decades as a legitimate peer-counseling group for friends & family of people with alcoholism.  There is also Al-a-teen for kids who have alcoholic family members or friends, and it's also legitimate peer counseling typically led by an adult who's in Al-Anon.  

        No doubt Scientology stole the suffix to steal that sense of legitimacy.  Al-Anon and AA should have sued Scientology like crazy for trademark infringement, but taking on Scientology is difficult at best.  

      •  something just occurred to me.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Seems to me part of the reason for the success of AA and related programs, is that they are all purely volunteer.  There are no paid positions.  And when someone is referred for inpatient treatment, for example for detox after a relapse, those referrals are to legitimate programs at regular hospitals.

        So it occurs to me:

        Why not a volunteer-run inpatient program as well?   The organization would be nonprofit, the Board of Directors would be volunteers.  Staff would be paid but at rates that are at or slightly below prevailing local scale, to avoid creating a "money incentive" for corrupting the system.  And staff would not have management authority: that would reside with the unpaid Board.

        The point being to remove the money incentives from the system, so it can stay focused on mission.  

        •  The problems I see (not that it's a bad idea) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          1. Facilities are expensive.
          1. Depending on what people are withdrawing from, competent professional medical care is needed.  That's expensive.
          1. General Liability issues.

          It's a good idea, but deep pockets would be needed to get a foundation started.

          "A rifle is a weapon with a worker at each end."

          by JesseCW on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 01:59:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  understood, all'round. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Physicians & psychiatrists on staff would be paid, at parity or slightly below, compared to local rates.  Probably fulltime and on salary.  

            The facility could be purchased in a rural area where real estate costs are less.

            Liability:  ahh yes, tyranny by insurance.  Well, pay Caesar what's owed to Caesar, and then get on with the mission.  The thing being, a truly nonprofit and volunteer-managed operation would have a lower cost structure than one that has to return a profit to shareholders, so it's still going to be less expensive for patients.  

            A similar model could be applied to general psychiatric facilities, though here we have to be a bit more selective since some diagnoses are much more difficult to treat, e.g. schizophrenia, dementia, and personality disorders.  But it would be useful to have a place where people could check in, for example if they're having a depressive episode or are in the mixed-mood phase of bipolar disorder, or to begin treatment for a range of conditions that are now considered treatable with meds and/or cognitive & behavioral therapies.  

  •    (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, G2geek, chemicalresult

    The problem, Second Chance was still housing 19 people, and nobody seems to know where they are.

    Sacrificed to Cthulhu, probably.

  •  Maybe it's just me (0+ / 0-)

    but your embedded video is automatically playing.  That's a no-no and needs to be fixed.

    Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

    by bythesea on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 01:54:00 PM PST

    •  I have no idea how to tell it to stop doing that! (0+ / 0-)

      Back in the old days, when you posted a link it stayed a link, it didn't come on there and get all up in your grill and play without permission.

      But that's a gripe for another day...

      THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

      by xenubarb on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 02:22:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish I could help (0+ / 0-)

        but I've never embedded a video here before.  Maybe someone else will chime in.

        Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

        by bythesea on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 02:31:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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