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Tennessee Scientologist charged in kidnapping case

Hans Lytle and Dennis Flamond, charged with false imprisonment while acting as "caretakers" at a facility run by a man using Scientology techniques. PHOTO: Cannon County Sheriff's Office

A Scientologist who opened his own 'treatment facility' not affiliated with the church has been indicted for facilitation to kidnapping after two people were allegedly held against their will at the Woodbury facility.

Deputies with the Cannon County Sheriff's Office say on February 7th, they responded to a 911 call at the Sunshine Lane facility, primarily made up of cabins and a double-wide trailer. Deputies say a male victim was found locked in a cabin, with no sufficient food or water. The man told deputies he requested to leave the cabin, but was kept from doing so by his caretaker. He also made claims he was subjected to assault.

The facility also housed another female victim who made the same claims.

Deputies say they found a mentally handicapped woman had also been imprisoned in a padlocked room for up to 14 hours a day with no living standards.

According to the arrest records, three men were charged in the case. Dennis Flamond and Hans Lytle, are the two men who deputies say "exercise control" as caretakers over the victims. Flamond over the male, Lytle over the female. Both men were arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment.

However, the charges didn't stop with them. Marc Vallieres, the manager of the facility, was also charged with two felony counts of facilitation to kidnapping. Vallieres is the manager of Life Center For a New Tomorrow, LLC. On the facility's website, The Life Center claims to offer an alternative to psychiatric treatment.

The site claims those who attend the facility will be prepared food and "trust the staff working with them on a daily basis." Once a person signs up for the "program," they are charged $2,500 for the first four weeks, a price that is then reduced to $2,000 per week.

None of the men charged were found to be licensed healthcare professionals. The Life Center operated under the management of Vallieres, who is a Scientologist and is believed to have used his training learned through the church to open up his own treatment facility.

FOX 17 spoke with Church of Scientology Nashville pastor Reverend Brian Fesler. Rev. Fesler says The Life Center in no way is a part of the Church of Scientology. "I had no idea what was going on down there. You can't open a Scientology facility unless it's approved by the church." Fesler added "It has nothing to do with our church. It's nothing we would be involved in, in any way."

As for the facilities themselves, they have been closed. A judge ruled all the facilities tied with The Life Center in Woodbury be closed permanently.

In a statement from the Cannon County Sheriff's Office to the Cannon Courier, the department echoed the ruling to it's citizens. "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."

FOX 17 also spoke with the Cannon County Clerk's Office which stated all three men in the case are currently on unsupervised probation as part of their diversion program. All three men paid their court costs in full and will be on probation for 11 months and 29 days. The court also ruled Vallieres cannot operate any facility or residence in Cannon County.

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