A mother has sued the Church of Scientology after her son, Kyle Brennan, 20, committed suicide. He was on antidrepressants, but his father Thomas Brennan allegedly took away the prescription drugs as part of his Scientology beliefs. After only one week with his father in Clearwater, Florida, Kyle committed suicide. His mother, Victoria Britton, has sued the sister of Scientology’s worldwide leader, David Miscavige.
The mother, who is not part of the church, says that her son was put into a church-oriented drug treatment program and that two other Scientology members worked with Thomas Brennan in locking away the medicine.
The Church is moving to dismiss on the ground that the death did not occur on church grounds and the men were not formal officials with the church. It may have a point. A court would have to hold the Church’s view of psychiatry and related drugs as negligent. It would be akin to holding the Catholic church liable for discouraging the use of condoms.
Another problem is that the police found that Kyle had not been taking his medication regularly, here. Lexapro requires patients to take the medication consistently.
The lawsuit names Denise Gentile, the twin sister of the church’s current worldwide leader, David Miscavige, as well as her husband, Gerald Gentile. Denise Gentile is accused to convincing the father to take Kyle off the medication. While not an official, the twin sister of Miscavige is known to carry considerable weight in this Church. The primary question is whether a court will find that Britton has enough alleged in the complaint to allow discovery — always a nightmare for the church which has been accused of being a cult in various countries.
Suicides and deaths have been carefully chronicled by anti-Scientology websites. Indeed, a church official was previously been held liable for a suicide as in this case.
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