Although he's currently working hard to reinvent himself, including opening a facility in South Bend, Indiana under the name "Choices Recovery", Michigan Scientologist and Narconon drug rehab honcho Per Wickstrom hasn't strayed from his promotional roots: his ongoing business partnership with former Detroit Lion Herman Moore.
The release, which doesn't mention Per Wickstrom's name, describes Live to be Sober as "a non-profit organization that focuses on providing information and assistance regarding substance abuse treatment programs and facilities." The release provides a link to LiveToBeSober.org, and shows Herman Moore as its media contact.
Of course, the release conveniently leaves out the fact that Per Wickstrom owns and operates LiveToBeSober.com as a "stealth referral" operation cynically designed to funnel clients to his drug rehabilitation facilities. No confusion there!
Wickstrom recently settled a lawsuit with Wright Township that will allow Wickstrom's Best Drug Rehabilitation Holdings (a Nevada corporation) to open an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment center (Best Choice Rehabilitation) in the former Creek View Lodge retirement home, 15140 16th Avenue, in Marne, Michigan.
After more than a year of fighting in court, Best Drug Rehabilitation Holdings and Wright Township reached an agreement detailing what types of addictions may be treated in the rehabilitation center Wickstrom intends to open in the former nursing home. It also requires Wright Township to pay Best Drug $50,000.
Best Drug purchased the former nursing home in 2013 with the intent of turning the facility into an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment center.
The Wright Township Planning Commission found the company needed to apply for a special-use permit to use the facility as an in-patient treatment center while Phillip Slot, an attorney for Best Drug, maintained the special-use permit was not needed as the previous owners had operated around-the-clock nursing homes on the site.
Best Drug applied for a special-use permit but after having its request denied by the both the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals last year. Both bodies said the facility didn't fit the residential area in which it is located, Best Drug sued in 20th Circuit Court in Grand Haven. Judge Jon Van Allsburg overturned the township's decision to deny a special-use permit in March 2014 and the township appealed the ruling.
Best Drug filed suit again seeking at least $25,000 from the township, contending all the company was trying to do was recover costs it had incurred over the last year maintaining empty buildings.
The two sides agreed to go to mediation last summer rather than continue with what a court fight.
Mediator Bruce Neekers, of Grand Rapids, helped the two sides reach an agreement that allows Best Drug to open its rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol patients, but does not allow the center to treat sex addicts or operate as a detoxification center, which the company had sought. Gambling and tobacco addictions may be treated at the new facility as well.
Best Drug officials have not said when they intend to have the rehabilitation facility open.
According to his blog, Per Wickstrom is the owner of Best Drug Rehabilitation and of "A Forever Recovery" drug treatment centers, both of which have several facilities in Michigan. According to the state of Michigan, Wickstrom is also the owner of Best Drug Holdings.
On his blog, Wickstrom claims that he is a former used-car salesman from Nevada who needed help with his drug and alcohol addictions and turned his life around through the Church of Scientology's Narconon drug treatment program.
After his recovery, Wickstrom went to work for Narconon, before founding his own "Freedom Recovery Center," which, he said, was based on Narconon principles. Wickstrom then became the CEO and owner of Best Drug Rehabilitation, based in Manistee with locations across the state. On its website, Best Drug claims that it uses a "holistic" approach to treating addiction.
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...PER WICKSTROM?
Last month, a giddy Wickstrom teamed up with erstwhile "product placement producer" Debbie Durkin to co-sponsor Durkin's EcoLuxe Lounge at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, a "socially-conscious gift lounge" to honor the nominees of this year’s Oscars.
Durkin's past is almost as checkered as Wickstrom's.
Debbie Durkin and her Durkin Artists Agency weathered a storm of serious complaints beginning in 1995 that they were charging clients for the chance to be represented through the classic bait-and-switch of requiring "classes" at a specific school, that they were roping them into the common headshot kickback scam, even that they were making direct appeals to clients to help out with office expenses or buy raffle tickets.
Those allegations alone were not enough for either the Screen Actors Guild to revoke Durkin's agency franchise or the state labor board to revoke her license. But a far more serious case, which first came to light in the spring of 1996, involved allegations that Durkin negotiated a commercial reinstatement for a former client, Donte Green, without his knowledge or authorization, and failed to turn over his residuals earnings for more than a year.
The case was the subject of a SAG agency arbitration in October, which found for Donte Green, fined Durkin $3,500, and suspended her franchise for six months on grounds of "dishonest conduct," forgery, and withholding of funds. In early December, 1998, Durkin surrendered her SAG agency franchise to become a "personal manager". Durkin's new business as a personal manager did not require a license or franchise.
But back to that Lion lovin' Per Wickstrom: Choices Recovery,
Wickstrom's South Bend "holistic substance abuse treatment center", joined in sponsoring Durkin's Oscar event. Choices Recovery also sponsored the “Salute to the Oscars” party after the EcoLuxe Lounge.
In a February 26 press release, Wickstrom (shown at left mugging poor little Gretchen Rossi, formerly of "The Real Housewives of Orange County") stated:
“We were thrilled to be a part of the EcoLuxe Lounge and the ‘Salute to the Oscars’ party. It was a ton of fun, and we were honored to have a chance to get new ideas and fresh perspectives on the problems of addiction that we face today. We were grateful to have the opportunity to share more about what we strive for at Choices Recovery, which is offering holistic options for the treatment of addiction.”
The "grab ass" was just a bonus, I guess.
VIPs at the EcoLuxe Lounge were treated to Choices Recovery beauty gift bags.
And, Per being Per, you know there's a new slew of cringe-worthy videos! Miss Fortune can hardly wait for this one to be posted on the Choices Recovery YouTube channel: Per Wickstrom's interview with Frank Stallone!
It's "far from over".