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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Final Chapter: David Lee Hunter On The Road To Perdition

On October 29, David Lee Hunter was transferred from the Grand Traverse County jail to the loving arms of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

As his official MDOC status indicates (left), Hunter is undergoing 
intake processing at the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center (RGC) in Jackson, Michigan. The RGC serves as a quarantine facility responsible for intake processing of all male offenders who are adjudicated adults sentenced to a term of incarceration with the Michigan Department of Corrections.  

Hunter will receive a variety of psychological, medical, educational and security classification evaluations at RGC.  Hunter will be medically screened by professionally trained correctional health care staff during his intake process.  Prisoners are subjected to twelve days of intake processing prior to being classified for transfer to a general population facility capable of meeting their medical, program and security needs.  

The average length of stay at RGC is 30 to 45 days.

Since Hunter's official record does not have a photograph, your girl Miss Fortune added the "wicked warlock" portrait using his Cook County Jail booking photo.

Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Playwrights Play Right?

The wise wordsmith who helped create the ad at left might want to attend  NMC's "Courting The Muse" writer's conference.

Luring somewhere in the session descriptions may be a workshop that explores the difference between "playwriting" and "playwrighting".

While it's true that a "playwright" writes a play, the craft's correct term is "playwriting".  If you don't believe Miss Fortune, the Yale School of Drama’s Playwriting department might convince you.

Miss Fortune is always available as a proofreader--just sayin' as I file this one under "irony". 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Read It On Reddit: "Cuba_Pudding_Jr" Comments On A Battle Creek "Drug Rehab Facility"

Just read this post on Reddit:

"I used to work the books for this hack of a drug rehab facility in Battle Creek, MI that ran multiple programs under 6 different company names trying to avoid their association with Scientology. The owner was a devout Scientology advocate and dropped tons of coin supporting his local chapter - it wasnt uncommon to see tens of thousands in donations in his books each month. They also ran under the guise of a non-profit. Its pretty disgusting how much money they made with these con rehab centers - Narconen was one of them."

"Cuba Pudding Jr", Miss Fortune would love to hear from you. Send me an email: tcmissfortune@yahoo.com.

Friday, October 25, 2013

DAVID LEE HUNTER SENTENCED TO PRISON! Checking In To The Graybar Hotel: Three Hots and a Cot

“Mr. Hunter, you could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo.”

With those words still skipping through the air, Grand Traverse County Circuit Court Judge Philip E. Rodgers, Jr., wiped the tentative smile off David Lee Hunter's face with a 23-60 month prison sentence.

Instead of taking his case before a jury, Hunter plead guilty in September to two felony counts of conversion by false pretenses. In return, the Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney agreed to drop four additional felony counts.

Hunter parlayed a one-month rental of a home at 412 Wadsworth Street in Traverse City into a Craiglist scam that ensnared six people in a web of deception.

While none of Hunter's Craigslist victims were in court during this morning's hearing, a pre-sentence investigation report and victim impact statements were submitted to Rodgers for review. In addition, Hunter's mother, Kathleen, submitted a statement to the court this morning shortly before the hearing.

Hunter's presentence report, required before sentencing anyone charged with a felony, included the following information:

(1) An evaluation of and a prognosis for the person's adjustment in the community based on factual information contained in the report;
(2) A specific written recommendation for disposition;
(3) A statement by the prosecuting attorney on the applicability of any consecutive sentencing provision;
(4) A statement concerning any physical or emotional injury or economic loss suffered by the victims, if provided by the victims;
(5) A victim's impact statement, if requested by the victim or victims;
(6) An objective description of the offense;
(7) The defendant's version of the offense;
(8) A full description of defendant's prior criminal record;
(9) The status of all criminal charges pending against the defendant; and
(10) A personal profile of the defendant.

Hunter's court-appointed attorney, Shawn Worden, objected to the inclusion of "victim impact statements not related to the case". Worden allowed that while that the unrelated "extraneous statements" contained "demeaning things" about Hunter, none had ever resulted in criminal charges or prosecution. Worden argued that the "wild, unsubstantiated" statements not be considered when determining Hunter's sentence.

Grand Traverse County Deputy Civil Counsel Christopher Forsyth countered Worden's objection, defending the statements as important tools in revealing Hunter's attitude toward his "criminal behavior and his social and personal history." 

Forsyth asked Rodgers to consider the additional statements when determining Hunter's sentence.

Worden asked Rodgers to dismiss the "extrinsic victim statement" and their allegations of "big amounts" taken by Hunter and his "atrocious conduct".

And then the skies opened up and the gods of chicanery smiled down on your girl Miss Fortune--David Lee Hunter faced the judge and began a Kanye-like rant that could only have been fueled by some exotic form of mental colon blow.


With his shaved head shining like the top of New York's Chrysler Building, Hunter withstood Rodgers' withering take on his character. Echoing Worden's comment, Rodgers allowed that he had read "wild, unsubstantiated statements" in Hunter's version of the events.

Rodgers listened as the kleptopath Hunter launched into a convoluted tale of how he was simply working "to make his victims whole". Hunter revealed his ignorance of commonly accepted past participles while admitting to Rodgers that he "couldn't stop the web I had weaved from unraveling".

Hunter claimed that he had held an open house and did not anticipate that six people would all want to rent the property. Claiming to be working with property management company, Hunter said that he had found substitute properties for five of his prospective tenants.

He told Rodgers that he could produce "emails" that would prove his version of the story if he "could only have access to his computer".

Hunter told the judge about his "two beautiful daughters",  conveniently leaving out the fact that he's woefully behind in child support to the mothers of both children.

Hunter explained that he pulled the Craigslist scam to help his former girlfriend out with some financial "challenges", although he offered no proof of his claim.

When asked by Rodgers why he missed an important court date in early December 2012, Hunter claimed that he had been in Ann Arbor "for his uncle's funeral" and couldn't get back to Traverse City "because it was snowing". Rodgers pushed back, pressing Hunter about missing subsequent court dates and ultimately jumping bond and "running away".

Hunter said that he ran because a "psycho, bat-shit crazy blogger" had begun to write about him, and he got all "paranoid, worked up, and began to stutter". Hunter also claimed that my "ex-wife is behind this too, laughing her butt off right now". [NOTE: Hunter had already run before Miss Fortune's first post on his Craiglist scam appeared on December 26, 2012.]

Hunter said he asked his attorney to "subpoena this woman" (referring to your girl Miss Fortune), but was told by him that the blog was "irrelevant".

Hunter went on, trying to dazzle Rodgers like he'd tried with his many victims. Full of stories that he'd run companies with "Steve Finnk, a childhood friend I've known since summer camp", Hunter claimed to make anywhere between "$5,000 to $50,000 a month". Hunter even name-checked Walt Doyle, the former CEO of Where, which was acquired in April by PayPal.

Judge Rodgers interrupted, and reminded Hunter that he was standing next to a "court appointed attorney", and asked Hunter if he was indigent.

Hunter answered and told Rodgers he was.

And that was all that the Honorable Philip E. Rodgers, Jr. was having from David Lee Hunter.


Reviewing Hunter's version of the events, Rodgers said he didn't know if Hunter was "delusional of the smoothest con man he'd ever met".  Either way, Rodgers said Hunter was "not normal".

David Lee Hunter, the man who in the past had claimed to be a movie producer, a record mogul, a property owner, stood in silence while Rodgers reminded Hunter that he'd never "accepted responsibility" for his Craigslist scam. In addition, the additional victim impact statements indicated that Hunter had a "long history in California and Hawaii" of scamming money from people, and then "walking away from victims left with nothing".

Rodgers cited Hunter's claim of being a "business partner" of New York City Michael Bloomberg as "delusional". Rodgers told Hunter that although he recognized his intelligence, there were no "Mensa cells" in prison. Rodgers told Hunter he could have applied himself to a business, "like Amway", and been legitimately successful.

Rejecting the 10-23 month sentence recommendation, Rodgers stated Hunter was "inconsistently eligible for boot camp" and sentenced him to 23-60 months in prison. In addition, Hunter will have to repay the remaining $8,079.32 in restitution to his victims.

Hunter has 42 days to appeal his sentence.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

COMING FRIDAY: Miss Fortune's Exclusive David Lee Hunter Sentencing Report

Will Dave still be smiling when the judge hands down his prison sentence tomorrow?

Miss Fortune will be there!

Special Report: "Checking In To The Graybar Hotel: Three Hots and a Cot" on Friday, only from Miss Fortune!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trademark Controversy: Is It Really "Food For Thought"...Or Just Canny Self-Promotion?

Timothy Fitzgerald Young is the founder, President and Chef of Food For Thought, Inc., an Honor-based creator of organic and wild-harvested gourmet specialty foods.

And from Miss Fortune's perspective, a marketing genius!

Taking his cue from a newly-launched Huffington Post section also dubbed "Food For Thought", Young has asked his Food For Thought supporters to aid his fight against what he calls "blatant trademark infringement" by HuffPo and its partner, Chipotle Restaurants. In a blog post, Young  appeals for help:
Dear Food For Thought Friends:

We need your help!

A large corporate entity is infringing on our trademark. It does not make it easier that they are an entity I respect, and it is for a good cause. It is infringement just the same. The Huffington Post and Chipotle restaurants have joined together to launch a blog called Food For Thought.  

They have ignored our trademark and the facts that we have a blog, FaceBook (sic) page, and more under this name.  I obviously cannot afford to mount a legal challenge against such deep corporate pockets, so I am appealing to you to help me appeal to them. 

Please post on their blog that, while you support their effort to raise awareness around just and sustainable food (our mission), you do not appreciate them using our name and likeness. Can you please post on their blog here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/food-for-thought_b_4127786.html, and because they may not publish your critical blog post, you can email Arianna Huffington directly: arianna@huffingtonpost.com

But is it really "trademark infringement" or just another David-versus-Goliath marketing ploy?

Miss Fortune reviewed Food For Thought's official United States Patent and Trademark Office record, and may have found the answer.

In its original trademark registration application (an excerpt is shown at left), Food For Thought requested the use of its mark for "private label processed foods" in classes 29 and 30. Class 29 is "meats and processed foods" and class 30 is "staple foods".

Records indicate the registration currently remains in force only for those two classes (below):

So, does it look like there was a "trademark infringement"?

Not to Miss Fortune--but I'm not an attorney, and never even played one on TV!

And if underdog Timothy Young really wants to fight those overdog "Goliath corporate attorneys", he'd file a trademark infringement claim. There's a stack of paperwork in Washington that proves Young knows his way around an attorney's office.

Nice try though, Tim. 

You even got Miss Fortune to write about you (love that Cherry Salsa Atento!).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Part 2-Do The "Wright" Thing: More On Per Wickstrom And His (So Far Unsuccessful) Bid To Open Best Choice Rehabilitation in Marne. And Miss Fortune Uses The "N" Word!

Could you say "no!" to Per Wickstrom? Wright Township just did, joining Petoskey, Pennfield Township and Bridgewater Township in doing the "Wright" thing by denying requests made in Michigan by TIA Corporation to open or expand a Wickstrom drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.

The Wright Township Planning Commission held a meeting on June 17 to review a Special Land Use (SLU) permit application made by Per Wickstrom on behalf of his proposed Best Choice Rehabilitation location, 15140 16th Avenue in Marne, Michigan.

In denying Wickstrom’s request after reviewing “findings of fact” during its July 15 meeting, the Planning Commission's official minutes stated the facility was “in conflict with the character of the community”. In addition, the Planning Commission determined that the special use permit requested was "not consistent with the Township’s Master Plan".

Wickstrom’s attorneys have filed a complaint in Ottawa County Circuit court, seeking to overturn Wright Township’s decision. Wickstrom’s claim disputes an interpretation made in May by the Wright Township Zoning Administrator, who determined that the intended use was subject to special land use approval and referred the request to the Planning Commission.

In Part 2 of my exclusive report, Miss Fortune digs deep and comes up with some truffles...and some nuts!


After the Planning Commission completed its discussion with Per Wickstrom and his representatives, the Commission invited questions and comments from the approximately 35 Wright Township residents in attendance.Wickstrom addressed comments that had been made by the public and the Commission. 

He stated that security was a main focus and the facility "would not affect property values." A woman who accompanied Wickstrom, described in the official minutes as "Battle Creek realtor, Marcia Magera", stated that she was not aware of a decline in property values. Wickstrom stated that BDR would do whatever the Commission required for fencing and stated he was "willing to have quarterly meetings to discuss concerns."

Marcia Magiera is a Battle Creek realtor, but she's also a corporate officer in one of Per Wickstrom's many companies...My Best Drug Rehabilitation, Inc. As you can see at left, Magiera is shown in the official State of Nevada corporation list as Treasurer.

Marcia is two, two, two shills in one! 

Whether she's a breath mint or a candy mint (as the old Certs commercials wondered), she definitely served her purpose during the meeting.

When asked whether BDR had a religious affiliation, Wickstrom replied that "BDR is non-denominational". And when a Planning Commission member referred to controversies regarding Narconon, Wickstrom stated that "Narconon is not affiliated with BDR."

But on January 18, 2013, Best Drug Rehabilitation was singing from another page in the hymnal, as you can clearly see in the screen capture below. The page is an excerpt from a cached version of BDR's Treatment Program/Communication subpage:

Under the page subhead "Communicate, Confront, and Control: Classes During a Treatment Program", BDR explains what a patient can expect:

At Best Drug Rehabilitation, program participants practice a series of different drills to hone their communication skills. These drills include being present with a problem, speaking face-to-face with another person, managing an emotionally charged conversation, and acknowledging another while speaking. By practicing communication drills, program participants learn how to have meaningful, two-way conversations.

The page continues with "Let Best Drug Rehabilitation Help Today":

Communicating problems and speaking to others is key to overcoming the issues that underlie drug addiction. By learning effective communication skills, individuals can confront and take control over their internal problems. Rather than escaping with drugs and alcohol, communication classes help individuals be present to a problem, constructively address the issue, and effectively find a solution through positive communication. If you or a loved one is struggling with the pains of addiction please contact Best Drug Rehabilitation today, we can help! 

And at the bottom of the page, the Narconon "Jumping Man" logo:

Wait a minute! Didn't Per Wickstrom just tell the residents of Wright Township that Narconon is not affiliated with BDR

Miss Fortune called in experts from the Law & Order Special Subtext Unit who told her that Wickstrom didn't say that BDR was not affiliated with Narconon. And even though those "training routines" are straight outta Narconon, Per Wickstrom told us Narconon was not affiliated with BDR...right?

Subtext, people, subtext...it's everything!

And while we're on the subtext...I mean subject...of Narconon, we might as well swing that big Scientology stick around and see what it hits. Oh look, it's Per and Svetlana!

At left is Per Wickstrom, with his wife Svetlana and a trophy that looks like it belongs in a beery bowling alley.

The picture appeared in the November 2012 issue of IMPACT Magazine, published by the International Association of Scientologists (IAS).  An event is held annually at one of L. Ron Hubbard's "heritage sites", Saint Hill Manor in West Sussex, England, to honor notable Scientologists. The IAS awarded Wickstrom its "Gold Meritorius" award in recognition of the massive wad of money he forked over to the Church of Scientology--reportedly one million dollars.

The caption accompanying the photo described the pair:  
Per and Svetlana Wickstrom are based in Michigan where they are Humanitarians of the forthcoming Battle Creek Ideal Org, while as Midwestern pioneers of Narconon, they've brought more than ten thousand back from the brink with LRH Tech.

I think we can safely state that Per Wickstrom remains affiliated with Narconon and Scientology.

Well, it looks like your girl Miss Fortune has enough stuff left for Part 3!

Come back on Wednesday to see how this story ends...if it does!

SHIPPING WITH BENEFITS: The Final Chapter? Part 5 of Miss Fortune's Exclusive Ship4Charities.com Exposé!

On its website, Ship4Charities describes itself as “a shipping logistics company that donates to charity for each package shipped.”

But an in-depth investigation by Miss Fortune exclusively for "Glistening, Quivering Underbelly" indicates that the organization may be executing a fraudulent charity donation scam, one using legitimate charities as bait.

In the fifth, and final, installment of an exclusive five-part investigative series, “Glistening, Quivering Underbelly” reveals more fraud and deception by Ship4Charities.com, the truth about three more "charity partners", and insights from a former Ship4Charities.com insider.


The Wounded Warrior Project® serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families.

On that date, America watched in horror as approximately 3,000 people died including hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers. Many warriors note a sense of duty to volunteer for the military following these tragic events.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the WWP supports an a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they transition back to civilian life. As you can see from the screen capture (above) taken on September 4, Ship4Charities proudly displays WWP as one of its "veterans charities". 
And last November, Ship4Charities tweeted its support of the WWP and encouraged followers to "ship with us" and donate to the WWP.
But if you look at Ship4Charities "veterans charities" page today, the Wounded Warrior Project link is gone. Shortly after "Glistening, Quivering Underbelly" began its investigation in early September, Ship4Charities scrubbed the WWP from its site.

Well, most of the site's been scrubbed. As you can see in the screen capture shown at left, the Wounded Warrior Project still plays an integral part in the military mythology claimed by Ship4Charities.

Although the Wounded Warrior Project declined to comment on Ship4Charities in a written statement, a spokesperson explained during a phone conversation with Miss Fortune that the WWP has "never had a partnership" with Ship4Charities.

Shortly after that conversation, on September 4, the WWP link was removed from Ship4Charities and deleted from the "charity choice" drop-down window on the order screen.

Coincidence? You be the judge.


The mission of the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund™ (FWSF) is to support Michigan-based soldiers who serve and protect our country.

The FWSF is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c) (3) organization. Members do not receive any financial compensation for their efforts. The FWSF is an all-volunteer effort, supporting our armed forces by helping injured soldiers pay their living expenses.  The SWSF also  provides assistance to the families of the fallen.

Although Ship4Charities.com began promoting its "partnership" with the FWSF nearly a year ago, a spokesperson told Miss Fortune during a phone conversation recently that Glistening, Quivering Underbelly's initial inquiry set off a flurry of emails among the group's board of directors.

The FWSF spokesperson explained that the group's founder stated that there was no record of any contact between the group and Ship4Charities. In addition, the organization had never received any funds donated in its name via Ship4Charities.


The “Friends of the Macomb County Veterans’ Treatment Court”, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to support the efforts of the Macomb County Veterans’ Treatment Court. The organization was established early in 2013, and established a Facebook page on June 10.

But if you look closely at link Ship4Charities provides, you'll see that it takes you directly to the Macomb County's newly-redesigned homepage.

And that's not all. Ship4Charities describes the Macomb County Veterans' Treatment Court itself on its "veterans charities" page, confusing the issue even further:

Assist Macomb County Veterans through the justice system via a specialized treatment court docket to further them by providing tools required to lead to productive law-abiding lives.

So let's see if Miss Fortune can clarify this clusterf**k.

The Macomb County Veterans' Treatment Court held its first session on April 12, 2012. It's run in connection with Macomb County's District and Circuit courts--and it's taxpayer funded. 

Miss Fortune spoke with a court administrator, who confirmed that the Veterans' Treatment Court did not solicit donations and had never received any money collected in its name by Ship4Charities.

Miss Fortune also spoke with a representative of  the Friends of the Macomb County Veterans’ Treatment Court, an attorney, who confirmed that the organization had no partnership with Ship4Charities. The representative told Miss Fortune that her group had never received any money from Ship4Charities.


Miss Fortune spoke exclusively with a former Ship4Charities insider we'll call "Martin".

Martin explained he was an independent contractor on the Ship4Charities sales force, and was recruited by the Wolverine Logistics Group, run by Paganes cronies John Rademaker and Fred Esquivel.

After a few months, Martin began to suspect that something was amiss and pressed to review financial information about the company and its charitable donations.

After repeatedly being rebuffed, Martin resigned as a Ship4Charities contractor.

Martin told Miss Fortune that the "FedEx discount percentage depends on the volume of shipping the customer does. There is supposed to be a basic discount of 20 percent on all shipping with the exception of 'overnight express'."

Hardly a major discount, especially when FedEx grants similar discounts to account holders who meet the company's required shipping volume.

Martin confirmed that "if you wanted to ship a package and you simply choose a charity as a recipient, the charity would actually have no way of knowing that they were even chosen as a recipient. It does not indicate so anywhere on the site, but supposedly charities would not receive any donations until their particular fund reached a minimum of $50.00.  In other words, the donations are supposed to continually accumulate for each charity until their donation amount reaches 50.00 and then they get paid...if they get paid."


Last week, the Shelby-Utica Patch announced a brand new business: Als Buy Sell.

The screen capture above looks like something your girl Miss Fortune might create using Adobe InDesign, but it's real! 

Although his business looks low-rent (he's not even making enough money yet to buy himself an apostrophe), Al is classing up the joint with his brand new partnership with (wait for it!) Ship4Charities!

Here's Al's pitch:

We can sell your items on eBay or buy them out right (sic). Currently we are buying gold, silver, electronics, tools & more. We are also a location who can ship your FedEx packages VIA Ship4Charities.  With using Ship4Charities, a portion of your Shipping cost will be donated local charities, like Camp Casey.  We would love to be of assistance to help you move the items you don't need anymore.  We are located at 54160 Van Dyke Ave (at 24-1/2 Mile Rd on East Side )  586-786-4181.  

Don't you just love Al? 

He might just be the missing link in this charity fraud chain!


In case you missed an installment in my five-part investigation on Ship4Charities, you can catch up here:

Part 1: Shipping With Benefits

Part 2: From Charity To Prosperity


Part 3: Follow The Money

Part 4: Mo Charities, No Money



Monday, October 21, 2013

Is NOTHING Sacred!? Per Wickstrom Aiming A Forever Recovery's Rusty Dart At Military Veterans!

As we get closer to November 11, Veterans Day, it's time for your girl Miss Fortune to reveal the latest marketing scheme from Wickstromland's dream factory.

Per Wickstrom's A Forever Recovery recently launched a new "portal" to help Veterans and their families win the “battle at home” against addiction. 

Wickstrom explained the effort in a September 17 press release issued by his sister, Pamela Anderson:

Since 2001, approximately 2.5 million members of our military have been deployed into combat zones, and many more Veterans still live with the after-effects of conflicts in Vietnam and Korea. The physical and mental trauma that these brave men and women have endured – and continue to experience -- is a major reason for the overall increase in substance abuse among Veterans

Given our expertise in the field of addiction treatment, we felt that it was our moral responsibility to create a portal that offered clear, accessible and objective information and resources. It’s just one of the ways that we can honor and respect those are put their life on the line in combat zones far away – and now need our help more than ever to win the 'battle at home'.

Here's how AFR describes itself in the release:

A Forever Recovery program is an open-ended drug and alcohol treatment program that gets clients off to a great start and gives them a solid foundation in recovery they can believe in. Not every treatment methodology works for every client. Some people are very receptive to 12-step principles, whereas others are more comfortable with faith-based treatment. Cognitive approaches have excellent success, whereas others thrive within a more holistic approach. A Forever Recovery allows clients to choose from a wide range of recovery methodologies, coupled with Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT), to achieve success rates unmatched in the addiction treatment industry. The bottom line is that there is no single therapeutic approach to recovery that works for everyone… until now.  

Miss Fortune can clearly hear the sound of Per Wickstrom rubbing his dry, meaty hands together as he dreams of the dollars he hopes to extract from our nation's veterans.

Where in the world is Sarah Palin when you need her?

Oh well, enjoy yet another lurid infographic, courtesy of Traverse City's own Active Internet Marketing.

Never heard of them? Just look them up in the Yellow Pages under "I sold my soul to the devil".  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Part 1-Do The "Wright" Thing: Per Wickstrom Bites The Big Dog In Marne-"No Special Land Use Permit For You, Sir!" And Somebody Used The "N" Word...Narconon!

Could you say "no!" to Per Wickstrom? Wright Township just did, joining Petoskey, Pennfield Township and Bridgewater Township in doing the "Wright" thing by denying requests made here in Michigan by TIA Corporation to open or expand Wickstrom drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.
The Wright Township Planning Commission held a meeting on June 17 to review a Special Land Use (SLU) permit application made by Per Wickstrom on behalf of his proposed Best Choice Rehabilitation location, 15140 16th Avenue in Marne, Michigan. 
[NOTE: The official minutes refer to the facility as "BDR".]

In denying Wickstrom’s request after reviewing “findings of fact” during its July 15 meeting, the Planning Commission's official minutes stated the facility was “in conflict with the character of the community”. In addition, the Planning Commission determined that the special use permit requested was "not consistent with the Township’s Master Plan". 

Wickstrom’s attorneys have filed a complaint in Ottawa County Circuit court, seeking to overturn Wright Township’s decision. Wickstrom’s claim disputes an interpretation made in May by the Wright Township Zoning Administrator, who determined that the intended use was subject to special land use approval and referred the request to the Planning Commission. 

In making their decision, the Planning Commission reviewed Chapter 10 of the Wright Township Zoning Ordinance, specifically Section 1003(d), and Chapter 2, Section 200 (definition of housing for the elderly, retired and those requiring assisted care). 

After discussion during the July meeting, the Commission agreed with the Township Zoning Administrator’s interpretation that the intended use was subject to special land use approval. 

In the first of a two-part story, Miss Fortune looks at Per Wickstrom’s snow job—I mean presentation—at Wright Township's June 17 Planning Commission meeting.


On August 15, 2012, one of Per Wickstrom’s shell companies (Best Drug Rehabilitation Holdings, Inc.) purchased a former assisted living center located at 15140 16th Avenue in Marne. Wickstrom has dubbed the facility 'Best Choice Rehabilitation', and is seeking the SLU permit required to open the Marne building as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.

Tom King, an attorney for Best Drug Rehabilitation (BDR), explained to those assembled in Wright Township that since the property was previously used as a senior citizens’ facility, BDR believed that the proposed use would satisfy the special land use requirements in the Wright Township Zoning Ordinance.

King stated that the building is already suitable for BDR’s needs and would not need extensive remodeling. BDR was already repainting, installing new carpeting, doing general maintenance and planned to modify the shower areas to comply with ADA requirements. 

According to King, BDR would not be increasing the size of the building. They would add an additional handicap parking space, but anticipated needing fewer parking spaces overall, as the residents of the facility will not have vehicles.

BDR planned no changes to off-street loading and parking. 

King explained that the rehabilitation program BDR offered was “voluntary, and the residents will be free to leave the program at any time”. King also stated that BDR used company vans to transport residents from the airport or bus station in Grand Rapids and return them to the airport or bus station in Grand Rapids when the residents graduate or choose to leave the program.

King outlined the standards contained in Section 1902 of the
Zoning Ordinance and noted that there are no specialized standards for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the Ordinance. King indicated that BDR believed it met the general standards under Section 1902.

King stated that there would be “no adverse effect on nearby properties as the facility is already extensively screened by trees from adjoining residential properties, except for a small area”. King also claimed that there would be no adverse impact on water or sewer. A new well has already been constructed, and would be connected and inspected before the facility opened.

King claimed there would be no adverse impact on police and fire services. In BDR’s opinion, the volume of traffic at the facility is likely to be less than when the building was used as a senior citizen facility. BDR “anticipates fewer ambulance calls than for senior citizens”.

King stated that BDR did not anticipate glare, vibration or noise issues.

Following King’s statements, a short video was shown of other BDR facilities—and then Per Wickstrom took the floor, accompanied by a Diddy-like entourage including such hangers-on as former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore.

Per Wickstrom, Chairman of the Board of BDR, rambled up to the podium and stated that rehabilitation means “to change, get better, to be fixed.” He outlined the steps used by his clinics in the rehabilitation of its residents from drug and alcohol dependency.

Wickstrom painted a portrait even lovelier than any painted by Vermeer, telling Wright Township’s Planning Commission that “residents begin at BDR’s detox facility in Battle Creek”. Wickstrom stated that the “residents will then be transported to the Marne facility to complete their treatment”.  In addition, Wickstrom promised BDR will have Masters of Social Work and Licensed Social Workers on staff to work with residents as well as nurses and on-call doctors.

Before anyone is discharged, Wickstrom claimed an aftercare plan is developed for each resident. Treatment consists of a combination of detox, physical rehabilitation, learning and aftercare at their home via telephone.

But here’s what Per Wickstrom neglected to mention to the fine folks in Wright Township: Tranquility Detox, the "detox facility in Battle Creek" is unlicensed and lacks the proper discharge documentation required when patients are moved back and forth between facilities. 

Hey, someone could just get “lost”!

As your girl Miss Fortune reported exclusively in a September 16 story, the State of Michigan found 11 violations at Tranquility Detox’s 163 North Avenue location during its August 8 inspection. AFR and BDR (Manistee) both refer patients to the 163 North Avenue facility in Battle Creek for detox services, and the location run in tandem by the two clinics. 

However, no license exists for “Tranquility Detox”.

A Planning Commission member asked Wickstrom about the average stay of a resident, and how many social workers would be on staff at the proposed Marne facility.

Wickstrom replied that the average stay is 47 days and that the ratio of social workers to residents is approximately one Masters of Social Work to twelve residents as per state law.

A Planning Commission member asked Wickstrom to define “Moral Recognation Therapy”, a term used by BDR in its SLU permit application.

Wickstrom stated that recognation (sic) is a “word made up by Dr. Kelly and Dr. Robinson”. He explained that "Moral Recognation Therapy consists of 16 different steps and is similar to some court-ordered drug rehab programs".

Actually, let Miss Fortune school you, Per!

Moral "reconation" therapy,
the correct spelling, was developed and implemented in a prison-based drug offender therapeutic community in 1985 in Memphis, Tennessee. Its founders, Drs. Gregory Little and Kenneth Robinson, have since adapted it to other populations, including at-risk and offending juveniles. Part of the appeal of MRT is that it relies on cognitive behavioral approaches that can be readily understood by group facilitators who are not mental health professionals or trained clinicians. (Oh, maybe someone like BDR Manistee's Group Facilitator Elaine Martin, featured in my earlier post.)

When asked about BDR’s other facilities, Wickstrom stated there are two facilities in Battle Creek, one in Manistee, one opening soon in Traverse City and one that is opening in South Bend, Indiana. 

Miss Fortune can just hear the good people of Traverse City choking on their fair trade, shade grown artisinal chocolate bars when they hear about that one!

A Per Wickstrom drug clinic in Traverse City? Quel dommage!

And not so fast, Mr. Wickstrom! 

If you’re serious about opening that pile of bricks you own in South Bend, you might want to get off your assets and respond to the State of Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration request for additional information.

It was due on September 17…maybe the dog ate your homework, eh Per?

Undaunted, Wickstrom continued and said that the main focus of the program is to “put families back together”. And guess what, BDR anticipates hiring local residents in the community!

When asked whether BDR treats other addictions such as sex or gambling, Wickstrom stated that BDR focuses mainly on drug and alcohol addictions, but would address other addictions if necessary.

Amber Howe, executive director of BDR, chimed in and stated that if the facility cannot handle an aspect of a resident’s care, the resident would go to a higher level of care at a different facility. Howe also stated that at the end of the program residents are transported to the nearest public transportation (in Marne’s case, Grand Rapids), usually on Saturday mornings. Tickets and luggage fees are already paid for.

(Residents will not have cars at the facility.)

Howe also stated that if a resident decides to leave before completing the program, or against medical advice, BDR contacts the family and either transports the client to a transportation hub or hotel outside the area, or gives the family up to 12 hours to pick up the resident.

Econo Lodge

Well, let’s just take a look at one “hotel” that residents get sent to in Battle Creek. It's so scary, even local meth cooks and pimps refuse to go there! 

It's the Econo Lodge, located in Battle Creek at 165 Capital Avenue S. W. 

But scary didn't stop one enterprising prostitute, who in 2011 was arrested on a charge of child neglect after Battle Creek police said her children, ages 2 and 3, were left alone in an Econo Lodge room.

Officers were called to the hotel after another guest said he found a 3-year-old boy dressed only in a diaper in the hallway. Police said they found the other child in a room alone and asleep. The mother of the children was found in another room--her "trick pad"-- with a man. 

Police said they found empty liquor bottles in the room where the children were staying and the mother's blood alcohol level was .232 percent after she was arrested. 


According to BDR, the maximum occupancy would be 168 residents in 84 units and no employees would be living on-site. BDR also stated that there would be a ratio of 60 staff to 180 clients during the day, and that there are two staff shifts which run from 7:00-7:00. There would be on-call counselors at night.

A discussion was held regarding security at the property. BDR
representatives stated that all exits have alarms and that there are “128 cameras at the property”. There will be 2-3 security officers on the property 24/7. There will also be security viewing stations, and will be able to monitor everything except bathrooms.

If someone walks out, security will intercept the client and “talk
them into following the established protocol for leaving the facility”. BDR stated that the average age of its residents is 36 years old, with the youngest being 18 and the oldest being 77. Most of BDR’s residents are 25-35 years old.

Howe stated that BDR would hire as many people as possible from the local community as long as they have the proper credentials.
Wickstrom explained that he created the rehab program by combining aspects of the five most popular treatment modalities into one rehab program.

Oh, and Per Wickstrom claimed that BDR's "success rate was above 50 percent"!

Bet you can't wait for Part Two!

Here's a preview:

When asked about recent Narconon controversies, Wickstrom  stated that "Narconon is not affiliated with BDR".

Really? Really

On January 18, 2013, Best Drug Rehabilitation was singing a very different tune, as you can clearly see in a screen capture below.

Sit back and get ready for Part Two on Tuesday, October 21.