"Sons of Anarchy" Actor Spent Time in Scientology Rehab Before Killing His Landlady
The "Sons of Anarchy" actor who police say went on a rampage, killing his landlady and her cat before falling off a roof to his death, had previously spent time in a Scientology rehab program.Johnny Lewis, an actor best known for his roles on "Sons of Anarchy" and "The O.C." (and dating Katy Perry), was the son of Scientologists who were deeply involved in the church, the New York Daily News reports. In 2004, he had gone through its Narconon program, and spoken out about his experience with the Scientology-based rehab program. The newspaper says Lewis' photo was up on Narconon's site until late last night.
Narconon's method are considered controversial. A panel of of public health officials in San Francisco reviewed Narconon's methods and found them lacking, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004:
In its reporting, The Chronicle found that Narconon's lectures often taught students information that is widely dismissed by mainstream medical experts. This includes that drugs -- including ecstasy, LSD and marijuana -- accumulate indefinitely in body fat, where they cause recurring drug cravings for months or years; drugs in fat cause flashbacks even years after the user quits; the vitamin niacin pulls drugs from fat, and saunas sweat them from the body; and colored ooze is produced when drugs exit the body.
One reviewer described the program like this: "This (curriculum) reads like a high school science paper pieced together from the Internet, and not very well at that."Police investigators have said that they are testing Lewis for the drug Smiles, or one of the other drugs that have popped up since bath salts were outlawed.
Lewis' parents had tried to get him to go back to the Scientology rehab program recently, and the NY Daily News reports that he had been back to the program as well as jail before he went on a rampage on Wednesday (although the Daily News does not mention how recently before the killings he went into the program).
What is clear according to family, coworkers and court records is that Lewis had become increasingly violent over the last year. He spent much of the last year in jail, once for smashing a man in the head with a bottle in January and for burglary in February. His jail sentence was reduced because of overcrowding and because he did court-ordered rehab.
Lewis had been in jail just the week before his final act of violence. He rented a home in Los Feliz just five days before police say he viciously killed his landlady 81-year-old Catherine Davis. It appeared that he had beaten her and strangled her, after destroying the furniture in his home. He also dismembered her cat and attacked two neighbors nearby before falling off the roof of the home to his death.
A probation report noted that Lewis had serious issues: "There are significant issues which should be addressed. Obviously, defendant's behavior is out of control and needs counseling afforded by a professional."
Lewis' father Michael works at the Valley Life Improvement Center in the San Fernando Valley, which is a Scientology-based counseling program:
His father told the Daily News that his son was the "bright star of our lives," adding "We always looked up to him, and now I guess we’ll have to look up a little higher."
Perry has also publicly expressed that she was devastated by his death.
UPDATE: A Scientology official told TMZ that Johnny Lewis wasn't active in the church recently, and that his recent stints in rehab were not in Scientology-sponsored. The site also has a picture of Lewis from when he spoke at a Narconon group about how the principles of the group kept him off drugs.