GOA Receives Demand Letter from the Family of Scott Nevins

Scott's father, Ashley Nevins.
Scott’s father, Ashley Nevins.
Scott's mother, Diane Nevins.
Scott’s mother, Diane Nevins.

An article published on Pokrov.org, February 6, 2013:

The parents of Scott Nevins, Ashley and Diane, have retained Stephen M. Murphy, a San Francisco attorney, to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA), the Metropolis of San Francisco, and Saint Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery. Scott spent more than six years at the Florence facility before leaving in the middle of the night in February of 2011. He returned to Saint Anthony’s in June of 2012 and took his own life.

In a demand letter sent to Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, Metropolitan Gerasimos Michaleas, and Archimandrites Ephraim and Paisios by Federal Express on February 5, 2013, Murphy lays out the Nevins’ allegations.

“The death of the Nevins’ only son can be directly attributed to the more than six years of horrific physical and psychological abuse he endured at St. Anthony’s. The methodology used by the monastery’s leadership, Archimandrites Ephraim and Paisios, fits every criterion used by the mental health community to identify a group which engages in the destructive practice of thought reform. … Scott sustained severe emotional trauma as a direct result of the Archimandrites Ephraim and Piasios’s (sic) coercive tactics and practices, and the harm continued to affect Scott Nevins after he fled from St. Anthony’s Monastery in February of 2011. Scott Nevins’ death could have been prevented had either Metropolitan Gerasimos or Archbishop Demetrios responded to the Nevins’ pleas to remove Scott from the monastery and provide him with the help necessary to recover from the destructive practices he encountered at St. Anthony’s.”

Murphy also informs the recipients of the letter that the Nevins’ purpose in filing suit is to protect other families and individuals from experiencing what they and their son did. The attorney notes that in accordance with the Nevins’ aims, “every aspect of this lawsuit, including this demand letter and its enclosures, will be made public.”

Included with the demand letter is a “Statement of Facts” which outlines Murphy’s investigation into Scott’s involvement with the Saint Anthony’s, as well as the steps the family took to bring his plight to the attention of those in authority over the monastery. In addition, the attorney enclosed his evaluation of the monastery’s regular practices under the eight criteria for a group which engages in destructive thought reform.

The recipients of the letter have been given seven days to institute settlement negotiations. If they do not respond within that time frame, a lawsuit will be filed.

A copy of the demand letter, including both attachments, can be found here.

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