A self-described “thought reform consultant” named Patrick Ryan is now being sued by a former client.
The lawsuit currently filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court First Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Claim number SC-04-09-23-6469) states that Mr. Ryan was “verbally contracted” in June “to provide counseling services,” commonly called “cult deprogramming.”
On June 23rd he received $2,250.00 on deposit for “three days worth of counseling”
Shortly after making the deposit the plaintiff “cancelled” due to the “uncomfortable technique that [Patrick Ryan] was explaining.”
The thought reform consultant later allegedly agreed to refund the deposit, but it was never returned.
Now Mr. Ryan’s former client is seeking that refund through legal action.
Patrick Ryan lives in Philadelphia and is the webmaster for the American Family Foundation (now known as the International Cultic Studies Association), a nonprofit cult research and education organization.
Mr. Ryan often does presentations at the organization’s conferences and is scheduled for an upcoming panel discussion about cult “exit counseling” this month.
According to his bio Patrick Ryan is “a co-author of ‘Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants.'”
Another co-author and fellow thought reform consultant Carol Giambalvo strongly recommended Patrick Ryan to the person now suing him.
Ms. Giambalvo is also a board member of the American Family Foundation and an ex-cult member herself who often leads recovery workshops.
The ethical standards Ms. Giambalvo and Mr. Ryan co-authored specifically emphasize “the importance of clear understandings on financial matters with clients…at the beginning of the consultation relationship.”
But according to the lawsuit filed against Mr. Ryan “he would not give an actual amount of the time and money that [his] counseling would cost.”
Patick Ryan was contacted for comment by CultNews, but he did not respond.
When asked by CultNews about the pending litigation Ms. Giambalvo said, “It’s none of my business.”
Interestingly, a producer for the popular TV program “Judge Judy” wants to make it the judge’s business.
The producer for the nationally syndicated show starring retired Judge Judith Sheindlin wrote the plaintiff late last month, “Please call me at your earliest convenience if you are interested in the possibility of arbitrating your case on ‘Judge Judy.’ I look forward to hearing from you.”
Meanwhile Mr. Ryan’s former client has heard nothing from him lately about any deposit refund.
Note: The case is currently scheduled to go to court December 3, 2004 at 1:15 PM. Anyone interested can attend the proceeding at 34 South 11th Street Courtroom 4F in downtown Philadelphia.
Update: Patrick Ryan lost in court repeatedly. First he lost at trial and later on appeal.