Mental Health Board Denies Narconon Certification Bid
Robert W. Lobsinger
19 December 1991
State Board of Mental Health Friday denied certification for
a controversial drug and alcohol treatment center known as Narconon,
and gave the facility seven days to move out its patients.
meeting was attended by 136 interested spectators, about 60
of them from Newkirk. Almost no one attending actually heard
what was going on because of the lack of space in the meeting
room. Most spectators stood or sat patiently in the ante-rooms
as the board heard testimony. Media coverage was abundant, however.
board's decision ended a lengthy effort by Narconon Chilocco
New Life Center to win certification for their treatment modalities,
which were formulated by the late science fiction writer L.
another battle is brewing, as Narconon attorney Harry Woods,
Jr., indicated at the meeting that he would appeal the board's
decision in Oklahoma County District Court.
president, Gary Smith, said in television and newspaper interviews
following the decision that certification was denied because
the Mental health Department was putting their bias and prejudice
into their reports, which have twice recommended against certifying
Oklahoma Board of Mental health and Substance Abuse Services
voted 6-0 to deny certification for Narconon, which sought permission
to operate a 75 bed facility north of Newkirk at the former
Chilocco Indian School. Dr. Sue Ellen Read abstained from voting
because she did not attend an October hearing when members listened
to more than 12 hours of evidence before delaying their decision
again until last Friday.
Dwight Holden, who toured the facility a week ago today, said
it lacked a certified drug and alcohol abuse counselor and the
staff had little formal training in the field.
Stewart R. Beasley, Jr., asked that the 27 patients currently
enrolled at Chilocco be transferred to other facilities within
seven days because "the program is basically unsafe. Their
well being is at risk." His motion to that effect was approved
by the board over the objection of Mr. Murray Abowitz, who felt
a longer period of time should be given for the transfer.
program relies on a sauna and exercise program and until October
was advertised as being "drug-free".
at the October hearing, Dr. Ray Stowers of Medford, who had
been hired in September by Narconon as their medical director,
told the board that drugs were administered during the detoxification
part of the program.
said Dr. Stowers efforts at making improvements at the facility
were noticed, but he said there were too many health concerns
to certify it. There "is a need to prove the safety and
effectiveness" of such unorthodox treatment programs, Holden
Attorney General's office lawyer Guy Hurst said the state will
ask for dismissal of an Oklahoma County court order that allowed
Narconon to treat up to 40 patients while its certification
was pending. State officials will have authority to shut down
the facility once the seven day transfer period is over, Hurst
said, even though the facility is on Indian land, because it
is a non-Indian operation. Tribal police could be asked to intervene
if jurisdictional problems arise, he added.
Board refused a request by Woods to allow the facility to continue
in operation until the appeal process is exhausted. Hurst noted
that such a process could take several years if the matter goes
before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
members made their decision after a 3 hour closed deliberative
session, following about 4 hours of testimony including that
of two former students who, among other things, said that the
sauna temperatures were as high as 200 degrees. One graduate
of the program said he was told he could drink "a few"
beers after completing the program without problems. But, he
said, he went back to Narconon twice after going on drinking
binges following his graduation from the program. "I believed
them," he said.
for denial of certification were listed in a document called
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, which was released
following the meeting by Hurst. Some of those findings are quoted
Findings of Fact
reviewing the application and determining the merits of the
application the Board on the October 18, 1991 and December 13,
1991 hearings heard evidence and considered the issues of safety
and effectiveness of the treatment modality utilized by the
Most drugs of abuse are removed from the body by detoxification
and excretion through the liver, kidneys, and the lungs. Although
minute quantities of some drugs may be found in sweat the amount
represents a small fraction of drug elimination.
The Narconon drug treatment modality treats all drug addictions
the same. No scientific evidence was produced to show that all
drug addictions are properly treated in the same manner.
The terms "patient," "student" and "client"
are used interchangeably in these Findings.
The Narconon Program exposes its patients to the risk of delayed
withdrawal phenomena such as seizures, delirium and/or hallucinations.
The Board has not considered any evidence of the beliefs or
opinions of any witness on matters of religion in making its
findings of fact. To the extent there may be some affiliation
between Narconon and any religion such affiliation has been
totally disregarded by the Board. The Board has not made its
decision on certification based upon any consideration of religion
or religious affiliation.
The Board concludes that the Applicant, Narconon International,
has the burden of proving that its program meets all requirements
for certification and specifically the burden of proving its
program is both safe and effective. Narconon has not sustained
its burden of proving its program is either safe or effective.
However, regardless of whether Narconon International has the
burden of proof the Board concludes there is substantial credible
evidence, as found by the Board, that the Narconon Program is
unsafe and ineffective.
The Narconon program requires its patients to sweat up to five
hours per day, seven days a week, for approximately thirty days.
The rationale, according to Narconon for the sweat-out is to
rid the body of fat-stored drugs and chemicals through sweat.
However, there is no scientific basis for the technique. Most
drugs of abuse are removed from the body by detoxification and
excretion through the liver, kidneys and (in some instances)
through the lungs. Although minute quantities of some drugs
may be found in sweat, the amount represents such a small fraction
of drug elimination that no matter how much an individual sweated
through exercise or saunas, the clearance of most drugs of abuse
would not be significantly increased.
The Narconon program includes the administration of high doses
of vitamins and minerals to the Narconon patient as part of
their treatment. The use of high amounts of vitamins and minerals
in the amounts described administered by Narconon can be potentially
dangerous to the patients of Narconon according to the more
credible medical evidence.
The relationship between drug abuse and psychiatric disorders
is well established. Most drug abusers who enter residential
drug treatment facilities have high levels of anxiety, depression,
hostility or apathy. Further, a chemical dependency disorder
may co-exist with - or be secondary to - a specific psychiatric
illness, such as schizophrenia or major depression, which should
be treated by established psychiatric procedures. The Narconon
program presents a potential risk to the patients of the Narconon
program that delayed withdrawal phenomena such as seizures,
delirium or hallucination that are occasionally seen several
days after cessation of drugs such as benzodiazepines may be
misinterpreted by Narconon's non-medical staff as the effect
of mobilizing the drug from fat during the sauna sweat-out procedure
period. There is also a potential risk that the reported re-experience
of the abused drugs' effect during the sauna sweat-out program
may be the result of misinterpreted symptoms of hyperthermia
or electrolyte imbalance since vital signs and serum electrolyte
levels have not been consistently monitored during the sweat-out
procedures or when a student is reporting the phenomena.
The progress notes for the patients at Narconon do not consistently
evidence that vital signs are recorded every six hours in the
detoxification process; nor do the progress notes record fluid
intake for detoxification clients.
Discharge summaries of patients at Narconon were not routinely
completed within fifteen days of the patient's discharge.
The clinical records of patients at Narconon do not consistently
reflect the recording of vital signs every six hours for clients
as required under non-medical detoxification standards of the
There is credible evidence by way of witness testimony and review
of Narconon charts which reflect that there were patients who
had psychiatric problems who were taken off of their previously
prescribed psychiatric medication who did not do well and subsequently
developed psychiatric problems. This evidence indicates a lack
of safety and effectiveness in connection with the program.
of Narconon suffering from psychiatric illness, when taken off
their prescribed medications, did poorly in the Narconon program
and were placed in a segregated facility called "destem".
This practice endangers the safety, health and /or the physical
and mental well being of Narconon's clients.
Narconon's program lacks any acceptable degree of quality control
of the sauna temperatures and treatment. Such a lack of control
endangers the safety, health and/or the physical or mental well
being of its clients.
Narconon hires former students to work at Narconon - Chilocco
immediately upon graduation and the former students work directly
with the present students. While former patients of drug and
alcohol rehabilitation clinics can be employed in such clinics
after graduation, the former patient's recovery from his addiction
should be established with more passage of time to ensure sobriety
and to avoid putting patients in contact with addicts who are
not fully recovered. This practice could negatively impact the
safety and effectiveness of the program.
Narconon does not maintain a sufficient level of follow-up of
its students after graduation, which impacts the effectiveness
of the program allowing for relapses and lack of recovery.
During an on-site visit in November 1991 a student was found
with a potentially dangerous low level of potassium which could
lead to cramps, (muscular, skeletal problems) and cardiac arrhythmia.
The vast majority of time spent in the Narconon treatment plan
and course work does not in any way relate to or involve education
about drug and alcohol abuse treatment, issues, and/ or addiction.
The Narconon treatment plan thus has deficiencies which render
it ineffective. The Narconon treatment plan is general in nature,
applies categorically to all students and is not individualized.
The treatment plan also lacks measurable individualized objectives
which the students should seek to achieve in the program. For
instance, the treatment plan sets a patient's objective as follows:
"To have a clear mind." This objective is essentially
meaningless. In order for a bonafide drug treatment plan to
be effective it is essential to have individualized measured
objectives which Narconon's treatment plan lacks.
Part of the Narconon treatment program involves touch assists
between patients. Touch assists involve massages between patients
in rooms by themselves. Narconon has both male and female patients
who are involved in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
This practice of touch assists could likely lead to improper
sexual contact between drug addicts or alcoholics in the process
of recovery. An accepted standard in such programs is for the
patients to keep their hands to themselves. The practice of
touch assists between male and female patients who are recovering
drug addicts or alcoholics in private rooms renders the program
unsafe in this respect.
The discharge planning is not adequate and commences only very
shortly prior to discharge. This lack of discharge planning
renders Narconon's program ineffective.
Narconon clients are counseled by Narconon staff that it is
acceptable for the client to drink alcohol after being discharged
from the Narconon program and if the client is incapable of
being able to drink alcohol, then this fact evidences the client's
need for further treatment. Such counseling endangers the client's
safety, health and /or the physical or mental well being, and
is not in accord with acceptable drug and alcohol counseling
Narconon employes staff inadequately educated and trained in
the care and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse clients. Such
a practice endangers the safety, health and/or the physical
or mental well being of the clients of Narconon.
Narconon permits clients under treatment for drug and alcohol
abuse to handle and provide medications to fellow Narconon clients,
to supervise the sauna treatment of fellow Narconon clients,
and to supervise Narconon clients with psychiatric disorders.
Such practices endanger the client's health and safety and are
not in accord with acceptable drug and alcohol treatment.
There is substantial medical literature which indicates that
sauna therapy may pose significant health risks to intravenous
heroine addicts, which is likely to be treated at Narconon,
because such drug use may impair normal physiological response
and problems associated with high temperature saunas which could
The Narconon Program includes running to stimulate circulation
followed by prescribed periods in a sauna for up to 5 hours
at extremely high temperatures (i.e. 135° to 200° F)
and as such endangers the safety, health and/or the physical
or mental well being of its clients. Such a procedure exposes
the client to the health hazards of dehydration and heat injury.
This sauna regime also creates a risk of hyperthermia and electrolyte
Narconon restricts access by Narconon clients to their personal
physicians, family, attorneys, clergy and others by not permitting
communications except at limited and designated hours. such
a practice may endanger the physical or mental well being of
The Narconon program fails to provide adequate follow-up and
treatment for Narconon clients demonstrating abnormal lab tests
and other medical problems. Such failures endanger the safety,
health and/or the physical or mental well being of the Narconon
clients and is not in accord with acceptable drug and alcohol
care and treatment.
There was no evidence that the Narconon staff inventoried and
verified the medications brought on to the campus by Narconon
clients. such a failure endangers the safety, health and/or
the physical or mental well being of Narconon's clients.
The Board recognizes that Narconon has in the past few weeks
adopted many new policies. The evidence did not disclose adherence
to many if not all of these policies. There was no measurable
and identifiable compliance by Narconon to its newly adopted
policies in the areas of taking and recordation of vital signs,
drug and alcohol instructions to clients, handling of medications,
withdrawal and discharge procedures, lab testing, procedures
for emergency medical supplies and others.
Narconon clients are routinely administered clonidine. Narconon
fails to provide adequate supervision for clients prescribed
this medication given this drug's risks and potential for adverse
consequences. Such failure to adequately supervise endangers
the safety, health and/or the physical or mental well being
of the Narconon clients.
The vast majority of Narconon's course materials in its drug
and alcohol abuse program are not designed to educate and/or
treat clients in the area of drug and alcohol abuse. In addition,
there was only evidence of occasional lectures to Narconon clients
in areas of drug and alcohol abuse. As such, Narconon's program
lacks sufficient instruction and education in the area of drug
and alcohol abuse.
There is no credible scientific evidence that the Narconon program
is effective in the treatment of chemical dependency.
There is no credible scientific evidence that exercise speeds
up the detoxification process.
Large doses of niacin are administered to patients during the
Narconon program to rid the body of radiation. There is no credible
scientific evidence that niacin in any way gets radiation out
of the patient's body. Rather, the more credible medical evidence
supports the existence of potential medical risks to persons
receiving high doses of niacin.
There is no credible evidence establishing the safety of the
Narconon program to its patients.
There is no credible evidence establishing the effectiveness
of the Narconon program to its patients.
Conclusions Of Law
finding of fact which should be included in the conclusion of
law such matters are included hereby by reference.
In order for the Application to be granted by the Board it must
be shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the program
is safe and effective for the non-medical residential treatment
of alcohol and drug abuse.
Th purpose of Mental health law in the State of Oklahoma is
to provide humane care and treatment of persons who require
treatment for drugs or alcohol abuse. Residents of the State
of Oklahoma are entitled to medical care and treatment in accordance
with the highest standards accepted in medical practice. 43A
O.S. Supp. 1990, §1-102.
The Narconon Chilocco program does not conform to the principles
of traditional chemical dependency treatment. The Board's conclusion
that the Narconon Chilocco program is non-traditional does not
form the basis, in any respect, for the Board's decision on
the Narconon application for certification.
No scientifically well-controlled studies were found that documented
the safety of the Narconon program. There are potential dangers
from the use of non-medical staff who may be unable to interpret
the possibility of seizures, delirious, cardiac arrythmia, or
hallucinations that are phenomena associated with the cessation
of drugs. There is also a potential risk of the reported reexperience
of the abused drug effect during the sauna sweat out program
may be the result of misinterpreted symptoms of hyperthermia
or electrolyte imbalance. Moreover, the multiple findings of
fact heretofore entered by the Board establish that Narconon's
program is not safe.
Drug treatment program offered by Narconon Chilocco is an experimental
treatment and not proven safe or effective and is not in accord
with the highest standards accepted in medical practice as required
No scientifically wee-controlled independent, long-term outcome
studies were found that directly and clearly establish the effectiveness
of the Narconon program for the treatment of chemical dependency
and the more credible evidence establishes Narconon's program
is not effective. The Board determines that the Narconon Program
is not effective in the treatment of chemical dependency.
The Board concludes that the program offered by Narconon Chilocco
is not medically safe.
The Board has reviewed the proposed findings of fact and conclusions
of law submitted by the Department and Narconon. Any proposed
finding of fact and/or conclusion of law inconsistent with those
entered by the Board is denied.
Certification is denied."
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 19 December 1991
have printed, today, the reasoning behind the Mental Health
Board's decision not to certify Narconon as legitimate health
care in the state of Oklahoma. All of it. It's long. But it
is important that somebody put it in the public record.
simple fact is that Narconon is unsafe and ineffective as health
care. Period. Never was, never will be. It's exactly what we
said it was two and a half years ago: a snake oil cure, which
at any price is a rip-off.
to the Mental Health Board, taxpayers' money and insurance benefits
will not be wasted on Hubbard's Hucksters. Desperate people
will no longer be fed false hopes and dangerous hocum, at least
the Narconuts continue to blow smoke up the media's tailpipe,
blaming their failure to pass muster on everyone and everything
else except the real problem: It doesn't work, and it isn't
20 years they've been taking people's money and yet there is
not one piece of scientifically credible evidence that their
program works. Four of their own doctors admitted that at the
it safe? Sure, most people survive it. That's not the point.
The point is that someone might not survive a 200 degree sauna.
Keep in mind that water boils at 212 degrees. One can bake brownies
in less than 5 hours at 200 degrees, but that's how long debilitated
addicts are expected to spend in the Narconon sauna each day.
that all of Narconon's staff (except their new medical director,
incidentally) have been through the program at least once, it
is not difficult to understand why they have such a hard time
comprehending the board's decision.
brains have obviously been baked. Which is further indication
that Narconon doesn't work and is unsafe.
were especially unimpressed with Ms. Bimbo Barmaid for informing
us of how arrogant and irresponsible the Mental Health Board
is. Fortunately, she doesn't run anything but her mouth. And
even then, she usually uses somebody else's words. Someone might
pay attention to her if she had the credentials of even one
member of the Mental Health Board. No matter how often she reads
the script they give her, she can't make Narconon safe, and
she can't make it work.
latest tactic is to start a petition drive across the state.
They've been spotted lurking in the dorm halls at OSU, and were
invited off the property at Wall-Mart and Food Warehouse in
Ponca over the weekend. With assistance from the police.
idea apparently is that if enough people sign a petition to
do something that is dangerous, the people who know better will
let them do it anyway. This is Narconon's concept of helping
their fellow man? All the names in the world on a petition don't
make the Narconon system work, and they don't make it safe.
addition, they have again resorted to their old tactic of harassing
people. At least one Mental Health Board member is getting strange
phone calls and being followed where ever he goes. A lot of
us in Newkirk have been through that foolishness before, too.
Harassing board members doesn't make the Narconon program work,
and it doesn't make it safe. Harassment like this just makes
them more obnoxious.
there is the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), Narconon's
sister org, which appears right on que to charge the Mental
Health Department with undocumented heinous crimes everytime
it looks like Narconon is going to get tossed out on it's ear.
Trying to intimidate the Mental Health Department doesn't make
the Narconon system safe, or effective.
of these things they do, without addressing the real problem:
Narconon is dangerous and it doesn't work. Until they recognize
that fact, they might as well be trying to teach a pig to sing.
wastes a lot of time and it irritates the pig.
Gets Narconon Appeal
December 26, 1991
Oklahoma County judge who previously has ruled in favor of Narconon
Chilocco New Life Center has been assigned to hear the center's
latest court case, a lawyer for the center said Saturday.
Woods Jr. said a court appeal of the state mental health board's
denial of certification for the facility has been assigned to
District Judge Leamon Freeman.
also will rule on a request to allow Narconon Chilocco to remain
open through the appeal process, Woods said.
actions were filed just before court offices closed Friday in
Oklahoma County, Woods said. No hearing date has been set for
the request to stay the mental health board's decision, pending
officials likely will file motions arguing against the appeal,
and against allowing Narconon Chilocco to remain open through
the appeal process, which could take as long as two or three
for Narconon Chilocco originally said the appeal would be filed
in Oklahoma County but then said it would be filed in Kay County
District Court because that is where the facility is located.
Woods said he found a 1991 court case that allowed Narconon
Chilocco to file its appeal in Oklahoma County because that
is the home county of the state mental health board and the
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
last November granted a stay for Narconon Chilocco that allowed
the facility to remain open and to accept new patients while
it went through the state licensing process.
Freeman's order countered an earlier order by a Kay County judge
that blocked Narconon Chilocco from accepting any more patients
until it is certified.
also last year blocked the state mental health board from using
a mental health department staff report recommending denial.
Freeman said the staff report was biased and criticized the
department for using an expert he considered biased against
like having an independent investigator to look into the situation
in Kuwait and sending Saddam Hussein to do it," Freeman
said last November.
Chilocco, ordered by the state board to close last week, was
allowed to remain open to take care of its 27 patients. Oklahoma
County District Judge John Amick's order was to remain in effect
until a hearing could be scheduled on the facility's request
to continue operating during the appeal process.
Narconon Chilocco cannot accept new patients, Amick said.
made his ruling after a lawyer for the state mental health board
asked for dismissal of Freeman's 1990 order that allowed Narconon
Chilocco to operate until the board ruled on certification.
officials said the order should have been dropped because the
state mental health board made a ruling on certification.
said Freeman probably will set a hearing next month on Narconon
Chilocco's stay request.
the appeal, Freeman can overturn the board's denial or order
a new hearing by the board, Woods said. The judge also can uphold
the board's findings.
Chilocco's appeal claims that "throughout its application
for certification Narconon has been subjected to an excessive
wave of constitutional violations, statutory violations, disparate
treatment," Gary Smith, Narconon Chilocco's president,
were forced to take this measure to protect the rights of our
present and future clients that do the Narconon program,"
petition drive is under way to garner support for the facility,
with more than 1,000 signing, Smith said. More than 3,000 letters
from supporters have been sent to state officials, he said.
(Reprinted with permission, Sunday Oklahoman, Dec. 22, 1991)
Denied Request to Accept Former Patient
Enid Bureau, Daily Oklahoman
Thursday, Jan. 9, 1992
drug and alcohol treatment center ordered last month to shut
down was denied permission Friday accept a former patient who
asked to return to the facility.
lawyers, meanwhile, argued that a stay requested by Narconon
Chilocco New Life Center to remain open should be turned down
because it never was licensed by Oklahoma.
Oklahoma County District Judge Leeman Freeman denied a request
from Narconon Chilocco to admit the former patient, said to
be from New York.
said lawyers for Narconon Chilocco could file a similar request
with District Judge John Amick, who is presiding over an Oklahoma
County case filed by Narconon Chilocco last year against the
Oklahoma Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Woods Jr., Narconon Chilocco's lawyer, said the facility is
considering filing the request with Amick.
health board members last month voted to deny certification
for Narconon Chilocco's treatment program, saying it was medically
unsafe and experimental.
Chilocco, which has been accepting patients since February 1990,
has appealed and asked that a stay be issued allowing the facility,
located north of Newkirk, to remain open until a hearing on
its appeal could be heard.
Hurst, assistant state attorney general, said Friday that Narconon
Chilocco's request for a stay order is inappropriate because
the facility never was licensed by the state.
usually are granted to a licensed facility that asks to remain
open after a state board suspends its license, he said.
nothing to stay," Hurst said. "They were unlicensed.
There was a hearing. They're still unlicensed."
said he will make the same argument later this month when Freeman
presides over a hearing on whether a stay should be issued.
also is expected to hear Narconon Chilocco's appeal. That hearing
is scheduled for May 15.
board members denied certification, they also prohibited Narconon
Chilocco from accepting new patients.
the time of the board's decision, Narconon Chilocco had 27 patients.
Hurst said he was told the facility Friday had 16 patients.
after the Dec. 13 decision Narconon Chilocco officials started
a petition drive seeking signatures in support of the center.
Newkirk area resident, meanwhile, has started his own petition
drive, seeking signatures of those who support the board's decision.
we're doing is affirming our support of that agency of government
that has made that decision," Frank Johns said. "We
feel a decision has been made by a bona fide agency of government
and it should be abided by." (Reprinted with permission,
Saturday Oklahoman, January 4, 1992)
Files Appeal To Operate Center
Michael McNutt, Enid Bureau, Daily Oklahoman
Thursday, Jan 16, 1992
drug and alcohol treatment center denied state approval has
filed court papers asking a judge to overturn the state action
and allow it to operate.
for Narconon International, which operates Narconon Chilocco
New Life Center north of Newkirk, on Friday filed a petition
for a judicial review in the Ponca City division of Kay County
hearing date has been set.
their 103 page document, lawyers ask District Judge Neal Beekman
to set aside the Dec. 13 decision by the Oklahoma Board of Mental
health and Substance Abuse Services to deny certification for
Narconon Chilocco's treatment program.
members said the center's treatment program, which relies heavily
on vitamins and a sauna and exercise program, was experimental
and medically unsafe.
members also ordered that Narconon Chilocco be closed by Dec.
23, but lawyers appealed the board's action. That appeal kept
the facility open.
the center is prohibited from admitting new patients.
center, which sought approval for 75 beds, had 27 patients on
Dec. 13, and 16 last week.
for Narconon Chilocco last week were unsuccessful in getting
a court order to allow the center to admit a former patient
who they said needed follow-up treatment.
Meanwhile, a Feb. 27 hearing has been scheduled in Ponca City
to take up the issue of a petition filed in 1990 in Kay County
to close the facility.
Attorney Joe Wideman is expected to make oral arguments during
that hearing on why the facility should be closed.
case has been pending since 1990 because the judge postponed
acting on the application to close the drug treatment center
until after the state mental health board ruled on its certification
Chilocco began accepting patients in February 1990, and applied
for state certification only after state officials sought a
court order to close it.
for the treatment center then tied up the process in the court
system for about a year, forcing the board to hire an independent
inspector to evaluate the program.
health department staffers were allowed to get back into the
certification process four months ago. Staff recommended denial
of the center's application. (Reprinted with permission from
the Sunday Oklahoman, Jan. 12, 1992)
Reply Opposes Narconon
January 23, 1992
request for a court order to allow Narconon Chilocco New Life
Center to remain open and continue treating patients should
be rejected, according to papers filed Wednesday (Jan 15) in
Chilocco should be shut down to comply with a Dec. 13 ruling
by the oklahoma Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
instead of being allowed to remain open while lawyers for the
facility appeal the board's action, the documents said.
papers were filed in Oklahoma County District Court by board
lawyer George S. Corbyn Jr., in response to Narconon Chilocco's
motion seeking a stay.
Judge Leamon Freeman is scheduled to rule on the matter Jan.
lawyers with the state attorney general's office have filed
court papers seeking to dismiss Narconon Chilocco's appeal in
Oklahoma County District Court.
Hurst, an assistant state attorney general, said Narconon Chilocco
filed its appeal in the wrong county. The appeal should be filed
in Kay County, where the 75-bed facility is located.
for Narconon Chilocco last week (also) filed (their) appeal
in Kay County District Court.
Chilocco lawyers have kept the facility open by going to court
and filing requests for a stay and asking a judge to over rule
the mental health board's decision. The center, which had 27
patients when the board denied its application for certification,
now has 16.
said Narconon Chilocco's request for a stay should be denied
because the facility, which has been accepting patients since
February 1990, never was licensed.
and his law firm were hired by the mental health board after
Narconon Chilocco last year won a court ruling prohibiting the
attorney general's office from participating at that time in
its request for a stay, lawyers for Narconon Chilocco said mental
health board members did not use substantial evidence in denying
the facility's request for certification and were biased because
of Narconon International's ties with the Church of Scientology.
(Reprinted with permission from the Daily Oklahoman, Thursday,
January 16, 1992)
Loses Bid To Stay
Enid Bureau, Daily Oklahoman
February 2, 1992
unlicensed alcohol and drug treatment center has lost its bid
to remain open while it appealed a state board's ruling that
its treatment program is medically unsafe and should be shut
County district Judge Leamon Freeman denied a request from narconon
chilocco New Life Center to remain open and accept new patients
because the facility never has been licensed. The center has
been accepting patients since February 1990.
on Wednesday (Jan. 29) said he could not issue a stay order
because the center was not licensed before the Oklahoma Board
of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services voted last month
to deny certification.
Hurst, a lawyer in the state attorney general's office, said
Thursday (Jan. 30) it was unclear what action state officials
would take. It is clear the facility cannot accept new patients,
Chilocco's financial director said the center could close if
it cannot immediately start admitting new patients.
for Narconon Chilocco on Thursday (Jan. 30) filed a request
in Oklahoma County District Court for a permanent injunction
to prohibit state officials from closing the facility, six miles
north of Newkirk.
Woods Jr. said the motion was filed before District Judge John
Amick, who last month left in place a restraining order allowing
Narconon Chilocco to remain open after the state mental health
board voted to deny certification.
members also had voted to have Narconon Chilocco closed within
a week, saying they feared for the safety of the 27 patients
then at the facility.
members said Narconon Chilocco's treatment program, which relies
heavily on vitamins, sauna and exercise, was medically unsafe
for Narconon Chilocco have filed appeals in Oklahoma and Kay
Freeman had upheld Narconon Chilocco's request for a stay, it
would have allowed the center to accept up to 40 patients and
operate until the appeal was decided.
hearing is scheduled next month in Ponca City on the state's
request to shut down Narconon Chilocco because it is operating
without a state license.
from admitting new or former patients since Dec. 13, the center
is unable to earn money and is being forced to scale down its
operation to stay financially afloat, according to an affidavit
signed by the financial director for Narconon Chilocco.
center recently started training staff members for other Narconon
cneters, but the revenue is considerably less than that from
patients, who pay an average of $21,000 for a three-month program,
said Maureen St. Amand.
Amand said Narconon Chilocco owes creditors $328,000. Contributions
and fees raised from training staff fall far below the facility's
$172,000 monthly operating expenses, she said.
of last week, narconon Chilocco had 15 patients, but eight are
Indians who are receiving free treatment, as provided in the
center's agreement to lease the old Chilocco Indian school.
the immediate reinstatement of Narconon's ability to enroll
new students at Chilocco, the facility will have to close for
lack of revenue," she said.
from the Daily Oklahoman, Friday, January 31, 1992 with permission.
Staff writer Charolette Aiken contributed to this report. It
was originally slated to run in the Feb. 6 issue of the Herald
Journal, but was pulled for space and later updates as the next
Ordered To Move Patients, End Treatments
Michael McNutt, Enid Bureau, Daily Oklahoman
Feb. 6, 1992
Narconon Chilocco New Life Center was ordered Friday (Jan. 31)
to move its patients out and stop providing drug and alcohol
abuse treatment in 10 days.
County District Judge John Amick set the Feb. 10 deadline after
he denied another request from the unlicensed facility to remain
open and admit new patients.
Chilocco lost a request earlier this (last) week for a court
stay to continue operating while it appeals a decision by the
Oklahoma Board of Mental health and Substance Abuse Services
that denied certification for its treatment program.
also dismissed a temporary restraining order he issued last
year to allow Narconon Chilocco to treat up to 40 patients while
its certification application was pending.
the mental health board denying certification and the denial
of Narconon Chilocco's request for a stay, the temporary restraining
order no longer was applicable, lawyers for the state said.
center could appeal to the state Supreme Court for another district
court hearing. Harry Woods Jr., a lawyer for Narconon Chilocco,
said he is discussing options with officials at the facility,
at the old Chilocco Indian school about six miles north of Newkirk.
pending legal matters concerning Narconon Chilocco are two appeals
seeking to overturn the mental health board's decision and a
hearing later this month on a state petition for a permanent
injunction to close Narconon Chilocco. An appeal decision could
take two years.
Hurst, a lawyer with the attorney general's office, said the
mental health department will offer Narconon Chilocco help in
relocating its 15 patients.
Chilocco began accepting patients in February 1990 and did not
seek state certification until state officials filed papers
in Kay County District Court to close it.
above was reprinted from the Saturday Oklahoman & Times,
Feb. 1, 1992 with permission)
In an Oklahoman story of Tuesday, Feb. 4, Narconon spokesmen
are quoted as saying that they intend to stay at the facility
and continue legal attempts to keep the facility open. Attorney
General's lawyer Guy Hurst said Tuesday afternoon that there
will be another hearing in Oklahoma District Court Judge Leamon
Freeman's court today, but that he had not yet seen the pleadings.
Tries Defense On Indian Sovereignty
Daily Oklahoman Enid Bureau
March 5, 1992
for an unlicensed drug and alcohol treatment center argued Thursday
that it is exempt from state regulations under the cloak of
Chilocco New Life Center is on the campus of the old Chilocco
Indian school north of Newkirk and as a result is exempt from
state efforts to shut it down, lawyer Harry Woods Jr., said.
state lawyers, in a hearing in which the Oklahoma State Department
of Health is seeking a court injunction to shut down Narconon
Chilocco, said the facility's location is not enough to claim
Chilocco is a non-Indian entity that treats non-Indians, Robert
Cole, a lawyer for the health department said.
Hartsell, Jr., a public health administrator with the health
department, said to claim sovereignty a facility must be owned
by Indians, on Indian land, and treat only Indians. Hartsell
noted that the state recognizes sovereignty for a Cherokee Indian
treatment center and a Choctaw Indian drug and alcohol treatment
center because each meets those three requirements.
Judge Neal Beekman presided over the five-hour hearing and took
the matter under advisement.
asked lawyers on both sides to prepare written arguments within
three weeks. He said he could make a ruling by the end of next
said the state should back away from regulating the center.
showed a letter sent earlier this week from the U.S. Bureau
of Indian Affairs to Narconon Chilocco to show that the federal
government is taking on jurisdiction.
the letter, from L.W. Collier, Jr., area director of the BIA
office in Anadarko, tells Narconon Chilocco it has a month to
get its program certified by the state or it will be violating
its leas with the Chilocco Development Authority, an Indian
board that manages the Chilocco campus.
letter says Narconon Chilocco agreed to comply with Oklahoma
laws in the lease, which includes getting its program certified
by the Oklahoma Board of Mental health and Substance Abuse Services.
also told Narconon Chilocco to make arrangements to move its
patients to licensed facilities.
Chouteau, a former Kaw tribal chairman and former chairman of
the Chilocco Development Authority, testified that the BIA made
a mistake in giving the state of Oklahoma any authority in the
Narconon Chilocco lease.
land is Indian land," he said. "The state has no part
in it. We had governments even before this state became a state.
Now the state of Oklahoma is trying to cram it down our throats."
Chilocco started accepting patients in February 1990. State
officials sought an injunction to close it, and an application
for certification filed with the state mental health board has
with permission from the Daily Oklahoman, Friday, February 28,
To Ignore BIA Order To Close Chilocco Facility
12 March 1992
unlicensed drug and alcohol treatment center on Indian land
will continue to treat patients despite receiving notice from
the Bureau of Indian Affairs that it should close because it
violated terms of its lease, the facility's president said.
Smith, president of Narconon Chilocco New Life Center, is asking
to meet with BIA officials to go over reasons why his facility
should be allowed to continue operating. "We find no valid
ground to make plans for transfer of Narconon's students,"
Smith said. "Under the high level of medical supervision
in place, Narconon is currently and will continue to deliver
its life-saving services to those in need as required by the
Collier Jr., area director of the BIA office in Anadarko, said
Narconon Chilocco must comply by March 25 with regulations of
the Oklahoma State Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Services or it should transfer its patients.
sure we'll meet with them eventually," Collier said Monday.
"Whatever was contained in that letter is still in effect
until something happens that they convince us otherwise that
in a letter dated February 25 to Narconon Chilocco, said a lease
that allows Narconon Chilocco to use the old Chilocco Indian
school includes a provision that requires it to comply with
Chilocco, which has been accepting patients since February 1990,
was denied certification late last year by the state mental
health board. Board members questioned the safety and effectiveness
of its treatment program.
Chilocco has appealed in Oklahoma County District Court.
generate revenue in the meantime, Narconon Chilocco has taken
in staff people from Narconon centers around the world for training
patients last month were transferred to a Narconon facility
in Los Angeles, but Narconon continues to treat Indian patients
lawyers argue that Narconon Chilocco needs a state approval
to operate. Exemptions are given to facilities on Indian land,
but they also have to be owned by Indians and must treat only
month a Kay County district judge took under advisement a motion
by state lawyers to close down Narconon Chilocco because it
Chilocco lawyers claim the facility is exempt from state regulations
and is protected by Indian sovereignty.
lease between Narconon Chilocco and the Chilocco Development
Authority, an Indian board responsible for managing the old
Indian school about six miles north of Newkirk, states that
Narconon Chilocco will not use the premises for "any unlawful
conduct or purpose which is in violation of ... the laws of
the state of Oklahoma."
violation of this clause, the lease states, "shall render
the lease voidable." But Smith said there is no requirement
in the lease that Narconon Chilocco be certified or licensed
by the state of Oklahoma.
he said, "was any such state approval made a prerequisite
for operation by Narconon or the CDA under the lease."
said the only agreement between Narconon Chilocco and the tribes
concerning state approval was that Narconon Chilocco voluntarily
would seek state certification "in order to increase the
facility's client base through availability of third-party insurance
payments." "If unsuccessful with the state, it was
and is Narconon's intent to seek other tribally endorsed sources
of accreditation to allow such third-party payments."
Smith said an on-site inspection is scheduled for April by the
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
also took issue with the BIA that training staff violates terms
of Narconon's lease. An integral part of Narconon Chilocco's
drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is the training staff
from other Narconon centers, Smith said.
with permission from the Daily Oklahoman, Tuesday, March 10,
12 March 1992 - By RWL
said: "Narconon has gotten over a hundred thousand people
said "Narconon has no connection with the Church of Scientology."
heard 'em. I heard 'em. Everybody heard 'em. Over and over for
the past 3 years! We didn't believe it, but we heard it.
comes Narconon head duck John Duff before KOCO's TV cameras
recently, to tell us we didn't hear that after all. Duff was
in Oklahoma City lobbying legislators when the cameras caught
up with him. Heber Jebbies, prexy of the "church"
with which Narconon is not connected, was there with him, smiling
and blaming all of Narconon's problems on psychiatry, as usual.
Daffy, uh, Duff: Narconon, over the past 24 years, has graduated
about 14,000 people. On TV he says this, in a fit of uncharacteristic
rest, he says, went through the same program in the Church of
Scientology, which up til now had no connection with Narconon.
is, everybody who joins the Church of Scientology takes the
Purif. Drug users, occasional aspirin poppers, and even folks
who once got a bad sunburn are all considered "abberated"
by drugs, medicine, sunshine, or something equally horrible
that requires them to get saunafied, vitaminized, and have their
oil and their minds changed.
just "borrowed" the extra statistics to make themselves
sound better. After all, it's the same thing, we find out now.
This from folks fond of spouting off about their "ethics."
look at these new statistics a bit closer. Narconon has been
in business about 24 years. They say they currently have 33
facilities around the world.
an average of less than 18 grads per unit per year. If you give
them credit for a 70% cure rate (it used to be higher than that,
but nobody was buying it) that gets them a grand total of 12.6
successes per facility per year. If you take the more credible
industry rate of 30% success at the outside edge, it gives them
5.4 cures per facility per year.
is the most effective drug rehab program in the world?
Narconon program is so indefensible they have nothing left but
to attack those who have exposed it. And the onslaught of character
assassination is well underway. Rep. Jim Reese is now a victim
of their maliciousness, as is the Cult Awareness Network, and
myself. The problem with that tactic is that it doesn't solve
their real problem. It merely attempts to shift the focus and
avoid the issue. It doesn't make the Narconon program safe or
are accusing Rep. Reese of the crime of informing himself about
distructive cults and attempting to protect our state from their
noxious activities. Disgusting conduct!
far, they've accused me of gathering facts and documents about
Narconon's program, passing them on to the people who make decisions
about such things, and reporting the story to you. No one asked
us to do it. No one paid us to do it. We did it because it was
the right thing to do for our community and our state. Such
course, it sounds more sinister than that when they say it.
It's supposed to sound sinister. That way, you'll decide that
I'm an obnoxious, smart-alec so and so. Which may be true, but
it still doesn't make Narconon's program safe or effective.
our daughter's wedding day, they subpoened me to appear in California,
with all my source notes. It was invalid and we ignored it.
On my birthday, they tried to make me give up my notes, documents,
and even my telephone bills. Harassment is their forte.
all a fishing expedition. As sure as the sun comes up every
morning, my sources will become the next victims of harassment
and intimidation if Narconon is allowed access to my notes.
Consequently, we chose to invoke the newsman's shield, and refused
it not for the courage of those sources, we would not have been
able to expose the facts about Narconon that they find so impossible
to disprove. We'll be back in court again next week to continue
to protect those sources.
none of this legal wrangling makes Narconon safe or effective.
is scared to death of the Cult Awareness Network, which simply
attempts "to promote public awareness of the harmful effects
of mind control, confining (its) concerns to unethical or illegal
practices without judging doctrines or beliefs."
is scared to death of independent scientific research. Why else
do you suppose they prefer to spend millions on lawyers but
not a penny for scientific proof?
is still an unlicensed and uncertified entity squatting on Indian
Land in violation of the Mental Health Board, a court order,
their own lease, and now, the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
distructive cults fear information and education about cults.
Only charlatans fear independent research. Only bogus treatment
programs fail certification. Only those so arrogant as to believe
they are above the law (Totally Free), feel the need to ignore
Opinion - Harold's Journal
02 April 1992 - By RWL
three years, Narconon has had the opportunity to provide the
Mental Health Board - and Oklahomans in general - with substantial
facts regarding their operation. What have they told us?
have told us that Narconon has treated "hundreds of thousands"
of drug addicts in the past 24 years. Then they said it was
more like 14,000. They "borrowed" the rest of them
from the church with which they aren't associated.
have told us that their cure rate is, well, "over 50%",
or maybe "70%" or even an astounding 86%, depending
on who's doing the talking.
drug expert told WJlA-TV awhile back that counseling-type programs
he told us he fully supported Narconon's counseling-type treatment
heard Narconon say theirs is a totally drug free program. We've
been told by their "medical director" that he prescribes
heard Narconon's "expert" tell us that he doesn't
know if Narconon's program works or not, but he doesn't think
it hurts anyone. Yet two Michigan Universities say the method
is not suitable for human experimentation.
Oklahoma, they say their purification rundown is a secular treatment
program; In Italy, they say it is a religious ritual, and even
got a court to agree with them.
Chilocco renovations, they say they've spent, lets see... once
it was $3 million, then it was $5 million, then it was back
down to $2.6 million, then it was...
believes it is OK for their supporters to send information to
the Mental Health Board, but it's not OK for anyone else to
send information the same board.
seems to feel it is OK for their attorney to invite board members
to visit them (ex-parte) and hear their side of the story, but
it is not OK for me to invite board members (ex parte) to talk
with former patients and staff who tell a much different story.
says it will abide by state laws. Narconon says it doesn't have
to abide by state laws...
etc, ad infinitum...
knows what a spoonerism is: The transposition of syllables that
render unintended meanings, such as "The queer old dean"
instead of "The dear old queen." It was such a frequent
trait of W.A. Spooner that it came to bear his name.
quirk of speech is about to gain similar recognition. A narconism
is the making of two or more contradictory statements with a
straight face, none of which can be believed.