Friends, Foes Voice Views On Certification
Enid Bureau, Daily Oklahoman
11 October 1990
Some praised the Narconon Chilocco New Life Center as the best
substance abuse facility in the country while others said during
a public hearing Tuesday it is a cult recruiting tool. About 400
people crowded into the West Chapel of the Marland Mansion complex
for a chance to listen to speakers argue whether the center should
be certified by the state mental health department.
Most of the people wore "I Support Narconon Chilocco"
pins, and staff members brought their children who wore Narconon
Gary Smith, president of Narconon Chilocco, said about 30 people
were brought in from Los Angeles, Texas, and New York to speak
or attend the hearing.
Actor Parker Stevenson read a letter from actress Kirstie Alley,
his wife and spokeswoman for Narconon Chilocco, stating that she
owed her success to the Narconon program.
Alley claimed Narconon International's substance abuse center
in Los Angeles helped her kick her cocaine habit in 1979.
But Bob Lobsinger, publisher of the Newkirk Herald Journal, called
the Narconon program "a recruiting front" for the Church
Dr. Forest S. Tennant, who once served as drug adviser to the
National Football League, said Narconon's program "equals
or exceeds" national standards.
Lobsinger quoted from a 1974 report Tennant made on Narconon's
Los Angeles center in which he wrote of a "relationship between
Narconon and the Church of Scientology that specifically religious
practices are commonly used in the treatment of clients."
Narconon Chilocco has been operating since February without a
state license. It applied for mental health department certification
last month after state officials sought to shut down the facility.
The State Mental Health Board is scheduled to make a decision
on Narconon's application for the 75 bed center at its October
18 meeting in Norman.
Newkirk mayor Garry Bilger and other residents of the tiny Kay
County town spoke out against Narconon Chilocco's application
because of the program's ties to the Church of Scientology.
Bilger said investigators and lawyers hired by Narconon wrote
letters and visited town residents to intimidate them to not speak
out against Narconon Chilocco.
Smith said that Narconon was founded using beliefs of the late
L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. Treatment
at Narconon includes saunas and vitamins, methods advocated by
Wyninger, Los Angeles, who said she spent 13 years as a Church
of Scientology minister, claimed the center should not be certified
because it only replaces drug addiction with a dependency on Scientology.
Mental Health And Substance Abuse Board To Consider Narconon Certification
At Today's Meeting
Nov. 8, 1990 - The Oklahoma Board of Mental Health meets at 9
am today at Western State Hospital to consider the certification
of Narconon, the controversial drug treatment program at Chilocco
Indian School north of Newkirk.
Wednesday morning asked the Oklahoma City District Court for an
injunction to prevent the Board from discussing their certification
at the meeting. At press time the results of that court action
charter bus-load of between 30 and 40 Newkirk citizens plan to
leave this morning at 4 am to attend the meeting and express their
opposition to certification of the facility, which has been operating
since February. The bus was paid for by donations from Newkirk
and area residents concerned about the unlicensed establishment.
last week, according to sources, a Blue Ribbon Panel of experts
was to have visited the facility, but was denied access by Narconon
officials. The panel was to have been headed by Jerrold Jaffe,
a drug abuse and treatment expert with the federal government;
Dr. L.J. West, professor of psychiatry at the University of California
at Los Angeles; and David Dietch, who has served as chief executive
of a large chain of drug abuse treatment centers in the U.S.
About the same time, Dennis Clarke, president of the Citizen's
Commission on Human Rights appeared on a Ponca City television
and radio station and contended that the leaders of the inspection
team were prejudiced against both the Church of Scientology and
Indians. In answer to a question, Clarke said his commission was
founded by the Church of Scientology. Narconon is also an organization
closely connected to Scientology, and uses treatment methods prescribed
by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Last Thursday, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department officials
completed and released to Narconon it's recommendation that the
facility not be certified.
"We are outraged," said Gary Smith, president of the
Narconon center at Chilocco in an interview with the Saturday
Oklahoman. Smith said that the recommendation was based on "biased,
false, distorted information on Narconon."
Mental Health Department spokeswoman Rosemary Brown said the agency
would not comment on Narconon's allegations of persecution. We
were hoping that we would have an orderly process of discussion
of this at the board meeting," she said. "We prefer
not to discuss it outside that setting where everything is on
the record and official."
Claims of a conspiracy within the state mental health department
in handling of Narconon's certification application surfaced Monday
afternoon. Representatives of Narconon said they discovered a
predated, unsigned letter in the files of the mental health department
notifying Narconon that the program's certification has been denied.
"We have finally found our smoking gun," Smith said.
"There definitely is a conspiracy here."
But mental health spokeswoman Rosemary Brown denied the accusation,
and said that the letter was routinely prepared in anticipation
that the board would follow the agency's staff recommendation
that Narconon not receive state certification.
"There's nothing sinister here. It's simply a time saving
measure to expedite the notification procedure," Brown said.
If the board rejects the staff's recommendation and certifies
Narconon, a new letter will be prepared, Brown said. The board
concurs with staff recommendations "more times than not,"
she said in an interview with the Daily Oklahoman on Tuesday.
The staff recommendation was prompted, according to the Oklahoman
story, by Narconon's failure to allow an independent review team
to inspect the center's "non-traditional" treatment
techniques at the center, Brown said.
Smith claimed in the same story that the team included "religious
and racial bigots," who were predisposed to rule against
the center. Brown said claims by nearby residents of harassment
by Narconon employees, the center's failure to pay contractors
and the absence of Narconon staff members at a state training
seminar also contributed to the staff's negative recommendation,
according to the Oklahoman story.
claims the conspiracy involves "the department of mental
health or someone in it."
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 15 November 1990
Should Be Blind, But Not Ignorant
I was gonna leave it alone for awhile and see what the rest of
the world was doing, but as a true "born again Wog"
I just can't resist...
Most of you know by now that Narconon managed to get Judge Leaman
Freeman to toss out the State Mental Health Department staff recommendation
against the certification of Narconon.
"Biased", he said.
Narconon went to Federal Court and screamed Indian sovereignty
again, just for good measure.
the board, without benefit of staff counsel or recommendation,
But they have a much truer picture now of the beast than they
might have had before last Thursday's meeting in Ft. Supply.
Mental Health Department's staff had probably figured out that
L. Ron Hubbard was totally unqualified to be in the drug treatment
his program has never been independently proven medically or scientifically
it inculcates the Scientology religion in its patients as part
of the treatment;
more Narconon units in the US have been closed than are currently
the cult exhibits identifiable attributes of mind control;
-and that it is maliciously antagonistic towards the mental health
Lots of documentation proves it. Lots of people know it.
Even former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop knows it. He
belongs to the National Coalition Against Health Care Fraud, which
is vigorously protesting the promotion of the "Hubbard Method"
(that's what they call Narconon's Purification program when they
don't want you to know it's the Purification program).
they do their job about half thoroughly, anybody the board picks
to review Narconon will come up "biased". The Judge
can make a career of tossing them out, one after the other.
the way up to Dr. Koop. 'Spose the judge would throw him out too?
applied, this precedent setting decision could help establish
the system of "Hubbardian Justice" broadly in society:
-Toss out the evidence, the witnesses, and the facts.
-Have the defendant tell his story to the jury.
-And then have the jurors vote to let him go.
That how a Com-Ev party works? (inside joke)
If only the unbiased are allowed to provide information to the
board, Narconon and it's stable of Scientology experts and lawyers
should also be disqualified.
Talk about biased...
These are the folks who believe that psychiatrists and psychologists
are outright murders and classify them as criminals.
These are the people who follow a man who proclaimed that they
should take over total control of all mental healing in the West.
These are the "beings" who proclaim themselves superior
to all others on earth... Who derisively refer to the rest of
us as "Wogs"... Whose leader was the epitome of sanity,
so rational that he believed he had visited Heaven. Twice.
These are the folks who find themselves in the awkward position
of applying to the State Board of Mental Health for permission
to propagate their folly.
No wonder they're trying to intimidate our legal system. They
know the Mental Health Department has the facts. And they know
the courts don't.
may be blind, but it should not be ignorant.
Psychiatrist To Review Narconon Program For Board
Daily Oklahoman, Enid Bureau
20 December 1990
A state agency barred by a court order from inspecting a Kay county
substance abuse center named a Tulsa man Thursday to evaluate
Dr. John Chelf, a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in
addiction, will make the review and report to the State Mental
health Board, said Rosemary Brown, a spokeswoman with the Oklahoma
Department of Mental Health.
The Narconon Chilocco New Life Center last month successfully
blocked board members from reviewing reports from an earlier inspection.
They claimed the documents were biased against the facility because
of its ties with the Church of Scientology.
Mental health board members last month talked of naming the agency's
advocate general, the person who represents complaining patients
of mental health and substance abuse facilities but reconsidered
after Narconon objected, Brown said.
An Oklahoma County associate district judge last month ruled the
department was biased against Narconon. The ruling came a day
before board members were scheduled to act on certifying the program,
which has been questioned because of its emphasis on saunas and
vitamins, a method devised by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church
Chelf has the freedom to make an evaluation of Narconon by himself
or ask for help from experts not employed by the mental health
department, Brown said. (Reprinted with permission from the Daily
Oklahoman, Friday, December 14, 1990)
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 14 February 1991
Want Narconon Out
Kaw Tribe has approved a resolution calling for the termination
of the lease between the Chilocco Development Authority and Narconon
The resolution lists seven points the tribe says represent "a
flagrant disregard of the proprieties" between the parties
The resolution says Narconon lease payments have been consistently
late, and some have been returned due to insufficient funds. It
says there have been difficulties encountered in the process of
(Narconon) returning (borrowed) property to the Chilocco Development
Authority, and that the tribe suspects Narconon of fraud in the
reporting of the number of patients served. It says Narconon has
failed to become certified under the State Department of Mental
Health, that Narconon is suspected of fraud in reporting of their
direct relationship to the Church of Scientology, and is suspected
of dumping solid waste materials on Kaw Nation property.
The resolution "recommends and fully supports the termination
of the Lease Agreement..." and "officially directs and
authorizes" Kaw Chairperson Wanda Stone to initiate the process
to terminate the lease. The resolution was approved on February
2, 1991 by the Executive Committee with 6 votes in favor, none
against, and one abstention.
Good sense prevails.
Narconon responded characteristically, in a letter to the tribe,
by attacking former Scientologists who have come to their senses
and subtly suggesting that there will be "trouble" if
the tribal leaders don't agree with them. All the while failing
to address any of the real problems and concerns that exist about
Narconon begins it's second year of unlicensed and uncertified
operation this month. You try opening a barber shop without a
license and see how long it takes the state to shut you down.
if you call it the Church of the Holy Haircut, they'll be on you
in a New York minute. Narconon will blame the delay on the state,
of course. But the fact is, they can't be certified because their
"treatment " is "Scientology religion" and
the state cannot sanction or franchise any religion. As medical
or scientific protocol, it is pure malarkey. But you can't collect
insurance money or public assistance selling religion unless you
can dupe enough people into believing it is medicine. Trouble
is, we didn't dupe up right.
been content, lately, to allow the system to run it's course,
but Scientology apparently is becoming worried again. One of the
other front groups, "The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights:,
which attacks legitimate mental health care, appears to be targeting
the Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital in Tulsa. Big article
in Tuesday's Tulsa World.
thing. That hospital is where Dr. Dwight Holden works. Who's Dr.
Dwight Holden? One of the certifying members of the State Board
of Mental Health, of Course. Before they're done, they'll try
to intimidate and frighten him and everyone else on the board.
It's standard Scientology operating procedure. Nothing's changed.
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 09 May 1991
we've been content, lately, to let the system work, Goofyology
has been milking the media for publicity every chance it gets.
This week, they really got their wish... compliments of Time Magazine.
For those of you who have been unable to locate a copy of the
May 6th Time Magazine anywhere in the county, we are reprinting
the entire cover story in today's Herald Journal. Including a
page from the International Edition that didn't appear in the
Time story, as did the Los Angeles Times series last summer, further
confirms everything we have uncovered about the menace of the
news stands all over the county attest to the high interest this
story has generated... or the high interest someone has in preventing
you from reading it!
Scientology is not an organization we need in our midst, no matter
how many TV barmaids they parade before the governor.
It was just another of their desperation dog and pony shows to
try to generate a little free publicity and impress folks who
don't know any better yet.
long the neurotic center of the universe, and it's equally strange
population of overpaid shiny people fails to impress most Oklahomans,
who tend to laugh at them instead of with them. There's a big
difference; it just doesn't show up as good in Nielson ratings.
nothing has changed in the past few months. Narconon is still
unlicensed, uncertified, unsavory and unsafe, trying to market
their brand of "religion" in a medical package, and
hoping the state people won't notice the difference.
they are still saying one thing and doing another:
circulating flyers soliciting new customers among the kids at
Tri-State in Enid last weekend. Just a few months ago, they were
telling us they had no intention of treating any Oklahomans. (Not
that out-of-staters deserve that kind of treatment, either...)
Maybe they really do wake up in a new world every day!
During the last week in April, Dr. John Chelf of Tulsa visited
Narconon, and his report to the Mental Health Board is due later
this month. Barring more Narconon induced delays, the matter of
licensing and certification should come up on their June agenda.
Scientologist like to call their upper level members "OTs"
(Operating thetans). These are the wisest most knowledgeable,
lucid, rational, sapient individuals in the cult... They claim
to have magical "abilities" to make things happen.
So it's perplexing to them when us backwater Okies don't buy their
It's simple: "Livin' in the real OT (Oklahoma Territory)
gives us some "abilities" of our own. Like the ability
to think for ourselves. The average Okie is more "OT"
by accident that Hubbard's Thetan ever was on purpose. Dr. Chelf's
credentials suggest he is an above average Okie.
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 01 August 1991
It In The Wringer, Again
according to Time Magazine, engages in everything from outright
deception and burglary to dirty tricks like going through people's
garbage in order to advance their agenda.
Propaganda intended to refute those "dirty trick" charges
was mailed by Narconon (which still claims no connection with
Scientology) to most of you last week... ironically using exact
names and addresses somehow "appropriated" from the
circulation list of the Newkirk Herald Journal.
None of our news rack customers received the package of slick,
expensive booklets, but all of our mail customers did. All were
addressed the same unique way we carry the names on our computer.
And there were far too many of them to fall into the realm of
mere coincidence, as will be alleged by Narconon, which has managed
once again to get it's Thetan caught in the wringer.
Not only that, but the names they took came from a list of active
subscribers from the second half of last year. New subscribers
since January did not receive the package. We know where the list
came from. They know where it came from, and now you know where
it came from, because you know if you're on our circulation list
or not, when you subscribed, and whether or not you received their
stuff. It was our list. No doubt about it. The mailing was simply
too selective to have come from public records, phone books, or
anywhere but our office.
In their feeble attempt to rebuild a self-sullied reputation,
Scientology's package of public relations pizzazz weakly attempted
to construct a "conspiracy" between Time Magazine and
dozens of other companies, business, and individuals on two continents
which it blames for the Time allegations... a story that courageously
confirmed everything we have been telling you for two years.
In Scientology lingo, it's a "Dead Agent" package...
designed to discredit an "enemy" agent to the point
that he will be ineffective and hence, a "dead" agent.
True to Scientology policy, they have attempted to divert attention
from Scientology's own misdeeds by pointing fingers and blaming
everyone else for their problems. Just because every reporter
who pokes around in their sordid history comes up with the same
set of facts, they want you to believe there is a grand conspiracy
out to malign them.
In this desperate and poorly thought-out effort to polish their
reputation, these folks apparently believed using our circulation
list to invade your privacy would help them achieve that goal.
While they were at it, they got ahold of an un-circulated brochure
printed on July 13th for the Cult Awareness Network, which is
having its annual National Conference in Oklahoma City this November.
Michael McNutt, a reporter for the Daily Oklahoman; George Tomick
from KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City and I have agreed to host a media
workshop at the conference, although none of us are members of
CAN. That information was only listed on those brochures. Nowhere
On Tuesday night, July 16th, McNutt received a telephone call
at his home from an oft-quoted local Narconon spokesman. The caller
had a "pile" of suggestions for McNutt, including the
comment that McNutt's professional reputation would be ruined
if he didn't back out of the CAN workshop.
The caller also suggested that there would be demonstrations and
possibly violence at the CAN conference and it wouldn't be very
safe for McNutt to attend.
Can, whose leadership boasts Catholic priests, Jewish Rabbis,
all kinds of Protestants, some nothings, and an especially healthy
sprinkling of former Ministers of Scientology, is considered a
"National Anti-Religious Hate Group" by Scientology.
They have a "Dead Agent" pack already made up on that,
too, which you may be getting next, addressed with our labels.
The District Attorney and the State Attorney General kind of wonder
how they got those addresses. So do we.
You don't suppose they dispatched an Operating Thetan to leave
his body and slither through the crack beneath our door and then
telepathically extract the contents of our circulation file from
the computer? They can do that, you know! Most of them are already
out of their mind, so leaving their body is no big deal. They
haven't got it all perfected yet, though. When they get back,
TR-L (outflowing false information effectively) sets in, and they
can't remember what they did while they were gone, so they make
something up to explain it... like a phone book story, or something.
Or did they just grovel round in our trash, instead? Like ordinary
mortal scumbags do.
Which was it, guys? An OT in action, or just Dirty Tricks? Did
you really think that either would enhance your reputation in
Granted Further Licensing Delay
By State Board Of Mental Health
CITY (AP), Oct. 24, 1991 - The state Board of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse has voted to postpone a decision on whether to
grant certification to the controversial Narconon Chilocco New
Board members announced at 11:45 p.m. Friday that they would make
their decision on the center's application Dec. 13.
The center near Newkirk in far northern Oklahoma was the subject
of a daylong public hearing Friday on Narconon's petition for
state certification. More than 250 people attended the hearing,
200 of which supported the facility.
State Mental Health Department staffers are recommending Narconon's
certification request be denied. And Dr. John Chelf, a Tulsa psychiatrist
hired by the board to evaluate Narconon, submitted a report questioning
He said during an April visit, he was told patients dependent
on alcohol and drugs were treated mostly with saunas and vitamins.
Chelf said such treatment during the withdrawal process could
However, Narconon medical director Dr. Ray Stowers testified that
he prescribes Valium and sedatives by phone to patients going
through difficult withdrawals.
After some board members questioned why Narconon has no licensed
person, like a nurse, on staff to distribute medicine, Narconon
lawyer Harry Woods Jr. said the center would hire one.
Under further questioning, Stowers agreed that the center's program
is not actually "drug-free," as its literature claims.
Mike St. Amnons, the center's public relations director, said
under questioning that Narconon's manual describing the program
as drug-free should be changed.
Among those testifying on behalf of Narconon was actress Kirstie
Alley, who credits the Narconon program with saving her life.
Ms. Alley now is national spokeswoman for Narconon.
"I think it's the best rehab in the world," said Ms.
Alley, who has given about $380,000 to Narconon Chilocco for renovation
work and scholarships for patients.
Ms. Alley, who said she broke her cocaine habit after undergoing
a Narconon program in Los Angeles, advised the board members not
to worry about details and to certify Narconon because the treatment
A Los Angeles doctor who developed the National Football League's
drug treatment program testified that Narconon's program is safe.
"Does it work?" Dr. Forrest Tennant asked. "Beats
me. There's no scientific evidence that it does. What's important
is they apparently don't hurt."
St. Amnons testified that the set fee for treatment at Narconon
Chilocco was $20,000, up from $12,000 when the center began operations.
He said that members of the Five Civilized Tribes received free
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 24 October 1991
Guru Of Gubblebum
appears that if you offer a drug treatment program that consists
of standing on your head, eating mashed potatoes, and reciting
Alice in Wonderland while chewing bubble gum, you have a fair
chance of getting certified as legitimate health care in Oklahoma.
As long as it "doesn't hurt anyone."
All you need is a TV barmaid to swear it worked for her.
Never mind that four of your own doctors say there is no scientific
evidence that it works.
mind that the only real independent study ever proposed for your
program was turned down by the research facility's committee on
Human Subject Review as unfit for human experimentation.
mind that you advertise it as "over 75%" successful
when fewer than half your patients even complete the course.
Never mind that your policy calls for a "totally drug free"
program, when it really isn't.
mind that you've been trying to get licensed for a couple of years
and are just now getting around to hiring a real nurse to pass
out the pills you advertise that you don't give.
mind that your "medical director" of 2 months tenure
botched two blood tests and had another test report came back
"almost incompatible with human life," and nobody on
your staff was even trained well enough to weed them out from
the material you presented to the state certification board. (That
certainly shows your expertise.)
never mind that standing on your head causes your customers' brains
to melt until they absorb any goofball thing you tell them while
they're in this upside down trance.
Never mind that all of your training material has to be "secularized"
to hide it's origins because you're a disciple of the Guru of
Gubblebum... that everything you teach your customers while they're
in this condition is the output of that dead egocentric who decided
to call his ramblings a religion because real science laughed
Imagine.. the Guru of Gubblebum, perched upside-down on a W-meter
(Weight Meter, or bathroom scales), spouting the verses of Alice,
with mashed potatoes running out of his ears as he tries to chew
his way into a state of infinity.
I believe I'd try to keep the Mental Health Board from hearing
about that connection myself. Yep. I believe I'd scream for my
first amendment rights, too.
Never mind that it's mostly a program of mind-manipulation. Druggies,
after all, need their brains washed. They need to learn to communicate
the good old fashioned way, with words like "beingness,"
"entheta," "PTSness," "havingness,"
"C/S-ing," "Q and A-ing," and other "enturbulating"
terms of common, everyday usage.
Never mind that most of your graduates proudly announce that they
are taking your "job placement" training; or are already
working for you (in the medical records department?). You're not,
after all, in the business of recruiting members for the guru,
it's just that they naturally tend to lean that direction when
they get done standing on their heads.
mind that stuff. You have a pretty fair chance of eventually getting
a license because you "don't hurt anyone." That's great
medicine. That's a real comfort to the consumer.
want a license to be proud of?
get real proof that the program works. Second, clean up the petty
stuff. Third, put a sign out there saying it's a religious organization
operated by the followers of the Guru of Gubblebum for the spiritual
treatment of drug abuse.
Then fully publicize all the tenants of Gubblebumism so your customers
can decide if they want to join or not before they spend their
shekels. All the tenants. Even those "confidential"
No one will die of pneumonia. Trust me.
You do that, and most of your entheta will evaporate into nothingness.
And I'll even quit Q and A-ing you.
events, processes and characters depicted in this editorial are
fictional and any resemblance to any persons, processes, or events
in the MEST Universe, living or dead, is purely coincidental)
To Speak At National Cult Awareness Conference Friday
Lobsinger, speaking November 1 at the Cult Awareness Network (CAN)
annual national conference at the Sheraton Century Center Hotel
in Oklahoma City, will detail the deceptive history behind Scientology
and the establishment of Narconon in Oklahoma. Lobsinger is owner
and publisher of the Newkirk Herald Journal. He will speak at
When Scientology established its questionable drug treatment program,
Narconon, at Chilocco Indian School in 1989, it was Robert Lobsinger
who recognized Narconon's connection to Scientology, and he received
a joint commendation from the Oklahoma Legislature for his courageous
coverage of the Scientology issue in Oklahoma. The May 6, 1991
TIME Magazine cover story labeled Scientology "the cult of
greed," and characterized the cult as being responsible for
"ruined lives, lost fortunes," and federal crimes."
Despite controversial and exhaustive hearings on Narconon's Chilocco
facility, it remains uncertified and the Oklahoma Mental Health
Board has given Narconon until December 13th to comply with all
state regulations. This makes Lobsinger's presentation to the
national Cult Awareness Network particularly timely and important,
providing facts crucial to the people of Oklahoma, on a cult which
this month's Reader's Digest identifies with the headline "A
dangerous cult goes mainstream."
Also featured as a speaker by CAN on November 2, will be William
A. Kolibash, United States Attorney for the Northern District
of West Virginia. Kolibash successfully prosecuted the leader
and a devotee of the infamous West Virginia-based Hare Kirshnas
earlier this year for racketeering activity, concluding murder
and other crimes. A third devotee was convicted of mail fraud.
Kolibash will focus on successful prosecution of destructive cults
where criminal activity exists.
Michael McNutt of the Daily Oklahoman and George Tomek of KFOR-TV
of Oklahoma City will participate with Lobsinger in a program
on November 2 on "Responsible Media Coverage of Cults."
CAN is a national non-profit educational organization with 23
affiliates nationwide which was formed in 1978, the year of the
Jonestown murder-suicides of 913 followers of Jim Jones of the
Peoples Temple. It receives and responds to more than 15,000 inquiries
annually concerning destructive cults and problems they pose to
society. CAN's 2,000 members include mental health professionals,
educators, clergy, law enforcement, ex-cult members and families
victimized by cults.
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 31 October 1991
'Anti-Religious Hate Group'...
of you have been told by Scientology that I am a member of the
Cult Awareness Network, which it calls a "national anti-religious
But as usual, they are wrong on all counts. First, I am not a
member of CAN. Until Scientology tried to sneak their Narconon
unit into Chilocco, I had no idea there even was a Cult Awareness
Network. But thank goodness there is.
Second, this "anti-religious hate group" boasts highly
credentialed clergy of all religions. It even has a healthy sprinkling
of Scientology "ministers" among it's ecumentical ranks.
CAN "hates" no one. It was born of the love parents
and family members have for the victims of destructive cults.
CAN's purpose is to educate. It monitors the activity of some
200 destructive cults, be they political, psychotherapy, commercial,
religious, or just weird in nature.
common denominator of all destructive cults is that they operate
on the illogical and immoral principal that the end justifies
the means. Most destructive cults also have a single source authoritarian
leadership, and a body of "protected" knowledge, made
available only to the most trusted inner circle of members. Many
destructive cults also employ the techniques of mind control.
CAN gathers facts that identify these socially destructive organizations
and makes that information available to anyone who asks.
Legitimate, commercial concerns do not feel the need to attack
the Cult Awareness Network. Legitimate Political organizations
have felt no need to lambast CAN. The scientific community feels
unthreatened by CAN. Genuine religions see no need to denigrate
CAN came out with some ridiculous claim that GM was really a "cult".
Would GM spend a fortune harassing CAN members? Would they demonstrate
at CAN functions? Would they protest the designation with all
the fury and wrath at their disposal?
I suspect they would laugh. Because the claim would melt under
the slightest scrutiny. And that, of course, is why CAN doesn't
claim GM is a cult. Because it simply isn't.
for some reason, Scientology, which claims it is not a cult, feels
it necessary to attack CAN; to demonstrate at it's conferences;
to spread disinformation and innuendo about its members; and to
whimper and whine to the media about its rights being violated.
Methinks they doth protest too much.
how only the cults get worked up about the Cult Awareness Network.
Funny how Scientology, which claims to have the bridge to total
freedom (however confidential they try to keep it) can be so vehemently
opposed to a tiny group like CAN which only works to protect freedom
Could it be that they have another agenda for your thoughts?
Editorial Opinion By RWL - 07 November 1991
In Dianetics/Scientology Institutions Spur Inquiry'
your newspaper received the following press release:
"Deaths In Dianetics/Scientology Institutions Spur Inquiry
Charging that it has uncovered a number of questionable deaths
in Dianetics and or Scientology Institutions, a national citizens
rights group today launched a probe into all deaths of members
of those organizations over the last decade.
probe was initiated in a letter from the Citizens Commission on
Freedom of Thought (CCFOT) Executive Director to David Miscavige,
Chairman of Religious Technology Co., the parent organization
of Dianetics/Scientology, requesting the name and cause of death
of all persons who died while undergoing Dianetics or Scientology
training courses since 1980.
to CCFOT, the high number of questionable deaths among members
of the Dianetics/Scientology organizations apparently arises from
a lack of concern for the lives of persons who have been placed
in the hands of Scientology auditors.
of the cases under investigation by CCFOT involves a person who
apparently died during the group's "Purification Rundown",
which includes several hours a day in a sauna.
appears that this person was killed by the Scientology treatment
he was given, and yet no autopsy was performed" said the
Director. "It is intolerable that deaths like this have occurred
with no concern demonstrated by the Scientologists involved for
the possibility that they are actually killing their patients."
letter specifies that if patient confidentiality provisions prohibit
the release of names, the list may consist solely of total deaths
and an enumeration of the reported causes of death.
"The lives of thousands of Scientologists depend on a thorough
investigation of all deaths of members of all Dianetics / Scientology
groups. Only by finding out the causes of these deaths will it
be possible to prevent future needless deaths at the hands of
Scientology," said the Director.
CCFOT was established in 1991 by the Cult Awareness Network
to investigate and expose Scientology's violations of Freedom
of Thought through mind control techniques."
Sounds horrible, doesn't it? Yet a very similar release was
received this week by most newspapers in the state. Except that
it was from Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights,
charging the state Mental Health Department with alleged abuses.
Forty years Scientology has been around, and it's not until
they fear they won't get their phony Narconon drug program licensed
that they decide to give a damn about Oklahoma's mentally ill.
We trust that the state recognizes this simple ploy for what
it is - further attempts to intimidate the state into granting
legitimacy to a huge confidence game.
Further - we wonder just how Scientology would respond to such
a probe of their own inner sanctum. Proven charges of abuses
can be rectified in the state system. Scientology operates in
the murky area beyond laws which protect their members' interests.
One suspects that CCFOT would have little success in gaining
any credible information from Scientology on the subject, in
spite of the fact that former members tell many harrowing tales
of suicides and mysterious deaths allegedly attributable to
the organization's methods of operation.
We suspect that CCFOT would be met only with predictable self-righteous
rage and demagoguery. Nevertheless, if the kettle is going to
start calling the pot names, maybe it should be done.