Critics Spar as Hearing Nears
Daily Oklahoman, Enid Bureau
09 April 1992
a crucial court date coming up next month, representatives of
Narconon Chilocco New Life Center are trying to silence their
most vocal critics.
targets, a local state representative and a Newkirk newspaper
publisher, say they will remain vigilant of the facility that
has operated two years without state approval at the old Chilocco
Indian school about six miles north of Newkirk.
Narconon Chilocco's actions against them, they say the center
continues a program the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse Services has found medically unsafe and experimental.
trying to shift the emphasis primarily off of them and onto
somebody or anybody else," said Robert Lobsinger, publisher
of the weekly Newkirk Herald-Journal. "They have a tradition
of trying to assassinate the reputation of their critics."
program is still unsafe and ineffective and they haven't done
a thing to improve it. All they've done is attempt to ruin everybody
Chilocco president Gary Smith says he is trying to get a fair
hearing by exposing what he says resembles a conspiracy to prevent
the center's operation.
a lot of different players in this but they're all kind of hooked
together," he said. Since the mental health board denied
certification in December, the center's lawyers have gone to
court several times to try to keep its doors open.
Chilocco now is challenging the state's authority because the
center is on Indian land and has treated only American Indians
a Kay County district judge considers a state request to close
it, the center's lawyers are gearing up for a May 15 appeal
in Oklahoma County District Court of the board's ruling.
the past several weeks, Narconon Chilocco has tried to discredit
Rep. Jim Reese, R-Deer Creek, and Lobsinger.
lawyers sought telephone records and Lobsinger's files on the
center because Lobsinger sent state officials articles about
Narconon International, the center's parent organization, and
the Church of Scientology, which has ties with Narconon.
eventually complied with a court order last month to answer
questions about his correspondence with state officials, but
he was not required to turn over his records. However, he may
be charged court costs, which could reach about $3,000 with
they can break me but that doesn't make their program work any
better," Lobsinger said.
center has issued a news release quoting Oklahoma County District
Judge Leamon Freeman describing Lobsinger as "an obnoxious
smart alec so and so."
who excused himself from the case after receiving mail from
Lobsinger said he refused to answer him because "I wouldn't
put myself in the gutter with him."
refusing to release his records, Lobsinger sought protection
under state shield laws that protect news reporters.
County District Judge Daniel Owens ordered Lobsinger to answer
adamantly opposed to newspaper people using their newspaper
as a club and a shield and basically saying they can do anything
they want because they are affiliated with the newspaper, and
this is what is happening in this case," Owens said.
was not a newsman working on a story, but a newsman on a personal
crusade." Lobsinger said he did not object to answering
questions but "what I didn't want to do was give them free
access to all of my records."
center also issued a news release saying Smith filed a complaint
against Reese with the Kay County Republican Party and claimed
he was using a public office to advance a personal campaign.
has opposed the center since learning it is connected to the
Church of Scientology. In August 1989 Reese said he would do
"everything I know how to stop this development" after
he received material calling Scientology "the most dangerous
religious cult in America."
said Reese is using his office, time and stationery paid by
state taxpayers "to spread lies and rumors about the religious
beliefs of some Narconon staff."
he had his way," Smith said, "Representative Reese
would wipe out a successful drug rehab facility just because
he disagrees with the religion of some of its staff."
a complaint to Deanna Hunter of Ponca City, Smith asked for
action against Reese to curtail his "offensive and possibly
said Reese is showing bias by sponsoring legislation to change
procedures to certify alcohol and drug abuse facilities.
answered Smith in a letter calling Reese "one of our outstanding
is in good standing with the Kay County Republican Party and
he has our full support," Hunter wrote.
Reese sponsored two years ago eliminated the Oklahoma health
Planning Commission, which initially approved Narconon Chilocco,
and placed its duties in the state health department.
session, he is sponsoring a bill to allow the mental health
board to use evidence besides information given at public meetings
and for the public record.
evidence could consist of letters, telephone calls or observations
by mental health staffers.
that they (state inspectors) find out there on a site visit
should be able to be used," Reese said.
says the center opposes the bill because false information could
be submitted against an applicant.
claims a reason Narconon was denied certification was "communications
coming to the board from all over the place, and they were taking
it, outside of the realm of what their responsibilities were
as an investigative body."
said he does not intend to bow to Narconon pressure.
grasping at straws trying to attack people who have opposed
them," he said. Lobsinger says he is not surprised Narconon
is lashing out.
predictable," he said.
exposed the center's Scientology ties in early 1989, shortly
after it won a certificate of need from the state and announced
plans for its 75-bed treatment center. Since then, Lobsinger
has written editorials urging the state to close the center.
Opinion - Harold's Journal
09 April 1992 - By RWL
the 1970s, Maharishi Mehesh Yogi, the guru of Transcendental
Meditation, managed to convince many schools, prisons, and even
some facets of the US Military that his system of behavior control
through TM would eliminate many of their deportment problems,
including drug abuse.
Meditation is a repackaged version of the ancient Hindu religion.
Hindu is as venerable a religion as exists in the world. To
repackage this religion and install it as mandatory activity
in public schools, prisons, and military institutions, however,
is a violation of the principle of separation of church and
state. TM advocates claimed the repackaged version was not religion.
critics fell into two categories:
group opposed TM on the basis that it was religious in nature
and its use should not be mandated by government.
group simply said it didn't work and could even be unsafe. TM
had little scientific evidence to counteract that claim.
Narconon, the licensee of the Church of Scientology's religious
Purification Rundown and related courses, wishes to sell this
repackaged Scientology program as a state authorized treatment
for drug and alcohol abuse. Narconon's advocates claim the repackaged
version is not religion.
critics fall into two groups:
oppose the certification of Narconon on the basis that it is
religious in nature and should not be approved as state authorized
treatment because it would violate the principle of separation
of church and state.
oppose Narconon because they say it is unsafe and ineffective.
Narconon can provide no credible independent scientific evidence
to the contrary.
If, as a religious experience, one wishes to believe he can
learn to levitate... or purge contaminates from his body through
sweating in a sauna..., so be it. There is no scientific basis
for either claim. As religion, there doesn't have to be. Shouldn't
be. But as public policy, approved and authorized by the state,
there must be. And there isn't.
Ultimately, the courts decided that TM was indeed repackaged
religion and the practice of establishing mandatory TM training
in public facilities ceased in this country.
Scientology seems to have a long way to go before it gains respect
as a venerable religion, the principle remains the same in both
cases. It will be interesting to see if the courts can dispense
consistent opinions, or if they are just interested in slapping
around obnoxious newsmen.
Ignores Narconon Request
For Newkirk Fire, Ambulance Protection
from June 11, 1992 City Commission story)
Manager David Haynes told the commission that the city has received
a request from Narconon asking for fire and ambulance service
to their facility at Chilocco. He also passed out copies of
a letter from the city attorney of Arkansas City, Otis W. Morrow,
to Narconon which said in part, "... the City (of Arkansas
City) has concluded it's relationship with (Narconon)... the
city will no longer provide fire protection or ambulance service
after May 25, 1992."
letter cited Narconon's failure to complete a written contract
for such services, and its failure to provide any kind of remuneration
for services rendered during the past two years as reasons for
the termination of services. The commission was uninterested
in taking any action on the request.
In The Meantime...
of the action regarding the Narconon story had shifted during
April and May to the Oklahoma City area, outside of our territory.
Court decisions and other reports were carried across the state
by larger newspapers.
a nutshell, Judge Beekman of Kay County issued a permanent injunction
shutting Narconon down for operating without a license. The
next day, he gave them 10 days to appeal to the State Supreme
Court. The injunction had been sought by the State Health Department.
It is now before the state Supreme Court.
lawyers deposed me per Judge Freeman's order, but I refused
to answer on the grounds that the subpoena exceeded the scope
of Freeman's order, and took the Shield Law.
went to Judge Daniel Owens' court to get an order compelling
me to answer. Judge Owens compelled me to answer within the
scope of Judge Freeman's order. I gave my deposition the same
day in Oklahoma City.
then went back to court to try to collect $7,000.00 in costs
and fees because of the "delay" I had caused them
by refusing to answer. Judge Owens agreed, but only allowed
them $2,150.00. The decision was made not to pay; however citizens
in Newkirk held fund-raisers to collect the money, which was
sent directly to Judge Owens.
Freeman refused to overturn the Mental Health Board's decision
not to certify Narconon. This was the hearing in which my deposition
was used by Narconon to try and show a big conspiracy to defraud
them of their rights. This matter is also before the Supreme
this period, the Tonkawa Tribe, one of the five who own Chilocco,
has decided to go into the Health Regulation business and set
up their own Health Department (probably courtesy of Narconon
lawyers) which immediately certified Narconon.
also applied to CARF (Committee on Accreditation of Rehabilitative
Facilities) out of Tuscon, AZ., for accreditation. CARF sent
several investigators to Narconon, which immediately hired two
of them as "consultants". CARF granted Narconon a
one year accreditation.
has asked for another hearing before the Mental Health Board,
hoping to receive an "exception" to the state law
requiring state certification because they are accredited by
CARF. That hearing is supposed to be in July.
Opinion - Harold's Journal
25 June 1992 - By RWL
David Thoreau, of Walden's Pond fame, intrudes into my life
from time to time. He is not my favorite author, nor my favorite
philosopher. I'm not an avid naturalist as was he. I don't even
have a pond.
Thoreau taught me that one of the most important lessons a man
can learn in this life is to do what he has to do, when it has
to be done, whether he likes it or not.
believed strongly in the independence of man. Of his right to
think for himself and determine his own destiny free of coercive
smart alec old writer landed in jail on account of that kind
of thinking. But from all accounts he could sleep with a clear
some judge in Oklahoma City has decided that I'm to pay $2,150.00
for not giving a coercive authoritarian cult free access to
my notes and sources.
Thoreau, I'm not disposed to paying anyone for the right to
keep what is mine. Which means I'm probably looking at a new
orange jump suit in Glenn Guinn's Concrete Hilton next to the
is time, maybe, to quit being a taxpayer and allow the system
to feed, clothe, and house me for awhile instead of the other
could appeal to the Supreme Court, of course, for another $6
to $10 thousand, but it would be imprudent to sell one of my
children. Scientology's sharks know that.
can obviously get all the "due process" one can purchase.
Scientology can buy more of it than I can... and probably will.
They are now suing practically the rest of the world including
the University of California, Time Magazine, Eli Lilly, and
Reader's Digest. It's the old "Everybody else is out of
step but my Ronnie" syndrome.
broke the story of Narconon's connection with the cult of Scientology
nearly 3 years ago. Since then they have proven by their actions
to be equal to the sordid reputation which preceded them to
our area. They are masters of deception, magicians of manipulation,
and proliferators of propaganda designed to entrap the unwary.
have pervaded every worthy cause from environmental awareness
and tax reform to drug rehabilitation in order to further their
own growth. Narconon is but one tentacle.
Blind Justice cannot see this, ignorant justice is the result,
and the legal system fails. Consumers must beware, because they
will most certainly be alone.
of you who can read, must read! Those of you who can hear, must
hear! Those of you who can question, must question! Otherwise,
the lure of the cult, with it's ready-made answers to all of
life's problems, will be the totalitarianism of the next century.
The L. Ron Hubbards of the world will be your dictators.
this newspaper has provided the information necessary to keep
our readers from succumbing to this threat, no matter what the
consequences, it has been worth the risk. Except for paying
those consequences, my job is mostly complete. I did what I
had to do, when I had to do it, whether I liked it or not.
would like to believe that truth is mighty and will prevail.
But as Mark Twain once noted, "There is nothing the matter
with this except it ain't so."
sleep well at night, however. Something sharks and dictators
have trouble doing.
Letters To The Editor 02 July 1992
read with much interest and pride your June 25 editorial opinion.
What a privilege to live in a small community with a newspaper
editor who is willing to risk his all for what he believes in.
We have followed with much interest all the action our local
community and the total Kay County community have involved themselves
in since the onset of Narconon.
the Newkirk Community and the Kay County Community were to have
a candidate for a "True Patriotic American Citizen"
you should be the winner by a country mile.
again for your involvement in not only the Narconon issue but
all issues of importance for the preservation of our American
Al and Theda Sheets
Risks Jail Rather Than Pay Narconon Court Costs
NOTE: The following appeared on National AP newswire July 4,
1992, but was not reprinted in the Herald Journal. The story
originally by Tim Foltz of the Tulsa Tribune was carried by
the Tulsa World, Daily Oklahoman, Ponca City News, and other
papers across the country.)
NEWKIRK, Okla. (AP) _ Local citizens have opened their wallets
in support of a newspaper editor ordered to pay the costs a
controversial drug treatment center incurred in forcing him
to reveal information about sources for stories on the facility.
has gone out on a limb to make sure everyone knows what has
transpired with Narconon and the Church of Scientology,"
said Newkirk Mayor Garry Bilger. "We really appreciate
what he has done."
intend to pay the court fees, and already have collected $1,800,
Judge Daniel Owens in Oklahoma County ordered Robert Lobsinger
of the Newkirk Herald Journal on June 9 to pay $2,150.32 in
attorney fees to Narconon Chilocco.
is fighting a state effort to close the unlicensed drug-treatment
center, on Indian land near Kansas.
and his 1,500-circulation newspaper have done extensive stories
on Narconon and its ties to the Church of Scientology.
Oklahoma Press Association will defend Lobsinger if the editor
asks for its help, OPA manager Ben Blackstock said.
jumped in and tried to silence (Lobsinger) in my opinion,"
Blackstock said. Lobsinger said he'll go to jail rather than
pay Narconon's costs.
just cannot in good faith pay for this," Lobsinger said.
"If they come and get me and take me to jail, I guess that's
what will happen. But there's a principle."
Judge Daniel Owens in Oklahoma County ordered Lobsinger on June
9 to pay $2,150.32 in attorney fees to Narconon Chilocco.
County District Judge Leamon Freeman in February granted Narconon's
request to take Lobsinger's deposition on his interviews with
state Mental Health Board members about the center.
next thing I knew, I was served with a subpoena asking for three
years of my phone records, all my contacts, all my correspondence,
videotapes and all my notes," Lobsinger said. "Frankly,
it scared ... me."
Evans, attorney with the Oklahoma City law firm representing
Narconon, said her side did not mean the subpoenas to be invasive.
never intended to ask for more than the production of the documents
Judge Freeman outlined," Ms. Evans said.
cited the shield law, which protects journalists from revealing
some sources, in refusing to give the deposition.
a motion from Narconon, Owens directed the editor to give the
deposition but said Narconon attorneys could ask Lobsinger only
about the interviews with state Mental Health Board members.
June order directed Lobsinger to pay Narconon attorneys' costs
of motions against Lobsinger and their car rental to drive to
Newkirk to get the deposition.
time and expense involved in obtaining what turned out to be
a fairly short and simple deposition was oppressive to the plaintiff
and cannot be condoned by the court," Owens said in his
gave the deposition. He said the order to pay Narconon's legal
costs was unfair, but he can't afford to appeal it.
shield law has never been tested in court, Blackstock said.
Lobsinger's case would have been a good time for the OPA to
test it, he said.
Letters To The Editor 02 July 1992
Resolution Duly Adopted by the Membership of the Chilocco National
Alumni Association condemning the Narconon actions toward the
the Narconon organization made certain representations to the
Chilocco National Alumni Association which were never fulfilled;
the Chilocco National Association unanimously adopted a resolution
opposing the Narconon operation on the former Chilocco Indian
School campus; and
Mr. Robert Lobsinger, in his capacity as owner and editor of
the Newkirk Herald-Journal has diligently made public the activities
of the Narconon organization; and
the Narconon organization has opposed the public reporting of
their activities by the Herald-Journal.
Therefore, Be It Resolved the Chilocco National Alumni Association
reaffirms its opposition to the Narconon use of the former Chilocco
Indian School campus as expressed in the resolution adopted
June 9, 1990; and
It Further Resolved the action of Narconon against the Newkirk
Herald-Journal is condemned as vindictive and irresponsible
and an attempt to prevent public disclosure certain actions
by Narconon; and
It Further Resolved Mr. Robert Lobsinger is commended for his
courageous and continuing public reporting of questionable activities
by Narconon; and
It Finally Resolved the Chilocco National Alumni Association
strongly reaffirms its opposition and condemnation of Narconon
and its activities on the former Chilocco Indian School campus.
by Chilocco National Alumni Association
June 13, 1992
Letters To The Editor 9 July 1992
I have just finished reading your article concerning those pesky
folks located north of Newkirk. I congratulate you on your dedication
in attempting to keep us informed about "Ronnie and his
you suppose that if Narconon was located close to the Oklahoma
City area that it's possible the judge would feel differently
about the whole situation?
state has survived quite well without them for sometime and
I'm sure the drug problem is more severe in California than
in north central Oklahoma. Maybe they need to have it simplified
for them: You're not wanted here, or needed. Take your beliefs,
idealisms, money and leave. Basically, don't let the door hit
you in the butt!
up the good work.
Check for the Newkirk Defense Fund. We hope it goes over the
top and you appeal!
To The Editor:
Hooray for you! My little check may help some! I feel Narconon
is questionable and we don't need more queer places.
To The Editor:
I do not have much to give - would like to help so here's my
check. Good to have someone fight Narconon.
To The Editor:
I support you completely. We need more like you.
(Many other letters of support also printed in July 16th issue)
Opinion - 9 July 1992
is both humbling and heartening to have received such widespread
support in the community. We thank you - no matter what the
outcome of this situation - from the bottom of our hearts.
is not difficult to expose the frauds this organization perpetuates
on society, but it is sometimes difficult to understand the
judicial system that is supposed to protect us from such groups.
would be appalled if our judicial system allowed an organization
convicted of criminal activity in another location to set up
shop in our state. But that is just what it is being asked to
just the past 10 days or so, the "church" of Scientology
was convicted in Toronto, Canada of breach of trust for planting
spies in the offices of the Ontario Provincial Police and Attorney
General's Office, and stealing documents from them.
Oklahoma, it seems, all they have to do to try and get private
information is lumber into a courtroom.
Opinion - 16 July 1992
many letters, cards, and notes sent to the Newkirk Defense Fund
continue to come in from across the state and nation.
have been notified that because of your efforts, the unjust
assessment has been paid from those donations; the challenge
to our sources has been thwarted, our notes have been protected,
and our nose is still here at the grindstone.
is too little to offer our thanks for your encouragement and
support, and your deep understanding of the seriousness of the
problem. We have not seen a complete list, nor do we yet know
how much money has been raised in our behalf, but be assured
that every one will be acknowledged. All 2,000 plus of them.
are a vast army, educated to carry forward what we have exposed.
Scientology is not merely the over-zealous new fangled religion
it claims to be, but a political entity determined to either
swallow you up or run you down.
the words of L. Ron in Dianetics, page 534:
at some distant date only the unaberrated (Scientologist) person
will be granted civil rights before law. Perhaps the goal will
be reached at some future time when only the unaberrated person
can attain to and benefit from citizenship. These are desirable
this point, Narconon remains unlicensed by the state of Oklahoma.
It is awaiting a decision (maybe in Septermber) by the State
Supreme Court on whether or not to enforce a State Health Department
injunction to shut them down for operating without a license.
has also asked for a new trial in Kay County Court since Oklahoma
County Court refused to overturn the Mental Health Board's decision
not to license them. And in addition, they have asked the Mental
Health Board to consider giving them an "exemption"
from state law since they have obtained C.A.R.F. accreditation.
(And incidentally, they have "hired" the first two
C.A.R.F. inspectors sent to evaluate their operation.) These
last two items are set for August 14, 1992.
Board OKs Exemption For Narconon
August 20, 1992
controversial drug and alcohol abuse center in north-central
Oklahoma achieved a big victory Friday in its two-year battle
for state approval.
than a year after calling Narconon Chilocco New Life Center's
treatment program unsafe and experimental, the Oklahoma Board
of Mental health and Substance Abuse Services voted unanimously
Friday to exempt the facility from a requirement to be certified
by the state.
decision came after Narconon showed it had gained approval from
a private organization, the Commission for Accreditation of
Rehabilitation Facilities. That allows for an exemption under
state law, said Patrick Ryan, an attorney representing the board.
Ryan said the board's decision was based entirely on the statutory
different from certifying them," he said. "The board
has not ever, and did not by today's action, give a stamp of
approval of Narconon. It simply says because of the statute,
we're going to recognize it (the exemption)."
Chilocco still must be licensed by the state Health Department.
The state licensing would be based primarily on whether a facility's
buildings, which were the old Chilocco Indian School north of
Newkirk, meet fire and safety codes.
health department could rule the center does not need a state
license, harry Woods, a lawyer for Narconon Chilocco, said.
expect that the department of health will recognize that with
this exemption from certification, Narconon can lawfully operate
in Oklahoma," Woods said. "The form of the action
would either be a license, or a decision by them that we don't
need a license." Narconon Chilocco officials said Friday
they were confident the center would be licensed, possibly by
the end of the month.
Gary Smith, Narconon Chilocco president, said he was pleased
the center is the closest yet to being allowed to operate at
said Narconon Chilocco will go ahead with plans to operate a
75-bed facility but will wait until the state Health Department
rules before accepting new patients.
patients would pay more than $20,000 for a three-month program
that is based on saunas and vitamins.
plans call for doubling the center's capacity within the next
five years. "We're going to make sure that we're doing
this the way we're supposed to," Smith said. After being
denied certification last year, Narconon Chilocco limited its
operation to accepting Indian patients whose bills were paid
by contributors. Smith said Friday there were seven patients
and 24 employees.
mental health board members, who voted in December against Narconon
Chilocco, agreed Friday with the center's contention that it
was eligible for the exemption because it was accredited in
June by the private Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation
state attorney general's office, however, argued against the
exemption, saying that the board did not have the authority
to exempt a drug and alcohol abuse center based solely on the
statute says that only a list of certain people can be exempted,"
said assistant attorney general Guy Hurst. "All others
need to be certified."
said he also does not believe Narconon Chilocco is eligible
for licensing by the state Health Department because the center
was not certified by the mental health board.
way I read the statute is the only way you can get licensed
from the health department is to be certified - if you're exempted
from certification you can't get licensed," he said. Lawyers
for the state health department were unavailable for comment.
Chilocco accreditation expires in June 1993. If it fails to
get accredited next year, it likely will have to return to the
state mental health board to ask for certification, officials
said. Woods, who guided Narconon Chilocco through several state
hearings and lawsuits, said the center plans to drop two lawsuits
it filed against the state mental health board.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Newkirk said many residents were disappointed
by the state mental health board's action.
in the town said they were opposed to Narconon Chilocco because
of its ties with the Church of Scientology. Some said they were
threatened after they spoke against it in 1990.
Bilger said residents felt helpless as their concerns about
Narconon Chilocco's treatment program and the safety of patients
seemed to be lost in legal arguments made by Narconon Chilocco
to state officials and in subsequent lawsuits filed against
got so tangled in regulations and laws and rules," he said.
"We would like to see them gone from this area because
we definitely do not agree with some of the things that they're
from the Saturday Oklahoman & Times, August 15, 1992. The
Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Granted Health DepartmentLicense
From State Health Agency
Mental Heath Department Certification)
following is reprinted with permission from the Daily Oklahoman,
Tuesday, October 27, 1992.)
been described as controversial, weird, unsafe and strange,
but now Narconon Chilocco New Life Center can be called licensed.
Oklahoma State Department of Health issued a license Monday
to the drug and alcohol abuse center, marking the first time
since it opened for business more than two years ago that it
officially can be called legal. The president of Narconon Chilocco
called it a milestone.
license issued Monday dealt with the structures and buildings
making up Narconon Chilocco, located on the campus of the old
Chilocco Indian school about six miles north of Newkirk. The
license is good for a year and can be renewed.
center passed an inspection last week that looked at the conditions
of buildings and food and sanitary services to see that fire
safety and health codes are being met, said Brent VanMeter,
the health department's deputy commissioner for special health
services. Gary Smith, president of Narconon Chilocco, said plans
are being made to get the center ready to accommodate as many
as 75 patients at a time.
this license from the department of health signifies a milestone
in our desire and original intention to supply drug and alcohol
rehabilitation services to those in need," he said. "Our
purpose has always been to help those with drug and alcohol
problems. "We are just very excited," Smith said.
Chilocco opened in February 1990. Its critics questioned its
ties with the Church of Scientology and were skeptical of its
treatment plan that includes spending time in saunas and taking
special vitamins and supplements.
of the Oklahoma State Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Services, before deciding a legal loophole allowed the center
to bypass board certification, called Narconon Chilocco's treatment
plan experimental and medically unsafe. State licensing makes
it easier for Narconon Chilocco or its patients to get reimbursement
for its services through insurance companies.
said plans continue to be developed to double the size of its
patient beds, but no application would be filed until after
the center's census reaches and stays around 75 patients. The
center had 14 patients Monday, Smith said. Most of the patients
were from various Indian tribes. Narconon Chilocco has limited
treatment primarily to Indians since the mental health board
voted not to certify its treatment plan last December and while
various court appeals and cases were pending.
said he is unsure when the center will reach capacity. Narconon
Chilocco's program lasts about three months and costs $22,750.
licensing became possible after the mental health board in August
granted Narconon Chilocco an exemption from certification because
its program was accredited by a private agency, the Commission
for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
accreditation runs through June 1993 and the exemption from
mental health board certification will continue as long as Narconon
Chilocco is accredited by the commission. Newkirk Mayor Garry
Bilger said a majority of residents in town still challenge
the center's effectiveness and purpose.
Monday, October 9, 1992 the Herald Journal received a call from
a frightened and distraught young lady who said her mother was
Edith Clark who works at Narconon. She told the usual horror
stories about her mother not being paid on time, if ever. Long
hours of overtime at no pay. Unpaid bonuses, etc.
said there were several non-Scientologist employees there all
of whom were wanting to leave, but couldn't because they had
no money and no way to get out. She relayed other stories as
well, but they were all second hand, about "trainees"
at Narconon wading waist deep in the sewer lagoon raking sewage
out so it would appear to be working properly; about bad food
and vermin infestation; about child abuse and neglect....
suggested she visit with Brent Van Meter at the Health Department,
and she said she had already talked with him. When I talked
with Van Meter later, he confirmed her story, but said his inspectors
probably wouldn't find anything wrong unless they caught them
in the act. He said he was thinking of applying for a special
appropriation to keep an inspector on the site permanently.
Tuesday, October 27, Edith Clark, Jean Chance, Mr. and Mrs.
Gene McCormick, their niece Carol Shumate, and another man not
associated with Narconon called me - interrupted a phone call
with an emergency message, in fact - wanting to come to the
office and tell their stories. It was the day after Narconon
was issued their Health Department license.
I stalled them off until the next day, and then set up an interview
for them with Channel 5, Channel 9, and McNutt of the Daily
Wednesday afternoon, they arrived and confirmed everything Clark's
daughter had told me the week before. They had been allowed
to leave as soon as the license was in place. They think they
quit, but it appears to be a concerted effort by Scientology
to starve them out. All of them agreed that Narconon was moving
in more and more Scientology staff people to take their places.
story in the Thursday, October 29, 1992 Daily Oklahoma tells
part of their story....
Narconon Pay, Tie to Scientology Hit
Daily Oklahoman, Enid Bureau
Thursday, October 29, 1992
- Several former employees of Narconon Chilocco New Life Center
criticized the facility Wednesday for failing to promptly pay
their salaries and overtime, and claimed that the recently licensed
drug and alcohol abuse facility is a front for the Church of
McCormick, who quit as Narconon Chilocco's chief of security
on Monday, and Edith Clark, whose duties included head of international
training, had the harshest words for the 75 bed facility when
the group met with reporters Wednesday in a downtown Newkirk
said Narconon Chilocco owed her an undetermined amount of back
wages because she said the facility refused to pay her overtime
even though she says she worked 60 to 70 hours a week.
who worked at Narconon Chilocco for 19 months, said she has
complained to the U.S. Department of Labor.
employees are paid minimum wage and have to sign contracts,
Clark said. Many are required to read material that comes from
the Church of Scientology. "It's a front for Scientology,"
Scientologists are scheduled to arrive at the facility shortly,
Narconon Chilocco president Gary Smith called comments from
his former employees unfortunate.
the last 2 1/2 years we have employed over 300 people and now
there a few that are complaining," Smith said in a statement.
"It's unfortunate that anyone would continue to oppose
our efforts to get people off drugs.
are a licensed facility and have passed all tests and inspections,
I can find 1,000 supporters of Narconon Chilocco for each detractor,"
he said. "We are open and we will continue to get people
Pyle, a public information officer at the facility confirmed
McCormick and Clark worked at the facility.
has denied any ties with the Church of Scientology.
Narconon Chilocco staff members said during public hearings
last year that some materials from the late L. Ron Hubbard,
the founder of Scientology, are used in some drug and alcohol
said he never was approached to join the Church of Scientology,
but he has seen Scientology literature given to staff and trainees.
Pictures of Hubbard are hung in each of the buildings but religious
pictures or books are banned at the facility, he said.
said she was asked several times to read Scientology material,
and she believes Narconon Chilocco is being used as a recruiting
tool by the Church of Scientology.
would they make me study it if it's not a front for Scientology?"
she said. "If it's not Scientology, why would they force
the people to study it"
whole point is they want to turn anybody there into a Scientologist."
called Narconon Chilocco disorganized, and said he has seen
a number of former students who completed the program return
because they failed to stay off drugs or alcohol.
said it was common for trainees to walk the six miles from the
Narconon Chilocco campus to Newkirk to go to bars and drink
said Narconon Chilocco has trouble keeping patients. Some leave
a week or two after arriving because of austere conditions.
said living quarters are not air-conditioned, and dining and
kitchen facilities were dirty. She said she often saw cockroaches
in the kitchen.
and hot dogs make up most meals, she said, for staff and for
patients who pay $22,750 for a three-month course.
people that pay the amount of money they do to come through
the rehab center is ridiculous," Clark said.
said some trainees at the facility have contagious diseases
and some lack proper immigration cards.
said he quit after two-and-a-half years because of late pay.
(notes) ---On December 1, 1992, the United States Department
of Labor Office in Tulsa confirmed that there was an investigation
underway regarding the cases of at least one of the non-Scientology
employees who had left Chilocco following their Health Department
licensing. Results of the investigation are unknown at this
time and it may be late December or early next year before they
can be obtained through the Freedom of Information act.
Reports have come in, unconfirmed as yet, that the remaining
few non-Scientology employees at Narconon have been asked to
leave, including Bill Grant and his wife, who are supposed to
be some kind of relatives to Garry Smith's wife.---
State Taxes Overdue; Warrant Filed
Daily Oklahoman, Enid Bureau
Thursday, Feb. 25, 1993, Pg 4
NEWKIRK -- A drug and alcohol abuse center that fought more
than two years to get a state license apparently needed to be
reminded to pay its state taxes.
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission this week filed a tax
warrant against Narconon Chilocco New Life Center stating that
it failed to pay almost $3,000 in unemployment compensation
taxes last year.
Smith, Narconon Chilocco's president, said Wednesday that failure
to pay the tax was an oversight.
should have been paid," Smith said. "it's just an
administrative oversight but it's being taken care of now."
said the non-profit facility plans to pay the overdue tax this
warrant, filed Tuesday, states Narconon Chilocco failed to pay
$2,999 in unemployment compensation taxes for the second and
third quarters of 1992.
Chilocco also was hit with a $364 penalty and was charged $74
in interest on the overdue tax.
warrant seeks a total payment of $3,438.
a series of delays, the Oklahoma State Department of Health
issued a license last fall to Narconon Chilocco, which opened
for business more than two years earlier.
Chilocco is located on the campus of the old Chilocco Indian
School about six miles north of Newkirk.
Saturday, Feb. 27, 1993
Saturday Oklahoman & Times, Pg 11:
Chilocco Pays Taxes
-- A drug and alcohol abuse center has paid its delinquent tax
bill. Narconon Chilocco New Life Center paid $3,438 in overdue
unemployment compensation taxes and penalties to the Oklahoma
Employment Security Commission, according to a warrant filed
Thursday in Kay County District Court.
Chilocco settled its delinquent tax two days after the state
commission filed a claim seeking payment.
Chilocco President Gary Smith said that failure to pay the tax
was an oversight. The employment commission filed the warrant
against Narconon Chilocco because the center failed to pay $2,999
in unemployment compensation taxes for the second and third
quarters of 1992.
Chilocco also was hit with a $364 penalty and was charged $74
in interest on the overdue tax.
Opinion - 12 November 1992
weekend, we had the very great pleasure of attending the annual
national convention of the Cult Awareness Network. This year
it was held in Los Angeles. You'll remember Oklahoma City hosted
the event last year, where I was asked to speak, and was honored
to receive the Leo J. Ryan Award.
Leo J. Ryan died in his attempt to find the truth about Jim
Jones and the People's Temple cult in Jonestown, Guyana. Over
900 people, under the mind controlling influence of Jim Jones,
committed suicide at his request. Those who didn't were murdered,
along with Congressman Ryan and several others. That tragic
event took place the same year we came to Newkirk to publish
the Newkirk Herald Journal.
Ryan Award is presented each year to the person "who exhibits
extraordinary courage, tenacity and perseverance in the battle
against tyranny over the mind of man."
so it was with great satisfaction that we were present this
year to see the award presented to Rich Behar, Associate Editor
of Time Magazine, for his courageous 1991 story on Scientology,
which we were pleased to reprint in full shortly thereafter.
Behar most surely deserves the award. He has attempted to do
for our nation what we have tried to do for Newkirk and Oklahoma.
We applaud his work, and we hope his efforts inspire others
in the national media to delve deeply into this subject matter,
instead of treating such subjects as humorous, harmless kooks.
conference was marred by a few picketing members of Scientology
who mostly made themselves look like the southbound ends of
those speaking at the conference were Dr. Robert J. Cialdini,
professor of psychology at Arizona State University and author
of the book Influence. His presentation was interrupted by a
false fire alarm.
presentation by Dr. Louis Jolyon West, M.D., professor of psychiatry
at UCLA, was delayed by the vain attempt of cult members to
have him arrested so he couldn't speak. Dr. West is also a former
Ryan Award winner.
arrogantly attempted to confound the registration of guests
at the conference in order to disrupt and delay the first presentation
of the conference, which was successfully delivered by Dr. Margaret
Thaler Singer, Ph. D. She is an Adjunct Professor in the department
of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, and
a past Ryan Award winner.
at the Leo J. Ryan Award Banquet was the original host of the
"Tonight Show", Mr. Steve Allen. Mr. Allen also happens
to be a member of the Cult Awareness Network Advisory Board,
and himself the father of a cult victim, now successfully recovered
from the experience. It was our pleasure to be invited to join
Mr. Allen at the speakers table during the banquet. A new and
strong supporter of the efforts of the Cult Awareness Network
is Mr. Mike Ferrell of M.A.S.H. fame, who spoke briefly to the
audience of his advocacy of human rights and strong family commitments.
He attended with his teenaged son.
all celebrities are nuts, after all.
can only be a testament to the effectiveness of the Cult Awareness
Network in spreading the truth about dangerous and destructive
cults that Scientology has currently filed over 30 lawsuits
against the organization in an attempt to "legally"
silence its supporters. When all it really has to do is quit
acting like a destructive cult.
Wins Beachy Musselman Award For Research Of Narconon Facility
Lobsinger, editor and publisher of the Newkirk Herald-Journal,
was the 1993 recipient of the annual Beachy Musselman Award.
award was presented at the OPA (Oklahoma Press Association)
Mid-Winter Convention, Feb. 4-7, in Oklahoma City.
has owned the Herald-Journal since 1978.
three years he reported on the Church of Scientology and Narconon.
His relentless research turned up ties between the church and
Narconon, a drug rehabilitation facility that developed a drug
treatment facility at the nearby old Chilocco Indian School.
facility, which had been a residential school for Indians for
many years, had fallen into disuse. The Chilocco Development
Authority, composed of representatives of four (sic - actually
five) area Indian tribes, leased the school site to Narconon
Narconon fought to obtain a state license for the center, Lobsinger
reported extensively on the center and its connections to the
Church of Scientology in the Herald-Journal.
February 1992, Narconon attorneys were granted a request to
take depositions from Lobsinger on his interviews with state
Mental health Board members about the center.
was then served with a subpoena asking for three years of phone
records, all contacts, all correspondence, videotapes and notes.
refused to give the deposition, citing the shield law.
Oklahoma County district judge upheld the motion, but said Narconon
attorneys could ask Lobsinger about the interviews with the
state Mental Health Board members. The judge then indicated
Lobsinger could be held responsible for the costs and fees because
Narconon's attorneys were not told before the deposition that
he would decline to answer questions.
June 9, 1992, Lobsinger was ordered to pay $2,150.32 in attorney
fees for Narconon. (When Lobsinger refused to pay) Community
residents supported Lobsinger's position and raised money to
pay his fine.
1991, he received the Leo J. Ryan Award from the Cult Awareness
Network for his coverage of the Narconon Center.
1962 graduate of Enid (Memorial) High School, Lobsinger attended
Phillips University; the University of Georgia; University of
Maryland; Oklahoma State University, and Northern Oklahoma College
at Tonkawa (sic - not entirely accurate).
being discharged from the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant, he
worked for several Florida newspapers, the Enid News and Eagle,
Atlanta (Ga.) Journal Constitution and the Ponca City News.
(sic - chronology not accurate)
and his wife Susan have four children: Michael Robert, Judy
Sue, John Allen and Steven Richard.
Beach Musselman Award is presented annually by the Oklahoma
Newspaper Foundation from a gift in memory of the late Norman
Beachy Musselman, publisher of the Shawnee News-Star from 1945
to 1963 and president of OPA in 1962.
$750 award, donated by N. Burkey Musselman, son of the newspaperman,
is now in its 19th year.
Trash Service Halted
Oklahoman & Times, Enid Bureau
Saturday, March 6, 1993
-- An official of a sanitation company said Friday the firm
has stopped trash and garbage pickup service for a drug and
alcohol abuse center because it failed to pay its bill.
Davis, owner of Davis Sanitation of Tonkawa, said Narconon Chilocco
New Life Center has not paid its trash service bill in more
than four months.
just felt like we couldn't let them get behind any more than
they were," Davis said. Davis said his company earlier
this week removed its four trash dumpsters that Narconon Chilocco
had been using for its trash and garbage.
don't know what they've got going on up there but we've had
an awful time," he said. "We've always had to call
them and just plead with them to pay their bill and they say
that they're waiting for somebody to donate some money."
Narconon Chilocco owes about $1,800, Davis said.
Smith, president of Narconon Chilocco, said he was unaware there
was a problem with paying the facility's trash bill. "I
don't handle that end of it," Smith said.
I know is we've got dumpsters out here. I don't know what exactly
happened. It's the estate manager's job. We're fine on the trash."
said he did not know whose trash dumpsters were on the grounds
of his center. "It's a little out of my area," he
said his company is the primary trash service in rural Kay County
areas. Trash service would resume to Narconon Chilocco, located
on the campus of the old Chilocco Indian school about six miles
north of Newkirk, if and when the facility pays its outstanding
bill, Davis said.
not coming back until they pay us up," he said.
no effort is made to pay the bill shortly, the company likely
will file a suit in Kay County District Court in order to get
payment, Davis said.
payment of bills during 1991 was one concern state officials
had when they considered a request from Narconon Chilocco to
about Narconon Chilocco's financial stability was one reason
the center's application was denied by the state Department
of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Chilocco eventually obtained a state license last year after
it received accreditation from a private nonprofit group.
week, Narconon Chilocco paid $3,438 in overdue unemployment
compensation taxes and penalties to the Oklahoma Employment
Chilocco settled its delinquent tax two days after the state
commission filed a claim seeking payment.
said that failure to pay the tax was an oversight.
unemployment security commission filed the warrant against Narconon
Chilocco because the facility failed to pay $2,999 in unemployment
compensation taxes for the second and third quarters of 1992.
Chilocco also was hit with a $364 penalty and was charged $74
in interest on the overdue.
Leaders Want Narconon Chilocco Audit
Daily Oklahoman, Enid Bureau
Thursday, March 25, 1993
-- Some Indian leaders are disappointed with the amount of revenue
being generated by a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center
that promised to pay five tribes millions of dollars over the
next two decades.
a result, the leaders of the Kaw and Pawnee tribes have asked
the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to audit the Narconon Chilocco
New Life Center to determine whether the non-Indian facility
is meeting payment terms of a 25-year lease.
1989, Narconon Chilocco leaders said it would pay the five tribes
of the Chilocco Development Authority $16 million during the
next 25 years in return for leasing the old Chilocco Indian
school for a 75-bed drug and alcohol abuse treatment center.
the rate we're going, we won't even get a million," said
Wanda Stone, Kaw tribal chairwoman.
said payments the tribes receive from Narconon Chilocco usually
haven't paid us with a payment since last September," she
and Robert Chapman, chairman of the Pawnee tribe's business
committee, said the Indian tribes must depend on Narconon Chilocco
to provide figures to determine lease payments.
Chilocco agreed on lease payments based on the number of patients
and the amount of money patients pay per month.
schedules for patients range from no charge for low-income Indians
to about $30,000 for a three-month treatment.
no scale of any kind that we can base what we should be getting,"
Stone said. "All we know is what they send us."
Chilocco's plans to develop the facility were stalled for more
than two years while it tried to get state approval.
said an audit released by Narconon Chilocco showed it had underpaid
about $4,600 to the authority through September.
an analysis by a former financial officer of the Kaw tribe on
Narconon Chilocco's figures showed the facility owed more than
$133,000, Stone said.
lot of it was, expenses that they took out were not allowable,"
There is no provision in the lease for an independent audit.
Smith, Narconon Chilocco president, said the facility's audit
is accurate. The BIA has the right to conduct an audit of his
facility. He said questions about Narconon Chilocco's audit
are based on "misinterpretation of the actual audit,"
said he did not know the amount of money his facility has paid
in lease payments the past three years but said it was more
said Stone's and Chapman's allegations were made to cover up
the fact that the BIA has been asked to audit financial records
of the development authority.
nothing more than a smoke screen from anybody that might have
something that they might be a little nervous about," Smith
said the Narconon Chilocco audit was prepared on plain paper
without letterhead or other information stating who conducted
and Stone reported the information to about 30 members of the
Pawnee, Ponca, Otoe-Missouria, Kaw and Tonkawa tribes, each
of which has a representative on the authority.
wanted tribal members to understand that we're not stealing
from them... We just haven't received our fair share, as we
have always suspected," Chapman said.
In October 1999, Kaw Tribal Chairman Wanda Stone indicated to
the Herald Journal that an Indian Court had ordered Narconon
to vacate the facilities at Chilocco within three years. The
judge also authorized increases in lease payments until Narconon
moved out, and told the tribes that if Narconon refused to leave,
the tribes could evict them, according to Stone.
early 2002, Narconon announced that it had "outgrown"
facilities at Chilocco and that it was moving to Arrowhead Lodge
in eastern Oklahoma. The facility there was once owned by the
State of Oklahoma, was sold to an Indian tribe, and subsequently
purchased by the Association For Better Living and Education
(ABLE), a Scientology organization. ABLE was reportedly leasing
the facility to Narconon, which quietly moved out of Chilocco
a few months later.