Title: Newkirk Herald (1989): Narconon Chilocco
Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Dallara)
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 18:30:56 GMT
Learn To Live With It...
State Boys Say Chilocco Is A Done Deal
NEWKIRK, May 11, 1989 - About 80 persons appeared at the Newkirk City
Commission meeting Monday evening for an informational session on the
Chilocco Indian School project. Present at the meeting were Mr. Howard
Miles, designee of the Commissioner of Health, who presides over the
Oklahoma Health Planning Commission; Mr. Leroy Bridges, public affairs
specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health; and Mr. William
Mehojah, chairman of the Kaw Tribe, along with several members of the
Chilocco Development Authority. Mr. Miles, Mr. Bridges, and Mr. Mehojah
were at the meeting at the invitation of Mayor Garry Bilger.
Mr. Miles explained to the group the purpose of the Health Planning
Commission, which is to oversee the growth of health services in the state
so that they occur in an orderly fashion and along guidelines of an
existing 4 year plan. He said the operators of the proposed Chilocco
project have complied with the existing rules and regulations of the State
of Oklahoma, and that they have been issued a Certificate of Need, that
the statutory period of objection is over and that the certificate is not
subject to recall, even in court.
The next step, Mr. Miles said, is for the Oklahoma Health Department to
issue a license, which, in the case of alcohol and drug abuse facilities,
concerns only the physical facilities. The buildings. Plans are presented
to the State Health Department, which assigns an architect, who approves
the plans. Then the work proceeds, and when finished, the State Health
Department inspects the facility for compliance with the approved plans.
If the facility is approved, it is licensed. The State Health Department
license applies only to the physical facility, and has nothing to do with
the program or staffing.
That falls under the Department of Mental Health, which certifies the
program and staffing, and is Mr. Bridges' department.
Mr. Bridges said that plans for the Chilocco project were submitted and
will go through the regular process just like any other project in the
state. He said that once the facility has been licensed by the State
Health Department... when the facility has been approved... the State
Mental health Department will send an inspection team to the site to
approve the program, if it complies with the normally accepted standards
for such facilities in the State of Oklahoma.
He said that according to documents submitted to his department by the
operators, the staff would consist of "certified alcohol and drug
counselors, certified drug counselors, medical doctors, and nurses... This
is the kind of program that all of the people comply with before they are
certified in the State of Oklahoma.
Concerning the patients, Mr. Bridges said "All of 'em will be referred
from other states into here except the local Indian people who will be
given a chance to have first choice on beds out there if they are not able
to pay. The local Indian people. All the rest of them will be from other
states. Nobody from Oklahoma except the Indian people."
Mr. Bridges pointed out that if the program and treatment proposed for the
Chilocco center does not violate the laws of the State of Oklahoma, the
state can not refuse to issue a Certification from the Mental Health
He said he called Mr. John Wilson, of the Alcohol and Drug Authority of
the State of California, who reported they "had no problems" with the
organization. He presented several other instances of reference checking
his department had made in regard to the matter, and reported that no
negative information had been received.
Following the presentation by Mr. Bridges and Mr. Miles, there was a
question and answer session.
In response to a question about prior notice, Mr. Miles pointed out that
notice was published in the Newkirk Herald Journal in January of this year
that the operators had applied for their Certificate of Need, well in
advance of the hearing.
To a question concerning the unanimity of the decision to lease Chilocco,
Miles said he couldn't answer, but that the documents his department
received were in order. He said the Bureau of Indian Affairs had approved
the lease contract, but that he didn't know if the decision by the
Chilocco Development Authority had been unanimous or just by majority, and
that he had no information concerning any internal problems of the CDA.
If the validity of the CDA's decision to lease Chilocco comes under
question, then the matter would be in the jurisdiction of the Federal
Courts, he said. One person suggested that the authority of a tribal
chairman was in question due to an election dispute.
Another questioner was assured that no Indian Health funds would be used,
that no money from any governmental agency would be used in establishing
"They're a legitimate service, and they've received a legitimate hearing,
and a legitimate authority to proceed." according to Mr. Miles, "If they
do what they said they were gonna do, they'll be all right. And if they
don't do it, there is a process that works that will usher them across the
He added, "Let's just assume there is no such thing as Narconon, and all
we re talking about is the Church of Scientology. What difference does it
make?" If they do what they've applied for, and they do what they've been
approved for, he said, then they have complied with state law.
"Now, if they start making it into something more than that, they start
doing things that exceed their authority, if they violate the laws of the
state in any manner than they have to answer for that."
"All we can go on is the history of what they've done, the record they've
made in the United States and their statements they've made..."
Miles said the terms of the agreement between the operator and the CDA
were none of the state's business. "The business arrangements... are not a
function of our commission."
In response to the question of law enforcement and state regulation, Miles
said, "Well, first of all let me say that there is control. The Chilocco
Development Authority and Narconon both, have placed themselves under the
jurisdiction of the State of Oklahoma for operation of a health care
"They are not functioning as Indian country he said, "The county sheriff
will have police jurisdiction there, State Highway Patrol will have
jurisdiction there, State Bureau of Investigation will have jurisdiction
there, the investigative staff of the State Department of Health... will
have jurisdiction there. So it will not he without government controls."
They could have sought exclusion from state laws, and in light of court
decisions recently, they could have gotten exclusion, he said, but
instead, they voluntarily placed themselves under state jurisdiction.
Mr. Bridges responded to a question about payment for services at
Chilocco. He said that all patients will be from out of state, except
local Indians who do not have the ability to pay. "Nobody pays for it"
"They have provided 25% of the beds for the local Indian people, and
nobody pays for it. They would be provided that opportunity."
A prison was a possibility at one time at Chilocco," one member of the
audience said, "but the problem was jurisdiction. They couldn't waive
jurisdiction then, so I don't see how the state can change jurisdiction
Dave Baldwin, a member of the CDA answered that the State of Oklahoma
couldn't afford the $17 million to construct the prison, jurisdiction was
not the problem.
One lady said she would have preferred the prison, "I know something about
the Church of Scientology, I know a lady and her son is in it - and I know
what happened to them," she said. "That's why I am so concerned." She
received a round of applause.
Another in the audience asked if patients would be restricted to the
Chilocco facility. Mr. Miles said State law prohibits restricting movement
of residents. Mr. Bridges said there were already three treatment plants
in Kay County, and saw no reason to be concerned about the freedom of
movement that Chilocco patients would have.
"Chilocco - they are somewhat isolated, these are not prisoners." Bridges
said they are just people like us who have alcohol or drug problems, who
have insurance. He said they just want to come here for treatment and go
Mr. Bridges pointed out the CDA members in the audience, Dave Baldwin,
Cynthia Stoner, and Mr. Mehojah. He noted that Bill Grant, who was not at
the meeting, had told him just last week what a wonderful program Chilocco
was. Bridges asked Mr. Mehojah to confirm Grant's attitude, which he did.
"A lot of the workers out there will be local Indian people, they're gonna
be trained and brought on." Bridges said. He suggested there was nothing
to fear from them.
Miles responded to a radio reporter's question about the alleged
connection between Narconon and the Church of Scientology: "the answer we
received was that there was no direct relationship between the Church of
Scientology and Narconon. That there were members of the Church of
Scientology who had been involved in the creation of Narconon, but the two
organizations are totally separate. We questioned whether or not the
philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard would be used, because they were mentioned in
the application. And it was pointed out that only 4 methods, not the
philosophy, would be utilized. Those methods with the exception of sauna,
are common to all alcohol and drug treatment procedures. The sauna, well
we don't have any feel for it..."
He then referred to the lady who said she knew someone in the Church of
Scientology, "I've shared the same experience and I think my reaction
probably was very similar to hers." But that experience, he said, was not
grounds for refusing permission to operate in the state.
Bridges told the radio reporter that counselors will be certified in
Oklahoma "by a local certifying group that certifies all the alcohol and
Some of the members of the CDA told of being in a Narconon facility last
week in downtown Los Angeles, and gave glowing reports of what they saw
there. They told of people cured of addiction in only 10 weeks, and of a
five year follow-up program.
Miles said that most Narconon facilities are out-patient clinics, and that
the Los Angeles program is the only in-patient program in operation. He
said the OHPC had checked with state people in several states while
gathering information for the certificate of need hearing.
As an example of how the investigation works he told an anecdote about a
nursing home operator who wished to locate in the state, but when
investigation proved the man's previous operations had been closed by
health officials in six states, he was refused a certificate. "He had no
standing because his history was all negative."
"We try to check deep enough to try to determine something about the
character of the applicant Miles added.
How many doctors, someone asked, and from where, and how often will the
state check the facility? Bridges answered that most places like this
contracted with local doctors. "Quite often," he responded to the query
Miles added that the facility would be inspected at least 6 times a year,
unannounced. He said the program meets the legal requirements of the
state, and "that's the end of it"
Kaw Tribal Chairman Mehojah reviewed the history of Chilocco for the
group, and said the CDA had been working to find a use for the land. He
said they had tried to do what they felt best for the economic benefit of
the Indian people, and to provide jobs. He said the contract they have
entered into has a 5 year review clause, but that a corporation needs a
long term lease in order to recoup their investment. He said the BIA had
approved the contract as a sound document that would protect the Indians.
He also told of his visit recently to the Los Angeles facility where he
observed people undergoing treatment.
Following Mehojah's comments, Miles informed the group that if they had
any reason to believe that the operators were not complying with state law
that they should contact the State Attorney General, the Commissioner of
Health, or the Commissioner of Mental Health.
Miles and Herald Journal Publisher Bob Lobsinger sparred a bit over an
editorial, for which Lobsinger offered apology. Then they sparred again
over references in a recent story. Miles suggested Lobsinger had misread
the material, but changed his mind when Lobsinger produced the magazine
and showed him the passage in question.
This segment of the meeting ended, and commissioners proceeded to other
items on the agenda.
Scientology's Narconon in California claimed in a phone call to Ida Cmburn, that more than 50%
participants in Narconon went on to become scientologists
All Narconon is, is a way to covertly recruit new participants