Editorial Opinion By R. W. Lobsinger
The Newkirk Herald Journal,
20 September 1990
First, sincere thanks to the many, many good folks of Newkirk, Kildare, and surrounding area who donated the $1,300.00 it cost to have our special section printed and inserted in the Ponca City news a couple of weeks ago. From the people who received it, we have heard nothing but praise for bringing it to their attention.
Your commitment to helping inform the rest of the people in our County of the facts about Scientology and its front groups such as Narconon is very gratifying. Credit for your individual gifts will be made privately, because however much we would like to acknowledge them publicly, it would not be prudent. But all you have to do is simply look around you. It makes us very humble to live in such a town, in spite of the time I spend on my soap box.
Second, the latest Narconon snafu seems to have come from the State Mental Health Department itself. Last Thursday, they dispatched Bill Marion and Margaret Bradford to Chilocco to perform their audit inspection of Narconon's operation.
Concurrently, the Mental Health Board was meeting in Vinita. Board members were appraised of the court ruling at that meeting, and they decided that the court had no jurisdiction to order them to expedite the inspection, since they were not a party to the court action. It was, they decided, a matter between the State Health Department and Narconon. So they recalled their auditing team in mid investigation. Narconon has to be loving that.
The Mental Health Board is now waiting for their legal counsel to review the situation and tell them what the appropriate action should be.
Judge Beekman said Monday he was unaware of the Mental Health Board's action. District Attorney Joe Wideman was out of town and unavailable for comment.
It sounds like a game of hot-potato catch to me.
In the meantime, it appears that the economic boom Narconon promised our area is turning bust, as predicted. Narconon claims to have spent gobs of money renovating Chilocco. But a lot of the folks who did the work are wondering where their money is.
Empire Plumbing Supply is the first firm we know of to take legal action. They're suing Narconon for $21,471.03 in plumbing supplies for which they haven't been paid. It's case number C-90-220 at the court house.
Monday morning, an air conditioning contractor in Arkansas City called us saying he was near bankruptcy because he hasn't been paid for labor or supplies used trying to get Narconon in shape for their Grand Opening bash last June 30.
Monday afternoon, a sign painter in Arkansas City called saying someone should warn the public about that "wonderful, caring organization that's trying to help people" just north of us a Chilocco. He hasn't been paid, either, he said.
An Arkansas City appliance dealer says he hasn't been paid for renting an air conditioner and refrigerator to Narconon "for Barbara Mandrell's" appearance during the Grand Opening 3 months ago. Narconon wanted to buy television sets and air conditioners on credit, he added, saying he refused to go along with that economic boom.
Another Ark City merchant, not affected by Narconon's credit buying spree, says friends of his in the furniture business are wondering when they'll get paid. A ceramic tile supplier is wondering the same thing. So is the gas company. So are a bunch of motels in the area, which housed all of those big shots brought in to witness the GO Show.
Word is the Indian tribes haven't been paid for equipment they have been renting to Narconon, either. Last Friday, tribal workmen going through town said they were headed to Narconon to confiscate the equipment and lock it up in the armory out there.
Barbara Mandrell reportedly took home over $60,000 for her 2 hour performance. Quite a gold mine. The merchants who provided the materials and performed the labor to get the Con-anon Show ready got what was left.
Funny how they can find the money to pay for the smoke and mirror show but can't find the money for the hardware behind it.
None of Newkirk's merchants seem to have been victimized by the scam, however. And we'll take a little bit of the credit for that, thank you.
Third, word from the hinterland indicates that Scientology intends to continue the fraud. Propaganda circulating out West this week suggests that people should donate $1,000.00 to $500,000.00 to Narconon Chilocco for "Phase Two" which will bring the facility up to 1,000 beds and 400 staff and "trainees" by March 1991.
Never mind that they aren't licensed or certified. Never mind that their Certificate of Need was limited to 75 beds, and that it expired June 30th. Never mind the Court Order forbidding them to accept new patients. Never mind that they haven't even paid for the last batch of work and goods they ordered.
If you liked the economic benefits Narconon brought you with Phase One, wait til you get a taste of Phase Two!
And finally, another little tidbit we uncovered this week, that Narconon hasn't been making much noise about in this part of the country:
The "Criminal Rehabilitation Branch of Narconon, International" known as "Criminon" now claims to have programs established in five Oklahoma penal facilities: Jack Brandon at McAlister, Joseph Harp at Lexington, the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlister, and the Oklahoma State Reformatory at Granite.
Who's paying for those?