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Media Articles - 1980s

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Harold's Journal - Editorial Opinion
Backwater Cowboys

Newkirk Herald-Journal
By Bob Lobsinger
April 27, 1989

Whoa, now! Maybe it's time for us backwater Cowboys and Indians to slow down our wagons and ponies a bit, before we git stampeded into thunderation by a bunch of slick talkin' riverboat shysters toutin' some new fangled snake oil cure for the fire-water frazzles.

Like olden days when Dr. Malingerer visited the town with his wagon of "tonic" guaranteed to cure everything from gout to the vapors in man or beast, we're about to be hoodwinked by another bunch of bamboozelers.

We need to wake up quick and smell the horse apples. This Narconon outfit appears to be a front for the Church of Scientology and it's founder L. Ron Hubbard. It looks right like a religious cult... a religious con that makes TV preachers look like choir boys.

Hubbard's Wagon seems to be filled with bottles of hocus-pocus, engrams, E-meters and other imaginary whoo-ha designed to dazzle the desperate and free from their wretched bodies not only their "Thetans", but also their bucks.

That this pseudo-theological mumbo-jumbo not only exists, but is actually growing is a credit to Mr. Hubbard's ability as a convincing science fiction writer.

Conanon..., I mean Narconon is settin' up shop at Chilocco with some "generous" assistance from a philanthropic outfit called the Association for Better Living & Education (ABLE ) which says it has been impressed with Narconon's worldwide record. Just like it was a separate outfit looking for a good cause. And the Naronon guy profusely thanks the ABLE lady for the "donation" that will insure the success of the Chilocco project! How wonderful it all is. The melodrama is tearjerking.

ABLE and the Narconon International Association share the same building in Los Angeles. In fact. they share the same floor of the same building. In fact, they share the exact same office suite of the same floor of the same building. Why did they bother to come here to "donate" the money from their left hand to their right? Unless it was a hokum-pokum show for us dummies out here in the gulch!

They ain't selling snake oil, tax free cigarettes, or nickel bingo. What they're selling is hope, vitamin pills and steam baths. Packaged in blarney. Their own propaganda says their treatments "cannot be construed as a recommendation of medical treatment or medication and it is undertaken or delivered by anyone on his own responsibility." In other words, if it don't work, tough cookies.

Narconon says it has an 86 percent cure rate, but a West Berlin study showed the rate to be about 10 percent. Of course, if the first two weeks of the basic program don't work - and they probably won't - there are many more courses available that might. Nineteen volumes of them, in fact. All part of the "unique technology" of Mr. Hubbard. How much money can Narconon rake out of Indian Health Care funds that could otherwise be used for legitimate medical expenses?

Information we have read suggests that dependency upon drugs is simply replaced with dependency upon Scientology. A sociology professor in California has warned us that similar establishments have been used by this group in the past as warehouses for dissident members. The isolation is ideal. The lack of outside scrutiny is perfect. The potential is frightening beyond anything we have dealt with before.

These mental messiahs with forked tongues are treading on our Indian neighbors' hopes of economic and social development. What they really want is the isolation of Indian land, exempt from state and local law enforcement jurisdiction. And in the deal, they'll get a ready made crop of Indian "patients." With Indian Health Care picking up the tab for nearly all of them while they get "processed" down the path of "enlightenment."

And beyond the swindle of Indian health care funds, how many patients will actually wind up believing they are "Super Thetans" capable of taking intergalactic voyages by leaving their bodies behind? How many people will forgo medical care while trying to "erase" the "engrams" that are causing their heart trouble? How many will die? It only takes a few more courses to get there. And money, of course.

How many of our sons and daughters will wind up working as Scientology missionaries or Narconon staffers in order to pay for their unending array of enlightening courses?

In return, Narconon is offering a measly $3.2 million per tribe for a 25 year lease on misery. Our Indian neighbors have again been let down by the "agencies" designed to help and protect all of us from shysters and swindlers. Especially the Oklahoma Health Planning Commission, which must have had it's head plugged into an E-meter not to discover the true nature of this malignity. Surely information so readily available in the Newkirk Public Library is available in Oklahoma City.

If you think this all sounds like I've been smoking funnygrass, I suggest you trot on over there and look it up yourself. If you need a list of references, I've got lots of 'em. But just reading today's paper will give you the general idea. And you won't need an E-meter to get the mental picture.

We've already got too many drunks and dopers. Do we want a bunch of space cadets, too?

We may be the only voice crying in the wilderness, but we suggest that Narconon is no answer to our area's drug problem, or it's economic problem. It would behoove us all to encourage Hubbard's hucksters to hook up their horses and get their asteroids on down the road.