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Media Articles - 1990s

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13 January 2003
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Narconon Certification to Resume

The Okhahoman, Oklahoma
April 12, 1991

The certification process for a drug treatment center will resume later this month when a Tulsa psychiatrist pays a visit to the center on Indian trust land, officials said Thursday.

The Narconon Chilocco New Life Center has operated more than a year without state certification. Narconon is at the old Chilocco Indian School about 10 miles south of Kansas in Kay County.

John Chelf, a psychiatrist in Tulsa, has scheduled visits at the Narconon campus for April 25 and April 26.

"We're glad to get this thing going," Narconon spokesman Bruce Pyle said Thursday, shortly after actress Kirstie Alley, an international spokeswoman for Narconon, held a news conference.

The state mental health department must certify drug treatment centers before they can be licensed by the state health department.

Narconon said a year ago when it opened that it doesn't need state approval because it operates on Indian land. But officials said it would voluntarily submit to the process.

Mental health experts visited the center twice in September and were prepared to recommend a denial of certification to the mental health board in November when Narconon won a restraining order.

Narconon claimed mental health officials were biased against the center, which reportedly has ties with the Church of Scientology. The mental health board named Chelf to conduct an independent review.

Pyle claimed Wednesday that mental health officials were dragging their feet in completing the process.

George Corbyn, an Oklahoma City attorney representing the mental health department, said Narconon did not submit treatment methodology papers for Chelf to consider until March 12.

"The result of that was he couldn't commence his review," Corbyn said Thursday. "After the on-site review is completed, hopefully we will have a hearing promptly. "

Pyle said Narconon officials didn't send the background material earlier because they objected to Chelf's appointment and wanted to await the outcome of a hearing on its objection.