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Media Articles - 1990s

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13 January 2003
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Tribe Seeks to End Narconon Lease

The Okhahoman, Oklahoma
February 13, 1991

One of five tribes that signed a lease with a substance abuse center to operate on the old Chilocco Indian school campus says the lease should be broken.

The lease with Narconon International should be terminated because of late lease payments and Narconon's failure to obtain state certification, according to a resolution passed by the Kaw tribal council.

The tribe also cited suspected fraud by Narconon in reporting the number of patients it has at the facility and explaining its relationship with the Church of Scientology.

The Kaw nation's tribal council voted 6-0 to ask the Chilocco Development Authority to terminate its 25-year lease with Narconon, which operates Narconon New Life Chilocco. One tribal member abstained from voting.

Other tribes making up the authority, designed to find economic activities for the 160 acres of the main campus of the old Chilocco Indian school, are the Poncas, Pawnees, Tonkawas and Otoe-Missourias.

The school is about six miles north of Newkirk.

Ponca tribal leaders last year expressed concerns about the lease with Narconon, while Tonkawa tribal leaders generally have supported Narconon's efforts to operate. The Tonkawa chairman last year joined Narconon in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state's authority to license the Chilocco center because it is on sovreign Indian land.

The Kaw resolution says Narconon International is remiss in its lease agreement, which was signed in September 1988, because monthly lease payments have been consistently late and several lease payment checks have been returned because of insufficient funds.

The Narconon Chilocco center has come under fire for its ties to the Church of Scientology and some local residents have expressed fears that the center could become a recruiting tool for the church.

Narconon officials deny that the center is affiliated with the church, although it receives support from the church and uses treatment methods developed by founder L. Ron Hubbard.