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Media Articles - 1990s

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Chilocco Alumni Oppose Narconon

By Michael McNutt

Daily Oklahoman
June 16, 1992

Former students and employees of the old Chilocco Indian school near Newkirk apparently don't like what's happening on campus.

For the second time in two years, members of the Chilocco National Alumni Association have passed a resolution opposing Narconon Chilocco New Life Center being housed at the old school.

Ruth Hankowsky of Norman, an alumni member and former treasurer of the group, said the resolution was adopted over the weekend, during the association's annual meeting in Oklahoma City.

"This resolution reaffirms the resolution of 1990," she said.

Another resolution was passed because the issue of whether Narconon Chilocco can remain operating in Oklahoma without state approval "is just dragging on," she said.

Hankowsky said more than 300 members attended the meeting.

Many want Narconon Chilocco to leave the old school campus because it isn't licensed and its treatment program has never been approved by state officials, she said.

Narconon is appealing the state mental health board's denial of the center's certification.

"The association commends the state mental health board for upholding the state's requirements for licensure," Hankowsky said.

In addition, members are concerned about Narconon Chilocco's ties with the Church of Scientology, Hankowsky said.

"Some of us knew about the Church of Scientology before Narconon came in here and we opposed it from the first," she said. "We don't need it in Oklahoma."

In 1988, Narconon Chilocco signed a 25-year lease with the Chilocco Development Authority, which manages the old Chilocco Indian school.

Hankowsky said the national Chilocco alumni association meets every June in Oklahoma. It has more than 500 members.

She said the alumni organization should not be confused with the Chilocco Native American Council, a group formed late last year to support Narconon Chilocco and its efforts to obtain state licensing.