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Media Articles - 1990s

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12 January 2003
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Narconon Takes Step to Secure State License

The Oklahoman
August 30, 1990

Officials of Narconon Chilocco New Life Center have taken the first step toward state licensing.

The substance abuse center has operated near here the past several months without state approval. Tuesday, they applied to have their treatment plan certified by the state mental health department.

It might be January until the state mental health board will be able to act on the certification request.

"It's the first little step in the process," said Rosemary Brown, mental health department spokeswoman.

District Attorney Joe Wideman said he plans to go ahead with a request from mental health department officials to close the center because it operates without state licensing or certification.

A hearing on whether a temporary injunction should be granted to close the center until it is licensed is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Kay County District Court.

Wideman said mental health officials could ask him to postpone the hearing while Narconon goes through the certification process.

Wideman said Narconon has been treating patients since February, but has not sought the state mental health department's certification or state health department licensing.

Officials with Narconon, which has ties with the Church of Scientology, have said they could operate without state approval. Their contention is based on the center being on Indian land.

They also claimed they were treating only Indians but evidence indicates most of their patients have been non-Indians, Wideman said.

Certification is necessary before the center can seek licensing from the state. Narconon earlier submitted an application for a license.

The mental health department's audit and compliance staff will look at Narconon's application to determine if it is complete before a visit to the center is scheduled, Brown said.