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Media Articles - 1990s

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14 January 2003
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Narconon Used Mailing List, Paper Says

By Michael McNutt

Daily Oklahoman
July 31, 1991

Most of the subscribers to Newkirk's local newspaper recently found some additional reading material in their mail.

It was not sent by the newspaper, although the spellings of names and addresses are identical to an old newspaper mailing list that was thrown in the trash two weeks ago.

Bob Lobsinger, publisher of the Newkirk Herald-Journal, said Tuesday he finds it more than coincidence that the mailing came from Narconon Chilocco New Life Center, a nearby substance abuse center that he has taken to task for its ties with the Church of Scientology.

Lobsinger said people who don't subsribe to his paper in Newkirk did not receive the mailings, nor did new subscribers whose names and addresses weren't on the old list.

Lobsinger said the spellings of names on his list match the spellings on the addresses printed on the Narconon mailings.

Gary Smith, president of Narconon Chilocco, said addresses for the mailings were obtained through public record.

Asked to clarify, he said names were obtained from telephone books and mailing houses.

However, Lobsinger said two of his subscribers in Ponca City told him they were the only ones on their blocks to receive the mailings.

Several widows who use their given names only for their Newkirk newspaper subscription called his office curious how the Narconon mailing had their first names, he said.

The women use their deceased husbands' names in the telephone book and other mailings, he said.

Lobsinger said he updates his mailing list every six months and the mailing list he threw out in the trash on July 15 was for about 1,000 subscribers from July through December 1990.

Shortly later, almost all of the people whose names are on that list received a letter dated July 16 from Smith, along with two Church of Scientology booklets.

Both booklets respond to a Time magazine article reprinted recently in the local newspaper that was critical of the Church of Scientology.

Smith, in the letter, said: "The lies spread by Time magazine about Narconon are numerous and outrageous. These publications will help you to understand the motivations of the people behind these lies which include the promotion of drugs. "

On Tuesday, Smith said Narconon International, based in Los Angeles, mailed the booklets, which were distributed by the Church of Scientology.

He said about 250,000 booklets were mailed, and denied that readers of the Newkirk newspaper were targeted, or that Narconon Chilocco obtained the newspaper's old mailing list.

"I instigated the thing because the main issue has been Scientology and it's gotten completely off of Narconon," he said.

"With nobody knowing much about it and all of these allegations, we set it up so we can get this information out there so people understand what Scientology is because all they are is a supporter.

"If people are attacking Narconon because of its support, people need to know as much as they could about one of its supporters," Smith said.

However, Lobsinger said he is "99 percent sure" that Narconon Chilocco obtained his mailing list from his trash dumpster.

"It's pretty obvious.

"They cleaned up the list a little bit but they screwed up and left my brother on out in Arizona. Nobody else in his neighborhood got them.

"Everybody who got the paper got the deal and everybody who doesn't get the paper didn't get the package," Lobsinger said.