Letter to the Editor
Ponca City News
September 12, 1996
Once again Narconon at Chilocco has come to the forefront of Intertribal controversy.
Supporters of Narconon encourage propaganda that somehow the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is devilishly behind any anti-Narconon activities. Pawnee Agency BIA Superintendent, Julia Langan is singled out as the instigator of anti-Narconon movements.
Narconon entered into a BIA-approved lease over five years ago with five area tribes - Ponca, Otoe-Missouria, Kaw, Pawnee, and Tonkawa. The lease was for a 168-acre campus with buildings to be used for a drug treatment center. The rent was to be a monthly 10 percent of the Treatment income with a percentage set aside for building renovation. Narconon advertised treatment business to the tribes at a 150-bed capacity originally. This was reduced to 75 beds later. The Tribes claimed there was difficulty meeting their 75-bed capacity figure.
Cynthia Grass Vetter and Martin Wayne Blue Back (Thomasine Grass Blue Back's husband) originally introduced Narconon to the area tribes. They have continued to be staunch supporters.
Myself and other Poncas have been and remain staunch opposers to Narconon at Chilocco. The Ponca Tribe has gone on record in tribal meetings and in Tribal Council policy as being opposed to Narconon at Chilocco.
Currently Chilocco Development (CDA) is dissolved by a choice of a majority of the area tribes. They requested that the BIA monitor their lease and collect their rent. The BIA upon review of the lease determined that there were violations on the part of Narconon. BIA's most recent action was to cancel the lease.
Narconon appealed the lease cancellation. At a meeting of tribal representatives in June of this year the area tribes elected to support the cancellation action of the BIA.
There is reported to be at least two Ponca Tribal Council members who are behind-the-scene supporters of Narconon. There is one tribal program director who has been a consistent Narconon supporter.
Many of us Poncas are concerned over a group like Narconon that we suspect has spent nearly $2,000,000 in legal fees on a 168-acre campus and a business that seems to have no prospects of success.
The Poncas have another 800 acres of valuable land at Chilocco. We are not going to take a chance on another long legal entanglement in a lease that is full of problems.
December is election time for the Poncas for a majority of the seats on the Tribal Council. The Narconon issue will be an election issue, and it will take more than petitions to win that election.
Enrolled Tribal Member