State Asks Narconon Be Closed
By Michael McNutt
March 21, 1992
PONCA CITY - The state of Oklahoma is asking a Kay County district judge to shut down Narconon Chilocco New Life Center, claiming the drug and alcohol treatment center is unregulated and dangerous.
Guy Hurst, an assistant state attorney general, said the state wants to stop Narconon's "outrageous conduct and stop it now." Narconon's lawyers argue the state lacks jurisdiction because the center, north of Newkirk, is on Indian land.
Harry Woods Jr. of Oklahoma City said Indian tribes sorely need alcohol treatment centers, citing studies that showed a 70 percent addiction rate among Indians, and that afflicted tribal members are dying for lack of available programs.
Narconon Chilocco also has provided a source for revenue for five tribes that own the land the facility leases, Woods said. In the past two years, Narconon Chilocco paid $219,016 in lease payments and projects paying more than $47.8 million in lease payments during the course of a 25-year lease, he said.
The center has treated 190 persons, including 41 Indians, Woods said.
Lawyers for both sides made their arguments in legal briefs filed in the Ponca City division of Kay County District Court.
Judge Neal Beekman, who presided over a one-day hearing last month on the matter, will review the documents. He said earlier he would like to make a ruling by the end of this month.
Narconon Chilocco began accepting patients in February 1990 and applied for state certification later that year after state lawyers filed documents asking Beekman to shut down the unlicensed center.