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Media Articles - 1990s

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13 January 2003
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Scientology Required, Former Guard Claims

The Okhahoman, Oklahoma
June 26, 1991

A substance abuse center operating at an old Indian school is a recruiting station for people to join the Church of Scientology, a former security guard there claimed Tuesday.

John Allen told The Oklahoman that he was fired last week after working six months at the Narconon Chilocco New Life Center when he refused to sign a two-year contract agreeing to learn more about the Church of Scientology.

"It was a two-year Scientologist contract," he said. "They wanted me to study the theory of Scientology and take select courses. "

Gary Smith, president of Narconon Chilocco, strongly denied Allen's charges.

"It's absurd," Smith said.

Smith confirmed Allen was asked to sign a contract, but that he was not fired just for refusing to sign.

"Basically, without giving the guy too much ill repute, he just wasn't performing on the job," Smith said.

Smith said others at Narconon have signed 2 1/2-year agreements that basically serve as a commitment "so we know we've got guys for that length of time," Smith said.

Smith said persons signing the agreement are asked to study the Narconon program, not to learn about Scientology.

Allen, 34, who previously worked 13 years as a tribal police officer, said it was common for people completing Narconon Chilocco's treatment plan to go to Los Angeles for further work or studies at Narconon International's headquarters or training as a Scientologist.

"What it is, it's a recruiting post for Scientologists," he said.

Pictures of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard are hung throughout the complex, Allen said. Two of three classrooms are used to teach clients the principles of Scientology, he said.

Allen, who previously worked for the Ponca, Pawnee and Osage tribal police departments, said Narconon Chilocco officials are worried about bad publicity to the extent of refusing to call an ambulance for a staff member who was beaten by a client and for a client who drank bug poison.

He said no physical examinations are performed on new clients, and no medical treatment is provided for clients going through withdrawal symptoms.

"They've got what they call a detox area, but that's blow in the wind," Allen said. "All they do is lay in there until they dry out.

Clients had to come off the booze and drugs themselves. " Bruce Pyle, a spokesman for Narconon Chilocco, said Allen went to the newspaper because he was upset over being fired.

Pyle asked that a story not be written because "it leaves a very bad impression. Whether it's proven or not doesn't really matter because the damage is done. "

Allen said he is not the only person to refuse to sign a two-year agreement to study Scientology.

Narconon Chilocco has been accepting patients since Feburary 1990 on Indian land it leases from the Chilocco Development Authority.

However, the program still is awaiting certification from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Board action could take place later this summer.

Narconon Chilocco, which typically charges $15,000 for its three-month treatment, is seeking state approval to treat up to 75 patients. It has long-range plans to treat up to 750 people.

He also said sexual relations between clients and between staff members and clients was common during the time he worked at the facility. A favorite spot for sexual activity was Narconon Chilocco's saunas, where some clients spend more than five hours a day in treatment.