Yesterday, the Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed Bill 295, drafted by State Senator Tom Ivester — a first step toward ensuring safe addiction treatment in the State of Oklahoma. The Senator’s initiative began with an August 17, 2012 posting on the Oklahoma State Legislature’s Communications Division website:
“Sen. Tom Ivester said he will work with officials at Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to author legislation aimed at regulating questionable practices of a drug treatment program with close ties to the Church of Scientology.”
“A recent in-depth investigation by NBC’s national news program, “Rock Center,” highlighted the story of three people who walked into the Narconon Arrowhead facility expecting to leave with a new outlook on life but ended up losing their lives,” Ivester said. “The parents trusted Narconon to give their children the help they needed to get clean. Instead they got a phone call telling them their child would not be coming home alive.”
“Ivester vowed not to stop until legislation is signed into law ending these senseless deaths and the exploitation of desperate family members.”
After yesterday’s “ayes 46, nays 0” Senate vote, the bill is headed to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. A two-thirds approval by both the State Senate and House is required. Once passed, the bill goes to Governor Mary Fallin’s office to be signed into law. Fallin does have the power to veto the bill, but considering the unanimous 46–0 Senate vote, a veto is unlikely.
Senator Ivester had strong words concerning Narconon Arrowhead. “This is a disgusting business that preys on desperate family members and their sick loved ones, scamming them out of thousands of dollars with the promise of providing hope and new life,” Ivester said. “It’s a disgrace to have these people operating in the state of Oklahoma. Too many lives have been lost under their watch.”
Senator Speaks About Deaths At Narconon Arrowhead:
Sources in Oklahoma contacted by phone today concurred that the new legislation, once signed into law by Governor Fallin, will then be in the hands and jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, which must then determine if Narconon Arrowhead and other drug rehabs meet the accreditation criteria. http://tinyurl.com/an54yc4
“BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
“Section 3-415. A. 1. The Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services shall promulgate rules and standards for certification for private facilities and organizations which provide treatment, counseling, recovery, and rehabilitation services directed toward alcohol- and drug-dependent persons. These facilities and organizations shall be known as "Certified Services for the Alcohol and Drug Dependent". Only certified facilities may receive and assist alcohol- and drug-dependent persons by providing treatment, recovery support, and rehabilitation.”
“H. All claims by and accomplishments publicized by any applicant for certification or any certified alcohol- or drug dependent organization, including but not limited to consumer count and success rates, shall be documented and verifiable by the Board.”
Narconon will have trouble with the last paragraph above because Narconon is well known for luring desperate addicts by boasting that its success rate is 70-90%. No substantiating data and/or controlled, verifiable and unbiased studies have ever been produced.
Narconon Arrowhead is facing an uphill battle, as can be foreshadowed by a December 1991 Oklahoma Board of Mental Health decision NOT to certify Arrowhead (formerly Narconon-Chilocco) on the grounds that “the program offered by Narconon-Chilocco is not medically safe.” http://tinyurl.com/aq7g74l
The Oklahoma Board of Mental Health stated: “There is no credible evidence establishing the effectiveness of the Narconon program to its patients.”
The idea that Narconon could change or adapt to the new law is nearly impossible, unless it were to alter the Scientology technology (or ”tech”) established by L. Ron Hubbard, an overhaul which is not likely to happen.
Once Bill 295 becomes law and Narconon Arrowhead has to submit an application for certification, Narconon, like all applicants, will have “the burden of proving that its program meets all requirements for certification and specifically the burden of proving its program is both safe and effective.”
Additional information from sources is expected this week, and updates will be posted as the information arrives.
Stay tuned for the next Examiner article that will feature a special person who was instrumental and certainly deserves enormous credit for taking risks and for putting the issue of Narconon Arrowhead on the media's radar.
David Edgar Love