TODAYS TOP STORIES
Former Narconon Arrowhead President Speaks About Deaths
After three deaths within a nine month period at Narconon Arrowhead, its former President is sounding off about what he says happens behind the facility's walls.
Fox 25 first told you about deaths at Narconon Arrowhead back in May. Since then, several agencies have launched investigations into the facility, which is located in Canadian, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health is now investigating Narconon Arrowhead. Then, after police found Stacy Murphy dead at the center last month, the Pittburg County District Attorney's Office also launched an investigation. The DA is looking into whether to file criminal charges against Narconon for Murphy's death. Last week we told you about how Senator Tom Ivester announced plans to file legislation aimed to regulate practices at drug treatment programs, like the one at Narconon Arrowhead.
Now one of the former leaders of Narconon Arrowhead is speaking about why he thinks the facility is more affiliated with Scientology than it claims to be. Lucas Catton was the President of Narconon Arrowhead around two years. He says he not only worked there, but he also went through the drug treatment program. Catton think Narconon Arrowhead should be more open about its ties to the Church of Scientology.
"From a Narconon perspective, immediately what that tells me is that we're apparently not doing our jobs well enough to have even one happen," said Lucas Catton. "Let alone three, four or more."
After three deaths within a nine month period at Narconon Arrowhead, the drug rehab facility's former President is coming forward.
"Any loss of life is hopefully unnecessary and specifically in a case like this, where they're going to a place like this for help and there's potential or apparent negligence involved, it's absolutely tragic," said Catton.
Lucas Catton started working for Narconon Arrowhead in December of 2000 after he went through the drug treatment program. A couple of years later he became President.
Catton no longer worked for Narconon Arrowhead in 2009 when Kaysie Werninck was there. According to court documents, in February or 2009, Werninck checked into Narconon. Around a month later, she died at a hospital. The lawsuit filed by her family says Werninck was at Narconon when she became "seriously ill with an upper respiratory infection."
"It's tragic," said Catton.
Last month Stacy Murphy became the third person to die in a nine month period at Narconon Arrowhead.
"Stacy should not be dead and her death should not be in vain," said Robert Murphy, Stacy Murphy's dad.
Hillary Holten and Gabriel Graves also died at the facility.
"We just need to find out what's going on and get some answers and make it stop," said Shirley Gilliam, Gabriel Graves' mom.
Catton recently cut ties with the Church of Scientology. He think Narconon Arrowhead needs to be more open about its connection to the church.
"I think that if it were just honest with what it was and not pretend to be something it's not, then it would still get clients," said Catton. "They would know exactly what they're getting when they went there and not be potentially deceived or thinking otherwise."
Narconon Arrowhead does mention the founder of the Church of Scientology on its website, L. Ron Hubbard. However, Catton says some people don't know who Hubbard is.
The CEO of Narconon Arrowhead, Gary Smith said in a statement to Fox 25: "Narconon has always acknowledged that our organization receives support from
the Church of Scientology."
However, Catton says Narconon's involvement with Scientology goes beyond that. He says the facility teaches some of the same courses taught in the Church of Scientology.
"The sauna program, the detoxification program, is based off the book "Clear Body Clear Mind" by L. Ron Hubbard and it is the same exact program, the same set of policies and procedures that are used at a Church," said Catton. "It's just named something different. The beginning communication exercises that they call training routines or "T-R's", they're also done inside of a church."
Narconon's CEO, Gary Smith said in his statement: "While most of the principals and rehabilitation methods used at Narconon can be found within the vast amount of information contained in the religion of Scientology materials, all of the materials pertaining to the Narconon recovery program have been completely secularized and contain no religious philosophy."
Catton does not think Narconon Arrowhead should shut its doors, but he does think it needs to be held accountable for the deaths that occurred.
"Given the situations and the tragedies recently, clearly there's medical attention that was not given, otherwise these people could have been saved or at least not all or I'm sure most of them could have been," said Catton.
Some former Narconon patients and family members are planning a protest at Narconon Arrowhead. It's scheduled for Saturday. Fox 25 will be there.
Tuesday night on the Fox 25 Primetime News at Nine, we'll show you why Narconon Arrowhead's former President says the facility's success rate is not as high as it says it is. Plus, we'll tell you about the recruiting program where he says people are paid thousands of dollars to get people to sign up to attend Narconon Arrowhead.
Narconon Arrowhead's CEO Gary Smith says he does not want to do an interview out of respect for the families and because of confidentiality laws. Smith sent us a letter about the recent deaths at the facility:
http://www.okcfox.com//newsroom/features/files/NNAH OPEN LETTER082012.pdf
Posted: Monday, August 20 2012, 10:55 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Tornado watch issued for western, central Oklahoma
May 18, 2013 22:57 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A tornado watch is in effect for western and central Oklahoma.
The weather system brought severe thunderstorms to the Altus and Clinton areas, as well as Harper County late Saturday afternoon. There were no reports of rotation as evening approached but the tornado watch lasts until 11 p.m. Saturday.
The dangerous weather is forecast to continue into Sunday night as the system progresses to the east.
The tornado watch area Saturday stretched from eastern edge of the Panhandle to include the Oklahoma City area.
Forecasters warn that the system could also bring large hail.
The National Weather Service in Norman reports tennis ball-size hail along U.S. 62 near the border of Harmon and Jackson counties in the state's far southwest.
Sometimes the stories with the most impact come directly from the viewers. If you have a story that needs to be told, we want to hear it. Fill out the form below and let us know what stories need to be told.
From the FOX 25 First Forecast Center..Tornado watch for western and central OK until 11 pm Saturday night. Severe t'storms may also produce large hail and damaging winds. ...
Gauge of US economy's future health up in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of the U.S. economy's future health rose in solidly in April, buoyed by a sharp rise in applications to build new homes and apartments.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: LABOR GROUP SAYS CONDITIONS AT APPLE PLANTS IMPROVING
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A labor group Apple joined to assess working conditions at three manufacturing plants in China, where its products are made, says conditions are getting better.
ON THIN ICE?
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- He was already on thin ice with the law when he failed to meet the conditions of his probation.