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Narconon loses drug counseling certifications, former director speaks out
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Narconon loses drug counseling certifications, former director speaks out

Narconon loses drug counseling certifications, former director speaks out
Photo Credit: Russell Mills

Narconon loses drug counseling certifications, former director speaks out

The death of a young Owasso woman, the third in a matter of a year, has triggered investigations, lawsuits, and now it appears it may have led directly or indirectly to a loss of drug counseling certifications for the current director of Narconon Arrowhead and members of his staff.

The president of the National Association of Forensic Counselors confirmed to reporters that the NAFC revoked the counseling certifications of Narconon Arrowhead's top executive, Gary Smith, and several of his employees.

That revokation is permanent.

The Pittburg County Sheriff's Office and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services both have investigations ongoing into the deaths of Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, as well as Hillary Holten, 21, Gabriel Graves, 32, and Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28.

Werninck died while a patient, but was not actually at the facility at the time.

The other three deaths all occurred at the facility, in the space of about a year.

The NAFC has not commented on the reason for the revokations.

Murphy's family, and Graves' family, have both filed lawsuits against Narconon Arrowhead.

KRMG has spoken exclusively with a former director of Narconon Arrowhead, Lucas Catton.

His new book, "Have You Told All? Inside my Time with Narconon and Scientology" tells his story of becoming a "student," then an employee, then eventually a high-ranking official in the organization. [CLICK HERE to hear our full interview]

After 12 years, he tells KRMG, and after leaving and coming back, he began asking questions about some of the practices that he found alarming or morally questionable.

"I started to discover things, for example there were ex-church leaders that brought forward allegations of abuse, coerced abortions, things like that," he said. "Members of the church were saying 'don't look there, don't go there, don't ask questions, fall in line.'"

He continued, "I was eventually cast out."

And he makes it clear that Narconon is thoroughly based in Scientology, though the organization's careful not to make that too obvious unless one does one's homework.

That's because, in Catton's opinion, they could lose millions of dollars in fees if people pulled their loved ones out rather than support what many see as a cult.

Meanwhile, the state legislature's considering bringing drug rehabilitation centers like Narconon under state supervision.

Practices like claiming a 76-percent success rate anger many former patients and their families, especially those who have died.

Catton says it's simply a lie, based on a handful of studies conducted decades ago.

"Clark Carr, president of Narconon International, recently stated in depositions for a lawsuit (in Georgia) that those studies had no control groups and that they weren't scientifically valid."

KRMG's investigation into Narconon Arrowhead and its practices continues.

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