TULSA, Okla. - An Owasso man whose daughter died of an apparent drug overdose while at a drug treatment facility says he wants the place fixed or shut down and he wants the world to know about its roots in the Church of Scientology and what that organization's beliefs entail.
Robert Murphy's daughter, Stacy Dawn Murphy, died at Narconon Arrowhead July 19.
The facility claims it has medical personnel "on staff" 24 hours a day but what they don't say is that "on staff" does not mean "on site," Murphy says.
"You believe they have a 24-hour physician in the building and all these nurses in the building, (that's) what you hear when they say they have a 24-hour staff. Well in actuality they have'em on staff, but they're not in the premises," he says.
Murphy's death is listed as "unattended," which would back up Robert Murphy's contention that his daughter was left in a room alone where she passed away from what appears to have been a drug overdose.
The "on staff" medical personnel were apparently never notified.
"They had her for ten-plus hours where they knew she was in an OD (overdose) situation and nobody did anything. No monitoring of her, no physician was called, no 911, didn't call her parents, nothing. Just put her in a room and left her to die," he told KRMG.
Prior to Stacy's admission to Narconon Arrowhead, the family had been desperate for help and Narconon boasts an incredible 76 percent success rate, roughly three times the success rate of traditional treatment programs.
"It sounds so appealing, a 76 percent success rate," Murphy told KRMG. "But in reality there's no clinical study to back it up."
But they didn't know that at the time and they decided on Narconon despite the extremely high cost.
"You're drawn to this '76 percent' and you're willing to believe it. You think you're getting more by paying more...what parent wouldn't pay whatever it takes to get results that work?" Murphy asks, rhetorically.
Then, even as the shock of her death set in, Robert began taking a closer look at Narconon's underlying roots in the Church of Scientology.
He hadn't really looked at the connection before Stacy's death.
"They hide it so well, you don't ask about because you're still stuck on the fact, you're still thinking '76 percent success rate.' So you don't question 'is it Scientology,' it's just a book that they use."
Now, he says, he has a much darker opinion of Scientology and how he believes the "church" uses Narconon to gain followers and their money.
"This is just science fiction. They believe in aliens that brought us here from other planets millions and millions of years ago. The things I've learned, it is so mind boggling that people, if you tell them, they just think you're making things up."
It's the title "church" that he thinks throws a lot of people off.
"Most people think 'church,' well that has to do with your traditional church, you know God, Jesus, along that line."
But it's definitely not that kind of church and he says he believes it's a cult, or worse.
"My opinion, it's a scam. It's just a way to draw money in and make you pay to achieve higher levels of their 'consciousness,' of their 'past lives.'"
KRMG has called Narconon several times in recent months for comment on Stacy Dawn Murphy's death and the deaths of two other people at the facility within the space of a few months.
They have not responded to our requests for comment and have not returned our calls.
The webpage reads, in part:
Scientologists helped sponsor the creation of Narconon Arrowhead. Established in 2001, this is the premier facility of the Narconon network. It stands amidst 216 acres of woodland on the shores of Lake Eufaula in southeastern Oklahoma. In addition to being the world’s largest residential facility of its kind, Narconon Arrowhead also serves as the international training center for drug rehabilitation specialists.
Narconon is under fire on several fronts, with many websites dedicated to exposing the "truth" about its practices.
If Robert Murphy has his way, lawmakers in Oklahoma will take a hard look at what's going on in Pittsburg County and the facility will change, or shut down.