Parents file suit in Scientology-related rehab facility death

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The parents of a 21-year-old Texas woman who died this spring after spending two days at an Oklahoma rehab facility rooted in Scientology filed a lawsuit against the organization Thursday, court records show.

The Tulsa World says

Hillary Holten of Carrolton, Texas, died April 11 after entering Narconon Arrowhead, a nonmedical drug-detoxification facility on Lake Eufaula near McAlester.

Holten is one of three Narconon Arrowhead patrons to die since October. As a result of those deaths, the facility is being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Other recent deaths at the facility include those of Stacy Murphy, 20, of Owasso on July 19 and of Gabriel Graves, 32, of Claremore on Oct. 26. […]

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The suit, which lists Holten’s parents, Matthew and Suzan Holten, as plaintiffs, alleges negligence by the organization for accepting Holten into their program given Holten’s medical condition.

Meanwhile local TV station Newson6 reports a former Narconon Arrowhead employee has come to Oklahoma to protest the facility:

“I would have died in there, just like they did,” said Colin Henderson.

Henderson was a patient at Narconon Arrowhead back in 2007. He says he had the same problem with his heart medicine.

He left after just weeks, but has been working to shut down the facility ever since 2009. That was about the same time that David Love Edgar left Narconon’s Quebec facility. He was not only a patient but employee.

“It was hell, it really was. I saw people taken away in ambulances,” said Edgar. […]

Love and Henderson believe if Narconon here in Oklahoma is shut down, facilities across the United States will follow.

Last April health officials in Quebec, Canada have ordered the Narconon rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Trois Rivières to evacuate and relocate its 32 residents, citing concerns over procedures that “may represent a risk to health” and a lack of doctors on staff.

Narconon of Oklahoma CEO Gary Smith defends the care of its patients.

However, critics point out that Narconon treats drug addicts with the €˜purification treatments‘ concocted by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology’s medical claims are widely considered to be prime examples of quackery.

Narconon is one of several Scientology front groups. TIME magazine has referred to Narconon as a €˜classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult.’

Learn more about Narconon

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This post was last updated: Friday, May 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM, Central European Time (CET)