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Little progress in Narconon Arrowhead probe (Tulsa World)


It's been about six months since a multiagency investigation began into Narconon Arrowhead after three recent deaths at the drug rehab facility, and officials have yet to take any major, public action against the facility.

Jeff Dismukes, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said representatives from the investigative agencies involved are planning to meet soon to plan their next step.

"We are getting ready to meet with other authorities with the information we've collected so that we can move forward with the investigation," he said.

Dismukes would not comment on whether any new parties are involved in the investigation, saying only that "there could be."

Narconon Arrowhead is the flagship branch of an international drug-rehabilitation organization rooted in the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Active entities in the investigation include the state Mental Health Department, the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office, the Pittsburg County District Attorney's Office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, as previously reported.

Narconon Arrowhead officials didn't return a phone call Friday.

The recent deaths of patients at the facility include Gabriel Graves, 32, of Claremore; Hillary Holten, 21, of Carrollton, Texas; and Stacy Murphy, 20, of Owasso.

Graves died Oct. 26, 2011, and Holten died April 11.

Murphy's death July 19 from a drug overdose while at the facility spurred the investigation.

Her family alleges in court records that she was placed into the facility's detoxification area and was left alone. She was found dead the next morning.

All three patients' families have filed wrongful death and negligence lawsuits against Narconon Arrowhead.

The lawsuits accuse Narconon of violating standard health safety practices.

The program's unorthodox approach to treatment includes five-hour daily sauna sessions and ingesting vitamins. Additionally, the patients, known as students, go through training based on teachings of Hubbard, according to literature used at the facility.

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