McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 23, 2012

Narconon Arrowhead gives presentation at local school

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER —  

Narconon Arrowhead representatives gave a Red Ribbon Week presentation to students Canadian High School on Monday and are hoping to give a presentation at the McAlester Boys and Girls Club this week, according John Bitinas, public relations spokesman for Narconon Arrowhead.
The Narconon program was founded by William Benitez, a former heroin addict, in the Arizona State Penitentiary in 1966 and uses the methodology of the Church of Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, according to a press-release from the facility.
Canadian High School Principal Bud Rattan said the group has been at the school several times over the years.
“They have been coming here and giving their presentation every year for the last seven or eight years,” Principal Bud Rattan.
Bitinas said the group usually visits the school twice a year.
“We try to do a bi-annual presentation,” he said.
Bitinas said Narconon plans to visit several schools across Oklahoma over the next few days. “We have about five schools scheduled,” he said.
 Principal Rattan said Narconon Arrowhead representatives, Niko Bain and Bitinas, spoke to the students for about an hour.
During the presentation Canadian students were taught that all medication is poison, according to the press-release.
“One of the points of focus was combating the widely spread misinformation about the ‘positive’ uses of drugs, stating that all drugs are basically poison to a person’s body,” the release states.
On Tuesday, Bitinas added that “all drugs if taken in a large amount in a small amount of time can also certainly be dangerous.”
A former drug addict, Bitinas, said in the press release, “Narconon saved my life and I want to give back all I can for the damage I did and to help save kids’ lives so they don’t have to go through the things I went through.”
The release most of the staff members of Narconon Arrowhead are former drug addicts.
“Most of our staff members are former addicts and we share an equal drive and purpose in life,” according to the press release.
The presentation has not yet been given to the elementary school students, according to Canadian Elementary Principal, Christy Lackey. 
“I don’t have anything set up with them, yet.” Lackey said. 
 Principal Rattan said he has worked with Narconon for several years. He said several of his students have parents who work at the Narconon facility.
He also said during the assemblies, the speakers stay strictly on drug education and awareness. 
“It was purely educational,” Rattan said.
“Any message we can get across to our students to help them not abuse drugs is good,” 
Meanwhile, according to the press-release the goal of the Narconon education program is stop all use of medications.
“We plan to put ourselves out of business one day by eradicating drug use completely,” the release states.
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.