By Jeanne LeFlore
A former president of Narconon Arrowhead said four deaths at the facility were “beyond anything imaginable.”
Narconon Arrowhead is a drug rehab in Canadian that uses Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings to rehabilitate its clients. It’s also where three clients were found dead in a nine-month span. A fourth died in 2009 at local hospital.
The most recent, the July death of Stacy Murphy, 20, spurred a multi-agency investigation into the deaths.
On Wednesday, legislation allowing the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Abuse Services to oversee Narconon Arrowhead and other rehab facilities passed the Senate unopposed and was sent to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk. If signed, the bill could become law in November.
Lucas Catton, who now lives in Georgia, said he was involved with Narconon Arrowhead and Scientology for more than 12 years before he said he was “excommunicated” for questioning the program and the church.
He said when he heard about the death of Gabriel Graves, 32, found dead in his bed at Narconon Arrowhead in October 2011, he figured it was an “isolated incident.”
Finally, when 20-year-old Stacy Murphy was found dead in July, Catton said he had to speak out.
“It was beyond anything imaginable,” he said.
“I just thought maybe something happened that wasn’t related to the program.” Catton said. “I never thought it could be the program.”
Then six months later, when Hillary Holten, 21, was found dead in her bed at the facility in April 2012, and he learned of the 2009 death of Kaysie Werninck, 28, he became alarmed and he said worked to disassociate himself completely from any possible ties he had left with Narconon.
Catton said he has finally landed on his own two feet and is ready to tell his story.
“Now I have vowed to indeed tell all,” he said.
For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone. Contact Jeanne LeFlore at firstname.lastname@example.org.