Nov 2, 2018

Oklahoma woman files lawsuit against Narconon Arrowhead

Wichita Eagle
Associated Press
October 30, 2018

An Oklahoma woman has filed a lawsuit alleging a drug rehab center linked to the Church of Scientology breached its contract.

Attorneys for Sefika Talic filed the petition Friday at the Pittsburg County Courthouse, The McAlester News-Capital reported . The lawsuit was filed against Narconon International, along with its flagship rehabilitation center, Narconon Arrowhead, and parent company Association for Better Living and Education. The association is owned by the Church of Scientology.

Narconon Arrowhead is a 200-bed facility near the tiny town of Canadian that promotes substance abuse treatment theories by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The lawsuit alleges Talic was persuaded to enroll her son in a three-month program at the facility in 2016 for $32,500 through "misrepresentations, lies, deceit, and fraud."

The organizations have yet to file written responses to the allegations.

Talic alleges her son was forced to read literature that promoted Scientology, went through "bizarre punishments" as part of treatment and experienced physical and mental anguish from the facility's treatment. Talic withdrew her son from the program after three weeks "in fear of his health," the filing said.

The lawsuit also alleges the facility didn't have certified medical personnel. Talic is seeking damages between $10,000 and $75,000.

"The conduct of the defendants was in reckless disregard for the rights of the plaintiff. The defendants were aware, or did not care, that there was a substantial or unnecessary risk that their conduct would cause serious injuries to others," the lawsuit said.

Narconon Arrowhead has operated under scrutiny following four patient deaths in recent years. Oklahoma enacted Stacy's Law in 2013 after 20-year old Stacy Dawn Murphy died at the Narconon Arrowhead facility of an accidental drug overdose a year earlier. The law is intended to provide more oversight of drug and alcohol rehab centers.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the center, and Narconon Arrowhead has settled many of them under confidential terms.

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